Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quick Links

Help documents for Creative Suite CS5, CS5.1, CS5.5, and CS6 applications (PDF and HTML) |Todd Kopriva | Adobe
The documentation for Creative Suite 6 apps (and CS5) is available online in PDF and HTML format:
This page includes links to the Help documents (user guides, manuals) for CS5, CS5.1, CS5.5, and CS6 applications.

These are just the English-language documents. I gave links to some documents in other languages here.

GPU acceleration in After Effects CS6: Which Mac does it better? | rob-ART morgan | Bare Feats
Several Macs are compared, results depend on the brand of GPU you have:
Every Mac with an NVIDIA GPU blew away the Macs with AMD GPUs. That's because the Ray-Traced 3D Render option requires CUDA support. Of our test units, the 6-core Mac Pro with Quadro 4000 was fastest at 41 minutes. The fastest laptop was the 2012 MacBook Pro "Retina" at 58 minutes. In both cases, the CPU was loafing along while the NVIDIA CUDA "aware" GPU was doing all the heavy lifting. This is due to the fact that the ray trace animation was made of solids with no external media or textures.

The Switch | Stephen vanVuuren | ProVideoCoalition
The article is sub-titled "Making the hardware leap, safely, from Mac to Windows," but you still end up on a different OS:
On the PC side, it’s a dizzying array of choices - “Hackintoshes”, DIY boxes and dozens of hardware manufacturers. But the vast majority of Mac owners will be happiest with a certified workstation with next-day, US warranty, 24/7 support like Hewlett Packard’s well reviewed new Z620. Unlike Apple, HP offers a full line of current processor choices for workstations from Core i3 all the way to the new Sandy-Bridge Xeon’s – none of them available in any Mac Pro.

Pixel Pushers: Bugger Off. Jonah Kessel Reviews The Canon 5D MKIII
| Jonah Kessel | DSLR News Shooter
Jonah thinks the Canon 5D Mark III is a definite improvement for documentary shooters:
There are certainly missing features I would have liked to see on the 5D mkIII, including 60 fps at 1080p. However, the benefits of the camera far outweigh the things I didn’t have anyway, and I can’t say I’m really missing a 36 MP sensor. For what I do, I don’t really need a 4K DSLR and shooting super slow motion doesn’t seem to be an option in the DSLR world (yet). And sure, it cost more than the 5D Mark II – but hey, it’s a better camera.

Blackmagic is Listening, Requested Feature Added to the Cinema Camera
| Joe Marine | No Film School
John Brawley has been working with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera prototypes, and offers some comments about improvements that have been made to the camera:
The other problem that many had noticed were the dead/hot pixels in the only test footage that has been released so far. According to Brawley, they have been working hard on the sensor calibration, and those dead/hot pixels are nowhere to be found. From a conversation I had with him on Twitter, it seems like hot pixels shouldn’t be a problem as they have been on DSLRs.

The 1DC | joachimhedenworkblog
A look at grading some footage from the Canon 1D C. It appears that transcoding the footage first gives better results when processing in DaVinci Resolve:
So, my subjective impression…? It feels that the footage (especially in the 4444 transcoded version) holds up really really well. This may not be the best test image, and It would be interesting to see some skin tones, and some darker flat areas, but, I’d say things are looking rather good. And, I have a feeling it may hold up even better if shot a little less flat and more to “the right”.

DaVinci Resolve Cross Processing Look | Color Grading Central | YouTube
A short tutorial that shows how to create the look of color slide film being processed in color negative chemicals:
Cross Processing
A photochemical technique where film is processed in the wrong type of chemicals that the film was intended for.

The complete guide to UK film distribution for indie filmmakers | Amir Bazrafshan | Chris Jones Blog
An extensive guide to indie film distribution options:
Digital/VOD – [...] something to consider at negotiation stages is how are they embracing digital; is it a key part of their strategy or an after thought? Also, many platforms do not deal direct with indie distributors, but go through an agent who will deal with sales, accounting and quality control. Again, like the sales agents for physical product, they have pre-existing contacts and take a similar commission.

Production Lessons from Our Creative Mornings Documentary (Part 2 of 3)
| Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
The second part in a series offering tips learned while shooting a production with the Canon C300:
3. Take Advantage of Opportunities
As an indie filmmaker, you’re always on the look out for opportunities to make the production better. While we were filming the scenes at Suwanee Creek Bicycles, we met a mother and daughter who were there getting gear. The daughter was part of the Frazier Cycling team. They asked what we were doing and once they found out, the mom invited us to come check out the team practice runs the following day.

