Archive for February, 2010

Sony tutorials (WMV) on CineScore (and some other of their creative products)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

DVD Scripting

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The DVD Spec defines a scripting capability, allowing such things as:

  • Variable play order
    • Random – e.g. for public display – though”random” does not guarantee “different track each time”.
    • Inferred from user-input – e.g. questionnaire
  • Simple quiz games.
  • Passcode-protected content (not secure but at least some kind of disuasive barrier).

Some useful tutorials, doesn’t matter that they are for a specific DVD authoring product:

Sony Vegas’s Cheema

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Cheema (an expert user of Sony Vegas) is often to be seen at exhibitions presenting and demonstrating Sony Vegas, when he is very helpful in answering questions.  So it’s great to discover he has some web-haunts:

FCP “Lock & Load” image stabilizer

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Lock & Load imagestabilizer for FCP, allegedly 12 times faster than SmoothCam and more featureful.

FCP Grading Filters – Desaturation & Levels (non-intuitive but useful)

Friday, February 19th, 2010

The real image manipulation happens with the desaturation and level filters. Desaturation affects the richness of colors and level (via a un-intutive set of controls) will adjust the black point, white point and distribution of brightness across the whole image. The settings of these filters will depend on the scene and the camera you have.Set Desaturate to -50. This will boost the colors just a tad. Adjust to taste. Set the level controls as follows: input = 0 input tolerance = 100 gamma = 1 output = 50 ouput tolerance = 80 Ken Stone agrees the Levels filter is non intuitive:[ ] <<< The Levels filter is supposed to be a more advanced version of the Brightness/Contrast filter, offering separate controls over highlight, midtone and shadow areas. In addition this filter offers the choice of working the image in RGB mode or any one color channel independently, Red, Green or Blue.However this filter is poorly implemented and is clumsy at best. It has five slider controls; input, Input Tolerance are used to lighten the image. The Gamma slider controls the midtone areas and Output and Output Tolerance used to darken the image. What makes this filter so difficult to understand and use is the fact that the filter opens with the default settings of the Input Tolerance and Output Tolerances sliders set at 100. With these two settings at 100 neither the Input Slider nor Output sliders work. It is necessary to lower either the Input or Output Tolerance sliders then start adjusting the Input or Output sliders. The real problem is that the highlight and shadow areas have two sliders each for control. Photoshop has a Levels filter but it is a different animal. Levels in Photoshop also has a ‘Histogram’ which gives a graphic display of all the pixels in the image based on their brightness values. The ‘Histogram’ display is essential to setting levels but the Levels filter in FCP has no ‘Histogram’. To be honest the Levels filter in FCP does not work for me at all – I just don’t get it. The Proc Amp filter does basically the same thing and works well. If you want to play with this filter I suggest that you set either Input or Output to a setting of 20 then start lowering the Tolerance filter down from 100. As you lower the Tolerance settings more effect will be applied. If anyone can offer any insight into this filter I would love to hear about it. >>> 

FCP Levels & Gamma Conventions e.g. for Stills

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Things To Remember []

  • Still images are RGB in a 0 to 255 range
  • Levels above 100% FCP, 100 IRE or code 235 are called “super white”
  • Final Cut Pro automatically converts images to fit into the 0% FCP to 100% FCP range when it is set to “White”.
  • Final Cut Pro automatically converts images to fit into the 0% FCP to 100% FCP range when it is set to “Super White”.
  • Final Cut Pro only looks at the 0% FCP to 100% FCP range upon still image export, and maps this range to 0 to 255 RGB.
  • Picture information can be lost on still image export if you have picture information in the 100% FCP to 110% FCP range.
  • Final Cut Pro always applies a gamma correction of about 0.8 to imported still images. If necessary, this can be corrected by applying a gamma correction of 1.2 in Final Cut Pro or 0.8 in Photoshop.
  • Don’t preempt Final Cut Pro’s conversion of still images by setting your blacks in Photoshop to 16 and whites to 235. Final Cut Pro expects you to use the full 0 to 255 RGB range.
  • “White” and “super white” settings only effect the import of still images.
  • “White” and “super white” settings do not effect video or video rendering.

FCP Grading Filters

Friday, February 19th, 2010

List of FCP Filters/FX

Friday, February 19th, 2010

DCT (Mpeg/Jpeg) Gibbs Noise / Mosquito Noise

Monday, February 8th, 2010

The Gibb Effect is an MPEG compression artefact. It is a blurring of the outline of sharp objects, with inappropriately-coloured pixels appearing around the outline of the object. The commonest area in which the Gibb Effect is seen is during end credits, where insufficient bits have been allocated to compressing the data. Another name for this artefact is mosquito noise.[]

Shutter speed effect on snowfall

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Great sequence of images tally with my general experience:


  • 1/100  looks slushy, grey and indistinct “cords” (not flakes/lumps)
  • 1/500  looks crisp – can see individual snow flakes/lumps falling

Also, from my own experience,  is best to focus on 2 metres or so away.  Focus matters since DOF small when aperture maxed as one may do to allow max shutter speed (depending on lighting conditions, most likely overcast)

AVID vs FCP – a current and thoughtful discussion (at last!)

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Horses for Courses – Avid vs. FCP:

Mobile eSATA (via ExpressCard) for MacBook Pro

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

 Mobile eSATA (via ExpressCard) for MacBook Pro.Sonnet Fusion F2.  Up to 1GB (when configured as Striped i.e. RAID0).  Sustained Read/Write of 126MBps=1008Mbps.


It connects via two eSATA cables to ExpressCard adaptor and also via a FireWire connector purely for the power (no bandwidth).  The intention is that the FW bandwidth is still free for use by other devices e.g. “AJA’s Io external capture and effects box – which requires all of the FireWire bandwidth to itself”. []

  • Note – for Sony EX1 and EX3 users the Fusion F2 uses th Express 34 slot on the MacBook Pro, meaning one would need to transfer SxS data to either a FireWire or USB drive and then across to the Fusion 2.

Thinks: It works as Software RAID for the Mac.  Is there any practical way to also use it from Windows?