Saturday, May 12, 2012

Notes from Adobe After Effects Webinar

On Thursday Adobe hosted another webinar in their CS6 series, this one on After Effects and featuring After Effects Product Manager Steve Forde. Steve focused on four primary areas in the demo: the Global Performance Cache, 3D Camera Tracker, SpeedGrade and 3D modeling. He also talked a bit about graphics cards and answered other questions from the audience.

Global Performance Cache
Adobe has made significant changes to the way After Effects caches rendering. The Global Performance Cache (which has it’s own tab in the timeline panel) is about “understanding how something was rendered, when it was rendered, and do we ever have to do it again.

Pointing out that in past releases – and in many other video applications – if you changed the top layer of the composition, everything has to be re-rendered. Steve said that in this release they wanted to minimize that need for re-rendering. “A lot of information [doesn’t have to be] thrown away, so by using it, we can improve performance.” They accomplished this by putting a unique identifier on ever layer and every frame, and then re-render only when they have to.

Interestingly, the cache is associated with the media, not the project. Quitting a project that you didn’t save, doesn’t mean that After Effects will remove what was rendered from its cache. You do allocate space to the persistent disk cache, and once that becomes full, After Effects will start deleting from the oldest date. Cache from Premiere Pro will also come across to After Effects.

As an aside, Steve was demoing using a machine with an internal SSD, and he had a separate SSD as his scratch drive. He said that many customers are using Thunderbolt or Firewire RAID’s to allocate to the persistent disk cache

3D Camera Tracker
The Warp Stabilizer continues to be improved, this time with the new 3D Camera Tracker, which will analyze and assign a 3D point cloud over a 2D image. This makes it much easier to select different “3D planes” in the 2D footage. Steve demoed selecting the monitor of a computer while also quickly rotoscoping other parts of the image. He said that “this is the beginning of the road for this,” and they are looking to expand it’s functionality in the future.

See also: Adobe After Effects | 3D Camera Tracker

Steve briefly demoed some of the SpeedGrade functionality. He also made a pitch for taking part in the Adobe usage tracking, which provides Adobe with information about what people are doing with their applications. He said that the reason they acquired SpeedGrade was because users were spending so much time doing color adjustments; “we wanted to get very serious about how we were interpreting color.” He demoed applying a Color LUT from SpeedGrade to footage within After Effects by importing LUT files, adding “we were able to get some basic color workflow in CS6, but it’s the beginning of the road for that too.

In response to requests from users, this release improves feathering. The Mask Feather tool lets you create variable width feathering.

3D Modeling
According to Steve, “AE has always been a 2.5D application,” but now they wanted to turn it into a full 3D environment. However, he was careful to add “AE is not, and never will be a 3D modeler… but we noticed a lot of people using AE to do simple extrusion by stacking layers quite heavily, which can be a nasty workflow!

Demoing extruding Adobe Illustrator files into shape layers, Steve also showed the new renderer Ray-trace 3D and a draft renderer called Fast Draft. The previous renderer is now called Classic 3D. The new renderer can leverage the GPU , and while it will work on any machine, if you have a Nvidia GPU you’ll see orders of magnitude improvement.

Other stuff
After Effects CS6 now uses the GPU to render every pixel of the interface on the screen; “You’re going to have a more interactive experience, no more beach balls on the Mac or Windows.” Steve also noted that the Cycore HD Suite has now been added. They were previously all 8 bit, but are now 16 and 32 bit.

Which Graphics Card?
When asked about what GPU to get, Steve said that it really depends on the type of work you are doing. He acknowledged that “if you just look at raw performance, you’re not going to see dramatic differences” between the gaming GeForce cards and the Pro graphics Quadros cards. He said that it really comes down to how are you going to use and abuse the cards. “For lightweight work, the GeForce GTX cards are very good. If you have significant renders, using it heavily, I recommend the Quadros as they have been architected to deal with cooling and robustness. But [with the cheaper card] you will see heating, and power consumption issues.”

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have so many options as Nvidea only makes a Quadro card for the Mac (and yes, Adobe has now added limited OpenCL support for some MacBook Pro video cards.)

