Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quick Links

Audio Recorder Roundup: Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-100mkII vs Tascam DR-40 | E.M. Taboada | No Film School
A look at these three audio recorders, with the DR-100mkII coming out slightly on top:
Over the course of many tests I thought the DR-40 and H4n were very similar in the kind of sounds they picked up, with perhaps the DR-40 having slightly (as in ever so slightly) more white noise. The DR-100mkII seemed to have a slightly cleaner sound than the other two, but tended to not pick up lower frequency sounds quite as strongly.
[...]I would pick the DR-100mkII. I liked the sound coming out of it, and really dug the input level knob.

How to Guide Your Documentary Interviewee | Todd Grossman | MasteringFilm
Great article on things to think about when interviewing a subject:
Another interesting technique is to consider what tense they will be answering in. Most sit-down interviews happen after the fact, and are more or less recaps of an event from the past. This can give the viewer a more distant feeling of the event—a feeling that can work both for and against you. In some cases, you will want to try to re-create the power of what actually happened in the past. For this, I will sometimes have an interviewee outline what happened off camera, then, on camera, take me play by play through that event as if it were happening right then.

Are You Practicing these 5 Natural Lighting Tips? | Mitchell Kanashkevich | Digital Photography School
Some different ways to think about natural lighting:
The characteristics of natural light change due to the time of day, because of the weather and due to various other circumstances. You can essentially say that there are different kinds of light. The different kinds of light will make the same scene will look quite different, as you can see in the photographs above, which were taken during different times of day (left – twilight, middle – sunrise, right – middle of the day).

Canon 5D Mark III! | Ben Jacobsen | Blog
A review of the new Canon, accent on still photography:
For me the 5Diii has been a nice improvement over the 5D2 in a lot of little areas. I didn’t need my higher ISOs to be any better, I was fine at 3200 on the 5D2, but now that I can use 12,800 I’ve been finding uses for it. I had been making due with the AF from the 5D2 for ~6 years, now I don’t have to, now I have “1 series AF” in a 5 series body. The FPS boost is huge for me for some of the sequence shots I do, I can now use my 5D3 for a lot of those.

4K dominates NAB agenda | George Bevir | Broadcast Now
A very quick look at the 4K cameras at NAB:
Not to be outdone, Red, a long-term advocate of 4K, released details of a 6K sensor on Monday. The Dragon sensor offers “15+” stops of native dynamic range and 120fps at full 5K. An upgrade for Epic users will cost $6,000 (£3,770), with the Scarlet upgrade yet to be confirmed.

The Camera Conundrum: What "K" is the Right "K" at NAB 2012 | Ryan E. Walters | The Town Crier
Another look at the different cameras at NAB:
Blackmagic Cinema Camera
This is the "3K" for 3K camera. The camera allows you to record RAW 2.5k imagery with 13 stops of dynamic range and a "native" EI of 800. Cinema DNG is already supported by many software companies, and it is easily integrated into an Adobe / Resolve workflow. Additionally, you can choose in between RAW and ProRes recording in the camera. So for the work in which you need the highest quality image you can use the Cinema DNG files, and for work that has a tight schedule, or doesn't need RAW, you can shoot in ProRes.

Shooting with RED Epic #1: How to Properly Calibrate Black Shading | Evan Luzi | The Black And Blue
You don't have to do this calibration on the RED EPIC all the time, but you do have to do it more often than on the RED ONE:
The RED Epic Operations Guide says black shading calibration takes “about 10 minutes,” but this information is outdated both in my research and my own experience.
While reading through forum posts and articles, I consistently found other AC’s or operators complaining about the process being ballooned to a 30-minute time-suck. My own black shading experiences have lasted around 20 minutes or so.

"The Journey of the F65" - Behind the Scenes Pt. 2 | Band Pro Film & Digital | Vimeo
A behind-the-scenes on shooting with the Sony F65 in Hawaii:
Follow the continuing adventures of Director/DP Ruben Carrillo & Band Pro's Randy Wedick on their quest to capture the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, using the new Sony F65 & Leica Summilux-C lenses. This episode showcases the natural environments the crew worked in, the rainy climate of Kauai and the volcanic flows on the big island.
This production was designed as both a camera test and a workflow test. In addition to testing dynamic range, color fidelity and the camera's performance in extreme environments, the filmmakers also traveled very light and by necessity whittled the workflow down to it's bare essentials.

Canon 5D Mark III - "Copelandia" - Production Diary #3 | Neumannfilms | YouTube
And a short behind-the-scenes of a short film being shot with the Canon 5D Mark III:
The third "same day" Production Diary for our short film Copelandia. Our first on the 5D Mark III.

