Friday, January 11, 2013

An unexpected problem with Adobe Media Encoder

Recently, I was working on a project in Adobe Premiere which required exporting the Sequence as multiple sub-clips to .f4v format. Of course, as often happens, there was a problem with one of the exported clips, so I had to set it up in Premiere and re-export to Adobe Media Encoder.

I sent the clip out to Media Encoder, and went off to do something else.

When I came back I noticed that Media Encoder was just sitting there with the spinning-ball-of-nothing going. Now sometimes it takes Media Encoder a while to get it’s act together when you send a complicated sequence to it, so I waited...

After another few minutes I started to worry.

I closed out the project in Premiere. That had no effect. I checked to see if I had too many apps running or was running low on disk space. No problem there.

I was just considering doing a Force Quit on the application - and wondering if it would remember what had been sent to it - when I remembered something: I’d opened the previous version of the output file in QuickTime Player. Sure enough, I quit QuickTime Player and … ta da! Media Encoder started encoding the file.

It’s a pity Media Encoder hadn’t just told me that it couldn’t delete the existing file.

P.S. I've since repeated this 'mistake' a couple of times. Sometimes Media Encoder recovers and starts compressing the file once you quit the other app...other times quitting doesn't fix the problem, and you have to kill Media Encoder and resend the job.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Quick Links

Sony’s PMW-150 and PMW-200 camcorders meet European Broadcast Union standard for HD Broadcast Production | Sony
Sony today announced that its latest XDCAM HD422 50Mbps camcorders, the PMW-200 and PMW-150, have met the standards the European Broadcast Union (EBU) recommend for long form video production. Both cameras were independently tested by Alan Roberts in accordance with the EBU camera test guidelines.

Testing Your Camera’s Latitude | Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
Let’s begin with over exposing. This test shows you how it handles the highlights. Set up your grey card and color chart on the same focal plan as your model. Frame a shot that is a medium size frame so that the charts are just in the left and right sides of the frame. There are many ways to light this test. We used a very frontal light source that was very bright so we could start at a high f-stop and then work our way down in 1/3 stop increments.

Apple slashes price on Thunderbolt cable, releases additional shorter model
| Mark Gurman | 9 to 5 Mac
Apple has reduced the price of its 2.0 m Thunderbolt cable from $49 to $39. The Thunderbolt cable, which can be used for data transfers and for display attachment purposes, was originally released in mid-2011.

Canon May 'Bring the Might of Its Legal Team' if You Modify 1D X or 1D C Firmware | Joe Marine | NoFilmSchool
Another explanation is that the 1D C has a larger heat sink; it's possible they are worried about people frying their $6,000 1D X trying to run the 1D C firmware on it...
The big reason that people might want to mess with the firmware of the Canon 1D X is because at the moment, that camera only costs $6,800 vs. $12,000 for the 1D C. A $5,000 difference would be a hefty savings for people who wanted the 4K functionality of the 1D C, while still retaining all of the other great features of the 1D X. The other possible changes that could happen in firmware could be related to the HDMI output of the 1D X, which, to my knowledge, cannot be recorded cleanly without cropping (if at all). Another slight difference between the two cameras is a missing headphone port on the 1D X.

Sony HXR-NX30U Camcorder-Projector Review | Mike Houghton | VideoMaker
You now, I somehow missed that the HXR-NX30 has a built-in projector. Why do you even need that?! I mean, how good can it be....
The coolest feature by far, however, is the tiny projector on the back of the LCD screen. It literally projects recorded video and pictures onto any surface; from a white napkin to a lightly colored wall. It doesn't do well under bright lighting or long distances, but in a reasonably dim room or close up it's a whole lot of fun. It feels like you're screening your own work in your very own theater.