Adobe After Effects CS6 Tech Specs [Lists supported cards]
nVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 SC 1536 MB GDDR5 Graphics Display Card [$529.50]
nVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac Display Card [810.00]

Parting Notes
If you are using Lion 10.7 Steve said to make sure you update to 10.7.4 as it increases compatibility with GPUs, particularly for Premiere Pro. When asked about the Creative Cloud Steve said that as a person who is constantly installing new software on machines he personally was very excited about the Creative Cloud for one particular reason “the installation is really, really nice.

Other Resources

Adobe : How to Optimize After Effects CS6 for High Performance [A short video with Steve demoing the Global Performance Cache]

Adobe Webinars: "Ask A Video Pro" Webinar Series [other upcoming Adobe webinars]

Adobe Creative Suite 6: Production Premium Road Show [Adobe is running a Road Show through June]

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quick Links

A QuickStart Guide to New Adobe Premiere CS6 Features | Danny Greer
| Premiumbeats
It's Adobe CS6 release week, so here's a guide to new features in Premiere Pro CS6:
5. Trimming
Many editors will tell you trimming is the heart of editing, and having the right tools is crucial. Trimming in previous versions was clunky and you were unable to trim numerically from the keyboard. Premiere CS6 features advanced trimming, with a new trim window and better trimming in sequences. It really shines now. You can use J, K and L keys to dynamic trim. Also, the timeline won’t stop playing as you trim, which is a major improvement.

3D camera tracker | Brian Maffit |
This video explains the new 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects (which does look pretty cool!):
Learn how to use the new 3D Camera Tracker by creating a 3D project that adds animated text to a movie. See how the tracker works in the background to analyze a scene and then automates the addition of an animated 3D camera with text. See how to adjust, manipulate and add animators and other effects to the text for amazing results.

Creative Cloud Team Blog | Adobe
The blog for the Creative Cloud; which is supposed to be live now(?)
To say that the Creative Cloud represents a big change for Adobe is a dramatic understatement. Every part of this company is rethinking what it means to solve problems for our customers and give them the tools and services to create amazing things. Although I’ve only been at Adobe a few months, it’s been remarkable to see so many people embrace so much change. (Honestly, I’m having a blast.)

Switching to Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS6 PDF | Adobe
More features in Premiere Pro CS6:
4. Cross-platform, interoperability with Final Cut Pro and Avid software
With an open approach and broad format support in Adobe Premiere Pro, you can collaborate more efficiently with colleagues by easily importing and exporting projects regardless of format. Perform roundtrip editing with content from Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Avid Pro Tools software.

[Fstoppers Original] What Is Lens Diffraction And When Does Diffraction Happen?
| Patrick Hall | F-Stoppers
Diffraction in simple terms is a phenomena that occurs with light when it interacts with an obstacle. Most of us are familiar with light diffraction patterns found on the backs of CDs, in water molecules in the air, or on spider webs when looked at the right angle. Diffraction can also occur in your DSLR camera which can become a major problem and cause your images to lose their sharpness. Here is a simple diagram that shows how light particles hit your camera’s digital sensor when going through large apertures and smaller apertures.

Introduction to using Evernote as a productivity tool | Jolie Miller |
Evernote is one of those apps I downloaded and never really used. Maybe I should rethink that:
You can create notebooks to share collections of notes with certain teams. For example, your Marketing Ideas notebook can be a joint collaboration with the marketing team while your Recipes to Try notebook might just be one you share with your spouse so you’re both inspired when it’s time to plan meals.

NAB Recap pt. 2: Support and Accessories | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent continues his look back at this year's NAB:
Kessler was also showing off its new Kwik Release System, which is a camera fastening system that instantly locks when the mounting plate is placed in the receiver, and can be quickly unlocked with a push-button release gate. A quick release plate is one of the most useful accessories you can spend your money on – I SWEAR by them.

Sony Super 35mm | Sony | Facebook
If you're a PMW-F3 user, Sony wants to hear from you; though they don;t say why:
Attention PMW-F3 Owners!! Special programs are in the works and we'd like to know who you are. Please send an email to production(at)am(dot)sony(dot)com and let us know who you are!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quick Links

GPU (CUDA, OpenGL) features in After Effects CS6 | Todd Kopriva | Adobe
Adobe explains the OPENGL support in After Effects, though "We won't recommend a specific card, but more CUDA cores and VRAM help."
This level of GPU acceleration simply requires OpenGL 1.5 or higher with Shader Model 3.0 or higher. Most ATI and NVIDIA cards meet these requirements, as do the Intel HD Graphics 3000 and Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipsets. If your GPU does not support these requirements, After Effects CS6 will use the CPU as it did in After Effects CS5.5, although there are some improvements for the CPU version of this feature in After Effects CS6, too.