All of the BTS material is filmed with the Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon 24-105mm f 4 lens.

Framing the 'Hobbit' hubub: Think bigger | David S. Cohen | Variety
Another look at the reaction to the high frame-rate The Hobbit, this one with three predictions:
  • The 48 fps format of "The Hobbit" will not be widely adopted, because it's a compromise that doesn't deliver the full impact of HFR;
  • •Eventually, but probably not soon, the default frame rate for most studio movies will be something around 60 fps, with directors choosing higher or lower frame rates for creative effect;
  • •Bizzers in both TV and movies are going to be making creative and financial decisions about HFR for years -- maybe forever.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Notes from Adobe's Premiere Pro CS6 Webinar

Yesterday Adobe hosted a webinar with Adobe Product Manager, Al Mooney. Mooney began the demonstration with an analogy: “If Premiere Pro was the car, and the Mercury Playback Engine was the engine, then we had a beautifully engineered engine, but the car wasn’t quite as good.” So this release, to further the analogy, is all about tidying up the car. To that end, they focused on two things:

  • Improving the user interface.
  • Improving the editing operation as a whole, focusing on the rhythm of editing, removing frustrations and adding new features that editors need.

It all sounded good, though maybe a bit like the Final Cut Pro X demo.

The Adobe CS6 Production Premium software

According to Mooney, “the minute you launch it, you’ll immediately notice the redesign.” They removed unnecessary noise, clutter, and "chrome" (the gray space around the interface elements.) There’s “a lot less gray and a lot more video.” If you don’t like the new default layout, you can go back to the CS5.5 default workspace, “but I’m pretty confident once you get used to it, you’ll find it better.”

In CS5.5, Premiere Pro had 22 separate different buttons and controls under the video panel. Now you can fully customize the Source and Program monitors by adding and removing these controls. You can even hide the buttons at the bottom of the video panel if you just want to use only key strokes to control the editing process. Oh, and the Shortcuts have changed too, but you can also revert to CS5.5 if you prefer.

Mooney said that “after extensive market research,” they decided that 16x9 was the future of video, and now the thumbnails in the Project panel are 16x9. In another change, what were thumbnails can now be enlarged and they have implemented “Hover scrub” (‘you might call it skimming, we call it hover scrub.’) The thing I like about what they have done; you can actually set in and out points for separate clips in the Project panel, then build a sequence from that. This is what I wish Final Cut Pro X had done!

Another nice thing; usage icons on the thumbnails in the Project panel tell you how many times the media has been used in the project, and even take you to where it is in the sequence.

There’s a whole host of other little changes in the UI;
  • You can drag from the Media panel into the Project panel.
  • There’s some support for gestures.
  • If a clip is selected, just double-click an effect and it’s added to the clip; you don’t have to drag and drop.
  • There’s now a full-screen mode that doesn’t include all the controls that their old full-screen mode did i.e. it;s full-screen.
  • They’re completely redesigned the trimming functionality. You can now select a trim point - or multiple ones - and then trim using the keyboard or mouse.
  • When you add a clip to an empty sequence, it will prompt if the clip does not match the sequence settings, and ask you if you want to change the Sequence settings.
It many ways it feels like Adobe took a look at Final Cut Pro X, and added some of the features of FCP, without abandoning the "traditional" NLE interface in Premiere.

Noting that Premiere used to be really, really good at stopping playback whenever you did something, Mooney said that they’ve now added a new feature he called; “Don’t Stop Playback”. Playback continues while you’re adjusting editing and effects – though it only applies to GPU accelerated effects.

Premiere Pro CS5.5's multi-can was limited to four cameras. Now it support's as many camera angles as your system can cope with. You need to make sure you have disk bandwidth etc., but there’s no limit on cameras. Unfortunately, the current release does not include any PluralEyes type of synching.

The audio mixing had been improved, taking some elements from Audition. The previous version did not handle tracks with mixed sources; mono and stereo in the same track. Now they’ve added a new audio track type called the Standard Audio track. You can mix stereo and audio clips in the same audio track without having problems, and it can now handle 16 channels of multi-channel audio.

Adjustment Layers
One other interesting new feature; adjustment layers. Think of it as a way to apply an effect to multiple video tracks visible in a project. Say you have two clips side by side, rather than having to apply the same color correction to the two clips, you add an adjustment layer on top, and add the color-correction to that layer.

