Archive for July, 2007

Hot on the heels of the 8000 ISO test image, Red Digital Cinema has posted 4 more comparison frames between 500 and 4000 ISO. Mike Curtis has a mirror. At first glance, the 500 and 1000 ISO frames look essentially noiseless. You can see the grain start creeping into the blacks at 2000 ISO, and 4000 looks a bit rougher and slightly desaturated. It’s funny, when comparing frames from this camera against each other, you start getting picky. I have to remind myself that I’m examining a relatively clean image shot at ridiculous ISO levels…I’d love to see comparison images from competing cameras at equivalent ASA. Anyone?

Another handy tutorial over at Ken Stone’s tutorial site, this one on making a standard definition DVD from a high definition Final Cut Pro sequence. Seems simple enough, I know…but the Compressor 3 update has changed the look and operation of Compressor somewhat, and this tutorial is a great way to familiarize yourself with those changes. The author James Fields provides a ton of screenshots and step by step instructions. Great reference for Apple editors.

Renown filmmaker Ken Burns has implored the community to participate in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project by interviewing a WWII veteran.

“There are an estimated 2.9 million living World War II veterans, and about 1,000 pass away every day. We are losing our access to them to discover what happened just over 60 years ago…Thanks to a cooperative effort involving PBS and the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project, anyone can get a camera and conduct his or her own interviews of a loved one who lived through the war. All submissions will be cataloged by the library to become part of the permanent Veterans History Project collection.”

My grandfather Harold C. Jeppsen served in the Second World War as a B-24 tailgunner over Europe. I deeply regret not capturing his countless experiences and stories on tape before he passed away just a few years ago. If you know a WWII vet, I urge you to make the time and help preserve their perspective on this pivotal moment in history.

(Via Cinematech)

Red One Camera at 8000 ISOThe Red Digital Cinema crew shared a framegrab today from one of the latest iterations of the camera (which is still in development, but shipping soon). The frame is a Macbeth color chart shot at a staggeringly high 8000 ISO. If you are familiar with ASA and ISO levels, you already know that it should look like garbage. It doesn’t. Have a peek. For a comparison of that high-ISO image vs. 320 ASA 16mm and 35mm film, check out this link. It is hard to believe what this camera is capable of doing.

Final Cut Pro 6 and Motion 3 have a new 16-bit architecture for plugins called FXPlug, and the latest version of Boris Continuum Complete now supports that framework. As always, Boris has a number of very interesting and useful plugins in the set. One new addition that caught my eye is UpRez, a filter to facilitate using SD material in a HD sequence without the weak uprezzing capabilites of the host application. There is a 14-day trial available, as well as a tutorial on the UpRez filter.

CG and Special EFX in Transformer MoviePopular Mechanics has an interesting article on Michael Bay’s latest $150 million special effects extravaganza, “Transformers”. There is also a nice feature on the art and concepts behind the robots over at CGSociety.

(Via Scott Simmons Editblog)

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the way a video camera calculates shutter (fractions of a second) and the way a film camera calculates shutter (in degrees)? If so, then this article by Stuart English at Reduser.net is just for you. Here’s what you need to know…
Continue reading ‘Shutter Speed Vs. Shutter Angle’

Happy Fair Use Day!

Break out your DECSS t-shirt, July 11 is Fair Use Day! May I suggest celebrating your rights by making a personal backup copy of a DVD or two? This would also be a good time to snag a copy of Lawrence Lessig’s “Free Culture” and remind content creators of the Creative Commons licensing model. This short video explains it clearly and succinctly.

Sony rebate offer on HVRV1U, HVRZ1U, HVRA1U and HVRM25U HDV productsSony is currently running a number of mail-in rebate promotions on HDV products, the most notable being a $300 USD rebate on the HVR-V1U HDV camcorder. The offers are effective on purchases made 4/1/07 through 9/30/07. There is also a $100 rebate on the HVR-M25U HDV deck for that same time period. And finally, a third offer is the $100 mail-in rebate on the purchase of the LMD-2030W 20″LUMA HD monitor, or combo $150 bonus rebate for purchasing the LMD-2030W monitor and the HVR-V1U camera or HVR-M25U VTR.

