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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When you thought you'd seen everything -

I'm sure you've heard this one " Well it seemed like a good idea ." To witness, I add these two pix I took while on a shoot this week. I won't say where but setup in a small chroma key "studio" were these two tota lights. Thats right, some one modded the lites to work vertically !

Ok, for those of you who don't know, the long tube like bulbs used in tota's, broads, cyc lights, ect are supposed to be operated horizontally. OEM recommendation is within 3 degrees of horitontal. Why ? because heat builds up on the high end of the bulb leading to bulb failure. I don't mean it burns out, it EXPLODES ! Molten glass goes flying ! While I have not personally seen this, I do know several people who have, and when a bulb exploded the molten glass set stuff on fire. Its deadly serious.... and some one went out of their way to create the most dangerous possible way of operating these things.

Since they were being used to light the chroma key bg in the place, I'm sure the vertical operating position worked better, right before everything burned down.

Please, safety first and foremost always. Getting hurt, burned, crippled or killed isn't worth it. Oh, I almost forgot to say, we were there shooting video around the topic of safety....


tots light being operated vertically - wrong


vertical tots light being used wrong

Monday, September 26, 2011

LitePanels Suing to Stop Import of ALL LED based lights

I never cared for LitePanels products - flimsy and very very overpriced. Well it seems that since they can't compete against lower priced competitors they are going to try to sue them and stop them from selling product in the US. Here is the article

Some how some absolute bonedhead in the paten office has simply ignored previous products already in the market in granting this very generic paten to use "LEDs or other sources" in a  "panel or frame". Its pretty rare for me to publicly criticize  a company  like this,  however they have earned it. LitePanels is owned by the Vitec group who owns :

- Anton/Bauer
- Autoscript
- The Camera Store
- Litepanels
- Microwave Service Company
- Nucomm
- OConnor
- Petrol Bags
- RF Central
- Sachtler
- Vinten
- Vinten Radamec
- Avenger
- Brilliant Stages
- Colorama
- Gitzo
- Kata
- Lastolite
- Litec
- Manfrotto
- Manfrotto Distribution
- National Geographic (manufactured & distributed under licence)
- Tomcat
- Bexel
If you spend money with any of these companies, you are funding this lawsuit. Don't. Not until LitePanels drops its actions and has its bogus patents invalidated. Honestly having one company owning every major tripod company has bothered me and now the fruits of this are coming out. 
Please write to the patent office here  and let them know that LitePanels patent is nothing new - its in fact  based on a lot of prior products that had already been in the market, starting with the kids game in 1967 called Lite Bright... hey I had one !

Wes Plate & Automatic Duck Join Adobe

I'm out shooting all day in the rain, and look what happens ! Adobe and Automatic Duck have joined forces. This gives Prem Pro instant acess to what may well be the best cross platform import / export of various project files and media types like OMF and AAF. READ THE ENTIRE ADOBE STORY HERE.

Given the IRADAS purchase a few weeks ago, this is crazy exciting times for Adobe and Premiere Pro. Congrats, can't wait to see how this all turns into shipping product improvements sometime soon ( I hope ! ).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Its just busy !

Working working working ! and loving every minute of it. Moving, shooting, whatever this week. So here we are a bit old school with a matthews doorway dolly instead of a fancy slider. Mounted a 2X24 DIY kino on the dolly as fill light for the talent to do walk and talks. 60D with 17-50 2.8 and it all looked great. Shot at F4 which gave the talent some room to stay in focus. Audio bad got to ride along, and the camera case. You get spoiled working this way with everything close by and not having to constantly carry everything everywhere when changing setups and locations for every shot. While a bit heavy to transport, its more then worth it for time and effort saved once you are going. Often times had a few more things on there too. Another cart moved stands and lights.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple Releases ProApps Codecs as Standalone FREE installer

Apple has released an installer to install  

  • Apple Intermediate Codec
  • Apple ProRes
  • AVC-Intra
  • HDV
  • XDCAM HD / EX / HD422
  • Uncompressed 4:2:2

This basically ackowledges what every one had been doing for years - copying these codec bits from FCP systems to whatever machine they needed.  Download The ProApps ProRes Installer here.

