Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quick Links

A look at the Canon EOS M, a little update on the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera and the Sony PMW-200:
Canon this week announced the Canon EOS M, a small camera that takes an APS-C sensor and stuffs it into a smaller body by doing away with the DSLR mirrorbox and using a new lens mount. The EOS M follows a trail blazed by Canon’s competitors — namely Panasonic and Sony. Sony has had a hit with their NEX- series cameras, and obviously Canon has been watching.

July Color Correction | SpliceVine
Patrick Inhofer did a series on color correction this month on Splice Vine, and it's wrapped up with an interview conducted with Patrick:
The BBC documentary, Do You See What I See? and how it was talking about how a banana tends to always look yellow even under different colored lights.
That’s right. Because we imbue meaning to these objects. These are things we see everyday. We interact with them. So, even though we could be looking at grass, just as the sun is setting or looking at it at high noon or heavy cloud cover where the color temperature has moved from red to really blue and the grass always looks green to us.

Video Interview Lighting Techniques with Gels, Dimmers, Flags, Reflectors
| Richard Harrington | Adorama
When preparing for an on-camera, professional interview, it is important to try to get the most out of the lighting you are using. In this episode, Rich Harrington demonstrates how to get the best skin-tone, hair light, and background light by using different light modifying techniques. Learn how to use lighting accessories such as gels, dimmers, flags, reflectors, and cookies to get a great-looking interview.

Canon 5D MK II – Challenges and Solutions | SHane Hurlbut | Blog
How to deal with the limitations of the Canon 5D Mark II:
Challenge #1: Rolling Shutter
If you operate the camera like my son Myles here, you’re probably going to have rolling shutter issues. When you pan like that with this camera, you’re going to get stuff that bends to the side. If you operate the camera like normal and not too erratic, but still you could be action-oriented, you’re probably going to be okay on rolling shutter. Myles, you’re fired.

Building your audience…A discussion between myself, Nick Campbell and Blake Whitman | Philip Bloom | Blog
At last month’s Vimeo Festival I was part of a discussion about this with Vimeo’s Blake Whitman, Post Production whiz Nick Campbell AKA Nick Vegas. You can see the whole thing below so watch it on your sofa on Apple TV or something!

THAT’S SOMETHING I CAN’T DO | Clients from Hell
Amusing example of an editor dealing with a client:
CLIENT: Let’s just make that dissolve a second longer, but keep the timing to the voice over.
ME: I can’t, that’s the end of the clip.
CLIENT: Okay, but a second longer.

A New Dimension of Filmmaking | Robert Weintraub | Slate
How the film business got safer, though also an example of the danger of dictatorial people leading people who are desperate for the work:
At the controls of the helicopter that was “bombing” the village was Dorcey Wingo, an actual Vietnam veteran. Wingo was new to the movie business, so even when the rehearsal explosions that buffeted his chopper scared him witless, he swallowed his concerns, especially as Landis, who had a reputation for being dictatorial on set, screamed expletives into the California night.

Are Americans falling out of love with Hollywood? Cinema attendance plummets to 25-year low | BETH STEBNER | Daily Mail UK
The report, by Goldman Sachs analysts Drew Borst and Fred Krom initiated coverage of movie theatre chains Cinemark Holdings Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, saying that demand in the U.S. has steadily contracted as options for home entertainment improved and that attendance per person hit a 25-year low in 2011.

Pool Shark | John Brawley | Blog
John has been playing with the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera and has posted a few blogs about it:
Exposures were mostly T2.8 or T8 for when I was looking back at the windows. Shooting at ISO800 to ProRes 422 (HQ) in film mode. Post on this was that I pulled the clips into FCPx.
Check his blog for more information about the Blackmagic camera:
I did notice there were some differences in this material. For starters, there’s a few more “jaggies” compared to the first clip I uploaded. Now I’ll put this down to the workflow, because it was all very last minute at DP and we were grading on Baselight.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Adobe CS6 Production Premium at the BOSCPUG: Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s Part 1, here’s the rest of the notes from this week’s Adobe Presentation by Adobe's Al Mooney at the Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting.