In Hollywood, keeping Tinseltown's treasures safe forever | Daniel Terdiman
| C|Net
A look at where Hollywood saves copies of all their movies:
Deep inside a series of very cold vaults, surrounded by thick concrete and protected from fire and water damage, more than 76,000 movies sit on shelves, preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Welcome to the Academy Film Archive, the storage arm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On your right is a stack of cans containing several reels of the 1962 classic "Lawrence of Arabia." On your left are several cans comprising a copy of "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Friday, June 29, 2012

Rule Boston Camera - Learning Labs for July

Rule Boston Camera has announced their Learning Labs and Pub Night for July:

Learning Labs:
WED July 11: Intro To The Sony NEX-FS700
with Sony's Tom Cubby

WED: July 18: LED Lights: Ready For Prime Time
with Lighting Designer John Gates

WED: July 25: Capturing High-Quality Digital Stills & Multi0Media Content
With photographer Steve Dunwell

Pub Night:
THU: July 26: The Long & WInding Road: Thriving in Today's Film, Video & Digital Cinema World
With Cinematographer and Director Austin de Besche

Quick Links

New F3 Firmware Adds S-Log to Every Camera | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
New firmware for the Sony PMW-F3:
Version 1.40, which can be download here, adds S-Log into the Picture Profile menu of the camera. This allows anyone to turn on S-Log without the RGB key, although you still need the key for 4:4:4 output. Having S-Log in the profiles menu allows adjustment to the other camera settings such as black level, color, and white balance.

Canon EOS 7D Firmware 2.0.0 coming August 7, 2012 | HDCam Team
The new firmware for the 7D isn't due until August it seems...
Unfortunately the announced improvements don’t include much for video mode, besides what is really welcome but supposed to be already in the EOS 7D since very long ago: Manual Audio Gain. At least all EOS 7D users will be able to manually set the audio gain before start recording video. This was a worldwide requested feature that Canon finally decided to include!

Sony's Action Cam prototype is incredibly small, we go fingers-on at CE Week in NYC | Zach Honig | Engadget
Engadget takes a quick look at a prototype(?) of the new Sony active camera:
A variety of mounts were on hand to demonstrate the shooter's versatility, including a handlebar attachment, helmet holster and some sort of plastic enclosure that could presumably be used to shield the Action Cam from underwater hazards, though Sony declined to confirm. Specification details are also quite spotty at the moment, but we were able to confirm that there will be an Exmor R CMOS image sensor and a wide-angle Carl Zeiss Tessar lens on board.

JVC GC-XA1 ADIXXION POV Action Camera & Video Examples | Cinescopophilia
Seems JVC has gotten in on the act too!
Built-in Wi-Fi opens up a range of possibilities, including wireless connection to a smartphone that can be used to monitor the image – great for framing the shot when the camera is mounted on a helmet or other location where the user can’t see the LCD. Wi-Fi also makes it possible to send images live to a PC or mobile hotspot, or transfer data to a PC for sharing via social networks.

Customer Showcase – Art Meets Architecture at 24fps | Luke | Cinevate
A bit of a how-to on shooting interesting angles with a slider:
...the most recent video he sent us (which features the San Diego Home and Garden 2012 Home of the Year) has a larger variety of movement, not just limited to horizontal but also diagonal, escalator-like shots. This style of shot would usually be hard to pull off while still having the camera oriented properly with the horizon, but the Dromos Hi Hat and Bowl Riser allows to re-index the 100mm bowl, and thus the camera.

ARRI LED Lighting Comparison | YouTube
ARRI produced this comparison/test video of their new L7 LED lights - they ain't cheap!
We compared the L7 LED Fresnel and other competitor's products with the light quality of a 650W Plus Tungsten Fresnel. We found some surprising results in skin tone and color rendition. Shot on ALEXA, featuring actress Luciana Faulhaber.

codecs and the render engine in After Effects CS6 | Todd Kopriva | Adobe
Rendering with After Effects:
After Effects CS5.5 had to be activated (serial number entered) on render-only machines due to licensing restrictions for certain codecs. See this post by After Effects product manager Steve Forde for more background about this.

In After Effects CS6, you can now run aerender or use the watch folder functionality in a non-royalty-bearing mode, without activating the render-only instances of the application.