FCP X Update Today

FCP X has its first 0.1 update today. XML I/O, but its own flavor is seems. New ability to export to normal audio tracks from the TL by designating clips to be a "type" like dialog 1 or AFX1.

Noteworth : New Trial verson that runs for 30 days from the day you first run the app. Apple hasn't had demo versions of their pro apps, so this is real damage control to try to get some users back. Well its good they are learning, but as for FCP X ? well the market is speaking pretty loud and clear right now. This is really a 1.0 product and it'll probably take several revs before its again a Pro Product.


Meanwhile I'm still very busy moving and building stuff, and a couple days of shooting in the mix as well. Thats the reason I've been slow this week in posting stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Its Perfect, Now Just Change Everything !

Looking at all this analog gear, and its complexities makes everything digital almost seem simpler, as long as it works.

I'm pulling gear out we thought would work longer then it has. Goodbye Beta SP ! I certainly don't remember the last time I actually recorded an edit or even dub out to the format. Two years or so ago I went through a massive digitize thing where all beta SP tapes went to hard drive in ProRes. I haven't used that deck since although with moving things around I've found maybe a couple more tapes I need to run thru and thats it. 

There was a time when I could put 5 or 6 machines into record at once and make multiformat masters complete with matching TC.  These days even the local TVS's are taking spots in some digital form - video DVD's or finally actual QT files on disc or FTP.  So the need for all this stuff is pretty much gone. 

I'm trying to figure out what last bits still count - 5.1 for analog outs to speakers for SRS mixing, maybe 1 composite line to feed scopes. Thats about it. We are building a small back room area for capturing the last beta SP, DV and HDV via FW. That setup is going to pretty much be just wires straight from the VTR into the MXO2. No need to route that or patch it thru to other rooms. We'll capture on this one system and push the files onto the NAS and use them from there. 

There is is some need to make the occasional TC burn from a HDV tape, but even that is fading away. When I can use the MAX encoder to turn out h264's 5X faster then real time for SD with TC burned in, I'm not going to waste time running tape. I"ll still bill per running hour for TC burns, but it will be very different. Capture tape into computer which you have to do anyway, apply TC filter, encode, burn to DVD or push it up to our server for the client to view on whatever device they want. With tapeless formats, copy the card contents, drop into the NLE, and its done even faster.

Do I miss analog ? no so much. Ok I'll admit a 1" machine running, or even better yet shuttling at 50X with 2hr reels is quite impressive ( and dangerous ! ) but really I don't miss the crankiness of that gear at all.

Well this shot was this morning. Tonite, most of this has been taken apart and I'm wondering whats worth messing with. I"m pretty sure I may well rip this all apart, maybe use one patch bay for audio and video and the other two will go away. Its just redundant for the most part. With SDI its just one wire instead of 3 video ( YUV ) + 2 audio lines.  Any of the Y/C connections at this point are pretty much useless too. 

I have a stack of Y/C ( SVHS ) connector to BNC break out cables if anyone wants them ! 

I have LOTS of cable. There is something like 400ft of audio cable in this rack ! Here are some ends that run out to speakers that I pulled back to transport everything.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Premiere Pro 5.5.1 update is released today

You want this update ! several really important fixes including XML files exported from PP now import correctly into DaVinci Resolve, improved scrubbing with dslr footage, and other good fixes.

