Saturday, February 04, 2012

Feb. 22 Pub Night: DocuDanger with Dr. Bob Arnot

This month's Pub Night at Rule Boston Camera features Dr. Bob Arnot:

As a medical doctor, author, humanitarian, former NBC correspondent and host of the TV series, DR. DANGER., Dr. Bob Arnot is and has been one of the first reporters on the ground in some of the most dangerous locations around the world. Armed with a variety of digital cinema cameras such as the Canon 5D and 7D, Arnot shoots the footage (recording himself via wireless remote), then edits the story across 3 computers to decrease compression time before uplinking the finished documentary via satellite phone for broadcast.

Wednesday, February 22
6:00 to 8:00pm • Pizza and Beer

Quick Links

AbelCine Rental Kits: RED EPIC/Scarlet | AbelCine | Vimeo
Mitch Gross shows how they recommend kitting out the RED Scarlet and Epic:
Watch the video for a detailed explanation of the components that go into the AbelCine RED EPIC/Scarlet Accessory Kit. For your convenience, we have created an accessory package (available in Anton/Bauer and V-Mount options) that includes all the items in a typical rental setup.
For more information on our RED EPIC/Scarlet Accessory Kit, visit our website

Tracking Shots Ep.14 – Casey at the Bat | Cinevate
Casey and Danielle of Midcastle share behind-the-scenes images from their MLB World Series shoot:
On location all the footage is offloaded to hard-drives and then it gets overnighted via a courier to MLB headquarters where a team of editors and loggers ingest the footage and begin to start crafting rough cuts of each game. To create the final World Series film, they use a combination of footage from the broadcasted games, the footage we shoot, and the footage from MLB Network cinematographers as well the interviews that are captured throughout the series

Legendary Cinematographer Haskell Wexler talks Wall Street, Torture, Jane Fonda and American Values | The Lip
Haskell Wexler won Academy Awards for his work on Mike Nichols’ Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and Hal Ashby’s Bound For Glory:
This week’s show brings legendary cinematographer and firebrand Haskell Wexler into the studio to discuss the ongoing face of truth in the media. Detailing some of the history of his sparkling and muck-raking career, from the Chicago 1968 Democratic Convention riots to the current Occupy movement, Mr. Wexler illuminates the necessity to bring truth to the public through film and journalism.

Avid Studio for iPad. This sh*t just got real, yo! | Taz Goldstein
Noting that it's not a pro app and lacks any sort of EDL export, Taz is still impressed, with some reservations:
All is not perfect, however. I experienced a LOT of crashing on my iPad 1 (it performs much better on an iPad 2). So much crashing, in fact, that at some points I couldn’t even get the app to launch. Clearly, that needs to be addressed quickly or Avid stands to upset many potential customers. Also, I’d like to see the addition of more transitions (which is an odd request from me since I hate most transitions).

Panasonic headed for record $10 billion annual loss | Reuters
Not good news for Panasonic:
Panasonic's forecast loss of 780 billion yen ($10.2 billion) for the year to March dwarfed expectations, and is almost all due to restructuring charges and writedowns for its Sanyo Electric unit.

F3 Exposure/Picture Profile Test | Colton Davie | Vimeo
A series of test shots with different settings and the Sony PMW-F3:
I then took all the footage through Apple Color to see how it responded to grading. My adjustments consisted mainly of tweaking the luma curve for contrast and bringing the offset exposures to a normal brightness, tweaking saturation, and slight color tweaks, mostly consisting of a slight increase of blue in the highlights and decrease of blue in the shadows. Certain picture profiles created some nasty clipping in the blue channel as a result of the background light, in these instances I used a secondary correction to tone down the saturation in that part of the image. I was surprised by how easy it it was to bring down the over-exposed footage.

The Live Event Filmmaker’s Survival Guide – Part 2 | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
The second part in this series about dealing with difficult situations:
The MC begins and I go back to my Zoom. The audio is terrible. Loud. Distorted. I have to act. So I switch the Zoom input from the XLR to the built-in mic. Now I’m recording the ambient audio from the audio speakers that are only about 8 feet in front of us. It actually doesn’t sound too bad. Although, being so close to the speakers makes it kind of hard to discern. In either case, it’s good enough for now. It’ll buy me some time to run and get my XLR to XLR cable. I’m hoping that’ll fix the distortion issue.

Canon C300 Initial Findings | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip just got a C300 and has posted his initial impressions. He also notes that the CB-200 Kata bag [$199.99 less $40 discount] fits the camera well:
For the life of me I could not find out how to adjust the ISO unlike a conventional camcorder the C300 does not have a gain switch so in order for you to add gain to your picture you need to press the function button and by using the wee rubber joystick which is just above the words CANCEL you navigate to the ISO in the LCD then simply move the joystick up and down to select your ISO. You do have the option to assign the ISO to the select knob but that disables the IRIS which is a tad stupid.

Redrock Micro ultracage | Facebook
Redrock posted this picture of the ultraCage blue for Canon EOS C300 on their Facebook page. The monitor on the top rails setup can be located just about anywhere front or back, left or right, on the camera.

iBooks Author 1.01 out with updated EULA | Megan Lavey-Heaton | TUAW
Apple "clarrifies" the End User Agreement for iBooks Author that Apple has rights over the format the book is in, not the content.

