Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quick Links

Adobe SpeedGrade Tutorial | Vincent Laforet | Blog
A quick tutorial on working in SpeedGrade, the new color grading tool in Adobe Creative Suite:
While we only used a few layers in the above example, you are not limited to any number of primary or secondary layers within the application. We also only worked with a single clip in the above tutorial, but for when you are grading entire sequences, there is the ability to have two playheads so you can preview your grade consistency between clips.

Reviewing the Sony FS700 and workflow | Ted Setla | Setla Films
A video review of the Sony NEX-FS700:
1. ND Filters: not just 2, but 3 different ND filters borrowed from the F65 ND filter technology

2. Arri adaptor: This addition allows for other 3rd party equipment we already use in the field

3. Focus Assist: E-Mount lenses has a Facial Focus Assist, A-Mount lenses have what is called a Phase Focus Assist which greatly increase the ability to keep it in auto focus with these lenses and use in run-n-gun situations

Zacuto 2012 Video Camera Shootout., My personal impressions | HDVdiver
| Wetpixel
Zacuto is doing their shootout again; each year they get together some cameras, shoot test footage, then they have a series of showings of the footage to DP's and film their reactions and put out a series of videos about the whole process. One participant posted his thoughts on one of the screenings:
The Sony F65 and the Arri Alexa were, for me, in place 1 and 2 respectively.

The pleasant surprise was that place 3 was the hacked GH2. This generated much discussion and even some crusty old pro's were very impressed by the GH2's image quality.

RED Epic, C300, F3 and the FS100, for several reasons, were competent but did not overly impress me.
Which prompted a reaction from Andrew Reid about the Panasonic GH2:
Audience reaction to Revenge Of The Great Camera Shootout puts GH2 in 3rd place behind Alexa and F65 | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Right now price wise it is a no contest, at between $600 and $800 the GH2 is the best value digital cinema camera in the world. It will be interesting to see what the 12bit raw for $3000 Blackmagic Digital Cinema Camera will be like next month, though it has a smaller sensor than the GH2 and FS100 – so make sure you stock up on fast EF mount glass to maintain plenty of depth of field control and performance in low light.

JVC GMY-HMQ10 Review – My thoughts after using one | Den Lennie
| F-Stop Academy
Den plays with the 4K GMY-HMQ10 [GY-HMQ10]. He sort of doesn't think you will use it for 4K delivery:
The JVC GMY is not trying to be a 4K cinema camera – It’s not a Red, F65 or C500/1Dc threat. Rather I see this as a perfect camcorder for events and weddings. It’s a fully functioning HD camcorder that shoots 1080P and 4K up to 60P. I see this as an acquisition tool that could be locked off on a ceremony and left to run. Then when in post you could set your timeline to 1080P and have scope to pan and scan within the image and even created digital camera moves
One other note he adds about Final Cut Pro X:
Good old FCP X… I know there is still great deal of resistance to FCP X and I do sympathise with editors who have heavily invested in FCP 7 and the associated hardware. But as I’ve mentioned before, I took the decision too embrace FCP X in December and so far am not looking back. I did hear that Adobe CS.6 is also a very exciting NLE with a huge new feature set. But for now I’m enjoying FCP X and am going to keep going with it. I will write about my FCP X journey when I find the time…

Necessity is the Mother of Invention (or, Whoops, We Forgot Something)
| Matthew Jeppsen | FreshDV
Three stories about improvising gear in emergency situations:
I screwed a Zacuto Gorilla Plate underneath the back of his camera baseplate, and then hung a Zamerican arm from the 15mm port in the plate. On the other end of the Zamerican arm is a Zaffer, which is basically just a Bogen Manfrotto Superclamp with a 15mm Zicromount attached to it. The Zaffer is clamped around the zoom motor arm, holding the zoom gear in place below the lens. We then held everything tight to the lens using a zip tie. Like I said, it looks terrible, but it allowed him to change focal lengths and limp throughout the rest of the shoot. There’s a case for carrying spare arms and grip bits.

TaoColorist | Patrick Inhofer | EverNote
The Tao Colorist weekly Sunday report can now be found on Evernote. Lots of tips on color grading.