OpenCL and Premiere Pro CS6 | Todd Kopriva | Adobe
And here's information for Premiere Pro CS6:
What can Premiere Pro CS6 process with OpenCL?
Everything that Premiere Pro CS6 can process with CUDA, with four exceptions:
Fast Blur effect
Gaussion Blur effect
Directional Blur effect
Basic 3D effect
In our first iteration of OpenCL processing, we weren’t able to get enough performance improvement for these four effects, so they are for now better left on the CPU. But everything else that Premiere Pro CS6 can process with CUDA can be processed with OpenCL, and that’s a lot.

fxguidetv #145: AE and Adobe CS6 | fxguide | Podcast
John Montgomery talks to the After Effects development team at Adobe HQ.

10 Ways to Increase Editing Productivity (and Profits!) | Danny Greer
| Premiumbeat
How to make more money (having rich clients always helps...):
When you start a new editing project you typically know the “drop-dead” date that it needs to be delivered…but all too often don’t plan for the in-between. Setup a schedule before you start editing a project and determine when different stages of the process need to be completed – rough cut, fine cut, final cut, etc.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 7D Digital SLR Cameras Add Muscle to Action Scenes in 'The Avengers' | CreativePlanetNetwork
I *think* the ARRI Alexa was the main camera for this movie, but they used DSLRs as well:
“I think very highly of the Canon 5D Mark II, as I’ve been using it for the last few years on documentaries and other drama projects,” [Cinematographer] McGarvey stated. “When I started working on The Avengers I knew there would be a lot of close-quarter action work and unrepeatable stunts to capture. The 5D Mark II and the 7D digital SLR cameras produce images that are worthy of cinema, and their small size is a major advantage. You can place them in locations where a typical movie camera wouldn’t fit, and you can capture images that other cameras cannot. They are perfect for shooting additional angles that give film editors more options for creating powerfully immersive and kaleidoscopic views of action scenes.”

Art of Stereo Conversion: 2D to 3D – 2012 | Mike Seymour | fxguide
The how-to's of making a 3D movie out of a 2D one:
Cardboard cutouts and the need for roto. Not only is a roto required for the outline of any character in shot, if they are closer than say a wide shot, internal mattes are also required to generate different depths for different parts of their bodies. A character could easily have 7 rotos in addition to their outline for features such as nose, eyes etc and all of these must be conceptually and logically correctly placed based on z depth.

FS700 Sloppy Slow Motion Test - Matrix Style | Andy Shipsides | Vimeo
Okay, it's official. I'm now sick of high fps video. Sure, use it as part of your production - if it makes sense - but don't shoot everything in high speed. It's getting old already.

And here's a couple more such clips from the Sony NEX-FS700:
@gecofilms asked for a Matrix style slow-motion shot on the FS700. Shot with available light at 240 fps - 18 db. This is what you get with no work at all.. imagine what you can do with some lights. :)
Sony NEX-FS700 (food) | YPS | Vimeo

Sony and Google show off new Google TV box at Palo Alto, CA event
| Edgar Cervantes | Android Status
Apple is rumored to have an AppleTV - like an actual TV, not the box - coming sometime...sometime...meanwhile, whatever happened to Google TV? Seems it's still alive - or on life support - and Sony was showing a new version:
The new Sony remote is a double sided device with a keyboard on one side and a track pad and other buttons in the other. This comes along with a simple black set top box that will bring the Google experience to any TV. Sony is stating that it will be released in the summer, so we will definitely be hearing more about it at Google I/O.

Teach Yourself - Getting A Project Off the Ground | Sharon Katz
| Animation World Network
Short review of  Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas. Focuses on storyboarding as part of the production process for many different kinds of projects:
Writing from the point of view of the director, the person who has the whole film in their mind’s eye, “Directing the Story” by Francis Glebas (Focal Press) is a veritable bible of visual storytelling techniques and advice. Loaded with pictures, the book is set up like a storyboard for the material she wants to convey. Covering everything from why we watch movies to the most effective ways to build and maintain drama, she teaches how to keep your audience riveted to the screen.

