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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Its Busy

Busy week doing a studio shoot. Studios are nice, easy, fast, but  expensive. Pick your compromise like a lot of things in life.

We shot a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 and 2 60D's. It'll be interesting to see how it works. I had my Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine on the GH3 as the main camera. Sure there is a crop factor that makes it more like a 70mm for full frame or 50mm for S35 but that worked ok here. Its really an amazingly small camera for what it is. It was the "straight" chromakey angle and we'll see how well it keys. We set it to 70mbit Iframe recording. The 60D's used a mix of Rokinon 8mm T/3.8 Cine Lens and mostly the Rokinon 14mm T3.1 Cine and several other lenses including an OM 50 1.4, Jupiter 9 85 2.0. Sound went to each camera via wireless and recorded on Sound¤Devices 552 Portable 5-Channel Production Mixer and Stereo Recorder. A skateboard dolly plus the 14mm made for some great dramatic moves in less than 10ft of "track" aka PVC pipe. The GH3 had my Rok 35 1.5 mounted on it with an EF->M4/3 adapter. Looks amazingly sharp :) which is a good thing for keying. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Life Of Nothing

I can't say Life of Pi is a movie I'd go see because I just don't buy it - but thats me and MY opinion. That said, what I very much do support is all the hardworking people handling the VFX work who are now Out Of Work. Rhythm & Hues filed for bankruptcy while the studio is posting record profits on a hit. This is beyond wrong. I've watched friends who owned medium size VFX houses go under and its wrong. Paying people livable wages and benefits has costs. Asking VFX houses to work down to margins that amount to costs is crazy while films go on to make huge money. Maybe what Hollywood needs is to have all the VFX houses go on a work stoppage. Oh wait, that won't work because they'll just ship the work to every corner of the globe. Realistically the studios need to come to grips with the fact that when hundreds of people work thousands of hours on your film... well dammit you have to pay them and the companies they work for money that lets everyone be get by ok. Its completely wrong to do otherwise. Oh... this is just another case of off shoring work to cheaper places without considering the costs at home.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Spammers Are Back

Sorry but they came back. its the price of being popular. I'm busy cleaning their trash away. Really its pretty pathetic that people are being paid to spam comments up. Its a complete total utter waste of time... and do you spammers think anyone will click on one of your links ??? really ????

So I'm off to get FB commenting implemented again. had it here for a while although it wasn't really implemented well, then FB changed their API and broke it.  I'm on it..


some spammer thought it would be funny to do it again, so I have to turn commenting off until I get this resolved.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Toshiba 3TB Drives - What is QA ?

I'm keeping my old Mac tower running. This week in anticipation of 2 projects coming in over the next couple of weeks I realized I needed to upgrade my storage. My Samsung 1tb and 1.5tb drives have been doing fine, but it was time because they all were pretty full. So I decided to get 3 3TB Toshiba drives from They showed up today and it wasn't good. One drive simply outright failed with the click of death. The next drive had major read / write problems very serisouly under performaing by 70% of what it should be doing. The third drive is the fastest bare drive I've ever seen for one that rotates - 170mb/sec read and write ! Now if I can get 2 more that work as well, stripe them as an array and be off and running.... I hope. Thats my story for today. Seems like QA in computer parts just isn't like it used to be. Here's to getting 2 replacements that work. The only upside is I did this with a couple weeks margin rather than last minute so I can deal with all of it. I will say did make the return painless, but I had to pay to ship back the defective drives. This is after paying for shipping to get them. Not right at all, but not much you can do to fight it and make it right.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

eF iRam. They have discontinued FB-DIMMs for Mac Towers

So I have gotten no where with iRam in honoring their warranty. Up on they have had these 2 FB-DIMMs (2gb) for $89. I figured I probably have to bite the bullet and buy another pair because it seems to be the only stuff out there. Well yesterday I found out that iRam has discontinued this product. None in stock. At this point I figure my chances of them making good on their warranty is officially zero rather than .0001%. Checking around, slower FB-DIMMS are still available, but the DDR 800 chips are gone on eBay yielded a USED pair today for $89 from another vendor. Any other chips are up over $100 and closer to $150. So these modules have suddenly become a limited and pricey item. I granted I don't expect a company to make a product for an older machine forever but this makes things hard. I have 6 other iRam 2gb modules in my machine. It may become a game of finding RAM that works to keep these machines alive and paying crazy prices for them. It suddenly means keeping these machines alive has gotten expensive.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rokinon Announces 24mm F3.5 TILT / SHIFT Lens For PreOrder