F65 Remote

Sony has released the F65Remote iOS ap.

F65Remote is an application for remote control of SONY’s digital motion picture camera F65 via a Wi-Fi network.

Supported Cameras
F65 Series

Main Features
  • Control: This screen emulates the inside panel of camera*1.
  • Menu: All camera settings except for network can be performed. Help function allows you to read a help text of each menu items while setting.
  • Output Signal Map: Specialized menu screen for setting VF and SDI-OUT enables you to operate intuitively.
  • Manual: You can read a F65 operation manual*2.

*1: Following features are not supported yet by Version V1.0.
  • Assignable switch On/Off
  • Rec button On/Off
  • Display some status items
*2: iBooks application is needed to be installed beforehand.

Other Features
  • Offline Mode: The menu settings can be performed without establishing a network connection and you can select to set them all at once when connecting to the camera.
  • Panel Active: This function always enables one iPad for one camera to prevent unintentional operation. Other iPad that does not have the panel active permission can only display camera status.
It's free.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Quick Links

Using GoPro Cameras On Live Multi-Camera Remore Broadcasts | Tom Guilmette
| Blog
Tom's been using the GoPro Hero on sporting events for broadcast television, and offers a lot of information in this blog post; from basic principles of setting the camera up, to techie details about using it in a production environment:
Talking to CBS Sports tech managers from cities all over the US, the biggest problem with these GoPros working is getting pictures back to the truck. You can only send HDSDI signals over approved coaxial cable. The cable must be rated 3.5-4.5 GHZ for serial high definition. Do not use old coax cable. Just because it passes SD analog video, does not mean it will work with HD. The cable run must be under 300 feet or you will need re-clocking repeaters to push the signal along.

10 Awesome Production Stills That Will Remind You Why You Love Filmmaking
| Evan Luzi | the Black and Blue
Just a nice collection of behind-the-scenes stills:
Over at The Black and Blue Facebook page, I held a mini-contest and asked people to submit behind the scenes production stills from movies they’ve worked on. In such a short time frame (about a week), I was pleased to see over 20 pictures posted to the page. Some were funny, some were impressive, and one was even sexy (you’ll see…).

Why You Should Maybe Not Show Actors Their Work | Michael Rabiger
| MasteringFilm
Interesting article about dealing with actors:
  • People are normally appalled to see themselves onscreen and this feeds their insecurities.
  • Anticipating the judgment of other cast members makes staying inside their own characters’ thoughts and experiences harder.

Press Release: Big-screen moviemaking comes to the iPad with Avid Studio
| Glyn Evans | iphoneography
The new iPad app from Avid:
Precision Editing Tools: Avid Studio for iPad is the only app to offer a unique combination of Storyboard and Timeline features, allowing users to arrange clips in the Storyboard, then edit like a pro with the precision of the Timeline, which offers frame-by-frame trimming capability. Avid Studio for iPad also takes full advantage of touch capabilities to offer a fun, easy yet professional level editing experience. For example, with a touch or swipe, users can easily resize and rotate a title directly from the preview window, among other functions.

WRITING: iOS Avid Studio – First impressions | J G Harding | Blog
A short first-impressions article:
It’s a good effort! It’s pretty easy to use, and if there were frame steppers all round, it’s be even easier. If we can have compatibility with EOS and other similar footage it’d be quite a coup for fast rush cutting on set, but for now I wont find a huge amount of use for it. Still, it is currently the best NLE for ios by a long mark, and there’s always the hope of updates…

Avid Studio Review by | YouTube
And if you understand German, a video showing how to use the app:

Canon C300 iris control test | paul gwilliams | Blog
Paul does a simple test showing the effect of adjusting the iris of an EF lens while recording. As he notes, it's not totally smooth, but it's a step-up from the control you have on a DSLR:
One of the important features on the new Canon C300 is the ability to adjust the iris in a smaller increment. You can still use 1/2 & 1/3 stop increments but there is also a ‘fine’ setting which gives 1/8 stop adjustment.
The iris is controlled either by an assignable rotary dial on the camera body or a rotary dial on the hand grip.

Director/Cameraman Package for Scouting Locations + Scouting Apps
| Shane Hurlbut | Hurlbut Visuals
Shane writes about location scouting for Act of Valor, offering a breakdown of his scouting gear and the iPhone apps he uses, and also explains how location scouting can quickly turn into actual production shooting:
While we were scouting in Cambodia and heading to Kampot, I looked out the window and saw a river that led to these amazing mountains that resembled Fiords. We jumped out just as a long skinny boat was heading up river. We whipped out the Panavision 35mm Primo and slapped in on the Tripod and tilted up with the boat to reveal the mountains where our terrorist would be running his training camp. Go it. Let’s continue scouting.

Cover Story: 'Act of Valor' | Daniel Restuccio | Post Magazine
An article on the actual production of Act of Valor:
For production on Act of Valor, Hurlbut and Bandito spec’d out a truck load of location gear that included 15 Canon 5D Mark II cameras, an HP DreamColor LP2480zx monitor, a Panaflex Platinum and a Panavised Arri 235 and 435, as well as multiple Arri 3 crash cameras and a Sony HDC-950 for aerial photography. They shot on Kodak 5219 for night exteriors, 5207 for interior day and 5201 for day exteriors. Hurlbut’s assembled a guerrilla lighting package of “Home Depot practicals,” rounded out with some traditional tungsten PARs, Kino Flos and a small HMI package.