The Redrock microRemote is a Professional Wireless Follow Focus for Under $2500 | Joe Marine | No Film School
A remotely controlled follow-focus:
Redrock Micro has partially redesigned their microRemote Wireless Follow Focus system by developing their own motor and creating a new controller (in addition to the iPhone controller). They’ve also got a rig system called the ultraCage that is designed to be form-fitting to cameras like the Canon C300 or the Canon 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III.

"The Journey of the F65" - Behind the Scenes Pt. 3 | Band Pro Film & Digital
| Vimeo
This the third - and final? - part of the behind the scenes of a project being shot on the Sony F65:
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 focuses on the human angle of one of the proprietors involved in the shoot. Jack Thompson's suburban dream home was cut off from the outside world by an active lava flow on either side of his house. During the shoot, the flow began to creep up directly behind the house for the first time. On the plus side this allowed the crew to walk to the active flow in just a few minutes from Jack's front door.

Three Years of Kickstarter Projects | LISA WAANANEN | New York Times
Lots of interesting graphics showing the growth of Kickstarter. [Not sure I really learned a lot from the graphics....]
Almost 50,000 projects have sought financing on Kickstarter since the site began on April 28, 2009. About half successfully reached their fund-raising goals. Each dot represents how much a project raised by its deadline. Active projects are shown as of 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Five Reasons to Give Away Your Film's Soundtrack for Free | Ryan Gielen
| No Film School
Interesting piece about giving away a soundtrack to get an audience, though other than the 20,000 addresses they gathered, Ryan doesn't really quote figures of whether these addresses translated into sales or movie views or anything more tangible than the 20,000 email addresses:
Without spending a dime we had introduced our film to 20,000 people in our target demos around the country, and they had effectively paid us for the intro (by giving us an email address). When someone downloaded the soundtrack our trailer came with it (tucked into the .zip file), along with our hand-crafted poster and production stills, and short personal intro letter from me.
Interestingly, they "gave away" other people's music (though they asked for permission first.) I'd be interested to know whether those bands saw an increase in audience or sales too:
Our pitch was simple: “Give us one song and we’ll introduce you to hundreds of thousands of fans. You won’t have to lift a finger. And you’re welcome to use any and all footage from the film for music videos.”

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Quick Links

MacBook Pro editors rejoice – new Premiere Pro CS6 supports OpenCL for renderless timeline not just NVidia CUDA! | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew discovers that his MacBook Pro's video card is supported by the Mercury Engine in Premiere Pro CS6:
Previously even MacBook Pro users with high end (for the time) CUDA capable NVidia graphics found themselves without quite enough video RAM and in need of a hack to get it to work.

That has all changed with CS6.

I have a MacBook Pro 17″ 2011 with ATI Radeon card, running 64bit Lion and the performance in Premiere Pro CS6 is a big leap up from CS5.5, in terms of general responsiveness, editing, playback, FX, etc.

MERCURY PLAYBACK AND THE 27" IMAC | Kanen Flowers | Scruffy Thinking
But Adobe currently only supports two MacBook Pro cards. If your Mac video card isn't listed, you might be able to add it by editing the supported cards list for Premiere Pro:
I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 almost exclusively these days. I use it on a 27" iMac with a AMD HD 6790 video card. I've hacked it to work with OpenCL and Mercury Playback.

Here's how (if you like pictures and words):

XDCAM Software and Firmware Updates (5/8/12) | Sony | Facebook
Sony released a software and firmware update that adds support for Final Cut Pro X:
XDCAM Browser Version 2.1
(can be used to import video from either optical XDCAM or memory products into Final Cut Pro X)

Camera Import Plug-In for Final Cut Pro X
(for the ingesting video from XDCAM memory products into Final Cut Pro X)
(note: cannot be used to ingest material from optical XDCAM)

SCI 48 Hr Challenge: Why The Right Film Won | Robin Schmidt | ELSKID
Robin thinks that the wrong movies are winning competitions. Whether that's true or not, I think you should enter 48 Hour Film Competitions for the experience and to learn, not with the expectation of winning. Because with most of them, even if you win, the payoff is so small it isn't worth the effort you have to put in!
Ever since then I’ve become increasingly hacked off with the judging in film competitions as it often seems to be wrong. I don’t mean I disagree with the judging, I think the judges have got it wrong. Now, I’ve actually won a big competition and even in that one I think the judges got it wrong. I made a smart film that nailed the brief perfectly but I didn’t make the best film. Last year’s winner of the Sci-Fi 48 hour challenge was the wrong one, ditto with Virgin Media Shorts.

