Why Do LA People Suck? John August Responds

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 30, 2009

Over at John August's blog, he's posted some feedback from a reader that asks the question "Why do LA people suck?" and rants a bit about backstabbing and shallow friendships. John does an excellent job of breaking down the themes in the e-mail, nicely explains the difference between friends and colleagues, and offers some tips on how to better network and ask for help. It's an odd post, but a good one. Check it out. Read More


after effects colorize motion sepia tint tritone

A Rose-Colored Tint, by Any Other Name

Don't you hate it when similar effects have different names, and different effects have the same name?

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 30, 2009

Although I am primarily an After Effects artist, I also spend some time in Final Cut Pro and Motion. Quite often, I want to translate a favorite technique from one into the others. Unfortunately, this is usually accompanied by a spirited session of find-the-filter as the same visual effect may have different names - even between Apple's own applications! Read More


5d d90 dslr nikon pmp

Pimp Your Video DSLR with a monocle from Nikon

The Nikon Media Port UP300x puts your eye on the monitor

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 29, 2009

Via this machine-translated blog entry is an interesting look at a product from Nikon, the Media Port UP300x. It's a set of headphones outfitted with a eyepiece complete with a LCOS screen at 640x480 pixels, built-in media storage, and is intended for use as a PMP-type device. But it also offers a video input, and some enterprising individuals have hooked it up to the Nikon D90 DSLR for use with the LiveView and video recording functions. Is this the future of filmmaking? Read More


cheat sheet ex3 f35 far red filter formatt ir red schneider tiffen

IR Filter Cheat Sheet

You asked for it, you got it: the non-brain-exploding "just what I need to know" IR filter cheat sheet.

By Art Adams | March 27, 2009

Here it is. Below the table you'll find a link to download a printable PDF. To the best of my knowledge this information is correct, but be sure to read the notes regarding Hot Mirror filters: they can cause color vignetting on wider lenses, some require that a certain side face out, and they can be highly reflective. This table should be very helpful, but just to cover myself:USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, and WHEN IN DOUBT, TEST.Updates will occur as new things are learned. Enjoy! Read More


Past Issue: March 2009

The first PVC Pipeline | Post newsletter is out of print - but not out of sight...

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 27, 2009

The articles below were included in the March 2009 edition of the PVC Pipeline | Post newsletter. If you haven't already subscribed for the PVC newsletters, we suggest you do so now to ensure that you are notified as soon as they are available.The articles in the first PVC Pipeline | Post newsletter included (click on the "more" link): Read More


additive color film hd kelvin tile led lighting litepanels spectrum subtractive

Mysteries of Color and Light

What I learned after a year of developing the Kelvin Tile LED light, plus some other handy tips and tricks of light and color

By Art Adams | March 25, 2009

Between January 2007 and April 2008 I consulted for Element Labs on the development of the Kelvin Tile. During that time I learned a lot about color and spectrum. Someone on the Cinematography Mailing List's CML-Basics list asked a question about color rendition and broken spectrum lighting, which got me going on a riff that I will post here, with some embellishment. Read More


The Great Twitter About Editing Experiment - One Year Later

The Great Twitter About Editing Experiment - One Year Later

A really great #editingandpost community has been established

By Scott Simmons | March 25, 2009

It was just over a year ago when I posted a post that began the "Twitter about editing" experiment. I had signed up for Twitter around a year before that but really never used the service since I didn't have a good group to follow nor did I really know what to talk about. That gave me the idea for the "Twitter about editing" experiment. Little did we know that Twitter would evolve into such a mainstream phenomenon that CNN, Britney Spears and Ellen would cover it and start talking about it. And looking back over those comments to that post, a lot of those people commenting are still there ... Twittering away. So with that, I deem the great Twitter about editing experiment a success. I think it's a success because it it really feels like it puts a group of people together using Twitter for a very useful purpose: communicating about a single topic. Read More


Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1: a first look from a videographer’s perspective

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1: a first look from a videographer’s perspective

The ongoing development of truly hybrid photographic/video cameras has taken several steps forward with the GH1

