Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quick Links

Canon teases 'exclusive screening' in Las Vegas, new Cinema EOS products coming at NAB? | Zach Honig | Engadget
Canon has something else up their sleeves?! Could this be the 4K DSLR they talked about back when they rolled out the C300, or something else?
With both its 1D and 5D-series models already confirmed for 2012, today's Canon teaser hints at something slightly different -- and, according to our sources, a major announcement. The event is set for April 15th -- during the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas

24 mm tilt / shift lens from Samyang launched this summer | Megapiksel
I have the Rokinon 35mm f1.4 lens, and it's a nice combination of quality build and optics in a manual lens, so it's exciting to see that Samyang (sold as Rokinon and other names) is working on a tilt-shift lens. I've wanted a tilt-shift lens for a long time, but Canon's are really expensive (their TS-E 24mm f/3.5 is $2,100) and I just don't think I'll get enough usage out of the lens to justify the price. Samyang's should be a lot cheaper.
Samyang has via his Facebook page confirmed that they work with a 24mm tilt / shift lens. According to the company is their first perspective control lens is expected to reach the market in summer 2012.

5 Things You Should Know About the Canon C300 | Filmtools | Vimeo
A 7 minute video from Jim Martin of Filmtools that covers: Lenses, Form Factor, Image Quality, Operation Costs, and Production Costs.

BTS on the Keith Urban “Act of Valor” Music Video | Shane Hurlbut
| Hurlbut Visuals
Music video shoot Behind the Scenes with C300 and Alexa:
When Scotty and I discussed the look and feel of the video, we immediately looked at each other and said, "anamorphic on mixed platforms." The C300 had just come out, and we wanted to use this tool in Man Cam mode to resemble the shooting style of the film, as well as the Arri Alexa with C series Anamorphics.

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Hired | How To Film School
Some things not to do, along with other tips once you have the job:
How to ensure you get the call:
Work hard, be nice and be helpful without stepping on toes
Know your job responsibilities and what you can and can’t do. DO NOT speak on behalf of anyone or over anyone.
DO NOT consume drugs or alcohol on set! Know your limits and try not to go out and party when you have to work the next day.

Bite Your Tongue | DOLLYGRIPPERY
Dealing with difficult people:
While I'm a firm believer in knowing where you stand in the whole pyramid structure of the film crew, I also am not very good at being treated like a tool rather than a technician (see previous post). There are times when you just have to bite your tongue. Dealing with an inexperienced or attitude challenged camera operator can be trying, and sooner or later you will reach a point of saying, "Enough's enough."

The (Insert Any Camera Here) Debate | Jon Connor | Shoot Edit Learn
With NAB coming up, here's a look at the different types of articles and writers:
The Pixel Peeper is only concerned with the (insert any spec here). No matter what (insert any camera here) can do. They are just here to remind us all of the various (insert any specs here) that the camera is lacking. Think “rain on the parade” or “wet blanket” but way nerdier and more annoying.

Which After Effects Glow Plug-in should I get? | Michele Yamazaki | Toolfram
A small excerpt from the book Plug-in to After Effects: Third Party Plug-in Mastery:
Question: Hi, I have CS5 Production Bundle (PPro + AE, etc). I am looking for a 'Glow' plugin that is SIMILAR to the Sapphire Effect: "GLOW" That ideally I can purchase separately or in a SMALL bundle? I can't justify $1600 even if the other effects are I just never used them. ANY products you can suggest?

Nattress launch their $49 pack of Film Transitions for Final Cut Pro | FCP.Co
A plug-in for Final Cut Pro, Motion and After Effects:
Jumpy Splice simulates the effect of film jumping out of the projector's registration sprockets at the point of a tape splice. Choose from 35mm, 16mm, 8mm and Super8 style film!
Burn Through mimics the melting and burning of the film image when the film jams in the projector and gets roasted by the projector lamp. Select from several different burn styles, or create and load your own!

Name That Stage – Identifying the Progress of Your Edit | Richard Harrington
The four stages of an edit (there's just four?!)
Assembly: The goal of the Assembly Edit is to simply strong the right clips the the right order. Initial selections are made and the goal is to quickly create an edit that can be watched. This may be called a “radio edit”, meaning that it is meant to be listened to more than actually watched. The objective is to get an idea of how long the video is running and get quick reactions from the stakeholders on how to approach the project.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Quick Links

First day with the Canon EOS C300 | Paul Joy | Blog
Paul explores his new camera and discovers how to customize some of the operational functions:
I use special modes like over cranking and interval record a lot and it’s always nice to have a quick peep at the clip you just recorded once the completed. If you’re in a special mode on the C300 though the rec/review button doesn’t function and an “invalid operation” error appears on the LCD. The only way to use the rec/review button is to disable the special mode first. That’s just a bit annoying and I’m sure could be fixed in the software.