Al explained that they had been told that trimming wasn’t very good, so they completely redesigned it.

You can now select an edit point and trim using the keyboard; previously you could only select clips and then trim in the Trim Monitor. Edits can be done by keyboard, or by mouse and you can even select and edit multiple trim points at the same time.

There's a check box in Preferences under Trim that you want to turn on: "Allow Selection tool to choose Roll and Ripple trims without modifier key." This allows you to choose multiple edit points, and it will also make Premiere choose between modes as you move the cursor left and right over the edit point, "it’s clever, it says 'I think that needs to be a ripple in, that needs to be a roll, that needs to be a ripple out.'"
Turn this parameter on...

Selecting (and adjusting) multiple edit points

Even with Snap enabled, when you scrub around a Timeline, Premiere doesn’t snap to the edit points. Al thinks that’s good, but then added that if you hold down the shift key, it will jump to those points.

He also demoed customizing the transport controls; he added the Loop Playback and Play Around edit buttons. With loop enabled, and pressing Play Around, Premiere constantly plays a range of frames starting just before, and ending just after, the current edit point. The amount it loops is set be preference. And while it’s playing, he used the cursor keys to nudge the edit point. He called this a dynamic timeline trim.

Customizing the transport controls

According to Al, Multcam is very, very, very important:
“I mean, seriously, who in their right mind would release a professional video application without multi-cam?”
The Multi Camera editor in previous versions had two limitations; it supported up to FOUR camera angles and it was difficult to use. They have completely rewritten it and it now supports as many camera angles as you want to try. That being said, don’t try to edit 200 angles…

The Multi-Camera Monitor

Choose the clips, then choose Create Multicam. It will then prompt you to choose the sync method. It will synch based on start points or timecode, but there's no audio  audio waveform synch. If you want to do that, he recommended Pluralize, which sits inside CS6 as a panel.

A MultiCam edited clip

Once the clip has been created, add it to a Timeline, and then choose the Multi-Camera Monitor from the Window menu. You can play and click between the different angles, and the results are saved into the timeline.

Other features:
The Warp Stabilizer is now a native effect in Premiere Pro. It’s not a two-dimensional stabilizer, but works in 3D space, and understands how things are moving in 3D space. It also has Rolling Shutter Repair

Audio: In previous versions, you could not mix audio tracks of different types (mono an stereo) in the same track. They now have a new default audio track called a standard audio track that allows you to freely combine different types. Multi-channel support lets you route audio within the mixer; you can changer the number of output channels to - up to 16 - and then choose which input channels go to which output channels

There’s also a new frame drop indicator.

A small workflow enhancement: to apply an effect to a clip, just select the clip in the timeline and then double-click the effect. You can turn anything that has an alpha channel into an adjustment layer and put a color corrector on it.

Adobe Media Encoder Tip: hide the preview as it takes up some cycles.

Adjustment layers
Adjustment layers can be used to apply an effect to multiple clips displayed in the same frame. As Al said this, there was a rumble of thunder; “wow, even God’s impressed” he quipped.

To add an Adjustment Layer, click on the New Item button at the bottom of the Project panel and choose Adjustment Layer. Add it to the timeline - it will default to the sequence characteristic - and then apply the effect to the Adjustment Layer.

GPU Support and Memory
According to Al, "poor suffering MacBook Pro users" were annoyed because these models had AMD GPU’s that do not run CUDA, "so wouldn’t it be nice if I could leverage the power of the GPU. Wouldn’t that be nice?" He then went on to explain that they did it for this particular confuigration: you need to hhave a 5750/5770 with a minimum gig of RAM.

Al talked about Dynamic Linking between Premiere and After Effects. "Think of Dynamic link as being a tunnel underneath the applications, and all we do is pass video frames between the applications. No import or export or media mangling."

