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My Love Affair with Alexa

When the camera sees more than my light meter does, it's time to acknowledge that the game has truly changed.

By Art Adams | August 20, 2010

My dream HD camera records footage with log-encoded gamma to ProRes for a fast, easy and accessible post workflow and cost-effective color grading. It has the simplest control interface ever. It sees in the dark. And it's built by a company whose gear I learned to trust early in my career when I started out as a camera assistant. The company is ARRI, and the camera is Alexa. Read More


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Add eSATA to a 27” iMac and untap RAID speeds of 3.3 times faster than FireWire 800

OWC's new eSATA modification for 27" iMac (mid 2010 models) makes it much more attractive for serious video editing systems

By Allan Tépper | August 18, 2010

Although it has been in existence for many years and is known to be among the best and fastest ways to connect local external hard drives or disk arrays to a computer, Apple strangely has been the only computer manufacturer to my knowledge which has not yet offered a direct eSATA port on any of its computers. Even way back in the Apple G5 tower era, I used to add eSATA ports to high-end video editing systems I integrated, and this of course has continued with the MacPro (Intel) era of Apple towers. The lack of direct eSATA port on all other Macs Mac, MacBook(Pro), and Mac Mini] has sadly meant that video editors have had to settle for slower FireWire 800 speeds… until now. The highly respected OWC (Other World Computing) is now offering a US$169 custom modification to iMac 27" (mid 2010 models) to add eSATA, which untaps 3.3 times faster performance with an external disk array or SSD, compared to FireWire 800. This article will cover what the extra speed means to a video editor, how eSATA has been added to Macs before (with compromises), the advantages of OWC's new official upgrade plan, and how to do critical video evaluation monitoring with an iMac. Read More


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iPad KeyPad Pro wirelessly controls your pro apps

Create custom keymaps and control your apps with gestures

By Matthew Jeppsen | August 16, 2010

Here's an interesting $4.99 app for the iPad; it's called KeyPad Pro and it's basically a wireless client/server app that allows you to control your multimedia pro applications from the iPad. It can either be used to augment your keyboard, maybe programming just certain complex commands or shortcuts into the iPad software, or control the apps fully from a distance (think client review from the couch). The server software is available for both PC and Mac (XP+ and OSX 10.5+). Read on... Read More


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Clean up a sloppy FCP timeline with Auto Collapse

Edit Mule's handy utility can save a lot of time and frustration

By Scott Simmons | August 02, 2010

When I was teaching the Music Video Workflow class at NAB this year, one part of the discussion centered on the editing timeline and how, if you're not careful, it can become a multi-layered, sloppy mess. Everyone has their own way of housekeeping within the editing timeline but one thing you should never do is turn over a sloppy, unorganized timeline to another editor. I got an email from one of the attendees after the class that pointed me to a program called Auto Collapse that can automate timeline cleanup in Final Cut Pro. Read More


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Want To Make Better Video With Your HDSLR?

Rodney Charters says "Park the Camera!"

By Clint Milby | August 02, 2010

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Rodney Charters, DP for the FOX television series 24 about the HDSLR revolution, and some of his upcoming seminars. His presentations begin with some compelling behind the scenes footage and some deleted scenes from 24. "I'll also be talking about my own 35 year exploration of photography and provide some basic information about how to take a camera you buy in the store and make a finished video suitable for presentation." Read More


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Shane Hurlbut Shares Pearls at HDSLR Bootcamp

2 Day Workshop Promises To Rival Any Film School

By Clint Milby | August 02, 2010

Read More


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Next Stop: The Last Stop! RED MX Latitude Tests

An 18-stop test chart, a tunnel made of showcard and a dozen yards of black plastic ground cover later, we have a pretty good idea of the RED MX's exposure latitude.

By Art Adams | July 31, 2010

When DSC Labs offered to send me a 102db (translation: 18-stop) exposure latitude chart, I just couldn't bring myself to say no. And, naturally, the first camera I wanted to test was the RED ONE MX. How much better is the new sensor? Let's take a look... Read More


Yo, Creative Pros-Apple Doesn’t Love You Any More. Here’s why.

