Tuesday, September 27, 2011
In the last post, we discussed what log is and why it’s used in digital cinematography cameras. Now we’re going to look at exactly how it’s implemented and what you should know about how to deal with log coded images.
The easiest way to explain what’s going on is to do it graphically. If we take a “standard” image, one that looks proper to the eye, and plot the input values along an “x” axis and the output values along the “y” axis, the input values would equal the output values, creating a straight line on the graph. Here is that plot as a starting point.
Monday, September 26, 2011
If you manage Mac OS X clients, it can be a challenge to manage laptops with access to external Wi-Fi or ethernet networks.
For many companies it is important that their laptop users can access external networks for email and Internet access (e.g. at home, in the hotel or at a customer’s site) or because they need to access your customer’s server while they are on-site.
This means that most likely you let your users add network settings on their own.
Automatic Duck co-founder Wes Plate is jumping to Adobe, joining the product marketing team to help improve compatibility between Premiere Pro and other apps that use the AAF and OMF project interchange formats. Plate's father, company co-founder Harry Plate, will help him with that task while continuing to support other Duck partner companies.
The explosion of digital camera formats has given producers an unprecedented variety of choices for shooting scenes: Flip Phones, iPhones, Canon D5 and D7 cameras, Panasonic P2 and AVX-HD cameras, Arri Alexa, Sony F3 and numerous others, each with its own unique CODEC. Unfortunately, this variety can create a whole new range of headaches when its time to ingest the footage into non-linear editing systems. PPD has experience with all these formats and can work with clients to find solutions to their digital workflow challenges.
Sptember 26, 2011
One of the benefits of editing software is that you can take an image or media file and edit it through Photoshop, one of the most popular sources for editing and design. The one big problem with this software is the cost. If you want to get a basic Photoshop program, it could cost you in the ballpark of a couple hundred dollars. You can get a low end computer for that price. This article is for those who want to do some editing, but don’t want to shell out exorbitant amounts of cash. Here’s a list of some of the top open source software alternatives to Photoshop that would make an excellent addition to any virtual office:
Sunday, September 25, 2011
With the rapid success of the Arri Alexa, the continuing evolution of Red (specifically its deployment of the RedlogFilm gamma curve), and the use of log curves in things like the Sony F3 and Technicolor’s Cinestyle curves for Canon DSLR’s, I thought it might be a good time to talk about exactly what log is and is not, specifically in the context of digital images.
Scratch video tutorials 1-5
- Output Node
- Red Meta Data
- Cleaning up human complexions
- Using dissolves to animate color effects
- Paint out visual effects using texture layers
Scratch video tutorials 6-10
- Using scaffolds to shape the lighting of a scene
- Tips for getting the most out of the tracker
- Using recursive scaffolds for creative effects
- How to make a monochromatic silver look
- Reverse Assemble
Scratch video tutorials 11-12
- Surrealistic Skin Tones
- Scratch Roundtripping with Media Composer
I was a little shocked to find people posting on Twitter and Facebook that they had tried to import Final Cut Pro 7 XML into Final Cut Pro X with the new “import XML”. That would be like opening a Word document and complaining that it didn’t translate from Spanish to English while opening the file.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
There a great new article on Post Magazine’s website which you should read in its entirety. There’s some interesting statements in there about Apple’s thinking as they released and are now updating the software. Here are some of my takeaways from the article:
Thursday, September 22, 2011
At fxguide, Disney stereographer Robert Neuman discusses his work for the 3D conversion of The Lion King, recently re-released in cinemas. The project involved unarchiving the original Disney CAPS files, and the creation of an entire depth score for the film.
FOR-A Corporation of America, a leading manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, will showcase its LTR-100HS Video Archive Recorder at Createsphere’s Digital Asset Management Conference, being held from September 22nd to 23rd at The New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan (Booth #206). The recorder supports LTO-5 technology, the latest standard in long-term, high-capacity tape storage, to provide an effective archive solution. The LTR-100HS utilizes FOR-A’s media asset management platform called Media Concierge, creating a combination of LTO tape technology and FOR-A’s baseband and MXF file technologies. This enables an easy transition for video content into a file-based storage system architecture.
In this video The DSLR Film Noob compares Marvels’ Cine Picture and Canon & Technicolor’s CineStyle color correction using DSLR footage.
It's been five months since the "big sneak peek," and three months since "everything changed in Post." I was asked recently, "So where do we stand now? What's everyone doing?" Well from where I'm sitting and the conversations I'm having with many Final Cut Pro folks in the industry, there are three camps forming within the Post industry.