How Blackmagic can add anamorphic recording mode to their Cinema Camera the easy way | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is coming soon, and Andrew is a big fan of shooting anamorphic, so he lobbies for anamorphic support on the camera:
Now the Blackmagic Cinema Camera has a sensor which is rather square, very close to 4:3 and perfect for anamorphic conversion. But it shoots with an activate area of 2432 x 1366 which is 16:9. The full resolution of the sensor is cropped significantly down from 2560 x 2160. You lose nearly 800 lines of resolution vertically to get to 1366 pixel 16:9. It would be a significant change at such a late stage to have a mode that records in 2560 x 2160 (or rather 2560 x 1920 which is exactly 4:3).

D|Matte Side Flag & Rod Support Upgrade | David Aldrich | Vimeo
A budget Matte for DSLR shooters. This video shows how to install the side flags and rod support:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quick Links

Replace the Camera Lens on Your GoPro with a Third Party Lens | FilmakerIQ
Third parties offer options for replacing the GoPro lens:
I recently scratched up the lens on my GoPro to the point where I was getting some serious lens artifacts when the camera was pointed at any source of light. Contacted GoPro themselves and the best they could do was offer me a discount on a new one. Then I discovered that there are third-party parts manufacturers that are selling lenses for the GoPro.

5 killer Canon Lens for video | stillmotion | iso1200
Nice video that looks at five Canon lenses, and explains why they like them: Canon 24-105mm f4L IS [$1,149], 14mm f2.8L rectilinear [$2,199.00 through Jun30], 135mm f2.0L [$1,014.00 through Jun30], Extender 1.4x II [ vIII $464.00 through Jun30], 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS [$1,589.00 through Jun30].
Let's take a look at 5 lenses we love from Canon, all of which all been instrumental in our biggest productions over the years. while you've likely heard of some of these lenses before, we'll share some unique applications in how we used it.

Walter Biscardi of Biscardi Creative and co-founder of the Atlanta Cutters Post-Production Users Group joins Chris Fenwick and planetMitch on this podcast:
From the planet5D newsroom, planetMitch tells us about how Black Magic Design is listening to customers and are already making firmware changes to their NAB 2012 bombshell - the Cinema Camera. Walter Biscardi mentions that the camera will be demonstrated at the next Atlanta Cutters meeting in July.

Podcast 341 : Canon EOS 1D X Digital SLR Review
| Martin Bailey Photography Blog
Martin gets his hands on an early 1D X:
As we progress, I’ll compare the 1D X with the 5D Mark III, which I own and reviewed in March, and have been using a lot over the three months. I’ll also compare the 1D X to its predecessor the 1D Mark IV sometimes, when that seems more relevant. I sold my 1D Mark IV in part exchange for the 1D X, so I am not able to shoot any comparison shots or show the cameras side by side.

Rode Stereo Videomic Pro Review | Dan Carr Photography
Once he finds a 9V battery, Dan produces an in-depth review of the Rode Stereo Videomic Pro [$299]:
The majority of people creating videos with their DSLRs will be recording voices, people talking either in front of the camera or at the camera. The Stereo VideoMic is not designed for such purposes so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t fare well in such situations. If you are new to video making and audio recording then I would urge you, before making a microphone purchase, to understand the differences between the various types and what they are good for. Of course, if you’ve got this far down this review then you’ll have an appreciation of Stereo mic uses.

Gilded Cinema: Building a Low Budget Lighting Kit on the Cheap - Filmmaking Tips [Filmmaking Tips] | YouTube
Alex provides an amble through different sorts of lights, paying some attention to older lights you can buy used.

Sound Your Best with Adobe Audition | Adobe.TV
Adobe has produced a collection of video tutorials on Audition:
Audition for After Effects Users
This episode is for all the After Effects users who want to easily get their audio from the timeline into Audition for editing and multitrack composition. We’ll start with some on location sound and show you now to create a new multitrack version that includes free sound effects from Resource Central which is built in to Audition.

Flaat10p vs Technicolor Cinestyle Low Light Test | Ernesto P | Vimeo
Comparing two picture styles:
I find that flaat10p captures almost the same amount of detail (I'd maybe go as far as saying equal) in the shadows while not boosting shadows in-camera. Simply boosting the blackpoint (done in PPcs6 by lifting the black point of an RGB Curve) in post, you get an almost identical image to Cinestyle, all while keeping more information in the midtones. In the last test it seemed the basic black point lift wasn't enough so at the end I did an overly agressive lift in the shadows. Every shot was underexposed by much more than 2 stops.

