Author Archive

Mac Boot Camp: XP 32-bit Upgrade to Windows 7 (W7) 64-bit

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

What I have discovered:

  • There is a W7 upgrade product but it only works from Vista, not XP.
  • Furthermore, the upgrade to W7 64-bit only works nondestructively from Vista 64-bit.
  • So I might as well do a clean install…
    • (Which is probably wise in any case)
  • …and from a Full (not Upgrade) version of W7
  • Will initially try it on an experimental system disk.
    •  Want to be sure of no significant issues before committing the main system.
  • One of the things to confirm is whether any of the (few but vital) progs I have that only run on XP will be able to run in W7’s “Virtual PC” (which has XP SP3).


Skimming in Adobe Premiere CS5.5 and (?) FCP7

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Skimming  (after a fashion) is not only available in FCPX:

  • Skimming in Adobe Premiere:
    • From &
    • <<This is a feature that experienced editors have been using for years.  Instead of using the “ultimate slow method” of double clicking a clip in the project panel and opening it in the source monitor, just move the mouse over any clip while pressing a shortkey, and set in/out points on the fly.>>
      • Organization & Layout:
        • Suppose you have a few Source sequences, such as one sequence per rush, or maybe per scene.
          • Maybe also combine all rushes into a single (additional) sequence.
        • Create a main “Target” sequence.
        • Open/place a “Source” timeline  along the whole width of the top of the screen.
        • To that timeline, add sequences (tabs) for each of the Rush-Sequence(s)
        • In the centre, have the program monitor along with a scope
        • Below that, open/place a second timeline, this time for the Target sequence.
        • Now you have two separate timelines and can drag etc. individual clips (maybe trimmed) from the Source timeline to the Target timeline.
          • Just remember it’s not the same as using the Source Monitor.
      • To Enable Skimming:
        • Make a keyboard short cut (e.g. [§] ) to the [Move Playhead to Cursor] function
          • In CS5.5, that function is in [Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts > Panels > Timeline Panel > Move Playhead to Cursor]
        • When holding that shortcut, the playhead will follow the mouse.  No need to click mouse and drag the playhead.  Also no audio scrubbing occurs.  A very slick way to search for that certain something.
      • Tips:
        • Lift [;] and Undo [Ctrl-Z].
          • The [;] does a “Lift Edit” between [I] and [O] points.
        • Extract is supposed to be [‘] but on my [MacBook Pro > BootCamp > WIndows 7] it is [\]
        • [Drag] does a copy, not a move.
        • To drag only the video or audio part, do [Alt-Drag]

Cineform Neo is now GoPro Studio Premium

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

This great codec has changed its product name once more.  I have GoPro/Cineform Neo installed and it said there was an update available.  But on the download page I could not see [Cineform Neo] anywhere.  A web-search revealed that it is now called [GoPro CineForm Studio Premium].

    • (<<about 78 days ago we said, RT @David_Newman)
      • First public beta for the new GoPro CineForm Studio Premium application that soon replaces CineForm Neo (PC version)>>
    • Neo and Neo3D are going away, to be replaced with GoPro CineForm Studio Premium (Neo level) and GoPro CineForm Studio Professional (Neo3D level.)
    • These applications incorporate much of the functionality of the older products in an easier to use new user interface that combines the conversion features of HDLink with the image manipulation of FirstLight.
    • As not all existing features are supported today within the new interface, FirstLight and HDlink will continue to exist for some time, although they will not be greatly enhanced beyond bug fixes.
    • Mac users will find the same for Remaster, with its key features moving into CineForm Studio (Mac and PC applications will be much more inline.)
    • All future enhancements with go into the new application, and today MVC 3D camera support has been added, with much more to come.

Matt Roberts (MBR’s) Automatic Color (Chart) Corrector

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

How about an After Effects plugin for automatically grading any footage featuring a Gretag Macbeth color chart in-shot (e.g. at the beginning and/or end of shot)?  Matt Roberts’ new plugin, still “steaming off the press”, works in Premiere as well as After Effects, and has been tested in CS5 and CS5.5.  You simply pause on a frame featuring a color chart in-shot, place corner locators to identify that chart, and ‘Go”.  It not only fixes white balance but also adjusts for saturation and compensates for certain kinds of “color twisting” defects such as can occur in cameras.    Subsequent “expert tweaks” can then be made if preferred, e.g. 20% saturation reduction for “film look”.  The free version works in 8 bits, the paid (£50) one (in the process of being made available on works in 32 bits, multithreaded etc.  To find out more and to download it:

Example: Canon 7D Video Footage:

Canon 7D before correctionCanon 7D after correction

So what’s the point of this plugin?  Greater quality, reliability and productivity, as compared to traditional color correctors, as explained below.

Those with an eye for accurate color reproduction from video footage will be familiar with traditional tools such as 3-way color correctors and meters such as waveform monitors and vectorscopes.   All proper Non Linear Editing systems (NLE’s) have these.  Generally-speaking such tools work well, but sometimes in practice the situation can become confused when for example a subject’s “white”(assumed) shirt is in fact off-white, or when tinted light mirror-reflects off skin or results from camera filters.  Easy to understand in retrospect, but initially can cause “running round in circles” of interative adjustment and re-checking.  Furthermore, some cameras have peaks, pits, twists and ambiguities (e.g. infra-red) in their colour response that many such correctors cannot correct in a straightforward manner.   Not only can time be wasted but it is quite possible to end up with an image that “looks” right to most people but which in fact has done something inexcusable such as altering the very precise color of a corporate logo.

One way to reduce the potential fo such confusion is to incorporate a color chart in shot.  Various types exist, including Gretag Macbeth (GM) and Chroma Du Monde (CDM).  The GM card, while primarily targeted at photography, is also in widespread use for video.   That chart consists of a matrix of colored squares, one row of which represents (steps on) a grey-scale.  It also includes some near-primary colours and some approximate skin colours of a few types.  The simplest use of such a chart would be to use the grey-scale row for white balancing and the other colours for “by eye” grading/tweaking.  The more experienced will probably make use of vectorscopes etc. but that can still be a nuisanceful if not cumbersome process.

Enter Matt Roberts’ Automatic Color Corrector.  We tried it out on some footage from his own Canon 7D and from my Sony EX3, the latter fitted with a slightly green-tinted infra-red filter, on a snowy day.  We even tried it on an image (featuring such a chart, as well as a model with lots of fleshtones) on Canon’s website ?URL? for their C300 camcorder.  In all cases, the correction was achieved in seconds.  We were particularly confused as to why Canon’s web-image image was so off-colour, but it certainly was, and the Corrector fixed it.

Once again, the link:

MXF and its Variants

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Previous coverage of this topic:

Further info, including a great technical breakdown of the format itself:, discovered via Adobe Premiere CS5.5 Help on “Importing assets from tapeless formats”.

TimeSeries Analysis in R

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

When the time comes, this looks like a good tutorial / experience:

Image Analysis & Processing in R

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

MacBook Multiple Displays (Monitors)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012


  • It can be done, easily.
  • Need a [Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter]
    • (Not to be confused with Mini DVI to VGA Adaptor)
  • Under Boot Camp > Windows 7:
    • Initially, it chose to “mirror” (identical, not reflections) the displays, with the external display as the primary, and the laptop’s own display as the secondary, its resolution reduced to match the primary (and aspect ratio to match also).
    • Instead want “Extended Desktop” with laptop as primary and at its normal full resolution.
    • On a standard Windows PC there are keyboard keys to switch between such modes, but the MacBook keyboard has no obvious equivalent
      • Maybe some web-trawling could reveal suchlike, but my initial search revealed nothing.
    • Desktop >RtClk> NVIDIA Control Panel
      • Set up multiple displays
        • MacBook’s own display is listed as [Apple Color LCD], as Display [2].
        • RtClk one of the “screen” depictions and select [Extend desktop on this display]
        • (Now I had extended desktop, but in the wrong order, i.e. with external as prmary)
    • Control Panel > Display > Change display settings
      • Can drag-swap the two displaysinto the  order you prefer.

Mac: iPhoto: Library/Storage & Local/NAS

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Given an iPhoto library on a Mac, how could/should it be used in combination with external storage such as a NAS?

  • How copy files between them, e.g. where does iPhoto store / reference its content?
  • Is there any way to set up iPhoto to automate/simplify backups or synchronisations?

Answers (I found / discovered by experiment):

  • iPhoto stores photos in a specialised iPhoto Library object, kind of like a zipfile you can’t open or expand.
    • The full path is [/Users/xxxxxx/Pictures/iPhoto Library]
    • But the only practical use of that knowledge is that, via [Finder > Get Info], you can see the iPhoto Library object size change as you import etc. photos.
      • e.g. I tried it and initial size was “4.5 GB on disk (4,493,054,358 bytes)”, then after adding a few photos it increased to “4.51 GB on disk (5,501,769,018 bytes)”
  • To import photos to iPhoto library:
    • iPhoto: [File > Import to Library]
      • It’s OK to select a folder
        • e.g. NAS had folder [20017_01_27], among others, under a[photos] folder.
    • But the imported photos were not grouped into Events.
    • Tried importing again and it highlighted that some were already in the library, gave option to skip them.
  • backing-up the iPhoto library:
    • iPhoto Help
      • Use Time Machine
      • Use an iDisk
        • A “virtual disk” that is part of a MobileMe account.
      • Burn to DVD etc.
      • {Nothing about external drives}
      • {I guess then there is nothing in iPhoto specially suited to my wishes, so I just backup as I would any other stuff}

iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My girlfriend has one of these, ethernet-connected to her router and thus available on her home network.  However, in order for any computer, Windows or Mac (what about linux?) to access it, it is necessary (aside from any hacky-workarounds that may possibly exist) to install the Iomega Home Storage Manager.   This makes volume(s) offered by the NAS appear, on the Mac in Finder under SHARED, or on a Windows machine as additional drive letter(s).

To acquire the Iomega Home Storage Manager, go to,1043 or else try and click on [Desktop Network Storage > Home Media Network Hard Drive].  May need to establish and login-to an iomega support account (free) first.

I wondered at first about enabling the NAS as a Mac OS Time Machine (backup) disk.  An iomega article I saw suggested that should be possible, for iomega firmware 2.0 and above.  But the disk as it stands is NTFS-formatted – because when it was set up we had only Windows machines.  Now that disk contains much material in that NTFS.  I guess it might be possible to partrition the disk e.g. to keep the existing NTFS and add alongside it a HFS+ partition for Time Machine to use.  But it’s guesswork that carries risks (of disruption/damage to existing contents).  We want an easy geeking-minimal life, so maybe better to repurpose that NAS and get a purpose-made Apple Time Capsule instead. Either way, the evening wears on, so I’ll shelve that idea/investigation for now…


3D Worlds in After Effects

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I want to put someone inside a virtual world (based on their own paintings), ultimately to be rendered out as a Stereographic 3D movie, but with development in progressive stages/generations, initially based on readily available standard tools and techniques, later proceeding to specialist 3D modelling apps etc.  How to proceed?  Some possibilities that come to mind are:

  • Initial development using only “Planar 3D” as in After Effects
    • I believe this is possible to some extent, using native features of AE.
    • In my earlier post on Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 – Orientation, I noted the existence of Mocha LE, a tracker, included inMocha 2.6, the awesome roto program with a tightly integrated planar tracker.
      • {The planar tracker is (primarily?) ..used as a “roto assist” to speed up the roto process…
        ..and also the tracking data can be exported to a wide variety of programs such as Nuke, After Effects, Combustion and many more for corner pinning, stabilizing, and match move that suite.
  • Subsequent development using “Full 3D” as in Blender etc.  Some relevant previous entries in this blog are:

So I did a web-search: Google: [after effects 3d]

World / Object Creation:

    •  Real (green screened) rap artist and audients, where the rap artist appears on a virtual a giant stage surrounded by replicated audients.
    • Explains the conceptualization, storyboarding, and high-level aspects (no screenshots) of designing a world capable of representation in After Effects, along with building and testing experiences.
    • How to make a truck out of a single flat surface with cut-out sections and folds.  Like you would make one out of a single sheet of cardboard (like a cornflake packet).
    • Links to tutorial and support-files.
    • Similar to the truck, flat sheet (“texture”, obtained from an actual photo, realigned and stretched to remove perspective effect in photo) folded into a 3D building object.
    • Video tutorial and project files are provided.
    • { has both free stuff (tutorials etc.) and pay-stuff.  Well-worth a check-out.}


  • DaVinci Resolve Lite – free
    • Re: After Effects Tracking (by Todd Kopriva, Adobe Tech. Support, on Jul 10, 2011)
      • If you have After Effect CS5, you have mocha—and it’s often the easiest and best way to do tracking for the purpose of compositing.
    • Q: “Mocha, or Camera Tracker?” (by andrew donaldson on Sep 8, 2011)
      • {Mocha (LE) comes with CS5.5, Camera Tracker is a third-party add-on}
      • I need to create something similar to this:
      • …. would liked to use similar techniques, especially with the web pages tracking the buildings in city shots.
      • I have tried to use mocha to track the side of a building, but its not proving ideal. Obviously the motion tracker inside AE won’t give me the depth/perspective.
      • So what’s the best way to do this?  … Is Syntheyes/Camera tracker the way forward?
    • A1: (by ben g unguren on Sep 8, 2011 )
      • The general rule of thumb is that Mocha works great if your graphics are ATTACHED to an EXISTING surface (like a logo on the side of a building, or changing the words on a sign). If you’re trying to add something in 3D space (like graphics that “hover” around the building, and seem to actually be there), then you need a 3D solution.
      • Mocha and AE’s internal trackers give you 2D solutions. Mocha’s solutions are a bit more sophisticated, producing corner-point information that mimics 3D, but [this is key] it doesn’t produce a 3D camera.
      • Syntheyes and similar apps will give you an animated 3D camera as well as target points that simulate the world you’re tracking (target points for the ground, buildings, etc — whatever you’ve managed to track and can get a 3D “solution” for). This is A LOT more information than what Mocha or AE’s internal tracking can get you.
      • One other point: when the camera is only panning and tilting (not actually changing it’s own position) then a 2D solution can (sort of) mimick a 3D camera solution. So if all you’re doing is panning and tilting, then you could track that in Mocha, then use that data to animate objects (that are given perspective, for instance). You would be able to achieve a lot of the graphics in the video you linked to using that technique, as they’re using a lot of static cameras.
    • A2: (by Tudor “Ted” Jelescu on Sep 8, 2011):
      • I agree with Ben.
      • In most of the shots from your example Mocha can be used. I suspect that some of those shots where not really video files, but still images cleverly transformed in a 2.5d comp where camera moves can be animated in AE – so no tracker there.
      • Here’s a good tutorial for what Mocha can do:


NovamediaDiskSupressor & Vodafone Dongleware

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My girlfriend’s MacBook laptop, at every system-startup, was giving the error popup: “To open NovamediaDiskSupressor, you need to install Rosetta. Would you like to install it now?”.  Caution dictated a negative user-response to this.  It was just plain annoying.

