Education & Inspiration

What Do You Love More…

What Do You Love More…

Your TV Or Your Smartphone?

By Bruce A Johnson | March 24, 2010

It isn't much of a secret that I work in broadcast television. I think I'm unique among the writers at PVC in that. So I pay a lot of attention to the Federal Communications Commission and whatever they are up to at any particular time.You have probably heard a bit about the FCC's new idea to expand broadband Internet access across the US - to make it happen, it wants to Kill Off Broadcast Television!Ooops, forgive me - I was reading from the playbook of the National Association of Broadcasters. Yeah, the same folks that have sat on enormous swaths of bandwidth since the dawn of the Radio Age and never paid a cent for the privilege to the owners - you and I, the American Public. The NAB sees it a little differently, of course - they will tell you endlessly about how much public service they deliver, through all that local programming they do! You know, like newscasts! And all that other...umm...wait, there isn't anything else but newscasts anymore, is there? (Newscasts that happen to be their biggest profit centers as well.) And a lot of independent (e.g., non-network affiliated, or many Fox) stations don't do news of their own at all, often buying newscasts from their in-market "competitors." Yeah, that's the intersection of journalism and capitalism at it's best, huh?Sounds like I'm mightily pissed-off at broadcasters, right? Well, hang on, because I'm just getting started. Do the Wayne's-World-finger-wipe in front of your eyes (go ahead, I'll wait...there, that'll do) and go back about four years, when the Digital TV Transition (fanfare goes here) was in full swing. Broadcasters had no better friend than the Consumer Electronics Association, who hyped the new HDTV technology like it was the Second Coming. Of course, as of last June, the DTV Transition (fanfare goes here) is over, and a fairly large number of Americans have already replaced their old TVs with HDTVs. So what does the CEA think of this?Headline from TWICE, the CEA's own news source:CEA Backs FCC Broadband PlanCEA says Time to evict TV stations from the airwaves! Gotta sell the next gimmick! (How can they split their attention between this and 3D-TV?) "Fickle" is a vast understatement for the friendship of the CEA, and if they want to sell a gadget by replacing whatever it is you do, watch your back - AND your wallet.And the FCC isn't blameless in this either. Again, less than a year after finishing the job of ripping up the foundation of television broadcasting, they announce they are going to rip it up AGAIN? These guys have the attention span of a gnat. The lawyer/consultants for my station sent out a synopsis of how the FCC Broadband Plan might affect TV stations. Here are a few excerpts:"...The FCC may seek early on to "repack" TV station allocations to free up Channels 46 - 51 for wireless broadband services. Stations on those channels would either go off the air or move down the band...The effect on all stations would likely be increased interference and smaller service areas.""Ultimately, the FCC wants 120 MHz (or 20 channels), suggesting an eventual repack down to Channel 30 or so. That seems impossible to accomplish without significant numbers of stations simply going off the air."Well, that certainly puts a different light on the NAB's paranoia. So why does any of this matter? If this is so important to the future of the US, why didn't we do this in concert with the DTV transition? For one, ten years ago few people could actually envision what "broadband" meant. But here we are in 2010, and one in five of us has in our pocket what would literally be considered a "supercomputer" only a decade ago, and it breathes that bandwidth that the FCC wants to "repack." So, I ask you...what do you value more?Your TV or your smartphone?Sounds like a stark choice, right? Well, it is. What do YOU think? Read More


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Making It Look Great 7 Review

Cinema 4D's MoGraph Unleashed

By Chris and Trish Meyer | February 26, 2010

Last summer I wrote an lengthy review of the Motionworks' Making It Look Great 6 training series, where Tim Clapham did a great job covering the integration of Cinema 4D and After Effects. I mentioned my wish for Tim to do a full series on using Cinema's MoGraph module, and little did I know that such a series was already in the works. Not wanting to wait, I offered to proof it as it was being developed (crafty, huh!), and now it's arrived in a store near you as Making It Look Great 7.MILG7 consists of six projects produced using a wide variety of MoGraph objects and effectors. Not only will you learn tons of MoGraph techniques as you create some fun animations, but sprinkled throughout are a great many solid Cinema working practices that will serve you well in any project. Read More


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Random Tips from a Professional Camera Operator

Hopefully useful advice to smooth and finesse your moves and tune your viewfinder eye

By Art Adams | February 26, 2010

Teaching the craft of camera operating is extremely difficult to do well, so I'm going to do it half-assed and give you some random tips that may help you along in your career. Read More


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Two New Sharp-Looking Charts from DSC Labs

Focus on the important things with the Fiddlehead and CineZone charts

By Art Adams | February 25, 2010

The first time I used a DSC Chart for color analysis I was completely blown away by the thought and cleverness that went into designing the Chroma Du Monde. Now they've done it again, but this time for focus. Read More


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Final Cut Pro’s achilles heel or how I hate the reconnection dance

From the Editblog archives: October 08

By Scott Simmons | February 24, 2010

When you talk about media management in Final Cut Pro it's often not a big issue to many as you digitize a few tapes or import some P2 media, add graphics, music and you're done. FCP's bad media management never rears its ugly head. But when you start working with many different clips across a lot of hard drives then the frustration can grow. And let's not even talk about multiple editors working on the same job in different locations. Say you are cutting for a director that has an exact copy of your media on his computer and all he wants to do is open the project file, watch the edit, make notes and then send it back… you must both go through the reconnection dance each time you open the modified project. It's a pain and a waste of time. Read More


hpa tech retreat

HPA Tech Retreat 2010 - Day 3

HDR imaging, animation restoration, collaborative networking, and more...