GPU Acceleration
CS 6 has added limited support for Open CL, so if you’re a Macbook owner with “a very specific kind of video card,” you may get to use GPU acceleration. When asked why they did that, Mooney said “We have a limited amount of testing resources. We target the MacBook Pro because it seemed to be one of the most used systems out there. We targeted those two cards.”

When asked about whether other support might be coming, he said “We don’t comment on future releases, but if you look at the past you can see that we think it’s important to support as many GPUs as possible.”

The official line: GPU processing (Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration) extended to use OpenCL on some systems: AMD Radeon HD 6750M and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics card with 1GB VRAM in MacBook Pro computers running Mac OSX v10.7

Finally, the Color Corrector is now GPU accelerated.

Prelude, Tape & Long-GOP
When asked if Prelude would support tape, they acknowledged that it doesn’t, and though it replaces OnLocation, there are some features from OnLocation that people are expecting that aren’t there. Prelude is 32 bit, not 64bit.

Said Mooney “there are so many things in this industry that won’t die, and tape is one of them.” He went on to say that they are realizing there’s still a huge requirement for tape. Tape ingest will be left to third parties, but they have worked closely with the third parties to improve tape handling so it should be more robust.

With the arrival of Prelude, they were asked if there is now an ordained workflow? No, says Mooney, there’s many ways of doing things. For example, with DSLR video, “You can import directly into Premiere Pro, but if you are using long-gop formats, you’ll never get the same performance as you will from short-gop formats, so you might consider bringing it in through Prelude and doing a transcribe, though you don’t have to.”

Cinema DNG
When asked about the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Mooney said “We were as surprised as the rest of you about the release by the Blackmagic.” He went on to explain that CinemaDNG was a piece of Adobe technology that “we released out into the wild.” Premiere will import and understand it, but “you’re not going to see great playback performance.” They said that they are working with Blackmagic and are “considering” working on the performance.

This was one in a series of webcasts that Adobe is offering over the next few weeks. If you’re not familiar with Adobe’s upcoming release, they are probably worth checking out:

Fine out more at: "Ask A Video Pro" Webinar Series | Adobe

And you can now pre-order either Premiere Pro (Mac) or (Windows) $699 or Creative Suite Production Premium (Mac) or (Windows) $1,899.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

SMPTE New England Meeting Report - NAB Panel

Thursday’s SMPTE-NE meeting at WBZ Boston was a panel discussion of the new, the exciting and the scary at NAB this year.

The Panel was moderated by co-founder of Avid, Peter Fasciano. and featured Bob Lamm of Broadcast Pix, Willis Peligian of the Willis Group, lighting expert John Gates of Gates Service Group, and Boston Creative Pro User Group’s own Dan Bérubé.

(l to r) Dan, John, Willis, Bob & Peter

Bob noted that the business is becoming more "computerized." IT based companies are talking to broadcast people in terms that are familiar to computer people rather than to video people. He said that “File-based Work Flows” was a popular phrase at the show. He also noted that there were a lot of people from overseas.

He pointed out how inexpensive configuring SD installations has become, and that SD remains a viable - and in some cases the only - solution for a lot of small installations. This is particularly true outside the US. “Most of the people I’ve met are buying HD systems because they think they are going to hold on to them for a while and they don’t want to get something that will be outdated.”

“I do think that we’re having a lot of fun being at the bleeding edge, but a majority of the people have a different goal. They’re not really looking to push the limits so much, they just want to put out an interesting and acceptable program.”

Willis expanded on the IT trend, saying “purpose built technologies that we have grown used to are being replaced by commodity IT technologies. File based workflows are “inevitable,” and Business Process Management will become a bigger part of the industry with broadcast centric companies taking BPM systems and putting a media-centric skin on them, creating a workflow process tracking system for file-based workflows." He mentioned Centrix and Ceiton as examples of this business.

OTT (Over The Top) is a term being used for internet delivered video, and is a key trend. “We have talked for years about how the audience for our products, our media, is being fragmented. We talked about it back in the early 80’s how cable was coming in and stealing broadcast […] and now there is a new industry segment [...] Over The Top, and OTT means, in a very broad brush, internet delivered video.”

He said that DSLR technology and all the gizmos that come with it were big this year, and Thunderbolt also made a strong appearance; though a lot of companies were still only showing prototypes and he thinks it remains to be seen whether it will be a success. “Is this going to be another Firewire? Is it going to die because it doesn’t have the legs? and the answer is 'I don’t know.'”