How Does the Film Industry Actually Make Money? | Adam Davidson
| New York Times
The industry makes money from a variety of sources now:
The reason a majority of movie studios still turn a profit most years is that they have found ways to, as they say, monetize the ancillary stream by selling pay-TV and overseas rights, creating tie-in video games, amusement-park rides and so forth. And the big hits, rare as they may be, pay for a lot of flops. Still, the profits are not huge.

Introduction to Adobe Edge | Adobe
Friday, June 29, 2012 at 12pm Pacific
Adobe is creating a variety of new tools, including this HTML5 editor, Edge:
Join, Raghu Thricovil and Sarah Hunt, experts from the Adobe Edge team. This session is intended to introduce Adobe Edge, its features and outline how Edge can make your HTML5 motion and interaction design simple and powerful.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quick Links

Desert shooting with the Sony NEX-FS100 | David Lawless, EMCTV | Google+
I’m really impressed with how the camera performed in high-contrast conditions. Whilst not having built in NDs is a bit of a drawback for run-and-gun style shooting, we made do with a mattebox and filter set and some variable NDs. Where this camera really shines though is in low light. I am constantly surprised at how clean the footage is at 0db gain and even when pushed up to 18db the picture shows very little noise compared to other cameras.

Apple publish a white paper on RED Workflows with Final Cut Pro X |
A white paper from Apple prompts the suggestion that Apple won't be updating FCPX to handle RED files anytime soon:
This white paper called RED Workflows with Final Cut Pro X details the methods of working with the files right now. As you would expect it relies heavily on converting them to ProRes first.

RED Gives up on Apple, Teams up with Adobe, NVIDIA and HP | Theo Valich | bsn
Didn't Adobe leave the Mac platform once already?
Adobe and Blackmagic are just some of the names that replaced screenshots in their manuals from a OSX to a Windows 7 one, as well as shifted their recommended systems from one platform to another. RED Digital Cinema was one of companies that was vendor agnostic, but even the creators of 4K and 5K cameras cannot keep their users in the dark anymore.

Final Cut Pro X features: catching up and superseding | Alex Gollner | alex4d
Some thoughts on where FCPX might go:
Final Cut Pro X – Early 2013?
Multi-user access to projects, events (inc. user-specific in and out points per clip) and storylines within timelines.
Third-party app access to project databases (e.g. Adobe Audition)?

Stop-Motion Animation – Equipment and Set Up | Tom Gasek
| Best Animation Books
The basics of stop-motion with digital cameras:
These days, like many things, digital technology has put the animation film camera to rest. The two main digital cameras used are the digital video camera and the dslr camera. There are advantages to each camera, and this is explored in my book Frame-by-Frame: Stop Motion. Remember that we need the ability to shoot one frame at a time.

The Camera Assistant’s Guide to Better Cinematography | Evan Luzi
| The Black and Blue
Great lessons learned!
3. Ceiling and Wall Bounces Work Wonders
The ceiling or wall bounce blew my mind the first time I saw it used. I was in school at the time and I distinctly remember chuckling to myself at how brilliant of a trick it is. For whatever reason, I had never thought to utilize the location as a tool to manipulate light.

Why do YouTube views freeze at 301? | Numberphile | YouTube
I wasn't even aware that YouTube did this:
Numberphile pays a visit to YouTube and learns the secret behind one of the website's famous idiosyncrasies - why view counts on new videos often freeze at 301. Subscribe to numberphile for new videos about numbers every week.

Tutorial: After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracker | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Link to tutorial from John Carr and explanation of using the 3D camera tracker to add 3D text and effects to video:
The 3D camera tracker is incredibly easy to use. Once you have your clip imported and you have created a new composition with it, you simply right click the clip and select "track camera". After Effects will analyze the shot for you and apply a multitude of tracking points throughout the shot. The difference in color between the points doesn’t mean anything – it’s just a tool for differentiating between them since there are so many.

Fisher Stevens & Wally Pfister | Rodney Charters | Twitter
Monday evening Rodney tweeted some comments from a talk by Stevens and Pfister about the superiority of film, death of 3D and death of cinemas:
Wally makes the point that he and Chris stand beside the film camera quietly painting with light/in digital DIT & DP one tent Dir another...