Priorities & Differences: Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D MkIII | Mike Curtis
| Pro Photo Coalition
A comparison of these two new cameras, primarily for the still photographer, though video functions are mentioned:
I don’t see any possible way for the 5D Mark III to do anything but best the D800 in low light performance, and it could easily be over a stop of difference between the two. Time will tell. Or actually, DXOmark will. Get on it, lads.

Canon 5D Mark III – Does More, Costs More | Michael Murie | Filmmaker
I put together this look at the new video features in the 5D Mark III:
It’s important to remember that there’s one thing the Mark III has that none of the large-sensor video cameras have; that full-size 35mm chip; The C300 and the Sony’s all use Super35 (similar to APS-C) sized chips. Is the larger chip a good thing? It makes your lenses wider and your depth of field shallower. Some people like that – others think it can be too extreme – but it’s one difference the Mark III will continue to have over most of the competition.

GH2 is only true 1080P 'DSLR' | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew argues that the Panasonic GH2 is the only (current) DSLR that really does 1080p; other cameras may claim to do it, but the resolution in the video itself is closer to 720p footage. This image contains sections of stills from 1080p footage taken with the GH2 and Canon 5DII compared to a 5DII still and a GH2 720p frame. Note: The 5D Mark III should do better!

8K Sony F65 Video Walkthrough | Daniel Gurzi | Adorama
Adorama Rental’s Director of Digital Cinema, Daniel Gurzi, does some video walkthrough of the Sony F65:
4. Rear Deck
Topics covered include:
deck control, time code control, level control, XLR inputs, shutter sync

The first lightweight rigs for Scarlet-X and C300 are here | Cinema5D
Specs of the Zacuto Recoil rig which is specially configured for the Canon C300 and RED Scarlet:
If you're looking for lightweight and affordable Zacuto now brings a solution that is looking really good. They're selling their new "Recoil" handheld rig package for $1375 (excluding the viewfinder and viewfinder mount).

The good thing about it is not only its lightweight and simple design, but also that it can be used for the Scarlet-X AND the C300.

Don't Get Crushed By the Online Video Boom | Chris Potter | Screenlight
Online video may be booming, but things don't look so good for video production houses:
According to a 2011 report by the IBISWorld, the U.S. post-production industry is on the path to extinction, along with much larger industries like wired telecommunications, mills, and newspaper publishing. IBIS reports that revenue in the $4.3 billion post-production industry decreased by 25% between 2000-2010, and it projects that revenue will decline by 11% between 2010-2016.

How to add film grain using Rgrain and Premiere Pro CS5 | Rgrain | Vimeo
A short look at using this grain plug-in:
This tutorial demonstrates how to use Rgrain's film grain plates with Premiere Pro CS5. It works the same way with prior versions of Premiere Pro but might not be real-time without the Mercury Playback Engine.

The Rgrain plate used in this demo is the 35mm 500T and the film grain is lowered to 45% of opacity. This creates a very organic image and removes the digital "plastic" look. Subtle but very effective.

Avid Readies for a Brave New World | Kirk Arnold | Creative COW
Kirk Arnold, Avid Executive Vice President/COO talks about Avid...and Apple:
With regard to the recent move of editors from Apple Final Cut Pro to Avid Media Composer, the reality is that Apple is a great partner of ours and we have a very strong commitment to support the Mac client as a primary client. We respect Apple as a competitor and partner. Our conversations with customers are not negatively infused; many of them remain committed to Apple workstations, phones and so on and we will continue to work closely with Apple on many fronts.

Raiding The Lost Ark: A Filmumentary By Jamie Benning | jambe davdar | Vimeo
An almost two and a half hour long behind-the-scenes/making of documentary that appears to have been made as a "non-profit" venture by a film buff; though I think the copyright issues could keep lawyers busy for years...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Quick Links

Canon 5D Mark III Full-Frame 22MP, 6 FPS, HDR | Ken Rockwell
A look at some of the features in the 5D Mark III, primarily from the still photographer's perspective:
The defective rear power switch lever that used to knock itself to OFF all the time has been put where it belongs, on the top of the camera.

1987's Canon EOS 650 had this correct with the switch on top; I'm unsure why Canon ever botched this on most of their now-obsolete DSLRs.