Global Performance Cache: the applications are more intelligent about using memory and sharing what's available. You can see information about this in Premiere's preferences. After Effects even tells you how much memory is being used by each application.

Al then offered to demo either Prelude, or SpeedGrade, and the audience chose SpeedGrade.
“So now you get to see a Premiere Pro Product Manager, not knowing SpeedGrade very well.”
He described SpeedGrade as “a fairly complicated high-end color grading application,” and went on to demo most people’s experience of SpeedGrade: they launch the app, scream “Ugh!” and quit!

Noting that it has lots of support for high-end cameras, like Red etc., he added that some formats that Premiere understands, SpeedGrade does not support natively. This means that you have two workflow choices: If you’re editing something that SpeedGrade understands natively you can do an EDL export. If you’re not, you must use the Export to SpeedGrade option from Premiere. This export to a 10bit file, so you get full color fidelity and all the edit points, but you are exporting to new media.
“It would be wonderful If SpeedGrade supported all the same media that Premiere Pro supports, and that might be a very good idea for the future, but I’m not sure. And even if I was, I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it.”
The Timeline in SpeedGrade is simple, but has one interesting feature; you can have multiple playheads, “which totally blew my mind at first because I couldn’t figure out why; actually it’s pretty obvious; it’s really useful for matching clips.”

The UI is still a little different from Adobe’s other products, and has a bit of a non-OS feel to it. They also intentionally designed the UI of SpeedGrade to not “pop-out” at you. Color grading options that haven't been used are dimmed until you apply them. It is layer based, and you can change the amount of impact that a layer has using the Opacity slider.

You can save corrections as a Look in a Looks directory, and they can be exported and used in other applications, including After Effects and Photoshop.
“So already you’re starting to see the sort of cross-suite integration and that what we are doing goes deeper. We aren’t there yet, and nobody is going to pretend that we are, but we’re definitely getting there.”
“Here’s a tip, this is designed for very subtle color manipulation, that’s what its designed to do. So you might get annoyed when you take a slider up and it really doesn’t go far at all. If you want to do really quick stuff to get a feel for how it works, hold down the shift key, that then puts you in “idiot mode” as the Product Manager likes to call it, and the changes are no longer subtle.”

Q & A

  • Will they support the new MacBook? Saying they can't confirm anything Al agreed it was a nice computer and they'd even just got a couple of them last week...
  • What if you see a red frame in a sequence? If you see a green or red frame that generally means there was an MPEG corruption, though that’s not always the case.
  • If you cancel a render, do you lose everything? Yes. They haven’t fixed that.
  • Do they have a preferred codec? No, "we love them all."
  • Why is Story not in the Suite? That was a business decision.
  • Why are only some MacBooks supported for the Mercury Playback Engine?: For Open CL they only supported certain MacBooks purely from because of testing bandwidth. But, Al stressed that hey worked really hard on the CL architecture. He added thatt "If you look on the internet you might find some bad people who have found a criminal way to get it running on an iMac."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adobe CS6 Production Premium at the BOSCPUG: Part 1

It was a tough room at this weeks Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting, with over half the room putting up there hands when asked who was still using Final Cut Pro 7. But Adobe sent their headliner, Al Mooney, Adobe Product Manager for Premiere Pro, to explain and demo all the new features:

Ladies and gentlemen, The Comedy Styling’s of Al Mooney.
“It’s really nice to be able to say BOSCPUG and not BOSFCPUG; number 1 because BOSFCPUG is almost impossible to pronounce and number 2, you’ve dropped the F, and let’s face it, there’s no F in NLE.
I thought that was going to work, never mind.”
Al proceeded to go through the Creative Production Suite, first highlighting the new tools in the suite including; Story, Prelude and SpeedGrade.
“We are giving you a suite of tools designed to give you a perfect workflow from your very initial idea, all the way through to your final delivery.”
When he asked who had ever used Adobe Story, only a handful of people put up their hands.
“The people of the world said ‘why on earth would you write a script writing tool?” and that’s actually a very good question, as there are some very, very good tools out there.