Facebook Page | NotesOnVideo
I've created a Facebook page as an experiment for those that want a reminder about new posts here on the blog. Let me know if this is useful to you.

The Live Event Filmmaker’s Survival Guide – Part 1 | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Ron tells a story about dealing with people - and changing events - in stressful situations:
I should note that I’m being playful when teasing Mr. Smiley. I understand the pressure audio guys are under in such an event. And less I be hypocritical, not a half hour later I was my own version of a “Mr. Smiley”. I was setting up a very cool, low angle slider reveal shot and right in the middle one of the photographers came up to say hi. I actually know this person, and although I smiled and was friendly, I did do my own version of a Mr. Smiley and basically said, “Don’t bother me right now.”

Sourlands | Kickstarter
Sourlands, a documentary about "The Sourlands," NJ, just made it's funding goal on Kickstarter. Congratulations to director Jared Flesher. I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished movie. You can read more about it at the Sourlands website.

5D X or Mark III Specs & Release Date? [CR1] | Canonrumors
The 5D Mark III rumors just keep on coming. If - or when - it is announced, it will be interesting to see what the reaction is like. Are DSLR's just so 2010?

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Quick Links

HD HERO2 Firmware Update with GoPro CineForm Studio | GoPro
The GoPro Hero2 firmware has been updated to v.70 and reportedly adds support for the 3D Hero system and other minor enhancements.
Current Firmware: v.70
The HD HERO2 firmware update process varies based on computer operating system.
Before downloading, please verify the operating system version of your computer. Then, select the corresponding platform below.
Once downloaded, save the software bundle to your desktop, unzip the contents, & install CineForm Studio.

Sennheiser SKP 300 G3 Plug-On Transmitter With Phantom Power
| Cinescopophilia
Yesterday I happened to attend an interesting audio workshop at Rule Boston Camera given by a rep from Sennheiser; and he didn't even mention this was new!
Sennheiser is extending its evolution wireless ew 300 G3 series with the addition of the SKP 300 G3 plug-on transmitter. Whether it is for a speaker’s podium or for fast mobile use in video productions, the SKP 300 G3 converts any conventional cabled microphone quickly and easily into a wireless one. The phantom power required by condenser microphones is also supplied by the rugged transmitter – a highly versatile device that enables cabled microphones to become wireless with ease.

SCLP11X15 1.5x Wide Angle Zoom Lens for PMW-F3 | Sony
Sony has official details on another lens for the PMW-F3. This one lists at $7,700.00, but you can get it for $7,500!:
The SCL-P11X15 is a wide angle PL mount lens offering 1.5X zoom from 11-16mm developed for easy integration with the PMW-F3 Super 35mm CineAlta compact camcorder. Please note: PMW-F3 v1.30 or later operational software is required for full operational compatibility between the PMW-F3 camera and the SCLP11X15 lens.

Other Sony PMW-F3 News
And it was a red-letter day for PMW-F3 news yesterday, with Sony bowing to "popular demand" and "repositioning" SLog "for USA Only / Existing F3 owners"; i.e. slashing the price from almost $4,000 to $899.

Existing PMW-F3 owners that wish to purchase the SLog RGB444 option should call Sony service and book the upgrade NJ 201-833-5300 or LA 323-352-5000. Reportedly, unlike the "current" purchase option, which is/was provided on an SxS card, for the $899 price the F3 is sent to Sony Service and S-Log is uploaded.

Any PMW-F3 owners that already purchased CBK-RGB01 (the S-Log, RGB444 option) can get $2,500 off either the SRR1 or the 14x powered zoom.

Note, the CBK-RGB01 S-Log Gamma Option for PMW-F3 Camera still lists at $3,680 at B & H (at the moment!)

Meanwhile, the Sony NEX-FS100 with lens is $200 off, and the body only is $300 off. Are these the pre-NAB sales, or a response to the Canon C300?

Blackmagic Design Releases Support For Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 Broadcast Monitoring | Blackmagic
Blackmagic also announced support for Final Cut Pro X:
Blackmagic Design today released Desktop Video 9.2 beta 1, a software update for its capture and playback products that adds broadcast monitoring support with the new Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 update.

Desktop Video 9.2 beta 1 for Mac OS X is available for download now and is free of charge for all Blackmagic Design customers. This update includes support for all current DeckLink, Multibridge, Intensity and UltraStudio models.

Lip-Syncing Animation with Expressions | Adobe After Effects CS5: Learn by Video | video2brain
An advanced tutorial on doing lip-syncing:
This project was a test project for a job for the BBC. They needed a minute of lip-synced animation and I needed to complete the project in a day. This is the project I put together as a test to see if the technique would work. Luckily, it did and I got the job done on time! Audio used by permission. "Memories Of Your Own" - Words and Music by Jason A. Levine
They also offer the following free tutorial: What’s New and Changed in After Effects CS5.5
In this free workshop, Adobe Technical Support Lead Todd Kopriva is your guide to the changes in the CS5.5 version of Adobe After Effects. You’ll learn how to use the new Warp Stabilizer and Camera Lens Blur effects, camera layer settings for depth-of-field blur, camera commands, stereoscopic 3D features, and light falloff properties.

