Friday, December 13, 2013

The News

SpeedGrade CC (7.2) Update | Adobe
This update focuses on performance enhancements and bug fixes for the Direct Link workflow. 

Adobe Premiere Pro CC December 2013 Release | Adobe
This release brings multiple performance enhancements to Premiere Pro, and several new features.

Planar tracking and camera solver with Mocha, After Effects & Plexus | AEScripts
In this tutorial, Mary Poplin of Imagineer Systems uses mocha Pro and After Effects to design a dynamic animated, tracked graphic.

Digital-Transition Doc Side by Side Gets Archived … on Film | Studio Daily
Kodak is publicizing the decision as a testament to film's continued viability as a stable preservation medium, especially when there is no time-tested equivalent in the world of digital archives.

Developing a Concept for a Video | Photofocus
Don’t try to reinvent what already exists. You need to closely examine what’s already in the web video universe or competitive marketplace.


A Guide to Handheld Camera Operating with Sean Bobbitt, BSC,

Rags refer to materials used to diffuse, bounce or block light.

"This is the Sony NEX-FS700 VS Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera video test. Again, I only compared the sharpness, dynamic range and video quality."

I believe this was shot with the Movi. Looks nice:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sony HXR-NX3

Sony has announced the HXR-NX3 ($3,495, expected in January). This isn't a large sensor, inter-changeable camera, and it doesn't have 4K, so it won't get a lot of coverage, but it's a good general purpose professional level camcorder.

I'm not sure if it replaces the HXR-NX5 ($3,795).

Here's a couple of videos:
Shot in Istanbul by DP Den Lennie, this video demonstrates the beautiful results that can be achieved on our new HXR-NX3 handheld HD camcorder. Boasting leading lens, sensor and LSI technology, in addition to built-in WiFi technology which allows it to be connected with devices such as smartphones and tablets, the HXR-NX3 is ideal for the professional videographer.

We go behind the scenes with DP Den Lennie in Istanbul as he explores our new HXR-NX3 handheld HD camcorder, to beautiful effect. Boasting leading lens, sensor and LSI technology, in addition to built-in WiFi technology which allows it to be connected with devices such as smartphones and tablets, the HXR-NX3 is ideal for the professional videographer.

SonyUK Press Release: Sony launches new NXCAM™ HXR-NX3 professional handheld HD camcorder with Exmor™ 3CMOS image sensors

Sony: Sony’s New HXR-NX3 Professional Handheld Camcorder Adds Wi-Fi Connectivity, Remote Control and Easy Video Sharing Capabilities
The HXR-NX3 is capable of light MP4 file simultaneous recording. The MP4 format (720p, 3Mbps) produces a network-friendly file that users can transfer wirelessly from the camcorder to a smartphone or tablet computer using the PlayMemories™ Mobile smartphone application (*3). Once transferred, the MP4 file can be uploaded to a cloud server, social media sites, video sharing sites and other platforms (*4). Users can download the PlayMemories Mobile app from the Google Play Store or App Store.

Sony Product Page (UK)HXR-NX3/VG1
Three 1/2.8-inch Exmor CMOS sensors Full HD AVCHD camcorder with 35mm full-frame format equivalent Sony G lens and 40x zoom with Clear Image ZoomHigh quality ECM-VG1 shot-gun microphone bundled

Red Shark News: Sony announces NXCAM HXR-NX3 Pro Handheld HD camcorder with 3 x CMOS sensors
The camera records to AVCHD 2.0 at up to 1080/50p (in Europe) and uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 is available through the HDMI output for connection to an external recorder. (It's interesting that manufacturers are now including this information - a recognition, surely, that some users like the option to record the uncompressed output externally).

HD Warrior: The NEW Sony HXR-NX3
The HXR-NX3 combines leading lens, sensor and LSI technology to achieve impressive image quality.  Sony’s  Exmor™ 3CMOS Sensor system with three 1/2.8” sensors provides 1920×1080 Full HD effective pixel count. As a result red, blue and green light are independently and accurately captured by separate image sensors, contributing to high resolution, high sensitivity and wide dynamic range that creates extraordinary natural colour reproduction.