We have provided convenient B&H purchase links below, lest you injure your clicky finger in your haste to locate a Sony authorized reseller and cash in. Yes, the links were created for your benefit…that and the fact that any purchases made via these links directly supports FreshDV (and should leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside). Buy early, buy often.

1. Purchase the Sony HVR-V1U camcorder at B&H. Get the Rebate form here.
2. Purchase the Sony HVR-Z1U camcorder at B&H. Get the Rebate form here.
3. Purchase the Sony HVR-A1U camcorder at B&H. Get the Rebate form here.
4. Purchase the Sony HVR-M25U deck at B&H. Get the Rebate form here.
5. If you are still shopping at this point, seek professional help or a support group.

Continue reading ‘$300 Rebate Offer on Sony HDV Camcorders’

Building the Perfect HDV Key

Creative Cow has a great article by Tim Wilson on pulling great chroma keys using HDV formats. Good info.

The West Side - New Internet Serial“The West Side” bills itself as a modern western, the contemporary serial novel. Episodes will be released online, free of charge. You can view Episode 1 here. There are no ads on the site, nor any noted sponsors. The imagery is compelling and the original music is a perfect fit. It had me hooked from frame one. And with the exception of a few technical niggles (gg and grain), it is quite well made. I can’t help but wonder…is this the new way for indies to garner attention and make a name without necessarily getting into a film festival? Is the online viral effect enough for a young filmmaker to build a reputation?

Many thanks to Josh Oakhurst for the heads up. He has a fantastic writeup on the new series and online distribution in general at his site. UPDATE: Read the comments for some very, umm, very spirited discussion on “Four Eyed Monsters”.

Coming Real Soon Now

Future Video Podcasts…We realize it’s been a bit slow around here for the past couple weeks, just wanted to let you know that we have a ton of great content in the works…and not quite enough time to get it all out the door right now. As you probably know, we recently wrapped a week-long review blitz in Chicago and captured a ton of photos, video, and notes on a number of very exciting and very useful solutions for filmmakers. Right now we’re writing up some of this stuff for print publications, capturing, sorting and editing through the ton of footage we shot, and trying to decide what to get out first, what is most important to you the readers. Kendal is about to wrap his latest DP gig (a Viper shoot), so hopefully that will free up some time for him. I’ve completed a few projects and commitments that I have been putting off, and will soon be back on track with my normal production schedule. So bear with us and stay tuned…there is some amazing content in the pipeline and it will be well worth the short wait.

The lovely and talented Wendy Gribble (Graeme’s better half) has shared an informative tutorial on Apple Color over at Ken Stone’s site. The article talks walks you through creating node trees and dealing with interlaced sources. She also shares a quick example of the G Smart Denoise plugin, part of the Nattress Advanced Plugins for Color package. And while you are over at the Nattress site, snag the free G Blend blending mode plugin for Color.

Bruce Allen is a filmmaker, compositor, and editor located on the West Coast. He recently attended Cine Gear, and we were anxious to hear his thoughts on the expo and recent product developments. Some of the hot topics we discussed were the Phantom HD high-speed cameras (capable of 1000fps @ 2K), Redrock’s updated Mattebox design and killer new HV20 shoulder rig, and Wafian and Codex Digital high-end recorders.

You can get the audio podcast via our FreshDV iTunes Podcast Feed or the Download link above.

We also discussed Bruce’s extensive testing of the Canon HV20 camcorder, and how it behaves in latitude testing on a Stouffer Wedge chart. Bruce shares some insightful details on how to optimally setup the HV20 for maximum latitute. He also shared details on the handheld rig that he’s putting together for his HV20, SGPro, and homebuilt monitor (using some Zacuto components). Bruce talked about the Nikon lens tests he’s been conducting, some of the problem areas of still lenses vs PL cine glass, and dished on some comparisons between the Redrock M2 and SGPro 35mm adapters.
Continue reading ‘Interview with Filmmaker Bruce Allen’