Sundance last year only 5% shot on film but those films garnered 100% of the awards....

JJ Abrams switched to film from the Red to shoot Star Trek after viewing IMAX Dark Knight opening at private screening by Chris Nolan Wally

wally talking about the sad loss of the convention of screening dailies with the director cinematographer and crew

Blackmagic Cinema Camera gets a big lens | Andy Shipsides | Pinterest
Just a picture of the new Blackmagic camera with a really big lens...

Gear is not a bad four letter word: The story vs gear argument | Mike Sutton | Wide Open Camera
A discussion of story and gear, with a defense for both:
People in the DP end of this business (especially myself) love gear. We can talk about it all day. Pros and cons, feature sets, whats better about camera X vs camera Y, etc. Every-time this happens however someone drops the “its about story not gear” comment. We have all heard it and witnessed it. Its like a bomb dropping that is supposed to make you feel dumb for talking tech.

On The Rise '12: 5 Cinematographers Lighting Up Screens In Recent Years
| Oliver Lyttelton | IndieWire
Following our looks at actors, actresses, screenwriters and directors to watch in recent months, when the time came to put together a list of cinematographers (as we did two years ago), we went in with an open mind. But what was interesting is realizing, after the fact, that in an era where 35mm film is allegedly being phased out, that all five have done perhaps their most distinctive work on old-fashioned celluloid, rather than digital.

Live Long and Prosper | Shawn Sheehan | Vimeo
Very nice, clean animation:
This animation is an homage to one of the most groundbreaking sci-fi television shows ever to beam down to Earth. I grew up watching the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise "boldly go where no man has gone before". My goal was to try and capture the essence of what I found most enjoyable from the series for building this faux opening to this classic show using Adobe After Effects.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sony announces a Compact Point-of-View HD camera

Seems that everyone is doing compact action cameras, and now Sony has announced their own; though they haven't announced a price yet:


NEW YORK (CEA LINE SHOW BOOTH #71), June 26, 2012 – Sony today announced that it is developing a new type of high definition wearable video camera which answers the demand for premium point-of-view and action sports filming devices.

The new video camera will feature Sony’s hallmark SteadyShot® image stabilization technology, found in its portfolio of digital imaging products, to reduce blur and deliver stunningly smooth footage. The video camera’s small, lightweight body will also house an Exmor® R CMOS image sensor for excellent low light shooting and an ultra-wide angle Carl Zeiss® Tessar® lens. Additionally, Sony will offer a suite of mounting attachments, including waterproof and ruggedized housings.

By combining this technology with more features on the way, Sony aims to deliver a versatile, easy-to-use video camera capable of capturing full HD quality video in extreme environments.

Sony plans to bring the new point-of-view video camera to market in Fall 2012.

A quick look at Adobe Story

Last week I sat in on an introduction to Adobe Story webinar given by Maxim Jago.

For those unfamiliar with it, Story is a script writing application. The interesting thing about it is that it’s actually an AIR application, and it either runs on the net or locally. One advantage of this is that sharing files via the internet is very simple. Story was previously available as a free beta version, but they have now transitioned to a “freemium” model. Since Story is a service, it’s not a part of the Master collection, but it is a part of the Creative Cloud subscription. A free version is still available; Story Free requires that you remain online all the time while Story Plus allows you to work online or offline. Sharing is also limited for the Free version, but as long as one person has the full version of Story, other people with free versions can access and edit things, while the full version “Runs the Show.”

Story, of course, supports the standard movie script format (as well as some other layouts) but it’s the add-on’s that set Story apart. Story supports meta data in a big way. While writing scripts, you can be “front loading it with meaningful meta data.” You can set scene properties, and add comments as well as tags. Maxim created a Props entry and attached it to a tag labeled prop. He then attached the prop tag to every prop mentioned in the script, and use it to generate a report of all the props. An Auto Tag feature will go through a script and generate tags for the script, and you can produce a .csv containing all the tags.

Story can create reports by character, actor and location, and can also create schedules and shot lists. By attaching an actor to a character, you can generate a report that shows which actors are needed. You can link Storyboard images to scenes in Story from the properties panel, but you cannot upload storyboard images just yet.

Two other features I like; a visual indication of the characters used in a scene (using colored dots) and a side-by-side display that shows changes made by others to your script.
Q: What about fonts?
A: The font's are limited to the ones that are in the app. Courier, Adobe Text, Myriad

Q: When will Adobe Story support the #Fountain screenplay format?
A: We are not sure at the moment. Honestly, we are a bit torn about supporting it. It seems too technical to expect screenwriters to type in markup. Plus it does not work well when you want to create production revisions or track changes.