Link To Update Info   Download Mac Updater  Download PC Updater

Here is a short list -

  • Improved playback/scrubbing performance of footage from DSLR cameras.
  • Media from Avid Unity QuickTime reference files was not imported.
  • XML project files created by Premiere Pro did not work with DaVinci Resolve.
  • On Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion), the Universal Counting Leader was missing countdown numbers.
  • On Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion), Premiere Pro would crash when quitting.
  • On Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion), closed caption overlays did not appear in Program Monitor.
  • Preview in the Capture panel was not functioning properly for HDV footage.
  • Image sequences lost their frame rates.
  • Edges of a clip were highlighted during transitions/dissolves when using CUDA processing.
  • Projects created by importing Final Cut Pro XML projects that contain multiple mono clips would lose some audio when the project was closed and reopened.
  • Exporting to a QuickTime movie using DVCPRO HD settings would not complete under some circumstances, including if an image, graphic, or synthetic element was in the sequence.
  • Using CUDA-accelerated Invert effect would reposition the clip.
  • Premiere Pro could not find files after changing the location of the project.
  • If an After Effects composition with a background color other than black was included in a sequence and Mercury Playback GPU Acceleration was enabled, the alpha channel transparency of the composition was ignored.
  • MXF files created by Premiere Pro were not readable by Sony XDCAM HD decks, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer.
  • ProRes files created by an ATOMOS device with four tracks of audio were not imported correctly.
  • MCC closed caption files exported from MacCaption failed to appear in the Premiere Pro Program Monitor under some conditions.
  • Incorrect data was being written to XML files for AVC Intra exports.
  • Opacity effects were being ignored after a second transition when CUDA processing (Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration) was enabled.
  • Premiere Pro would hang or crash when loading a merged clip with disabled audio channels.
  • various other crashes

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bizarre Fun Music Video

You know I don't post vids here that aren't worth your time, at least I hope you think that way when watch them. All over the web you'll here about "brilliant" direction which is usually pretty bad. Here is one thats a lot of fun, there's a a bunch of details that are interesting, and this video really makes fun of music video, yet still says something. Ya, shot on dslr, but nice directing for a change, girls in skimpy out fits, and a chicken suit head. Need anything else in a music video ?


Why IRIDAS Sold To Adobe

This is a reprinted letter from the former founder of IRIDAS and how and why things came to be.


On September 8th, Adobe acquired the key technologies that our team developed over the last 10 years, including FrameCycler, SpeedGrade and MetaRender. I know that as an IRIDAS customer this may come as a surprise.

The ecosystem in the postproduction and production world is changing fast. Many technologies, like color grading, that once were incorporated only into very high end products are becoming core to all video and film production.

IRIDAS has helped to drive this change. In the decade since the company was founded we’ve seen so much more become possible and we’ve enjoyed being on the vanguard:

- When I started in my living room in 2001, it was a breakthrough that FrameCycler could playback a few hundred uncompressed frames from RAM.

- When we introduced SpeedGrade in 2003, people laughed at our idea of using the GPU for real time image processing, today it is the norm.

- When we started de-bayering DALSA 4K frames in real-time in 2007 it was a very exotic workflow, and today RAW motion picture pipelines are central to high quality work.

- Our first stereo workflow eight years ago was only noticed by a handful of people, but today stereoscopic is part of many high quality productions.

- We started to share our vision of the future at NAB 2011 and many of you helped to validate it. To bring this vision to life we made big steps including doubling the size of our R&D team last year, but even with these changes, we felt we only scratched the surface of our potential.

Over the years, many companies have offered to acquire IRIDAS and we always said no; successful acquisitions are a challenge to execute, so when Adobe approached us I thought “We are doing fine, we have a plan, why should we be interested?” But there are a couple of things that are different about Adobe as a company.

First of all, Adobe is a company that has indeed successfully integrated products from many companies it bought – products like After Effects are central to their leadership. Also Adobe is a true engineering company not only investing massively in pure research, but also bringing it to market – Premiere’s Mercury Playback Engine and After Effects Warp Stabilizer being only two examples. Many recent research results in HDR or new camera concepts coming from Adobe research truly impressed our team.

We also see a convergence of trends, as RAW High Dynamic Range image capture comes to the broader market the need for tools such as those IRIDAS developed is exploding; but our company was sized to service a specialist market.

