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HD for Indies

by Mike Curtis

Mike Curtis writes and runs HD for Indies, a consultancy and website dedicated to using affordable digital technology for independent filmmaking. Mike started HD for Indies after a 15 year digital media career making content for everything from cell phones to cinema screens for clients such as Ford, Dell, Compaq, etc.. As a consultant, he focuses on production and post production hardware, software, and workflows to achieve maximum results at a variety of budget levels....

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Crimson - third party Red application to help with workflow

Crimson - third party Red application to help with workflow

Crimson allows you to round trip FCP-Redcine-FCP - Hallelujah!

By Mike Curtis | March 18, 2008

Just so's I'm first to call it - what we've been waiting for - Crimson - a helper app to help get conformed clips from Final Cut to Redcine and back, with just the parts we want and need in order. I'm doodlin' with it, will have a report.Huh? Whazzat? Whachoo talkin' bout, Willis? Here's how he describes it:Crimson Workflow™ is a tool for transforming sequences created in popular Non-Linear Editing Software, such as Final Cut Pro, Avid and Premiere. It allows proxies, and offline material to be replaced by higher quality material, by efficiently managing the use of two software products distributed by the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company, namely Redline and Redcine.Crimson Workflow™ leverages many tools for troubleshooting less than perfect metadata and file structures giving the user tools to properly reconnect to original material. It also facilitates the use of Redcine after, rather than before editing a project. Crimson Workflow™ is targeted at smaller productions and individuals. But you might find it useful, no matter how large your production.What the software will EVENTUALLY do for you (under development, not feature complete yet, this from Ian Bloom's site):If you buy this software today, you can expect the following features to be enabled in the near future:Loading and Saving Workflow TemplatesUndo and Redo enabledSupport for AVID XML sequencesSupport for Premiere XML sequencesSupport for CMX 3600 EDLsBlind Color Correction Tools CompletedBlind Framing Tools CompletedSupport for GlueTools™Support for the application formerly known as RedToolsProper handling of speed changes and reverse in XML sequences.Trimmed R3D Intermediates (as soon as a tool is available)Timecode and R3D Metadata awareness.Python Scripting EnabledVerr Verr Promising.I first saw it at the Los Angeles Red User Group, as demo'd by Mark and Aldey from OffHollywood, my friends from the East Coast that you may recall I went with when they got the very first Reds ever shipped. They worked with Ian quite a bit to get this software developed, giving feedback and spending a lot of time to get this done.-mike-mike Read More

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Quick update - Red One now shoots 2K at 120 fps - sample included

Quick update - Red One now shoots 2K at 120 fps - sample included

Shooting 120fps is FUN!

By Mike Curtis | March 18, 2008

Just a quick note - Red released firmware build 15 last Thursday, which included a BUNCH of new features like multiple simultaneous video outputs (finally!), Look import and export (camera settings can be moved camera to camera and backed up on computer), and OH YEAH BABY - an increase of the maximum frame rate at 2K resolution from 75 to a whopping 120 frames per second!The above is just a quickie timeline export from proxies on the timeline - I shot it "plain," not tweaking the on camera settings, nor adjusting them in Red Alert - consider this a flat transfer - so no kvetching about the contrast and saturation, mmmkay?: )OK - SO HOW ABOUT 480 FRAMES PER SECOND?Well, Red can't do that - we've already achieved maximum framerate possible at this resolution. So how do we push further?I then doodled with retiming it, to slow it down even further - here's a shot (ignore the clipped highlights, result of some LUT doodling I was doing):Note that this shot is used in the above cut as well - gives you an idea how far things can be pushed for saturation and look. The LUT I was messing with clipped highlights, I didn't bother to go back in and try to retrieve them....and here's the same shot, using After Effects' pixel motion vector juju, to make it 4 times longer, effectively 480fps.Fuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!: DI also attended the first Los Angeles Red User Group meeting, I'll write up all the cool 3rd party hardware and software I saw in another post.UPDATE - here's a different bigger better longer one, 1000 pixels wide Read More

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Personal update - I’m moving to Los Angeles

Personal update - I’m moving to Los Angeles

Time to get where the going's doin'

By Mike Curtis | March 04, 2008

Hey all - this isn't industry news, just personal. I'm moving to Los Angeles to be more of a part of what I've been writing about for the past four years - digital moviemaking. I talk about it here, if you're interested. Read More

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Red One Unboxing - Part 1

Red One Unboxing - Part 1

Pics and details of what you get when your Red One arrives

By Mike Curtis | March 02, 2008

Fedex delivered my Red, #417, on Monday to my friend's house since I was out of town (as pre-arranged with Red). The plan had been for me to drive over, set it up, and shoot some 4K footage of his kids (twin boys). Didn't quite work out that way, but read on.I got over there and started unpacking everything - and there's lots to it! I had three boxes of stuff from Red. Read More

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Blu-ray Won - What’s Next For…

OK - Blu-ray won. Now what? Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, etc.

