Archive for March, 2007

Saw this new product offering mentioned over at the new Studio Daily Blog. Purplelink is an integrated uncompressed capture and media storage solution, all built into a hardened case for simple on-set capture and playback.

After making a quiet debut at last year’s Cinec tradeshow in Munich, Germany, Pentamagik is bringing its completely tapeless digital video field solution for uncompressed HD, Purplelink, stateside in time for NAB. Purpleink acts as both media storage (five 400GB hard drives), with two HD-SDI inputs and four audio inputs, and editing suite all housed in a hard case and includes metadata fields for comments and a suite of color correction tools. And as a Windows-base you can load your software on it to check the plates against composites and CG work.

More specs and details at www.purplelink.info

A Short History of Quicktime and Final Cut Pro

Macromedia Final Cut CDRoughlyDrafted has a very insightful article on the background history of Apple’s Quicktime platform development efforts, and how Microsoft was indirectly (and inadvertently) a force in establishing Final Cut Pro as a contender in the NLE market. There is also backstory on how Adobe Premiere fit into things, Avid’s involvement, and of course the reason for the oddball Bruce the Wonder Yak quotes inserted by programmers into Macromedia Final Cut’s resource files (which still remain to this day in FCP 5).

It’s a very interesting and well written essay, and offers a unique look into the crazy politics and development process of innovative NLE software.

CineForm vs HDCAM SR Shootout

David Newman of CineForm has been conducting some greenscreen testing of their codec vs HDCAM SR (everything shot on a Viper). The results of the informal blind quality poll have been revealed, along with some more in-depth mathematical analysis.
Continue reading ‘CineForm vs HDCAM SR Shootout’

Camcorderinfo scratched up a very cool online video that shows the entire process of manufacturing a lens, from cutting plugs from optical glass all the way through final assembly of mechanical components. The one thing that suprised me the most is the sheer amount of hand work involved…and how many opportunities there seem to be for mistakes in the process. Watch the video below. (UPDATE: Canon has a similar video at their site. Looks more current.)
Continue reading ‘Watch a camera lens being made’

Kevin McAuliffe has an article up at Digital Producer on how to best build and configure a Mac FCP HDV-editing workstation, the target being a very high-performance system for under $50,000. All told, the final estimated investment ends up right around $31,000, so I guess the article is a smashing success…right?

He starts with a Mac Pro tower equipped with twin dual-core Xeon processors, and begins adding a laundry list of components, including nearly $15K worth of Fibre Channel storage. I’ll defer to more informed opinions on whether or not better/lower-cost options exist for some of these components.

Mike Curtis of HD For Indies wrote a similar article for DV Magazine that goes a bit further in-depth with options and various price points. His allows for three different budget/feature levels, and breaks out other additional options with estimated pricing for each. Definately a must-read.

(Via Digital Camcorder News)

Mike Curtis has posted on another link in the long chain pointing towards the much-rumored Final Cut Pro announcement at NAB 2007…it seems that the FCP Crossgrade promotion has been removed. The assumption is that Apple is set to release a high-end version of Final Cut that is aimed at the Avid Media Composer market. Stay tuned, this could be interesting…competition is nearly always good for consumers.

Shane Ross has reviewed the Matrox MXO system, and has posted his findings in two parts. Part 1 and Part 2. In the 2nd section, Shane arrives at the conclusion that the MXO is more than capable of accurate broadcast color correction monitoring via a quality LCD panel.
Continue reading ‘Matrox MXO Review from an Editor’

Features in the new Adobe Video Collection

Bruce Allen and Mike Curtis have done a pretty good job of summing up the featureset of the various apps in Adobe’s new Video Collection (which will soon be available cross-platform).

It’s exciting to see Premiere coming back to the Mac, I’m a firm believer in the concept that competition drives innovation. But I agree with Bruce when he makes the statement “I think we all wished for more features than we got here. The value here is in the bundling and integration, methinks. And, of course, it all being Intel-native if you’re on Mac.”