Web-search (on full error-message) revealed NovamediaDiskSupressor to be non-mal, but to be a support software needed by Vopdafone’s cell-wireless dongle of a couple or so years ago.  I don’t know if Vodafone have improved things since then, but I also had issues with it under Windows 7, where its firmware installed drivers incompatible with that OS.  So basically the whole dongle was a nuisance.

How to uninstall it (from Mac OS Snow Leopard):

  • I dragged the Vodafone app to Trash
  • …BUT :
    • that is not sufficient, further cleaning-up required, as below…
    • Also, when I tried to empty the trash, error popup said: `The operation can’t be completed because the item “Mac_SwapperDemon” is in use’.
      • Maybe it will work following reboot?

According to advice posted at, repeating that at

  • Remove the following from /Library/LaunchAgents/
    • de.novamedia.NovamediaDiskSupressor
    • {Those were the only entries in this folder}
  • Remove
    • mac_swapperdemon
      • from system preferences user > accounts > user login items
      • {BUT no items were listed there at all, let alone that one}
  • Remove
    • /Library/Application support/Vodafone
    • /Applications/Vodafone mobile connect
  • Update: also discovered some kernel extensions to remove
    • sudo rm: {OR just Trash them via Finder, I discovered}
      • /System/Library/Extensions/USBExpressCardCantWake_Huawei.kext
      • /System/Library/Extensions/ZTEUSBCDCACMControl.kext
      • /System/Library/Extensions/ZTEUSBCDCACMData.kext

Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 – Orientation

Saturday, January 28th, 2012


  • What should and does it consist of?
    • Including anything non-obvious e.g. “tucked away”, “additional Downloads”, “obscure” etc.
  • ???

Answers (as far as I can tell…):

  •  _Support & Communities
    • Looks at first sight like any application’s Help dialog, but on deeper inspection is also connected web-wise and answers to questions are not restricted to Adobe products.
  • After Effects
    • In contrast to Premiere, which is for conventional light-touch editing, this is for heavier effects and compositing etc.
      • …AE is a “2.5d” application. The worldspace is 3d, but any imagery you have (discounting 3rd party applications such as Invigorator and such) is “flat”.
        • (As opposed to 3D Modelling apps such as 3dsMax, Blender)
  • After Effects Render Engine
    • Render farm: Network rendering with watch folders and render engines.
    • Previously, it was possible to install render engines on as many machines as wished, but not so under CS5.5, where a separate serial number must be obtained for each machine.  For small guys like me that makes it pretty useless.   It seems likely that a more flexible option will exist in future versions.
  • Audition
    • Audio editor, derived (many years ago) from CoolEdit.
  • Bridge
    • A combination of media file manager, media manager, metadata editor, also does some kinds of media processing.
    • Can be run standalone or from within apps e.g. Premiere: [File > Browse in Bridge…]
  • Color Finesse
    • A multi-host (including Premiere & AE) plugin that goes above and beyond typical NLE color correction.
    • On my system it only appears to be available under AE.
  • Device Central
    • Simulates media appearance etc. on a range of devices such as cellphones.
  • DigiEffects FreeForm
    • Manipulate a flat object into almost any shape using displacement maps and meshes in 3D space.
    • Examples: flowing cloth, animated loose filmstrips, rippling fluids, terrain flyovers, welded metal, morphs, reveals.
  • Encore
    • DVD authoring.  Menus can be created in Photoshop (using special layering techniques).
  • Extension Manager
    • Manage extensions (broadly like plugins) associated with various Adobe programs.
  • ExtendScript Toolkit:
    • Adobe workflow command-script editor
    • An IDE (along the lines of Visual Studio) for scripts in Adobe Bridge, itself serving to automate workflows involving multiple Adobe applications.
  • Flash Professional
    • A multimedia authoring program to create content for Flash-enabled platforms/devices.
  • Flash Catalyst
    • A designers’ tool for creating the user interface for Rich Internet Applications.  Primary function of being a GUI composer for Adobe Flex components.
    • Can import Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, or Flash XML Graphics (FXG) files.
  • Help
    • A help resource not only with local help-documentation but also capable of searching beyond, even beyond Adobe, to find solutions.
  • Illustrator
    • Vector graphics editor e.g. useful for typesetting and logo graphics design. It is the companion product of Photoshop.
  • KeyLight
    • An advanced chroma-keyer, tackling reflections, semi-transparent areas and hair.
  • Media Encoder
    • Encodes audio and video media content.
  • Mocha
    • <<Stand-alone tracking and roto tool to help solve problematic shots challenging the built in tools of After Effects and Final Cut by bringing advanced planar tracking and matte creation tools>>
      • Planar tracking
        • Track a plane(-ish) surface in 3D space e.g. as it translates, rotates, perspective changes.
          • Typically more robust and capable than points-tracking.
          • Great for moving subject or tracking camera.
          • Overkill when the only (relative) motion is due to camera pan/tilt.
    • e.g. select an area then it uses any detail there including texture to get a fix, and follows changes in translation, rotation, perspective etc.
  • OnLocation
    • Direct to disk recorder / logger also acting as monitor with waveform monitor and vectorscope.  And no doubt much else.
  • PhotoShop
    • Such a big noun that it became a verb…
  • Premiere Pro
    • Primary editing app, with emphasis on productive cutting and smooth playback etc., minimising the need to render, leaving heavy effects and compositing etc. to AE.
  • Story
    • A collaborative script development tool/service. There is an application for working alone on an offline version and a web-based service where you can sync up with an online version.
  • Ultra
    • Vector-keyer (simple-to-use effective chroma-keying) that was once a standalone app by Serious Magic, now available as a plugin within Premiere (but not AE).  I get the impression it is regarded (or at least branded) as simple to use but ultimately less sophisticated/capable than KeyLight (???).
    • Serious Magic used to highlight its capabilities regarding reflections, semi-transparent areas and hair…
  • Utilities
    • ExtendScript
      • An integrated development environment (IDE) for the creation and debugging of JavaScript code for Adobe Bridge, to facilitate workflow-enhancing automation of tasks between elements of Creative Suite.
    • PixelBlender
      • A simplifying basis for implementing image processing algorithms (filters or effects) in a hardware-independent manner, taking advantage of parallel processing / GPU etc.
      • Downside to commercial developers is that code using it may be more visible / understandable.

Avid Media Composer: 5.5 to 6.0 Dongle-Update

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Wasn’t sure what to do.

  • 21:00 UK time, I phoned USA support-line, via Skype, they advised me as follows:
    • Go to
      • Avid Media Composer System Upgrade
        Trade Activation ID for Dongle Updater.avd
      • Requires an Activation Code.
        • That is the code beginning “MCA”, which came by email along with various product keys or whatever.
        • My such email was from 23 Nov 2011.
      • Also requires othe rinformation e.g. regarding the dongle “System ID” and “Serial No.”
      • I did that and clicked the [Submit] button
        …Nothing happened for a minute or two…
        …Then eventually…
      • Avid Media Composer System Upgrade PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!
        • Congratulations! You have successfully upgraded to Avid Media Composer 6.0.
        • Click the Download button to generate your dongle updater file.
        • System ID: xyz is now registered, including the customer information you have provided.
        • Dongle Updater Instructions
          Please follow the instructions below to update your dongle.
          1.Save the dongle updater file to your system. This file authorizes your dongle for specific upgrades. The updater file extension is .avd.
          2.Double-click DongleManager.exe. The Dongle Manager utility starts.
          { Mine is located at [C:\Program Files (x86)\Avid\Utilities\DongleManager] }
          3.Click the Update tab.
          4.Click the Open button, navigate to the dongle updater file, and then click Open.
          5.Click the Upgrade button. Your dongle is updated.
          6.Click the Scan tab to view the results of your dongle scan.
        • For additional information or to download the latest Dongle Manager application, please refer to the following tech note.
          (Current versions of the software come installed with the Dongle Manager.
    • There is also a blow-by-blow tutorial on this procedure at , complete with download links for the Dongle Updater applications for Windows and Mac.
  • It worked!
    • As it turned out, the version on the laptop where I did that was MC 5.5, but it still ran OK with the MC-6.0-updated dongle.

Camera etc. Setup Tips from DSC Labs – makers of ChromaDuMonde (CDM) Charts

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

There is a wealth of information and advice at the following, e.g. covering basic camera alignment and calibration, camera-matching and green screens.

  • Using a DSC Chart
  • “Real World Use of DSC’s Fairburn 3-D Chart”
  • “Exposure for Sony S-Log with New DSC Chart”
  • “Selecting Production Parameters to Ensure that Picture Quality Accommodates the Intended and Possible Future Imaging Systems”
    • Methodical approach to configuring the camera’s matrix.
  • “Establishing a repeatable baseline reference”
    • Includes S-Log
  • “Matching Multiple Cameras”
  • “Skin tone Waveform Levels”
  • “Compromise between Color Accuracy and Signal Noise”
    • While full saturation on all colors results in the most accurate color reproduction, it can introduce more noise than is acceptable for our purposes.
    • We have found that a reduction of about 20% in green and cyan saturation (moving the green and cyan signals 1/5 of the distance towards the center of the vectorscope) is a good compromise between color accuracy and signal noise.
  • “Do You Waveform Monitor the Lutted Image or the S-Log?”
    • I waveform the S-Log, the LUTs on set can wack out the waveform … and …. are … for comfort viewing only.
    • The S-Log is my neg
  • “Matching the Sony EX-1 with more costly Broadcast Camera’s”
    • Unless you have a calibrated monitor, calibrated chart that is correctly lit and so forth, you can tweak all you want and not come up with the result you would like.
    • One thing that is a must with HD is avoiding washed out high-lights
  • “Continuous Light Sources”
    • There is a growing trend to use fluorescent, LED and discharge light sources for film and video production.
    • One of the problems faced by these light sources is the lack of continuous spectrum activity
  • “Red One and CMOS Static”
    • Every time you change a lens on a digital camera such as the Red One, be sure to check the sensor for dust. The single CMOS sensor has a static charge that attracts dust (just like DSLRs).
    • When dust is left on the sensor it appears as a soft grey blob in the image. This is not always visible on small displays and might not be noticed unless you see your work on a large display or projector.
    • Use a loop {loup?}  to magnify the sensor before blowing gently with a blower bulb or compressed air.  If blowing won’t remove the dust, then use a brush designed to clean DSLR sensors, but use it with great care.
  • “BackFocus”
    • when performing a “flange-back” adjustment (as Back Focus is sometimes called) the Iris should be FULLY OPEN (so that) the depth of field is minimized
  • “Are Six Colors Enough?”
  • “Varicam Detail”
  • “Noise, Green, Cyan, and Saturation”
  • “Tips on HD”
  • “Motion Artifacts”
  • “Green Screen Technique”
    • I light the screen to 55-60 units on the scope and then use the vectorscope to check and make sure I’ve got lots of saturation. I’ve always had success that way.
    • It’s really more about making sure there’s more green (by 30 or 40 units) in the screen than anywhere else in the image.
  • “Creating a Look”
  • “Aberration”
  • “Color Bar Symmetry”

Very-Fast Fourier Transform (VFFT?)

Friday, January 20th, 2012

A mathematical step forward likely (eventually) to improve media processing & encoding, among other things:

Dramatic Structure & Flow

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Just “Blog-Bookmarking” a great written tutorial:

Nokia N95 Variable Frame-Rate

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

I came across some old videos I shot on a Nokia N95 and pulled these into Adobe Premiere.  However the individual video clips were each listed with a different framerate, hovering vaguely around 29 fps (27.08 up to 29.45).   Questions:

  • What does that even mean?
    • From web-search, it sounds like it’s an average, and N95 framerates within a given recording can vary wildly
      • e.g. between 6 and 38 fps.
  • How do various apps etc. handle such material?
    • YouTube:
      • In 2009 at least, it sounds like YouTube went for the minimum fps in any such clip.
    • Adobe Premiere
      • Seems to go for the average
        • I dragged a N95 clip on the “New Sequence” button and the resulting sequence had the clip’s average framerate.
      • Presumably just duplicates/drops frames as required to maintain the Sequence’s framerate.
    • GSpot (video analyzer):
      • For a clip reported by Adobe Premiere to be 28.81 fps, GSpot reported it to be 29.412 fps.
        • Misleading info from one or other or both…


Carbonite – Online Backup

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Carbonite was drawn to my attention by a colleague, Mr. True, while we were discussing cloud-based services.

So here I just web-trawled a little. From that, it sounds like:

  • One must be wary of the “small print” about throttling.
    • Then again could anyone reasonably expect massive video file type storage for such a low price?
  • One alternative is Mozy
    • Some people find this better in terms of bandwidth,  service level and applications quality
    • It has apps for both iphone and android.

  • Carbonite automatically backs up new and changed files. You don’t have to do anything
  • One of Carbonite’s key advantages is offering unlimited backup for one fixed price
    • e.g. £41.95 / Year
  • PC & Mac
  • Carbonite for iPhone allows you to browse and share files from your iPhone.
  • Carbonite uses the same technology as banks to encrypt your data making it completely secure so only you can ever see it.
  • We have our own data centers where the the disk arrays are far more reliable than your computer’s hard drive.
  • Limitations?
    • “Bandwidth throttling – Yes (35GB, 200GB)” (?)
    • “Default max file size” (?)

  • 2009-08-23, thedragonmas:
    • I have used both Carbonite and MOZY. I had Carbonite for 2+ years, worked as advertised, had over 450 gigs backed up no problem, always maxed out my connection. However, problem came from their client, which is a buggy piece of shit.
    • Switched to mozy, managed to re-back up all 450 gigs in 2 months using my Sprint EVDO Cellular (I get awesome speeds on my data card!).
    • Real problem with Carbonite is, when you select to backup “Everything” it in fact, does NOT backup everything. Such as video files, files over a certain gig size and what not, which will then need to be done manually.
      With MOZY, when I told it to backup EVERYTHING, it DID BACKUP EVERYTHING!
    • I am now a happy MOZY Customer. I am now pushing over 1tb of backed up data.
    • Only problem I have now, is if I need to restore my data, you get 30 days to restore your data before it is removed from their servers, and my present internet connection, that is not possible
  •  2009-09-11, Kramer:
    •  I was uploading about 5GB/day for the first 50GB or so and then was throttled back significantly after that.