Extent of rolling shutter reduction on 5D Mark III | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
The original video has now been removed, but Andrew looked at this comparison between the 5D Mark II and III and says the III reduced rolling shutter by half:
The 5D Mark III is a (expensive) refinement of a great cinema camera. As we know, ISO performance is almost clean at ISO 3200, and much improved at 6400 and 12,800. Aliasing and moire are reduced. There’s less false detail. The codec is fixed big time. HDMI no longer drops to 540p and so is much better for monitoring.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III questions | Planet 5D
Some questions are answered by Canon's Chuck Westfall:
Q: I’m curious about the move up to 22.3 mp – it isn’t that much of a move from 21.9… so why change at all?
CW: There were several considerations, but the biggest one had to do with the substantial improvement of video quality along with overall image quality.

Welcome to Pahrump Nevada - C300 selects | Mike Collins | Vimeo
Nice shots in the desert with the Canon C300:
A quick assembly of shots from last weekend's shoot in Pahrump Nevada, roughly an hour from Las Vegas on the way to Death Valley. Shot on the C300 with the Sigma 30mm lens. Graded in Magic Bullet Looks.

CineGrain: A Film Grain ‘Plug-In’ In Your Pocket | Patrick Inhofer | Tao of Color
Patrick has put together a 43 minute video for this film grain tutorial:
I’ve recorded an extensive Video Review and Tutorial on Cinegrain. I’ll show you what they’re selling and then take you through how to use it in Final Cut 10 (using Overlay Modes and manipulating the Color Board to customize the ‘Look’ of the grain)… and then I’ll do the same thing in DaVinci Resolve (using the footage both with Composite Modes and as an External Key). At the end of the video I’ll let you know if I think this product is a good buy for the money.

Is Converting a Photo Zoom the Answer? | Den Lennie | Blog
A look at converting a Canon 70-200mm lens to a cinema lens for the NEX-FS100. Ultimately, it's a costly conversion that has several drawbacks, but, as he notes, there aren't many other choices:
The other main concern is that when focussing at the long end of the focal length ther's still not enough real estate to pull focus effectively. So while the physical mod helps it still only partly solves the issue.

TV News Shooters Can Turn Their Hand To More Than Just News | Rick Macomber | DSLR News Shooter
TV News shooter Rick Macomber talks about converting from news to DSLR shooting, and how shooting with a DSLR effects his news shooting style:
I think differently these days. When I shoot news with a broadcast camera now I place my subjects much further away from the lens. I zoom in as much as possible. I use the shutter; the ND filters – anything I can to cut down the amount of light getting in so I can shoot wide open and fool the camera into giving me shallow depth of field. And I light so it looks as though it was lit by Mother Nature. Minimal but adequate so I have just enough light to make my image LOOK like film – even though it’s TV.

Guest Post By: Roman M France On New Cameras And Lighting | Roman M. France
| Wide Open Camera
Continuing their it's-not-about-the-gear series of posts at Wide Open Camera, some thoughts on lighting:
What separates the amateur DP from the Hollywood DP? Gear? Sure. We can’t afford to take 30 18Ks to the depths of the desert like my man Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, but it’s also knowledge. Lighting can make or break your film. Lighting sets the tone and adds another layer to storytelling. Knowing where to place your lights and more importantly WHY to place them there is everything. What’s the conflict in the scene? What’s really going on? What’s the tone of the scene?

Shoot It! Hollywood Inc and the Rising of Independent Film | to 411 Daily
Director Gus Van Sant is one of numerous directors and filmmakers Spaner interviews for his new book Shoot It!: Hollywood Inc. and the Rising of Independent Film:
In a surprisingly candid interview, he told author David Spaner that he’s looking to go digital to make no-budget films outside of Hollywood. He’s come to realize that the dumbing down occurs everywhere in the industry in the U.S., even with smaller film companies because everyone has learned their craft with the big studios.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Quick Links

Canon Announces EOS 5D3 DSLR Camera | Glidetrack | Blog
Interesting description of the Canon 5D3 as a stop-gap before the 1DX arrives (I don't think that's how Canon imagined it):
A few of the new features mentioned above have been borrowed from the EOS – 1D X so you need to decide whether you want this puppy now or wait until the end of April (if we’re lucky) for the 1D X. There is no point in forking out $10,000 for two cameras that are going to have the same specifications and features. The new shooter looks really similar to the current 5D II model but on closer inspection there are a few subtle changes – improved weather sealing, adjustments to the buttons and tweaks to the info display on the back.