Online Video by the Numbers | Jay Miletsky | OnlineVideo
Some tips for online video producers:
2: The maximum number of minutes your video should be to retain most of your audience. It’s not always easy to make your point or tell your story in a short period of time, but viewers don’t have a lot of patience. Significant drop-offs will happen at the two minute mark. Keep in mind that if there’s a 30 second pre-roll playing, then the total viewing time of a two minute video is really two minutes and thirty seconds. Go any longer and you’re likely to lose your audience.

Why I have moved over to Adobe Premiere CS6 from Final Cut 7 | Philip Bloom
| Blog
Philip beta tests CS6 and decides be prefers Adobe Premiere CS6 over Avid (and Final Cut Pro X):
Since getting CS6, I have been sinking my teeth into it and found it incredibly rewarding and exactly what I needed FCP to become. It’s also better for mac users without Nvidia cards as the Open CL means we can get the Mercury Engine working on non-Nvidia graphics cards. Multi-format timelines with NO TRANSCODING? Brilliant! I can even mix 24p and 25p on the same timeline.

Episode #77 - Minor Traffic Offense: Keeping the Streets Safe with VFX
| Red Giant
A quick tutorial by director Seth Worley on Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush in After Effects. It shows how you can "insert an actor into busy traffic without actually risking their life."
"The thing about Roto Brush that drives me crazy is - my footage never works with it."

SMAPP Tutorial - Deconstructing Lighting A Scene | stillmotion | Vimeo
A follow-up to a basic interview lighting tutorial, this one uses more sophisticated lights, and more of them:
this week's tutorial will take it up a notch as we deconstruct how we lit multiple scenes differently based on story, all of which was shot in the exact same location. we'll take a look at how each scene was lit and why it was lit a certain way. armed with 5 lights and the same set of modifiers, you will see how and why using different modifiers and techniques can say change the way the viewer experiences the scene.

Cineskates Lighting Review: What Happens When You Mount Your Camera on Skateboard Wheels? | Michael Hession | Gizmodo
A brief review of this low cost slider:
Tragic Flaw
The surfaces you can use it on are extremely limited. Hardwood floor, polished concrete, or smooth counter/tabletop will work. Not much else.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Join the BOSFCPUG as we team up with our friends at SMPTE New England for yet another must-attend networking & socializing mixer to be held int he studios of National Boston Video Center at 115 Dummer Street in Boston!

With special thanks to SMPTE member David P. Allen, the contributing Editor, Emeritus of Videography Magazine, we are pleased to present a special evening of retrospective and reflection with Ralph H. Baer, a distinguished Video Technologist, Inventor and Consultant.

Ralph H. Baer, inventor, technical developer (with over 150 U.S. Patents) and consultant is the creator of the first video game console (Magnavox Odyssey) and considered by many as the "father of video games" In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for inventing the home console for video games and spawning the video game industry.

DATE: Wednesday, May 23rd
TIMES: 7:00PM - 9:00PM (Doors open at 6:30PM)
VENUE: National Boston Video Center
115 Dummer St.
Brookline, MA

Quick Links

Nikon D800E video samples show stunning resolution in 1080p | Andrew Reid
Andrew reports that the D800E [$3,299] without the anti-aliasing filter is probably the one to get:
I wasn’t expecting fine detail to be this clean on the E… Removing the anti-aliasing filter seemed like a recipe for disaster. But this footage is very encouraging. When you also bear in mind this is compressed footage from in-camera, rather than via the Atomos Ninja, it truly seems like a very nice result from the rare ‘E’ version.