Video Surveillance & Multi-Webcam Software

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

I saw in the Sony Vegas forum that GiveAwayOfTheDay (GAOTD):

  • Zebra-Media
      • Video surveillance and motion capture  software.
      • Some key features are: unlimited cameras (including IP and USB cameras), motion detection, SMS and MMS and Email alerts, play sound file (useful on motion detection), adjustable sensitivity for each zone, record on detection, save video into archive or file with automatically or manually selected compression, record on schedule, registration of all events continuously by intervals or on motion detected, password protection, adding a text, time stamps, watermarks to your video.
      • For each video frame, if motion is detected, the Alarm event occurs, that returns a global motion ratio, depending of the number of cells in which motion has been detected, and the level of motion in each cell
      • A sensitivity grid is applied on video frames. You can adjust the sensitivity of the detection, and mask out areas of the camera view to avoid false alarms. When the camera captures video frames in a dark environment, it is possible that the electrical background noise of the CCD video cell creates fake motion detection events. It is possible to reduce the sensitivity of to the video noise by enabling the Reduce Video Noise option. When an alarm condition is detected, the program can sound an audible alarm, or send you an email with a photo. Automatically capture photos, or record video in compressed files. Surveillance System includes an advanced player that allows to play video clips, capture video frames and perform frame overlay. Each camera has its own individual monitoring and recording settings. All settings, such as alerts, photos, and video recordings can be turned on and off using the built-in scheduler. All monitoring and alert events are logged with date and time stamps. Each camera has its own scheduled on(off) times. Building upon the interface options introduced in MS Outlook, scheduler includes event recurrence control and customizable Date Navigator. Access to all data is provided through a well encrypted password

Some alternatives indicated by reviewers:

  • iSpy:
      • Open Source
      • iSpy uses your cameras, webcams, IP cams and microphones to detect and record movement or sound. Captured media is compressed to flash video or mp4 and streamed securely over the web and local network. iSpy can run on multiple computers simultaneously and has full Email, SMS and MMS alerting functions and remote viewing
      • iSpy is probably the worlds most feature-rich surveillance software. Some key features are: Unlimited Cameras and Microphones (including IP and USB cameras), Motion Detection (3 types), Motion Processing (4 types), Record on Detection, Record on Schedule, Record with Audio, Remote Access, Network Audio Broadcasting (via iSpy Server), Password Protection, Desktop Recording, Automated YouTube Uploading, SMS and MMS and Email alerts
  • YawCam
      • Yet Another WebCAM (software).
      • Yawcam is a webcam software for windows written in java. The main ideas for Yawcam are to keep it simple and easy to use but to include all the usual features.
      • Yawcam features:
        • Video streaming
        •  Image snapshots
        • Built-in webserver
        • Motion detection
        • Ftp-upload
        • Text and image overlays
        • Password protection
        • Online announcements for communities
        • Scheduler for online time
        • Time lapse movies
        • Run as a Windows service
        • Multi languages

MacBook Pro (2009): FireWire 800 Issues Under Boot Camp > Windows

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Back in early 2010, I bought a MacBook Pro.  Like my existing Mac Pro desktop it had a FireWire 800 (FW800) port, but unlike the Mac desktop that port would only function under Mac OS, not Boot Camp > Windows.  The desktop had Windows XP 32-bit while the MacBook had Windows 7 64-bit.

In a prolonged attempt (the latter half of 2010) I did a lot of searching, browsing, emailing, phoning and conversing to try to find out if it was “just me” or a recognised issue.   The main source of misleading answers to the effect that many had never had that problem was that those same people had never tried (saying that at the start would have been a more useful answer).  Or else my question got “pidgeonholed” into a standard one about booting from an external drive – something I was definitely not trying to do. Next, it seemed that some older laptops had a different chipset, by Texas Instruments, and those did not have the same problem.

One workaround some people employed was to go via a FW800 ExpressCard adaptor.  But that only works on certain models and certain versions of Windows it appears.

In conclusion, the issue appears to remain in force, it’s not “just me”, and sadly there is little prospect of it being fixed.  I had this vain hope that maybe newer macbook models or newer Boot Camp releases might have sorted things a bit.  Doesn’t look like it…


EDL-Associated Apps on Mac OS

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

These are the applications  listed when, in my Windows VM on Mac, I did [RightClick>OpenWith] on a [.EDL] file:

  • Avid:
    • ALE
    • EDLManager
  • Apple:
    • Color

Sony Vegas Timeline-Structure Export & Repair via EDL

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Here I look at the advantage/point of Sony Vegas’s options for exporting the project/timeline/sequence structure.

Rebuild Project:

  • Question: Can one export (in some form, possibly partial) a Project (sequence/timeline) from Sony Vegas 10 that can then be imported to other NLEs or versions of Sony Vegas ?
    •  A couple or so years ago (Vegas 9) I determined it was not practical to exchange between Vegas and FCP.  But time has passed, attention has shifted away from FCP to other NLEs (chiefly Adobe Production CS5.5) , and for various reasons, earlier versions of Vegas are more attractive to me than the latest batches.
  • Part-Answer:
    •  Yes for [File > SaveAs > EDL] / [File > Open (Same kind of EDL File) ]
    • Can open even in previous versions of Vegas.
    • But not everything gets reinstated – e.g. Project settings, Text, Pan/Crop.


  • Can repair a project by doing this.
    • In my case, a video pan was “snatching”, not smooth.
    • The process of Opening a Vegas-EDL [.txt] re-created “peaks” sidecar files [.sfk] for each media file.
    • Somehow, the pan played more smoothly after this (possibly due to this or some other effect of the “new project”


Adobe Premiere: Building & Editing a Sequence

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

I’ve begun by re-creating from-scratch a project which I already have in Sony Vegas.

  • Media Browser:
    • aMedia > DoubleClick
      • Goes to Source Monitor
  • Source Monitor:
    • Adjust In/Out points e.g. as per [View Details] window in Sony Vegas
  • Drag from Source Monitor to Timeline
  • Use timecode from elements in Sony Vegas project as a starting-point.  Drag Dissolve transitions (Effects) from bottom-left hand pane in between clips.  Trim transition to preference, either by drag or numbers.  Pretty easy.
  • Timeline:
    • [Clip > RtClk > Scale to Frame Size]
      • Then drag scale/pan/crop rectangle to required size/zoom level.
  • [File > Export > Media]  = Ctrl-M
    • This created [C:\Users\David\Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\5.5\Sequence 01.avi]
  • Renamed the Sequence as [Intro]
    • Now it saves to [Intro.avi] or the following time to [Intro_1.avi]

Pretty intuitive really.  Next I’d like to find the levels and color correction features, then (following the inevitablegrain created by that process) some means of running the Neat Video temporal denoiser.

XDCAM-EX in Adobe Production Premium CS5.5

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

I have a project shot on a Sony EX3.  SO I have XDCAM-EX footage.

Opened an Adobe Premiere project, set its Sequence settings to XDCAM EX HQ 1080i50

  • Wondered immediately what that implied.  Like OK the source is XDCAM-EX which is Mpeg2 encoding inside a MP4 container, but why does the Sequence care how the source is stored?  Surely it only needs to know things like the format is 1080i50 then it can store any intermediate files in DNxHD or Cineform or whatever Adobe prefers.  I am very confused by this kind of thing, just as I was in FCP.  Maybe it’s obvious or maybe “I think to much”.
  • Adobe has a thing called Import and it can (I discovered) accept MP4 files from XDCAM-EX’s BPAV folder-structures (deep down within the CLIPR subfolder).  But I know that is a stupid way to go. The MP4 files are but the “essence” that is “stitched together” (mixed metaphors or what?) by the likes of SMIL and XML files.  It’s only at the latter level that smooth continuum happens.
  • Enter Adobe Premiere’s Media Browser. I “knew” there had to be something like that.  I discovered it via which itself I discovered via Bing search on [sony xdcam-ex adobe premiere cs5.5 workflow].  OK to get XDCAM-EX footage into an Adobe Premiere project you do [WIndow >Media Browser] or else Shift-8, then don’t expect some window popping-up or anything, just instect the [Media Browser] tab at the lower-left of the GUI screen.  Drill-down to the required recording and double-click.  The media appears in a Source Preview window (I wonder but don’t mightily care what Adobe calls it).
    • OK I do care a bit really, and according to an Adobe video tutorial, it’s called a Source Monitor.
    • Initially it was too zoomed-in, presumably displayig at 1:1 (pixel).  “Zoom to Fit” was but a right-click away…
  • You can drag from Source Monitor to the Timeline or to other places.
  • I tried that with some EX3 footage where I pan across the front of the famous Wembley Stadium, UK.  In Sony Vegas (my erstwhile “comfortable old shoe”) it snatches and drags.  In Adobe Premiere, as in Sony Clip Browser, it pans smoothly.  Guess where I’m heading…

Colour Spaces: YUV<->RGB, 601/709 etc.

Friday, January 13th, 2012
  • 601/709
      • Usually (video content) is created in RGB, but stored as YCbCr.
      • Upon display it will be converted back again to RGB.
      • This means that two color conversions will take place. The problem is that there are different ways of doing this conversion. If the two color conversions are not the same, the displayed content won’t be the same as the original content.
      • So when converting YCbCr to RGB upon display, the correct color conversion standard (Rec.601 or Rec.709) must be used, namely the one which was used when storing the content.
      • (Rec.709 and Rec.601 are short for ITU-R BT.709 and ITU-R BT.601.)
      • ~ When a Rec.601-encoded YUV is decoded using Rec.709, the picture is more saturated and also red is shifted a bit towards yellow.
      • ~ When a Rec.709-encoded YUV is decoded using Rec.601, the result is a less saturated clip, with red shifting towards magenta and blue shifting to cyan.
  • YUV Color Space
      • Has images showing how increasing Y also changes the colour (which is how I end up with “pizza-faced” people if color curves over-used).
      • …and how some colours become unrepresentable
        • No yellows at low Y
        • No reds or blues at high Y
  • Lab Color Space

Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams (continued)

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Following-on from my earlier post, Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams, where I considered an eventual migration from my laptop to a luggable PC, my thoughts veered (possibly having spotted cash-icebergs among them) towards an alternative solution:

  • Use the laptop for lightweight editing & compositing.
  • Use the desktop as a number-crunching RADI-attached server.

The two could be linked by:

  • Remote access / remote sessions (some of which via smartphone)
  • DropBox, e.g. have an active folder where I can drop Adobe Premiere XML and have it processed remotely by Adobe apps installed there.

Some links:

    • (There’s no equivalent “_part_1” page.  I guess it’s just “Part 2” of that guy’s story).
    • DIY virtual machines: Rigging up at home, by Trevor Pott, 11th January 2012 14:33 GMT
    • Personal Virtual Machine (PVM) (in use) for about seven years with retail boxed version of Windows XP.
    • VM has been moved from virtualization platform to virtualization platform over the years … the most recent incarnation … inside Hyper-V.
    • …nothing beats Windows Server 2008 R2. It comes with a top-notch virtualisation platform (Hyper-V), and added RemoteFX support with Service Pack 1. You can still use the desktop operating system for all your HTPC needs, and a single Server 2008 R2 Standard license allows you to run both a host copy and a single virtual instance of Server 2008 R2.
    • In my case, the host instance does little more than play movies on the projector via VLC. The virtual instance of Server runs my Plex media server, and aggregates my many storage devices into a single share using DFS.
  • Shuttle Inc (Taiwan)

Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Want a mobile “suitcase” editing system, something more (and more expandable) than a laptop but not too expensive.  Primarily to be used for Adobe CS5.5 for media enhancement / editing / compositing etc.

Nearest I found was NextDimension’s range around $7000 I think (but just guesswork – could be way off – would need to get a quote).   That would (if true) be around £4500 at current rates.  Plus import…  NextDimension call such machines “flextops” (Maybe they coined the term? Google searches on it mostly come up with them.)

Apart from the (mil/broadcast-lite but me-heavy) price, it might possibly be undesirably heavy to lug around much.   If so (just guessing, not assuming), it would make more sense to go for a modular quick-setup system.  So, starting to “think different” in this direction:

  • Standard tower, capable of taking new CUDA etc. graphics cards etc. as they emerge, but no need for more than say a couple of disks, maybe if SSD could even get away with just a single disk? (For system and media – inadvisable for traditional disks of course, what about for SSD’s?  I have much to learn about SSD’s though).
  • “Laptop-Lite” to talk to it.  With robust shuttered-stereoscopic HD monitor.
  • Gigabit network to NAS fast storage (SSD and/or RAID ?).

Maybe in that case it would be far more logical/affordable to use an existing laptop as a client working together with a luggable tower server, sufficiently light and robust for frequent dis/re -connection and travel.  And remote access of course (no heavy data to be exchanged, assume that’s already sync’d).  And some means to easily swap/sync applications and projects (data) between laptop and tower, giving the option to use just the (old) laptop on its own if needed.  All such options are handy for the travelling dude (working on train, social visits etc.) who also occasionally has to do heavy processing.  Then would just need a protective suitcase for the tower, plus another one for a decent monitor for grading etc.

I certainly won’t be spending anything just yet, but it’s good to have at least some kind of “radar”.


Apple Mac & FCP -> Windows & Adobe

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

rvideo: Ruby video transcoding library

Sunday, January 8th, 2012


    • <<Ruby is…A dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write.>>
    • Ruby is also totally free. Not only free of charge, but also free to use, copy, modify, and distribute.
    • My MacBook has a copy of it, at [/usr/bin/ruby].  No idea if it came with Mac OS or an application, but it’s there.
    • rvideo
      • Ruby video transcoding library
      • RVideo is a Ruby library inspects and processes video and audio files by providing an interface to free Unix tools like ffmpeg.
    • Demonstration of usage
      • A few examples:
        • file = => “#{APP_ROOT}/files/input.mp4”)
        • file = => @existing_response)
        • file = => “#{APP_ROOT}/files/input.mp4”,
        •   :ffmpeg_binary => “#{APP_ROOT}/bin/ffmpeg”)
        • file.fps        # => “29.97”
        • file.duration   # => “00:05:23.4”
    • To transcode a video, initialize a Transcoder object.
      • transcoder =
    • Then pass a command and valid options to the execute method.
      • recipe = “ffmpeg -i $input_file$ -ar 22050 -ab 64 -f flv -r 29.97 -s”
      • recipe += ” $resolution$ -y $output_file$”
      • recipe += “\nflvtool2 -U $output_file$”
      • begin
      •   transcoder.execute(recipe, {:input_file => “/path/to/input.mp4”,
      •     :output_file => “/path/to/output.flv”, :resolution => “640×360”})
      •   rescue TranscoderError => e
      •   puts “Unable to transcode file: #{e.class} – #{e.message}”
      • end
    • If the job succeeds, you can access the metadata of the input and output files with:
      • transcoder.original     # RVideo::Inspector object
      • transcoder.processed    # RVideo::Inspector object
    • Even if the file is processed, it may still have problems. RVideo will populate an errors array if the duration of the processed video differs from the duration of the original video, or if the processed file is unreadable.