My thoughts on the new Canon 5D mark III | Paul Gwilliams | Blog
Looks at the new features in the 5D3:
MoirĂ©, aliasing and rolling shutter: Those dreaded three things that have plagued DSLR’s ever since their inception are apparently much improved on the 5d3 – I’ll reserve my judgement until I actually get to shoot with the camera but 
looking at the 5D3 promo videos (linked below) some of the surfaces that are well known to produce moirĂ© – dogtooth and mesh – seem to be free from those strobing lines.

Hands-on with the Canon 5D Mark III video mode | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew was able to briefly try out the 5D Mark III at the Focus On Imaging show in the UK:
The first thing I did was to link up my Zacuto EVF. The output of the 5D Mark III is indeed only 720p and not full HD, and it isn’t clean of overlays – nor can it be made so with the pre-release firmware. Bear that in mind – key word is pre-release and HDMI may improve with the final release, although such a fundamental change is very unlikely.

Everything You Wanted to Know about the New Canon EOS 5D Mark III, But Were Afraid to Ask | Cameratown
Not sure this is everything, but it's a lot of things:
The body of the 5D Mark is now more rugged and water resistant. Not as much as their pro 1D X, but at least it's now able to withstand humid environments, much better than the previous 5DMKII.

It is also thought that Canon increased the sensor by 1-megapixel in order to improve the video 'downscaling' image quality, since 1920x1080 (1080p) is an exact multiple of the new 22-megapixel sensor.

Manfrotto to Launch the World's First True Electronic Follow-Focus Remote Controls for Canon HDSLR’s | Cameratown
Cameratown get's into their time machine and comes back from April 12 2012 with information about electronic follow-focus controls for Canon HDSLRs from Manfrotto:
Manfrotto’s new remote controls circumvent the need for any physical, hardware interface between follow-focus system and the camera lens, and instead wire directly into the camera body to use its internal focus control systems. The advantages are obvious: lenses can be swapped easily, no extra hardware or adjustment is required, nothing and no-one moves the camera unexpectedly during follow-focus, one-man camera operation is easier and control at a distance is as simple as extending the cable between the camera and the remote.

Why I Love The Canon C300 | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
Dan explains why he likes the C300 over the PMW-F3 and other camera choices:
The C300 solves this problem by shooting BBC approved 50Mbps HD footage directly to its onboard CF cards. My Sony F3 can shoot beautiful 50Mbps footage too, but I need to add an external Prores recorder like the KiPro mini and that adds weight, bulk and extra cables. The advantage of the C300 is that does so without sacrificing the quick and nimble shooting style I have become accustomed to with DSLR video – you can handhold the C300 easily enough and it feels like an overgrown 5D mkII in the hand.

Canon C300 vs 7D by Pro Motion Hire | YouTube
A nicely put together video comparing the C300 to the Canon 7D (remember that camera?) an interesting choice; though as they point out, these two cameras have the same sensor size:
In this video we look at the new Canon C300, and how it tackles some of the major issues with Canon DSLR cameras in a real shoot situation. We chose to test it against the 7d as they both share a similar sensor size. Please be aware some shots may be affected by compression for the internet.

Shooting Act of Valor Q & A | Shane Hurlbut | Blog
Shane answers some questions from Twitter and Facebook about the making of this movie:
Q: How much of the film was shot on the Canon 5D Mark II?
A: 70% 5D, 20% film, and 5% F950 for aerials.

Q: How much of the film was lit with natural lighting?
A: 60% natural light.

Final Cut Pro X: Do the features tell us anything about the target market?
| Philip Hodgetts | Blog
Philip argues that Apple's recent updates to FCPX suggest Apple is interested in the professional market:
That’s only five features from FCP X, but those five alone clearly define FCP X’s target (and suitability) as being for those who edit professionally, and at a high level of production complexity and quality. Why would Apple have invested in these features if FCP X was only for “YouTube videos” and “prosumers” (whatever that term may mean)?

FCP X: Create a Backtime Edit | Larry Jordan | Blog
Another tip on editing in Final Cut Pro X:
Sometimes, you need to edit a clip into the Timeline based upon the Out, not the In — think sports highlights – where you care more about the moment when the runner crosses the goal than where the run started. This type of edit is called a “back-time edit;” because it edits from the “back” of a clip.

Second City Communications [PDF] | Adobe
A background paper from Adobe explaining how Second City Communications went from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Creative Suite Pro:
For example, a long-term client requested a refresh of a project edited in Final Cut Pro 7. The team decided to import the Final Cut Pro 7 project into Adobe Premiere Pro and found that everything transitioned exactly how it was cut. They were able to easily add in the new footage and save the project in the updated format.