Q: Are they going to support other platforms?
A: Anubhav Rohatgi from Adobe said that their highest priority non-PC platform is…. the iPad. You can currently review your script and comments via the iPhone/iPod app


Monday, June 25, 2012

Sony Announces Next Generation Set-Top Box

The Sony NSZ-GP9 and remote


SAN DIEGO, June 25, 2012 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the availability and pricing of the NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV™, originally introduced in January at CES. Powered by Google TV, the Internet Player will be available at retailers nationwide on July 22, priced at $199. Pre-orders begin on June 25, 2012 at

[...] In addition to the NSZ-GS7 Internet Player, Sony’s newest Internet Blu-ray Disc™ player with Google TV, the NSZ-GP9, will be available at retailers in time for the holiday season, priced at $299. The NSZ-GP9 player features Sony’s proven Blu-ray Disc technology coupled with the robust Google TV platform.

Complete Text:

Quick Links

NeedCreative Podcast Ep. 1 - Check 1, 2 | AnticipateMedia | Podcast
Boston based filmmaker Paul Antico and musician Jason Sidelinger have started a new weekly podcast about filmmaking, audio, and the creative process. Their first effort is online now and includes a  discussion about audio and microphones. Well worth checking out:
The NeedCreative Podcast is a weekly podcast catering to the independent digitally-powered Creative, with a focus on photography, filmmaking, music creation, and sound engineering among other audio and visual arts. Your hosts come from a varied background in Media production, and will expore all manner of topics each week from gear to story to the inspiration and passion.

My Love Affair With The Sony F3 | Adam Shanker | Crews Control
Adam writes a love letter to his Sony PMW-F3:
The F3 encourages creativity. I can set the camera to shoot in slow motion or in quick motion. The push/dial on the side of the camera easily gets into this mode, and I can dial in specific frame rates very quickly. There are standard and angle shutter options, as well as a slow shutter, which can be dialed up or down for desired effect. One of the greatest things about getting away from tape cameras is the upgraded single frame and intervalometer features.

Sony Handycam NEX-VG20 | Jeremy Stamas | CamcorderInfo
A review of the Sony NEX-VG20. It gets highs marks for performance and features, though scores only a 1.3 in usability [the Russian judge is marking hard again!- Ed]:
The interchangeable lens system on the VG20 is definitely the camcorder’s greatest asset. But having this feature also exposes some weaknesses. For example, the camcorder has no zoom lever (you can only zoom with the lens ring), and some of the auto controls don’t work as quickly as they do on more traditional camcorders. Still, we are impressed with the VG20’s simple design and light (for an interchangeable lens model) package. The button layout is simple and uncluttered, the hand strap and right-side grip are more than adequate, and all of your most important features are accessible on the fly.

Paint it Black? : A Look at David Fincher's Color Palette [PDF] | Juan Hernandez
| Fincher Fanatic
An article in PDF format about the look of David Fincher's movies:
David Fincher has been labelled all variations of a 'prince of darkness'. Perhaps rightfully so, as his movies mostly are crafted with a signature color palette (the colors and tones used throughout a film) which consists of dark tones, mostly green and blue. Beyond aesthetics, why does Fin- cher shoot his movies this way? Because it looks cool? Or is there an addi- tional layer of meaning to the colors in his films?

@brawlster | John Brawley | Twitter
‏John continues to post about the development of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera:
Seems BMD are listening. Extra WB settings. Originally 3, but now there's 3200, 4500, 5000, 5600, 6500 and 7500k!

Zeiss CP.2 without the price tag? A look at cinema modified Zeiss ZE lenses
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
A company is offering a cheaper version of Zeiss's lenses by repackaging the ZE lenses in a shell that resembles the CP.2 lenses; which is interesting because the CP.2 lenses are themselves a re-shelling of the ZE lenses:
Cinematics have started offering ‘film lenses’ which are Zeiss Compact Prime copies – cinema modified Zeiss ZE (Canon mount) full frame lenses at up to one quarter of the price of a real Compact Prime. Optically they remain the same as standard ZE but as you can see from the image above a CP.2 style housing is added (left) to create a “CT.2″.

This includes gearing for a follow focus, T-stop marks instead of F-stop, cinema standard front thread size as well as a stepless aperture ring.

