Friday, November 09, 2012

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Blackmagic Cinema Camera Shipping Update: 11/7 | Grant Petty | Blackmagic Forum
Blackmagic continues to update on the progress of the camera, and the problems they have had with the sensors. Evidently the sensor manufacturer switched from one company to another for the bonding of glass to the sensor between the initial test run and the production run. Odd.
Our current understanding is that the company that has been bonding on the glass is crap and they have been contaminating the glass when bonding it. Because the sensor suppliers test process was also bad, it meant that no one really knew what was going on and it's been weeks and weeks of confusion.

Shooting with the TS3Cine | Justin Hamilton | Vincent Laforet
In the end, we came away with some good shots, mostly thanks to the skill of the skater we were working with.  The lesson learned for us was that camera motion is just as important in hi-speed as it is at normal frame rates.  A static camera is a boring camera.  Don’t get me wrong there is a place for locked-off shots in filmmaking, but movement really brings things to life.  This is where the TS3Cine excels.

PPro CS6: Effects used on Adjustment Layer not the same as direct on clip
| Todd Kopriva | Adobe Forums
Interesting note on using Adjustment Layers in Adobe Premiere. It may be a little esoteric, but could be useful to know. Coincidently, I only just started using them last week (to add burn-in timecode to a video.):
There is a very common misstatement and misunderstanding of how adjustment layers work, which I'll repeat here: "Applying an effect to an adjustment layer applies the effect to all layers under the adjustment layer." That's wrong in a subtle but important way. What actually happens is that applying an effect to an adjustment layer applies the effect to the composited result from all of the layers under the adjustment layer.

6 Reasons to Get an Extreme Closeup Shot | Videomaker
2. Tears and emotionYou've got a happy or sad moment, let that moment sink in by getting the audience to notice the tears falling from a subject's eyes. Actually, getting an extreme closeup of the eyes is going to be a very good way of showing emotion in nearly any situation

Gear Review: D|Matte Mattebox from D|Focus System | Tony Reale
| Next Wave DV
A mattebox is many things for shooters. It allows the shooter to block light from spilling into the lens and causing flares. It holds glass filters such as NDs, polarizers and many more. But perhaps most vain of all is the added benefit of allowing your camera to look a bit more pro. In any case, there are plenty of reasons to have one in your kit...

I'm standing on the backlot of Syfy's new television series Defiance, an epic science-fiction drama set three decades after an alien invasion of Earth. The lot, a roughly five-acre gravel parking lot, has been converted into the downtown of a city called Defiance, the remains of what used to be St. Louis. Everything around me — from the tent to the baby doll — is simply set dressing, placed here intentionally on the off-chance a camera might catch it for a half second in the middle of a scene.

Terry Gilliam on the Importance and Power of Storyboarding | Dave Kendricken
| No Film School
Gilliam here describes his storyboarding process sometimes affecting the script as new visual ideas come out, which is an interesting inversion of convention as I see it. He highlights the benefit of using storyboards as the skeletal basis of a scene’s structure, allowing out-of-sequence shooting to work just as well as shooting in-sequence

VFX: 'Flight' makes use of the cloud | Daniel Restuccio | Post
The production was helped along not just with previsualization, but post-visualization as well. “A previs shot,” describes Baillie, “is really the beginning of defining a shot. Creatively, the sky is the limit. You don’t have any cameras that you’re locked into yet. You generally haven’t shot any footage yet, so you’re really making up shots from scratch. Post-vis, on the other hand, is when you’ve already shot a particular scene and you’re trying to figure out how to work a significant computer-generated element into that shot.” Some of the previs for the crash scene was done by LA’s Third Floor and in-house at Atomic. 