A Hands-On First Look at the Android-Powered Polaroid iM1836 | Michael Zhang
| Peta Pixel
I don't really want a camera with iOS in it either...
Our first impression when handling the camera is that it feels cheap. It looks strangely similar to Nikon’s 1 Series J2 mirrorless camera, and feels similar in the hand. However, the iM1836 doesn’t just feel light and plasticky like the J2 — it also feels creaky, and therefore cheap.

Looking ahead to 2013 in post-productionSome random bullet points about the year ahead | Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
You, me and all the professional editors you know will continue to use Final Cut Pro 7 at some point in 2013. Many by choice, others by the choice of someone else. It will continue to work and produce the great results it always has. We will all live in fear of some Mac OS or Mac hardware release from Apple that finally signals the true end of Final Cut Pro 7.

Weapons of Mass Production: Action Cam Showdown | Kevin Good | CrisisLab
The image quality of the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition is in a class of its own against other action cams.  I went with the Panasonic TS4 in this test because some other recent comparisons I saw showed the GoPro significantly outperforming it's rugged video competitors.  And with the stills-focused Panasonic now getting AVCHD, it told me they were taking video seriously.  Well the image quality really isn't up to GoPro levels.  But the form factor is much more usable.  If someone would mash these two cameras together, and make the manual mode not suck, we'd have a huge winner on our hands.

The Toughest Scene I Wrote: Tony Kushner on Lincoln | Jennifer Vineyard
I wrote, literally, about a hundred different versions of the scene. Long versions, short versions, involving different things that happened or may have happened on the buggy ride. We kept shifting back and forth until we finally found the one that I could live with and Steven and Daniel and Sally liked. Am I happy with the way it turned out? They play it so beautifully, so yes.

Director Rian Johnson Explains The Difficult Path to ‘Looper’ | Jack Giroux
| Film School Rejects
The diner scene. That scene was a real beast. Even leading into production I did a lot of work on it. I ran it over with Joe and Bruce over and over before we shot it. Then we honed it, trimmed it, added stuff, and took away stuff. Actually, I recently released the script online, so anyone can look and see how different the finished scene is from what was originally written.

Lionsgate teams up with Samsung to convert more films to 3D, starts with Gamer, Crank and Bangkok Dangerous | Sean Buckley | Engadget
I thought that yesterday we agreed that 3D was dead?!
Using Sammy's proprietary 3D processing technology, the two firms will dimensionalize a handful of films from Lionsgate's catalog, starting with Gamer, Bangkok Dangerous, Crank, and The Descent. More title are on the way too, slated for future release on DVD and Blu-ray. Groundbreaking? No, but worthwhile for 3D connoisseurs. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Quick Links

Canon Cinema Primes vs. Canon L Series | Jonathan Yi | Vimeo
Jonathan did an amusing - and informative - video about the Canon C300 last year, and now he's back with a look at Canon's Cine lenses:
This is a comparison and test shoot of Canon's new Cinema Primes versus Canon's revered L series still photography lenses. Shot on a Canon C300.

Panasonic unveils new A100 wearable HD camcorder | Shane McGlaun | Slash Gear
I always thought Sony's HXR-MC1 little recorder would be cool for shooting some things (or hanging from the ceiling) but at almost $2,000, I just couldn't afford it. This thing is supposed to be around $300!
The camera can also be mounted to a helmet or to a backpack. The camera is designed to be waterproof with an IPX8 waterproof design allowing the camera to shoot in water up to 5 feet deep for 30 minutes. The camera is also dustproof to protect sensitive electronics from sand. The camera has integrated Wi-Fi connectivity making it easy to live broadcast streaming video using Ustream in full HD resolution.

RØDE launches iXY microphone for iPad and iPhone - with DSLR Shooters in mind
| Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
Hmmm....could be useful for my iPhone 4 once I get a new phone...but $199....
The iXY is a plug in stereo microphone module that promises high quality recordings up to 24-bit/96kHz. Importantly for video shooters the accompanying RØDE Rec app that runs on the iPhone or iPad is capable of recording at a more video friendly 48kHz too – which should make for easier syncing in dual-system sound setups. 