The Future of Automatic Sync | Bruce Sharpe | 25 Hour Day
Bruce is the creator of PluralEyes and here's a video of him speaking at NAB:
Just in case you didn't make it to NAB 2012, here is the presentation I gave in the Manhattan Editing Workshop's training center. I talk about (and demo)
PluralEyes Connector for Premiere Pro CS6
PluralEyes 3

The Canon EOS 1Dc “Where does it fit in” | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip isn't sure who the audience for the EOS-1DC is:
So to conclude the market has now changed from everyone being able to afford a hybrid DSLR to almost fit for purpose expensive cameras being produced affordable by the upgrading pros yet Canon decide to produce the EOS 1Dc 4K camera for $15,000 and also bring out the 4K Canon C500 along side it for almost the same price!

5 Things You Might Not Know About David Lean's 'Lawrence Of Arabia'
| Olive Lyttelton | Indiewire
1. David Lean nearly directed a biopic of Gandhi instead of 'Lawrence'
In 1957, director David Lean and legendary producer Sam Spiegel had a huge hit together with war epic "The Bridge Over The River Kwai" -- the film was the biggest of the year, and won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Actor. As such, the duo were undeniably keen to work again on a similarly epic canvas, but their first idea wasn't what you'd expect: Plan A was for Lean to direct a film about Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, written by the great Emeric Pressburger ("A Matter Of Life And Death," "Black Narcissus"), and starring 'River Kwai' star Alec Guinness as the title character.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Apogee MiC Review

The first good quality USB microphone I ever owned (by good quality I mean a condenser mic with a large diaphragm, or a mic that cost more than $40!) wasn’t a very happy experience. The microphone didn’t work without drivers installed, and even then it often had conflicts with one thing or another. After struggling with it for a month or two I found it was easier to go back to the XLR mic and a USB audio interface.

Then I bought an Audio-Technica AT2020 USB microphone, and that was a great improvement. No more problems with drivers and interfaces, and the audio quality was close enough to what I had been getting with the XLR mic that the ease of use - and lack of extra parts - made it my go-to mic.

But here comes Apogee with the “MiC,” and not only is it a high-quality USB condenser microphone that works with your Mac, it also works with your iPad and iPhone too. Infact, one of the key selling points is that it works with the iPad, and it comes with both a regular USB and a Dock connector cable. The only real downside; it doesn’t appear to work with Windows computers.

The Apogee MiC is 4.5 inches long and 1.52 inches wide and it’s about half the size of the AT2020. It also comes with a tiny tripod that screws into a 1/4 inch screw mount on the back of the MiC. For comparison, the AT2020 also came with a little tripod, but it’s also physically the same size/shape as other condenser microphones and fits in the shock mounts I already have; the Apogee MiC is an odd shape which might make it a little more difficult to mount. Apogee does sells a separate MiC Stand Adapter for attaching the MiC to a standard microphone stand for $9.95.

The MiC is well built; it feels very solid and looks well made. Another difference about the MiC; it has a physical gain wheel on the side - the first time I used the MiC it took me a couple of minutes to realize the reason why I wasn’t getting much volume was because the gain was way down!

In Use
Functionally, you plug the MiC into your iPad, launch GarageBand and start recording. The included booklet said that the MiC displays a blue light when no software is accessing it but it’s connected to hardware. I thought the booklet was wrong at first because I never noticed it glowing blue; until I’d had it for a few days and finally saw it; it’s a very dim blue! The MiC does glow bright green when it’s connected to audio software, and the light flashes giving an indication of level.

I use the AT2020 primarily for voice overs and instructional video narration, and have been very happy with it. But in comparing it to the MiC, the MiC seems to have a much richer, fuller sound. I’d be happy to switch to the MiC, but to be honest I think I’d still use it with GarageBand on the Mac rather than the iPad because I find it a little easier to edit and manipulate audio with a mouse, than with my fingers! Also, you don't have to deal with transferring the audio from the iPad to your Mac.

But if you need to be able to go portable, and make a quality recording of voice talent, or a live music performance, an iPad and the MiC might be the perfect solution.

Almost Wrapped Up
While the MiC works with GarageBand on the iPad, and also works with the Voice Memo app on the iPhone, it won’t work with every audio recording app you have; it only works with MFi compatable apps. A list of these apps can be found at Apogee’s site here: Apogee | What iPad/iPhone apps are compatible with MiC?

