Author Archive for FreshDV

Slashdot has an article and discussion on the Adult Film industry favoring HD-DVD over Blu-ray for the distribution of high-definition content.

Digital Playground, who were committed to Blu-ray last year, are now producing HD-DVD titles instead. No Blu-ray disk manufacturer would make their disks because Sony doesn’t want porn on Blu-ray (just as with Betamax). Second, as reported by tgdaily, the porn industry overwhelmingly favors HD-DVD because it’s much cheaper and easier to produce.

It is commonly reported that the XXX Video industry was a major factor in the last big format war, when VHS format was chosen over Betamax. Regardless of your moral and ethical stance on Adult Films, it cannot be denied that it is a huge industry that wields a fair amount of clout and tends to drive new tech adoption. This is pretty good news for HD-DVD, even if they were hacked just recently.

Red Digital Cinema is now featuring a wider assortment of Red One renders in the photo tour.

Westinghouse debuts 2160p HDTV

At this years CES in Las Vegas, Westinghouse has been showing off a montrous 52″ 2160p “Quad” HDTV.

“The 52″ TV runs a super high-resolution of 2160p (3840 x 2160 pixels). In absolute numbers, the device is running a stunning 8.3 megapixels – four times more than 1080p TVs (1920x1080p) and more than twice the resolution of Dell’s, HP’s and Apple’s 30″ desktop LCDs. So, what do you get from this resolution, especially if HD DVD and Blu-ray are running only 1080p anyway? According to Westinghouse, the TV does not really target the consumer market, but high-end industrial applications.”

Just how much would a dual monitor editing setup cost? This would be a nice setup to color grade your beautiful 4K Red One camera images. Westinghouse has declined to share pricing, so it appears to be another case of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

Uncrackable AACS DRM cracked

It was only a matter of time. In shades of DVD Jon’s DECSS, a clever member of Doom9′s forum has released a video showing him copying and playing an “uncrackable” HD-DVD on a Windows PC. The HD-DVD was protected by Hollywood’s vaunted Advanced Access Content System, which is the DRM of choice for both HD-DVD and BluRay discs.

Details are somewhat sketchy at this point, but it seems that the clever cracker found a way to retrieve the software DVD player’s AACS access key from computer memory, and use that key to decrypt the content. The cracker is shown using PowerDVD in the video, though it’s not clear if the keys were obtained from that software.

Ironically, one of the protections offered by AACS is what angered the cracker enough to devote time to cracking the DRM…without a PC equipped with HDCP compliant video card the DVD wouldn’t play.

“…I started to get mad… This is not what we can call “fair use”! So I decide to decrypt that movie. I start reading the AACS specification I have found on the net. I estimate it will take me about 4 weeks of full time job to decrypt that. I was wrong, it was in fact, easy…”

It’s worth noting that contrary to old fashioned CSS keys, the new AACS keys are supposedly revocable. If it is determined that a licensed software DVD player’s key was compromised, that key can be revoked in new media releases. So what happens when Joe Consumer purchases a HD-DVD, and suddenly cannot play it on his Media Center PC without an update? I don’t think that consumers would tolerate that. Will studios risk it?

Flash Video Encoding Tutorial and Tips

Digital Web Magazine has been running a short series of articles entitled “The Rise of Flash Video”. Part 3 of the series covers in detail what you need to know about encoding flash video for the web.

“Some folks take issue with Flash video, and they do have a point. There is a lot out there that makes watching Flash video a painful experience. They talk about pixelated and jerky video, and point to poorly re-compressed YouTube content as evidence that Flash video sucks. These shrill claims are misguided, but many people hear them and blindly agree that Flash video stinks.

Get clear on this: It isn’t the technology. It is the person that encoded the video in the first place who made the mistake”

Read on for assistance in avoiding those mistakes. You can also read the two previous parts to this article here and here.

Kendal Miller pointed me to this gem, an extensive video tutorial on Motion Control systems by Mark Roberts Motion Control. In some ways it’s an advertisement for the systems they create, but there is a lot of knowledge shared that transfers to planning, shooting, and compositing with lesser tools. A ton of fantastic commercial and music video creative work is shown, with shot breakdowns explaining how the motion control rig was utilized.

I must caution you, watching this video may induce the urge to mortgage your home and buy one of these MoCo systems. At the very least, you might wet your pants like an excited puppy. You’ve been warned.

Free backfocus chart from DSC Labs

DSC Labs, makers of high-quality colorimetry and camera setup chart systems is offering a free backfocus chart, available as PDF. Get it while it’s hot. And while you are there, check out the selection of charts they offer. The Camette series of setup charts looks extremely handy, and won’t break the bank.

(Via HD For Indies)

Digital Cinema Primer from SMPTE

SMPTE/ASC held a meeting recently and presented on the topic of Digital Cinema. The presentation covered the basic issues and background info of emerging and established digital tech, with slide topics such as “What is a Pixel?”, “Bayer Pattern”, and “4:4:4 or 4:2:2″. The presentation is available as a Powerpoint slideshow, or PDF format (mirrored here).

(Via HD For Indies)

Film-style Post Production Flowchart

Outside Hollywood shares a fantastic flowchart that outlines a solid “in a perfect world” post-production workflow process. Very detailed and informative. They also link to a PDF showing the post workflow of Superman Returns.

Isaac also shares a similar flowchart outlining the Production Scheduling process. This is really informative stuff, folks. Well worth the read.

(Via HD4NDS)

Sony HDR-FX7 raw M2T sample footage

The title says it all, if you want to see what the raw .m2t HDV footage from a new Sony FX7 looks like, here’s your chance.

FresHDV Product Review Sneak Preview

FresHDV will soon be posting a detailed product review of a certain camera mounting system. Can you guess who makes it? Here’s a sneak peek:
Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Review posted here.

Carbon-Neutral Movie Production

Sweet Land is a recent movie production that has the unique distinction of being “carbon-neutral“.

This means that all of the carbon dioxide emitted by the filmmaking process — lights, cameras, transportation — was totaled up and offset by comparable investments in renewable energy. Carbon dioxide is a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change.

“For me, it’s less of a political statement about global warming, and more just, there’s got to be a nicer, cleaner way to do this,” said film director and writer Ali Selim in an interview before the movie’s Washington opening on Friday.

What Mount Doom really looks like

This is what Mount Doom really looks like, before it was massively retouched by matte painting.

That link is a raw production plate before and after from the Lord of the Rings “The Two Towers”.

PDF Storyboard Templates

Paul Harrill @ SRF has posted a few Storyboard Templates in PDF format, choose between 1.78:1 and 1.33:1 goodness.

RED And More: NAB New York Summary

William Speruzzi recently attended NAB New York, and he’s got some notes and opinions on Craig McKay’s keynote, RED and others. Check it out.