Cinematography Is A Frame Of Mind. Not A Specific Camera | Jared Abrams
| Wide Open Camera
This is not a new argument, but Jared keeps fighting the good fixation-with-gear fight:
Canon has a great marketing team. They did a fantastic job selling the new 5D3. I want one! However I do not think in any way that the new 5D3, C300, C EOS, Scarlet or Arri Alexa will make me a better cinematographer. Cinematography is a frame of mind, not a stupid camera. That is why it is considered to be a craft and not art.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Philip Hodgetts on Final Cut Pro X

At a recent Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting, Philip Hodgetts talked about meta data, the latest update to Final Cut Pro X, and demoed his utility 7toX for Final Cut Pro, which lets you take Final Cut Pro 7 projects across to Final Cut Pro X.

7toX for Final Cut Pro
Philip started out by demoing the conversion of an existing Final Cut Pro 7 sequence to Final Cut Pro X. To do the export you go to the menu item File>Export>XML, and you can choose to send the entire project, or just a Sequence. Both are converted to an Event in Final Cut Pro X, and the Sequence appears as a Compound clip in the Event. He explained:
The reason it's a Compound Clip is because in the current version of FCPX, if we send it an Event and a Project, it doesn't know that they are associated. It's a limitation of the way the XML is currently expressed. We have some positive signs that Apple has listened to the need and in a future version we'll be able to send it a version that has both Events and Projects.
In the mean time, he says, this works a lot like FCP7 anyway: when you open the Compound Clip you have the Sequence: "Compound Clips are really undersold in my opinion; they are a really useful tool to build pre-edits [and] keep edits within an Event."

He also pointed out that the example sequence contained some PCT files, but Final Cut Pro X does not support PCT files:
PCT files are part of the old QuickDraw image world that we have left behind. FCPX is not based on QuickTime anymore, it is based on AV Foundation.
Yet after running the conversion - which took a few minutes to do - the resulting Compound clip contained the images; the tool actually converts them to TIF files.

There are some thing they can't translate such as Motion Projects; to convert those you should import Motion 4 projects into Motion 5 and then publish them to FCPX and replace them. If 7toX can't convert something, it tells you; "We are completely transparent in our reporting," he explains; anywhere they make a change from the FCP7 sequence, they tell you what it has done.

"It's not a perfect translation, but it's a damn good translation," he said.
Richard Townhill (Apple senior director of applications marketing) has been quoted as saying "it's impossible to do this translation." In fact, what he said was, "it's impossible to do this translation with perfect fidelity." Is it exactly the same as in Final Cut Pro 7? No Partly because of limitations with FCPX XML right now, such as we don't have any way of sending it settings for transitions or filters that we apply. But we do translate over 30 transitions and 70 filters.
Philip also pointed out that Bins are reproduced as keyword collections, and track assignments are translated into Roles, which, according to Philip "are the appropriate way to do that in Final Cut Pro X."

He also explained the basics of Final Cut Pro X:
What is an Event? Apple in their wisdom decided to change the terminology. What we used to call a Project, which was our media and our bins and our sequences, has been converted into two completely independent things. We have our media store, which is called an Event, and then we have Projects, which are really just sequences. It draws media from Events, but it has it's own identity.
7toX does some interesting things when recreating the sequence; it creates secondary storylines when it sees contiguous clips in a track:
Notice that we have several secondary storylines because we have tried to read the mind of the FCP7 editor and made the assumption that if there are contiguous clips in a track, then that is probably the intent of a secondary storyline in FCPX, so we made that translation for you. We honor all of the scaling and positioning that is in FCPX.

Final Cut Pro X
After completing the demo of 7toX, Philip made some comments about the latest release of Final Cut Pro X, and on the future of FCPX: "I think they [Apple] are on a path where we'll see regular updates, and we'll see it filled out regularly." He also talked about whether Apple will actually add support inside Final Cut Pro X to open FCP7 files sometime in the future:
We [built this] with a very large amount of cooperation from Apple. I think it is very fair and very reasonable to say that this is Apple's solution for translating from 7 to X. It's not something that they didn't do, it's something they decided to do with a third party who had the expertise. The people on the team are currently working in FCPX XML and the people who worked on FCP7 are no longer in that part of the company.
On the latest release of Final Cut Pro X itself, Philip likes the new Clip Skimming, which solo's the layer you are skimming, as well as the support for layered Photoshop files, which let's you separate out an view the separate layers of the file. He'd like to be able use the skimmer feature inside layers.