By Adam Wilt | February 19, 2010

The Tech Retreat's third day covered regulatory issues, HDR imaging, using a plasma for reference monitoring, SOA, networking, file-based workflows... and Mo Henry. Read More


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Avid to Apple Color - The Video

More info on this cool workflow

By Scott Simmons | February 18, 2010

Late last year I posted a link and a step by step workflow to moving your RED edit from Avid Media Composer to Apple Color. You would think these applications, from two mortal enemies, wouldn't really work well together. But apparently with this workflow they can. While the step-by-step form was nice,this video from Avid Screencast (#15 Red Workflow iV - Conform from Avid to Apple's Color) shows the process in a nice, concise 6 minute tutorial. See the embedded video after the jump. Read More


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HPA Tech Retreat 2010 - Day 2

Panels and papers at the Tech Retreat

By Adam Wilt | February 18, 2010

The 16th Annual Tech Retreat was officially opened by HPS President Leon Silverman today. (As with yesterday's coverage, this'll be stream-of-consciousness coverage.) Read More


Are You A Wireless Outlaw?

Are You A Wireless Outlaw?

Here's Where You Find Out

By Bruce A Johnson | February 18, 2010

A side-effect of the Digital Television Transition (remember that?) comes home to roost on June 12, 2010. That's the day that wireless microphone systems you own might be ILLEGAL to operate, as decreed by the FCC. They insist it is time to scrap any wireless that operates in the 700 megahertz band."But Bruce," I hear you saying, "I don't want to be a criminal!! How do I know if my wireless system is legal?" Let me help you out, friend. Click on this link to be taken to the FCC's official list of the outlaw wirelesses.You're welcome. Glad to be of service! I looked up my two systems - an old Samson UM1 and a much newer Sennheiser EW100G2 -and luckily, neither made the list.But below, let's talk. Now, no one here - not PVC, and certainly not me - condones lawbreaking of ANY type. Still, what will YOU do if you find your cherished wireless on the list? Read More


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Highlander: Uncut - Getting footage to edit before the Internet

From the Editblog archives: June 08

By Scott Simmons | February 11, 2010

I posted this piece back in June 2008 after I had cleaned out a closet and found my old Highlander: Uncut editing package. It was cutting edge at the time but unfortunately this package is no longer for sale.Long before there was the project, cheap digital camcorders and even Final Cut Pro there was always the question of where could you get footage for digital non-linear editing. An even bigger question was where could you get REAL footage to practice and hone your story telling and NLE skills. There was always the outdoor forest footage that I vaguely remember Avid providing or there was Highlander: Uncut Read More


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The Making of an Epic Media Project

A RED ONE, a small but agile crew, and a 2k 60'-wide screening in an Omnimax theater. This, truly, is a modern day epic.

By Art Adams | February 11, 2010

Rambus is a company of big ideas, and they wanted their 20th anniversary celebration to include a theatrical production that accurately reflected who they are and where they came from. The resulting short film--shown in an Omnimax dome at the San Jose Tech Museum--moved Rambus founders and employees to tears. Read More


Quicktip: Identify FCP filter in the timeline

Quicktip: Identify FCP filter in the timeline

From the Editblog archives: December 07

By Scott Simmons | February 02, 2010

One question I hear often is asking if there is a way to tell what filters are applied to a clip by looking at the clip in the Final Cut Pro timeline. The answer is yes. You must first turn on the Toggle Clip Keyframes button in the lower right corner of the timeline, or use the keyboard shortcut Option + T: Read More


Breaking The First Rule Of Non-Linear Editing, Part Two

Breaking The First Rule Of Non-Linear Editing, Part Two

It just gets weirder and weirder.

By Bruce A Johnson | January 29, 2010

Our story so far: Our intrepid editor and geek just spent about $7000 on a new editing computer. To try and save money, he bought the HP Z800 without a DVD drive or video card. When he finally tries to install the BluRay burner...)"bump."Whaaaat? Read More


Breaking The First Rule Of Non-Linear Editing, Part One

Breaking The First Rule Of Non-Linear Editing, Part One

Update? Are you nuts?