Live from the Engadget CES Stage: an interview with Red Digital Cinema's Ted Schilowitz | Brian Heater | Engadget
This time last year, the folks from Red Digital Cinema dropped a few exciting goodies off at our trailer, so we're more than happy to welcome the company's co-founder (aka "Leader of the Rebellion") Ted Schilowitz to our stage, to check out the latest in high-end cinematic hardware.

Inside the Canon EOS-1D C | CanonRumors
CanonRumors attempts to answer the question everyone who has $12,000 is asking: is the EOS-1D C really any different from the EOS-1D X?
Is it different from the EOS-1D X?
We had a chance to peer inside the EOS-1D C (No photos allowed) to find out how much it differed from the EOS-1D X. The differences are minimal, the biggest change is the heat sink inside the camera to keep the sensor circuitry cool during 4K video operation.

New Flagship [Consumer] JVC Camera Designed to Capture Fast-Moving Action | DV Info net
Who ever came up with the idea of mixing decimals with fractions for sensor dimensions should be shot... 1/2.3”, what's that?! It looks like this is a fixed lens camera too...
The camera shoots Full HD 1920 x 1080/60p video at 36Mbps, a bit rate that allows Full HD slow-motion playback, perfect for motion analysis or special effects. Premium performance is further assured by the fast F1.2 lens, 1/2.3” 12.8 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and optical image stabilization. Five shooting speeds are available, ranging from 120fps to 600fps, easily selected using a dial conveniently located next to the lens.

Creating Dailies in Davinci Resolve 9 | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
In the conclusion of my previous Gemini 4:4:4 series, I discussed how to bring footage into Resolve to start a dailies process. Now I’m moving on to the step-by-step process of creating basic dailies with synced audio and simple color corrections, using footage shot in Canon Log, Canon C500 RAW footage shot with the Gemini 4:4:4, and Blackmagic Raw footage from the Blackmagic Cinema camera.

Audio rig | Bruno Chansou | Vimeo
Interesting rig for mounting your recorder at your waist so you can see and operate it. It seems crazy at first, but almost seems like a good idea when he's done...
That's my handheld recorder rig solution. If this video was helpful, tip it or play and share my short films.

It's official: 3D is dead | Vlad Savov | The Verge
Well, I did spend much of last year trying to kill're welcome.
On the one hand, 3D has become ubiquitous enough in televisions that people are unwittingly buying it when opting for a high-end new HDTV to fill their living room void — yet on the other, every big TV maker at CES has waved a clear white flag on trying to sell 3D TV as an important feature.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Quick Links

Sony's 4K Handycam and HXR-IFR5 4K Interface Unit prototypes eyes-on
| Brian Heater | Engadget
Looks interesting; but I don't think it has removable lenses, and I don't think it's a large sensor (if that's the camera they actually deliver):
First off was the generically labelled 4K Consumer Camcorder, a prototype device that was hanging out in a glass case at the Sony booth after the event concluded -- though there was a Handycam logo on the side of the device. It's not a bad looking handheld -- about a standard size for a prosumer model, with a viewfinder, mic and handle at the top.

Understanding 4K Production with the Cinema EOS System | Jem Schofield
| Canon
The Cinema EOS C500 is based around Canon’s 4K, Super 35mm CMOS sensor and has two forms of 4K origination. The choice of which to use is based on the specific needs of a production. A user can choose the Digital Cinema Initiatives/DCI SMPTE 2048-1:2011 standard, which is based on a 4096 x 2160, 1.896:1 aspect ratio image, or the alternative, TV-centric Quad-HD SMPTE 2036-1:2009 and ITU-R BT.1769 standards, which is based on a 3860 x 2160, 16:9 aspect ratio image (exactly four times the resolution of Full HD).