He suspects that the Enhanced Keyer is good, though he noted that he hadn't really been able to test it as the existing keyer is so good:
I went through all my green and blue screen material, and I cannot find any material that I've got that requires the new features in the Keyer. Not because the new keyer is bad, but because the old keyer was so good.
Philip clearly thinks the new multi-cam feature was worth waiting for. He had said that he thought Apple was delaying multi-cam until the point where they could make it idiot proof, but "You can't make something idiot proof; they are very resourceful." He does think "they have made it a whole lot easier."

The new multi-cam feature improves on the previous version not just because you no longer have to having matching formats and tight control points, but because it will perform a synch using either audio or other metadata, and it provides the option to adjust the angles without having to remake the clip. You can choose which track to take the audio from, and you can have an audio-only track as a source. On the audio synching feature he noted: "Bruce Sharp at Plural Eyes showed us the way, and Apple has borrowed from the best."

Philip said that he likes the fact that Apple didn't talk about everything they did; "Apple will only ever point to three things in any major release." You now have the ability to re-link an Event file. He also showed the backup file which Final Cut Pro X now saves automatically every fifteen minutes "It'll offer you the choice of opening the backup if the file is corrupt." He did not recommend using the backup for version control as there's only one copy and it's overwritten. Instead, you can duplicate your project. For Collaboration he said that "as long as the person has the media, has the event, you can send them just the Project."

iTunes: 7toX for Final Cut Pro - Assisted Editing

Monday, March 05, 2012

Yanobox Moods - easy color grading

Let's be clear; while I have aspirations to color grading, I'm still a novice. I've worked with the Three-way Color Corrector in Final Cut Pro 7 for quite some time; with varying success. I've also played a bit with the new color correction tool in Final Cut Pro X, and though it's different, it didn't make me feel like I could do much of a better job.

So I'm always interested in tools that might make color correction simpler, or easier. Enter Moods from Yanobox, a color grading plug-in that works in Final Cut Pro X, Motion and After Effects. I tried it out on Final Cut Pro X, and it runs within FxFactory.

To use Moods, choose Yanobox from the Effects list in Final Cut Pro X, and you see Moods, and a collection of Moods Presets. You can either drag the Moods effect onto a clip and then adjust the settings, or you can apply one of the presets to use as a starting point and then adjust any of the settings as you please.

Yanobox Moods applied to a clip in Final Cut Pro X

Moods Effect and Presets

Once applied to a clip, Moods provides a sort of heads-up display on the Project Preview window where you click and drag on each of the color circles to adjust the color in the preview window. Each circle represents a different control; brightness, contrast, shadows, mid tones, etc. The clip has to be selected in the Project for the editing controls to be available. You can also adjust the controls while in full screen mode, again, as long as the clip is currently selected in the Project.

When getting started - or if you don't use Moods that frequently - you'll probably want to use the Help Card option. This displays large circles above the color circles to tell you what the different options do. Visually it fits the interface of the software, but it also covers up quite a bit of the image. I think just displaying a label under (or over) the circle would be enough.

The Yanobox Moods controls, here displayed in the regular window, 
but they are also visible and manipulatable in Full Screen mode.
The Compare handle has been dragged into the center of the screen,
the left-hand side of the image shows "before" while the
right-hand side shows "after" color correction.

Adjusting parameters for Moods.

In addition to hiding the Help, you can also turn off the circles themselves by turning off Display Overlays. This leaves just the control points to click and drag. Finally, the Compare Handle can be moved to divide the display into before- and after-views of the image adjustment.

The color wheels don't do all of the adjustments; there are some options that are adjusted in the Effects settings panel, including four strength sliders and the ability to switch between a Classic and Punchy Mode, the latter increases contrast.

One odd thing I noticed; pressing Command-Shift 3 (to make a screen shot) seemed to lose the control handle if it was selected. This did not impact the operation of the filter.

I was quite impressed with how easy it was to adjust the sliders and come up with something pleasing to look at using Moods. Is it better than the Color Adjustment function in Final Cut Pro X? Is it easier? I don't know what I can tell you; it's different. The little color circles is more like working in the Three-way color corrector, which may be why I felt more comfortable with it.

But perhaps the thing I like most about it is the ability to adjust the settings with the image displayed at full screen. For me, I think that attracts me more than anything.

Yanobox: Moods [you can download a free trial]
Noise Industries: FxFactory

Note: Noise Industries provided me with a copy of the program for this review.

Quick Links

Astonishing Canon 5D Mark III ISO 12,800 video | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
A sample video posted on Vimeo compares the 5D Mark II and III and appears to show a big reduction in noise (sample frames are posted on the EOSHD site):
Here is a shot from Japan which was shot with both the 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III (with beta firmware) by a camera reviewer. The cleanness and lack of noise is something quite remarkable.