DVInfo | Ron Evans
"What I was expecting ( and been waiting for ) to replace the NX5U with AVCHD 2.0 using the sensors from the PMW150/160. They have just been a little slow since the introduction of the PMW 150/160 likely too many NX5U's in the channels !!! The combination of my NX5U and now FDR-AX1 will do me unless a large sensor 4K comes out with better low light than the FDR-AX1."

The News

2013 – 10 things which have impressed me – and some that haven’t! | EOSHD
1. Magic Lantern Magic Lantern’s achievements have always been pretty incredible and they’ve been doing this for a few years now. However 2013 saw thee first major image quality improvements which you absolutely had to shoot with. Raw video especially was a revelation.

(SR5) Sony sensor revolution: First “non-Bayer” sensors coming in 2015. | Sony Alpha Rumors
Sony is heavily investing in a brand new sensor tech that will likely find his way in production cameras as early as 2015. I already told you a couple of weeks ago that Sony developed a 54 Megapixel sensor with on sensor PDAF. Well today I have been told by a very trusted sources that this sensor is also the first that has not been designed with a classic RGB (Bayer) pixel structure.

01 The story begins too late in the script
02 The scenes are void of meaningful conflict
03 The script has a by-the-numbers execution

Content Marketing 2.0: How To Cut Through The Clutter When Everyone's A Media Producer | Forbes
Go niche. You want to position yourself as the leading expert in a given field, says Pulizzi. “News” or “sports” or even “content marketing” is probably too broad these days, as more and more people have jumped into the fray.

FS Review: Could DSLR Video Shooters Easily Move to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera? | F Stoppers
The build quality is, as expected, solid and reliable. A steel frame surrounds the camera, making it feel solid and dependable. Would it break if I dropped it? Probably, however it would likely reliably continue to record video even if the buttons were damaged and the screen was broken. It just strikes me as the kind of body that would maintain functionality of the guts even when the outsides were dinged, battered or dented.

Grading Anthony Bourdain’s Culinary Travels to Parts Unknown | Studio Daily
Beganyi now works exclusively in Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve, running off a Mac Pro, coloring this past season in version 9. To grade a show that Zamboni has called "constantly shape-shifting," Beganyi says Resolve's multiple nodes and versions in real time give him a distinct advantage.

Takeaways From Dogfish Accelerator’s Demo Day | Filmmaker Magazine
Back in October, Filmmaker spoke with a few of the driving forces behind Dogfish Pictures’ Accelerator Program, which seeks to bring the start-up financing model to independent film production. I’m pleased to report that James Belfer and Company’s months of hard work culminated in a successful Demo Day at the Microsoft Technology Center in midtown Manhattan last Friday.

NLE Review: Adobe Premiere Pro CC | Pro Video Coalition
The great PPro trimming overhaul of version 6 gets some subtle improvements in CC to make it even better. It’s going to take some divine intervention for an NLE to achieve Avid’s level of trimming bliss but PPro is getting closer. I love that you can select multiple edit points and choose ripple or roll trims very quickly. The speed with which you can dig in and achieve a trim via the mouse is quite nice but you can dynamic trim via the keyboard as well.

Premiere Pro CC: Trim Edit Points | Larry Jordan
One of the areas where Adobe has worked hard to improve Premiere Pro is trimming. Trimming adjusts the point where two clips touch; this is also often called the “edit point.” With the Creative Cloud release of Premiere Pro, Adobe has added more options and simplified the entire trimming process.

PROXiMITY – A New Short from Ryan Connolly | Red Giant
Ryan tells us that 99% of the shots were colored with Magic Bullet Looks and Colorista II – two plug-ins from our Red Giant Color Suite – and color definitely helps in telling the gritty story. Color Matcher (from Key Correct – a part of Red Giant Keying Suite) was also used in the color correction process.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

You get paid to do this?

Chase Jarvis posted a video of his latest adventures - with a DJI Phantom. Interestingly, he sent it up with a Sony RX100 II, because he wanted better footage than you get with the various action cameras (that's something I've been thinking about too!) He was also excited to use the WiFi feature of the camera to remotely monitor what it was shooting. So they attached it to the Phantom and took it Iceland....over water.

Now, he says "we've been flying it around in Seattle with the GoPro, it's been fun, but we're also thinking that we could upgrade the camera a little bit." So you're probably wondering; why didn't he take it flying with the RX100 II in Seattle, before going to Iceland?

I was wondering that too.