Final Cut Pro X Tutorial - Adjusting Clip Connections | Dan Allen | YouTube
Dan continues to produce free Final Cut Pro X tutorials, this one on how to adjust clip connections by using the command or cmd+alt or cmd+option keys.
How do you change which clip the audio is connected to in the FCPX Timeline/ project / storyline. Well its really simple. Final Cut Pro also offers you the option to hide the clip connections whilst still making them visible whilst selecting that specific clip or audio or b-roll footage. This is really handy in keeping everything in sync when using the magnetic timeline

Adobe Prelude | Philip Hodgetts | Blog
Philip reports on Adobe's showing of Prelude at the recent Supermeet:
Essentially Prelude is an ingest, logging and rough cut tool. It’s designed to make it easy to add log notes (a.k.a. metadata) quickly and easily, then perform a rough first string out to send to a craft (skilled) editor for the real work. Now obviously, any tool that encourages the entry of metadata is good by me!
Scott Simmons also wrote about it here: Adobe teases Prelude at the San Francisco Supermeet, FCPUG changes its name

Red Scarlet And Zeiss 15.5-45mm Test With Hot Models. Pillow Fight Wide Open Camera style | Wide Open Camera | YouTube
I'm not sure that you learn much from this video about the Scarlet or the lens, except that feathers make a bit of a mess:
Here is a little BTS from our shoot with the new RED Scarlet camera. We wanted to shoot 120fps but that is not available yet! Total bummer. We had to resort to 60fps at 2K. The interface is really easy and the camera worked well for our little test. I can wait to really beat the crap out of one now!

Dealing with Petty Cash and Expenses | How To Film School
Sometimes you just have to go back to the basics:
ALWAYS GET A RECEIPT! This is a difficult habit to get used to if you aren’t already doing it for your personal finances. Always be sure to ask for a receipt, if you are giving an individual a cash payment, be sure to get a signed, hand written receipt or an invoice from them.

JVC Unveils ProHD Portable Monitor Series |
JVC announced three new portable monitors:
VC Professional Products Company has announced the DT-X71 Series of portable ProHD LCD monitors. Ideal for field and studio applications, the new seven-inch AC/DC monitors offer 1024x600 resolution with a 160-degree viewing angle and can display 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p video signals at a variety of frame rates.

The art of “lens whacking”, real lights leaks and ones done in post | James Miller
| Philip Bloom
Guest blogger James Miller writes about light leaks; I think I'd rather do this in post:
When a cameras lens is fixed firmly to a camera the only light falling on the sensor is through the lens. Thats great most of the time and when you want something different you can either add effects, layers, overlays in post. Or you can remove your entire lens.

“When you take the lens off it creates an effect, look and feeling that is totally different, you really can connect to image. Because it’s real and not added in post, it’s randomness gives a dreamlike quality. Its almost like how your mind remembers images and I love the feeling it gives. Its a romance, it really is.”

EOS Utility 2.10.4 for Mac OS X Lion | CanonRumors
Canon has updated their EOS Utility.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Facebook Page for NotesOnVideo

A reader suggested a Facebook page to help keep those on Facebook up to date on the posts on the blog, so I've created one as an experiment, and will be posting links to the daily posts there.

Let me know if this is useful to you.

Quick Links

NEX FS100 LENS TEST | John McGrath | Vimeo
Test shots made with the Sony NEX-FS100 and the following lenses: Sony 18-300, Magic SLR 35mm f/1.4 and Zeiss 50mm f/2.2.
Showing my lenses thus far, I'm not really a "test film" type guy so no fantastic sets, models or spectacular After Effects sequences involved just my Big Fat head :)
Thanks to Frank Glencairn for his G-LOG PP's

Feeling Nervous on Day One? 5 Steps to Curb Your Anxiety | Evan Luzi
| The Black and Blue
Some tips for overcoming anxiety during a shoot:
5. Stay Busy Until You Start Rolling
A lot of times, especially on day one, you’ll have a few hours of setup time before the first shot starts rolling while the grips unpack the trucks and start rigging, the juicers test lights and pull lamps the gaffer prefers, and, in general, everyone develops their sea legs.
This is the time in which you are most vulnerable to your anxieties because your mind can start wandering.

Five Tips for Making an Interview Subject More Comfortable | Ron Dawson
| Dare Dreamer
How to conduct interviews with the anxious people on the other side of the camera:
Warm up. You wouldn’t jump into a major sporting contest before stretching and warming up. The same goes for an interview. Don’t start the interview cold. Spend a few minutes with them in front of the camera, and just shoot the breeze. Talk about school, family, kids, movies, what have you. Get their juices flowing and get them used to being in front of the camera.

Auro 3D | Barco
Product info page on a 3D audio system that was used for the movie 'Red Tails':
'Red Tails' - George Lucas’s film on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American combat pilots during World War II – is the first movie ever mixed in Auro-3D, a revolutionary sound system that adds an extra height dimension to cinema sound. [...]

Watch the exclusive interviews with Matthew Wood, supervising sound editor for 'Red Tails', and David Acord, sound re-recording mixer for 'Red Tails', and discover all the ins and outs of mixing 'Red Tails' in Auro-3D 11.1.

