Archives For Production

Hey gang,

I’m finally back with a new post. This week as brought a wave of news out of CES, including some new Thunderbolt peripherals. Here are some of my thoughts on what’s ahead.

Update 1: AMD intros “Lightning Bolt”, creates confusion about true Thunderbolt

I became aware of this a day after I recorded the Thunderbolt round-up video above. Just as Thunderbolt is starting to get some traction, AMD has announced it is developing a cheaper, slower, less capable competitor that uses THE SAME CONNECTOR (Mini display port). They are conspicuously calling this tech “Lightning Bolt”. This tech is USB 3 based, but due to muxing this would run at “less than” full USB 3 speeds. Note: USB 3 is rated at 5Gbps (total). True Apple/Intel Thunderbolt is 10Gbps (bi-directional…i.e. 20Gbps total). Does this smack of “cheap knock-off” or what?

Ugh. I predict widespread confusion, especially outside of the geek-o-sphere.

Anandtech has the known details.

Update 2 : My follow up to this video

My follow-up to this video regarding Thunderbolt and the Mac Pro’s future

Blackmagic Design has released DaVinci Resolve for Windows as a public beta. Wow are they moving fast with this. I am very excited about this development, along with the fact that Resolve is now a free app for many users working in HD. This is a seriously powerful color grading system that I have been using for several months now. More to come on that soon.

Milpitas, USA – December 15, 2011 – Blackmagic Design today announced DaVinci Resolve 8.2 for Microsoft Windows™ public beta is now available for download. DaVinci Resolve for Windows public beta is available in both the full featured DaVinci Resolve 8.2 and free DaVinci Resolve Lite versions. The DaVinci Resolve 8.2 for Windows license is included with the Mac OS X version, so all current Mac OS X customers automatically get a license for the Windows version, and can download it now to use in their facility.

Availability and Price

DaVinci Resolve for Microsoft Windows 7™ public beta is now available for download from the Blackmagic Design web site free of charge for all current DaVinci Resolve customers. When released, DaVinci Resolve 8.2 for Windows will be included with the Mac OS X version for US$995. DaVinci Resolve Lite will be available for both Mac OS X and Windows 7, free of charge.

The full text of the announcement can be read here.

Hey all, just a reminder that I’m heading to Motion 2011 and The Adobe Post Show and I sure hope to see as many of you there as possible. If you are just learning what that is, here’s a link to my original VIDEO post about why I go. Bonus: There’s a heck of a good discount via PROMO CODEs in the banner to the right.

Exclusive Promo Codes

$100 off either Motion 2011 or The Adobe Post Show via promo code: REELmo11

$175 off the already-discounted price for both conferences via promo code: REELmoPS11

This industry is very challenging, more now than ever, and a lot of us are under tremendous pressure to deliver in a time of shrinking budgets and increased expectations. It’s very easy to feel like you are constantly chasing your tail, and you end up getting creatively burnt out. Motion 2011 is a place to fix that. The Adobe Post show is a place to acquire new hands on skills. I’m teaching a Premiere Pro lab there, but am just as eager to participate as an attendee.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

I’m on site at an agency client, cutting in Premiere Pro and After Effects, but I thought I better get the word out that Apple have announced an update to FCP X.

Major points:

•XML Support

•Stems Export

The Apple site specifically mentions DaVinci Resolve, under the XML support paragraph. That’s notable for two reasons: 1) Apple are apparently acknowledging the industry’s move to Resolve as a replacement for their own end-of-life Color (and that they have no competitor in the offing), and 2) It seems to indicate this support is ready at launch.

Apple have indicated that multicam support and broadcast monitoring support are coming in 2012. The Multicam was previously announced as intended for “the next major release”, so that’s not a huge surprise, but now that the XML feature is added (although implementation and workflow with all apps is TBD), professional editors are likely to remain frustrated on the monitoring issue, as having a system configured with external monitoring is a standard way of working in most all serious production environments, particularly those where clients are frequently in the room. Many will simply find other editing apps to work in that provide the editorial experience they are accustomed to.

Also noteworthy, and in my opinion a clear indicator of Apple feeling competitive pressure, is that Apple are now offering a 30 day trial of Final Cut Pro X. I have not seen them do that before.

The full list of features is available at the Apple page announcing the update. The update is available via the Mac App store.

When I get a chance, I’ll drive the new upgrade features and test drive an XML workflow, particularly to Resolve and try to get it over to AE (Automatic Duck factor? have to wait and see on that…).

