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by PVC Experts

Written by a collection of the best writers in the industry and covering topics ranging from editing to motion graphics to live production. This channel features an incredibly diverse collection of authors and articles. Find out more about each of them...

In third grade, Richard Wirth was already reading anything he could find about television while dreaming of becoming a professional in the world of television and film production. Stops on the life timeline at American Forces Television, the Motion Picture Association, several mid-western pr...

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Videomaker Review: DN-60 CF Card Field Recorder

Videomaker Review: DN-60 CF Card Field Recorder

The DN-60 reviewed by Mark Holden in the Sept. 2011 Issue of Videomaker Magazine

By V.F. Elliott | August 05, 2011

If you've got an aging DV or HDV camcorder whose heads are beginning to fail, or perhaps you simply want to step into the digital age, but your older camera still delivers great footage, then strapping a direct-capture-device onto that prized piece of video history may be exactly what the geriatrician ordered. Like all of us, camcorders eventually begin to age and parts don't work as well as they once did. Even then they may still have a lot of life left in them and aren't ready for the Soylent Green factory just yet. With two cameras fitting that description, a Canon XL2 and a JVC GY-DV100U, one begins looking for the camcorder fountain of youth. Some great products exist on the market today that are quite capable of meeting that need, but may be cost prohibitive, particularly when you have multiple units waiting to be sprung from the video retirement home. The Datavideo Corporation, however, may have come to the rescue with its DV/HDV Compact Flash card recorder - the DN-60.{C} Read More

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The SE-900 based Mobile Production Studio at Elizabethtown College: Part 1

The SE-900 based Mobile Production Studio at Elizabethtown College: Part 1

A Case Study with Andy Williams at Elizabethtown College

By V.F. Elliott | July 18, 2011

Andy Williams, Director of Broadcasting in the Department of Communications at Elizabethtown College has been working hard over the last year to develop a portable production studio that gives E-town's Broadcast students real-world experience with live TV Production. He completed the project this summer to create the "E-town Mobile Production Studio" shown here. He's been involved in broadcast television for over twenty years, the last 15 working at an NBC affiliate, and he came to Elizabethtown College about three years ago. Elizabethtown College is a private college in Pennsylvania that has focused curriculum in liberal arts, fine and performing arts, science and engineering, business, communications and education. Read More

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On-Location Sports Coverage with DICHO & HECHO Productions

On-Location Sports Coverage with DICHO & HECHO Productions

Why the HS-2000 HD Mobile Studio Worked for Them - By Allan T©pper

By V.F. Elliott | May 09, 2011

DICHO & HECHO ("Said & Done") Productions, a startup production company in Guatemala City, Central America, recently purchased Datavideo's HS-2000 HD Mobile Studio to cover various sports events and other on-location productions in Guatemala. Because founders and directors Daniel Borrayo and Lyn Kachler had an extensive background in HD TV Production, they were particular about what equipment to use as their production staples when they started their new company. In fact, Daniel Borrayo had considered several options before choosing the HS-2000 Mobile Studio.{C} Read More

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Amtrak: Keeping Us Safe at Super High Speeds!

A case study

By Scott Gentry | March 30, 2011

In late September of 2010, Amtrak announced plans to have a high speed rail line in the Northeast U.S. that will connect Boston, New York, Philadelphia and DC, and move at up to speeds of 220 mph. A train that fast would cut a 426 mile, 8 hour trip for most East Coast travelers, down to 2-3 hours. That's fast! Even on Amtrak's fastest rail car to date, the Acela train (150 mph), that trip still takes 6.5 hours. Since Amtrak passenger trains are a part of life for most people on the U.S. East Coast, cutting the hours of travel for their customers is one of Amtrak's top priorities. However, it's some years before the 220mph rail line becomes a reality, and there's still one thing that Amtrak cares more about than transporting their passengers quickly: keeping all rail cars and passengers safe at all speeds today, and in the future. The safety inspection process that Amtrak has developed over the years has made it so that it is easier to check a large distance of track quickly so that both high-speed and conventional rail-cars can benefit. Read More

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The HS-2000 for Public Affairs Coverage:

A one box, take-anywhere solution used by the field team at C-SPAN

By Scott Gentry | February 18, 2011

When looking for a hand-held mobile studio that was feature-filled and could handle HD, Tony Pronko, Engineer at C-SPAN in Washington DC, stopped looking when he found the HS-2000.A lot of the high definition footage that is shot for C-SPAN requires that a field crew be on-location, and many sites do not easily accommodate for a professional production crew. Having equipment that is not only compact, but can easily be set up and taken down is one issue on a list of things Tony had to consider. Fortunately, he found that the HS-2000 was just right for what they needed- a super portable unit that has a lot of features in one box. Read More

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The HS-2000 at Screenplay Magazine’s Media and Innovations Summit

By Scott Gentry | February 02, 2011

Earlier this year, Ken Pyle at Viodi LLC, contacted us about what equipment he could use to switch and record multiple video sources and computer sources for a setup he was creating for Screenplay Magazines Media and Innovations Summit (at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles) in September of this year. Read More

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The SE-500 in Studio and Live through Fiber Optics!