We value meta data enormously. In modern tapeless production meta data is both the most important and the most annoying thing that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Anything that can help you fuel the creation of meta data with minimal effort and maximum results is useful.

What better source of meta data than the script?”
He noted that ITV in the UK now use Adobe Story for their script production pipeline for the two biggest - and most depressing according to Al - soap operas in the world, Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

Scripts from Story can be embedded inside your media as metadata. In Premiere Pro you can run speech-to-text and then have a time accurate speech track to which you can edit.
“Who here uses OnLocation? (Two people put up there hands.) I’m sorry for your loss.”
OnLocation he explained was designed for tape-based systems, which no one is using anymore. It's now retired to Florida. He talked only briefly about it’s replacement, Prelude, stressing the importance of meta data:
“I like to say, it puts the ‘ta da!’ in meta data.”
“We also have a brand new version of Encore, which is for DVD and Blu-ray, mastering, because after extensive market research we’ve realized that the future is definitely shinny discs.”
He concluded the overview of the Suite with a bit about the features and pricing of the Creative Cloud. I’m not going to repeat that here.

When Al asked how many people had seen Premiere Pro 6, about a third of the room put up their hands. He then gave a brief run down of the history of Premiere, saying that the most important release of Premiere Pro - up until this one - was Premiere Pro 5 because it was a cross platform Windows and Mac application that was natively 64-bit. He explained that they had completely replaced the engine under “the bonnet.”

For this release, they focused on two key areas: user interface as a whole - reducing Chrome i.e. the great unused areas of gray and buttons, to make it easier to focus on what you are doing – and they also focused on improving the experience - the rhythm - of editing. “Making sure that we don’t slow you down.”

Another thing he stressed was that everything is very customizable; if you liked the way 5.5 was laid out, you can switch back to it:
“This is a recurring theme throughout the presentation, if I forget to point it out, it’s very customizable. If you want to go back to being a bit weird and slow; feel free!”
Explaining that they are “very good at integrating with other applications” he said you can move from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro by opening Final Cut Pro 7 and using File > Export> XML, then go to Premiere Pro and use File Import XML. “You don’t have to copy anything.” For Avid users their AAF implementation isn’t as complete as their XML support, but they have a current release in Labs that is better.

A few interesting things:

  • You can hide the Work Area Bar and the Time Ruler Numbers in the Timeline.

  • The Media Browser has been redesigned with a new icon view. He noted that up until CS 5.5, all of the icons defaulted to being 4:3. “We’ve carried out even more extensive market research and we’re fairly confident the future is wide screen.”

  • Hover Scrub has been added to the preview icons, but you can turn it off.

  • You can set the In and Out points in the Preview icons.

  • A quick way to identify that a piece of media has been used is a small icon at the bottom right of the preview icon. If it’s yellow, it’s been used. Hover over it and see the number of times it’s been used, or click and see where it’s been used, and you can select the link and it will take you to it.

  • You can now drag a clip to an empty Sequence and it will ask you if you want to change the settings for the Sequence.

  • Noting that many people don’t use the control buttons under the source and program views, Al pointed out that you can hide the controls, or you can completely customize them.

  • Press the tilde key to go to full screen view for any panel, BUT as Al noted, it’s not really “full screen” for playing back your program. They have added a Cinema mode for full screen playback. He demoed it, but didn’t say how to do it. A search of the internet (and help) suggested that Control-accent, then clicking on the Source or Program window would put you into Cinema mode. I couldn’t get it to work for me.

  • One of the things that CS5.5 – and earlier versions - was really, really good at was stopping playback said Al. “It was one of it’s best features, it was brilliant.” For CS6 they added a new feature they call ‘Don’t stop playback.’

In the second half of the presentation, Al went into more depth on Trimming, and also talked about SpeedGrade, the program that most people go "Ahhhhhhh!" when they launch it. Coming up in part 2.