Finally, he mentioned the possibility of cloud based. collaborative editing taking off, and sited as an example, a company from London,

(l to r) Willis Peligian, Robert Lamm, and Peter Fasciano

John walked through a slide presentation on the many LED lighting options present at the show, saying “it’s not the future, but you can see it from here.” While saying that LED’s are finally ready for prime time, he added “there’s a bunch of crap out there, they’re not all created equal, but there are lights out there that work the way we are used to, that have good output and good color.”

During a discussion of calibrating lights and cameras, he said “the new method is to look at it on the damn camera.”

Interestingly, he said that ARRI spent a year thinking that they could produce a fresnel LED that didn’t need a fan for cooling, but they found that they couldn’t do it. The problem is the heat generated at the LED itself, which has a pretty narrow temperature operating range. "Nobody has found a way to use them in an optical system without a fan."

Dan doesn’t think Thunderbolt is going away any time soon, unless Apple decides to get rid of it!

He referenced a t-shirt he bought;“4K is so 2014.” While excited by the 4K cameras and especially the 4K displays that Canon had at the show - Dan was working the show for Canon - “ I can’t wait until we are all using it, but the fact of the matter is that there's a workflow for that, that you need to have in place to be able to do that. The workflow is something that people need to understand.” When Shane Hurlbut shot The Ticket using the EOS 1D-C, he shot 20 terrabytes of footage on CF cards. When they prepped it for post, it inflated to 40 terrabytes. “That’s not just something you readily have available. It’s not just a stack of Firewire drives..”

Peter said that the color space for 4K is larger than for HD, which is something I hadn’t heard.

Dan talked briefly about the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, “I was totally blown away by the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, I think it took everyone by surprise.”

“There’s still a reason to go to NAB, despite wanting to cut your feet off at the end of the day, because there’s some amazing things.”

Dan Bérubé and John Gates

Some of the other topics covered:

  • There was some discussion about archiving, though apart from cloud solutions, there didn’t seem to be anything particularly new and low-cost available.
  • 3D is dead. Or very close. Most of the panelists didn’t see much of it. Willis said there were very few 3D rigs at the show. He saw the glass-less TV prototypes that Sony showed, but said that after a few minutes it gave him a headache. There was also some discussion of Titanic 3D, and the suggestion that 3D in post may actually be the best way to go to 3D.
  • The Hobbit at 48fps came up breifly, but that wasn't a topic that came out of NAB!
  • Lens costs are starting to be much more significant than camera costs, and this will  be exasperated with 4K. “The irony that I see with the cameras, I can get a large sensor camera with unbelievably good pictures, the price keeps coming down, but the glass, there’s no way to make that same economic model with the glass.” - John. “Buy a lens, get a free camera back with it” - Peter.
  • Connecting devices to the Internet will continue to be important. But just because it has a port doesn't mean it's not using something proprietary Willis warned; make sure that they support web services.
  • Dan and Bob talked at some length about the importance of XML.

Portable EntertainmentHome EntertainmentComputersCamcorders Digital Cameras & Gear Pro Audio You go to B&H

Upcoming Adobe Webinars on CS6 - Premiere Pro CS6 today

Adobe is offering a series of webinars on CS6, starting today with:

Editing Faster Your Way with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10:00am Pacific Time

Join Adobe Product Manager, Al Mooney, as he demos the exciting new features in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6—the powerful non-linear editing system that sits at the heart of Adobe CS6 Production Premium, connecting all of your media as it flows in and out of post-production. See how Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS6 combines incredible performance with a sleek revamped UI, and a host of powerful new creative features, including Warp Stabilizer for stabilizing footage, dynamic timeline trimming, expanded multicam editing, adjustment layers, and more for a fluid editing workflow. Sign up for this live Ask a Video Pro Session.

Fine out more at: "Ask A Video Pro" Webinar Series | Adobe

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quick Links

NAB 2012: Lightworks | Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
Scott offers a few thoughts on Lightworks, the free NLE that's a little different:
I mentioned repeatedly to the Editshare guys that once a Mac version is ready we will see a lot more interest but they said they’ve seen over 250,000 downloads of the current Windows version. I think they are quite proud of that download number and Lightworks looks to be a pretty big part of the overall Editshare strategy going into the future. I’m not exactly sure what that strategy is but apparently someone at Editshare does since Lightworks lives on.

Sony FS700 Hands-On . . . & Where are the Power-Zoom Lenses? | Eric Reagan
| Photography Bay
A few thoughts on the NEX-FS700, though it's more of a first-look than a hands-on review:
The hand-grip is definitely beefed up from the FS100 for a much more solid feel – again, a needed improvement. Notably, there’s now a zoom rocker on the hand-grip, which led to a brief argument between me and Sony rep who tried to convince me that there were already E-mount lenses on the market that featured powered zoom motors. Well, there aren’t, but there most likely will be in the not-too-distant future.

