Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Quick Links

Sony XDCAM Software Updates | Sony
Sony has announced a couple of software updates:
  • PDZK-MA2 ver 1.3 (Avid AMA plug-in) for MediaComposer adds support for MAC OSX Lion
  • XDCAM Browser software, v2 is now available

Canon C300 – Hands on | Mario Feil | Blog
As previously noted, Mario Feil got to spend a few days shooting with the C300 and he's now posted a blog entry with some thoughts about it.
Not only I was impressed by the C300, everyone on set (Nino Leiter – DoP, Alexander Boboschewsky – Steadicam Op/camera Operator) didn’t expect that Canon really nailed it this time. We all were shocked by the price and said “1080p at only 30fps, only 8-bit … for 20k? no thanks” but lets just assume they will drop the price…. then this is, hands down, the most logic step up from DSLRs you can think of right now.

#C300 vs #ScarletX vs #epic record times and cost per minute | DaveChap | yfrog
A chart showing the purported cost-per-minute of shooting with the three cameras (unfortunately there's no background information presented for the calculations):
Cost per minute: C300: $1.56 | Scarlet: $40 | EPIC: $136

Canon EOS C300 for £9,995? Another indication the price has dropped | Planet5D
A vendor quoted price for the C300 which works out to be about $16,000, which is what some had been saying it would be... Note too that often the actual price paid in the UK is higher than the price paid in the US...

Review: Blackmagic's HyperDeck Shuttle | Barry Goch | Post
A short review of the HyperDeck Shuttle:
The resultant files were clean and easy to transfer to another system, like Smoke, for compositing. It’s so easy to use. Just hit record at any time to capture the video stream. Hit the record button again to stop recording or use the stop button. Hit play to instantly playback the recorded QuickTime either via HDMI or SDI. The stop button also toggles to input video from playback. I can see the HyperDeck being used inline with any on-set monitoring as an instant playback device.

Color Grading Central launch cineLook for DSLR footage in Final Cut Pro X
| FCP.Co
Color Grading Central has launched a $69 effect plugin for FCPX that adds a film look to DSLR footage:
Add “S” curve similar to Technicolor LUT for CineStyle
Basic noise reduction
Add 2.35:1 Letterboxing
Add film effects like grain and dust
Add customizable vignette

The Easy Guide to Color Grade & Correct Video | Tony Reale | NextWaveDV
A video tutorial showing one way to grade footage:
While down at Cine Gear Expo, I interviewed Technicolor about their CineStyle preset for the Canon 5D MkII. While getting setup for the interview, I asked one of the guys his technique for color grading. He showed me a new way to manipulate video that I think is much better for filmmakers.

Canon lens mount with iris control for F3 and AF100, also excellent cheese plates for F3 and FS100Philip Bloom
Philip looks at using the Redrock MFT live lens and Smartsystem F3 adaptor to attach Canon lenses to the Sony PMW-F3. Also Berkey System chesseplates for the F3 and FS100.
So…do you have a lot Canon lenses like me that you want to use on your large chip camcorders? It’s been a LONG wait. Birger have promised one since 1949 and we are still waiting with no sign of them coming out… MTF services should have one coming out soon, but i can’t find it on their site…and their box on the preproduction model is huge. Canon have a simple solution…it’s called the C300 But that’s a whole different price bracket!

You don’t get much better than this! Canon EOS 60D shines in this minature worldv | planet5D
A very nice little movie shot on a model railroad; it's more than just a model railroad shoot, there's an actual story with animated characters.
The blog post talks about what they did to make the miniature look less miniature like. I'm not sure they were completely successful; it still looked very model like, and I wonder if there were other things they could have done to make it less model like.
We also chose to shoot at a minimum of f/11, and when possible f/16 – I wanted to keep the DOF deeper, so it would seem more like it was photographed in the real world, we still wanted selective focus, but just not as much as you usually see when people show you photos of a miniature layout. This required us to dump a lot of light on the set to be able to shoot that stopped-down and still maintain a low ISO.

3D workflow with AE | Steve Forde | Adobe
A short note on two new 3D plug-ins for After Effects.
In September, Autodesk released a new compositor link plugin for AE that works with 3DS Max...
A few weeks ago, Maxon, the makers of Cinema 4D came out with an update to their plugin for AE which allows you to literally create a .c4d file from within AE

A Hint at the Next After Effects | Scott Simmons | Studio Daily
Some thoughts based on the "Feature Request" blog post that went up at Adobe's site a couple of days ago:
I don’t think anyone can make any future buying decision on a blog post (and an upgrade that addressed all 16 of these requests would be beyond huge) but it seems likely that this is more than a subtle hint at what we might expect out of AE CS6.

Adobe CS5.5 Max Render Quality & NVIDIA GPU acceleration
| Shawn Lam | Vancouver Video Production Blog
A look at using GPU acceleration vs. software render qualities in After Effects: [Correction: Premiere Pro]
GPU acceleration gives the same level of render quality as Maximum Render Quality, even if you don’t check the Maximum Render Quality box.

But instead of a performance hit, you gain a 6-7x performance boost.

Guest blog: A guide to using twixtor | Danny Cooke | Philip Bloom
Twixtor lets you slow footage way down. This tutorial explains how to get the best results:
Before you start, for best results use a shutter speed that will match your final framerate to avoid blurry slow motion. Also, use the highest framerate setting on your camera possible e.g. 60p, 60i or if you are using a 5D Mark II use 30p; The more frames Twixtor gets to play with, the better!

Tip #21: Outline! So That You Have a Plan to Ditch Once You Start Writing
| Xander Bennett | Mastering Film
A plea for outlining your strory:
You need an outline to tell you what happens and when.
This might seem obvious, but believe me, I’ve seen plenty of screenplays in which the authors clearly had no idea where their own stories were going. And if you ask me, it’s all the fault of that pesky Act 2.

move ‘n shoot MOTORIG is a Motion-Controlled Camera Rig for Cars
| Cinescopophilia
Short piece about a motion-controlled car rig:
Lee Howell of Kaptured Photography undertook an ambitious photo shoot in Auckland’s Victoria Park tunnel, armed with a limited edition Audi R8GT and a state-of-the-art move ‘n shoot MOTORIG car photography rig. This behind the scenes video shows in details what it takes to capture the images for high end car photography.

Are We All Too Polite To Be Critical? | El Skid | Wide Open Camera
Personally, I don't think the Internet needs encouragement to be more critical; perhaps it needs lessons on constructive criticism.
This is an open-ended article, because I don’t have the answer. Taste is an incredibly subjective thing, yet, despite that I believe far too much work that falls short of brilliant is labelled as such, and I worry that the truly brilliant work isn’t getting seen, or recognised as such. And it’s because we all want to be positive. Positive is inclusive, it’s comfortable. Criticism is pointed and sticks out. It suggests you have a point of view that’s different from everyone else. But, hey, isn’t that what being a filmmaker is supposed to be all about?

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