Don’t forget to tip your waitress.
To be continued.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quick Links

Blackmagic Design Acquires Assets of Cintel International | HD Magazine
Some are questioning why Blackmagic would buy a film scanning company, but they do make software for cleaning up film scans, so that's the connection:
This acquisition gives Blackmagic Design the ability to combine our vision and expertise with Cintel technology to provide the best technology for artists using film, more efficient and affordable ways to bring film into a digital workflow and better ways to archive and restore existing archive film worldwide.

Canon EOS M Video Roundup | PetaPixel
Links to some videos from around the web:
It’s been less than 24 hours since Canon announced their first mirrorless camera, and already the Internet is filling up with samples, commercials and hands-on videos for those interested in buying it when it arrives in October. Here’s a video roundup for the new Canon EOS M mirrorless ILC:

Mixing Formats: Arri Alexa, Canon 5D and C300 on a New Mexico DOT Spot
| Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
Shane explains why - and how - these different cameras were used:
We chose to shoot with a mixed format approach with the Arri Alexa, Canon 5D and the C300. I used each format to its advantage. The 5D was used for its shallow depth of field on Macro CU photography. We chose the Leica 60 and 100 macro lenses.
The Alexa was our A camera, shooting all of the graphic wides as well as the medium shots of destruction.

Quick Review: Canon C300 Super35mm LSS Cine Camera | Adam Wilt
| ProVideoCoalition
A look at the first hands-on experience with the camera, and a pros and cons list:
$16,000 seems like a lot of money these days for an 8-bit 1080p LSS camcorder; it’s the same cost as a Scarlet or a PMW-F3, and rather a bit more than the FS100, FS700, or AF100. But that $16,000 is buying you a camera that Just Works: it doesn’t need a lot of accessories to make it usable; its images are crisp, clean, and very appealing; its files are broadcaster-friendly and flow smoothly into post.

F65 Remote Control: Using the F65 Remote iPad App | Juliet Verni | AbelCine
Sony’s F65 Remote app for iPad is a great way to quickly access and change the most useful settings on the F65, including frame rate, shutter angle, and exposure index. In this blog I’m going to give you easy, step-by-step instructions on how to set up both the camera and your iPad’s network settings to connect using Sony’s CBK-WA01 Wi-Fi Adapter.

Budget 4K: The Next ‘New Thing’ | Wayne Cole | Government Video
A little history of 4K and where things stand for "low-end" equipment right now. Interesting to think that the manufacturers have moved to 4K because 3D didn't take off:
However, the common thread is that higher resolution video production seems to be trending to single chip technology instead of the standard three-chip infrastructure that has been accepted as “de rigueur” for professional production. The popularity of DSLR video production has shown that producers seem to prefer higher-resolution single CMOS imagers and access to film-quality glass to multiple, prism-fed charge-coupled devices (CCDs).

Gorropu Aerial shots | Karel | Vimeo
I'd like to know if they used stabilization for this:
Amazing aerial shots of the Gorropu canyon in Sardinia with SONY PMW-F3 camera.

The Meaning Behind Camera Movement! FilmRiot | YouTube
A discussion - with examples - of different kinds of camera moves and when - or  how - to use them to enhance the story.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quick Links

Matching Sony F3 and FS700 | Alister Campbell | XDCAM User
Alister explains how he went about trying to match footage from the Sony PMW-F3 with footage from the NEX-FS700:
So once I had a neutral starting point on the F3 I then turned to the FS700 which I think is very blue. The matrix settings on the FS700 are quite limited so I wasn’t able to get an exact match to the F3, however the setting I came up with get them close enough for most jobs, it’s not perfect but it will do.

Why Short-Form Video Is The Future Of Marketing | Kerrin Sheldon
| Fast Company
Study after study after study shows that more people are using the internet to consume video. In April 2012, ComScore reported that the average viewer watched nearly 22 hours of video in a single month. Most likely, those 22 hours were broken into many short-form videos, each being watched for just a few minutes at a time.