Sony F5 & F55 Test Footage | Ben Allan | The Film Bakery
The F5 and F55 use slightly different 4k image sensors.  The F55 matches the colour gamut of Sony’s top of the range F65 and completely eliminates the rolling shutter effect otherwise known as “jello-cam” that affects almost all CMOS sensors to some extent.  We did some simple tests by waving the two cameras around and there is a subtle rolling shutter effect visible on the F5 and it’s not present on the F55.

Dealing with putting your work out there: The Underwater Realm team discuss candidly how their films have been received | Philip Bloom | Blog
Bloom: How has it been hearing what people actually think of what essentially has been the last two years of your lives?
EVE: It comes with a load of excitement, and fear! What if people hate them, what if it was all for nothing?! The first thing to remember with all of this is that it is never EVER for nothing. It doesn’t matter if everyone hates your work – nobody can take the experience and lessons away

Once Upon A Time In Canada… | Elle Schneider | Digital Bolex
An update from the Digital Bolex team:
By the end of the month we’ll have a good idea of the concrete release date of the camera. By then we also should have received the first prototype of our rig and first set of lenses, and can fit everything together. We didn’t initially plan to have all of these items done at the same time, but this may end up being a benefit when we go into a second pre-order, as people will likely be able to order kits instead of just bodies if they so desire.

Independent Films Have Received $100 Millon on Kickstarter So Far, Are We Just Getting Started? | Joe Marine | No Film School
To me, the really staggering number is the fact that almost 9,000 projects have been funded. Whether they have been successfully made yet or not, that means 9,000 different productions were created because they reached the crowd directly — of which there were almost 900,000. 

10 Things I Learned at Masters in Motion | Jon Connor | Filmmaker Magazine
1) “Cameras constantly change. Lighting and composition don’t.”
This wasn’t necessarily something new I learned but it was refreshing. In today’s day and age, the speed with which new cameras are released is almost absurd. The emphasis on camera specs and the 4k vs. 1080p discussion has been debated via social media and on forums, ad nauseam.

Video Interview: Edgar Wright | Scott Myers | Go Into The Story
From the London Screenwriters’ Festival, a hour-long conversation with writer-director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World):

Why 4K TVs are stupid | Geoffrey Morrison | C|net
This math, or just looking at your TV, tells you that you can't see individual pixels. What's interesting is that a 720p, 50-inch TV has pixels roughly 0.034 inch wide. As in, at a distance of 10 feet, even 720p TVs have pixels too small for your eye to see.

Is it Film, Digital or Both? A Contest | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Last week I posted a “16mm” film of a trip to Paris. Or was it 16mm? Truth be told, the video may or may not be all 16mm film. It’s part of an experiment I’m running to see how close to the look of film can you make digital. As part of the experiment, I’m partnering with the Digital Convergence Podcast to run a contest to see who can guess what percentage of the film (if any) is digital.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Quick Links

CES starts Jan 8th, so look for some announcements today and tomorrow of new consumer still and video cameras.

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition review: taking action cam quality to the next level
| Michael Gorman | Engadget
GoPro's Hero3 Black Edition is, put simply, the most capable action camera on the market today. It delivers unparalleled resolution from a camera of its size and does so without sacrificing frame rate or field of view. Despite its meager battery life and less-than-ergonomic shape, the Hero3 provides imaging performance superior to all of its competitors at a price that won't break the bank.

Review: F&V Z180 - Expandable LED lighting for everyone | Daniel Freytag | Blog
Compared to my Litepanels MicroPro the Z180 Bi-Color produces a bit more light, even though I could only use half of its LEDs at once, because 90 LEDs are daylight-balanced and the other 90 tungsten-balanced.
F&V also ships a diffusion filter which simply snaps-on using magnets. A really nice system for normale usage, but I don't how it would hold up if you shoot in a shaking truck or so.