I did find that when I launched another iPad audio app that didn't work with the MiC, it seemed to prevent GarageBand from communicating with the MiC. I had to force quite the other app before GarageBand would see the MiC again. i was also a bit surprised that given its “ready-to-go” size and iPad compatibility, the MiC doesn’t come with a case.

Finally, at $199 and double the price of the AT2020, you have to weigh the cost vs. improvement in sound quality, but if you want the best sound you’ll go for the MiC. That’s independent of it's iPad compatibility and it’s much smaller size which is very attractive for those not recording in large studios.

I made a very short sample recording of the MiC used with different recording hardware, and also the AT2020 by way of comparison. Since everything I do pretty much ends up on YouTube, I figure putting them in a YouTube clip is a good indication of the final results I’ll get. But if you really need to, you can hear better quality audio samples on Apogees home page! ApogeeMiC Sound Samples

B&H: Apogee MiC [$199.00]
B & H: Audio-Technica AT2020USB [$99.00]

Thanks to:
B & H Photo Video, who provided a loner unit for this review.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quick Links

CAMERAS: Food Fights with the FS700 | Art Adams | ProVideoCoalition
Art and Adam Wilt got to borrow a Sony NEX-FS700 and shot some high-speed fruit:
I should mention that I set the camera’s shutter at a hard 1/1000th of a second. I don’t like to use degrees to set a digital camera’s shutter because degrees are relative: the exposure changes depending on the frame rate, whereas I’d like to choose a shutter speed and know exactly what the camera is doing at any given time.

Unusual Camera moves with the ALEXA M | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
Seeing a behind-the-scenes shoot with the Alexa M offers some ideas for different ways to place your camera:
Don’t have the budget for the Alexa M? Well you can still use that DSLR in the same way that they used the Alexa M, and this video has some really interesting ideas for getting a camera closer to the action. I was particularly intrigued by the methods used in the ice hockey sequence, the skateboarding, and the attachment of the camera to the sword. And remember, you can always try doing something similar using a GoPro and Duct Tape like Ricki Bedenbaugh did in this video:

“I’m Stuck in a Rut, I Want to Direct” | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
Evan offers some thoughts on how to make the switch:
2. Any shmuck can pick up a camera and shoot something, then edit it with final cut or iMovie. But learn pacing, learn cinematography (not just lighting, but how to composite a shot), learn to move the camera and learn how certain moves effect you emotionally as an audience member.

(SR5) Full resolution picture of the new All Black 18-200mm lens!
| Sony Alpha Rumors
It's a new lens; or is it the old lens just in black?
Here is the first 100% real picture of the Sony 18-200mm E-mount lens that will be announced tomorrow. I am not sure yet but I think the only difference between that lens and the current 18-200mm lens is the…color. But I repeat I am not sure, there could also be some minor optical changes…

Tripod FAQs | Michelle Brooks |
Some tips and questions answered about tripods:
What is the tripod that folds up the smallest? Most tripods do not fold up smaller than 34” long. That’s the norm. Now, folding up length is different than standing minimum height. But to answer the question, as far as I know, the one that folds up the smallest for travel is the Manfrotto 701, 502MVK at 29.9” long.

Canon C300 Log LUTs and More Scene Files | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
Andy offers some new LUTs for the Canon C300:
The next LUT Canon provides is a CLog to Video file, which gives a little more range in the highlights when converted. I prefer this conversion for post grading in general. You can download my 1D LUT version of the file (Sony format as well) and my 3D conversions. Note that these all convert black levels to code value 64, giving a “legal” black range. These files give you a gamma shift only, they do not adjust the color values of your image.

Learn After Effects CS6 | Adobe.TV
A collection of tutorials on the basics for After Effects CS6 with Getting Started and new feature tutorials.

DV Expo East Panasonic Presentation: The Benefits of Wireless Streaming in Your Camcorder | Creative Planet Network
A session on June 20th in New York on using Wi-Fi with Panasonic cameras:
Steve Cooperman's presentation will cover a range of solutions--from the new wireless streaming capabilities in the AJ-HPX3100 P2 HD camcorder to the benefits of a new proxy recorder (Focus FS-P250) with a wireless web interface--as well as the capabilities of Panasonic's new AG-HPX600 P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorder coming this fall.