After many discussions we realized that bringing IRIDAS technologies into Adobe was the correct path forward for both companies.

Adobe has hired both our engineering and our support teams. Patrick Palmer and I will also be joining to ensure success.

There are a number of changes that will come with the move, so we have put up some information on to keep you informed.

I know some of you will have questions and concerns and we will start to reach out to you around IBC next week.

Feel free to contact me with any immediate concerns. The support questions will still be answered, by the people you have worked with in the past, although the email address may be from Adobe.

Patrick and I both look forward to exciting products that combine both IRIDAS and Adobe technologies to meet the challenges of the future.

All the best,
Lin Sebastian Kayser
Director Engineering, Adobe
Founder of IRIDAS

Friday, September 09, 2011

What I did for the last 2 days

I just spent the last 2 days in Green Bay shooting the NFL season opener. Celeb interviews, concert coverage, 2 days with Ross from E! News and Tonite Show Fame. Shot on EX3 which was nice to use a real video cam for a change ! Fed satelite uplink trunk off the camera. I thru in a GoPro for some extra shots. Long days, but the warmest Packers Game you'll ever be at !



Thursday, September 08, 2011

Acquisitions Today

This is more like reading the Wall St. Journal Today. 

Trew Audio announced they acquired Coffey Audio in LA. Great move giving them a presense in LA which is obviously a large market.

Then the monster announcement : Adobe has aquired IRIDAS



As you may already have seen in the official press release, Adobe has just acquired technology from IRIDAS, the makers of the SpeedGrade line of color applications, as well as several other tools for the professional film and video market.

We’re excited.

One of the major reasons that we’re excited is that we know that the Adobe team will be enriched by the addition of the IRIDAS team—with their deep knowledge of color science, light, and image processing. They’ve done a great job developing world-class products.

With the addition of this set of high-end technologies, we’re even better able to deliver on our commitment to provide video professionals with the tools that you need. Not only have we listened to your requests for better, faster, and more powerful color grading and finishing tools—but we’ve also looked ahead to the future needs of professional video, including HDR (high dynamic range) and raw video workflows.

Though we can’t comment on the details of future product versions, we can point to our history of ever-increasing integration between our applications as an indication of why we acquired these technologies. We look forward to the new workflows that may be enabled by future integration work.

How would you like to see these applications integrated? Feel free to give us feedback, either through the usualfeature-request form or in comments on this blog post.

Be sure to check out the official press release, which has lots of additional information, as well as some insight from Jim Guerard and Lin Sebastian Kayser. Jim has also shared some thoughts on this matter in a blog posthere.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Shot On dslr : Stop Motion Johnny Quest Sequence

Think you work hard on shoots ? dig this. Totally worth the watch, then check out how it was done. Hint : no store bought expensive slider but a lot of cool DIY gizmos and lights.

Here is the Main Page for how this was created. Click on each storyboard image to see a complete  how it was done of each shot.


On this page all the rigs used in shooting this but alas no peek at the camera or shooting setup. 


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Samyang announces new 24 F1.4 prime

Another lens from Samyang. Nice specs, full manual lens, to bad it focuses backwards. What here they thinking ? Maybe they will have another version that focuses the right way like the 85mm.

Complete Info Here

Friday, September 02, 2011

FCP7 Back on Sale

I guess the lawyers at apple figured out what ever their percieved problem is isn't really a problem. Users who would like to order the "legacy" Final Cut Studio can call to order part number MB642Z/A by calling Apple telesales at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

This is more a concern for large multiseat users then anyone else. It also might hint that apple will keep FCP 7 alive past 10.7.

You heard it here first, FCP 7 is Apple's XP ! 

And in other news -

Moving and building a new suite continues to eat up most of my time. Its been getting pretty intense managing all the details and just plain getting everything done. A couple days ago I was shorted on my flooring order so I'm making up enough myself to finish the job. 

I do have at least 2 more video reviews I"m working on, which I should have one out next week on the Tamron 70-200 2.8.