Archive for August, 2010

XDCAM-EX3 Picture Profiles for filmic look

Monday, August 30th, 2010

XDCAM-EX in-camera compensation for Tiffen T1 “green tint”

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Great article:

    • “(These are) picture-settings that are tailored to my personal taste, with post-processing in mind. I’ve been able to use shots right out of the camera without the need for CC, but it does ask for contrast adjustment to taste.”
    • “…the matrix corrections in the first profile are to compensate for the green hue the IR filter casts, even after taken a white balance. I use the fluorescent light matrix, simply because it does exactly two things to the picture (and in measurements) that this specific camera demands; it remove the “green Sony hue” and it is the lowest-noise matrix. It shifts the colour balance towards red/magenta, removing the green hues and preventing your cast from looking terminally ill.”
    • “I use Cine 1 gamma almost exclusively because it’s clearly the most lownoise gamma. I sometimes use Cine 4 indoors with low / existing light. …adjust Gamma on a per-scene basis.”

XDCAM-EX Gamma Settings

Monday, August 30th, 2010

I worried about and noticed in practice an effect where if I was using CINE gammas on the XDCAM-EX and exposed for faces at 70% (by zebras) then the gamma rolloff would result in “pasty-face” appearance.  It does …and did…  The solution for good looking faces is one of the following:

  • Under-expose in shoot, raise in post.
  • proper-expose in shoot, use standard gamma (not cine gamma), be careful not to let the face hit the knee (?) e.g. set knee to 90% or 95%.
  •  take a given gamma curve (or even a flat standard one) and tweak it using gamma level & black-stretch adjustments etc. until it fits the scene.


FCP inherent (unwanted) level & gamma changes – unlike Avid’s AMA

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Someone noticed that XDCAM-EX footage imported to FCP appeared different as compared to Avid (AMA import).  Addressed in an Avid forum thread started May 2010, referring to FCP 6.06 and Avid 4.02:

  • What AMA gives is, is _exactly_ what the camera has captured. What FCP shows you, is a remapped image, most often with a gamma shift. 
    • (For Avid AMA imports, Avid settings for RGB or 601 etc. make no difference – it’s always as-recorded).
    • … imports (to FCP) will look different (to expected), because FCP/QT “corrects” the gamma when bringing in footage (even if you would not want that).
  • Most people seem to agree that FCP works in 0-235, not 0-255, not 16-235. And without the option to leave things untouched. So if you import something into FCP, there’s no getting it back to the original levels anymore.

I guess I’d better do some experiments with ramps & scopes etc…

N95 8GB App Shortcuts Customization

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

To change the shortcuts on a the N95 8GB Active Standby screen:

  • [Menu key] > Main menu > Tools > Settings > General  > Personalisation > Standby mode > Active standby apps.
  • You are now presented with a list of seven Shortcut options, representing each of the shortcut icons on the Active Standby display.  A box next to the shortcut indicates which function or application it currently represents.
  • They are listed Shortcut 1 to Shortcut 7, with Shortcut 1 the icon on the left of the active standby display, and the others running from left to right across, with Shortcut 7 the icon on the far right of the display.
  • Select the Shortcut you want to change (e.g. the Shortcut 7 Camera icon),
  • A list of options appears onscreen – although you get a view of only six at a time (Figure 12). Scroll through the list until you find the shortcut you want to add to replace the existing icon.  Highlight the application required and press the [OK] softkey.  You are taken back to the Active Standby apps. menu. The box next to the modified Shortcut option has the required new application name.
  • If you have finished making changes, press the red Call End key to return to the standby screen.

Based on the article “How to customise shortcuts on the Nokia N95 8GB” at as of 2010-08-29.

Nokia N95 8GB Audio Recorder – Details

Friday, August 27th, 2010

 On the Nokia N95 8GB, where is audio recorder and where does it store?

  • [Applications > Media > Voice Recorder]


  • Recording Quality = “High”, Memory in use = “Mass memory” (as opposed to “Phone memory”)


  • [\\Memory card\Sounds\Digital]
  • (as opposed e.g. to [\\Memory card\Sounds\Sound clips])

FCP, Spreadsheets & XML: Some web-links

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Wondered whether there was a way to integrate spreadsheets with media logging and importing (transferring) etc. in FCP.