Lenses and putting the life back in – Why expensive is not always better
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew also sings the praises of odd, old lenses:
I have never felt compelled to look at MTF chart when buying a lens, rather, I look at the images it produces on Flickr. Here’s an example of something unusual… a vintage cinema lens, the Cooke Kinetal 12.5mm.

It is far from technically perfect. The coating is 1950′s technology. There’s a rainbow all over the right hand side. The bokeh is very textured with halos around it that somehow emphasise the presence of the bokeh, rather than making everything creamy clean and boring.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 - First Impressions From A Longtime Final Cut Pro User
| David Lawrence | Creative COW
CS6 rolled out today officially, and here's more first impressions of Premiere Pro CS6:
Then there's playback. It's important to understand how Adobe approaches playback, rendering and output, as it's different than Apple's approach in Final Cut Pro 7. Adobe prioritizes real-time playback during editing, transparently doing whatever's needed to keep playback as smooth as possible the entire time. Rendering is usually unnecessary to see effects or transitions. Add an effect and see results instantly.
And also from Toolfarm: NVIDIA Releases Mercury Transmit Plug-in for Adobe CS6 Support
Alert! Red Giant CS6 Updates are here!

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 New Features & Resources! | Michele Yamazaki
| Tool Farm
And here's a features and resources page from Toolfarm:
As you may have heard, Adobe Creative Suite 6 came out today. This article focuses on Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Note: We will be updating this page as we have more information so bookmark it and check back often! Updated May 7, 7:00pm EST

VFX roll call for The Avengers | Mike Seymour | FXGuide
After Effect's was used for pre-visualization on The Avengers:
Using Maya and After Effects as their main previs tools, The Third Floor worked on many iterations, including for the incredible New York battle. “It was important creatively to keep all the Avengers involved and not feel like we were leaving any one character for too long,” says Markel. “We also needed to keep logistics in mind so that the action stayed in specific areas within the digital set build.”

ikan Shows off Their New 7" IPS Monitor and Introduces a 2-In-1 Travel Bag
| Joe Marine | NoFilmSchool
A lot of people have nice things to say about iKan's monitors:
The video does not do any of the monitors justice, but the IPS display is on par with any other IPS displays out there. The ability to do waveform, vectorscope, and RGB parade on the slightly more expensive D7w is a welcome feature, and something we should expect from all monitors at this price range. Here are the specs on the 7″ D7 and D7w, taken from the official ikan blog:

NAB Recap pt. 1: Cameras and Lenses | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent lists some of the things he liked at NAB:
Zeiss CZ.2 70-200mm
Like the CP.2′s this lens has interchangeable mounts, from PL to EF, and is intended to be a Zoom companion to the compact prime set. It is encased with cinema style lens gearings and hard stops so that it works like a cinema lens lens. Unlike its photographic counterpart (the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8), this lens opens to a T/2.9 – which is pretty much identical (T stop measures tend to be more accurate than f-stop FYI.) This lens is available sometime in Q4 of this year.

| Filmmaker Magazine
A filmmaker sells a script in Hollywood, but goes to Berlin to make a movie:
Holdridge: Yeah. I think that this is really hard to beat because now we have such a good team – on the producing end, on the d.p. end, on the post end. We have this really tight crew. It evolved over the course of the shooting but once we found it, boy oh boy, it’s really hard to beat creatively in terms of the things you can capture, the places you can capture – you can do things with these tiny light-weight cameras and now they’re even having a 4K camera.

Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film. But the Consequences of Going Digital Are Vast, and Troubling | Gendy Alimurung
| LA Weekly
More on the end of film:
This year, for the first time in history, celluloid ceases to be the world's prevailing movie-projector technology. By the end of 2012, according to IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Service, the majority of theaters will be showing movies digitally. By 2013, film will slip to niche status, shown in only a third of theaters.

How ‘Mad Men’ Landed The Beatles: All You Need Is Love (and $250,000) | Dave Itzkoff & Ben Sisario | New York Time
I'm a Beatles fan, so I found this interesting:
To win the company’s approval in this case, Mr. Weiner said, “I had to do a couple things that I don’t like doing, which is share my story line and share my pages.” He added that he received the approval from Apple Corps last fall, about a month before filming started on the episode.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Quick Links

Red Scarlet, Testing for a Commercial in Madrid  | Den Lennie | F-Stop Academy
Den is perhaps better known for getting his hands on prototypes of the Sony NEX-FS100 and NEX-FS700. Here he talks about preparing to shoot with the RED Scarlet for the first time, and also about lighting:
Light is Light is Light….. no matter what format you choose to shoot on. The fact that I’m shooting Red Scarlet will not have any particular impact on my lighting style.