Are we in for a incredible low light treat – a truly ground breaking camera?
For official samples of still images and videos: Canon 5D Mark III samples image & movies | Canon Japan

Tascam DR-100 mkII vs Zoom H4n Review | Paul Joy
A comparison between the Tascam DR-100 [$269] and the Zoom H4n. Price is about the same, so as Paul notes, it really comes down to features, and while the DR-100 mostly comes out ahead in that area, he did note a troubling problem with sync between the DR-100's audio and audio recorded on other devices:
Design wise there’s a few things that that DR-100 mkII offers that sets it above the H4n. Things like the proper metal push-locks on the XLR connectors and better quality switches go a long way to making this unit feel more professional. There’s a nice rotary selector wheel on the front that works like the early iPods which makes using the UI a pleasure. The UI itself again looks a little dated but it works well. The LCD is much higher in resolution than the H4n’s allowing a lot more information about settings and modes to be displayed.

Rethinking NLE design II | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
A rethink of Final Cut Pro X:
The basic timeline unit in FCP X is the Primary Storyline, which forms the “spine” of a piece. If you are familiar with editing soundbite-driven projects, like documentaries or news stories, then you are probably already working the way FCP X “thinks”. For example, many editors cut these pieces by building up the story with a string of soundbites – pictures on V1 and corresponding audio on A1/A2. This is commonly called building a “radio cut” or the “A-roll” first. To this, they’ll add “B-roll” cutaway shots onto V2.

Premiere Pro: Using the Waveform monitor | Richard Harrington
For those using Premiere Pro, a look at the Waveform Monitor:
This Premiere Pro tutorial titled Using the Waveform Monitor is from chapter one of the Fixing Video Exposure Problems in Premiere Pro course presented by author Rich Harrington. This specific tutorial describes how to evaluate images through a Waveform monitor that helps us accurately read the exposure of an image. The complete 1 hour and 14-minute long Fixing Video Exposure Problems in Premiere Pro course provides an explanation for the popular phrase "fix it in post" and explores various methods for fixing exposure problems in video footage.

A better housing for your GoPro: HEADCASEpro | Daniel Freytag
A Kickstarter campaign to produce a a rugged case for the GoPro:
The HEADCASEpro is an ultra lightweight case machined from a single piece of billet aluminum with a rock-solid stainless steel door latch, rubber buttons & cable port inserts, front & rear windows, and removable screw-on protective lens rings with a rubber cap and filter threads.

He is creating those thing using a KickStarter project. For a pledge of $328 or more you'll get a HEADCASEpro unit. For $100 you'll also get a HEADGEAR.

New Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO Audio Adapter For DSLR Cameras | Cinescopophilia
Features and pics of a new audio adapter designed for SLRs, the Beachtek DXA-SLR Pro HDSLR Audio Adapter [$449]:
The Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO adapter is an all new design with many enhanced features over the older DXA-SLR model. The Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO provides a high performance front end to connect virtually any professional microphone and other audio gear to these cameras for superior audio. This enables the DSLR shooter to record professional audio directly to the camera without the need for a third party audio recording device, or having to sync the audio in post production.

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a visionary artist and such a humble man. Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph's fabulous illustrations and say, 'Do it like this.'"

Portable EntertainmentHome EntertainmentComputersCamcorders
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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Canon WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter Manual

The user manual for the Canon WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter has appeared on the net and is available here: [PDF]

Philip Johnston at HD Warrior posted a short article about using it last week: Testing the Canon WFT-E6 Wi-Fi dongle with the C300 (Updated)
Downside is the slight delay in picture reaching the iPad it updates about 1fps, Tudor has asked if this could be used as a directors hand held remote monitor, yes if he or she is only using it for composition, shot length etc. Lip sync or moving shots…no ! I will ask Canon if the lag can be improved upon.

B & H lists the Canon WFT-E6A Wireless Transmitter (note the "A") for $499, and only mentions the EOS-1D X, though I think it's the same one that works with the C300.

And the 5D Mark II now lists at $2,199.

Quick Links

A Week With The Canon C300 | Alister Chapman | XDCAM-User
Alister gives his opinion of the Canon C300. He notes a number of pluses, particularly the image quality it produces without the need for an external recorder; the Sony PMW-F3 does a bit better, but only when using an external recorder, which isn't as convenient when shooting mobile. He also finds that while the LCD panel on the C300 is better, he thinks the top handle is large and bulky:
However…. The F3 still IMHO produces a marginally better image and generally I prefer the F3′s ergonomics, especially on a tripod or shoulder rig. If you don’t need 50Mb/s then the F3 is excellent. If you need high end performance, squeezing every last bit out of the image, the F3 is better than the C300 IMHO, largely down to the 10 bit output and flatter log curve.