Side By Side | Website
SIDE BY SIDE, a documentary produced by Keanu Reeves, takes an in-depth look at the switch from film to digital:
Through interviews with directors, cinematographers, film students, producers, technologists, editors, and exhibitors, SIDE BY SIDE examines all aspects of filmmaking — from capture to edit, visual effects to color correction, distribution to archive. At this moment when digital and photochemical filmmaking coexist, SIDE BY SIDE explores what has been gained, what is lost, and what the future might bring.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quick Links

Audio Checklist for Video Editors | Danny Greer | Premiumbeat
Tips for editing audio:
Assign different audio tracks in your project to different audio types. For instance, keep all dialogue on tracks 1-4, all music on tracks 5-8 and all sound effects on tracks 9-10. Think to yourself, “if another editor had to sit down at this project would they be able to quickly identify each audio clip?”

Colorgrading Round-Up | Dennis Kutchera | Creative COW
A look at color grading software at NAB
So let me get this out of the way -- if money were no object, I would go for the FilmLight's Baselight with the amazing Blackboard 2 control surface. Every key is a miniature LED video screen and the whole thing is made of wood. The grading tools are fast and powerful at your fingertips. The Blackboard 2 even has a pen tablet built into it.

Episode #93 | Digital Filmmakers Podcast
An interview with Scott Simmons on Multicam Editing In Final Cut Pro X:
Scott Simmons talks multi cam editing techniques in Final Cut Pro X. He shares with us what production people should keep in mind when shooting and delivering multi-cam footage to editors. He also talks about sync issues, plus much more!

Filmmaking tips from a legend – Interview with Francis Ford Coppola
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Francis Ford Coppola recently did an interview and Andrew Reid takes some of the bits he thinks are crucial and adds his own thoughts:
“Try to disconnect the idea of cinema with the idea of making a living and money. Because there are ways around it. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money?”

Give Digital Footage an Authentic Film Look with CineGrain | Bryant Frazer
| Studio Daily
A look at this "filter" pack:
When is a plug-in not a plug-in at all? That's one way to look at CineGrain. It's a useful collection of film grain, distressed and damaged footage, and specialized looks that can be applied to your own clips in your editor of choice. But the CineGrain product isn't an effects suite or grain-simulation engine. Rather, it's a collection of actual film grain and textures, scanned at 1080p, 2K, or even 4K, depending on the package you buy.

Green Screen work | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip thinks the Canon C300 does a great job with green screens:
Recently I was filming a green screen with the Canon C300 set to 720 50p and 50Mbps, the results on FCP 7 were the best I have seen for a long time. I put this down to the 50Mbps CBR 4:2:2 which is a far cleaner image than 4:2:0. What about that shallow depth of field, how does it affect green screen, I must admit the last time I filmed green screen with a large sensor camera was with the Panasonic AF101 and the results were less than spectacular.

Shootout in extreme low light – 5D Mark III vs FS100 vs GH2 | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew does some comparison shooting using these three cameras. He also talks about removing the 5D Mark III OLPF filter:
Whilst the FS100 tends to do very well in the lows and badly in the highlights, the GH2 does badly in the lows and just ‘ok’ in the highs. There’s some clipping and crushing of shadow detail going on with that camera in extreme situations especially at the higher ISOs on display here. The FS100′s footage grades better than the 5D Mark III’s codec especially in low contrast shadowy scenes like this, there’s far less rubbish in the lows on the FS100 despite the bitrate being just 24Mbit in 24p mode compared to nearly 90Mbit on the 5D Mark III.
Note: availability on the 5D Mark III seems to be improving. B&H has had it in and out of stock the last couple of days.

High-Speed & Time-Lapse | Mike Sutton | Wide Open Camera
Mike has a lot of experience shooting high-speed and time lapse sequences and explains what draws him to these techniques:
You can make the most ordinary subject come to life when shot at one frame at a time over an expanded period. I have always loved photography so time-lapse and stop motion always felt natural. Having had a 5DMKII since it was available I am amazed I had not tried it before. Its a lot of work but well worth the reward in the end. I think because it is tedious that many avoid it or dislike it.

The Little Things Matter | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
Evan offers tips on getting ahead as a camera assistant with the little things; though much of this advice applies to getting ahead in any business:
How you respond verbally to other crew exposes your attitude. The physical pace at which you (reasonably) move reflects on your efforts. The amount of attention you supply reveals your passion. Your ability to competently complete tasks — and fix it when you don’t — defines your skills.

