Archive for December, 2010

Canon 5250 Printer Software – Mac OS (10.6.5) Install & Initial Experiences

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Differences from the Windows (7) experiences:

  • As is typically the case for any device, the Mac installation dialogs etc. differed slightly from their Windows counterparts.
  • Once installed, its Print dialog seemed somewhat over-minimal, there being no obvious way to specify duplex printing for example.  The solution was found by experimentation, as follows:
    • In the dialog, under “Paper Size” and “Orientation” was a multi-choice selected as Preview
    • Clicking on this revealed that the other choices were the missing (expected) printer properties options (such as duplex):
      • Preview
      • Layout
      • Color Matching
      • Paper Handling
      • Cover Page
      • Scheduler
      • Quality & Media
      • Color Options
      • Borderless Printing
      • Duplex Printing & Margin
      • Supply Levels
      • Summary
        • This would have been the best default option, for first use, because it shows all(?) of the other options in a twirlable (expand/collapse) tree.

Once installed, can get to the printer’s optons & job-queue as follows (no obvious options here to define duplex as default):

  • Apple > System Preferences > Print & Fax > Canon MG5200 Series
    • Open Print Queue
    • Options & Supplies
      • General
      • Driver
      • Supply Levels
      • Utility
        • Cleaning (regular cleaning, eliminate smudges and lines)
        • Deep Cleaning (un-clogs nozzles that cannot be cleared by regular cleaning)
        • Bottom Plate Cleaning (prevent paper smudges during printing)
        • Roller Cleaning (for smoother paper-feeding)

Using it:

  •  From NeoOffice (3.1.2) Writer, with a three-page document:
    • File > Printer Settings
      • NeoOffice crashes…
    • File > Print
      • Print-dialog appears
      • Has a multi-choice (default selection = Layout)
      • Select Duplex Printing & Margin
      • Enable Automatic Duplex Printing
        • Staple-side = Long-side stapling (Left)
    • Result: It worked!
      • But these settings were not retained for a further printing even of the same document.
      • So you have to check duplex etc. every single Print operation…
      • Duh!

Canon 5250 Printer Software – Windows (7) Install & Initial Experiences

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

On Windows 7 / Boot Camp 3.1 on a MacBook Pro (MBP) of January 2010 vintage, I installed the Canon printer software for their Pixma MG5200 printer (as supplied with my MG5250 printer).  Installation was unexpectedly lengthy (one or two hours) due to a USB issue, a one-way-only Setup application (and consequent need to do a System Restore and fix knock-on effects of that)  and finally an unexpected confusion over paper source. The latter was explained by popup dialogs but these were not noticed at first as they were hidden under the document being printed (a user-interface issue – application or windows?).  The solutions I immediately found to these issues were:

  • Unplug all other USBs from the machine – which in this case was a cheap Microsoft wireless mouse.
  • Set the paper source specification to Manual, then manually specify it to be the rear tray.
    • But there is a better solution – read on.

Having subsequently read the manual, and indeed having looked at the setup dialogs more attentively:

  • Rear tray is intended for speciality paper such as photo paper.
  • Plain paper should normally be loaded into the Cassette
    • This is a paper tray located low-down on the front of the printer.
    • To open it, don’t try to pull via fingernails through thin gap, instead use purpose-made “gripper” on underside of “Cassette”.
  • Note: The multi-lingual nature of the Manual’s pages is hard on the eye…

This is better really, as it reduces the printer’s “visual clutter” and “space invasion”. It worked fine, for duplex too.  It is also possible to configure the printer to use the rear tray as an additional source of plain paper e.g. if the Cassette runs out:

  •  In Windows System Tray:
    • Canon My Printer >RtClk> Open My Printer > Paper Source Settings
    • (Not recommended though)


Boot Camp 3.2 Update – Yes or No ?

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

NO! …Not at the very least until such time as I have no pressures and fancy an experiment (everything backed-up of course). On my Jan 2010 MacBook Pro (unibody), most things “ain’t broke” at present, the only issues are that the FW800 port and ExpressCard ports work only in Mac OS, not Windows 7, but I’ve found no explicit mention of these issues having been fixed. Shame, quite a few Windows people are put off Macs for that kind of reason.  On the other hand while some people report no problems, others do report issues (sometimes due to old/unhandled existing nVidia drivers on their systems), as follows.

  • nVidia driver problems affecting install, display (and possibly keyboard).
    • Installation may hang or fail or appear to succeed but not completely in practice.
    • Screen may appear at low-resolution (e.g.VGA) or may black-out
    • Sleep (power management) may give a BSOD.