Webinar: Get a Film Look Without Shooting Film | Studio Daily | Vimeo
Recording of a webinar on creating a film-look, though it sounds complicated and expensive...:
Jerome Thelia, co-founder of Merge Group (NY), demonstrates the technique used in the making of Shawn Christensen's “Curfew” (January 2012), which was shot in RED MX, digitally graded in SCRATCH, and recorded out to film stock to achieve the best combination of grain structure and colorimetry. His presentation includes the use of log scans, LUTs, anamorphic resizing, histogram, and split screens for color matching/comparison.

Canon C300 News
CANON EOS C300 Review | Emmanuel Pampuri | Vimeo
It's in French! I don't understand a word they are saying! But it's a long discussion on the C300, with sample images.

DP Alex Buono Talks Canon C300 | Clint Milby | Vimeo
Alex is DP for the Saturday Night Live film unit, and he's spent one day with the C300 and was "really blown away." Here's a short interview with Alex:

DP Alex Buono Talks Canon C300 from Clint Milby on Vimeo.

Hands on with the new Canon C300 | Paul Gwilliams | Blog
Detailed article about doing a shoot with the C300:
Hand held the camera in its ‘out of the box’ set-up is a joy to use, Holding the camera with the grip which is solid & ergonomic & a nice little lip at the front – it feels natural & comfortable, both the viewfinder & eyepiece are easy to access & you have most of the buttons you might need – such as to control the 3 NDs, white balance etc on the side.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3

Well, cool. Today Apple released an update to Final Cut Pro X that adds multi-cam support, improved XML support and "beta" support for Broadcast Monitoring, amongst other things. Perhaps just as important, with the new XML support comes a third party tool, 7toX for Final Cut Pro which promises a smoother transition of projects from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X.

I'm just downloading the update as I write this; the first part - about 300 MB - took only nine minutes, and I was excitedly thinking that I'd have this thing running quickly; but now it's downloading another 1.47GB and it thinks it will take 1 hour and 6 minutes to finish, so I might not get to spend any real time with it until tomorrow!

Of course, this latest release and new features shouldn't really be a big surprise; Apple promised multi-cam support in early 2012, and they actually delivered it!

Will this be enough to sway the people who jumped ship to Adobe and Avid after the initial release of Final Cut Pro X? Probably not. I think Final Cut Pro X's new interface, way of doing things, and the botched original release, really soured things up amongst the professional community, and Apple will continue to have their work cut out for them there.

But that doesn't mean that Final Cut Pro X won't be a success, and won't sell more copies than Final Cut Pro 7. It's just that the audience will skew wider and less professional than Final Cut Pro 7. But that's been the story of nearly every successful creative application; from Page Layout onwards.

Check out announcements from AJA and Genarts too:

Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors [PDF]
Apple has updated this document to reflect the new features in 10.0.0

AJA: AJA Releases Drivers for Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3

7toX for Final Cut Pro | Philip Hodgetts | Blog
Philip writes about 7toX for Final Cut Pro, the product he developed for translating Final Cut Pro 7 projects to Final Cut Pro X:
Yes, it works. It does an amazingly good job of translating Final Cut Pro 7 Projects (Bins and Sequences) into a Final Cut Pro Event. Clips from a FCP 7 project become clips in FCP X, Bins become Keyword Collections and Sequences are translated to Compound Clips, which can be:

opened directly in a Timeline; a
added to a new Project as a Compound Clip;
broken apart to make a FCP X Project.

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 | Philip Hodgetts | Blog
In a separate article, Philip offers his thoughts on the other features in the new release:
Multicam, like so much of Final Cut Pro X, is a rethink that considered what would make multicam more accessible to more people by eliminating the “hard parts”: let the software adapt rather than forcing a certain level of knowledge on users. (Sorry for those who had this somewhat hard earned knowledge, but that is the way things move.)

GenArts: GenArts Sapphire Edge Brings High-End Visual Effects to the Final Cut Pro X Creative Community
GenArts Inc., the global leader in specialized visual effects software for the media and advertising industries, today announced the availability of Sapphire Edge for Final Cut Pro X professional video editing application from Apple. Sapphire Edge empowers Final Cut Pro X editors to efficiently apply cutting-edge visual effects in a streamlined editorial experience without compromising the quality of the final result.

AppleInsider: Apple releases free update to Final Cut Pro X with multi-cam editing

First Look: Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 restores professional features; adds notable new ones | Gary Adcock | MacWorld
With FCP X 10.0.3, the ugly ducking feel of the first version of this app seems to be receding, as the app’s swan-like feathers begin to emerge. While there are still many improvements needed, especially for those who work in multiuser environments, the current update indicates that Apple is listening to the complaints and concerns of the working video community that put Final Cut Pro on the map.

Apple Releases Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 | Larry Jordan
First, thanks to the hard work of Philip Hodgetts and Greg Clark, Intelligent Assistance has released a utility with Apple’s blessing that supports transferring projects from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X called “7toX.”