NEX-FS700 Belagio Fountains at 240fps | YouTube
Another high-fps video from the Sony NEX-FS700:
I was lucky enough to to be able to borrow a pre production Sony NEX-FS700 at the NAB 2012 show. With only a very brief period to get some shots I decided to try out the slow motion function of the camera to shoot the fountains outside the Belagio Casino in Las Vegas.

Interview with Dan May, president of Blackmagic Design, US | SpliceVine
Blackmagic Design has branched out from I/O hardware into software and now cameras. Here's an interview with the US President about the company:
I’ve said this a number of times, it’s funny how much we have seen over these past few years – what was post-production, pre-production, broadcast vs consumer all of these lines have been completely blurred. And they’ve been blurred because of the internet, cost of goods, accessibility to information. These whole lines have been changed as to where, when you look at NAB 10 years ago and say it was a place for high end broadcast and post-production, it still is but there is now such a wide and diverse group of people.

Film vs. Digital: Do Labels Matter? | R.C. VARENAS | FilmSlateMagazine
Some thoughts on film and whether something shot on video can be called a film:
While I might be slightly more nostalgic and compassionate toward film, I see their point. The click-clacking of typewriters is a beautiful sound. But aren’t computers better? Sure, Superman has fewer changing rooms to choose from, but are you willing to give up your cell phone for a phone booth? Isn’t the microwave oven great? Hasn’t the remote control made life easier? Isn’t liposuction more convenient than exercise?

SpeedGrade | Adobe TV
Adobe offers a variety of tutorials on the new SpeedGrade application, including:
Introduction to SpeedGrade
Loading and Conforming Material in SpeedGrade CS6
Rendering With SpeedGrade CS6
Using Scene Change Detection in SpeedGrade CS6

10 Great Color Correction Tutorials for Final Cut Pro X | Danny Greer
| Premium Beat
A collection of links to tutorials on color correction in  Final Cut Pro X:
Color correction has gotten quite an upgrade in Final Cut Pro X, with significant improvements to the color grading interface and automatic color matching tools. The following video tutorials cover all aspects of the FCPX color correcting environment, addressing topics such as the FCPX color correction interface, workflow and advanced color effects.

ProVideo Coalition - Tiffen Digital Filters - NAB 2012 | Richard Harrington | Vimeo
Richard Harrington interviews Michael Cassara about Tiffen's digital filters for NLEs at NAB 2012. The package grew out of what was originally Digital Film Tools.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – Firmware 1.1.2 Released | HD Cam Team
Canon releases a firmware update for the Canon 5D Mark III. No major changes, which include:
1. Supports a new accessory, GPS receiver GP-E2.
2. Fixes a phenomenon where a pink cast may develop over the image when the shutter is completely pressed with the camera’s power turned off (by the auto power off setting).
3. Fixes a phenomenon where the camera operation stops after one shot when shooting in High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode.

Why Aardman shot its latest movie on Canon DSLRs | Amy Davies | TechRadar
Fairly detailed interview about Aardman switching to DSLRs for movie making:
We do a lot of testing before we start the film itself so we can decide on an optimum setting for all of the cameras, so we will set up a common ISO speed, a common white balance, the setup of all the cameras will be identical at the beginning of the shoot, and the Canon cameras and the Canon sensors were incredibly consistent in that if you took any one camera into a given situation and took a shot, if you then removed it and substituted another camera, with the same lens, the shot would be identical.

TRUTH AND DOCS AT TRIBECA | Stewart Nusbaumer | Filmmaker
A look at three different documentaries:
Three documentaries that examine truth-telling in vastly different settings: a Mississippi community still struggling with its racist past, an Israeli family remaining numb in the post-Holocaust era, and the world’s most populated nation where bloggers maintain an insecure space. The truth is contested and obscured, pursued and denied, fought over and completely ignored. For the truth tellers there is great fear, no fear, and self-fear.

Peter Jackson is shooting The Hobbit in 3D at 48fps. A 10 minute preview was recently shown to exhibitors - and others - and provoked mixed reactions:

CinemaCon 2012: THE HOBBIT Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second
| Devin Faraci | Badass Digest
With those caveats out of the way, here's what The Hobbit looked like to me: a hi-def version of the 1970s I, Claudius. It is drenched in a TV-like - specifically 70s era BBC - video look. People on Twitter have asked if it has that soap opera look you get from badly calibrated TVs at Best Buy, and the answer is an emphatic YES.