Large Sensor vs. 3-Sensor Cameras | Craig Johnston | TV Technology
Michael Bergeron, senior business development manager at Panasonic pointed out that “using a mosaic filter, you don’t have co-sited pixels. In a 3-imager camera, the red, green and blue sub-pixel of each pixel is in exactly the same spot.” Part of the de-Bayering process involves divining what a blue pixel on a LFSS chip, for example, would capture in a location where there is actually a green or blue pixel.

An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro: Ingesting into Adobe Prelude
| PeachPit | YouTube
A short introduction to ingesting material in Prelude for use in Adobe Premiere CS 6.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

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Upcoming Events in Boston
This Friday, 9th November is the BOSCPUG SuperMeetUp. 

Then on Tuesday 13th is another event: BOSCPUG Visual Storytellers Meet Featuring JOE FINDER (PARANOIA) & WYNDHAM LEWIS (NURSE JACKIE)

Wed Nov 14: 10am-12noon Maximizing Mass Tax Credits For Your Production: Boston-based Entertainment Attorney, Emily McNamara, answers all your questions about the Massachusetts Film Tax Credits and how your production can take advantage of these valuable incentives.

Wed Nov 28: 10am-12noon Canon Full Cinema EOS Line-Up And 4K Workflow: Canon's Technical Speicalist, Ken Rowe, introduces the latest in the Cinema EOS family — the new C100 and C500 cameras and EF Cinema prime lenses — providing a brief overview of their features and a review of the C500's 4K workflow.

Thu: Nov 15: 6-8pm Recipe for Success: Jan maliszewski on Directing Cook’s Country: Emmy-nominated director, Jan Maliszewski, shares a behindthe-scenes look at the making of PBS’ popular series, Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen.

Don’t Give Away Your Raw Footage or Negatives | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Empowerment. When you hand over the raw footage or negatives  you empower your clients to make future videos (or future prints) whenever and however they want, with or without your input. That means you can lose future earnings from your creativity and sweat. If you’re going to give up that revenue potential, you’re entitled to be paid for it.

Panasonic AF101-A available from November 2012 | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
The AG-AF100A Series can newly output HD signals with 10 bit 4:2:2 quality via the camera’s live output function and record onto the external devices, such as P2 Recorder, compatible with 10 bit high quality recording through SDI. P2 Recorder also syncs Rec Start/Stop with the AG-AF100A series trigger.

Review – Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L IIReview – Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II
| Justin VanLeeuwen | Canon Rumors
Where the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L Version one was fairly soft at the edges and unimpressively flat in colour and contrast, the 24-70 f/2.8 L II is sharp at the centre and only slightly less at the edges while producing full, rich colours and tones. When I showed a friend an image straight out of camera he remarked on how the “feel” was more like the Canon 24mm f/1.4 L II; a lens many buy for it’s contrast and colour.

Sigma’s New 35mm f/1.4 Costs $899 and Can Connect to a Computer via USB
| Michael Zhang | PetaPixel
Using a special program called SIGMA Optimization Pro, photographers can make adjustments and updates to their lenses themselves — things like upgrading the lens’ firmware, tweaking the focus to ensure that it’s tack-sharp, adjusting various parameters to suit their personal needs.

GoPro HD Hero 3 Black 4K Demo Video Swing Test 12fps | Jared Abrams | YouTube
Here is a super quick test of the new GoPro Hero 3 Black edition in 4K cinema mode.

The Importance of Room Tone | Focal Press | YouTube
A short video that explains why you want to record 30 seconds of room tone at each location.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

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Are the F5 and F55 going to be game-changers? | Alister Chapman | XDCAM-User
The very thought of 16 bit raw with 14 stops of dynamic range is making me drool, these cameras will seriously encroach on F65 territory and give the Arri Alexa a very hard time indeed, heck even the F5 will give the Alexa a very hard time. A clear sign of just how significant these cameras are is the way Red have slashed the prices of their Epic and Scarlet cameras.

Canon C500 is Shipping, but Canon's RAW Implementation is Unlike Any You've Seen Before | Joe Marine | No Film School
Basically, instead of sending out an Alpha along with the RAW, it’s sending the other green channel. Since Canon is not starting out with a 16-bit image pipeline like RED and Sony (Canon is only doing 10-bit at best), they are trying to save as much detail as possible by locking in certain attributes. These engineering hacks have worked in the past for Canon, who always seems to pull out better image quality than the specs would suggest.

Canon’s new 24-70mm f/4 Lens is Perplexing | JARON SCHNEIDER | FStoppers
These two lenses appear to be a misshapen attempt to meet all the desires of photographers while actually attaining none. Yes we wanted IS in our 24-70mm focal length, but we didn’t want to give up a stop to get there. We wanted the 24-70mm f/2.8 to be cheaper, but again we didn’t want to give up a stop to have that either.

XDCAM Essentials Episode 2 | Sony Professional | Vimeo
In this episode of XDCAM Essentials, Doug Jensen shows how to select the best video format for your production from the more than 50 different recording format combinations available for the PMW-100, PMW-160, and PMW-200. Doug demonstrates, using the camera menu settings, how simple process of elimination and his insightful tips can help give your production the finest video quality available.

First video review of Lightworks for Linux Alpha hits the Web | David Shapton
| Red Shark News
Some of the features in the video are only found in the Pro version. This applies especially to the codecs mentioned. Avid DNxHD is available for use with the Free version, but a one-off licence fee must be paid. You have to pay for Avid DNxHD additionally even if you buy the Pro licence. Avid DNxHD is currently UK£45 (The Lightworks shop will also provide the price in Dollars and Euros, depending on your location).

Folding Text and Titles Template for After Effects | Danny Greer | Premiumbeat
We really like the steamlined motion design of this free After Effects title template.  The text unfolds and spins around to reveal your project’s title or ‘art card’.  Italian motion designer Federico Simoni has created this design and is offering it as a free download from his site.

Ep. 20 - NinoFilm Pt. 2 (with Nino Leitner)11/4/2012 | Need Creative
In this special 20th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico and Jason Sidelinger were joined again via Skype by special guest Nino Leitner of NinoFilm in Austria to continue the discussion on Final Cut Pro X, and then talk about his various experiences with digital filmmaking. 

The Case of the D16 | Joe Rubinstein | Digital Bolex
We would like to introduce you to Orlando from Tas Merah who is making a custom designed leather case for the D16. He even made his own D16 camera mock up based on our specs to test it with.

'Star Wars' sequel: Harrison Ford open to idea of Han Solo role -- EXCLUSIVE
| Geoff Boucher | InsideMovies
“Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it, all three of them are,” said one highly placed source, referring to Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, the trio that made a hyper-speed jump to global fame on May 25, 1977, the opening night for George Lucas’s original Star Wars film.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

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It proved a joy to operate, too. A rocker switch built into the EA50H’s handgrip drives the 18-200mm at three fixed zoom speeds: slow, slower, and snail’s pace. Perfect for subtle pushes during interviews. A selector switch for the three speeds resides conveniently on the side of the lens. No menu diving required. (Uniquely, there’s also a low-profile, spring-loaded slider switch on the barrel of the lens to operate the zoom on e-Mount cameras lacking handgrips with rocker switches.)

Panasonic GH3 real-world test (pre-production firmware) | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Now for better news – the GH3 maintains the insane resolution of the GH2 in video mode. This aspect of the image in 1080p is well up there with the best 1080p cinema cameras costing many times more. It resolves more than the Sony FS100 and has a better internal codec especially in 1080/60p (with nearly double the bitrate). It resolves as much detail as the $15,000 Canon C300 and at a higher bitrate in 24p. 

25,000 Reasons to Become an Explorer in Filmmaking: IMAX, Newsweek & The Daily Beast Present The IMAX® Award | IMAX
IMAX, Newsweek & The Daily Beast have partnered to present aspiring filmmakers with The IMAX® Award - to recognize those with a desire to compel audiences through exploration. By submitting a one-to-two minute video clip, contestants can enter for a chance to win The IMAX® Award. Along with this prestigious award, the recipient will receive a $25,000 scholarship or film production award and have their video presented at the Newsweek & The Daily Beast Explorer event in January 2013.There’s no time to waste! The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2012.

Duclos Lenses Now Offer a Zeiss ZF.2 Speed Prime Kit For 4.5K | Cinescopophilia
Duclos Lenses now offer a Zeiss ZF.2 Speed Prime Set. Are Carl Zeiss CP.2 Super Speeds a bit out of your price range or simply too bulky for your run-n-gun style of shooting? Get the same results in a lighter, smaller, and more affordable package with the Duclos Lenses Zeiss ZF.2 Speed Prime Set.

DSLR tutorial: What are prime lenses? |, DSLR Video Tips series
| YouTube
This digital video tutorial explains prime lenses—a simple lens use less glass in the lens and are often sharper, faster, and good to get standard length shots.

Wally Pfister: Filmmakers Need to 'Fight' for Celluloid | Carolyn Giardina
| Hollywood Reporter
For Pfister, shooting film in the current Hollywood climate is both bitter and sweet. “It's sweet; we love film,” Pfister said. “A lot of cinematographers really like digital cameras, but Chris and I still prefer film. There are plenty of other filmmakers out there—Paul Thomas Anderson, Spielberg, J.J. Abrams—that still prefer film. The bitter part is that it is being forced out of the market. There are plenty of us who aren’t willing to give it up yet. The sad part is these so-called market forces are pushing our film away.

Imagineer Systems Launches New v3.1 Product Versions of mocha AE and mocha Pro | Imagineer Systems
Imagineer Systems today announced it has launched mocha v3.1, with an improved lens distortion workflow that allow users to easily analyze, calibrate and remove camera lens distortion for advanced effects compositing tasks. mocha v3.1 also includes new support for RED (R3D) files, ASSIMILATE SCRATCH 7 and HitFilm 2 Ultimate.

Autodesk Flame turns 20 | Randall Newton | Graphic Speak
In 1992 a small company named Discreet Logic introduced a new software tool for creating visual special effects for film and TV. Created by Gary Tregaskis, it was originally named Flash, later changed to Flame. It didn’t take long for the industry to warm up to the new software; “Super Mario Bros.” was the first movie to use Flame a few months later. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

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Red, Sony and Canon 4K | Michael Sutton | WideOpenCamera
Mike Sutton takes a look at the 4K options:
The next thing Red needs to do is to have 4K video outputs on the camera.  You cannot tout resolution yet be highly compressed without any other codec options.  I don’t see how these go hand in hand.  If image quality via resolution is everything, then surely resolution aficionados would want the ability to tap off an uncompressed RAW feed.  I have a feeling that RED will put out another camera much sooner that people expected.

8-Bit is Still 8-Bit, Why DSLRs Are No Match for the 12-Bit Blackmagic Cinema Camera | Joe Marine | No Film School
People have done as much as possible to argue against the test that was performed with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera by Marco Solorio and OneRiver Media. That test compared the 5D Mark III and the BMCC, and even though the superior resolution and dynamic range of one of those cameras should have been obvious, many still prefer the Mark III and complained that a better picture profile or some post sharpness would make the differences less noticeable

Sony NEX-VG900 Full-Frame Interchangeable Lens Camcorder Available
| B & H Photo Video
The NEX-VG900 is now available, though frankly, I'm still more interested in the NEX-EA50 (available later this month):
The Sony NEX-VG900 Full-Frame Interchangeable Lens Camcorder is the first Handycam camcorder with a 35mm sensor to fully exploit the artistic potential of interchangeable lenses. With a resolution of 24.3 effective megapixels, the camcorder's Exmor CMOS sensor is around 40 times larger than its equivalent in standard consumer camcorders and more than twice the size of the APS-C sensor found in other interchangeable lens Handycam models.

Working with the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera: The camera | Liz Sunter
| Jig Saw Broadcast
Den: I have a FS100, I have a Canon 5D MkII that I haven't shot video on for probably a year, and I have a little Sony NX30 for doing tutorials and stuff when we go to trade shows. I think what's key today is that you can't own one camera. You need to have different cameras for different applications 

Tiffen Indie ND Kit: First Impressions | Brandon Vincent | Blog
Using screw on filters has its pros and cons. They are indeed the most cost-effective solution, but you’re stuck having to screw and unscrew them onto your lenses whenever there’s a change. You’ll also need step rings for any lenses smaller than 77mm. Those are very cheap, though. Not much of a problem in my eyes.

2012 CamcorderInfo Best of Year Awards | CamcorderInfo
Camcorderinfo rates the Sony HDR-CX760V ($1,498) as the camcorder of the year, a first, as they usually don't rate the Sony camcorders as highly as those from Panasonic:
This year, Sony finally decided to hunker down and improve the low light performance of its high-end Handycams, and, as a result, the HDR-CX760V ended up as the best camcorder we reviewed all year. In addition to the enhanced low light capabilities, the Sony CX760V is stuffed with manual controls, has a beautiful new Zeiss lens, and features one of the best image stabilization systems we’ve ever seen. 

Editing into 2013 and beyond with FCPX | Philip Johnson | HD Warrior
Philip looks at hardware options for goosing your iMac:
Thunderbolt is the future of editing, add this to one of the new sexy 27″ iMacs and you’re ready to go. My editing setup today is two 24″ OLED Apple monitors, 6 core MacPro with a Black Magic Intensity Pro card, 24 TB of drive space run with Sonnett EP4 E-sata cards and drive bays running FCPX 10.0.6.

Avid Investors Begin Their Selloff Of Multimedia Giant (AVID) | Wall Street PR
Avid closed last week at $8.17, a number that will require quite a bit of work in order to be achieved again. Avid shares dropped $1.17, or 14%, to $7.00 in premarket trading. From there, Avid continued its descent. Opening at $6.77, the company never showed signs of interrupting this fall. Shortly after noon, the stock saw the $7.00 mark for the last time before closing the day down $1.48 for a loss of 18.1%.

A Case Study in How to Release Your Short Film Online | Chris Atkinson | ReelSEO
In broad terms, we've discussed how after you upload your video, you need to start sending it to places outside of YouTube or Vimeo or whatever video site the film/video is on.  And you want to take advantage of all your social media and any friends or crew who worked on the film to use their social media.

Creating video for Surface in Adobe Premier CS6 | Jeremy Rule | MSDN Blogs
Surface came out well after CS6 so the list of presets does not include Surface. This week I created the football highlight film for my son's junior football team and I wanted to load it onto my Surface at the best possible resolution for playback. I also wanted to create Blu-Rays to pass out to the parents. Here is what I came up with for targeting the Surface.

Grounded: An Eye-Popping Sci-Fi Short Filmed Using Canon DSLRs | Michael Zhang | PetaPixel
It was shot using a Canon 5D Mark II for 24fps footage, a Canon 7D for 60fps footage, and the Canon 24mm, 50mm, and 135mm prime lenses. The software used in post include Vegas, PFtrack, Zbrush/Vray/Max, Fusion, and AE/MagicBullet.

Adobe After Effects CS6 Studio Techniques for Editors: Approachable VFX for Non-Specialists | Mark Christiansen | PeachPit
Adobe After Effects CS6 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques (try to say that title five times fast) is explicitly not a book for beginners, but editors are not beginners when it comes to video. Recent editions of the book have included material and pointers to help the first-timer to get started. In this article, I'll call out a few specific shot types that come up all the time and don't require advanced skills or days of turnaround to complete.