Encoding for YouTube: How to Get the Best Results | Jan Ozer | Streaming Media
Telestream Episode product manager Kevin Louden started by noting that YouTube re-encodes all video uploaded to the site, which has several implications. First, don't try to match YouTube's output so it won't re-encode your video; it always re-encodes. Second, your job is to provide the highest possible quality file to YouTube, since, as we all know, video is a garbage-in/garbage out medium. The higher the input quality, the higher the output quality.

What Is the Impact of Compression? |
This first part of the course appears to be viewable for free, with Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman.

Keep Yourself Copyright Legal | Larry Jordan | Blog
This is interesting. If you've every used a piece of music from Apple's Soundtrack Pro, then been surprised when it comes up with copyright claimed by another party when uploaded to YouTube, this explains why:
In royalty-free music, the composer sometimes licenses the music to a variety of different companies. In this instance, YouTube’s Content ID recognizes that the music is copyrighted, but has no ability to recognize where the track came from. In other words, you can be the legal purchaser of royalty-free music, with a license to use it in your production, and YouTube will flag this as a copyright violation.

Canon’s First Mirrorless Camera, the EOS M | Bjorn Petersen | B & H Photo Video
The Canon mirrorless camera has been announced, and you can see the details for the camera in this article, or at B & H's product page: EOS-M Digital Camera with EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Lens - Black [$799.99]
The most significant technology the EOS M supports in relation to video recording is the Movie Servo AF system, providing continuous focusing and full-time subject tracking while recording. This focusing mode is further benefited by the use of an STM lens with an integrated stepping motor. Aside from quick and precise focusing, the stepping motor is also incredibly quiet while acquiring focus, which is something especially necessary for recording the highest quality video.
If you want to use your regular EOS lenses, you'll have to buy this adapter: Canon EF-M Lens Adapter Kit for Canon EF / EF-S Lenses [$199.99]
It is fully compatible with all lens functions, including image stabilization and autofocus. A detachable tripod adapter provides support for longer Canon lenses

Canon EOS-M Video Demo And Specifications | Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
The specifications on the new Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera are out. The new mirrorless system will indeed have a proper APS-C sized sensor and a few other bells and whistles noted in the press release from BH Photo. I think this will be a great addition to the current Canon line up.

Canon EOS M | Stu Maschwitz | Prolost
I’m pre-ordering this one. I always like to have a nice, little camera, and I figure I’ve got until October to change my mind.

More Coverage of the Canon EOS M | CanonRumors
CanonRumors collects together a couple of articles from CNet, and Digital Camera Info:
Its similarity to the Canon T4i is going to make for some tough buying decisions for many people in the sub-$1000 camera market; for just $799.99 this October, you can likely get all of the T4i’s performance in a smaller package.

| Filmmaker Magazine
I first met Brandon almost a year ago at the Great Lens Shoot Out, and he'd just got his Sony NEX-FS100, so I was interested to catch up with him and see what he thought of the camera after a year:
Vincent: For handheld work I am using a Tamrom 17-50 2.8, which has been a really nice versatile lens. And then I’ve got an old 20-35 2.8 Nikon that’s a pretty good wide angle. It’s not as versatile as the other lens, but it’s very sharp and it’s got a great picture. And then for my telephoto, I’ve got a Tamron 70-200.

One year later: Sachtler Ace M - Still worth the money? | Daniel Freytag | Blog
Keeping a theme going, Daniel updates on his experience with the Ace M tripod:
While shooting with the Sachtler Ace you'll also notice those small helpful details such as the extra long base plate. The Sachtler Ace fluid head is simply the best in its price range! Of course the Cine or Video series from Sachtler are a step better but actually one FSB-6 fluid head cost more than twice as much as the whole Ace system!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Switching to Premiere Pro: Day 1: Prelude to a fall

I first used Premiere back when it was Premiere 1.0, and 320x240 video at 15 frames per second was pretty awesome. I stuck with the program up through Premiere Pro 1.0, when Adobe stopped Mac development, and though I had Premiere Pro 1.0 for Windows, I switched to Final Cut Pro (which at that point was at version 4.)