The Hobbit ... Didn't Look So Good | Jim Vejvoda | IGN Movies
While 48fps may create a more realistic, "you are there" picture quality, it actually works against The Hobbit from the 10 minutes of footage we saw. This undeniable "reality" kept pulling me out of the movie rather than immersing me fully into its world as the Lord of the Rings films did; the very fantasy element, the artifice of it all (whether it's the wigs, fake beards or CG monsters) was plainly, at times painfully, evident.

Peter Jackson's 48fps Presentation Of 'The Hobbit' At CinemaCon Gets A Mixed Response | KEVIN JAGERNAUTH | IndieWire
A collection of comments from others, along with a warning not to jump to conclusions:
It's too early to determine the success or failure of this new "format" (for lack of a better term), but calling it a "mistake" (as some people are) based on 10 minutes of footage is premature at best. In fact, much of the reaction today is reminiscent of the same concerns that James Cameron's "Avatar" was met with in the months leading up to its release, that 3D wouldn't be the game changer that Fox was hoping for, and audiences wouldn't be impressed enough to make it a hit.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quick Links

I May Never Buy a Camera Again | RON DAWSON | Dare Dreamer
Interesting thoughts on renting vs. owning:
I guess what I’m saying is this: think with your head, and not with your heart when it comes to making an investment in something as expensive as a camera, especially when they change as often as they do. I’d be more inclined to invest my money in great glass that you can use on multiple cameras. A Zeiss CP.2 cinema lens can be used on everything from a T2i to a RED. No matter what kind of shoot you’re doing, a good lens will come in handy.

NAB 2012: Quantel new Pablo and Neo Nano | Scott Simmons | ProVideoColaition
Quantel's "cheaper" (~$50,000) color grading solutions:
The Pablo control surface really is a thing of beauty and if you ever get the chance to lay your hands on one by all means do and you’ll see what I mean. It is very well engineered and feels amazing under your hands. The new Neo Nano is stripped down in size removing the keyboard, tablet, transport controls and a lot of buttons but the majority of the functionality is still there

NAB 2012: Baselight for Avid Media Composer | Scott Simmons
| ProVideoCoalition
At $999, Baselight is a cheaper grading solution, and now it's coming to Avid Media Composer:
It would appear the Filmlight strategy is coming to fruition: put Baselight on many of the leading post-production applicants and allow for interoperability between the Baselight Editions and a real Baselight color grading system. The Editions will cost $995 each.

Video Comparisons
Three video camera comparisons clips:

Canon 5D Mark II vs. Mark III vs. Nikon D800 - Candlelight: High-ISO | Joe Marine
| Vimeo

Image comparison C300 / 5DmkII / 5DmkIII | Dennis Ersöz | Vimeo
The preset look of the mkIII surprises me the most and for a real job I would definitely go for a very flat setting instead. Even the C300 would benefit from much lower detail settings, especially when shooting faces.

Red Epic Vs Sony PMW-F3 Vs Canon C300 | Filippo Chiesa | Vimeo
Red Epic recorded RAW on-board in Red Log 4K HD.
Sony PMW-F3 recorded in S-Log both in DPX on Gemini 4:4:4 10 bit and on-board.
Canon C300 recorded in Canon-Log both in DPX on Gemini 4:2:2 8 bit and on-board.

Storage, asset management and archive. Where does it all go? | Mike Sutton
| Wide Open Camera
The dirty little secret of most budget video-shooters; no good backup strategy!
Backing up your movie, commercial, etc to LTO-5 is probably one of the smartest things you can do these days. They hold 1.5TB of data each and are index-able with metadata and will last over 50 years. You can span projects and if used with an asset management system like CAT-DV or FLOW you can keep tabs on everything properly.

NAB 2012 - Editshare Lightworks | StudioTechTV | YouTube
An interview with David Shapton of Editshare about Lightworks, the only top-end, low-cost NLE system that runs on Windows, Linux & Mac (the latter; maybe)

NAB 2012 – New Product Preview: Magic Bullet Arsenal, Knoll Light Factory 3
| Aharon Rabinowitz | Red Giant Software
A quick look at some of what Red Giant showed at NAB: Magic Bullet Arsenal and Knoll Light Factory 3. Neither is available yet.

And Larry Jordan does a Preview of FCPX Plugin Mojo by Red Giant | YouTube

The Canon C300 saved my butt | Jonathan Yi | Vimeo
Short clip showing how the low-light capabilities of the Canon C300 (plus an iPhone flashlight app) saved the day on a commercial shoot.