Twixtor: Extra NLE’s can be Added-On to License

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Adobe After Effects (AE): Tutorials e.g. on AE Fundamentals

Thursday, January 5th, 2012
    • i was self taught for after effects, as many were before non-linear editing became so affordable that any school could afford to start up a digital media program (even jr. high/middle schools).
    • you might look into an after effects book by chris & trish meyers called ‘creating motion graphics’ (i actually didn’t have that book when i was learning, but i’ve since heard that it’s one of the best for learning ae).
    • total training has a good series after effects of tutorials
    • is good resource too.
    • and, of course, there are lots of ae tutorials here at the (creative) cow.
    • aharon rabinowitz has many geared towards the fundamentals of ae. look into some of his workflow tuts and other earlier ones where he covers some basic essentials.
  • Book: Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques, Richard Harrington and Ian Robinson

FFDshow and How to Enable/Disable It

Thursday, January 5th, 2012
    • How to Disable FFDShow
    • Launch FFDShow on your computer. If you installed FFDShow as part of another codec pack, the FFDShow application might not have its own program folder on the “Start” menu. In this case, open a media file in Windows Media Player, and the right-click the playing video. Click “More Options,” and the “DVD” tab in the Options window. Click “Advanced” to display the FFDShow window
    • Click “DirectShow Control” in the left pane of the window. Enable the “Don’t use FFDShow in” option, then click “Edit.”
    • Click the “Add” button, and browse to the executable file for the media player application in which you want to disable FFDShow. For instance, to disable FFDShow in Windows Media Player 12, in Windows 7, browse to the “C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” file. Highlight the file, and click the “Open” button
    • Click the “OK” button in the “Don’t Use FFDShow In” window. Click “Apply,” then “OK” in the “Properties” window. Close Windows Media Player. After you restart Windows Media Player and launch a media file, the program no longer use the FFDShow codecs

TV Text (Size,Colour,Timing) Guidelines

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

AviSynth and Motion-Estimation-Related Processing by QTGMC & MVtools 2

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Looking for some user-friendly top-down explanation of sensible uses of AviSynth.

See Web-Research further below.

I expect to update this post. (more…)

Sony Vegas & Satish’s Frameserver

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

DebugMode FrameServer (DMFS) can be made to work with Sony Vegas 8-10 on a Windows 7 64-bit system:

Sliders (Camera Grips)

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

In brief, the best candidate for me seems  to be Kessler’s Philip Bloom Signature Series variant of their Pocket Dolly (actually a slider).  In addition to hand-cranking (with damper) it has the possibility of adding on motorised control, including for timelapse.  On the other hand there is also the Stealth varant, which benefits (in my opinion) from black colour (as opposed to crimson/pink for the Bloom variant) but lacks the crank handle.  I have no experience, hence no idea how useful a crank handle is.  Like the Bloom variant, it can be motorized.

Issues / Requirements (not in order):

  • Length
    • Doesn’t have to be all that long, sometimes only 2 feet (about 0.3 metre) is sufficient.
  • Support
    • Will it mount to a standard tripod?
    • Need it be supported at each end?
  • Strength
  • Smoothness
  • Drive (Possibly):
    • Manual crank
      • Possibly with damping or inertia (most likely a flywheel)
    • Motor
  • Noise
  • Size (can be carried on a plane?)
  • Weight (can be carried on long walks?)


Canon D500 DSLR Camera: Magic Lantern & External Monitor

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

 Can the Canon D500 be connected to an external monitor?

Not tried it yet – need to purchase a HDMI Type C cable – but it sounds like one way or another it could be coaxed into doing so.  My web-research leading to this view (right or wrong) is below.


Vodafone USB Modem Stick

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

I have a Vodafone USB Modem Stick (cell broadband dongle) which was obsolete even when I received it (free/gratuit).  Its design intention was you plugged it into a computer and, like some storage devices (e.g. memory sticks) the computer installed its driver software and you were ready to go.  In practice however it does not work either under Windows 7 or Mac OS Snow Leopard.  Some things report failure to install and/or the machine crashes if yoy try to boot up with the dongle already plugged in, or if plugged in after restart, a message requests further restart.  There is no way out into a state where it can perform its main function.

The dongle is a Vodafone K3765, which I have heard is actually an Icon 411 made by Option .  It will allegedly run on Windows 7 but not pay-as-you-go.

I wonder if a newer version of the dongle (and any associated application software or drivers) is available.  Then again, what’s the point if I can use the phone, especially as it’s less hassle all round (fewer technical complexities and hence possible issues, simpler purchasing all-in-one contract including data). Maybe I should just get it crushed?


iPhone as CellPhone Modem

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Here in the UK at least, on my Vodafone contract that includes data connection.  No special apps available (at least on App Store) or needed.

All you have to do is:

  • Go to iPhone’s [Settings > General > Network > Personal Hotspot] enable that function (default is OFF).
    • Select [WiFi & USB Only]
      • Unless you really want BlueTooth.  I choose instead to keep things simple cable.
    • Connect the iPhone to the computer via its USB cable.
      • On Windows 7 (which is what I have), a dialog opens asking if Private/Public.
        • I chose [Public] since it’s connecting to the internet.  I assume (don’t know for sure) that’s appropriate here.  The safer option in any case.


Velocity Remapping/Retiming by Motion Estimation: Alternative Tools

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

What tools are available for this?  What are their relative merits / costs (in all senses)?

  • First I tried Boris RED but encountered issues.
  • Next I investigated AviSynth, discovering two approaches:
    • MSU’s Frame-Rate Convertor (FRC)
    • MVTools2-based scripts; the latter was the more complex but for me it worked best.
  • Next I looked at MotionPerfect, which I purchased years ago from Dynapel back in Standard Definition days.
    • Nowadays sold by Gooder Video
      • They sell version 4.3.1
      • I have version 4.3.0
      • I updated it to 4.3.1
        • That shows a different icon/logo to the Dynapel version of that same product.
        • It works the same as far as I can see.
  • Another day(s):
    • Boris RED (4 & 5) via NLEs
      • Adobe
      • Avid
      • VegasAfter Effect
    • Kronos ??
    • Twixtor ??.
      • Some people claim this is the fastest motion-estimation-based method.
    • Avid ???
      • e.g. locate the (years-old) Avid velocity / warp envelope demo featuring a surfer ???


Velocity Remapping/ReTiming by Motion Estimation: Boris RED: Experiments Continued

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Boris RED 5.0.6: Retiming & Velocity experiments continued.

A new day, restarted the Boris RED 5 (Engine), started a fresh project, altered many settings.

No success.  Always the same issue: if frame-interpolation happens, due to pseudo-increased framerate or pseudo-slomo, then exported frames are in the wrong order.  Only if neither framerate increased nor velocity reduced does it look correct.

I give up until a fix or workaround appears…


Boris: Keyframes Relative or Absolute (Selectable)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Keyframes: Stretching or Constant (Option)

    • With “Keep Keyframe time” enabled, the effect timing remains the same if you change the length of the effect.
    • Disable this function to stretch the keyframes to fit the new effect length.

Boris: Retiming: Initial Websearch (Orientation / Terminology)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


Velocity Remapping/ReTiming by Motion Estimation: Boris RED

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Velocity Remapping/ReTiming by Motion Estimation (“Optical Flow”) in Boris RED

Questions (as for any such app / method):

  • Can it do it?
  • How easily?
  • How robustly / flakily?
  • Quality of Result?
  • Productivity e.g. processing time in relation to real-time?


  • Yes it can in principle do it, via the BCC Optical Flow filter
  • However when I tried it I encountered some practical difficulties:
    • Boris RED 4 succeeds in exporting broadly the expected result (e.g. to AVI-VFW-Cineform) but that result has a slight blemish in the form of flickering, as if (possibly) original frames are slightly brighter than derived frames.
    • Boris RED 5 fails to export the result in a usable form.
      • I tried various containers and codecs.
    • I have reported these and other issues, to Boris FX (via their Support Form).
  • For my situation, until these issues are addressed, the question of “Productivity” is academic.


Avid: Media Composer: User-Experiences (Promotional)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Graphic / Pen Tablets, e.g. Wacom Intuos 4

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Web-research about graphic tablets – having seen and heard of their use by many editors, e.g on Avid and Adobe.  Bear in mind however that tablet computers like iPad might become (or already have become?) game-changers…

  • Graphic / Pen Tablet:
    • Google: [graphic tablet avid media composer]
        • Mouse vs. Graphics Tablet
        • CyberCat, Sun, Jun 6 2010 5:10 PM
          • Has: Avid Media Composer 5.5.2 | Windows 7 x64 | i7-990x | GTX 580 | 24GB DDR3 | GA-X58A-UD3R
          • Q: I’ve noticed that most editor’s I’ve worked with tend to use graphics tablets instead of mice for their input device. I would imagine there are many on this forum who do as well. I’m just curious why this is, are they just more comfortable to use, or more accurate or what? I’m considering getting one if they’re worth it.
        • Responses:
          • It’s just a matter of which tool you’re more comfortable with. If you’re considering installing a tablet, do some searches on this Forum for Waacom, as there have been conflicts using them, and specific driver versions needed to solve the problem
          • I’ve used graphics tablets for many years and we have several here — 2 Wacoms, Calcomp large format and Acecat wired.. The Wacom Intuos 4 is excellent. It is indispensible for Photoshop, Painter, etc., and I feel lost without it regardless of the software
            • This link is to a great overview/chooser for a set of variants of the Intuos 4 tablet.
              • I like the Wireless one. Seems the most useful when not at a desk
                (e.g. in bed or on a train).

                • Available from Amazon UK for under £300
                • One user recommends putting acetate on its surface before use. This reduces scratches and also reduces nib wearout. Several users report (unexpectedly quick) nib wearout as an issue.
                • Some users report issues with the wireless (BlueTooth). One responded with advice: Make sure on at least the first 4 charges, that you fully charge the battery, and use it till it runs out of battery (not just red light) rinse and repeat this process, and you’ll be fine with the wireless.
                • Some users were concerned that the tablet doesn’t come with a bluetooth receiver (e.g. USB stick?). Not a concern for my MacBook which has it built-in.
              • The Wacom Tablet changed the way I interact with the Avid application. For me, it’s much faster and intuitive for my hand to simply move right to the spot on the screen I need and click. No more dragging a mouse along. I feel like I’m moving faster and the carple tunnel I was developing has gone away.
      • The Wacom Intuos4 pen tablet

Avid Media Composer: Practical Usage in Productions

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

  • MC 5.0
  • User and Beta-Tester experiences.
    • They like the (fairly new) Smart Tool
    • AMA is useful for producing on-set rushes and quick edits
      • They mention a Mac (..Book?) being used on-set, taking footage from a P2 card.
      • They show a card from a DSLR being plugged into a Lexar outboard card-reader.
      • {? I wonder if subsequently they ingest/import it in “traditional” fashion, e.g. to take advantage of media management and to minimise risks of obscure issues down the line ?}
    • 01:50 shows Steven Sprung, ACE Editor (Dispatch, Entourage). He looks a bit like me.
    • More than one editing-suite scene shows a graphic tablet being used.
    • [02:12] shows some track labels/assignments.
      • It can be instructive to see how others do it.
    • [02:14] et seq: Smart Tool
    • [02:14] Audio
      • e.g. level meters on each track
      • Track-based RTAS effects etc. are useful to help indicate to the sound department approximately what the editor requires artistically
    • [03:48] Editors (can be) on set 12-14 hours/day might also take work home on laptop.
    • [03:39] Graphic tablet shown as part of edit suite. Which one is it? How useful?
    • [03:59] Matrox MXO Mini enables use of a standard TV as monitor, including calibration tools (what kind?).


Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Trailers (for Sale or Rent) and Caravans

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

While discussing trailers and caravans etc. with my father, he mentioned that the legendary comedian/presenter Ade Edmonson had been on TV with a series where he travelled britain with a small caravan towed behind his car.  So I thought I’d look into it (the type of caravan that is…).  Here are the links I found helpful:

About Ade Edmonson and his particular caravan:

Caravan Introductory Elements:


Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Adobe Premiere: Help in Getting Started

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

VST Plugins with Adobe Premiere

Monday, January 2nd, 2012
    • <<<
    • If you want to actively prevent Premiere Pro from using one or more VST plug-ins, create a text file called Blacklist.txt listing the filename of each plug-in one per line. Put the text file in the same folder as the plug-in files, one blacklist file per folder. The blacklist file is read only when Premiere Pro starts up.
      • You must restart your computer for the Blacklist.txt to work.
    • ….there is a limit to the number of VST effects that can appear in the list in the mixer panel, however all supported VST effects should appear in the list in the effects panel.
    • If some VST effects are not available in Premiere Pro when you expect them to be, search your hard drive for a file called Plugin Loading.log after configuring your search to find hidden files. The log may tell you why a plug-in is not being loaded.
    • >>>

VST Plugins

Monday, January 2nd, 2012
    • <<<
    • If you don’t have any VST plug-ins there are a number of them at:
        • (Great Reverb, Compressor/Limiter, Delay, EQ and more… They sound good as well).
      • at you can download a free VST ‘effect’ called “Inspector” which will monitor your audio as you play your sequence, and, among other things, tell you by how much you have exceeded the 0dB maximum permitted level. You can then reduce the monitored fader by that amount and be confident there should be no clipping. It comes remarkably well documented (for freeware) and the help file is worth a quick check through. And another tip – if you export just the audio of your project with the “Inspector” vst window visible, it will provide the analysis of levels and clipping at high speed – on my PC, in about 4 mins for a 40 minute .avi – and the results it gives correlate with analysis in Audition, so it appears you can depend on it. In my test file, it showed that the level needed to be reduced by 0.4dB to avoid clipping – which was the amount by which I’d pushed the fader up before running the test. Using this method it would appear you don’t have to sit glued to the meters all the way through your project to avoid clipping.
    • >>>

iZotope Ozone 5 in Adobe Premiere?

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

I am a novice user of Adobe Premiere.  Having installed iZotope Ozone 5 I expected it to just appear as one of the audio filters.  However I saw no sign of it.