How To Make The Best Helmetcam Ever | YouTube
The DakaKin team build a serious Helmetcam. As it's for mounting a DSLR it looks rather heavy; maybe a GoPro would be better!

Premiere Pro CS6 Roundup: Switchers, First Looks, and Tips | Chris Potter
| ScreenLight
A round-up of interesting articles on Premiere Pro CS6:
Last week Rich wrote about his decision to switch from FCP7 to a combination of Premiere Pro and Media Composer instead of FCP X. Since then, Adobe released Premiere Pro CS6 (along with all the other CS6 tools) and a number of people have published first looks or accounts of switching to the increasingly popular NLE. Here is an annotated roundup of the best of those articles, as well as, some resources on how to get started if you are unfamiliar with Premiere Pro.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick Links

Testing the FS700: Low Light Performance, Dynamic Range, and Slow-Motion
| AbelCine
Andy Shipsides at AbelCine checks out the Sony NEX-FS700 and finds that the dynamic range is about the same as the NEX-FS100 (11.5 stops), though the addition of Cine gamma modes gives "a nice smooth roll-off in highlights:"
Q: How accurate are the ND filters?
A: From my testing, the ND filters were very accurate and did not introduce color shift (properly neutral). I tested this with a waveform monitor to confirm the stop change was accurate.

Full Frame Shootout: Review of Nikon D800, D4 and Canon 5DmkIII | Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip Bloom posts a shoot-out of three full-frame cameras:
The full-frame look, for me, is a wonderful unique aesthetic. I already own three superb super 35mm video camera which all do a better job at shooting video than the three DSLRs in this test – I have the Sony FS100, F3 and Canon C300 (The Canon C300 was used to film this video) but their aesthetic is totally different. Very similar to crop-sensor DSLRs. Not a bad thing. Just different. Full-frame looks so unique that it is hard to quantify in words. Certainly, it can achieve much more shallow depth of field, which is a nice option to have in your box of tricks, but not one to use all the time!

A Beginner's Guide to Backing Up Footage and How 'Toy Story 2' Almost Disappeared Forever | Joe Marine | No Film School
The story about Toy Story 2 almost being deleted has been around for a few weeks, but this post is interesting because the author almost did the same thing:
Embarrassingly, the reason that the rest of the 5D Mark III/D800 review is not out yet is because I thought I’d had footage backed up in three places, but only had it in two, and it was accidentally deleted from one of my drives, leaving the only remaining copy on a completely different drive that belonged to a friend – who happened to be across the country. Good times.

NHK shrinks its 8K Super Hi-Vision-ready camcorder to the size of HD cameras
| Richard Lawler | Engadget
Oh no! 4K isn't even here yet:
Their latest development is this camera seen above on the left, capable of recording 8K in a camera head that is smaller and lighter than the previous unit (the new one weighs 4kg, about 1/5th the weight) shown on the right, and is more comparable to the size of a standard HDTV camera.

Looking for a REDucation? RED Offers Digital Cinema Training Course - for a Price | E.M. Taboada | No Film School
$15,000 is an indie movie budget!
The other thing is the opportunity cost — what else could I do with those $15,000? If I had $15,000 to spend on my film goals, and was starting out, I think I would spend it differently. One alternative would be to volunteer to work on other folks’ shoots, learning the tricks of the trade on the job, forming the trust and social network that makes future collaboration possible, and getting a sense of real-world production costs.

VIDEO: Do-it-Yourself Acoustical Treatment: How to Build a Diffuser | Tim Dittmar | Audio Undone
One way to cut down on noise:
A diffuser is a great way to control reflections in a room and make your room sound flatter. If your room is on the “dead” side, diffusers may be more suitable than adding absorptive sound control. Diffusers are often placed on the back wall behind the engineer’s head. They can also be placed in the studio to help tighten up a room, reduce flutter echo, and control reflections. Here’s a good way to make a diffuser using a proven formula. This diffuser is designed to be effective up to about 600 Hz.

Adobe will fix security bug in CS5.x, having originally said CS6 was the fix
| DPReview
Interesting change in Adobe's attitude:
Adobe has confirmed that it will fix the security problems with Photoshop and other CS5.x packages, having originally suggested that a paid upgrade to CS6 was the only solution. The security concerns, raised by the company on May 8th, were rated as 'critical,' meaning it could 'allow malicious native-code to execute, potentially without a user being aware.' Despite this, the original solution raised in the company security bulletin was to upgrade to CS6, leaving CS5.x users vulnerable.