Yo, Creative Pros-Apple Doesn’t Love You Any More. Here’s why.

Not the way they used to - like the ascendant rock star's old girlfriend, we are yesterday's news

By Mike Curtis | July 29, 2010

After writing this piece on whether Apple lamed out on the new Mac Pros, I got to thinking more about Apple and where we, as creative professionals lie in their priority list. Read that article for a detailed analysis of how Apple wasn't aggressive with new technology, was late to market, skipped a bunch of new technology, and MIGHT potentially have decided to stiff-arm Adobe with the lack of NVIDIA GPUs at user expense. So where do we rank with Apple these days? Lets look at their motivations and actions. Read More


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Did Apple actually lame out on the new Mac Pros?

FW1600/3200, PCI 3.0, 10GigE, eSATA, NVIDIA, Blu-ray, 1st to market, $3500 "Big Macs" - wherefore art thou?

By Mike Curtis | July 29, 2010

Apple rolled out new Mac Pros Tuesday, so of course I wrote about'em. Impressed by the power at first, after the warm fuzzy glow of new Macs wore off, I started noticing some things. Or rather, noticing some things that weren't there - PCI 3.0, USB 3.0, eSATA, faster FireWire, 10GigE networking, Blu-ray burners, NVIDIA GPUs, and a $3500 price point for the "Big Mac." What gives? Read on for what Apple giveth and taketh. Read More


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Arri Alexa and Far Red: A Problem That’s Already Been Solved

Most cameras have issues with far red or infrared. There are lots of filters to fix that, but you have to use the right one for the right camera. Read on to see what works with Alexa.

By Art Adams | July 28, 2010

Last night I had the chance to--finally!--touch an Arri Alexa at Chater Camera's Alexa preview party. And, being a curious sort of fellow, I decided to run some impromptu tests. IR tests are the easiest to do so I quickly did some--and in the process learned some interesting things about Alexa. Read More


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Review: Magic Bullet Colorista II

This new version of the old favorite Colorista packs quite a punch, makes Apple Color tremble in its boots

By Scott Simmons | July 22, 2010

Colorista. It's one of those indispensable tools for those doing serious Final Cut Pro work. If you're color correcting and finishing in your FCP box then the built-in 3-Way Color Corrector becomes merely adequate in comparison to the image quality you can crank out of Colorista. And Colorista has always worked in your other host applications as well (Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Avid Media Composer) so that rounds out its usefulness. But one thing that has always been missing from Colorista is secondaries, something you'd often find yourself wishing for. With Magic Bullet Colorista II, from Red Giant Software, that wish has been answered ... in a big way. Read More


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Step into the Matrix: What I Learned from Examining RED’s Build 30 Color Science

RED says the MX sensor uses the same colorimetry as their old M sensor. Others say the improvements are so dramatic that this can't be. A search for the truth led me deep into the heart of The Matrix...

By Art Adams | July 21, 2010

Comparing the RED ONE "M" and the RED ONE "MX" in Adam Wilt's office.

The RED ONE MX is finally here, and it looks great--better than it should, considering that RED says that it hasn't changed the colorimetry of its sensors, only its sensitivity and noise levels. How could software alone make such a huge difference? I found out... the hard way. Read More


Sonicfire Pro 5 with After Effects CS5 Workflow Video Tutorials

Sonicfire Pro 5 with After Effects CS5 Workflow Video Tutorials

Learn how to use Sonicfire Pro 5 to create and edit music scoring for your motion graphics projects in After Effects CS5

By Jeff Foster | July 21, 2010

I've broken these tutorials down into three videos, using some real-world examples of how I work using SmartSound Sonicfire Pro 5 with Adobe After Effects CS5 projects, creating short production videos and motion graphics for broadcast. Whether I'm creating/editing a short video with layers of motion graphics or building a motion graphics animated opener/bumper, I can use the soundtrack creation and editing capabilities in Sonicfire Pro 5 to produce a quick, interactive workflow with After Effects CS5. Read More