    • <<<
    • Premiere Pro supports the Steinberg VST (Virtual Studio Technology) audio plug-in format so that you can add VST audio effects from third-party vendors. Premiere Pro includes VST plug-in effects that are available in both the Audio Mixer and the Effect Controls panel. Track-based VST plug-ins may provide additional controls. Apply VST effects the same way you apply other audio effects to tracks or clips.
    • In the Effects And Sends panels of the Audio Mixer, VST effects appear in the Effect Selection menus. In the Effects panel, they appear in the Audio Effects bin so you can apply them to individual clips. In most cases, VST effects appear in the Audio Effects bin and track type that corresponds to the number of channels the effect supports. For example, stereo VST effects appear in the Audio Mixer track effect menus for stereo tracks only, and in the Stereo bin in the Audio Effects bin in the Effects panel. After you apply any VST effect, you can open a window with all of its controls. You can leave multiple VST editor windows open as long as you want, such as when automating effects, but Premiere Pro closes all VST editor windows when you close the project.
    • If you previously installed a VST-compatible application other tha Premiere Pro, Premiere Pro finds VST effects in the VST folder that already exists. Inside the Plug-ins folder of the Premiere Pro application folder, there is also a VSTPlugins folder with plug-ins that are used only by Premiere Pro.
    • Note: When you use a VST effect not provided by Adobe, the specific control layout and results of the plug-in are the responsibility of the plug-in manufacturer. Adobe Premiere Pro only displays the controls and processes the results.
    • >>>
    • <<<
    • I use a set of VST plugins by Voxengo with 32-bit CS4. I recently upgraded to 64-bit CS5. So, I went and snagged the 64-bit versions of these Voxengo plugins. I put them in the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5\Plug-ins\en_US\VSTPlugins\.
    •  Here’s the info in the Plugin Loading.log file:
      •  Loading C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5\Plug-ins\en_US\VSTPlugins\Elephant.dll
        Loading from the registry…
        The plugin was successfully loaded from the registry.
    •  Yet, the plugins do not show up in the mixer or in the effects list.
    •  I do not get any error messages. Also, I’m using Vista.  Any ideas?
    •  If you’d like to try the plugins yourself, there are free trials here:
    •  Thanks! – Jamez
    • >>>
    • <<<
    • I tried the 8 free Voxengo plugins in Premiere CS5, all of them 64bit and they did not show up.  Curiously enough, these 8 plugins are listed at ehe Adobe websiste  here:
    • I tried the 32bit versions with Soundbooth CS5 (which is a a 32bit app) and they did not show up there either.
    • >>>
    • <<<
    • If you want to actively prevent Premiere Pro from using one or more VST plug-ins, create a text file called Blacklist.txt listing the filename of each plug-in one per line. Put the text file in the same folder as the plug-in files, one blacklist file per folder. The blacklist file is read only when Premiere Pro starts up.
      • You must restart your computer for the Blacklist.txt to work
    • If some VST effects are not available in Premiere Pro when you expect them to be, search your hard drive for a file called Plugin Loading.log after configuring your search to find hidden files. The log may tell you why a plug-in is not being loaded.
    • >>>

    VST Plugins: Folder & Registry Entry

    Sunday, January 1st, 2012

    Trying to understand why Ozone 5 will/won’t show up in various Windows 7 applications,  I discovered that:

    The folder on my system is:

    • [C:\Program Files (x86)\Vstplugins]

    The corresponding registry entry is:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Wow6432Node > VST > VSTPluginsPath
      • The name [Wow6432Node] sounds somewhat unprofessional, but I checked on my system and indeed that’s how it is.

    In Registry Editor:

    • In left-hand “explorer” pane, dial-down to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Wow6432Node > VST]
    • At that location:
      • Name: (REG_SZ) = [VSTPluginsPath]
      • Value: (REG_SZ) = [C:\Program Files (x86)\Vstplugins]

    iZotope Ozone: Purchase (& Reasoning)

    Sunday, January 1st, 2012

    Seems a little pricey, but worthwhile in my case because it addresses two requirements that have been nagging me (before I discovered that product):

    • Has intelligent compressor, maximizing loudness and minimising dependence on manual tweaking (eqials time in post).
    • Has good-quality reverb.

    It’s a plugin (DirectX /DLL), no standalone application.  Hosts / plugin formats:

    • The manual refers (Page 119) to <<Pro Tools, VST, AU and MAS versions of Ozone … (and) DirectX version>>
    • The website
      • Plug-in formats:
        • Pro Tools 7.4+ (RTAS/AudioSuite), VST, MAS, Audio Unit, DirectX
      • Plug-in host compatibility:
        • Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, WaveLab, GarageBand, Logic, Audition, SONAR, ACID, REAPER, Sound Forge, Peak, Ableton Live, and many more
        • Does not mention:
          • Sony Vegas (even though I found it works in this)
          • Adobe CS5.5 Production Suite e.g. Premiere.  Can it work with this and its siblings?
    • c

    Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Adobe Premiere: New Project & Orientation

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

    Started a new project

    • Decided to make it a real project – [2011-12-12 (NG) Carol Singing]
    • Prompted for a project path and file name:
      • Path:
        • (scratch area etc. are then, by default, set relative to (within?) this – much nicer than FCP7 )
        • Chose: [I:\_Media\_Projects\2011-12-12 (NG) Carol Singing\030 Projects\Adobe\Premiere]
      • FileName: [Carols 001]
        • This created project-file [Carols 001.prproj]
    • Dialog [New Sequence] then prompted for sequence settings:
      • Choose Sequence preset – to match the recorded footage, namely 720p25
        • Chose XDCAM-EX > 720p > XDCAM EX 720p25
        • Change the [Sequence Name] from default ([Sequence 01]) to [010 Assemblage 001]
    • The main Premiere timeline etc. GUI appeared.
    • At its lower-left was [Media Browser]
      • In this I browsed to the source files, being MXF versions of my EX3 footage, selected those files and [Import]
        • The files then immediately appeared at the upper-left pane.
        • However for 5-10 minutes afterwards, the hard drive light flashed, indicating data-transfer.
          • How come?  What was it doing?  Surely it’s already in the right format?
      • In the upper-left pane, I double-clicked one of the source files.
        • It appeared in the Source preview-window (akin to FCP and Avid)
    • In Source pane:
      • Played intuitively.
        • SpaceBar for Play/Pause
        • Arrow keys for frame-at-a-time
        • Shift-Arrow for a few frames at a time
        • Control-Arrow for Beginning and End.
        • Easy-to-see*grab&slide timeline cursor (blue blob)
    • Tried dragging source (pane) media to Timeline
      • Not as I expected
        • I expected the video and audio to “want” to go in the existing video and audio tracks.  Instead, while I could drag the video component anywhere (including the existing video tracks), the audio component only went to new tracks (that it automatically created).
        • Four audio tracks were created, not the two that I was expecting (given it was only a stereo recording).
        • No audio waveforms displayed (I expect there is a setting somewhere)
    • Found an [Info] tab in the pane at the lower-left of the app.
      • It showed that file [929_3798_01.mxf] contained 3 video channels, of which only vchannel 1 was populated, and 7 audio channels, of which the last four (4-7) achannels were populated.
    • Found [Preferences] under [Edit > Preferences]
      • Discovered cache location was at [C:\Users\David\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common]
      • There was also an option <<Save Media Cache files next to originals when possible
        • Possibly inappropriate when using straight XDCAM-EX source-files?
          • Don’t want to corrupt the BPAV file structure with “foreign” additions.
        • Should be OK though when using MXF format though I guess.
        • Can [Clean] the cache, under same [Preferences] window.
    • Audio Waveform display
      • In each audio track-header, Twirl the Disclosure-Triangle.  Independently for each audio track.
      • Having done so, it was apparent that two of the audio elements (hence two of the four audio tracks) contained no audio – their waveform displays were simply flat-lines.
    • Effects
      • Extremely intuitive.
        • [Effects] tab in lower-left pane of app GUI
      • Tried e.g. [Effects > Video Effects > Auto Color]
        • Dragged it to item on timeline
        • Saw its effect in the main Timeline preview pane
          • Provided the cursor was somewhere on that item in the timeline.
        • In [Source] preview-pane, selected [Effect Controls] tab
          • [Video Effects] included [Auto Color]
          • Clicking the [fx] button toggles the effect on/off
    • Cuts & Transitions
      • Snapping on/off Toggle-button (looks a bit like [C], meant to be a horseshoe-magnet), left of timeline top-ruler
      • Transitions
        • Basics
          • Ensure handles are present and that the clips are abutted (e.g. have snap enabled)
          • In Effects palette (tab in lower-left pane, [Video Transitions > Dissolve > Cross Dissolve]
        • Iris Transition
          • I fairly frequently use this in another NLE, but with feathered edges.  The settings for this transition in Premiere do not appear to include feathering.  Nothing obvious came up in Google or Help searches.
          • One suggestion, from July 2009, was to instead use Gradient Wipe, which has a Softness control, together with a suitable image for the required shape (e.g. circle).
            • DOH !
    • Text

    Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Adobe Premiere: Initial Run

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

     Having got the suite installed and ready to use, I ran Adobe Premiere:

    • From Launcher, ran Adobe Premiere
      • A “First Use” dialog came up
        • Requested my Adobe ID
          • I entered it, consisting of an email address and password.
          • Response screen said: <<By providing an Adobe ID, you have set up access to Adobe CS Live Services during your trial period.
          • It also indicated it had sent email verification.
      • I received two emails.
        • First email
          • <<<
          • Thank you for providing your Adobe ID and downloading your Adobe Creative Suite® software trial. During your software trial, you will have access to CS Live services that further extend the capabilities of your Adobe Creative Suite software. Accessed from within your software, CS Live services enable you to accelerate creative reviews, streamline cross-browser testing, and easily host online meetings.
          • For quick and easy access to CS Live services, here is some important information you will want to save:
          • Your complimentary CS Live services subscription will expire with your product trial.
          • >>>
        • Second email:
          • Verify email address
            • Strange that this was sent after the email containing Personal Meeting Room address etc.
      • Thank You dialog gave link to tutorials:
      • I clicked the [Done] button
    • Adobe Premiere started up
      • Popup stated: <<Adobe Premiere Pro requires updated video card drivers for CUDA accelerated rendering.  Please download and install current drivers for your video card.>>
        • That’s what I was afraid of.  It’s making the same demands as DaVinci Resolve.  I cannot satisfy those demands, all updates are under Apple’s control – it is normal that laptops (as my MacBook Pro is) have customized versions of graphics card drivers…
        • I closed the popup.
      • Premiere prompted for [New Project] etc.
        • I clicked on [Help]
          • The Help panel, once populated (after a minute or so), included a [Getting Started and Tutorials] link.

    Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Premiere: Run in Boot Camp Windows 7

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

     Having got the suite installed and ready to use, I ran Adobe Premiere.  It created an account for me on [CS Live Services].  It complained that my video card drivers were insufficient for CUDA accelerated rendering.  Sadly I cannot update these – I must only accept those that Apple provide (via Boot Camp updates).  So no CUDA acceleration then I guess…

    Nevertheless, how well does it work in other respects, and how usable is it overall?  The


    Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Launch in Boot Camp Windows 7

    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
    • Installer for CS5.5 Production Premium
      • For viewing the license conditions, it offers language choices including [English (North America)] and [English (International)].
        • It’s not clear what the difference is.  I wish it showed some examples in each.
        • I’m not the only confused one, e.g:
            • Peter Spier
              • 3. Jan 14, 2009 10:21 AM (in response to rpollack-2)
              • Re: CS4 English International vs English US
              • To add to the confusion, I think the difference is in the default dictionaries and the spellings in the interface, i.e. it presumes you want British-style spelling (as you have), and has nothing to do with licensing.
              • I have no clue how to change that election other than to re-install. If you can live with the funny spelling in the menus, you can set the default dictionary to US English in InDesign, and probably other apps.
              • With nothing open, click the text tool and set the control panel to character mode options. Change the language in the dictionary dropdown near the right end. This is also available from the character panel (which which is where you’d change it in Photoshop, it’s in the prefs under Hyphenation in Illustrator — and you may be able to reset the interface language in the Photoshop prefs, too)
        • I chose [English (International)]
      • Next it asked for:
        • Serial Number or else check the Trial button.
          • I did the latter
        • Also it asked for Language
          • I assume this to be the operating language for the app
          • Again I chose [English (International)]
      • Next, [Install Options]
        • Apps:
          • Flash Pro CS5.5
          • AIR for Apple iOS Support
          • After Effects CS5.5
          • Audition CS5.5
          • Encore CS5.1
          • Flash Catalyst CS5.5
          • Illustrator CS5.1
          • OnLocation CS5.1
          • PhotoShop CS5.1 (64..)
          • PhotoShop CS5.1
          • Premiere Pro CS5.5
        • Location:
          • [C:\Program Files\Adobe]
      • Next it began calculating the total time for install and began installing.  After a few minutes it returned its time estimate as around half an hour.  This (initial conservative estimate?) rapidly dropped to around 20 minutes.
      • Next it asked for web browsers to be closed
      • Finally it displayed what looks like a Launcher window for the Production Premium suite, withbuttons labelled akin to Periodic Table elements, except that one of them [Ps] (PhotoShop) appeared twice, identically labelled.
        • On mouse-hover it emerged (from tooltip text) that the second [Ps] was 64-bit, the first then presumably being 32-bit, though its tooltip text did not confirm this
    • Possibly unrelated, Kapersky AntiVirus reported
      • <<Detected a potentially dangerous modification of the application BMDSTREAMINGSERVER.EXE without a digital signature>>
        • That application was installed yesterday, as part of DaVinci Resolve Lite for Windows.
        • (I got distracted by domestic events)
        • The Kapersky prompt appeared to time-out, I don’t know whatit assumed/did…
    • The Launcher highlighted the followingTutorials link:
    • From Launcher, ran Adobe Premiere
      • A “First Use” dialog came up
        • Requested mu Adobe ID
          • Ientered it.
          • Response screen said: <<By providing an Adobe ID, you have set up access to Adobe CS Live Services during your trial period.
          • It also indicated it had sent email verification.
      • I received two emails.
        • First email
          • <<<
          • Thank you for providing your Adobe ID and downloading your Adobe Creative Suite® software trial. During your software trial, you will have access to CS Live services that further extend the capabilities of your Adobe Creative Suite software. Accessed from within your software, CS Live services enable you to accelerate creative reviews, streamline cross-browser testing, and easily host online meetings.
          • For quick and easy access to CS Live services, here is some important information you will want to save:
          • Your complimentary CS Live services subscription will expire with your product trial.
          • >>>
        • Second email:
          • Verify email address
            • Strange that this was sent after the email containing Personal Meeting Room address etc.
      • Thank You dialog gave link to tutorials:
      • I clicked the [Done] button
    • Adobe Premiere started up
      • Popup stated: <<Adobe Premiere Pro requires updated video card drivers for CUDA accelerated rendering.  Please download and install current drivers for your video card.>>
        • That’s what I was afraid of.  It’s making the same demands as DaVinci Resolve.  I cannot satisfy those demands, all updates are under Apple’s control – it is normal that laptops (as my MacBook Pro is) have customized versions of graphics card drivers…
        • I closed the popup.
      • Premiere prompted for [New Project] etc.
        • I clicked on [Help]
          • The Help panel, once populated (after a minute or so), included a [Getting Started and Tutorials] link.

    Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium: Download for Windows

    Monday, December 26th, 2011

    Given my poor experiences on my [MacBook Pro (2009) > Boot Camp > Windows 7] with Boris Blue and with DaVinci Resolve, it is by no means certain that [Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium] will fare any better.  But it’s worth a try.

    So I downloaded a trial.  As part of that I had to first allow [Adobe Download Assistant] to be nstalled and executed.  It prompted for my level of expertise.  I answered: <<Novice: I could use all the help I can get>>.  In response it gave the following link:

    The download is apparently 7.116 GB, estimated download time between 5 and 8 hours. Overnight in other words.

    iTunes New Legal Conditions (All 56 pages of them…)

    Monday, December 26th, 2011

    Like many, I was staggered by the inundation of new terms and conditions unleashed upon me, for my perusal and acceptance/rejection, out of the blue when all I was trying to do was purchase an iPhone app.  It was late and I’m not a solicitor so I aborted the purchase.  Now I’ve had the chance to see what other people are saying about them, I guess it’s time to move on (for me – I’m not advising anyone that that would be good (or bad) advice).   Legal stuff is always worrying…

    Anyhow, here are some links I found helpful:

    DaVinci Resolve on MacBook Pro > Boot Camp > Windows 7

    Monday, December 26th, 2011

    Basically it won’t work on my MacBook Pro (2009) with Windows 7 running under Boot Camp (3.3).  I guess Boot Camp doesn’t make sufficient of the GPU’s capability available.


    Winclone Obselescence

    Sunday, December 25th, 2011

    I’ve been using Winclone, a Mac OS app, to back-up my Boot Camp – Windows 7 partition onto a HFS+ (Mac OS compatible) external disk drive.  However tonight it failed, early in the attempt, repeatedly.  Also when I asked it to look for updates, it failed to connect to the internet, whereas I could access websites OK over Safari.  Searching round, I found a later version, downloaded it, deleted the existing one (2.2) and installed the new one (2.3).

    The new one similarly failed to access the internet.  On the other hand it did not fail early on in the process.  I aborted it anyhow, for reasons that will become clear (below).


    • Google: [winclone alternative]
      • Several posts stated:
        • Mixed experiences when using Winclone under Snow Leopard and the impossibility of using it (straight) under Lion)
        • To minimise problems under Snow Leopard, [Compressed] should be disabled.  Also select [.dmg] format.
        • This product (Winclone) was no longer being developed
      • Best Example:

    Big-Time Movie Maker: Michael Bay

    Friday, December 23rd, 2011

    I serendipitously discovered a forum website for Michael Bay, the Executive Producer of Transformers and Producer of Pear Harbour, amongst others.

    It has a Film-Making and Movie Discussion forum.  What I’ve so far skimmed through suggests its more for film fans than film makers, but it does give production news/snippets/oddments and draws attention to trailers and makings-of movies, so who knows, maybe there’s more to be found in there.

    iPhone: MobileSync Backups: How to move & purge

    Friday, December 23rd, 2011

    I’m doing a tidy-up of the MacBook. The application [Disk Inventory] revealed that one of my largest disk-occupying items is MobileSync Backups, which I assume to be from synchronizing iPhone with MacBook.  It consists of several roughly equally-sized files.  Overall I wonder:

    • Is there a way to store the backups somewhere else than the system disk?
    • Do the  “several roughly equally-sized files” imply I have more than one backup on the disk (in which case I’d like to purge all but the most recent).

    Google: [mobilesync backup files]

    FCP MultiCam: PreRes not always the best standard?

    Friday, December 23rd, 2011

    When multicam-ing in FCP 7, one user reports <<I have found it much better to convert the 5D footage to the XDCAM EX codec instead of converting the EX footage to a ProRes 422 as the file sizes are absurd and there is still a gamma shift problem)>>.  It’s the gamma-shift that would bother me.

    Additionally the user explains how to convert DSLR footage to XDCAM-EX format:

      • To Convert the DSLR Footage:
        • Copy the exact file structure from the 5D card to the desired place on your hard drive.
          • Example tree should read:  5DCAM/”DCIM”  ”MISC” (both of the previous words in quotes are two separate folders as one will see in the native card structure)/100EOS5D/”MVI_0001.MOV”  ”MVI_0001.THM” (Again…multiple files in this folder)
        • Open MPEG Streamclip (Just google it to find and download the free program) and go to “File”, “Open Files” and select as many of the .MOV files from your hard drive that you need to convert for a multi-clip.
        • Go to “File”, “Export to Quicktime”
        • At the top of the dialog box where it says, “Compression” choose one of the XDCAM EX compression methods that fit with how your footage was shot.
        • Example:  I shot at 1920 x 1080 at 24 frames per second so I will choose, “XDCAM EX 1080p24 (35Mb/s VBR)” since this also matches the settings of the EX footage.
        • Make sure your frame rate in Streamclip on the lower right area is set to 23.98 if you shot at 24fps in your session
        • Click “Make Movie” and select your target destination
      •  The following will explain how to get the footage into FCP
        • After using Log and Transfer for your EX footage, simply select “Import” under the “File” menu and browse to your new media.
        • Double click your EX clip so it opens in the Source window.
        • Go to a point you would like to use as a sync point, stop playback and hit the letter “I” for “In-Point”  Repeat this exact process with your 5D clip.
        • Select both your 5D and EX clip in the Project area where your clips are listed, right click and select, “Make Multi-Clip”.
        • Select for the clips to be synced using In-Points and you now have a multi-clip.
      • Editing in Multi-Cam Mode
        • Drag the new multi-clip into the main timeline.
        • In the main timeline, click the “RT” button to the upper left of the video tracks.  Make sure that “Multi-clip Playback” is checked.
        • In the source window, look for the button with two playback heads and an “X” between them.  It is located at the top of the window directly in the center.  Click this button and choose, “Open”.  This will sync the source and canvas windows.
        • Double click your multi-clip in the main timeline; this should open both camera views in the source window.
        • Click anywhere in the main timeline and hit the space bar.  You should now see both videos in the source window playing and available for you to click on the angle you want.
        • When you’re done you should highlight everything in the main timeline, right click and select, “Collapse Multi-Clip”.  Don’t worry, you can easily turn it back on to continue multi-cam editing; this will just save on RAM.

    R: Random Numbers & AutoRegression

    Monday, December 19th, 2011

    Matt’s YouTube Battle-Game Video Makings-Of (e.g. Freddie Wong)

    Monday, December 19th, 2011

    Some budget CGI-inclusive YouTube Makings-Of  e.g. for battle video game vids /ads by Freddie Wong (FreddieW), that were drawn to my attention:

    Faux Log (Camcorder Response Profiles)

    Friday, December 16th, 2011

    I’ve heard of S-Log from Sony, C-Log etc.  Also on a forum I came across a reference to a Log-like matrix config for the Sony XDCAM-EX cameras.  Alister Chapman has been experimenting with this, and apparently makes some profiles available as zip files, in his article at

    The zip files contains a SONY folder with [.suf] (settings) files as follows:

    •  SONY
      • PRO
        • CAMERA
          • XDCAM EX
            • PMW_EX1R
              • PPDATA.SUF
            • PMW_F3
              • PPDATA.SUF

    No settings files for the EX3, but Alister Chapman advises that If you manually copy the F3 settings into the EX3 (folder) they should be extremely close.

    • Folder: PMW_EX3
    • FileName: SETUP.SUF

    However he indicates that for EX1/EX3 camera, the log profile’s advantage (just under a stop of extra latitude) is marginal, given their noise issues (when used in this way), requiring -3dB gain and possible use of a good de-noiser like Neat Video (my favourite) in post. He lists other picture profiles at and also at

    Just now, leafing through Philip Bloom’s blog, I came across a reader response with:


    …I’d love to see a flat profile on the FS-100. Perhaps something like:

    G-LOG B:
    Black Level: +11
    Gamma Cinematone1
    Black Gamma: High, +7
    Knee: 75, -3
    Color Mode: Standard, +8
    Color Level -5
    Color Phase -7
    Color Depth: R-1, G+2, B-3, C+5, M+1, Y+3
    WB-Shift: LB-7, CC+1

    These are settings from Frank Glencairn’s blog.


    The original Frank Glencairn blog article, which features more than one variety of G-Log profile, is at

    iMovie: Project Creation & Media Ingest

    Saturday, December 10th, 2011

    Having obtained a ProRes version of my footage, how does one edit a movie using it in IMovie?  I have never used iMovie before, just played with it, and even that was quite a while ago.

    • iMovie
      • Intro-Help movie assumes you’re importing from a camera
      • Tried dragging video ( [.MOV] file) from location (Videos folder) to iMovie. No-go.
      • Created a new event (how?).  Named it [2009-11-20 Lady of the Silver Wheel]
      • Dragged video file to that Event.  It was accepted.
        • Q: Does that also put it in iPhoto?
          • doesn’t look like it.
        • Q: So should I ideally have imported it first to:  iPhoto (somehow?

    XDCAM-EX to ProRes: How

    Saturday, December 10th, 2011

    I have a Sony XDCAM-EX clip at 1280x720p25 to be transcoded to ProRes, so it can be used as source for iMovie (for another user on another machine).

    In principle it should be very simple: go on Mac, use Compressor to transcode the XDCAM footage to ProRes.  But as usual, things are pernickety…


    • First tried dragging the XDCAM [.mp4] file into compressor.
      • Not recognised.
      • Likewise the BPAV folder.
    • Next, I transcoded the XDCAM footage to “MXF for NLEs” format, using the Mac version of Sony Clip Browser
      • Not recognised.
    •  Next, opened the XDCAM Transfer app.
      • In this app, open the XDCAM’s BPAV folder.
      • The footage displays OK but how do I export it to a QuickTime [MOV] file?
      • Looks like I can’t.  It only offers to export to an [MP4] file.
      • Instead, I guess I’ll have to open it from FCP.
    • FCP
      • I opened a random existing FCP project.
      • The footage is 720p but the project/sequence settings are arbitrary (unknown to me)
      • FCP: File > Import > Sony XDCAM…
      • It imported to somewhere … but where?
      • FCP Browser: file > RightClick > Reveal in Finder
      • It was at [/Volumes/GRm HFS+/_Media/_Projects/2010-05-30 (Esp) Alison Doggies/020 Source/Sony XDCAM Transfer/SxS_01]
    • File System:
      • In other words, at whatever destination was last used by some app – presumably XDCAM Transfer or possibly FCP
      • The destination path was in fact specified in XDCAM Transfer, under its Menu: [XDCAM Transfer > Preferences > Import]
      • Moved the file instead to [/Volumes/GRm HFS+/_Media/_Projects/2009-11-22 (JRM) Lady of the Silver Wheel]
    • Compressor:
      • Open it in Compressor
        • Drag it to the “job-strip” (my term) in Compresor.
      • Compressor displays data about that clip (e.g. 1280×720, 25 fps)
      • Select jobstrip settings:
        • Select Setting
          • Settings: Apple > Formats > QuickTime > Apple Pro
            • Name: Apple ProRes 422
            • Description: Apple ProRes 422 with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame rate
        • Apply (Drag) Setting to Jobstrip
      • Destination
        • Leave destination unspecified.  Then it will be the same folder as Source.
      • Processing (transcoding) of this footage (1280x720p25) took about 3 minutes (on MacBook Pro 2009).
      • Result was not that much bigger than the original:
        • Originally recorded [.MP4] file: 1.19 GB
        • Rewrapped [.MOV] from XDCAM Transfer: 1.14 GB
        • ProRes [.MOV] from Compressor: 1.97 GB

    iMovie: Import/Ingest

    Saturday, December 10th, 2011

    I wanted to pass on some of my XDCAM-EX footage (from my Sony EX3 camera) to someone using only iMovie. But would/could iMovie recognize that format, or possibly the “MXF For NLEs” rewrapped-format offered by Sony Clip Browser?

    The best route is to provide iMovie with a ProRes version of the footage, because it converts anything else to (the older inferior format) Apple Intermediate Codec (IAC).  I can convert to ProRes (and deinterlace) via Apple’s Compressor, which comes as part of Final Cut Studo.


    • Google: [xdcam ex imovie]
        •  iMovie converts all assets to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).
          • So does Final Cut Express. Only Final Cut Studio uses Apple ProRes as codec.
          • When going the Full HD and BluRay route you WILL see this. For instance when panning, you’ll see that Final Cut Studio is superior over AIC.
          • Yet I use the iMovie and Toast route because it is fast and good. Toast delivers better results than iDVD08. I havent tested iDVD09 yet but am about to do so. Remember that Toast can handle BluRay and iDVD not. Even for normal DVD you’ll see that Toast renders better than iDVD. The menus have improved in Toast10 but still cannot match iDVD. DVDstudioPro is very nice in results, but has a learning curve. Consider the Ripple Training DVDs to tackle the possibilities.
        • iMovie will edit many QT codecs directly including ProRes 422, H.264/AVC, DVCPRO HD. It converts to AIC only when you import from a camera.
          • So if XDCAM EX is converted to ProRes outside iM — then iM will edit the ProRes. Even HQ.
          • You do have export correctly — to ProRes — in order to get full 1920×1080 from iM for burning BD.

    Avid Media Composer 6: The Installation Experience

    Thursday, December 8th, 2011

    First I installed it to my MacBook Pro, on the Mac OS side, where I have not previously installed any Avid applications.  The latter is significant because from reading forums, it appears wise to remove all traces of any previous Avid installation (beyond what Avid’s Uninstaller does).