Changing the Audio Mix in Adobe Premiere Pro from the Keyboard
| Richard Harrington | Blog
Quick tip on adjusting audio level:
A popular shortcut in Final Cut Pro is the ability to increase or decrease audio levels with a keyboard shortcut. The closest you can come in Adobe Premiere Pro is a little customization.

Free Template for Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Encore
| Richard Harrington | Blog
Richard provides links to Adobe Premiere Pro, Encore and After Effects templates:
When Adobe shipped Creative Suite 6, they left out several important files. The products included several awesome templates, presets, and more for titles, DVD menus, and animated text.

Digital Colourist Rob Pizzey – Making The Grade | movieScope
Interview with color grader Rob Pizzey:
The grading session for Quantum of Solace saved the production company significant time and money. There was a week to set the looks for the various visual effects scenes in the film. Because of weather, there was no way the shots could be matched in camera and it was assumed that additional VFX time would be required for sky replacement. However, we managed to balance at least 80 per cent of the shots using the Resolve, saving considerable VFX budget.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quick Links

Does the Sony NEX-FS700 image improve when using an external recorder?
| Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
A quick test reveals little difference using an external recorder:
Well in short the answer at the moment seems to be no. Sony have said the camera will be capable of outputting a 4K 12bit RAW image at some point in the future but sadly it only outputs 8 bit 4:2:2 over the HD SDI output at the moment. My interest here is solely in actual image quality so I’m not going to go into all the technical reasons for this – if you are interested in finding out more there is plenty of in depth technical information around the web.

How to Wrap Cables and Avoid a Tangled Mess | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
Perhaps the most important tip of the day; how to deal with cables!
That solution is known as “the over/under method” and is one of the first things you should know how to do when getting into any type of film or video production.
It is one of the best skills you can learn on a set — especially if you can do it fast. Monitor cables get notoriously long (sometimes 100+ feet) and need to be coiled quickly to make moving onto the next scene a breeze.

Adobe Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 | Alan Stafford | PC World
Another positive review of Premiere Pro CS6, though I'm not sure I'd ding an NLE for not supporitng WebM and Ogg:
Premiere Pro CS6 broadens its lead over other video editing ap­­plications—and its GPU-accelerated performance still smokes anything else that you can buy.

Top 5 tips for the Smoke pre-release | John Montgomery | fxphd
Interesting usage tips for Smoke users:
1. Don’t use H.264 footage
Playback performance of H.264 clips can be dreadful. Autodesk is aware of this and will have it improved in a later release. For testing and learning, though, it’s not really a big problem. Just transcode to ProRes footage and performance will improve dramatically, making exploring Smoke fun again.

Re: desperate: FCPX hangs on boot up | Jack Niedenthal | Creative COW
A problem with Final Cut Pro X diagnosed:
it turns out that he believed the issue was with the events folder getting too bloated as I was working on 75 scenes for a full length feature and had them all as compound clips. I was starting to consolidate by combining a series of clips, for example, combining the compound clip for scenes 1-8 with scenes 9-14 so I could watch them play through. At any rate, this got way to bloated for FCPX to deal with.

Audio Basics | michaschmidt | Vimeo
The demo is done with Logic, but carries across to other audio apps:
... well just some basics for you to start ur audio post production ... i talk about EQ settings, Compressor settings and just some basic rules in relation to the whole process.
keep in mind nothing is "set in stone" all that should just be a inspiration / a starting point for your setting ... trust ur ears!

“Like a demo tape from your favorite band:” Mark Duplass talks improvisational filmmaking | Joe Berkowitz | Co.Create
Interview with Mark Duplass, who is the star and executive producer of Your Sister’s Sister:
I would say that making a movie with a perfectly constructed script that took two to three years to write is probably going to make the best movie in the long run, but if you’re making them quickly and shaggy and cheaply, I believe that allowing your actors to improvise will make a better movie usually.

Small Video Sport v Scottish Television “You decide” | Philip Johnston
| HD Warrior
Philip takes Scottish TV to task - probably rightly - for producing content that looks worse than what he's turning out:
STV need to have a hard look at themselves and decide whether they are going to enter the 21st century by going HD and bring back some enthusiasm and creativity. It’s shocking that two of us at Small Video Sport can produce a far better product with a studio the size of a broom cupboard on HD and ZERO budget.

I do hear that the 1D produces better video than the 5D: