Friday, June 21, 2013

Quick Links

Douglas Trumbull, Natalie Wood's Last Director, Returns With Sci-Fi Project
| The Hollywood Reporter
The innovative filmmaker, inventor (Showscan) and Oscar recipient's new 10-minute project was made in 4K 3D and at a high frame rate of 120 frames per second. (By comparison, The Hobbit was made in 2K 3D at 48 fps. And James Cameron’s high frame rate test from 2011 went as high as 2K 3D at 60 fps.)

How Douglas Trumbull Made a 4K Film in 120 fps Stereo 3D | Studio Daily
Trumbull shot with Canon C500 cameras in a 3D camera rig from 3ality and recorded raw data at 120 fps. Live-action elements, including actors, were shot in front of green screens in Trumbull's studio for later compositing into 3D environments.

| CrumplePop
In the two years since FCP X was introduced, there has been what refers to as “The Plugin Explosion.” With a running start, and thanks to FCP X’s remarkable Effects architecture, we were able to ship a full suite of useful plugins for FCP X within a year of it shipping. To our amazement, sales of FCP X plugins were strong right away.

How to correct colors in Final Cut Pro X | MacWorld
The primary tool for correcting video in Final Cut Pro X is called the Color Board. With the playhead over a clip in your project that you want to correct, open the Inspector (press Command-4 or click the Inspector button in the toolbar) and select the Video pane if necessary.

Levels and Curves and Color Correction Oh My! | Dare Dreamer
Today I want to quickly give my two cents on one of the plugins you get can via FxFactory – Nattress’ Levels and Curves. (Disclaimer: I was granted an NFR code of this program so that I could perform this review.)

Sony’s new interface unit delivers 2K and 4K RAW recording capability for the NEX-FS700 camcorder | Sony
Sony has today launched its HXR-IFR5 interface unit, which enables 2K RAW and 4K RAW recording for the NEX-FS700 camcorder, giving professional users a significant jump in performance, a broader choice of creative tools and unprecedented production flexibility. The HXR-IFR5 interface unit connects the NEX-FS700 to Sony’s new AXS-R5 RAW recording system, creating a powerful combination that takes full advantage of the camcorder’s 4K imager.

How Lenses Assist Storytelling: Part Three | Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
We did not want the audience to get comfortable in the fact that just because Stan got one hit, he is going to continue on that streak. We did not start low with the camera; instead, we chose at eye level. He is not at a power spot. Notice that the background is more in focus than his previous at bats. He is getting the batter’s hawk eye back.

Zacuto’s Blackmagic Stinger: My Experience and Review | Brian Troy Films
The Stinger is $1,425 in a configuration for the C300, or there's this configuration for the C100/C300/C500:
'Starting off I used a small shoulder rig: the Jag35 Version 1 Full Shoulder Rig. I bought this rig when it became available in 2010. I used it for almost every shoot. It was great for stabilization, tracking shots, small film shoots; you name it. It got the job done. It also happened to be one of the most inexpensive shoulder rigs on the market at the time. 

Ep. 49 - "The Collation" (with Don Packer) | NeedCreative Podcast
Co-hosts Paul Antico of Anticipate Media and Ben Consoli of BC Media Productions talk all kinds of news, including the latest from Apple's 2013 WWDC and what it means to Creatives. They are then joined by founding member and past president of the Massachusetts Production Collation Don Packer to talk the developments in the film industry and all about the Massachusetts Production Collation.

13 Ways to Cast A-List Actors in Microbudget Films | Filmmaker Magazine
6. Don’t Have a List! Every director has some sort of list in mind about your dream cast. Forget it! You will never get your dream cast. Not all of them, not on your budget, and not on the week you want to start shooting. And then when you do cast someone else, you will always view them as inferior to the person you had in mind when you wrote the script or made your list. 

Mac pros react to the Mac Pro | TUAW
Pros need a lot of storage. Video editor Lou Borella bemoans the lack of Thunderbolt peripherals, saying that the "missing piece is the lack of high-speed Thunderbolt-native RAID 5 storage systems" and "very, very few 5- to 10-drive RAID 5 systems, which we editors need the most."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

News from Adobe's Cloud

Adobe Photoshop CC Has Already Been Pirated In Just One Day | FStoppers
If true, that didn't take long:
With the constant need for validation and continual updates through the cloud, many felt it would be difficult to pirate something that requires constant contact for it to stay updated. However, it took no less than a day for pirates to get around it.

Adobe beats profit expectations, mulls subscription changes | C|Net
Adobe Systems beat analysts' profitability expectations by 3 cents per share in the second fiscal quarter, ratcheted its Creative Cloud subscriber total up 221,000 to 700,000, and is considering new measures to mollify those who don't like the subscriptions, the company said Tuesday.

Adobe CEO admits need to 'tweak' Creative Suite's cloud-only policy
| The Register
"While we will still continue to offer CS6 on a perpetual basis, the feedback from our community is important, and we are evaluating additional options that will help them with the transition," he added.

Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions hit 700,000 | MacWorld
That’s an increase over the 479,000 subscribers Adobe reported at the end of the first quarter. Those numbers, revealed as part of the company's second quarter earnings, are on track, and even ahead of Adobe's goal, according to Scott Morris, senior marketing director for Creative Cloud.

Adobe's Creative Cloud Gamble Pays Off Handsomely, Even If Q2 Earnings Crash
| CMS Wire
If Adobe reported a drop in earnings of 66% for Q2 no one really seemed too bothered about it. The San Jose company explained the fall-off as the result of higher expenses, but the kind of expenses that were incurred over the quarter were the kind that investors don’t mind paying.

Reviews & Comments

The AppStorm Step-by-Step Guide for Upgrading to Adobe Creative Cloud
| Appstorm
Ok. You’ve decided to bite the bullet and subscribe to Creative Cloud. If you’ve ever bought software from Adobe before, you’ll find they’ve really streamlined the process. You’ll just sign in with your Adobe ID, choose the subscription you want, verify that you’re eligible for an upgrade or educational offer if you chose one of those, add your payment info, and you’re done. That’s it.

Hands-on review: Adobe After Effects CC | Creative Blog
The biggest change is the introduction of the new Live 3D pipeline. This has been well teased in advance of the release, but in case you’ve missed the hype it means that you can work natively with objects and scenes generated inside Cinema 4D without having to render them first. Imported files retain a live link too.

Creative Cloud review | Digital Arts
Should I upgrade to the Creative Cloud?The answer to the ten-million-dollar question – or the somewhere-between-£15-and-£65-per-month question – is a slightly nebulous maybe.

Here is the confusion: If Cloud-based subscriptions really are so awesome for Photoshop, why do they have a completely different business model for Lightroom? They tell me, well, Lightroom is more for hobbyists and casual people, and Photoshop is more for professionals. I think that sounds kind of ridiculous, don’t you?

Adobe Premiere Pro CC: First Look (Webinar Preview) | YouTube

Frank Glencairn ‏‪@FrankGlencairn‬

They scrapped Encore from CC? That sucks. A lot of clients still want/need a DVD/BluRay


Adobe DPS Drives 100 Million Digital Publication Downloads | Adobe
Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that 100 million digital downloads – including magazines, newspapers, corporate publications and apps, all created with Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) – have been delivered to readers and customers in just over two years.

Adobe Creative Cloud Info for Mocha Users | ImagineerSystems
Today Adobe shipped Creative Cloud, the subscription based service that includes new versions of After Effects, Premiere and more. Imagineer's planar tracking and visual effects products, mocha AE and mocha Pro are widely used by After Effects users, so we wanted to take a moment and answer some common questions the AE community has been asking about Adobe's new "CC" offerings.

5 Reasons to Choose NVIDIA GPUs For Stunning Performance in Adobe Creative Cloud | NVIDIA
Adobe Premiere Pro has used NVIDIA GPUs for many years to enable smooth, real-time, interactive video editing with the Mercury Playback Engine, jointly developed by Adobe and NVIDIA. Now with multi-GPU support, it delivers up to 18x faster rendering and compression than a competing CPU for today’s most challenging video and D-Cinema formats, including DSLR, RED 4 and 5K native footage.

Blackmagic Design Releases Support for Adobe Creative Cloud
| Broadcast Engineering
The Desktop Video 9.7.5 software update allows users to take advantage of many new features in the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, such as powerful new editing timelines and shortcuts and audio mixing with Adobe Premiere Pro® CC and new creative and visual effects tools with Adobe After Effects® CC.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quick Links

5 Things I Learned at Alex Buono’s Visual Storytelling Tour | Jon Connor
| Kessler University
Lighting is such a crucial part of filmmaking. It’s also one of the most neglected and misunderstood. Watching shorts Alex shot as the DP of the SNL Film Unit, then having him show us why he chose to light things a certain way and then watching as they lit the scene in front of us as he peppered in practical tips and tricks while simultaneously fielding any questions we had was worth the price of admission alone.

How To Bring a Cinematic look to a Small Budget Commercial, part 4
| Ryan Walters | Zacuto
Part 4: Story-boarding On A Small BudgetBefore I begin story-boarding, I will either create a formal shot list, or I will have a rough idea in my head of the shots I need to tell the story. Then when I visit the location, with the script in hand, I will begin the story-boarding process using yet another iPhone app, Artemis.

Product Advisory for the EOS-1D X & EOS-1D C | CanonRumors
In some units of the models listed below, there is a possibility that the following phenomena may occur due to wear caused by insufficient lubrication within the camera’s driving mechanism.
1. AF searches but does not lock in on the subject.(Caused by minute particles produced by wear mentioned above.)
2. The image shown in the viewfinder is “blurry” or “not steady”.(Occurs if wear progresses.)

PMW-300 More pictures and info | Alister Chapman | XDCAM User
Here are some pictures of the new PMW-300 taken at Broadcast Asia. I should be able to get some higher quality images after the show, when it’s no longer in the box. Good news is that the viewfinder is detachable. There are 2 HDSDI outs plus HDMI and dual RCA audio.

Fstoppers Reviews the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens | F Stoppers
Not a review of using the lens for video, but interesting (and it's "only" $799):
It’s designed to give those higher-end consumers a lens that looks great, shoots well, produces images vastly superior to competitors in the focal range and offers a uniquely wide-open aperture. For that, it easily stands out as a top contender for APS-C camera owners looking to get something far better than a kit lens at a focal range that usually screams “beginner.”

Zoom H6 | B & H Photovideo
Four XLR inputs and the "world's first portable six-track recorder,' the H6 looks sort of interesting; I say that because I prefer to record into the camera, but if you have to use an external recorder this might be the one to get. It's $399, available for pre-order now and expected in August.

The 5 Worst Things About Pixar | Drew Taylor | IndieWire
I really like several of Pixar's movies, but have to agree with some of the points here:
3.) Every Movie Ends In A Chase Sequence
Like many of Pixar's bad habits, the every-Pixar-movie-has-to-end-with-a-chase thing was started with patient zero: "Toy Story."

Adobe Creative Cloud

The new release of Adobe's software is now available:

Major Update to Adobe Creative Cloud Now Available | Adobe
We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that our new family of Creative Cloud desktop apps, and many of the powerful publishing and collaborative features that we announced at Adobe MAX in May, are now available. These include:
Hundreds of new features in new versions of the apps you love, including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Adobe Muse CC, Dreamweaver CC, Edge Animate CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, and more. Your Creative Cloud membership includes more than 30 tools and services that enable professional-grade content creation and delivery across print, web, mobile apps, video and photography.

Warning about using RGB and Luma Curves in Premiere Pro CC
| Creative Impatience
To my great chagrin Premiere Pro CC changed the way curves operate. Right now the curves, both RGB, and Luma, clip the superwhites and superblacks, and there is no interpolation going on after the curves hit 0 or the white level (255 or 1.0). In CS6, the curves followed the general slope, and it was possible to recover some of the “overshot” material. Right now, if you stick to curves, all clipped data is lost.

NEW Adobe RAW plugin update v1.2  Sony
This plug-in provides support for Sony RAW MXF files (F65, PMW-F55/F5 and NEX-FS700) in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and CS6 products, allowing viewing and editing capabilities.

Adobe Creative Cloud is Here! | Red Giant
  • No upgrade cost: As a part of our Red Pledge, you will not need to pay for the updates to the software you’ve already purchased.
  • Red Giant has been participating in Adobe’s Creative Cloud beta programs to ensure all of our products work properly in the new host applications. This means that ALL of Red Giant’s products have been tested for quality inside of After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC, and Photoshop CC, where applicable.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quick Links

10 Lessons on Filmmaking from Director Alejandro Jodorowsky
| Filmmaker Magazine
5. Be present, all the time.There is no difference between preparation and being on set. When I am filming, I am completely there. In every moment you are making a picture, every day, every hour, I am a hundred percent there.

UPDATE - Free Webcast: The Anatomy of a 4K Feature | ProVideoCoalition
Join us on June 27th at 11:00am PDT for this free webcast
4K is on the tip of everyone's tongue…but just how feasible is it today? Join us for a re-broadcast of a "How we make movies" event from RED Studios, Hollywood. Recorded in front of a live audience, Director Jeremy Torrie & Gary Jackemuk, colorist and DI Artist, discuss the benefits and challenges of creating a 4K workflow for their film, Path of Souls, while adopting the latest technologies to finish the film remotely.

Filmmaker picks a copyright fight with “Happy Birthday” | Ars Technica
Filmmakers and TV producers have long been harassed by Warner/Chappell Music, a subsidiary of Time Warner that enforces the copyright on "Happy Birthday," probably the most popular song in the world. If that song pops up in any TV show or movie, the creators are sure to get a hefty bill.
This One Page Could End The Copyright War Over 'Happy Birthday' | NPR
The complaint goes through the history of the song in excruciating detail. One key detail: The complaint says the lyrics were published by the Board of Sunday Schools of the Methodist Episcopal Church in a 1911 book, long before copyrighted versions of the song appeared. Here's the key page:

The EOSHD 5D Mark III Raw Shooter’s Guide – AVAILABLE NOW! | EOSHD
It is available to download immediately and for the first week you can get 33% off the usual price making it just $19.99.It is an enormous 12 chapters and 106 pages.

The New Mac Pro: 4 Things You Didn’t Know | Mashable
There's No Power Brick
The case, by the way, unlocks and slips off effortlessly. This means the Mac Pro should be easy to service. As many who saw the Mac Pro on the WWDC floor can attest, the memory cards are quite visible and accessible.

The Sunday Conversation: Vilmos Zsigmond's technique comes into focus
| Los Angeles Times
Hitchcock was making these kinds of movies, and I learned a lot from him. I thought a lot about that revolution in the movies, that suspenseful kind of storytelling. It also showed in the lighting. One of the apartments we kept dark for the [character] who doesn't like light.

Filmmakers win exclusion from EU-US trade talks | MovieScope
Ahead of the G8 Summit, European filmmakers have won the battle to have film excluded from the EU-US Trade Talks. At a meeting in Brussels, attended by the EU’s 27 Ministers of Commerce who are responsible for defining the content of trade negotiations to be opened between Europe and the United States, the ministers bowed to filmmakers’ pressure for the exclusion of culture and the audiovisual sector from the negotiations.

Light & Shadow | Zacuto
A year and a half in the making, shot simultaneously on and after Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012, Zacuto presents a Steve Weiss film, Light & Shadow.If you have only one takeaway from Light & Shadow, let it be a reminder that cinematography, like all art forms, is something that comes from within. The technical can be taught, and anyone can pick up a camera and learn how to operate it. To capture an emotion and move an audience through visual storytelling is what real artists are all about. The big question is this: can it be learned or are you born with it? With or without this born talent, it’s still upon you to keep learning and honing your craft.

Evaluating an Application's Video Color | Apple Developer
As discussed in Technical Note TN2227, ColorSync creates a color transform that provides a perceptual match between a known broadcast video color space (as specified by the 'nclc' tag) and the specific chromaticity and gamma characteristics of your display (as defined by the display's ICC profile). This color transformation is then applied to every pixel of each frame by the GPU in realtime as the video is played back on screen.

SUN - 4K | Sebastian Wiegärtner | Vimeo
I used the new Carl Zeiss Compact Zooms 28-80 2.9 and 70-200 2.9. Great zoom lenses, noticed nearly no focus and zoom shift. Everything shot within 3 hours on the Red Epic at 5K / 95fps. Be sure to download the 4K file here on Vimeo. So much better and less compression.
Edited in 5K natively. Software was Adobe Premiere CS6 and Film Convert. Added Grain with this tool, as I wanted to get a very organic look! Worked out pretty well and fast w/ Film Convert.