    Installing and testing the basic Media Composer application:

    • Installer stated (correctly) that I had MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) yet the application was qualified for 10.7 (Lion).  From searching, I discovered that some others were nevertheless running it under 10.6.
    • The installer stated that the space requirement would be 6 GB.
    • Installation took about 15 minutes.
    • Then it did a system restart.
    • On restart, an Avid MC icon was present in the Dock.
    • Double-clicking the icon produced a prompt asking if I wanted on-line activation, use hardware dongle or 30-day trial.  I selected the latter as it seemed the least-hassle option.
    • Avid launch paused on an error message whose significance was not clear to me:
      • “ArthurQuinell-DataTrans” is in use by another application and cannot be used by Deck Control.
      • I am not sure what that means but vaguely remember naming one of my previous mobile phones as that (after an aldershot cat that used to “invade” our art-centre stage during performances, then sit washing in the spotlight – a born entertainer…).
    • Clicked [OK] to let it continue…
      • Got the same message about “Arthur…”.  Clicked [OK] to continue…
    • Finally the initial launch completed.
    • Got the usual Project dialog.  Chose [External]
      • Actually, before that, it asked for a Projects Path.
        • I defined it to be on my main external hard drive, a GRAID Mini, at the following location: [/Volumes/GRm HFS+/_App_Specific/Avid/Projects]
        • I wonder if people generally tend to put their Avid project-folder somewhere like in their Documents directory.  But my logic is that if I plug the hard drive into another Mac, it should still work there.
    • Prompted for some basic project settings.
      • Quaintly, its default display aspect ratio is 4:3 (how nostalgic!)
    • As usual, clicked the wrong thing at the wring time, resulting in a new project called [New Project].  Oh well, I am only playing/testing…
    • Selected the default Bin, [New Project Bin].
    • With that Bin:
      • Import an short existing MOV-DNxHD file.
      • Double-click that file.  It opened in the Monitor pane.
      • Clicked the [Overwrite] button, it laid-down in the Timeline as expected.
    • BUT there’s a missing expected pane at bottom-left corner.  I can see through to the desktop background (purple galaxy-space etc.).  Presumably OK but unsettling…
    • Window panes act independently e.g. re being above/below any other apps.  Similar to Final Cut.  I hated that about Final Cut also…
      • Is there a Preference for getting the whole app to work like “Single Document” ?

    AMA Plugins


    • AvidFX 6.0.1 64-Bit
    •  Boris?
      • BCC
      • Boris has FEC = Final Effects Complete for Avid = Visual Effects Filters and Transitions for Avid
        • Installer said “FEC5 AVX 2   MC 2.5, XPressPro 5.5 or later:”
          • Makes me wonder if there is a later version for MC 6.0
          • I installed it but no “FEC” items showed up in Avid’s Effects Pallete.
            • Maybe it’s 32-bit and MC 6 only recognises 64-bit effects?

    Avid Media Composer 6 – Upgrade Questions (Dongle, BCC)

    Thursday, December 8th, 2011

    I phoned Avid for advice re Media Composer 6:

    Movie Recommendation: Sucker Punch (2011)

    Thursday, December 8th, 2011

    I am told that this slightly dark-comic-like movie features classically composed scenes, nearly every scene, making it good film-techniques study material.  I have yet to see it but from the trailer it seems like a cross between a real movie and watching a computer game.


    FloatCam FC-12 ShowReels

    Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

    I am the proud owner/operator of a FloatCam FC-12, which I just used on a film course assignment, partly as a pseudo-dolly for a tracking shot, and partly for a path-walking scene.   One of my peer-reviewers asked about it.  That prompted me to see what there was on the web about it.  Here I record the main useful links I found.

    There are a number of FloatCam demos and showreels on YouTube.  Here is a small selection of good ones I found just now.  And of course their “related” links can be valuable.

    Movie Recommendation: Southland Tales

    Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

    Movie recommended to me (haven’t seen it yet):

    This is a dark-sci-fi (good, I like those) with observations on the post-catastrophe balance between security and freedom/rights.  The cast involves numerous famous actors, encouraged into roles beyond their normal types.

    The film was drawn to my attention by someone (Matthew Roberts) with whom I was discussing the process of movie critical/constructive feedback and consequent reworking.  Apparently the above movie was a case in point:   An early (and unripe) version of it was initially screened in Cannes, resulting in some negative feedback but also support.

    The moral of this story (about that film):  feedback can be priceless.  The consequent partial re- write/shoot/edit of that film, subsequently released on DVD, arguably elevated it to “one you have to see”.  Thanks Matt, I’ll check it out.

    Unshake: A Tool to Un-Motion-Blur (deconvolute) a Still Image

    Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

    Vimeo Accepts 720p @ 23.976 fps

    Monday, December 5th, 2011

    I shot a one-minute movie (as a learning assignment on “Shooting People”) at 23.976 frames per second, and wondered whether Vimeo would accept this and play it properly – e.g. at same rate (not some blurry blend to 30 fps).

    Sony Vegas 11: A Positive Review

    Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

    Colorista Free

    Thursday, December 1st, 2011

    …and a one or two other free downloads from Red Giant

    DropBox Tips for Video Production

    Thursday, December 1st, 2011

    Tips from Stu Maschwitz (Magic Bullet, DV Rebel’s Guide,…)

    Adobe After Effects – Setup Tips

    Thursday, December 1st, 2011


    Review/Comparisons: RED (Scarlet,Epic), Canon (5D-II, C300), F3, FS100, AF100

    Thursday, December 1st, 2011

    How best to get the 35mm look?  “Traditionally” the DSLRs like Canon’s 5D Mk.2 or 7D (or, at lower frame-rates, the D500).  But now the RED Scarlet and the Canon C300 have been announced (3rd November 2011).  Then there’s the AF100 (with or without hacks) and the FS100, also the Sony F3, with or without dual SDI link 10-bit recording to S-Log.

    Here are some comparisons:

    A particularly interesting “argument/opinion of comparison” between F3 and C300:

      • (Yes, the URL has a dot on the end)
      • <<<
      • Because (the C300 has) a great sensor with very good RGB color filters on its bayer sensor, great dynamic range, zero aliasing, crisp as hell 1080p, oversampled green channel, 14-bit processing, recording to log? 8-bit MPEG-2 is not as big of a disadvantage as people think if you feed it with awesomeness to start with
      • The F3’s sensor is perhaps not quite as good though – it doesn’t resolve full 1080p without aliasing – eg Barry’s brick wall color moire test. BTW Talking of that test… what exactly is the advantage of the 4:4:4 output on the F3 if its sensor can’t resolve 4:4:4 color detail anyway?
      • >>>
      • A demonstration of moire on the Canon 5D Mk.2

    Canon C300 – Great Reviews & Posts

    Thursday, December 1st, 2011

    The Canon C300 is of interest to me as a potential “workhorse” video camera (replacing my current EX3) for both cinematic projects and live events (incidentally, after having written that sentence, I reassuringly found the same phrase uttered by Philip Bloom, so hopefully I’m on the right track here).

    Cinematic projects in particular can benefit from more controllable DOF and both can benefit from light sensitivity, while the live events (indoor or outdoor) in particular can benefit from latitude.  Of course these things are handy in general, but those are the occasions when I’ve felt they were lacking in the past.

    The C300 addresses most things, apart from lack of 10-bit output.  Hopefully I could trade-up to that in a couple-or-three years’ time when Canon upgrade to that.  And investing in “glass” (lenses) for it is probably a better investment than external recorders (buy or hire) for my current EX3.  The price stings a bit though, so I won’t just leap into it.  I’ll definitely begin by hiring/renting.

    My Canon C300 research-in-earnest begins here with a (great) review I initially heard about (via private IOV forum).  That’s the UK’s Institute of videography by the way.  Here:

    The following thread at DvInfo includes rolling-shutter-provoking tests (flash, jerk-motion):

    The main points about the camera (for me at least, and not in this particular order) are:

    • Ergonomics / practicalities:
      • Better (some say) than the F3.
      • Weatherproof, sensor-cooling
      • ND Filters (three) in-camera
        • Seems fairly unique in this kind of camera
      • Handy proper buttons for Zebra, Peaking, Magnified views.
      • LCD and button-panel orientate in various directions.
      • Fits on a standard DSLR rig.
        • But Zacuto supply a tailored rig.  CVP are among its agents.
        • And there’s Redrock’s inspiringly-named UltraCage.
      • Solid construction, feel and mounting threads, better than “single central bolt” like many cameras have.
      • Wi-fi adaptor transmits a low frame rate version to your computer. If the lens is set to autofocus, you can actually change the focus remotely.
        • Wifi controller is an additional item – not part of the basic package
      • Battery lasts 5 hours
    • Sensor
      • Latitude (recordable, depending on settings):
        • Quoted as “13+ stops in the field”
        • But there is uncertainty over this, since apparently <<Canon thinks that with their Canon-Log color space, the camera allows “800% overexposure… which translates to …an Exposure Latitude of 12 f-stops.” Graeme Nattress of Red disagrees.>>>
      • Less noise, moire and jello than 5D Mk.2 etc.
        • Noise & moire reduction largely result from 4K sensor + DSP to HD.
          • Moire tends to result from significant interpolation inherent in less dense sensors
      • The “less noise” hence less need for low fstops (coupled with smaller sensor than 5D) means greater DOF (the antithesis of the 5D).
        • Greater DOF is preferable at times, for practical as well as aesthetic reasons (when you want to see the background).
    • Lens Mount
      • Camera comes in two lens-mount varieties, not interchangeable:
        • EF-Mount for Canon lenses (ordinaire & “CN-E”).  This is the one for mortals like me.
          • Permits iris to be controlled via dials on camera.
          • Greater available selection of lenses (also usable on stills cameras) e.g.:
            • Telephoto: “EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM” telephoto zoom lens and tilt-shift lenses.
            • Macro: “EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM” (article photos include an image of ants)
            • Fisheye: “EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM”
            • TiltShift: “TS-E 90mm f/2.8”
          • Image Stabilisation (IS) is reported to be good e.g. with the Canon L 70-200mm F2.8 IS Version II
        • PL-Mount: More for movie professionals.
    • Recording:
      • Resolution: HD 1080p & 720p
      • Frame-rates: variable 1 to 30 fps in 1080p mode, and 1 to 60 fps in 720p mode, 1 fps increments.  Also time-lapse and stop-motion/claymation (latter is several frames per “click”).
        • But, like F3 (and unlike FS100), overcranking requires dropping to 720p
      • It can also shoot 50i and 60i (interlaced), useful for deriving 50p and 60p in post.  Historically (e.g. for DV or HDV (Z1) footage), I have done this using freeware (AviSynth and its TDeint filter) for this, but Apple Compressor and other alternatives exist too.  Stu Maschwitz apparently covers this topic in his book << The DV Rebel’s Guide>>
      • Gamma: includes Canon’s Log Gamma.  LCD & V/F display flat and corrected.
      • Audio: uncompressed 16-bit audio at 48 khz (info from FAQ).
    • Recording format:
      • Compact Flash (over 5 hours for a 128GB card)
      • MPEG-2 Long GOP 4:2:2 MXF codec with a constant bit rate of 50 megabits/sec.
        • Philip Bloom says “It is the bare minimum for HD acquisition, but it at least reaches it.”.
        • Sample recording (MXF as stated) is available here (according to here).
        • {Does MPEG-2 imply 8-bit?}
          • Yes.  That is highlighted in several other sites e.g. this and this.  Some believe (rightly or wrongly) that this limitation is a “corporate rather than technical” decision, and a future generation will have 10-bit.
        • {What of the Log Gamma? 8-bit (is it ?) would limit its usefulness or not?}
          • Opinions differ.  Obviously the extent to which it matters depends on the scene.  Some views and image comparisons are here, for 10, 8 and even 7 bits.
            • At that link, one poster suggests dithering as a work-around to reduce banding (from any camera): adjust camera to give noise then (in post) use a good noise-reduction plugin.
        • The only Super-35 sensor camera in its price category (as of fall, 2011) that records 4:2:2 color sampling on-board.
    • Ports:
      • XLR (via clip-on monitor assembly?)
      • Time code, Genlock, HD/SD-SDI and HDMI
        • {But how many bits? 10 (as I’d hope) or still only 8?}
          • Only 8-bits, surprisingly.  It is reported that: “SDI output (is) limited to 8-bit 4:2:2”
    • Monitoring
      • RGB histogram, vectorscope and an Edge monitor (focussing)

    More links:

    Other Misc. Links:

    Boris RED 4.3.3 Migration to New Machine

    Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

    I just migrated my existing copy of Boris RED 4.3.3 from an old laptop to MacBook>BootCamp>Windows7.  It involved:

    • Establishing with Boris that I had previously purchased it.
      • Initially an issue, I had to dig out an email invoice from 2009.  Hooray to GoogleMail for keeping everything (unlike *** HotMail which deleted my emails when I hadn’t used it for a month)
    • Installing a trial download of RED 4.3.3 (from a couple of years ago) and running it, to get the Product ID code.
    • Boris sending me another code.
    • Entering the code, to take the application out of Trial mode.
    • Rebooting the application (otherwise its Preview still had an “X” across it)
    • Generating library browser thumbnails
      • Took getting on for half an hour…
      • Various effects complained of missing expected fonts on my system, as follows, and stated they would use the default system font instead.  Not sure which effects they were, but maybe the data display like pie charts etc. (?)
        • Lucida Grande
        • Adobe Caslon Bold
    • It remains to be seen whether it will work in the same Windows 7 but in a Parallels virtual machine.  Not that it would be very sensible to attempt this, but just for curiosity and to know what options I have.

    Avid Media Composer 6 – Review (Link)

    Monday, November 28th, 2011

    Full-Frame Sensor Cameras (& Canon 5D vs 7D etc.)

    Monday, November 28th, 2011

    I have a friend/colleague with a Canon 7D and girlfriend with 500D.  Also I am aware of “Super” (reduced size) “35mm” sensor video cameras.  I’m keeping an eye on all the options, as currently I have no 35mm etc. capability and hence limited shallow DOF and low-light capability.  And to share / compare info with those mentioned people.

    Starting with Looking at Philip Bloom’s site to (routine check see what’s new there), I came across these useful links (even though they’re not all new).  I’m attracted to getting a Magic Lantern-ed second-hand 5D Mk.II for creative purposes, especially since my typical work-pattern is not that time-critical and I am reasonably fluent with frame-rate conversion where necessary. I’ll try it out on the 500D first.  The 500D can only do 30 fps at 720p (drops to 20 fps at 1080p) but its sensor is almost an inch across i.e. about double that of my existing EX3.

    Incidentally, I previously covered sensor sizes and their names at  and there’s Canon’s take on it at which (oh yes) is about their new C300 camera (will cover that in a separate blog-post).