I was also wondering whether the camera (which is $748) could be carried by the Phantom. Strangely enough, earlier in the day I had done a Google search to find the maximum payload weight for the Phantom. The post I had found that morning said 200g, which would make the camera too heavy. I've subsequently found a post that suggests the Phantom can carry 400g...this actually makes sense because it can carry the GoPro Hero camera (136g) with a DJI Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal (230g). So the RX100 II at 281g is within limits; but I still can't figure out why they waited until Iceland to test it?! Wouldn't it have been easier to test the stability of the camera and copter in a warmer, more controlled environment?

More puzzling, they seemed surprised that the WiFi app dropped-out after 15 feet. I've used the same app with a Sony Action Cam, and it drops off once you get further than 15 feet away...using it indoors. So they'd clearly not tested that before either.

Oh, and the battery life of the Phantom, which is only about 8 minutes in warm weather, can drop down quite a bit when it's cold, as it probably is in Iceland. It's unclear if they were aware of that, or whether they were keeping track of battery usage; but given the rest of their preparations, I'm assuming not.

Which made the whole adventure seem rather casual, and the final result almost a foregone conclusion. It felt like they wanted to see if they could lose the thing. Sure, it only cost $1,250 in lost equipment, but you'd think you'd do a bit more planning and testing than they had. Particularly if you were going to Iceland to use it.

Fortunately, the DJI Phantom is now just $479.

The News

The D16 Ships This Week! | Digital Bolex
We’re pleased to announce that the Digital Bolex D16 will begin shipping to backers starting this week. If you are a backer, we will contact you shortly to verify your shipping addresses and contact details, so please make sure that emails from will clear your spam filter.

Anamorphic sample footage shot with the SLR Magic Anamorphot – and which lenses go best with it? | EOSHD
The new SLR Magic Anamorphot 50 jointly developed with the help of EOSHD is here in it’s final non-prototype form and I’ve shot the above video with it (Sony FS100). This should give you an idea of how the flare moves around during a shot and the general anamorphic aesthetic you are able to get with the adapter.

Slating like a Butler | John Brawley
"Doesn’t anyone know how to slate? Don’t they know how they can influence the beginning of a scene? That they can set the tone for the actors? Why are they taking so long to announce the slate and get out of there? What ever happened to the discipline of the film days where you’d get the slate and only the slate in shot and get the hell out of there ???”

Marrakech Q&A: Martin Scorsese The Desire To Make Films, Suggests He Only Has A Few Left & Hopes ‘Silence’ Is Next | IndieWire
In answer to the diverse questions that came in from the largely student audience, Scorsese may have made frequent reference to his advancing years, but especially considering the 71-year-old was at the end of a long ten days viewing and adjudicating the competition films, he was, as ever, gracious and chatty about his life in film, past, present and future. Here are the highlights of that talk.

Stabilization with mocha AE and mocha Pro | Imagineer | Go To Meeting
Thursday, December 19, 2013 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST
In this free, live webinar, Imagineer Systems product specialist, Mary Poplin will cover planar tracking stabilization techniques using mocha AE, mocha Pro, and mocha import+ for After Effects and Nuke. More than just a tracker! Use mocha's planar tracking tools to artistically stabilize or refocus your shots, extend your sets, and more.

With Paul Mazursky, It's All Crap! | Creative COW
The idea was to create to a show that would feature these and other friends of Paul's in intimate conversation with him, one-on-one. Paul's big concern was that it not feel like a TV show and we began to brainstorm about how to do that. He asked me produce it and left it to me to execute the look that would best support the feel he wanted the show to have. Once we'd discussed his desires and he knew I understood what he wanted, he gave me free rein to figure out how to pull it off.

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised – 4 Reasons the Future of Filmmaking is Online | RainDance
Web series creators are dealing with a unique situation where audiences expect quality writing and acting worthy of ‘real TV’ but can also get away with lower production value because the audience can understand the lack of studio backing for independent channels and lack or resources especially when there are no big names attached. If the writing is good, and a real passion is there, it will find an audience.

Working with Less Part 4: Postproduction | Philip Bloom
David Kong guest piece at Philip Bloom's blog:
This article/video is all about Postproduction. I’ll be talking about editing and color correction workflow, Premiere and After Effects, touching up shots with “Visual FX,” and my techniques for handling files. I’ll also be taking a look at a bunch of shots from my Portrait of Macerata video and explaining what finishing work I did on them.