NEX-FS100U and NEX-FS100UK Firmware Upgrade [coming] | Sony Europe
Sony Europe says the firmware update for the NEX-FS100 is coming March 22:
  1. Added 50Hz recording system (PAL): 1920x1080 50p, 50i, 25p and 1280x720 50p.
  2. Camera Profile (camera settings can be saved to and loaded from a memory card).
  3. Additional 4x and 8x Expanded Focus magnification: (with user selectable focus area).
  4. Selectable ISO or GAIN sensitivity display.
  5. Selectable Focus indication in FEET or METERS (E-mount lens only).
  6. Selectable Shutter indication as EXPOSURE TIME or SHUTTER ANGLE.
  7. Added the following Aspect-Ratio markers: 2.35:1, 1.85:1 and 1.66:1.
  8. Display ON/OFF button enables Zebra and/or Histogram overlay onto video output.
  9. Compatible with the new A-Mount to E-Mount adaptor, model LA-EA2. One push Auto-IRIS and continuous 15-point, Phase-Detection Auto-Focus operation with most Alpha A-Mount lenses is available. Lens metadata is displayed onscreen and stored real-time to image file.

Sony E 50mm f1.8 OSS Lens Test Video | Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
The $300 Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8 Lens doesn't get rave reviews for video work:
The manual focus is like waiting for a bus and the OSS is very quiet but does not perform as well as expected. The Sony 50mm f1.8 is fast and fairly sharp and will work well in a locked off position. However, I cannot recommend it for hand held video work. It’s just not there yet.

EL SKID: The Last Post | El Skid | Blog
Robin Schmidt (aka El Skid) writes his last DSLR blog post:
Blogging about the exciting infancy of the community and the technology was great fun and I met a ton of interesting people. I also found myself fighting a losing battle against what I perceived as an unwarranted fascination with mediocrity. Some of the new stars of the community I found to be far less talented than their acolytes would have us believe. And this is ultimately why I stopped blogging

The Reel Sounds of Violence | On The Media
This week's episode of the radio show On The Media includes an interesting discussion - with audio examples - of how sound is accentuated in the movies:
Most of us have been lucky enough to never witness someone's innards being spliced out of their body. Or someone's head being smashed into a wall. But in an action or horror film, we often believe that that's what actual violence sounds like. Deep in the Hollywood studios, sound editors have to create these sounds. How do they know what gruesome violence really sounds like? Brooke talks with Slate senior editor Daniel Engber who wrote about the battle between the real and created sound of violence.

PluralEyes for FCPX Review | Tej Babra | Blog
A look at the features and operation of PluralEyes, which is now available for Final Cut Pro X:
Once you have your exported XML file, the next step is to simply import the file into PluralEyes. The software also provides you with several options for adjustments. These include features such as “ level audio” and “replace audio” and “ enable multiprocessing” for faster results. Replace Audio is great for getting rid of the camera audio from your DSLR for instance, and replacing it with the high quality audio from your recorder like the Zoom or Tascam. This is a huge timesaver! Once you have set the desired options, simply hit sync and watch PluralEyes go to work.

Manfrotto gets into the DSLR rig business; no word on price yet:
SYMPLA supports can be assembled, configured and adjusted to a wide range of situations in seconds – all without tools. Every product in the line, from the unique Flexible Matte Box to the innovative Variable Plate, is made of steel and aluminum to withstand the rigors of professional use and meet Manfrotto’s high quality and performance standards. The number of components in the SYMPLA family gives users maximum flexibility and adjustment control with minimum hassle. Like everything Manfrotto makes for professional users, SYMPLA is 100% compatible with other Manfrotto photo and video support products.

Werner Herzog Talks Movie Music, Opera, The Career Of Klaus Kinski & The Humor In His Films At BAM | John Lichman | Indiewire
Notes from a talk by Herzog given after a screening of "The White Diamond"
There were also clips from his short 1974 documentary "The Great Ecstasy Of Woodcarver Steiner," which gave audiences a meta-visual of Herzog providing live translation of himself and attempting to shout over his own voice. From here it led to Herzog talking about the reading list from his infamous Rogue Film School, which includes "The Peregrine" by J.A. Baker, nordic poetry, and the U.S. Warren Commission report, which he describes as "a wonderful and great crime story."