How intense the light is, what colour it is and how hard or soft it is will be up to the fine tuning on the day…. but the approach and principles remain unchanged. I’ll be using the Sony PVM 1741 to light with and check my ratios.

Are Indie Movies Getting Too Pretty? | Jason Bailey | The Atlantic
I think what he really means is that people aren't using image to enhance the feeling of the story; they're just making it all look pretty:
What's more, should films like the Detroit-is-burning documentary Burn or its Sundance cousin Detropia, look as beautiful as they do? Both chronicle the crumbling of America's fastest-shrinking city. It's not an attractive story, but in both cases it's presented in a visual style that's downright glistening. I don't mean to unfairly single out those films, which are both powerful and thought provoking, or their excellent cinematography, which is (presumably) working off an organizing principle of seeking out the beauty in decay.

The Canon 5D Mark III, Canon C300, and RED SCARLET Shoot a Nighttime Bike Race Side-by-Side | Ryan Koo | No Film School
A shoot done with three camera results in some thoughts on the pros and cons of the Red Scarlet and Canon C300:
To me, the RED is more ideal for features and the C300 better for docs, but in either situation, if you’re going to be doing nighttime shooting without the ability to add light, the C300 is a far better choice.

The Adobe Tax — CS6 Rent vs Upgrade | Martin Doudoroff
| Mac Performance Guide
I still don't know the pros and cons of renting vs. buying, but this article does point out that Adobe doesn't equally enhance all of their software applications each time they do a rev. This underlines the fact that the Suites are a much better value than the individual applications (though that's only true if you are regularly using at least two of the programs in the Suite.)
Make no mistake, Adobe has a lot of wonderful developers doing wonderful work, and the various CS6 apps unquestionably have a lot to offer at almost any price. At the same time—as has been the case throughout the history of the whole Creative Suite era—many users will discover that what they receive for their $600 (or so) will not be commensurate with the hype.

SpeedGrade Help / Topics | Adobe
If you're interested in Adobe's new color grading application, here's a collection of resources:
Quickstart: Color grade a clip
Quickstart: Color grade a sequenceWhat is SpeedGrade?
What's new in SpeedGrade CS6
Tips and tricks for using SpeedGrade CS6

The Future of Film | Conor Risch | Photo District News
This is for the still photographer. But even for them, I think film is dead, I mean, just read the last line:
“I think the future of film looks good,” Canham says, “but the environment’s changed tremendously.” Instead of buying film as needed, large-format photographers have to get comfortable with planning ahead and paying several thousand dollars up front to buy a supply of film that may last years.

Be Some of the First to View Footage From the Canon C500 Projected In 4K – Here’s How | Digital Visual
If you're in LA on May 10 you can see footage from the Canon C500:
Join Canon Live Learning for a first look at the EOS C500, the only Cinema EOS camera offering support for 4K RAW output. Designed for 4K professional production environments, the EOS C500 features Canon’s renowned high-sensitivity and low-noise technologies, including high ISO settings of up to 20,000.

How An Unsung Screenwriter Got To Work With Ridley Scott On Prometheus, And Ended Up 'Riding A Bronco' | Parmy Olson | Forbes
Jon Spaihts had a meeting with Ridley Scott, and it turned into a movie script:
“I came out sprinting,” Spaihts said. Soon after his meeting with Scott, Spaihts wrote up a 20-page, single-spaced, “extremely detailed outline.” He then wrote the first draft of the screenplay in just three-and-a-half weeks, handing it on Christmas morning of 2009. Within 12 hours, Ridley Scott and his team had sent back notes. The winter holidays went out the window.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Video Time Machine App - Free Today

At today's Boston Media Makers meeting there was a brief demo of Video Time Machine, an iOS app that let's you browse through video from the 1860's forward. It's really just a video browser and it's playing content from YouTube so you need a live connection to view anything, but it's free today, so may be worth downloading!