Crowdfunding for Filmmakers, raise a million dollars over the Internet
| Mark Litwark | Entertainment Law Resources Blog
More on the JOBS Act and it's impact on budget filmmakers:
Most promising for indie filmmakers, the JOBS Act contains provisions that for the first time will allow internet crowdfunding for the production of films. Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital by obtaining small amounts of money from a large number of investors. Although existing companies like and IndieGoGo currently enable filmmakers to raise funding through donations (i.e., gifts), this new law, when it becomes effective, will allow filmmakers to raise up to one million dollars in equity investments by soliciting the general public without the prior restraints.

8 Tips on being a better cinematographer | Joyce | StillMotionBlog
Some interesting suggestions applicable to all creatives:
2. be mindful
think slow, act fast. shooters just starting out often roll all the time in fear of missing something but by doing so you’re not making a conscious decision about what you’re shooting and therefore actually get less out of the scene. take the time to think about what’s going on and how to capture it, and THEN hit record. you will be more focused and…

Do broadcasters understand 3D? | Stephane Savard | Blog
Of course not! Neither do I!
One example did happen yesterday at the session that was talking about the 2d to 3d conversion of “Titanic”. That movie has been converted with lots of depth and I think the 3D effect is very impressive. They presented some scene from the converted movie and during the question period, one attendee did say that there was not much 3D in what we saw… basically for him if things are not jumping off the screen and comes into your face, this is not 3D!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quick Links

Looking Inside the Canon1DC DSLR 4K Capture Project “The Ticket”
| Shane Hurlbut | Hurlbut Visuals
Blog post on shooting Po Chan’s film “The Ticket” using the 1DC:
We purposely cast the Prius Taxi Cab to not only be eco-friendly, but to showcase the power of the camera’s size and its sensor. We loaded our three actors; Po, our director; Mike Svitak, our 1st AC; and me into the cab and drove around the streets of Los Angeles. I was in the hatchback of the Prius on a Kessler Cine Slider, using a Small HD DP-4 to gauge my exposure and frame my shot. The lens was the new 24mm Cinema Prime at a t1.3.

My personal favorite new products from NAB - Part 1 | Daniel Freytag | Blog
Daniel highlights some things you might have missed in the NAB coverage over the last week; the SmallHD HDMI clamp, Bebob Rigs, Livestream broadcaster, and SmallHD DP7:
Yes, there was another product from SmallHD, which I really liked today. It is a new 7" OLED monitor with an unbelievable picture. It is quite hard to describe, but despite it is only a 720p it looks fantastic! It is also supposed to be this good, because it costs twice as much as a DP6 ($2,699).

Headphones Mixing? Speakers Mixing? Both? | Roey Izhaki | Focal Press
Interesting article about the pros and cons of audio mixing using speakers and headphones:
The dominance of speaker mixes was never questioned until recently, when portable MP3 players and their integration with cellular phones became so widespread. It is a valid question to ask why we still mix using (and for) speakers when so many people nowadays listen via headphones. There is an unexploited opportunity here for record labels to produce ‘speaker’ and ‘headphone’ versions. This would make sense not only from a mixing point of view but also from mastering, consumer and label revenue points of view.

NAB 2012: Garrett Brown of Steadicam demonstrates the Merlin 2 | Dan Chung
| DSLR News Shooter
Dan Chung interviews the inventor of the Steadicam, Garrett Brown about the Merlin 2, a sub-$1,000 Steadicam for DSLRs and small cameras - including the Canon C300 he claims - which is described as an updated, more rugged version of the original:
Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown talks to site editor Dan Chung about the latest designs from Steadicam and how the new Merlin is well suited to news and documentary shooting.

| DSLR News Shooter
Another look at PluralEyes 3:
In this video Bruce Sharpe of Singular software demonstrates the upcoming version 3.0 release. The software features a video and audio interface and is ten to twenty times faster than Pluraleyes 2. Bruce also discusses Cloudeyes – a cloud based audio video sync utility for developers.

Set Design Part 2: Documentary Filmmaking | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Interesting short piece about set decoration for documentary shooting (i.e. dressing up the surroundings for your interview subjects!):
But, if you’re shooting a corporate film where you will be interviewing key executives, you may have a number of options (e.g. their offices, conference rooms, large lobbies, etc.) If you do have an opportunity to pick location, you want to keep in mind audio issues (e.g. traffic noise, computer humming, people working, etc.) as well as lighting issues (i.e. daylight, incandescent, and most importantly, fluorescent.)