Panasonic has now released the AVCCAM Importer software that was announced at NAB 2011. This Final Cut Pro 7 plug-in allows you to edit AVCCAM (Panasonic’s variant of AVCHD) footage directly, without having to run it through Log and Transfer first. Previously, you would have to transcode AVCCAM footage to ProRes before working with it in FCP 7, but now you can work directly off the .mts files from the camera. This software also allows you to use QuickTime to view the AVCCAM footage, so even if you’re using Final Cut Pro X (which has native support for AVCHD), this will add AVCHD playback to QuickTime.
We're pleased to announce our newest product, Post Haste for Mac. Post Haste is a tool for organizing your projects. Everyone has their own way of structuring project folders on their hard disk. Post Haste simplifies this by allowing you to assign folder templates for different project types or scenarios, such as editing, visual effects and motion graphics.
When you start a new project, launch Post Haste and enter a few details about the project such as the project title, client name and the name of the editor. Choose a template and the directory you wish to place the new project folder into and click Create Project. Post Haste will copy the contents of your template into a new folder for that particular project. It's a big timesaver.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
About two hours after Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.0.1, earlier today, I was in a meeting with key Apple product marketing folks to discuss the new features. Let me share with you what I learned.
The digital simians in Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of Apes represent breakthrough performance capture work by Andy Serkis and incredible VFX tech via Weta Digital. To help in the planning effort for the effects-heavy film, a bevy of previs artists tasked with literally choreographing just about every shot featuring a digital ape. fxguide talks to Image Engine and Pixel Liberation Front, two of several studios involved in the previs.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Speed up your color grading and finishing!
This video tutorial teaches how to do primary, secondary and some pretty advanced color correction in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5. You’ll learn how to create masks for color correctioninside of Premiere Pro, and to tweak parts of the image without affecting others. You’ll learn how to use Jarle’s Grading Tools (a collection of useful presets) to speed up your own color grading workflow.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Almost one year ago we released the first beta version of Lightworks as a free download in the first phase of our journey towards Lightworks Open Source. A lot has happened since then and we are now ready to announce the next steps in the evolution of Lightworks.
IntroductionWith the introduction of the new Cinema Picture Profile, I wanted to do a quick post on MY favorite picture styles as well as how to use/install them. Picture Profiles/Styles (PP) are meant to optimize the dynamic range in the image. One of the hardest parts about them though is picking the right one for the right job. I find that it all depends on shooting conditions and final output.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I’ve been doing a number of interviews and filming self-shot videos as part of my attempt to make my first feature film. I’ve used a number of external monitors with my 5D Mark II in the past but I don’t actually own one myself, so I haven’t been able to see the rear LCD while I’m standing in front of the camera. But as I was shooting an interview with NextWaveDV’s Tony Reale today, he mentioned that I could use the free bundled EOS Utility software to monitor the camera’s output over USB with my laptop. As the author of The DSLR Cinematography Guide, it seems stupid that I didn’t know this, but I’d either forgotten (very possible, as my brain is quite frazzled these days running the campaign) or I’d never tried it in the first place. It’s the cheapest way to get an external monitor (since it costs nothing):
The most intriguing news from HP this week is the introduction of the ZR2740w display, a $729 27-inch IPS panel with native resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. It’s not a DreamColor display, but it also doesn’t cost $2500. HP is aiming the affordable ZR2740w, as well as more modest IPS panels in 24-inch, 21.5-inch, and 20-inch configurations, directly at the animation, broadcast, design, and game development markets.
The other shoe dropped on the Thunderbolt front today as Intel used the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco to demonstrate the high-speed I/O protocol running on a Windows 7-based Ultrabook prototype. Molly Eden, Intel’s VP and general manager for the PC client group, used Thunderbolt as part of a keynote pitch for Ultrabooks, a catch-all term for an upcoming breed of notebook computer (Intel uses the term mobile device) that seems to take its inspiration from the ultralight but generously powered MacBook Air.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I picked up a little info about a possible new S35 camera from Canon. It could be a rumor but this sounded as legit as it gets. I am only putting this out there because we recently invested heavily in Sony cameras and wanted to throw this info out to our viewers. If you were thinking of spending more than 10K on a camera system then you may want to hang tough until late November. If you have a specific project in mind then please use the camera systems available now.
Well, I got burned by a very large “gotcha” when exporting a project for color grading in Apple Color.
The project was a 10 minute story for a broadcast series, all shot P2, 1080i / 29.97. I edited in an AJA 1080i / 29.97 timeline with all the native material. At the end of the edit, I exported a Self Contained ProRes Quicktime to be sliced up and sent into Color. The Export looked correct in Color, I did the color grade, rendered brought it back and it looked all wrong. Like it was 24p stutter or something. I got burned by an extra step in the export process I didn’t think I needed.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I have used twixtor myself for a few projects but I have never had terrific success with it. One of the best filmmakers I know who uses Twixtor really well is my friend Salomon Ligthelm, whom I met when he lived in Dubai back in January last year. He put up a new video a couple of days ago, Gravity, and he was kind enough to write this guest blog post on how to get the best out of it.