I’ve been a happy Final Cut Pro user ever since, and infact I’m still happily editing projects using Final Cut Pro 7. If I convert material to ProRes first, I can edit footage from AVCHD camcorders and H.264 DSLR footage quite comfortably, and really, at the moment that’s the only thing that makes me want to consider switching; saving some time on Log & Transfer.

But Log & Transfer is a known quantity.

I tried Final Cut Pro X, and went back to FCP7, but I’ve continued to evaluate other options.

I’ve had Creative Suite 6 since it came out, yet apart from using Photoshop, have been holding off on diving into it. But last week I was starting a new project and thought it might be worth giving Premiere Pro a try.

And I thought I’d go the whole hog and start with Prelude to import all the content.

Starting with Prelude
I fired up Prelude for the first time, and despite the fact that I’d sat in on a demo - and the fact that it doesn’t really do that much - it still took me longer than I expected to figure things out.

As I saw it, Prelude lets you select clips and do basic trimming, and transfer those clips from the camera – or memory card – to your hard drive. It is that simple, but I didn't find the program so simple.

When I launched the application, it didn’t automatically list the drives and devices that are connected to the computer; first you have to choose Ingest from the File menu to import things.

This opens the Ingest dialog. That does list the drives and devices (in this case a Canon camera attached via USB) that are available.

Clicking on the appropriate drive/device icon doesn’t show you the files either; it shows you the directories in the device. Depending on the camera and the file structure, clicking on that directory opens a list of files. This screen lacks icons the first time, or a preview; which might be fine if you kept track of the tracks you want to import, but otherwise leaves you a bit at see.

BUT, if click on the thumbnails icon (bottom of the screen) it switches to a thumbnail view. Then you wait a few seconds – especially if there are a lot of clips – while it loads them.

Once you get that far, you see little icons and can preview clips that way. But it was only that I had seen in a demo that you can mark the in and out points, that I worked out I could set in and out points by scrubbing and pressing the I and O keys.

I really don't understand why they didn't have a preview window with play controls and the ability to set in and out points.

Setting In and Out Points for a clip

It’s not exactly easy to navigate about a clip, even if you are supposed to only do quick/rough edits here. You can enlarge the thumbnails. Still, there’s no real play commands, but it does at least make it easier to select edit points.

Drag the slider to enlarge the icons

Once you’ve selected the In and Out points (if desired) you then click the check boxes next to the clips you want to transfer.

The next part in the process is selecting where you want to transfer the clips to. This caused me problems the first time because the first time you run the app, there will be no location entered, and you might not realize it! I kept getting an error, and I even added a second destination thinking the first wasn’t really a destination, before I realized I had to click on the blank field and choose a destination.

A destination needs to be entered here

Finally, click Ingest and away you go; it copies the files to your hard drive and adds them to your Prelude project. Once imported, you can then add meta tags to indicate sub clips or flag interesting things, and you can also create a rough cut.

Going to Premiere
How do you go from Prelude to Premiere? That took me a minute. I tried seeing if Premiere would open or import a Prelude Project, but that didn’t work. I then found an export to Premiere menu option. Warning: it’s recommended that you launch Premiere first before you send to Premiere.

Creating A Rough Cut
This also took me a minute to figure out.

You create a Rough Cut in Prelude by first clicking the Rough Cut icon, which creates a separate Timeline sequence. Then drag either clips (or sub clips) into the Rough Cut. You can then select the Rough Cut and send that to Premiere.

Creating a Rough Cut in Prelude

Note: I had a weird issue with the sub clips where it didn’t seem to recognize the sub clip selection when I copied it into a Rough Cut. But later it started working, so I don’t know what’s going on with that.

I also had a problem transferring multiple clips to Premiere the first time I tried it; it hung the computer and I had to quit everything and try again. It worked the second time.

A Rough Cut imported into Premiere

After a bit of playing around with Prelude, I think I’ve figured it out and could actually use it to transfer files and do a rough cut. It didn't encourage me to tag media, rough cutting was rougher than I thought it would be, and stability was a mixed bag.