User story

By Scott Gentry | December 10, 2010

Ralph Score, video production and web coordinator at Valley TeleCom Group produces video programming exclusively made for Community Channel TV1, a cable channel provided by Valley TeleCom Group in Arizona. He calls himself "the guy who you don't pay attention to behind the curtain" - but he's mainly responsible for making sure the magic happens by keeping all the engineering and technical direction on a production tight. He was kind enough to share with us the flexibility and usage that he has when using our SE-500 4 input switcher for a variety of shoots in the local community. Read More

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Broadcast Quality HD Production for Beginners: Part 5

Hi-def Video Production with Ottis Jones and Datavideo.

By Scott Gentry | December 01, 2010

Part 5: Editing and Distributing your VideoNow that you have recorded your HD footage, there are several ways to edit and distribute your finished work . In this case, Ottis needed to edit and distribute his finished product to a TV station for broadcast, but he also put an archive of videos up on the shows website, http://www.ofgh.org for people to be able to watch on the internet. With the popularity of internet videos and channels on the rise, knowing how to edit/optimize your videos for the web is definitely a plus. We'll cover both methods here. Read More

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Broadcast Quality HD Production for Beginners: Part 4

Hi-Def Video Production with Ottis Jones and Datavideo.

By Scott Gentry | December 01, 2010

Part 4: Add a professional touch with Character Generation (Part 4 of 5) What is Character Generation?Character generation is the fancy text and graphics animation that you see on the News and other TV programs. It's also the graphics that you see in the lower third of the screen, or in the left or right corner of your TV. It usually lets you know what station you're watching or what's coming up next.Adding moving text and graphics to your video productions really polishes your work all together, and adding it can be as simple as owning a computer with PowerPoint installed. Ottis uses PowerPoint through his titling computer that is connected to the Datavideo SE-2000 switcher via the DVI-D port. He uses it for animations like rolling credits and show ID. Here's how to add basic CG with PowerPoint just like Ottis did using the SE-2000 switcher: Read More

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Broadcast Quality HD Production for Beginners: Part 3

Hi-Def Video Production with Ottis Jones and Datavideo.

By Scott Gentry | December 01, 2010

Part 3: Recording the Audio and Video(Part 3 of 5)We've gotten past the hard part of connecting the video components, and now recording your video sources should be relatively easy. By now you should have tested all your connections, so all you have to worry about is if your recorder is actually recording all the footage. Test this early. Run a few rehearsals (As Ottis does) to make sure you have clear idea of what issues you have to face once you start shooting. Read More

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Broadcast Quality HD Production for Beginners: Part 2

Hi-def Video Production with Ottis Jones and Datavideo.

By Scott Gentry | November 30, 2010

Part 2: Setting up the Studio(Part 2 of 5)Once Ottis purchased all his equipment, the obvious next step was to set up the studio. One advantage he had over most inexperienced producers was that the old SD equipment in his studio just had to be replaced with the new. However, we are still going to discuss the connections here to make it easier for you to adopt your own set up. In Part 1 of this series we covered taking the time to diagram your signal flow and ideal set up. Here's when that time spent planning is going to pay off. Read More

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Broadcast Quality HD Production for Beginners:

Hi-Def Video production with Ottis Jones and Datavideo

By Scott Gentry | October 03, 2010

In this five-part series, we will look at a real world case study of a facility that took on the daunting task of upgrading to HD. These parts will cover:Part 1: Getting Started - assessing your goals, making overall decisions with regards to cabling and formats, designing your new system.Part 2: Setting Up The Studio - building the signal chain from cameras to switcher to monitor to recorder.Part 3: Recording the Audio and Video - setup, monitoring, recording, and transferring files, including particular attention to the audio.Part 4: Character Generation - including preparing your slides in PowerPoint and converting them into nice overlays.Part 5: Editing and Distributing - from acquisition through uploading files for the internet. Read More

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Live Sports Production: Argentina’s Boca Juniors Soccer Team

Live Sports Production: Argentina’s Boca Juniors Soccer Team

A Datavideo User Story

By Scott Gentry | December 08, 2009

IntroductionIn many countries around the world, soccer is THE national sport and it's a source of huge national pride when teams reach the World Cup. On a local level, most large cities have one or more soccer teams, and these teams play a large part of the everyday lives of local citizens. One such local soccer team is Argentina's Boca Juniors. Hailing from near Buenos Aires, Boca Juniors are extremely popular in the world of soccer, and are the reigning champion of the Recopa Sudamericana title and 23 national championships. The Boca Juniors fame has grown to the point that they are renown around the globe, having won more international cups than any other team in history. The Boca Junior's home field is Estadio Alberto J. Armando, better known as "La Bombonera."Naturally, with such a large fan base, the Boca Junior's games are televised in Buenos Aires and while the broadcast needs of a regional team seem simple, in reality they are very demanding. Live sports productions, like many other live productions, work without a net and have to be expertly produced as there is no opportunity for another take or to correct a flub in post production. Add to that the complexity of live television broadcast and a very large crowd of fans at the field and watching at home or in the local tavern (and you can imagine the pressure the producers are under)- everything just has to work. Read More