Twixtor will not give you as good results as a dedicated high speed camera of course. They do that job incredibly well. You need to light a lot to make them work but as you will read below you need to do the same with twixtor to get the high shutter speeds needed. But for those whose budget means renting a Phantom Flex or something similar is out of the question Salomon guides you through the best ways to make the most out this powerful, but tricky plug-in.
Gravity – Director’s Cut from Salomon on Vimeo.
Q&A: XenData Co-Founder/CEO Phil Storey on LTO, Solving the Avid Archive Problem, and the Future of Tape | Studio Daily
XenData has built a business on facilitating the connection between LTO-5 tape archives and all the stuff in a facility's "tapeless" workflow — all the gear that expects to be writing to disks, not tapes, at the end of the day. Basically, XenData figures out ways to make those tapes look like disk-based storage, eliminating one more workflow headache as vendors and users work out how to get all of their equipment working in harmony. At IBC this week, XenData is stepping up with a new revision of its flagship server product and new technology collaborations with companies like Harmonic and Avid. We asked company CEO Phil Storey to give us a preview, and asked him what's next after tape.
Right around the time of NAB 2011 rumors began floating around that Filmlight was going to release a Macintosh-based software only version of their Baselight color grading product. It made sense as a rumor as many other companies had been introducing reduced cost Mac versions of their products plus Baselight would already run on a Mac laptop as Baselight customers can get a Mac laptop-only license as a great learning tool. What Baselight did was surprise everyone with a work-in-progress Final Cut Pro Baselight plug-in. Now we’ve got a demo of the Baselight for FCP7 in action.
DFT Digital Film Technology Ships FLEXXITY 1.0 Software for Dailies, Archive, Playout Mastering Applications
HIERO is a desktop application for collaborative VFX workflow which provides a scriptable timeline tool for NUKE that conforms edit decision lists and parcels out VFX work to NUKE artists. Close NUKE integration allows shot progress to be viewed in the context of the edit, and will in turn free up finishing systems to concentrate on their real strength – finishing. The software is also ought to significantly reduce the infrastructure work required to keep a VFX team up and running with pain free shot distribution and management.
IBC Digital Daily Day One is now online as a download at an online flip bookIt's IBC 2011 and time for HD Magazine's Digital Dailies. Free digital magazines as a download or an online flip book. See them here
It seems like just yesterday that DaVinci released version 8.0.1 with its new color balance control interface, and DaVinci Lite, a free 2-node and HD-limited version. But, not content to rest on their laurels, DaVinci has eliminated a decimal place and announced DaVinci Resolve 8.1, with even more feature enhancements. Most are subtle, but welcome additions to a variety of users.Top of the list is is enhanced AAF round trip support. A new Format popup in the Export Session dialog (that appears when you click the Export button in the Conform page) lets you choose whether to export XML or AAF (previously it only expoted XML). Choosing AAF generates a file for Media Composer that can be directly relinked to the media you output from Resolve.
Avid Unveils Dynamic New Graphics Platform Avid Motion Graphics
Looking to increase its presence in the professional post production arena (including 3-D), Adobe Systemsannounced at the IBC2011 show that it has acquired certain assets of privately held IRIDAS, a Munich, Germany-based provider of software tools for digital color grading and enhancement of professional film and video content, including stereoscopic technology. Adobe said color grading is becoming an increasingly important part of content creation with the advent and rapid growth of High Dynamic Range (HDR) video.
OK, I can finally come up for air. August was a VERY busy month for me. On top of my regular day job, I took on two side jobs (after hours work). One was really easy…online a 23 min reality show. That was straightforward and I was able to do it in two four-hour nights.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.1) update: bug fixes, including some for Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion) compatibility « Premiere Pro work area
Soon, but not yet, you’ll be able to install this update by choosing Help > Updates.
For now, you must directly download the update packages from the download pages for Windows or Mac OS, using the “Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 5.5.1 update” link. You must choose the correct patcher based on your original installation type—electronic download or DVD.
If you have difficulty with this update, please bring questions and issues to the Adobe Premiere Pro forum. Don’t ask questions in the comments on this blog post, which fewer people will see.
We have been testing out the new Sony Nex 5N camera for an upcoming documentary. The Sony Nex 5N will shoot 60P in 1920 X 1080. This is a first for a smaller interchangeable lens camera. Our first tests gave us some pretty bad results. We found that most of the problems lie within the transfer from 60P to 24P. To be more specific 59.94 FPS to 23.98 FPS. Here is a quick step by step process to get your AVCHD 60P footage to work with your system. We are using FCPX for this little exercise. It should work with other systems as well.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Blackmagic Design announces DaVinci Resolve for Microsoft Windows which will allow customers to use a wide range of hardware for building color correction systems with the advantage of a wider selection of GPU processing options with support for up to a massive 16 GPU’s per system.