As Philip told me: “We worked very hard to offer a very high fidelity conversion, so that editors can take their Final Cut Pro 7 projects forward to Final Cut Pro X’s efficient working

Don’t Call It A Comeback – Apple Releases A Big New Update to Final Cut Pro X | Neil Matsumoto | HDVideoPro
The low price point and new features should lock up many users who are new to the editing process, not to mention the millions of low budget DSLR users. But in order for FCP X to truly matter, the mighty Apple still needs to shift its focus back to its professional base in order to lure them back. They have a lot of work to do convincing the base that FCP X is indeed suitable for professional work.

iTunes: 7toX for Final Cut Pro - Assisted Editing
iTunes: Final Cut Pro - Apple

On Twitter:
@ronsussman ronsussman
lets put an end to all this FCPX verses the other (pro) NLEs. Im putting up a boxing ring @NAB so we can fight it out like men

@artgug Art Guglielmo
So by today's twitter reaction, multicam was the difference between suck and total nirvana.

@editblog Scott Simmons
finally trying out the #fcpx update. Multicam is cool. might not be perfect but pretty well thought out

@hurkman Alexis Van Hurkman
I'll say something nice, now. You can now squeeze FCPx video scopes to one side, for a larger Viewer. Still only one scope at a time, tho.

@MarioFeil Mario Feil
I know a lot of people still complain about FCPX but if you edit 4k w/titles and export it, you know why a lot of people use it.

Quick Links

Life In Singapore – Captured With A 60D And A Kessler Pocketdolly
| Rick Macomber | DSLR News Shooter
Rick put together a really nice video on his recent trip to Singapore, and he's written a blog about how he did it here:
As a TV photojournalist I’m big on the handheld run and gun style of shooting. Especially with these small cameras. Much easier than the huge monster Sony XDCam 700 I shoulder at CBS Boston. For the Singapore film I used creative handheld methods like slow rocking on my feet to get a fluid look as well as finding level surfaces to place either a camera or the Pocketdolly. The subtle side to side or pushing in and out rocking shots look much better than trying to handhold a camera perfectly still. You will always see those tiny vibrations that way.

Controlling Depth of Field with the Canon C300 | Mitch Gross | CineTechnica
AbelCine brings us this video intro looking at the Canon C300 and explaining the large sensor and how shallow depth-of-field works:
When you think of a 35mm sensor camera, what characteristics come to mind? Probably the first is shallow depth of field. It is part of what many consider the “look” of that imager size and a principle defining difference between it and other formats. But while some consider this the chief attribute of the format, others may find it to be a detriment in certain situations. For those shooting documentary, run-and-gun productions, a deeper depth of field may be preferable to maintain focus.

Canon C300 + Glidecam + Grading examples | Joe Simon Films | Vimeo
Joe posts another video of his first shooting days with the Canon C300:
Shot on the Glidecam 4000HD + Skateboard. Shot at C-Log except for the 4th shot which was done on a cine 2 setting with some custom adjustments. The shot at the end in 60p was shot at 720 and upressed to 1080.

F3 - C300 - 1D side by side | Mario Feil | Vimeo
This video was posted some time back, and seemed to suggest that 6400 on 1D = 20000 on the C300. But check the comment's thread for a comment from Thomas Lennon Films which has a response from Larry Thorpe of Canon:
Larry Thorpe, a very senior engineer involved in creating the c300, promised he would look into it and he did. In a follow-up letter to me, he says the tests above do not correctly compare the ISO sensitivity of the c300 to the 7D/1D, due to a lack of technical rigor. He doesn't explain how the results at such different ISOs could appear similar, but suggests the following approach in a future test:

Scarlet X issues, input, experiences, please share | Jeffrey Loewe | REDUser
A couple of days ago I linked to a post on the REDuser forum from a user that had problems with a Scarlet. It now appears that thread has been deleted.

FS100 Grabs | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR 4 Real
Some nice frame grabs from a music video shot on the Sony NEX-FS100. He notes that they are probably a stop under-exposed to protect the highlights.

The Fletcher 2012 Camera Comparison Chart | cinescopophilia
Link to Fletcher Camera's Camera Comparison Chart:
The Fletcher Camera Comparison Chart covers all the important things you need to know about large medium and compact cine cameras like Sensor Sizes, Base ISO, Frame Rates, Recorded Bit Depth, Weight, Power, and Highlighted Positives + many more handy features you may need to take a quick look at on a handy chart.

Build a DIY Backdrop Stand for Photography and Video | Chadwick Paul | Blog
How to build an inexpensive backdrop:
The final stand is probably as strong as you can get without shelling several hundred on a pair of C-Stands. It is 10 feet wide and can easily go up to 9 feet tall. I have had toddlers running crazy in my basement with no fear of anything falling. Now, I have no more excuses for not creating awesome visual content and neither do you.

Still No Apple MacPro Update Should Make Video Pros Nervous | Mike Wilhelm
| Videomaker
This article notes that there's not been an update for the MacPro in a long while...and will there ever be? Interestingly, now there are rumors popping up about a new MacPro appearing soon; and maybe an update to Final Cut Pro X as well...
While it’s true that thunderbolt allows for an amazing amount of modular expansion in terms of storage, monitors, and even PCI slots for GPUs, thunderbolt doesn’t address the limitation of RAM and processing power. If you’ve ever rendered out a complex After Effects composition, you know the importance of hyper threaded virtual cores and piles of RAM, something that out of the entire Apple line of computers, only the MacPro can provide.