By Allan Tépper | March 24, 2009

When I first heard about the Panasonic Lumix GH1 from my friend Steve (who saw a prototype and actually got to shoot with it at PMA 2009 in Las Vegas), I didn't think too much about it. I incorrectly assumed that the GH1 was yet one more of those digital SLR photographic cameras that could also shoot HD video, although with more limitations than desired. But after investigating further, I realized that that first assumption was way off. The GH1 represents several steps forward in the ongoing development of truly hybrid photographic/video cameras, since it removes many of the limitations that other D-SLRs have imposed when used to shoot HD video. Read More


Inspiring Music Video from M83

Inspiring visuals created using Trapcode's Form plugin

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 24, 2009

A beautiful fan-created video for M83's "We Own the Sky" music video contest. Particle animation done using Trapcode Form. Watch below. Read More


abomination barf design logo

Unlearning by Example

Sometimes it's just as important to learn what NOT to do.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 24, 2009

Just stumbled across a fun blog about bad logo design: Your Logo Makes Me Barf. It's not just about poking fun at bad design; quite often the critiques contain useful advice and explanation (note: they prefer simplicity...). Experienced designers will get a laugh; newcomers will get a useful education and potentially learn to avoid common mistakes.As long as we're talking about bad examples, I have to mention the classic Gallerie Abominate: a collection of truly horrendous 3D modeling and animation with matching lowbrow sense of humor. It hasn't been updated for years, but it doesn't matter: Unlike some flavor-of-the-month "good" designs, bad design seems to always endure. Read More


camerawork live skating speedskating

It’s Not The Camera…

Talent, not tools, make the cameraman (or woman).

By Adam Wilt | March 23, 2009

Speedskater and part-time videographer Julia Smith writes, regarding the image you see here:"This setup with cameraman yields this kind of work:US Champs 2009 Short Track Men 500m A Final (normal version) US Champs 2009 Short Track Men 500m A Final (HD version)I keep telling Tony he has camera chops."No kidding. Read More


business development cash flow money recession

Circling Around the Drain

The recession hits the worker bees in Hollywood.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 20, 2009

I felt what is referred to as "the shock of recognition" while reading this first-person account on about life in The Industry during the current recession: This sounds a lot like what our life was like just a few years ago. Although we work(ed) in the motion graphics side of the business rather than production, it was a similar situation: we lived from job to job, every job was paid in full, and we hoped another job came in before the money ran out. During the good times, we had a steady stream of jobs, with very little breathing room in-between. But as the years went on, the highs got higher (more jobs in at the same time), and the lows in between got longer. Fortunately, Trish is a wizard at calculating cash flow (hint: it's not about knowing how much money you have in the bank today, and spending based on that; it's about knowing the date when the money runs out, and throttling your expenditures based on that), so we managed through the lulls just fine before the phone rang again - but the trend was disturbing. Read More


Play Ping-Pong for Faster File Flipping

Separating source and destination disks can really speed thing up.

By Adam Wilt | March 19, 2009

Just a quick note: If you're moving heavy data around, disk seeks can be a huge drain on performance. I was flipping Red One clips from .R3Ds into REDCODE-native .MOVs using FCP's Log and Transfer function today. This operation is basically a file copy, with a bit of re-wrapping in the middle; it's I/O-limited, not CPU- or GPU-limited. • With the sources and destinations on the same SATA drive, I was seeing clips flip at the rate of about 17-19 Mbytes/sec. • When I sent the flipped clips to a second SATA drive (of the same make, model, and degree of fullness), the flip rate went up to 33-38 Mbytes/sec, about twice as fast. In the same-disk case, the heads had to seek back and forth between the .R3D being read and the .mov being written; in the two-disk case the source disk could simply move sequentially through the files being read while the destination disk wrote files one after the other. Not only was it faster, it was quieter—both disks emanated a purposeful hum and the occasional chuckle, rather than the frantic chattering of frenetic seeking.So, if you're flipping lots of clips, or doing other transformations that get bogged down by I/O, having sources and destinations on separate physical drives (not just two partitions on one drive!) can save you a lot of time.Also, for you FCP fans: I have an article on FXScript over on the Apple Channel, part of my Wilt-sells-out series. Enjoy. (If you don't use FCP, don't bother; it won't do you a lick of good.) Read More


camera lemo production quality rant red

On Set with Red: A Weary AC’s Rant

Complaint Department, Pick a Number

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 16, 2009

While Red was making new product announcements in November 2008, I was busy AC'ing a 10-day Red One shoot. Between takes the crew discussed the new camera and sensor options announced by Jim Jannard and Co. The ability to mix and match sensor sizes for maximum flexibility whets my appetite as a filmmaker. However, for myself and others I've spoken with, that excitement is tempered with a bit of cold reality. The general concensus is, "Finish the camera you promised at NAB 2007 before you deliver another line of products." Leading up the camera department on this project and others has really driven that point home to me. Donning my flame-retardant gear, I'm going to take a few minutes and get some of these issues off my chest. Read on... Read More


cartoon cs4 pixel bender

On Cartoonification

Some respect for the much-maligned Cartoon effect.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 15, 2009