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Avid Media Composer 5.0, one month later

Over a month and a few jobs later, it's still a great upgrade

By Scott Simmons | July 19, 2010

Okay, let's get one thing out of the way first: the new Drap and Drop timeline in Avid Media Composer 5.0 isn't a direct rip-off of Final Cut Pro's timeline. Nor will an FCP editor sit down in front of MC5 and instantly be able to rip into the timeline via mousing in the same way they do with FCP. Nor will an Avid editor sit down in front of MC5 for the first time, turn on the new Smart Tool, and instantly have their editing world changed. Avid's implementation of the open, Drag and Drop timeline is complex, well thought out and will take some time to master. Like most big change / feature implementations in Avid's Media Composer product, it often takes some time for things to get added to the software but when it happens these features are usually feature rich and often leap-frog the competition. Read More


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Handy, useful pdfs for post production

Thanks to Zak Ray for putting these free guides together

By Scott Simmons | July 17, 2010

I found a link via Twitter the other day that is worth sharing. It's to a number of downloadable PDF files that were produced (and licensed under Creative Commons) by director/editor Zak Ray of Worldwide Studios. There's quite the list and many of them might come in handy for the editors of the world. Read More


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TecnoTur episode 3 (English): Karl Soul© of Adobe and Tamara Benavente of Ellanvannin Multimedi

Karl Soul© of Adobe: little known benefits in Premiere CS5/Tamara Benavente and her short film Lost and Found

By Allan Tépper | July 12, 2010

TecnoTur episode 3 (English) is now available. Tamara Benavente of Ellanvannin Multimedia tells Allan T©pper and the TecnoTuristas about how she produced her latest short film Lost and Found, using a Sony camera and Adobe Premiere. Then Karl Soul© of Adobe tells us about some little known yet extraordinary features in Premiere CS5. Here are details about this episode contents, and how to hear it free, or become a subscriber. Read More


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DSLR Post Webinar available On Demand, extra questions answered

We answered a few questions in the podcast ... here's a few more.

By Scott Simmons | June 29, 2010

Last week I had the privilege of conducting a webniar with called DSLR Filmmaking Post Workflows. That webinar is now available on-demand from New Media Webinars for $25. That gets you the entire 90 minute webinar in HD, an audio podcast where we answered some questions from those attending, several Canon 7D video files for your own workflow tests and some useful links. There were a lot more questions asked by attendees than we had time to answer so I jotted down some quick answers to most of them and have posted below. Read More


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Should Apple really drop Log and Capture from the next FCP?

It's an interesting discussion courtesy of Philip Hodgetts

By Scott Simmons | June 27, 2010

Just a few days ago Philip Hodgetts posted an intriguing article over on his blog The present and future of post production business and technology. It was titled Why Apple should drop Log and Capture from FCP and has generated some interesting discussion in the comments afterward. Read More


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Color Correction Conundrum SOLVED!

Thanks to our PVC Readers!

By Bruce A Johnson | June 23, 2010

Many thanks to all the PVC readers that responded to my anguished plea for color correction help! You can see the before and after results above. Not perfect, but good enough for my purposes. Five readers (if you include Chris Meyer) offered ideas, but Eric Addison was both timely and pretty damn good. He even set up a small Premiere Pro sequence to be downloaded, unzipped and opened. Once the sequence was loaded, it was no big deal to save the color correction preset and re-use it in my four-camera HDV concert coverage. As you can see, the yellow was exiled and the shot was saved! Thanks, Eric!And a tip 'o the bike helmet to PVC readers Portishead, Jim Hines and PerroneFord for sharing their ideas too! Read More


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Creating the “OK Go” Effect in Motion

By Mark Spencer | June 21, 2010

A quick look at how to create the look of one of OK Go's videos. Read More