Adobe Creative Suite 6 | B & H Photo & Amazon
Let the pre-ordering begin! B & H already has pre-orders up for Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Mac) & (Windows) for $699, and Creative Suite 6 Production Premium for Mac and Creative Suite 6 Production Premium for Windows at $1,899.
Amazon is currently selling the Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium CS5.5 significantly cheaper, and you qualify for a free upgrade to CS6 if you buy now, so that might be worth doing...

Peter Jackson Ready To Dazzle With 'The Hobbit' In 3D & 48fps, But Will Theatres Be Prepared? | Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist
Issues with both production and distribution for The Hobbit? Hopefully, I can just watch it in 24fps!
Those on the production side are stressed as well, since they've had to find solutions while simultaneously shooting on the upgraded formats. Jackson is shooting on the Red Epic in 3D, with completed footage taking up 6-12TB of camera data per day (the production's digital storage center was glimpsed on their video blog, and it is massive). At Park Road Post, where they're editing the film, they've just recently created 3D 48fps systems, while editing 2D 24fps in the meantime before converting over.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quick Links

Sony's fall and Japan's hang-ups | Brooke Crothers | C|Net
Brooke lived in Japan from 83 to 93, and offers a list of reasons why he thinks Japan is having difficulty competing in technology; and why Sony is having financial problems:
Software: Japanese companies have never had a firm grasp of the importance of software. Or the art of fusing hardware and user-friendly software into an appealing coherent whole, a la Apple or even a company like IBM and its mainframe culture. And this is a corollary to the obsession with monozukuri. When I lived in Japan, the message was clear: software really isn't that important. It's only hardware that matters.
It seems odd that Sony is having difficulties. But when you think of the number of products they make compared to, say, Apple...perhaps one of their problems is too much diversification?

I don't agree with his final sentence:
Well, I really can't think of any Sony product that I would want to buy today. How times have changed.
I'd quite like an NEX-FS700, PMW-F3 or an F65!

The Tao Colorist | Patrick Inhofer | Newsletter
A shortened newsletter this week due to NAB, but Patrick offers some interesting insight on the new Smoke release:
Existing Smoke owners were underwhelmed with this release
But almost all of them understood what Autodesk is doing. Smoke is too good a product to have such a small user base. It's a situation that needed to change for that product.

The new Black Magic Design Cinema Camera - A talk with John Brawley
| Daniel Freytag | Blog
An interview with John Brawley, who has been able to shoot a bit with a pre-production Blackmagic Cinema Camera:
Many people complain that the chip is smaller than the S35 chip in most new cameras, which results in a big crop factor. What do you think about this?John: Well S35 would have been nice but they tell me they are very expensive sensors. BMD were chasing the best they could for DR and low cost. This sensor was a good choice for this. The so called crop factor shouldn't really be an issue for for most unless you want ultra wide angle Or are chasing ultra low dof. You can still put very fast primes on an get most of the way there.
This site shows the physical size of the sensor compared to other sensors:
Blackmagic Cinema Camera Sensor Size | Justin O'Neil | RoyalGalactic

Philip Bloom tests Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 | Todd_Kopriva | ProVideoCoalition
An interview from Adobe with Philip Bloom:
Adobe: Why did you start looking at Adobe Premiere Pro for editing?
Bloom: With the more recent Final Cut Pro releases, I felt the hardware wasn’t being utilized to its full potential and the software should have been faster. Time is important and doing things quickly is a huge benefit in my line of work. I started exploring alternatives and purchased Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Sneak preview – 5D Mark III Zeroed AA Filter – First footage for download
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew removed the anti-aliasing filter from his 5D Mark III, and claims there are no issues with moiré, and it increases resolution:
This clip is shot with my modded 5D Mark III without the anti-aliasing filter softening the image. The clip was shot on the softest setting with no in-camera sharpening. Removing the AA filter also makes the camera sensitive to infrared light and gives you a bit of extra detail in the shadows, but you will need an IR-cut filter on your lens for electric lighting and black fabrics. Canon recently produced a 60Da for astro-photography and with this mod the Mk III becomes a 5Da!

Sone more info on AJA's announcements:
AJA were showing their new KiPro Quad 4K external recorder at NAB this year which should work well with new cameras like the Canon C500. It takes the 3G SDI 4K output and records it to edit friendly 4K Prores files.
And Richard Harrington interviews Bryce Button of AJA:
In-Depth Interview About All the AJA New Products | Richard Harrington | Blog

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