By Bruce A Johnson | January 27, 2010

When last we spoke, I had announced my intention to break The First Rule Of Editing - to actually upgrade my editor in the middle of several ongoing productions. My reasons were threefold:* Against all odds, I had the money;* My 4-year-old dual-Pentium Dell XPS600, which had been rock-steady, had suddenly become pretty flaky, with USB ports disappearing and reappearing at unpredictable times - and when your keyboard, mouse and ShuttlePro are all USB devices, that can be a bad thing;* And as a Adobe Creative Suite CS4 user, the demo of the upcoming Abobe Mercury engine in combination with new-technology CUDA video cards and a hot Windows machine is quite impressive. Check it out.For the last ten years, I have made something of a specialty out of taking inexpensive, low-to-midrange computers and making DV editors out of them. Back in the days of the Canopus DVRaptor, I could take the puniest machine, add RAM and a hard drive for media, and build a pretty functional editor (by the standards of the early 2000's) for less than $700. I built more than 50 editors like this over several years, but times have changed. The budget this time was going to be a whole different beast. Read More


after effects c4d cinema cineversity export integration maxon

On & Cineversity: CINEMA 4D + After Effects

We finally released a comprehensive video course on integrating the two.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 26, 2010

Maxon's CINEMA 4D is our 3D application of choice because it integrates so well with our main tool, Adobe After Effects. Although we've written about it and demonstrated it in sessions and classes, we never got around to creating a comprehensive course on the subject - until now. We've released an hour and a half course through both and Cineversity. In addition to the traditional techniques of transferring camera and light information and creating hold-out mattes, we also discuss at length how to better blend new graphics created in After Effects into your already-rendered 3D world from CINEMA, including lighting effects and shadows. We also take a side trip into the wonders of multipass rendering, including the ability to alter 3D lighting, shadows, and reflections after the fact. Along the way, we also discuss other important issue such as frame rates and pixel aspect ratios. The course comes with exercise files (premium subscribers only at; for Cineversity members, the files are connected to the second movie in the series).If you're not a member of either Cineversity or and want to check it out, you can get a free 7-day all-access pass to by clicking here. A few of the movies are also available there for free preview.The content contained in our books, videos, blogs, and articles for other sites are all copyright Crish Design, except where otherwise attributed. Read More


Avid Media Composer 101 courseware translated/localized for Latin America/Spain

Avid Media Composer 101 courseware translated/localized for Latin America/Spain

Avid contracted the translation/localization to Rub©n Abruña and Allan T©pper.

By Allan Tépper | January 22, 2010

After many months of teamwork, the Avid Media Composer 101 courseware is now available in a translated and localized version for Latin America & Spain. As a result, many Avid MC101 students in those areas can now benefit from having this courseware in their own language. My friend Rub©n Abruña of iLevel and I had the honor of receiving this contract from Avid in 2009. The first draft of our translation/localization was initially used in September 2009 at an Avid training event in Santiago, Chile, South America, both to teach a group of new students, as well as to generate feedback from certified Avid instructors from the region. In this article, you'll see the behind the scenes of this project, which combined our knowledge of the techie video terms in each language, as well as that of the regionalisms and political debates that surround this type of a project. Read More


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Masters of Visual Effects - Online

Matt Silverman has posted this timeless training series online for free.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 20, 2010

Matt Silverman, Creative Director of Bonfire Labs, is a certifiable After Effects old-timer (although he also has experience in many different systems), particularly known "back in the day" as being a roto expert in addition to an all-around top-shelf motion graphics and visual effects artist. Several years ago, he took it upon himself to enlist some of the best users in the field to construct a set of timeless, concept-based, software-agnostic visual effects training videos. These VHS tapes are long out of print, so Matt has started to digitize them and place them online. The links for Series 2 (covering compositing, keying, tracking, paint, and rotoscoping presented by Ron Brinkmann, Stu Maschwitz, and Scott Stewart) are below; watch them while you can: Read More


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Low-Budget PSA’s, Shot on RED, Prove that Budget is Not a Barrier to Excellence

Fast, cheap and good--normally you can pick any two. For these PSA's we got all three.

By Art Adams | January 20, 2010

"Dad has a barn and mom can sew--let's put on a show!" Production budgets aren't what they used to be, but that doesn't excuse sloppiness. There's almost always a way to do good work as long as your creativity extends beyond lighting and framing into the realm of "making do." Read More


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RED shows off their new sensor and new "color science" at their new studios.

By Adam Wilt | January 18, 2010

RED Leader Jim Jannard at Ren-Mar RED Studios on Saturday.

On Saturday 16 January, RED hosted three open-house sessions in Hollywood, for CML (cinematography mailing list) members, ASC (American Society of Cinematography) members, and for RED ONE owners. I attended the CML session, and here's a quick writeup on what we learned. [updated 10:15pm PST: M-X performance details] Read More


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A Tale of Forbidden Love, Shot on RED

"Independent film" implies independence from money, but not from quality

By Art Adams | January 15, 2010

A short schedule, minimal crew, no budget, a RED with an untried software build, and a trained dog in nearly every shot. What could go wrong? Read More