Far From Dead: A reflection on the place of video DSLRs in 2013 | Micha Hilliard
| DSLR News Shooter
Around this time of year, the impulse is strong to reflect upon what has happened and what is to come. Even better cameras are in the making; 4K resolution will slowly become the norm. Nonetheless, DSLRs are far from dead. For the same reasons that filmmakers once flocked around the Canon 5D mkII, I still gladly choose a DSLR over the digital cinema cameras for a wide range of assignments.

D|FOCUS V4 – A budget prices follow focus that just got better | Dan Chung
| DSLR News Shooter
As other cheap competitors have multiplied D|Focus have continually improved the specification of their model. The new D|Focus V4 is the latest version which promises to be the best yet. According to David Aldrich of D|Focus there are two main changes to the V4. It has a single, all aluminum rod mount and new ‘hybrid’ miter gears – plastic teeth molded over an aluminum insert.  The new gears are said to be much more durable than the old plastic ones.

Two free iBooks for your reading pleasure | Scott Simmons | Pro Video Coalition
If you’re a fan of the iPad then you’ve probably heard of iBooks Author, Apple’s electronic book authoring application that allows anyone to author and publish an iBook. The downside is that it’s mainly limited to the Apple/iOS world but the upside is we get cool free iBooks like The Craft of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey iBook from fxguide and Broadcast Delivery 101 by Craig Russill-Roy.

Why You Can’t Use Super-16 Lenses with the Blackmagic Camera | Mitch Gross
| Cine Technica
Alas, it is not to be. The Super-16 format image circle is 14.55mm. That is the diagonal of the frame, or the widest projection the lens must make at all focal lengths and apertures in order to properly expose the image. However, the sensor of the Blackmagic has an 18.14mm diagonal. Most Super-16 prime and zoom lenses have a modest amount of over-projection to cleanly cover the image, but they won’t reach as far as this much-larger sensor.

Shooting Angels with the Panasonic GH3 in Mexico | Joey Daoud
| Filmmaker Magazine
Comparing the GH2 to the GH3, everything is better. The body is bigger and has a much more solid, professional feel. All the benefits you got from hacking the GH2 are now standard in the GH3, plus lots of design tweaks. High bitrates, the option to record either AVCHD or QuickTime, a touch screen menu system that is actually faster to touch than to use the scroll wheel.

New 70mm Panavision / NASA digital cinema camera sighted at film festival
In May last year I reported that Pavavision were working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on sensor technology for a possible digital cinema camera. In a surprise unveling at the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography (Camerimage 2012) in Poland they have indeed signalled their intention to join the market and have shown the first fruits of their labour with a new prototype.

Premiere Pro: Green-screen Keys | Larry Jordan | Blog
Premiere Pro provides several different ways to create this key. In this tutorial, I’ll show you the preferred method: the Ultra key.
THE ULTRA KEY: The big benefit to Ultra Key is that it is fast and looks great.

Editing in 2013 | Oliver Peters | digitalfims
There have been four typical responses to X from FCP “legacy” users: 1) adopt FCP X; 2) stick with FCP 5/6/7; 3) move/return to Media Composer; or 4) move to Premiere Pro. Maybe a few jumped platforms, too, as well as pursued PC options, like EDIUS, Vegas Pro or Avid DS. In my market (central Florida), folks have been sticking with FCP 7 in the interim.

Belle first major British 4K film | Naman Ramachandran | Cineuropa
Upcoming Pinewood Films release Belle, directed by Amma Assante, is the first major British film shot on true-4K using Sony’s F65 CineAlta digital production camera.

Movie Scenes of the Past in Real Life New York | HENRY GRABAR
| The Atlantic Cities
On his way to work on Manhattan's West Side, Christopher Moloney passes a location -- Broadway at Columbus Circle -- of moderate significance to some film geeks: it's the site of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man's rampage at the climax of the movie Ghostbusters. One day, in an effort to demonstrate this serendipity to his friends, Maloney held a crinkled print-out of the movie still up to the streetscape and took a photo.