So you want to fly drones? Here’s what the law says | Gigaom
While the FAA suggested in 1981 that model aircraft operators fly below 400 feet, the document was just an advisory, and two aviation lawyers contacted by Gigaom said the agency has no authority below 700 feet — for now.“The FAA is already looking at it .. but it’s not going to happen for two years,” said John Todd of Todd & Levi in New York, who noted that the number of amateur drones in the sky is growing quickly.

Freezing time w/ ONLY ONE camera, 360 degrees, 7200 fps | YouTube
Interesting, though maybe rather complex technique that probably only has limited application....

Monday, December 09, 2013

the News

After Effects | Creating an Animated Crumpled Paper Effect With TrapCode MIR | Lester Banks
Inspired by the opening animation for Community, Trevor Penner set out to create something similar in After Effects and walks through how to create a crumpled paper animation with the use of TrapCode MIR.
TrapCode MIR lends its self well to this effect, allowing you to get a 3D look right within After Effects using a custom paper image as a base. Trevor also rounds out the look of the animation using RedGiant’s Mojo.

'How To Qualify Your #Documentary For An #AcademyAward' by @HunterWeeks for @OldFolksRock | Film Courage

Attention, Documentary Filmmakers: Here Are 9 Tips for Finding and Securing the Archival Material You Need | IndieWire
1. Beware the internet."Everything is being pulled from the web and then, under deadline pressure, [filmmakers] are trying to find out who owns it. Usually, those filmmakers end up having to hire a very experienced research clearance person to try to sort out things. There's a way to work with things from the internet, but it's the wrong approach to take everything as placeholders and then at the very end, under a time crunch, try to figure out how it's all going to be licensed." -- Scott Norman

Creating analog with digital: the beautiful black-and-white cinematography of ‘Nebraska’ | The Verge
Although initially reluctant, Paramount did agree to Payne’s idea of releasing the movie in black and white — with one caveat. Some markets and outlets would be given a color version, which meant that shooting on black-and-white negative was out.

Intelligent Assistance: Producer’s Best Friend (Video) | Larry Jordan
The Producer’s Best Friend is a new utility from the folks at Intelligent Assistance. Many times, at the end of a project, producers need to generate massively detailed reports listing all music cues, stock footage, titles, effects, even transitions. Compiling these reports can take days.

Super 8 bounces back with a new professional level super8 camera! Analogue filmmaking is back! | Red Shark News
The camera has been created by a Danish father and son team Tommy and Lasse. 63 year old Tommy is an expert on the Lathe and precision mechanics whereas his 30 year old son is similarly skilled in micro-controller software. Together they have put together a Super 8 camera that can rival high end 16mm cameras in functionality.

When you should NOT shoot 4K video | Red Shark News
On the other hand shooting weddings and events, a low-budget web series, or thirteen half-hour episodes for a modest reality show in a mere 24 days with next to no support – not even a camera assistant! - 4K image capture might not be the wisest choice. God made small-format cameras for a reason; they are ideal for documentaries and non-fiction type programming like sports, nature films, and reality shows.

Stolen...adventures with cameras | Sam Morgan Moore
I had decided to open with a long shot that could hold some titles and then do a ‘big move’ the shot starts inside a scrap van, booms up to meet Simon and then booms down to his feet, I did this on my ‘Steadi Boom’ which is a combination of a GoPro on a twin axis brushless stabilised head and a boom that I have made that works with my Steadicam arm, vest, monitor, batteries and vehicle hard mount.

VIDEO: Do-it-Yourself – Lighting Studio | Mastering Photo
You can easily create your own photographic lighting studio with a backdrop, lights, and some of the homemade diffusers, reflectors and gels that you can learn to make in this series of videos. This video tutorial shows basic set-up and techniques for lighting objects or images with artificial lights.

The Economics of a Hit TV Show | Price Onomics
AMC extended the runtime of the last two episodes from 44 to 54 minutes – 75 minutes apiece with commercials – and raised its advertising rates to as much as $400,000 per 30-second spot. The 21 minutes of commercial airtime in “Felina,” the show’s final episode, may have earned the network $7-8 million in advertising revenue.

Sony Promotional video for NEX-EA50UH
I like this camera, perhaps because I have one(!) It's currently $2,625 after a $600 rebate.