ASSIMILATE will be previewing new remote grading sessions over IP using dual SCRATCH systems, giving SCRATCH artists new commercial opportunities in today’s geographically dispersed international production industry. In addition, the company will show new 3D stereo features that make comprehensive handling of left eye and right eye images, either together or separately, far more intuitive. All of ASSIMILATE’s demonstrations will be held at its IBC stand H7.11 at the RAI in Amsterdam.
AVID today announced that beginning 1 October 2011, it will offer a Final Cut Pro crossgrade price for qualified customers on an ongoing basis. The new crossgrade will allow Final Cut Pro users to buy Media Composer for $1499 USD. Avid’s current limited-time cross grade promotion, at $995 USD, ends at the end of the month.
First stop for myself at IBC 2011 was to see Sony's new Trimaster EL OLED reference broadcast monitors. OLED is a hot topic at IBC, and Sony are one of the only distributors to be showing them this year, and I have to say they did not disappoint.
Friday, September 9, 2011
I posted an article a few weeks ago with information about the new Tangent Element color correction control surface to be unveiled at IBC. Well, IBC is upon us (almost), and Tangent Designs has posted some photos of the new surface.More...
The F65 digital motion picture camera by Sony is the successor to the Sony F35. The camera produces a resolution of 8768 x 2324 pixels but the sensor size is the same as the one in the F35. Now we know the price of the new camcorder - the F65 will cost... $65.000 and will ship in January. It seems that now Sony and RED will be close competitors.
One of the most often misunderstood aspects of the ALEXA menu structure pertains to the camera’s frame rate options. There are four separate places to set a frame rate and they all do something very different. Here I’ll walk you through each one of them and give you tips on how to make sure you end up with the correct frame rate for your shoot.More...
One of the things I’ve done several times in my career as a developer is to write color pickers. I was one of the authors of the color pickers in an early Mac painting program Color It! years (and years) ago. Since then, I made a couple freeware color picker components for the Apple extensible color picker dialog that was present in Mac OS 7.x (until it was superseded in Mac OS X by the new color picker panel). After starting at Adobe, I wrote the color picker panel and dialog used in ImageReady (where I included a mechanism for doing web-safe color selection, which at the time was a useful feature). And when Phil Clevenger came to us with a design for a popup color picker for Lightroom version 2, I loved the design (there are a couple fun elements to it, especially if you play with modifier keys while it’s up) and implemented it one weekend.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Like the rest of you, we were very intrigued to see REDCINE-X PRO. We love the look of it and see it as proof of RED's commitment to its professional users. STORM is a professional tool for RED users and now that REDCINE-X PRO has emerged, justifying investment in developing STORM becomes harder and harder against free software of this breadth. We say this with a heavy heart, because we're fond of what we've done.
3cP / Image Control Pro - Cinematographer's Color Correction System for iPad on the iTunes App Store
Image Control lets you color correct, crop, and mask your images on a calibrated screen, then create a matching 3D LUT for post-production. Images can be imported from the Photo Album, camera, or via WiFi. Color correction tools include printer lights, curves, color wheels, RGB controls, and a Zone System ruler. Monitoring tools include waveform monitor, vectorscope, and...
The industry is not happy with Final Cut Pro X and it was not hard to predict that this would result in a more favorable situation for Apple's main competitors. Indeed - Adobe announced today that the company sees an important, 45% growth year over year for its video creation tools on the Mac platform. Some even say that this percentage shows that demand for CS5.5 tools has exploded this year and Adobe should thank Apple for it. The data clearily shows that the reception of FCP X might be the main reason for such a growth as the general demand (on all platforms) for Adobe's video tools has grown 22% year over year so we can see that the Mac platform has the biggest impact on obtaining such an amazing result.
By Jacques Mulder
Its been 2 months with my EpicM and have been meaning to write something about it, I can say in all fairness this camera quite easily found a way to humble my role as a Director and an individual. The camera has opened up so many more opportunities then I could have ever expected, my Bomb Squad (Brian Sheckelhoff) handler has been privvy to my tours across this planet, starting with Dubai, I ventured to Singapore, Barcelona, bit in Munich and Frankfurt, to Johannesburg and Cape Town. I now sit in Dubai with 4TB of footage that I just so desperately want to share. I met over 300 people in my travels, (I kind of know how TED feels) and in that time I met them all, the skeptics, the enthusiasts, the bewildered the flabbergasted and the random unknown. All the while people received the handling of the camera with fascination – all of them!
In this shot we had no lights, HDRx turned on.