    Here are the links:

      • In a nutshell, 5D has (fairly uniquely) a full “35mm” sensor, giving the ability to achieve correspondingly uniquely shallow depth of field.  But it shoots at a non-standard frame-rate of exactly 30 fps (not 29.97 fps).  This can matter e.g. when intercutting with standard 29.97 material.  On the other hand when using the camera on its own (and I guess with possible allowance for the time duration change and audio pitch change if you fiddle the metadata) it need not matter.
      • Magic Lantern firmware is available for the {original} 5D but not the 7D.
      • Meanwhile the 7D has less shallow DOF capability and slightly more noise but slightly less rolling-shutter effect and, crucially, a number of standard frame-rates.
    • Magic Lantern – unofficial extended firmware for Canon cameras like 5D
      • Magic Lantern gives many improvements to modes, metering displays (e.g. zebra & peaking) and quality (e.g. more shutter-speed choices and greater recording bitrate).  However it does not (yet?) provide additional frame-rates.
        • As of today (2011-11-28) it is reported that Magic Lantern is still not available for the 7D, though progress towards this is being made (slowly).
        • There are limitations to shooting movies on a 5D Mark II, notably the limited 12 minute recording time.
        • (An image illustrates a 5D “tooled-up” with rods, mattebox, audio box etc. to serve as an outside rig)
        • Altering frame-rates is still on the to-do list.  Hence not yet done!
      • FINALLY the full frame Canon 1DX DSLR featuring “improved video”.
      • STandard frame-rates: 24,25, 30p in full HD and 50 and 60p in 720p mode
      • Intra-frame and Inter-frame compression (H264), easing editing.
      • Single clip length of up to maximum of 29 minutes and 59 seconds (reflecting an EU tax rule {on what constitutes a stills – as opposed to video – camera} )
      • will retail body-only for around $7000!
        • {Not as cheap as the 5D Mk.II then…}
    • Canon 500D
        • {Great site, reviewing it and breaking-down the tech-specs.}
        • Thanks to its APS-C sensor size, all lenses effectively have their field of view reduced by 1.6 times.
          • {This is smaller than the 5D’s full-frame but still not bad at almost an inch wide, which I take to be about double that of my EX3’s “Half-Inch” sensor}

    DaVinci Resolve (Lite)

    Sunday, November 27th, 2011

    I heard about and saw DaVinci Resolve in action on Den Lennie’s music video course/experience.  As a result I looked it up on the web and discovered there was a free version.  At that time the free version was limited to only a couple of nodes depth (I think) but was still useful.  Since then DaVinci have released a new version (8.1.1) without that restriction.  Confusingly, back in October I downloaded “version 8.1.1” with patches and also “version 8.1.2”.  Something got out of step somewhere!  But for ease-of-life, I will stick with their latest download, described as “version 8.1.1”.

    I downloaded a copy of DaVinci Resol;ve Lite 8.1.1 to my MacBook Pro (MBP)  I went to then selected (in this order): [Host=MacOS], [Product Series=DaVinci Resolve], [Product=DaVinci Resolve Lite].  That gave a page prompting for user info (e.g. contact details)which I duly filled.  After that I was taken to the download page.

    Resolve Lite runs on Mac OS but not (yet?) Windows (though that might follow eventually, according to My MBP has 8GB RAM and a both an Nvidia “9600M” (on motherboard) and a “9600M GT” (faster separate GPU).

    My initial attempt to run Resolve Lite on my MBP resulted in a “whinge-window” about my machine’s GPU not being up tp Resolve’s requirements.  That turned out to be because in the Mac OS Preferences, Energy-Saving mode, I had selected “extend battery life” (or whatever) instead of “max performance” (or whatever).  This selection disabled the “GT” GPU leaving the machine to drop back to the lower-powered motherboard GPU.  Selecting “Performance” mode (and rebooting) fixed the problem – no more “whinge-window”.

    The Resolve Lite application filled the whole screen, with none of the usual “three colour buttons” at top-left corner, merely the ability to respond (appropriately) to Command-H (Hide).  The initial screen was some kind of “User Logon” screen with default users Admin and Guest.  I double-clicked on Guest and was greeted by an instruction that I should first set Resolve’s Preferences.  Not unreasonably, it wanted to know which volume to use as Media Volume (for renders etc.).  I chose the HFS+ partition of my GRaid Mini drive, connected via FireWire (FW800).  In fact I created and selected a folder: [/Volumes/GRm HFS+/_App_Specific/DaVinci_Resolve].

    Next I looked for some Tutorial videos:

    Nostalgic DX Radio: Numbers Stations

    Sunday, November 27th, 2011

    Decades ago I was an avid DX (e.g.shortwave) radio listener / band-scanner / radio ham.  At that time, of the “cold war”, tining around the short waves revealed strong German language stations on unusual frequencies starting with four rising notes on a slightly violin-sounding crude electronic synthesizer.  This was followed by a woman (dubbed by some as “Magdeburg Annie”) reading five-figure number groups, apparently to spies.  Intriguingly, the german numbers were read in some kind of non-standard form, which my german teachers at school could not recognize.  To me they sounded like “zvo” (zwie/two), “fun-ef” (funf/five) and “noi-hen” (noin/nine), and maybe another one “trinnif” that I never figured out.  I wondered if these were nautical german pronunciations, but now it seems they were East German spy number-pronunciations.  So guess that puts my German teachers in the clear!

    Anyhow, in a burst of nostalgia, I now want audio copies to use as ringtones on my phone.  Google [numbers stations] revealed the following sites linking to downloadable audio recordings (mp3 and wma files):

    French Domestic TV Par Satellite

    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

    MyFrench friend wanted to know how to continue receiving French Satellite TV after November 2011, when existing channels on the satellites at 5W will be switched off.  Basically they are going to an MPEG4-related broadcast format, requiring a new generation of digital receiver.

    The “least headache” solution we went for was a package and receiver called Fransat, which is available at Darty stores in France.  Ironic name, given the main channel we want to watch is Arte.


    DSLR Lens Recommendations

    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

    I have access to a Canon DLSR and am considering getting a 35mm adaptor for my existing EX3 camera.

    A colleague recommended the following lenses:

    • Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM
    • 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM (~£1K)
    • 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM (~£1.7K)
    • 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM (~£900)
    • 50mm (fixed) f/1.8 (~£70)

    iWeb: Initial Experience / Confusions / Resolutions

    Friday, November 18th, 2011

    I had a go with iWeb (3.0.4) on the Apple Mac.  It is a mortal-friendly website-editor complete with templates and widgets etc.

    Some non-obvious things:

    • Opening & Closing the App (iWeb)
      • On opening the iWeb app, you are prompted to select a template. I couldn’t see any way to avoid selecting a template.
      • There is a [File Save] but no [File > SaveAs]
        • So how does it get named?  Where does it get saved?
          • In app’s left-hand pane, select the Site in question, it asks for a Site Name.
      • The [File > Close] action closes the whole app, not just the current project (or whatever).
        • So I guess (???) there is no concept of “empty default page” here (???).
          • Though under each theme is the option of a Blank page.
    • Web-Page Editing
      • For the ??? template, you get a page with an elegantly paned “window” of assorted default images.
        • If you drag a new image on top of of one of the default ones, that new image becomes the replacement, and it inherits the “mask/zoom” capability.
        • If you simply drag an image to the same part of the webpage, it has no “mask/zoom” behaviour.  However you can add it via [Format > Mask] etc.
          • Format > Mask Shape ???
      • Setting a hyperlink on text involves an easy and intuitive-guessable method, but setting a hyperlink on an image requires a different and less obvious method.
        • [View > Show Inspector]
        • ???
    • Publishing (to Web)
      • You need to establish a location to publish to.  This will typically be an ftp server with upload-access protected by username and password.
        • Before anything else, get your username and password (for that location) to hand.
        • Personally, I like to peek around first, using an ftp client.
          • Mac OS already has a read-only ftp client built-in.  From Desktop, do Control-K.  A “bare bones” instance of Finder appears.  Click the tiny oblong button at top-right if you want to see the usual explorer pane/sidebar.  HOWEVER: it is not really up to the job…
            • I discovered this at
            • However it is read-only, hence no ability to add or remove files or folders.
            • Also it appeared (for me at least) not to refresh properly.  Scope for time-wasting confusion!
          • For the Mac, favourite add-on clients (according to the same osxdaily article are Transmit and CyberDuck.
            • Which one is best?
              • CyberDuck runs on both Windows and Mac.
              • There is a review comparing them at
                • CyberDuck is free (but “begs”), Transmit is not.
                • One user (at least) claimed that CyberDuck used to be good once but as more features have been added, it’s getting more bugs.  Unverified.
                • Some users say that CyberDuck runs (more slowly?) than Transmit.
                  • A user-comment says that this is because CyberDuck is Java-vased.
                • Both programs have Bookmarks/Favourites and both have a Dashboard widget that lets you drop files into to upload straight to a specified folder on an FTP server.
                • Their main difference is in how Bookmarks/Favourites works.  Transmit has dual panes, for Local and Remote, and when you make a Bookmark it includes both these locations.  CyberDuck in contrast only displays and bookmarks the remote location, requiring you to use a separate Finder for local, hence you drag files between these apps.
              • I see also, from is website, that Transmit has handy peripheral features like a Sync button.
              • I tried them both, concluding:
                • CyberDuck is pretty basic but it appears to work OK.  Setting up my ftp account was easy apart from the password, which only gets asked when you first attempt to log-on to that account.  It seems more for the beginner and explains about Amazon s3 storage etc.
                • Transmit feels “cleaner” to use and the dual-pane is definitely handy.  Also the Sync function is not a bad idea.
      • Before publishing, you need to define the location-to-publish.
        • If you just hit the “Publish” button, it will only prompt you for a MobileMe account.
        • To define the location, first in iWeb’s left-hand “explorer” pane, select the Site (as opposed to the Page).  This brings up a form where you can define the upload (ftp) data etc.
          • One entry in this form is for an email address.  But how securely is that email address presented on the page?  I am in the habit of not making life easy for email-harvesters, so I don’t want the email address to be in plain text in the HTML, I want it encrypted.  So I chose to just put a “dummy” address in here.
      • The webpage (root .html file etc.) gets placed in the specified location as follows:
        • An [index.html] file is created there.
        • Any existing files (other than by that name) are unaffected.
          • That is “safe” and also useful e.g. if you are in the habit of placing “robots.txt” files at webpage root.
        • A folder is created there, named after the Site.
        • The subdirectory is named after the page-name
          • The page-name appears in the app’s left-hand pane, it can be renamed.
      • What happens if you delete a webpage in the app then republish?
        • The existing subfolders for the now-deleted pages are not deleted.
          • I guess one would then delete them manually or else delete everything and republish the whole site.

    Calendar Sync between iPhone & Google

    Friday, November 18th, 2011

    Got an existing GMail account, want the iPhone (iPhone 4 with iOS 4) to sync with that, not only for email (which I have already) but also for Calendar.  The only extra thing I had to do was go into iPhone Settings and change the default calendar from Calendar (an Apple entity) to GMail.

    • Settings:
      • Mail, Contacts, Calendars
        •  (Scroll right down to the bottom – not obvious it’s there since no scrollbar on iPhone)
        • Default Calendar: (select the GMail account)
        • (Likewise for Mail, earlier in the lest, set GMail as default mail account)
    • Tips:
      • Unlike Email, sync between calendars is not “immediate” (in my experience)
      • No need to sync or refresh anything explicitly (and attempting it doesn’t seem to make any difference), just wait (e.g. 5 minutes).
      • Existing iPhone calendar entries, if (as is most likely) they are under “Calendar”, do not get sync’d with GMail.  However the iPhone calendar does allow entries to be moved from your Calendar-account to your GMail-account (say).
        • In the Calendar (app), go into a calendar entry/event of interest, do the Edit button.  Towards the bottom is a field “Calendar” where you can select the calendar-account you want it to appear in, e.g. GMail.

    Mist Forecast

    Friday, November 18th, 2011

    I want to shoot a brief film exercise, ideally in misty early-morning conditions.  How do I go about finding a mist-forecast?  Aha! (and Oho!)  Find an Aviation Weather Forecast, because pilots and airports care about visibility. The following seems simplest and best for my purposes (given I am near Alton in Hampshire, UK):

      • This Forecast weather table (by date and time), in its “Weather” column, includes a very obvious “Mist” icon when applicable.
      • Warning: There is more than one “Alton” in the UK, it is necessary to select the required one, which is not the default.

    Job (finding out when the next mist is due) done!

    Artificial Landscapes

    Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

    Examples highlighted by Matt:

    French News in Slow-French

    Saturday, November 12th, 2011

    At last!  I remember hearing Voice of America’s “News in Special English” (and a lot of Chinese people I’ve met have learned English that way) I always hoped that one day something similar would be available in French.

    Here it is:

    35mm: Sensors & Adaptors eg Redrock M2 & M3: Quality and Relevance

    Friday, November 11th, 2011

    Trying to keep up my “situational awareness” in this subject area…

    Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium on Windows and Mac OS (Possibly)

    Friday, November 11th, 2011

    I bought a discount copy of Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium, because (after much discussion with others) its feature-set seems to match my typical and forseeable production requirements more than those of other NLEs, including my current mainstay, Sony Vegas 9 (which I am still trying to wean myself off, but when any proper job comes along, I tend to fall back on the familiar and trusted, for low risk including avoidance of learning-delay).

    Being (so far) a one-man-band who is traditional Windows user, I purchased the Windows version.  But, confirming what I had heard, it does seem that most media people I have met use Macs.  So should I have purchased the Mac version?  Are the versions exactly the same or have they different functionalities?  Is there an option for the license to cover installing the same product on both Windows and Mac OS provided only one of them is run at a time? (e.g. when on the same physical machine).  Ideally at zero or negligible cost of course.  For example Avid Media Composer does have this flexibility.  While the uncertainty remains, I will not open the box (in case it turns out that I need to exchange it).

    Here is what I have learnt so far (mainly from web-searching, unverified information):

    Differences between the OS-Specific variants:

    • It appears that for CS5.5 Production Premium (at least), the Windows variant has slightly greater functionality.
    • However it remains to be seen what will be the case for CS6, when it becomes available.

    Some options are:

    • Volume licensing.
      • Intended not only for businesses but also for individuals.  If the “volume”is for two licenses, they can be for each of the OS’s.
    • Crossgrade.
      • But as far as I can tell it’s intended only for one-off (or infrequent) crossgrades, requiring “destruction of the software” on the old machine each time.  Shame it isn’t simply happy with repeatable deactivation/reactivation on each machine / OS.