FCPUG Changes Name to Creative Pro Users Group | Studio Daily | Beth Marchant
A short piece on the dropping of the F from the Final Cut Pro User Groups:
The new name, and the wider range of tools and allegiance the name implies, is welcome news to Apple’s competitors, who have frequented and eventually presented at SuperMeets in recent months. Adobe, for example, used the January 27 meeting to unveil an upcoming tool called Prelude, a rough cut application that simplifies ingest by creating proxies at the same time and lets shooters log, annotate, transcode and export footage for an easier transition to editorial.

Top Five Essentials for Shooting Your Indie Film | Jason Sokoloff | No Film School
In this guest post, Jason offers some lessons he learned working on other film projects:
Over time my work experience as a production manager and line producer proved to be invaluable. I found myself surrounded with inspiring and passionate filmmakers, actors, agents, and other talented people in the industry. I learned first-hand what it takes to get an indie film off the ground.
[NOTE: corrected the name of the author]

There’s A Fiber Optic Connection Built Into Every Mac | Larry Jordan
I didn't know there was a digital optical connection on all Mac's either:
The Microphone In and Headset Out ports of ALL Macs support BOTH optical and copper signals (digital and analog). If you plug in standard audio plugs, the ports become analog. However, there’s a special TOSlink adapter that turns a standard 1/8-inch miniplug into a hollow tube that light shines through. Plug this into ANY Mac and the port switches from analog to digital.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quick Links

Canon EOS Cinema C300 Anatomy | CVP Blog
The CVP Blog takes stills of the Canon C300 and calls out the various features.

4K – The big picture… | CVP Blog
A look at what 4K is, and cameras that can do it:
What about 4K television? If we bear in mind that it’s getting on for 40 years since the pioneering days of HDTV in the mid 1970′s, it is perhaps surprising that even today not all content is produced in HD and even if it were, not everyone can view HD in their home because the roll-out of HD television remains far from complete – I’d therefore expect that whilst there will be an inexorable move towards the adoption of 4K it’s going to be quite a while before we’re sitting down to eat our TV dinners watching Coronation Street or Eastenders in glorious 4K!

Nikon D4 Hands-On | Eric Reagan | Photography Bay
Eric spent a "few minutes" with the Nikon D4 at CES 2012 and offers these thoughts:
Of course, low light ISO performance has taken the limelight in recent years when comparing cameras head-to-head. And, if early sample images out of the gate are anything to go by, it looks like the Nikon D4 is set to carry on the tradition of the low light king amongst DSLRs. Frankly though, I think the D4 and 1D X are going to be close to splitting hairs again (as was the case with the Nikon D3s and Canon 1D Mark IV . . .

Cameras to capture a road trip | Rory Cellan-Jones | BBC
Driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas using GoPro's to document it:
And producer Jonathan Sumberg, who also doubles up as a cameraman, had with him a Sony EX1 - a smaller broadcast-quality camera - and two GoPros. These tiny and relatively cheap devices have revolutionised the filming of action sequences - you just clamp them to a bike, a car, or even a surfboard, press the button and hope you capture something exciting.

Round-Trip Workflows: Post Workflows From and To Final Cut Pro X
| Oliver Peters |
XML export from Final Cut Pro X, with notes on how it differs from FCP7:
The underlying editing structure of Final Cut Pro 7 is based on the relationship of clips against time and tracks. FCP X links one object to another in a trackless parent-child connection, so there is no easy and direct translation of complex projects between the two versions.

Manage Client Expectations: Storyboard | Kelly Conlin | Nice Lady Production
Thoughts and tips on storyboarding:
As much as I can, I take my camera out with me and scout the setting prior to storyboarding or filming begins. The photos I take help me decide on framing, lighting and camera placement before shooting day. They also help solidify what I will be designing in my storyboard.

Canon EOS 7D Custom Picture Styles Test | Alexandros Maragos | Momentum Blog
A look at three Picture Styles with the Canon 7D:
The 3 most popular are Neil Stubbings' Superflat, Marvels Cine Gamma & sumitagarwals Kodachrome.
So, which is the right Style in order to achive the desired "Film Look"?
One thing is for sure: If you want color control in post, you have to be flat, really flat.

Film As We Know It | Scott Jordan Harris | movieScope
A strong defense of 3D movies:
The complaints against retrofitted 3D are right: it is an abomination akin to the colourisation of black-and-white films. But, again, if 3D filmmaking becomes more commonplace, retrofitting will quickly become unnecessary and unprofitable. The argument that 3D makes film into a fairground attraction is nonsense; it has always been one. From the first freakish appeal of witnessing images appear to move on screen, to the wonder of seeing astonishingly sophisticated 21st century CGI, the marvel of new technology has always been one of cinema’s chief attractions.

Working with 3D Objects in Photoshop and After Effects | Richard Harrington
| Blog
A video tutorial demonstrating how to import and manipulate 3D objects in Adobe Creative Suite apps.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quick Links

Advanced Tips for FCP X | T. Payton | Creative COW
A very interesting short video tutorial demonstrating how you can edit in Final Cut Pro X while the program is playing back the production.

Final Cut Pro Tutorial pt. 22 - Sound Corrections / Enhancement | Dan Allen
| YouTube
Another in Dan's series of Final Cut Pro X tutorials:
In this HD Voice Tutorial for Apple Final Cut Pro 10 we learn how to use the built in sound manipulation tools to perform basic correction as well as enhancing the sound and performing the simple tasks such as removing hum or background noise as well as levelling and equalising sound to get a great vocal / voiceover dynamic, using the built in tools of Final Cut 10. We are using these tools to clean up and correct or improve your raw audio recordings.