Reserve your place at FCPUG SuperMeet 2007

FCPUG is hosting the Sixth Annual SuperMeet at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 18, 2007. Reservations are only $15 and include 2 raffle tickets. The event is expected to fill up quickly, it has historically been a very popular party for NAB Expo attendees. Did I mention that Walter Murch will be there? And if you haven’t yet seen the list of goodies being raffled off you should definately take a look.
Continue reading ‘Reserve your place at FCPUG SuperMeet 2007′

Reel-Stream Mods the HVX200

Today Reel Stream, famous for their Andromeda modification for the DVX100, announced that they would infact be offering a modified HVX200 called Hydra. While the lattitude is not announced the two features that JUMPED out at me where the 2K frame size as well as the 86DB S/N Ratio. I am interested to see how they can get that clean of a 2K signal from the HVX200. Also impressive was the 14BIT color space. Should be interesting, check out more information at their website.
Continue reading ‘Reel-Stream Mods the HVX200′

Foveas Wireless Remote Follow Focus SystemRemote Control of a lens follow focus system has historically been a very costly solution, without many low-budget options to choose from. Redrock Micro is currently engineering a solution, and I’ve heard rumblings that Cinevate is considering such an offering. But neither are available for purchase at this time.

Now there is a new face on the block that is aiming squarely at the Indie market with a reasonably-priced wireless focus-pulling system. We’ve been watching Foveas for a few months now, and were pleased to hear that their recently announced wireless remote follow focus system is complete and orders will be shipping within 5-8 weeks.
Continue reading ‘Foveas Wireless Remote Follow Focus Unveiled’

Filmmaker Magazine has a very long and very in-depth article on the advent of Digital Cinema vs the traditional tried-and-true film workflow. As the article quickly comments, there is no doubt where the industry is headed…eventually. HOW and WHEN are a completely different set of questions.

“As it turns out, the professional systems are probably just as varied and competitive as the prosumer models…amid the confusion of this unavoidable transition from celluloid to digital cinema, the fact remains that good old-fashioned film is still the standard to beat. It is this simple conclusion that colors most professionals’ views on HD and, that said, an interesting conundrum has developed around the issue of whether digital should simply be used to replicate the look of film or be allowed to develop its own attributes and idiosyncrasies.”

Clearly, integration and workflow issues are a major hangup for traditional filmmakers considering the jump to digital cinema. For those with a sizeable budget, the benefits of digital acquisition can be quickly overwhelmed by a mass of unknowns and workflow workarounds. The article notes that David Fincher is one well-known director who has personally taken the time to figure out the issues:
Continue reading ‘Are We There Yet? Film vs Video 2007 Edition’

Sony HDR-HC7 Camcorder Review

The crew over at Camcorderinfo have released a review of the Sony HC7, and it isn’t all hugs and kisses. Any review that opens with the statement of the product in question; “was to be one of the best (of 2007)…But it didn’t work out that way”, well you know at that point it’s not going to be pretty. Here are a few telling comments culled from the multi-page review:

“At best, the Sony HDR-HC7 showed approximately 650 lines of vertical resolution and 580 lines of horizontal resolution. This represents a small improvement over last year’s HDR-HC3, but falls a bit short of the Canon HV10.”

“Sony camcorders with the 1/3â€? ClearVID CMOS typically performed very well in low light. Imagine our disappointment, albeit unsurprised disappointment, that HDR-HC7 performed so much worse than last year’s HDR-HC3.
Continue reading ‘Sony HDR-HC7 Camcorder Review’

Other World Computing announced 3GB RAM expansion packs for Intel MacBook Pro, MacBook, and iMac computers. Apple’s memory upgrades cap at 2GB, so this is very nice news to hear.

Lightwave 9 VFX for “300″

Newtek’s website has some really cool video clips showing the creation of the VFX sequences for the blockbuster movie “300″. Several smaller effects houses created the VFX using Lightwave 9 to enhance the look and feel of the movie.
“Visual Effect houses Pixel Magic and Screaming Death Monkey contributed hundreds of shots for the film.From set extensions to living smoke, oceans, skies, arrows, shield, swords, helmets and armies, LightWave visual effects artists working with visual effects supervisor Chris Watts brought it all together in the production of “300″. Explore the links, videos and imagery here to get a clear insight into just how this extraordinary film was brought to life.”
Check out the behind the scenes clip here.
Or Download it here.