Friday, February 22, 2013

Mocha, TouchEdit & Quick Links


Last night was the latest Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting. This meeting featured three separate presentations, and in the first one Ross Shain of Imagineer Systems talked about - and demoed - Mocha, along with Robin Hobart of Brickyard VFX who went through some examples of projects on which he had used Mocha.

If you're not sure what Mocha is, it's a "planar tracking tool"... which doesn't really explain all the magic that it can do. Basically, it will identify the movement of a group of pixels in your 2D video sequence, and figure out the plane of those pixels in the frame, and how it changes as the camera moves. This makes it much, much easier to replace parts of the image; whether the screen on a computer, or the label on a box.

Mocha can do many other tricks; the Pro version can remove parts of an image, and even figure out the movement of a 3D camera based on the video sequence (making it reasonably easy to place 3D models into your 2D video.)

If you have a recent copy of After Effects, a copy of Mocha is included (not the full Pro version, but still a useable version.)

Mocha Weekend Sale
A special note: this weekend only, to celebrate their Academy Award, Imagineer is offering a 50% off sale on the node-locked versions of Mocha: Oscars 2013

Rick Macomber - the making of the music video Ready or Not

Rick Macomber talked about the making of his latest music video for Air Traffic Controller. I've written about this here: Getting the Shot: Scenes from the Making of the Music Video, “Ready or Not”, and you can also read Rick's own blog about it here: How we made the ATC music video "Ready or Not" so I'm not going to go into it at length, but it's always fun to hear Rick speak.

Dan Lebental & TouchEdit

Finally, Dan Lebental A.C.E. (Ironman, Ironman 2, Elf, Cowboys & Aliens) talked about his history in editing, and demoed the iPad editing application TouchEdit. I really enjoyed Dan's talk, and he gave a compelling demo of the product. I'm still not convinced that it's something I want to use...but I am actually intrigued and might even buy it today (it's on sale today only for $25.)

Quick Links

Blurry Backgrounds, Big Sensors and Bokeh | David Pogue | New York Times
David tries to explain why larger sensors produce a shallower depth of field, but one of the comments may sum it up better:
Focal length (the distance behind the center of the lens where the subject comes into focus) and aperture (the size of the opening in the lens to let the light through) determine depth of field (area in focus). The longer the Focal length, the narrower the depth of field; ditto a wider aperture narrows the depth of field. Those are the only determining factors. Larger formats (sensor or film) require a longer focal length to maintain the same size or angle of view, hence smaller format sizes use shorter FL lenses and the secondary result for them is larger depth of field. 

7 Tips to Help You Succeed as a Freelance Filmmaker | Ryan E. Walters
| No Film School
Tip #1: Know Your Budget and Have SavingsIf you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend reading the article I wrote on determining your day rate. Knowing how much you need to make down to the penny will enable you to realistically put a plan into action. In addition to knowing what your minimum budget needs to be, I recommend having at least 3 – 6 months of savings. 

First Do No Harm: Lessons and Questions after a Crowdfunding Campaign
| Sara Kaye Larson | Filmmaker Magazine
As you’ll read below, things can get a little tricky when you choose the crowdfunding method when you are still in production, particularly on a documentary. Crowdfunding fans expect a lot of insider info and perks, and we had to spend a four-month campaign figuring out how to balance old-school documentary ethics with the new world of crowdfunding.

Canon EOS M Review | ERIC REAGAN | Photography Bay
The worst, however, was attempting to video with the EOS M as it tried to hold autofocus. It would pump in and out of focus for what seemed just for the heck of it. I cannot understand why a camera manufacturer that makes excellent video cameras throughout pro and consumer lines cannot get the AF right for the video function of its DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Sony and Fox News Talk About Why You Should Be Interested in 4K Technology
| Cinescopophilia
Alec Shapiro, President of PSA at Sony chats with Fox Tech Take on 4K, and UltraHD technology, and about how it is changing the cinema and home theatre experiences for everyone.

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