Sony XDCAM Transfer

Monday, August 16th, 2010

What happens when Sony XDCAM Transfer is used, within or without FCP, to import XDCAM footage (BPAV folders etc.)?  The following is my best guess at the moment, based on my experiences and web-searching.

  • Logging is best done via ClipBrowser.  That updates the meta-info of this “master source”, which may then feed downstream to other formats (mxf?  mov?)
  • The main function is to re-wrap to [.mov] files.
  • Each time you start XDCAM Transfer, check the settings in Preferences, in particular for Import Location.
    • The Cache location can instead be an application-specific, project-independent location.
  • To import to FCP:
    • Start XDCAM Transfer, by doing one of the following:
      • From FCP, do one of the following:
        • Menu: File > Import > Sony XDCAM
        • Browser: RtClk > Import > Sony XDCAM
          • Sadly, only ever imports to root of project, not to bin you right-clicked from…
      • From MacOS:
        • Start [XDCAM]
        • Optionally, in Preferences, tick [Open imported files with: Final Cut Pro]
    • Can mark-up selected clip(s) – e.g. OK/NG – affects all (selected) clips straight away (no ‘go’ button…).
    • XDCAM Transfer is not just an application but a package, including File Access Mode (FAM) Driver (for XDCAM disks), FCP Import and Export plugins and FCP Sequence presets.
    • It can import not only raw BPAV folders (etc) but also MXF-Sony (I tried it).
    • There is a Fetch Metadata option, but I have yet to see it have any effect – because as far as I can see all the metadata is displayed anyway.  Possibly only useful for obscure situations e.g. if some data or thumbnails fail to appear or for a “clip or disc that contains modified essence marks”
    • Opinions are divided on whether or not to retain BPAV folders, but the balance is in favour of doing so []

    MIDI Sampled Grand Piano (Steinway)

    Saturday, August 14th, 2010

    Virtual (MIDI) grand piano, by Acoustica, acclaimed in Sony Vegas forum:

    Final Cut (FCP) – Background Export/Render

    Saturday, August 14th, 2010

    Searching on Final Cut info generally, discovered some things that were added in the version 7 release of FCP and indeed the greater FCS 3, about a year ago.  I am attempting once again to wean myself off relying so much on (my traditional) Sony Vegas.

      • Apple Article: Bradley Buecker: Editing Eat Pray Love
        • The editors (used) ProRes 422 (Proxy) … introduced with Final Cut Pro 7.  As soon as dailies arrived … Assistant Editor Doc Crotzer would transcode the files from ProRes 422 (HQ) to ProRes 422 (Proxy), organize the footage into bins, and prepare the material for editing.
        • Using background exporting, another new Final Cut feature, Crotzer was able to continue editing even as he was compressing the files.
          • What is “background exporting”?
        • (He) cut in Proxy and in a few simple keystrokes (was) reconnected in ProRes 422 (HQ) to output for a screening.
          • How set up / do that?
    • Google: [“background exporting” fcp]
        • Studio Daily blog, July 2009
          • Thursday surprise with Final Cut Pro 7 and new Final Cut Studio By Scott Simmons
            • Post-article forum pulls apart the details and interpretations of the new features in this version.
              • e.g. Per-Project Capture-Scratch (etc) ?
                • Q: have they moved the capture scratch and render drive settings to be saved WITH the project for this release?
                • A: (Doubtful.)   Check out the Preference Manager from Digital Rebellion as it lets you do something similar if not exactly that.
                  • How best integrate this into my workflow?
                    • Search on this topic another time, e.g. [“preference manager” “capture scratch” “per project”]
        • Article “Final Cut Pro 7, Did They Listen?” by Dan Rubottom
          • when you undo, you don’t lose renders
          • Export, render and publish in the background using Compressor.  You can use Apple Qmaster QuickCluster for even quicker rendering
    • YouTube: [final cut 7]

    Windows 7 Start-Up Repair

    Saturday, August 7th, 2010

    Here are the steps that worked for me:

    As it happened, this whole process was a distraction.  I was trying to get a BootCamp-W7 Virtual Machine (VM) in Parallels working – it would boot OK in BootCamp but not Parallels.  It was a matter of identifying the problem by excluding other possibilities, as much as hoping for this to be the fix.   However I record the process I went through, here, for posterity.