SUN - 4K from Sebastian Wiegärtner on Vimeo.

Facial Reshaping VFX - Liposuction In Post Production | rousselos Aravantinos | Vimeo

Facial Reshaping VFX - Liposuction In Post Production from rousselos Aravantinos on Vimeo.

Inside Jaws, A Filmumentary by @jamieswb (2013) | Jamie Benning | Vimeo
After 16 months of trawling, reading, spooling, skyping, chatting, interviewing, editing and refining, I am pleased to release Inside Jaws, A Filmumentary (2013). As with my other filmumentaries this is a completely unofficial and non profit making project made with a genuine affection for the film. Enjoy.

Inside Jaws, A Filmumentary by @jamieswb (2013) from Jamie Benning on Vimeo.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Quick Links

Lynda Obst: Hollywood’s completely broken | Salon
I'm not sure everyone has stopped buying DVDs to steal the video online. Some of us just bought a lot of their favorite old movies, and then stopped buying when nothing interesting came along:
There it was. Technology had destroyed the DVD. When Peter referred to the “transition of the DVD market,” and technology destroying the DVD, he was talking about the implications of the fact that our movies were now proliferating for free—not just on the streets of Beijing and Hong Kong and Rio.

JVC launch a 4K camera with Nikon mount which gets almost everything wrong
The sensor – the size of 1.25 inch is no-man’s land territory for lenses. Smaller than Micro Four Thirds but larger than Super 16mm, it conforms to no common video standard at all. It’s also completely unsuited to the photographic Nikon full frame lenses JVC requires you to mount on it. It isn’t suited to DX glass either.

| Matt Allard | News Shooter
To make the 4K image span the four SD cards JVC uses what it calls edge blend processing.  What this does is where the four HD images that make up the 4K image overlap, it seemlessly blends them all together so you cannot notice that the images are stitched together.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM "A" | SLGear
You can pre-order this at B & H in a number of mounts for $799:
The Sigma 18-35mm ƒ/1.8 DC HSM "A" lens packs a big punch in features and image quality without a big punch to the wallet. Shockingly sharp images at all apertures, even at ƒ/1.8, with excellent flatness of field and good control over chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting make this lens a no-brainer for users of APS-C cameras looking to upgrade from their kit lens.

Field of View on the BMPCC | Ruben Kremer
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera:
You're thinking about getting one of these camera's, are you not?Of course you are. The active Micro Four Thirds mount will enable you to put practically every lens on this camera.But what will happen to the field of view (FoV) with the lenses you own?

Redrock Micro ultraCage Black Rig for Blackmagic Cinema Camera
| Cinescopophilia
Redrock Micro appear to be hitting their stride with camera cages. First the Cobalt cage for the GoPro Hero 3 cameras put some fuel in the car and now the ultraCage Black Rig for Blackmagic Cinema Camera sees them racing to the finishing line.

The Raw Time-lapse Tutorial – Part III – How To Shoot Day To Night Time-lapses
| Preston Kanak | Philip Bloom
As many people have proclaimed, day to night or night to day time-lapses are the ‘holy grail’ of time-lapse shooting. They tend to draw the attention of viewers because of their assumed complexity. At the same time, what people don’t understand is that they aren’t as tough to achieve as they appear. In this blog post, I will quickly walk you through a few different ways of capturing these types of shots.

7 Recommended No-Budget Post-Production Tools | Filmmaker Magazine
1. Blender - 3D Modeling & Animation (Win, Linux & Mac)I’m constantly amazed at what this FREE program can do. It includes many features found in competing 3D apps that cost hundreds and many times thousands of dollars. Even if all you use it for is to create cool looking 3D text for intro credits it is worth downloading and learning. Best of all, the online Blender community is awesome.

LAFF Review: Documentary 'Casting By' Heralds the Unsung Yet Crucial Art of the Casting Director | Indiewire
The film is primarily a love letter to casting director Marion Dougherty, a pioneer in her field. Dougherty came to prominence in the 1950s, when the studio system was on its way out. Going against the grain of the contract player technique, Dougherty would plumb the depths of the New York theater scene for actors to take parts on live television. This eventually segued into higher-profile TV series (“Naked City,” for one), and then on to films.