The Science Behind Movie Catchphrases | Hollywonk
But is it a good idea - and can you - write catchphrases?
It all boils down to this, according to The Physics arXiv Blog: “Memorable phrases contain generic pearls of wisdom expressed with unusual combinations of words in ordinary sentences.”

And, as an interesting side note, the study’s authors found that memorable lines were most likely to occur in the last 10th of scripts.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Are Software Subscriptions A Good Idea?

Last week Adobe rolled out their Adobe Creative Suite 6 update, and on Friday they started up their Creative Cloud. The "Cloud" is a subscription model for the Creative Suite. For $49.95 a month ($29.95 introductory for the first year for existing CS users) you get access to all of the Creative Suite software.

For users, software subscriptions offer the following advantages:
  1. You're paying a monthly charge rather than the full up-front price (upgrading from CS5.5 is $379.)
  2. Adobe says they'll be making available interim releases throughout the year. You also automatically get access to both Mac & Windows versions, as well as foreign language versions of the software.
  3. Easier installation and transfer from machine to machine.
  4. 20GB instead of 2Gb of storage on the Cloud.
  5. Some additional features and software not available through the regular software purchase.
For Adobe it promises a number of advantages too:
  1. A regular income stream
  2. A mechanism for releasing more frequent updates
  3. It locks users more tightly to the company (if you decide you want to switch to another platform and stop subscribing, you won't have access to the software.)
  4. The subscription model may be able to reduce software piracy.
So good for Adobe, and good for customers. Of course there are downsides. You need to have an active connection to be able to keep using the software:
Do I need ongoing Internet access to use my Creative Suite applications?
Because your Creative Suite applications are installed directly on your computer, you will not need an ongoing Internet connection to use them on a daily basis. However, you will need to be online when you install and license your software, and at least once every 30 days thereafter. The software will alert you when you need to connect to the Internet for a license status check.
It also means that subscribers are locked into paying for the software continually. They can't choose to skip an upgrade (or two or three) if they're fine with the current capabilities of the software.
If I decide to stop my membership, will I still be able to use my Creative Suite software and the other components of Creative Cloud?
When you cancel a month-to-month or annual membership purchased directly from Adobe or let a 3- or 12-month prepaid membership purchased from a retailer expire, you will no longer have access to the CS applications, other desktop software, and services that are components of Creative Cloud.
Ultimately, you have no control over costs beyond a year out. If Adobe increases the subscription cost 15% each year, you can't just choose to take a break, as you'll loose all access to the software:
Will the cost of my membership ever increase?
When you purchase directly from Adobe, the cost of an annual membership will not go up during the 12 months for which you are subscribed. It is possible that the cost of the month-to-month membership will increase, but if it does, you will be notified and given the opportunity to cancel.
And while the more frequent updates sound like a good idea, it does raise the question of quality control, and whether you want to constantly update your software; though Adobe explains that you don't have to update to the new releases immediately, and can continue to use the previous versions.

Even now, Adobe allocates resources to their applications as they gauge demand and interest and they don't do major updates to all of their applications with every major release. There's been a big focus on video editing the last couple of updates, but that may not continue. As one example, their web development tools Flash and Dreamweaver have been less of a focus recently, and may ultimately be replaced by new tools like Edge and Muse. Adobe will keep developing, but they may abandon tools you're using now. If they do, you will have to keep paying to continue to use those older applications, even if you decide to switch to a competitors product.

But perhaps my biggest concern is what it could mean for innovation. Right now, Adobe is dependent on existing and new customers being attracted to the features in the next release. But if they lock a significant portion of their user base into the subscription model, that pressure will ultimately be reduced.

And while Adobe might not see it this way, and may have no plans to change their development cycles and resources, who knows what might happen a few years from now?

I'm not suggesting that this is the plan, but it is a possible long term, unintentional consequence of this change to subscription plans.