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Firmware Updates to the Sony F65 | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
A look at the firmware update from Sony for their large cinema camera:
Sony has been working hard on the F65 and has now announced some major updates to the camera. In the current beta version of the F65 firmware, SR Codec (HDCAM SR format) recording has been enabled in addition to F65RAW. The current firmware has some limitations and a few fixes were requested, so this is definitely a welcome update.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 / In depth : Plug-ins | Adobe
Adobe has a page that lists plug-ins for Premiere Pro CS6:
Third-party plug-ins and tools for Adobe Premiere Pro
Enhancements to the powerful tool for professional digital video editing
Add even more capability to your Adobe® Premiere® Pro software. Find the latest and greatest plug-ins available from third-party developers.

Avid Media Composer or Premiere Pro CS6: Saying Goodbye to Final Cut
| Richard Keating | Screenlight
A Final Cut Pro X user decides it's time to move on:
So why am I turning my back on Final Cut Pro? First is the fact that it is such a completely foreign interface. Now, I’m the farthest thing from a Luddite and I don’t fear change, but I spent the last 9 years of my life becoming very proficient at something and now it’s just gone. There is a huge cost in terms of both time and energy associated with learning new ways to do things in FCP X. Right now it seems like it would be far less disruptive to my workflow to switch to Premiere Pro CS6, or even Avid than it would be to continue using Final Cut Pro X.

Days Out with the Phantom Miro M120 | filmbot | vimeo
Jim Geduldick has been playing with the Phantom Miro M120 and posted this clip of skateboarding and motorcycles:
I was lucky enough to be the first person to shoot with the new Vision Research Phantom M120 camera systems. This is just a sample of a project I have had in my head for a while. With help from Abel Cine I was able to test out the camera's before they shipped and put this little edit together. Being able to have a small form factor high speed camera like this for my projects is a long time wish.

The emerging skills needed by film publicists | Sheri Candler | Blog
Tips for those promoting films:
-Technical skills. The ability to code, photo and video edit and format, graphic design, link building and SEO, as well as keeping up with every little trick Facebook settings can throw at you will become increasingly useful. In order to use the new tools effectively and keep to a modest budget, personal training should be undertaken to develop a good understanding and at least a basic level of performance.

JAG35 at NAB 2012: a $1300 Wireless Follow Focus, Friction Follow Focus, RED Rig, and Slider | Joe Marine | No Film School
JAG35 offers several low-cost filmmaking tools, this clip looks at their wireless follow-focus:
JAG35 makes one of the cheapest wireless follow focuses in existence. Now they’ve improved upon their design and made the entire system much more durable. They also are introducing a clever follow focus that is friction based for newer lenses, but doesn’t have to be mounted to the side like many other friction-based follow focuses.

NEXFS700, SR1 Recorder F3 and IP Live Production @ NAB 2012 | CrewsControl
| YouTube
A look at Sony's NAB announcements, including the Sony NEX-FS700:
The NEX-FS700U is a high speed camera with a 4K sensor. It does 960fps at it's lowest resolution and 240fps at full HD resolution. Sony's 4K recorder is still under development so the camera can't record at 4K just yet. The 35mm sensor PMW-F3 camera has a new recorder the SR1. Ever wondered what S-Log is and how it is used with the F3? Peter Crithary explains S-Log & LUTs. IP Live Production let's you send 3 HD-SDI, genlock and tally over live IP transmission while controlling remote pan and tilt heads.

Two ways to create a reflective floor in After Effects | Rob Garrott |
A couple of different techniques for After Effects:
On this edition of Design in Motion, we’ll see two different techniques for creating a reflective floor, one that explores transformation of a duplicate layer, and one that creates your reflective floor with a mirror. Both techniques yield final products that look very similar. The real difference in the two will be the amount of control you need.

12 Things You Didn't Know Your DSLR Could Do | Dan Richards
| Popular Photography
Applies more to still photographers than video, but some tips for DSLR users:
4. Zap dust with software using dust mapping.
Yes, your sensor shakes to remove dust, and you carefully use a blower to loosen dust from the glass plate in front of the sensor, but you may still get persistent dust spots in your photos. Many cameras allow you to map the dust spots and rid your images of them later in software.

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