Thursday, April 17, 2014

Back From NAB and Vacation

Hey I finally took a couple days of vacation... Its been YEARS since I had a few days to myself like this in such a great place, camera in hand of course ! It was a great trip to spend a couple days in Zion and Bryce. Like NAB they were very different experiences. Zion was sunny and 80, Bryce snowed the first day and was very windy, second day 50 during the day and 18 at nite. I camped out anyway during those cold nites because you know, if it doesn't kill you..... NAB this year was the same in many respects, opposites and some surprises. Many companies pre-announced their new products during the week before so you knew which booths to visit. Others kept the surprise until monday, and others, well you had to just go find their booth and see what was new... bad PR !

That said, what's more important ? some camera every one will say is the Xcam killer, or dud ? or this ? Doug Blush who picked up an Academy Award for Best Doc this year and Kevin Monahan from Adobe just chillin out in Vegas, both friends I've known for years. Its about the people ! Its about the connections you make and keep !  I connected up with a Chineese company whoose name you know from ebay. They are going to make me a custom part : Steve O Custom Rig Parts here we go ! thats why these couple of days matter.

oh and maybe the great scenery of the SouthWest that is most humbling to experience. 


Thursday, April 03, 2014

NAB Time Again.

Getting ready to leave. This year I'm going to a few new events which should be fun.... and this year its going to be in the 80's unlike the last year or two which where cold and some rain and lots of wind.  See you all there !


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Adobe CS NEXT @ NAB

Ok, its out officially for NAB next week. CS NEXT !  While exact delivery and version increment are SOON ! you will get to see next week the next version of Adobe CS Next apps - AE, PP, SG. There are already some sneak peaks online, but come to NAB for some hands on. Having had a look myself :) you'll be happy to know that Adobe is very much listening in deliver new features that matter in terms of every day usage : speed, stability, usabilty... oh and cool NEW features.

So.....in AE here is whats new :

  • Key Cleaner effect and Advanced Spill Suppressor effect
    • text templates created in After Effects editable in Premiere Pro
    • compositing options for each effect, including ability to confine the area affected by each effect with masks
    • import of masks from Premiere Pro
    • HTML5 panels using CEP infrastructure
    • Kuler panel
    • ProEXR v1.9: higher-performance OpenEXR importer, updated IDentifier and EXtractoR effects
    • import of Sony RAW footage (raw files from F5, F55, and F65 cameras)
    • import of MPEG-4 SStP (Simple Studio Profile) Sony SR MXF files
    • video preview on external monitor using Mercury Transmit
    • scripting access to render settings and output module settings
    • automatic adjustment in Curves effect, plus improvements to Curves effect user interface
    • menu command to add fonts from Typekit
    • digital Cinema Package (DCP) export through Adobe Media Encoder

In Premiere Pro  are lots of good things - 

What you'll use most - the ability to track a mask on on specific effect like color corrector or mosaic. This mask uses AE's built in track ability - VERY VERY smoke like ! Need to blur a face ? apply blur, set up mask on eftect, track, done ! You didnt' leave the PP interface. All good, it works as good as you'd expect.

Prem Pro includes more format support like R3D in your GPU to decode for real time play back. Other stabiltity and usabilty enhancements are also happening. In short. you can no longer say PP is anything less than a full ready for feature film or doc NLE, no excuses or anything else. Just edit and deliver. Well I've known that for a couple of revs back, but now anyone can throw their biggest most complicated project at PP and it will just run with it, native format, easy. 

 


Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Review of the Atomos Ninja Blade HDMI Recorder and Monitor

Yet another review right before NAB. Busy week between shooting and getting ready, then off to the show ! See you there.


Monday, March 24, 2014

A Quick BTS From the ChromaKey Shoot Out

A big thanks to Brendan Carlson for his studio. He does great stills work and this was a good test for both of us. 

Otherwise getting ready for NAB and the onslaught of new products that will surely be there !  


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Scratch Lab Gets Official Licensed ProRes Endcoding For PC

 Big news today. Apple FINALLY relented and officially licensed ProRes encoding to a Windows PC Product. Lighting finally struck ! However given that Scratch Lab is a pricey $6k to own, $995/year subscription I'm sure it didn't come cheap. However when you look at all the cameras, recorders like the Ninja Blade and Sound Devices 240 ect that all have ProRes recording, you had to of been wondering when it would happen. I think perhaps the final nail was that there is a FFmpeg lib that does ProRes encoding on the PC. Given that it was only a matter of time before a developer wrote code to directly feed FFmpeg a video stream to encode as ProRes Apple must of finally saw the light : You can't stop the tide so you better ride it. Hopefully this NAB will bring some other announcements of other companies also finally getting ProRes licenses for their products like Adobe CC on PC. 


BMD Camera Goes Up in Flames Destroying Camera and SSD

Lithium batteries are serious business and now you know why there are restrictions on lithium batteries on planes. When they go its really bad and you can't put them out without a special extinguisher. In fact put water on them and the fire is so hot it splits the H20 into H and 02 and that actually feeds the fire. Bad battery packs happen and I'm sure their supplier will be "looking into it". Meanwhile I think they are due a warranty replacement. I also hope this is a very limited event and it doesn't point to a bigger problem where there are potentially hudreds or thousands of bad packs out there. Its also possible something in the camera failed and shorted out causing the battery to over load. However there should be a simply fuse to protect from this, so assuming that was the case something went very wrong with the battery pack itself. I'm sure there will be an investigation into what went wrong.

UPDATE :  after watching this, I don't think the battery ignited or exploded. If it did, and its lithium it would still be burning. This seems more like some capacitors went up in smoke. When this happens they can pop and make a ton of smoke. So this awaits BMD investigation....
 


Monday, March 17, 2014

Samyang Announces 10mm F2.8

Another wide angle lens from Samyang, which means cine ver from Rokinon should also be showing up. Specs:

  • F 2.8 10mm ED AS UMC CS
  • Aperture Range F2.8 ~ 22
  • Optical Construction 14 Element in 10 Groups (2 ASPHERICAL LENS)
  • Angle of View 109.5˚(APS-C)
  • Minimum Focusing Distance 0.25m (0.82ft)
  • Filter Size NONE
  • Length 76.7 ~ 105.5 mm
  • Maximum Diameter Ф86mm
  • Weight 710 ~ 740g
  • Mount Canon EOS, Canon M, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Sony-E, FUJIFILM X, Samsung NX, Four-thirds, Micro Four-thrids
  • Lens Coating Multi-coating

MSRP : About $714 US. Ouch ! Wasn't expecting that but it is a fast lens for the price. However its about time Samyang included some basic lens chipping for canon EF mounts to tell the camera at least focal length and aperture. 


 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Green Screen Shoot Out

Green screen shoot out ! check it out. I still have another video to follow this one up.


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