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Automation Mixing

Soundtrack Pro 2 tricks

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | April 16, 2009

From what I have seen, many editors shy away from using Soundtrack Pro 2, as they feel that they have the same tools in Final Cut Pro, and it's one less step they have to go through, by mixing in their editing timeline. Let me say, if you think this way, you are missing out on one of the best "not so hidden" features of Soundtrack Pro 2, and that is Automation Mixing (AM). AM used to be reserved for the sound engineers who had mixing consoles hooked up to their Mac's, but not any more. You can use this excellent advanced technique for not only regular mixing, but 5.1 surround mixing as well. Read More

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Stills in Final Cut Pro

Successful Strategies Animating Still Images in Final Cut Pro

By vittiPhoto | April 13, 2009

 

 

The point of this entry is to create clean, professional sequences of animated still photos inside Final Cut Pro. If you have a short deadline, one way to make this deadline is to prep your images in Adobe's Photoshop CS-4 and animate directly in Apple's Final Cut Pro. This project relies on a few basic Photoshop (PS) techniques to prepare images for 2D manipulation. Leveraging PS in preparing images maximizes the animation process. The structure of this entry is to walk through the process of building a two minute long animated stills segment with voice over and music in the DV widescreen format. FCP will handle the square pixel conversion to anamorphic pixel aspect ratio (PAR). In Photoshop, we'll start by previsualizing the images, size and crop them saving them as jpg's, importing and animating these images in FCP. We'll be using the Viewer's Keyframe Graph Area for keyframing Scale, Rotation, Center, Crop, Distort and Opacity parameters. This is a good workflow for down and dirty stills animation based on an overnight job for a public relations client completed last year. Read More

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fcp final cut pro fxscript plugins

Plugins You Should Know About

More FXScript plugins, some for free, and all useful.

By Adam Wilt | March 24, 2009

Just a quick follow-on to last week's FXScript article—some real-world examples of FXScript plugins that add value to FCP. Some are even free. Read More

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fcp filter final cut pro fxscript pixel mask

FXScript: FCP’s Most Under-appreciated Feature

I whip up a dead-pixel masker for a feature, and you get the filter for free, along with a quick tour of FXScript.

By Adam Wilt | March 17, 2009

So, these guys throw me a feature needing some digital janitorial work. I spend a few days in Motion and Shake, hand-tracking in fixes atop super-wide-angle, wildly distorting, handheld shots with exposure changes in 'em, and faking up some greenscreen comps for stuff that didn't get shot. Cool. But there are also stuck pixels throughout: the show was shot with a pair of HD camcorders: one had a bright white pixel in the upper right side of its image, the other in the upper left side (this, apparently, is what "fair and balanced" is all about). What to do? FXScript! Read More

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Inside the New Mac Pros

Inside the New Mac Pros

Mike's recommendations, cost/performance analysis and tea leaf readings on the new Mac Pros

By Mike Curtis | March 08, 2009

Last Tuesday Apple announced new Mac Pro models based on Intel's Nehalem architecture (at long last!). We got some things we'd been hoping for (Nehalem architecture, improved memory handing, MUCH faster GPUs, cleaner internal layout), and not some others some of us had been hoping for (Blu-ray burners, 10GigE networking, cookie dispenser). Read on for Mike's breakdown of all the BTO options, what they mean, what they cost, and what Mike recommends in a new Mac Pro. Read on after the jump for the Full Scooby. Read More

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The History of SmoothCam

SmoothCam evolution.

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | March 07, 2009

As they say, it's not the destination that's important, it's the journey, and that can be said about a lot of things. We as editors take things for granted, without appreciating where it came from. As a Shake user, I loved SmoothCam, and when I found out they were brining it to Final Cut Studio 2, I was really excited. I decided, for this article, to look at SmoothCam, where it came from, and how it evolved from Shake. As I say in the video, SmoothCam is a very welcome addition to Final Cut Pro 6, and I think it really shows the future of Final Cut Pro effects work, and with Background Processing, the future looks very bright indeed! Read More

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ProRes: A Closer Look

An in-depth examination of ProRes

By Gary Adcock | March 03, 2009

The largest issue in post production is maintaining the highest quality for compositing, graphics, effects and delivery; whether that content is used in broadcast, theatrical or direct to DVD release. Camera native codecs are amazing for their ability to capture light at the highest quality, yet this "native" camera data was never meant to work directly within the editing process, only within the manufacturers proprietary camera hardware.This intermediate codec, called ProRes, was designed specifically to maintain full colorspace and 10bit workflow throughout the post process allowing Final Cut Pro to finally take its place as a truly professional editing platform. Read More

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