DaVinci Resolve | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
Oliver reviews the latest release of Resolve, while also providing information about hardware requirements and GPU cards it works with:
New features added to Resolve include multi-layered timelines, FCP XML support for FCP X and a color wheels panel. In Resolve 7, timelines were a flattened, single-layer video track. If your FCP or Avid sequence consists of several video tracks, those will now show up as corresponding layers in the Resolve timeline. The new color wheels tab makes the interface more consistent with conventional color correction interface design.

Rolling shutter comparison test | PETERP | Too Much Imagination
A comparison of Rolling Shutter effect no different cameras. However, as he writes, the results may be suspect because the cameras were located at different distances from the center of rotation of the rig they were mounted on:
You can probably see that as I was turning (rotating) the rig, the cameras moved with different speeds. The ones closer to the center of the rig moved slower and ones on the edge moved faster, but the angular velocity was the same for all bodies. I am no physicist so I can’t tell you if that was influencing the strength of rolling shutter jello effect. If it has it is important to notice that Nikon 3Ds and Canon EOS 550D were moving the fastest, than Nikon D300s with Canon EOS 7D and cameras closest to the center, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and Canon EOS 5D Mark II, had the best conditions i.e. the least movement.

It’s All About Presentation | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
If you're sending out your reel - or your movie - on DVD's, this post is worth reading:
Presentation extends to the box you ship them in too. If possible, try to find a box that is a little more exciting than USPS. And add something to the box to make the experience special. I used to add movie-treats like Raisinettes and M&Ms. I know some videographers who include gourmet popcorn. If you want to really wow them, throw in a Starbucks card. In fact, we would send a Starbucks card in a thank you note to every client when they hired us. A $15 to $20 gift card is a small price to pay to build a premium brand when a client is paying you $5,000 or more. This works better with wedding clients though.

RED Epic Rental Questions Answered | Dave Dugdale | Learning DSLR Video
The second part of a series, Dave interviews James Drake of about RED Epic rentals:
Who rents a RED Epic?
Time to test and get comfortable before shooting for the first time?
What type of projects are shot on the RED?
Lenses to rent?
Rent vs. own?
Other benefits

Scarlet X issues, input, experiences, please share | Jeffrey Loewe | REDUser
A series or problems with lenses and the camera; though he does wonder if the mount might be faulty:
While working in camera multiple times the camera would appear as if it were shooting in a lower frame rate and would show a drag, and stutter and choppiness in all frames. Powering camera down and back up would not fix every time. Checked frame rates, they were set correctly.

[...]Overall It felt like an uphill battle all day. I really feel like this is circumstantial as I haven't read any of these issues elsewhere....just reaching out since RED support is out for the weekend.

Red Gunner Handheld System Review | Tonaci Tran | Blog
A shoulder rig for RED cameras:
In about 90% of the Red Epic/Scarlet handheld rig photos I have seen, the LCD and EVF never seemed to be mounted in the right place. Using the Accessory Attachment Bracket (which can be used for the LCD/EVF) + Swat Rail Clamp and/or the Spinner, you can achieve perfect placement of the EVF or LCD right on the gunner.

Portable EntertainmentHome EntertainmentComputersCamcorders Digital Cameras & Gear Pro Audio You go to B&H

Canon C300 Tests & Reviews

C300 Sunset Session - Austin, TX | Joe Simon | Vimeo
Joe got one of the first production Canon C300's, and has already posted a couple of test videos.
I did quite a bit of shooting into the sun and as you can see it holds up pretty good, both in the highlights and shadows.

I did a bit of color grading to pull the log image back to life, but not too much. I used basic FCP CC filters for this.

I used Canon L lenses - 35mm, 50mm, 70-200. Also the Tokina 11-16
Saturday with the C300 | Joe Simon | Vimeo
So today I wanted to go out and shoot with the C300 and to play in the menus so I could familiarize myself with the different options. I also wanted to push the dynamic range again as well as do some handheld shooting.
[...]I started at this cool little over look to the city, I love this shot as you can see how much "pop" this camera creates. I'm shooting with the sun to the left of the camera at 100 degrees and the lighting still looks pretty dam good.

Saturday with the C300 from Joe Simon Films on Vimeo.

Canon EOS C300 Test | | Vimeo
This video starts out with some pretty pictures, but then it turns into a camera test with comparison shots with different ISO's and picture profiles.

Canon EOS C300 Test from on Vimeo.

The Canon C300 Review | Edmond Terakopian | Photo This & That
Check the written review, as well as the demo reel below:
Firstly, I need to clarify that the C300 was a pre-production model; having said this, it performed flawlessly. Having never seen, let alone used this camera, after a few minutes of training by Canon’s staff at the event I was ready to shoot. It’s an amazingly simple camera to get to grips with with a clear menu system and extremely clearly market keys dotted around the camera; I found it ergonomically brilliant.

Canon C300 Demo Reel from Edmond Terakopian on Vimeo.

Cameraman Bootcamp - Sky TV Rugby World Cup ad

I love this. Thanks to Rick Macomber for pointing it out.