Rokinon just keeps turning out amazing stuff. While we wait for a Cine 50mm to come along, they today announced a 24mm 3.5 Tilt Shift Lens EF mount available for Pre Order at B&H.  All versions here. No picture of it yet, should be shipping in April. List price is $999 at B&H. Not bad considering what the competition is charging for the same thing. 

Nikon Lens Sale

Speaking of which, Nikon is doing a lens sale too. They haven't done this in years.The link will take you to a page listing them out. If you are looking for Nikon glass this may be the time to get a deal.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fix It In Post

Red Giant has release a couple of cool shorts using their products, now Autodesk does it with smoke. Some interesting stuff in here.

Some Of The First Color Movies On Kodachrome

Last weeks I had this great piece on shooting the last roll of Kodachrome made. Today one of the first in 1922 ! Its a camera test with a couple of models doing bits for the camera. Given how much they tended to use hard light back then, the lighting in this is soft. Perhaps they did this because of the films more limited contrast range to avoid have pure black shadows. Either way its a fun look to see where things started. Also of note is this flicker in some shots most likely caused by hand cranking the camera and causing exposure variation. I would of figured to shoot this they would of had one of the early motor driven cameras. Enjoy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

S35 Sensor + RAW @ $3K

Did I get your attention ? It got mine. S35 ( APS-C ) size sensor, RAW cinemaDNG internal uncompressed recording, $3k bare, $5k shootable. Its got my attention. More than that, it may have my $ because I've been waiting a long time for this camera. Canon has let me down way too many times. I expect you could attach your SDI / HDMI recorder of choice for another $1k-2.5K and have ProRes / DNxHD  at reasonable data rates. RED knock off ? not any more. I think these guys have a real chance of becoming the new big player in the marketplace. Where's my credit card ?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

What To Do When It Snows - Make Art

What to do when a giant blizzard has you stuck inside ? Brian Maffit ( of Total Training fame ) and an old friend of mine got an idea. Set up a video projector, point it out the window, see what you get. In this case some amazing vieo and stills. Enjoy, stay warm.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

FCP XML Output From Resolve 9.1 is *Automatic*

Some times its the little things that matter in a big way. Case in point : I ran a job thru Resolve 9.1 and when I rendered it out there was a FCP XML file there as well ! This was something that I had asked them to add as a feature : export the  XML automatically as part of the render. Now glad its there as it saves a big side step in having the manually export a FCP XML after you render out a grade pass. It also means  you can now run several timelines in the render que together and have your XML waiting for you. You don't have to render, manually export XML, render, export XML anymore. So you can let resolve run at nite with multiple renders and bring the grades back into your NLE the next morning. Thanks BMD for such a great workflow enhancer.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Last Roll Of KodaChrome

I'm not quite sure how I found this...but worth a look at the passing of an era. Its odd enough as I got to show some one yesterday how to load that old fashioned thing called film into a camera. It was a special camera,  my first 35mm SLR. It had been sitting around for 20+ years but still worked except for one thing - film ! An old roll of PX 125 came into my possion and he was off... we'll see what comes back.

This is Post #600..

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Make Patent Trolls Pay All Costs Associated With Their Frivolous Lawsuits If They Lose

There is a petition on to get the government to do something to slow down patent trolls - make them pay for all legal costs when they loose. Sign it here. Given that patents can be very expensive to defend ( really they should be ! ) the trolls simply take advantage of that to extort money from businesses everyday because its cheaper to pay them off than to go to court and win against them. Send a message to companies like LitePanels enough is enough.