By Mike Curtis | February 25, 2008

As I guessed (once it was getting pretty obvious), Blu-ray has won the high definition optical disc format war. After Warners announced they were going exclusively Blu-ray, then Netflix, Best Buy, Blockbuster and Walmart said they were too, and Toshiba finally acquiesced and took HD DVD out in the back yard and shot it. Poor Old Yeller, but he had to be put down.OK, so what will this mean? Lets run through repercussions for us as consumers, and more interestingly, as content creators. Read More

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apple tv

AppleTV Take 2: New Software, Same Hardware

By Mike Curtis | January 31, 2008

I very carefully and duly noted when Steve Jobs, during an interview, said that Apple had 3 businesses (Macs, iPods/iTunes, and iPhones) and a hobby (AppleTV).If that wasn't a tacit, explicit admission that a product hadn't done as well as they'd hoped, I don't know what is. To launch a product and then call it a hobby, you might as well say "Dude - it tewdally tanked."And with good reason - more expensive than a DVD player, with less content available, AppleTV didn't add up to the sum of its parts in consumers eyes.For high end users, it made for a nice way to have a good interface to their iTunes library that was constantly available, and also display pictures in high def on an HDTV. As bonus round, it could play movies in a pricey, low quality format, and Oh Cool! - it also could play back purchased TV episodes if you missed them. This was how I perceived it when I bought mine, and quickly realized I wanted a MUCH bigger hard drive than the 40GB unit it came with. * I was enamored and excited about it enough I even started a blog about it called AppleTV Hacker (which I haven't updated since last August).So I was pleasantly surprised to Steve Jobs spend some time talking about AppleTV again at this year's MacWorld, as he described it as AppleTV Take 2. Read More

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macbook air

MacBook Air: Why it isn’t for Us

By Mike Curtis | January 31, 2008

Apple's much hyped MacBook Air that Steve Jobs rolled out to much fanfare has started shipping in the last few days. The specs are surprisingly decent for an ultralight laptop - 13.3" wide aspect 1280x800 screen, full size LED backlit keyboard, a Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM stock, a slick solid state drive, Bluetooth and WiFi, and Apple's first implementation of a multi-touch interface on a device other than an iPhone. Buckets o' sexy, and countin'.At only 3 pounds, it sounds at first like the perfect machine to do some offline editing in the field with, or capture some footage with and start editing back at the hotel, etc. It has a Core 2 Duo processor, already has 2GB of RAM out of the box, so why not? At $1800, it isn't cheap, but it costs less than a MacBook Pro, so even moreso why not?Well....not so fast. Read More

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4k red drive red one redone

Let’s Play “20 Questions” About Red Drives…

By Scott Gentry | January 31, 2008

Let's play "20 Questions" about Red Drives...Jarred Land announced on Reduser the other week that Red Drives were shipping.For those not keeping score, the Red Drives is the hard drive recording solution for the Red One camera. Up until Red Drives shipped, your only recording option was the special high speed CF cards (compact flash) recording officially 4 1/2 minutes of 4K at 24p apiece *. Since only one Red CF card can be loaded at a time, this was roughly the equivalent of a 400 foot film load. Survivable for steadicam work, a nonstarter for sitdown interviews.That changes with the release of the Red Drives - you can record over TWO HOURS of 4K footage to the Red Drives, and many more hours of 2K footage (details below).The Red Drives are comprised of two 160GB 2.5" mechanism hard drives set up in a RAID 0 (striped) configuration. This doubles the capacity and speed versus a regular drive....and also doubles the chances of failure - if one drive fails, you'd lose ALL the data on the pair due to how information is split between the two.I emailed Ted Schilowitz, Red's Leader of the Rebellion, a bunch of questions about the Red Drives, here's what he had to say: Read More

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