I’m not too sure that I’m going to do a lot of things in it; meta data seems to be the primary reason for this app, and I know meta data is important for future reuse of content. Unfortunately, most of my material won’t be used again. And that 5% that will? Well it’s just not worth spending so much time logging and documenting everything for those few times I have to go back and find things.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick Links

Dan got to play with the prototype of this Super35 sized sensor video camera:
In my mind there are still question marks about how this camera will perform and only time will tell if it is really as capable as the paper specs promise. Image quality and reliability need to be tested. While the price may be competitive there also needs to be comprehensive global service and backup before I would consider this camera a professional tool. China does not have a history in the digital cinema camera field so I think this company still has a lot to prove.

The End of Final Cut Pro 7?
ronsussman@ronsussman | Twitter
Apple has NOT tested FCP7 (studio 3) for Mountain Lion. This could be the straw that breaks the camels back, so to speak

The Basics - An Introduction to Exposure & Skin Tone | BackMagicUser
A short tutorial on skin tone in DaVinci Resolve:
"Sometimes you may wonder what is the ideal exposure for skin tones. Well here is a color grading tutorial that explains how to set the proper exposure borrowing from the Ansel Adams Zone System. If you are currently running DaVinci Resolve then this will be great exercise on color correction." - Denver Riddle.

Background Extension in After Effects | Tiny Tuts | YouTube
Jesse Rosten at Tiny Tuts says he's going to do a series of short tutorials. Here's one on creating a seamless background:
A few simple ideas on how to get a white seamless look without having a huge space.

Canon EOS-M mirrorless unveiled – Return of the EF-M system | Andrew Reid
Canon to announce a mirrorless camera on Monday?
Canon have an EF mount on the C300, and an EF-S adapter for their mirrorless camera. It now makes zero sense for the C300 or future Cinema EOS cameras aside from the 1D C to have an EF mount.

Canon should do the right thing and fill the massive hole below $15,000 with a EF-M mount C100 circa $5000.
CanonRumors says it has the specs: Canon EOS M Specs. Here's the ones that are video related:
  • Video Servo AF
  • 1920×1080 Video 30p/25p/24p
  • 1280×720 Video 60p/50p
  • MPEG-4, AVC/H.264
  • Adaptor at launch for EF lenses

The executive producer of the show talks about producing it using DSLRs:
Traveling around the world - in this case China, India, Russia and Brazil - forced some special preparation. The locations were tough on the cameras – from extreme heat and humidity to Russian winters. We made sure to bring extra bodies, traveling with a total of four cameras (3 Canon 5D mkII and one Canon 7D) and about eight lenses varying from 70-200mm with 2x extenders to a 15mm fisheye and a tilt/shift lens.

Watch This Honest “Behind the Scenes” Video of a Film Crew at Work | Evan Luzi | The Black And Blue
I find most “Making of” or “Behind the Scenes” featurettes to skip over the true filmmaking process in exchange for giving the celebrities of the set more screen time in talking head interviews.
That’s fine for the general public who, in general, could care less about a dolly grip or a camera assistant, but it irks those of us who would prefer people understand the true happenings of the film industry with a glimpse below-the-line.

Time-lapse from space:

View from the ISS at Night from Knate Myers on Vimeo.

And finally, I have always been a huge fan of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show, which I was introduced to before I read the books. Now I find out the original performers have been doing an anniversary tour in the UK this year.
I really hope they'll come to the U.S!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show... Live! | Hitch Hikers Live
This year theatre audiences will be able to experience the ultimate sci-fi comedy epic first hand, from the Heart Of Gold to the Restaurant At the End Of The Universe, performed live on stage by Simon Jones, Susan Sheridan, Geoff McGivern, Mark Wing-Davey and other original Hitchhiker's cast members under the direction of Dirk Maggs, Douglas's personal choice to complete the saga in its original medium.