After Effects CS4 ships with a Cartoon effect, which can be used to give live-action footage more of a hand-inked look. Intended as a technology demonstration for what could be done with Adobe's new Pixel Bender toolkit, it was pounced upon by many as example of how supposedly weak the AE CS4 upgrade was (with the benefit of experience, we beg to differ). The problem was that most of the early examples of Cartoon showed it at its default (or otherwise somewhat random) settings - and effects rarely look their best at their defaults.To counter the perhaps mistaken conceptions about Cartoon, we wrote a tutorial for that gives some hints on how to get more out of the Cartoon effect. Unfortunately, after the piece was published, we realized that it might be hard to tell the exact results by looking at the scaled-down and compressed images in the PDF. Therefore, after the "more" link below we're including larger versions of the images with heavily truncated captions. (Be patient; they will take a few seconds to download.) We still suggest you download the file from Artbeats; if you subscribe to their newsletter, you got the main image (see on page 2 of this post) for free, and in a couple of days an AE CS4 project file should also be available to help you experiment with some of the results. Read More


Mark Schubin on “The Fandom of the Opera”

Mark's HPA Tech Retreat preso, and a Toronto SMPTE webcast

By Adam Wilt | March 15, 2009

Mark Schubin discussed the intersection of TV technology and opera, and live broadcasting of the NYC Metropolitan Opera (Mark's Emmy-winning day job), following the 2009 HPA Tech Retreat. By popular acclaim, he has posted his HPA presentation in PDF form (alternate link:, and a link to a SMPTE Toronto Section webcast of his very similar presentation last December.The webcast is a WMV-format linked slideshow and video stream; it works fine in Windows. On Mac it doesn't work at all in Safari 4 beta (at least on my PPC Mac; YMMV), while in Firefox the video opens up in a QuickTime Window (assuming you have the Flip4Mac WMV plugins), unlinked from the slideshow; best to download the HPA preso PDF and flip through it while Mark talks, or manually advance the slides on the website.The webcast is an unedited meeting recording; Mark's talk starts at the 21-minute mark. It's worth the wait; Mark is an entertaining speaker, and the presentation is amusing, informative, and at times terrifying: you'll never feel justified complaining about technical hurdles or short turnarounds on your live broadcasts ever again, after seeing what Mark & Co. go through on a weekly basis. Read More


camera red scarlet

Red Scarlet Footage - WOW!

For sale cheap: 2 Canon XH A1's hardley used...

By Scott Gentry | March 14, 2009

Damn this is some still. For a camera said to cost approximately $2,500, I want one. Think Jim would send one my way if I ask really, really nicely? Test purposes of course...NAB is going to be fun this year. The line for the RED booth just got longer... "That just happened" Read More


apple bug compressor final cut pro fix gamma quicktime video web workaround

The Quicktime Conundrum, Part 2: Solved by our Readers

My readers submit additional tips for flawless H.264 Quicktimes

By Art Adams | March 12, 2009

A couple of great suggestions for creating flawless H.264 Quicktime--and Flash!--movies popped up in the comments section of my last article. They deserve their own article. Read More


apple bug compressor final cut pro fix gamma quicktime video web workaround

The Quicktime Conundrum

How to get around Quicktime's H.264 gamma bug

By Art Adams | March 12, 2009

There's nothing like waking up in the morning and realizing that your chief marketing tool is probably driving away more clients than it's attracting. Read More


animation text type typography

1000 Words is Worth More Than Most Pictures

We admit it - we're suckers for clever type animation.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 11, 2009

This fun animation by Alex Gopher where objects are replaced with words that represent them is what Marc Canter would refer to as an "again" experience: It is worth viewing more than once in order to catch all of the clever references.Please feel free to share links to other examples of clever type animation (such as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights) in the Comments below... Read More