Adobe Creative Cloud / FAQ

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Quick Links

SpeedGrade Tutorials | Tutorials | Adobe TV
A selection of tutorials on SpeedGrade at Adobe's website, including:
Exporting to SpeedGrade
Creative Cloud and CS6 Tour for Video Professionals
Introduction to SpeedGrade
Rendering With SpeedGrade CS6
Secondary Color Correction in SpeedGrade CS6
What's New in SpeedGrade CS6

Premiere Pro CS6 - easy transition | Andy Field | LAFCPUG
In this forum post Andy lists the things he likes about switching from Final Cut Pro 7 to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, which he describes as an "extraordinarily easy transition," with only one drawback:
this is the biggest difference -- you get the time hit on ingest with FCP7 - transcoding and re-wrapping video

with PP - you get the time hit on export - it doesn't use render files (if you chose to render in timeline - but it's not necessary) it basically transcodes everything on export to the format you want....this takes much more time than you are used to in FCP 7

GPU (CUDA, OpenGL) features in After Effects CS6 | Todd Kopriva | Adobe
More information on GPU acceleration in After Effects:
The GPU features in After Effects CS6 can be thought of in three categories:

GPU-accelerated ray-traced 3D renderer (CUDA on specific graphics cards)
Fast Draft mode, Hardware BlitPipe, and GPU acceleration of Cartoon effect (OpenGL with somewhat stringent requirements)
OpenGL swap buffer (OpenGL with looser requirements)

Camera Movement Then And Now | Mike Sutton | Wide Open Camera
Mike looks at how it's easier - and cheaper - now to accomplish different kinds of camera moves:
A Steadicam rig back in 1997 was $60,000 +. A Steadicam now a days is as little as $599. It was only the past four years that cameras like the 5D MKII allowed for very light weight rigs like the Glidecam 1000-4000HD series to become viable options for smooth run and gun shooting.

Any truly color accurate LED panels out there? | Guy Holt |
A forum post from last year provides an interesting perspective on color accuracy in LED panels. The LED market is changing rapidly and there have been some improvements over the past year, but this is definitely something to keep in mind:
No, I don’t know of a LED Fixture using Phosphor White LEDs that is able to render color accurately. The problem is that, given the discontinuous nature of their spectral output, they simply are not capable of rendering colors accurately – that includes the Litepanels. If you compare the spectral power distribution graphs of LEDs below to that of a Tungsten source you can see why.

Music and Filmmaking’s Triangle of Power | Daniel McCarthy | Dare Dreamer
In this guest blog post by Daniel McCarthy, CEO of The Music Bed, Daniel argues that filmmakers - wedding filmmakers in particular - should be licensing music:
That triangle is the direct effect of the license. However, the indirect effect is really hard to quantify. When everyone is playing by the rules, it allows for everyone to talk freely and share freely. From a practical standpoint that means the filmmaker can now mention the artist in social posts and on blog posts, etc. And the artist can return the favor by sharing the films with their fans and followers.

Trees n' Stuff | Dan I | Vimeo
Nice little piece shot with the Sony NEX-FS100 at the Rutgers Conservatory nature park:
Camera: FS100
Lenses: SEL16mm w/ Fisheye adapter, Tamron 28-70 f2.8
Macro Color Grading: MB Looks

Once More For Safety: Why You Should Always Do Two Takes (At Least) | John Ott | Making The Movie
An interesting rumination on doing one more take, even if the first one was perfect.

This is probably good advice with professional actors; but if you're shooting non-professional talent - especially people who are nervous or uncomfortable in front of the camera - I rarely find that they improve as they do more takes:
What occurred to me recently is that the best directors don't just demand multiple takes from actors, they demand it from everyone involved in the film. Composers, editors, costume designers, cinematographers -- everyone. I don't think this is an accident, and it probably wasn't far from the joke Martin Scorsese made in that credit card commercial... after looking at the lackluster pictures from his nephew's birthday party he calls up and asks, "Hey Timmy, how would you like to turn five again?"

Apple, the Other Cult in Hollywood | Peter Burrows and Andy Fixmer | Business Week
Apple get's a lot of free product placement it seems:
The company’s gadgets were discussed or shown 891 times on TV in 2011, up from 613 in 2009, according to researcher Nielsen (NLSN). In the same year, iDevices appeared in more than 40 percent of the movies that topped the weekly box office, according to Brandchannel, which tracks product appearances. That’s nearly twice the penetration of the next most common brands in Hollywood—Dell (DELL), Chevy (GM), and Ford (F).