UPDATE 1:

Apple have also posted updates to the Pro Apps codecs. Details on the Apple Support page by clicking here.

UPDATE 2:

Apple have also posted a white paper entitled “Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors”. Clearly a coordinated effort timed for the same day as the update to help curb some of the negativity and ease the transition. Smart move. Apple seems to be moving with a counteroffensive, for lack of a better term.

Engadget recently posted this news, and since it’s taking place in Hollywood, and it’s from Canon, I think we can safely assume that this is going to be some sort of camera product directed at our industry, and that makes it worthy of posting here.

 click the image to link to the Engadget post.

Billed as an historic global announcement, I gotta believe this is more than a new 5D Mark III or some such. Although, in hindsight, the Canon video DSLRs sure have had a big impact on our industry. Perhaps this could be some new large sensor camcorder, maybe with RAW recording, maybe 4k, who really knows… Just thought I’d get it on the radar. All we know for sure is Canon is announcing something they consider historic on November 3rd in Hollywood.

Let’s not forget to factor Canon’s recent digital cinema PL-mount lens announcements (thanks Adam Oas for the nudge)!

I admit this is far from comprehensive, but I still find it interesting. A bunch of Boston area shooters got together for an informal look at how lenses of different costs (ranging from $450-$18K) looked on the same camera (a Panasonic AF-100) in the same scene. Here’s the unscientific results.


There’s also a Behind-The-Scenes piece. Enjoy!

Here’s a link to Benjamin Eckstein’s blog with the full write up.

Blackmagic Design have made a lot of news at IBC this week. Amongst many announcements, today they’ve announced DaVinci Resolve version 8.1. Alexis Van Hurkman has a great breakdown of new features over at his blog.

Here’s a link to the BMD press release.

Also, another big announcement is that Resolve is going cross-platform.
Well, technically it already was cross platform. First Linux, then Mac, but come Q1 2012, Resolve will be on Windows!

Very smart move from Blackmagic Design to further cement their brand. This will also open a much wider range of hardware and multi-GPU configuration possibilities.

In the current climate where many professional users are questioning Apple’s commitment to them, they are realizing that FCP competitors like Adobe and Avid have pretty much identical experiences on Mac or Windows, there might not be as much keeping them on the Mac platform as they thought. It’s about growth and tectonic shifts in the market place. Good to see Blackmagic solidifying their presence with this powerful color grading system.

What about me? I’ve been a cross-platform shop for a decade or more. My first foray into doing production on Windows was for performance reasons when the Macs were stuck in G4-slow-ville and the Pentiums were kicking butt. Having said that, for the last 5 years or more I’ve done almost all production on the Mac platform.

I’ve been using a really cool new app for iOS devices called Acquire For Photoshop. It’s a really simple idea, elegantly executed.

You know those cool, but often pricey Eye-Fi cards you can buy for your digital camera, that transmit photos you’ve to your computer over Wifi? Well, think of that same concept for your iOS device.

Acquire For Photoshop allows you to snap a photo on your iOS device and immediately transmit it into Photoshop CS 5 or later for further cropping, retouching, whatever. It is a simple idea and it just works. Created by Flying Car Inc. Just $1.99 in the iTunes store.

Disclosure: I was provided with reviewer’s access to this app a week or so before it was released. I have known one of the developers, Brian Maffitt, for years, and consider him a friend. Having said that, friendship does not guarantee a positive review. Most importantly: I have no financial relationship with this whatsoever.

Venerable video effects plugin developer Digieffects has released a new service product today: RenderMon.

RenderMon provides the ability to monitor video rendering from remote locations, giving professionals an extra level of freedom while still assuring the job gets done.

The App is still under development. Feel free to download the App and help us to produce the best product as possible.

More information can be found at http://rendermon.digieffects.com/

Congratulations to Robert Sharp and the team at DigiEffects on this new category of service aimed at making the lives of motion graphics and video professionals just a little more convenient. There have been many times, when on deadline, I chose to miss activities so I could keep an eye on my renders. With a service like RenderMon, I could escape the suite once in awhile and still keep an eye on things while on the go.

Zacuto has posted Episode 2 of their most excellent “Great Camera Shootout” for 2011 series. If you want to be educated on how the range of digital camera acquisition options stack up and compare in a series of excruciatingly well-designed tests, this is really a great resource.

Dim the lights, enable HD, and fullscreen it.

Click the image below to view on the Zacuto site:
Cam Shootout
And in case you missed part one, make sure you start here:
Cam shootout 1