Cramming a Multi-Hour Movie onto a DVD

Monday, December 27th, 2010

  • Very simple estimation method is to divide the length in minutes into 600.
  • Example: 5 hours is 300 minutes, so 600/300 = 2Mbps.
  • Assuming you use 192Kbps for the AC3 audio, 2Mbps – 192Kbps = approximagely 1.8Mbps for the video

My proposed workflow for Sony Vegas / DVD Architect (DVDA):

  1. In Sony Vegas:
    1. Render the audio on its own first, as AC3-Pro.
    2. Check the remaining space. Allow say 4% headroom (safety-margin). Maybe more, to create deliberate physical margin at edge of disk (where handling-marks are likely to occur). Adjust video rendering properties to achieve this.
    3. Render the video on its own. Check its size is as expected.
  2. In DVD ARchitect:
    1. Add both audio & video to a DVDA Project.
    2. In DVDA, do a Prepare, skipping past any warnings about disk space.  Presumably if source files (audio and video) are in same format as target and no “Fit to Disk” is selected then it should only do Wrapping, not Compressing (?)


Monday, December 27th, 2010

Forms, Spreadsheets and Tools for Film-Making

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Forms, Spreadsheets and Tools for Film-Making:

    • Editing Log
    • Field Tape Log
    • Location Contract
    • Camera Shot List
    • Talent Release Form
    • Call Sheet Template
    • Location Relase Form
    • Personal Release Form
    • Location Scouting Sheet
    • Production Budgeting Proposal
    • Call Sheet
    • Daily Editors Log
    • Cast Contact Sheet
    • Crew Contact Sheet
    • Daily Continuity Log
    • Daily Progress Report
    • Easy Script Breakdown
    • Script Supervisor Notes
    • Daily Production Report
    • Continuity Synopsis Sheet – (18.1K) *
    • StoryBoard Tool – Windows based program with simplistic, yet effective tools.
    • Sample Location Contract *
    • Sample Performer Release *
    • Sample Script Agreement *
    • Sample Compensation Contract *
    • Camera Journal
    • Equipment List in Excel format. – (7.09K)
    • Detailed Budget in Excel format.
    • Databases for your Palm Pilot
    • SMPTE Color Bars for your computer Screen – (6.80K)
    • Time Code Calculator for Camera number crunching – (247Kb)
    • Vid Prompt – Turn your computer screen into a teleprompter. Good program to have – (89.2K)

Great informative review of Avid Media Composer 5

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Avid has no Secondary Color Correction (but there are workarounds)

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Avid Media Composer (up to V5 at least) does not have secondary color correction.

    • Avid (Media Composer) does not have secondary color correction. At least not like Vegas does.
    • (Avid) Media Composer differentiates itself from Avid Symphony because it is missing Advanced/Secondary Color Correction and Universal Mastering.
    • Now all we need is secondary color correction…
    • I heard Media composer does not have secondary color correction
    • Idea 1:
      • Colorista does full screen or square/rectangle/oval/circle windows (not custom).
      • You can achieve “power windows”-style secondary results in Media Composer by duplicating the clip onto a higher track, using Animatte tools to isolate an area within the clip and applying different correction to that area.
    • Idea 2:
    • Idea 3:
      • Colorista combined with Magic Bullet Looks should be able to do everything you’re looking for.
      • I believe Colorista has masks or what’s commonly called Power Windows but I don’t believe they have a tracker. I suggest you download the demo version of each and try them out.
      • In the Media Composer you can use the Paint effect to create a shape and apply basic corrections to that shape and track it.
    • Media Composer has a tracker. Here’s a tutorial:
    • Using the Paint Effect or AniMatte with two layers of video a very basic correction can be applied and tracked. For example, I’ve corrected a scene where the subject was looking at a computer monitor and their face was blue from the reflection of the screen. I was able to draw a shape, make color adjustments to remove the cast and track it.
    • Additionally Boris Red/Avid FX has a powerful color corrector and motion tracking:

Convert [.flv] to [.mp4]

Monday, December 27th, 2010

How convert a [.flv] file to a [.mp4] file?

Avid & Boris FX

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Some good links with tutorials and documentation on Boris BX, within and without Avid:

AviSynth FrameServer: Virtual AVI/WAV Files

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

DNxHD & 1080p50

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Avid DS allegedly supports it:

ffmpeg to transcode XDCAM-EX [.mp4] files to QT-DNxHD

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

It is possible to use the open-source ffmpeg to transcode XDCAM-EX files to other formats, such as DNxHD.Information from as of 2010-12-23:

  •  ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec dnxhd -b 60Mb -acodec copy
    • 60Mbit is a 720p bitrate.
  • This is a good ffmpeg for pro users help site:
  • This is the command line I got from Baptiste who is developing the DNxHD stuff in ffmpeg.
    • Progressive:
      • fmpeg -i inputfile.mp4 -vcodec dnxhd -b 185Mb -acodec pcm_s16le
    • Interlaced: (The difference is the -flags +ildct)
      • ffmpeg -i inputfile.mp4 -vcodec dnxhd -b 185Mb -flags +ildct -acodec pcm_s16le
  • And this is a link to a DNxHD white paper:
  • We are thinking of using 36Mbit DNxHD but all people we talk to say to use 185Mbit or maybe 120Mbit and that 36Mbit is for offline.
  • But if you don’t have a problem using allot of GB on disc then go for Max Mbit for the specific resolution and framerate you use:
    • 1080p/25 DNxHD 185 1920 x 1080 8bit 25fps = -b 185Mb
    • 720p/50 DNxHD 175 1280 x 720 8bit 50fps = -b 90Mb
    • 1080i/50 DNxHD 185 1920 x 1080 8bit 25fps = -b 185Mb
  • More settings for other framerates:
    • http://www.itbroadcastanddigitalcine…#Encoding_VC-3
      • Had many commandlines and DNxHD settings, though sadly none for 1080p50 (as I require).
      • …and link is dead – as of 2016-08-18

Information from

  •  FFmpeg is now providing Avid DNxHD (SMPTE VC-3) encoding and decoding features

64-bit version of Mike Crash’s Smart Deinterlacer plugin for Sony Vegas

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

There is more than one development of this, the Craig Longman one covers both the functionality and the 64-bit-ness of this filter:

Cineform Settings – which ones to use for what

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Which modes of Cineform are appropriate under which circumstances:

  • Paraphrased from [, as of 2010-12-23]
    • NeoScene and NeoHD uses can select 4:2:2 in any quality.
    • High quality is for finished material (e.g. to be output to DVD/BluRay) but if further grading is a possibility then use Filmscan 1
      • Filmscan 2 is overkill.
    • Neo4K and Neo3D users also get 4:4:4 and 4:4:4:4 support.
      • Requesting these modes with (other variants of the software?) will result in a watermark.
      • For extensive post, filmscan and 4:4:4 is probably a benefit.
      • 4:4:4:4 requires lots of power and raid arrays.
    • The uncompressed mode should generally be avoided – it is only intended for camera acquisition to save battery power.

Cineform is a codec for digital intermediates.  When used in appropriate ways, it offers visually lossless compression/decompression.  Some quality reduction does occur but only to a degree that is not important to (or even noticeable by) most people’s eyes, even after several rounds of compression/recompression.  In contrast, delivery formats such as DV, DVD, XDCAM-EX are suitable only for a single round of compression/decompression, and even then are lossy (lose quality) to a degree that many people can notice, especially when playback is paused at a single frame.

QuickTime 10 – Warning

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Based on other people’s experiences, I am always wary of new versions of QuickTime.  I haven’t tried this one, and don’t intend to.  Some evidence of potential problems:

  • [,260877,261037#msg-261037]
    • Problem:
      • … when I exported my sequence using the Prores Codec, … it changed the colour of my sequence, adding a reddish hue/ saturation to it.
      • On my search round the web there seems to be quite a few people with this issue, but is there any fix for it ?
    • Likely cause:
      • QT 10 (QT X) is the worse thing Apple has unleashed to the Apple audience. It is NOT ready for release…and why it is on these systems…really only for consumers, but still…not ready.
    • A proposed fix (if QT X has already been installed):
      • Look in your UTILITIES folder for QT 7. Move that into the APPLICATIONS folder. Right-click on QTX and COMPRESS it. Then trash the app. This way you still have it, but it won’t be available as an application, and any QT file will default open with QT7.
        • This “hack” was advised by Apple to Shane Ross.  Pretty credible then…
      • Alternatively, use the Get Info dialog to set all QuickTime movies to open with QuickTime 7 Player
        • (although for some reason if you set a WMV to open in QuickTime Player 7, Flip4Mac keeps changing it back to QT X).

MacBook Pro FW800 useless under Boot Camp

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

No solution noted as of March 2010:

Fast Shutter Speeds for Action Scenes

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

For action scenes like fast ski-ing, what shutter speed is best?

Apple Compressor – Start-Up Hangs – Fixed

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

On MBP, I tried starting-up Compressor but its icon just bounced up & down (on the task-bar) for ages.  Attempts to right-click it revealed a “Not Responding” condition.  So I searched for a solution.  I discovered a check-list Compressor: Troubleshooting basics at  From that check-list, the fix that worked was to delete my account’s Preferences for Compressor, as follows:

  • In the Finder, go to ~/Library/Preferences
    • (where the tilde (~) represents your Home folder).
  • Remove the following files from the Preferences folder:

I discovered the checklist at, which also gave some more tips.

EX3 Shooting-Mode & Shutter Effects on Exposure

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The traditional degree of motion blur, broadly consistent with what the eye normally experiences, is obtained by using around 1/50 sec shutter (no problem in practice for shutter speeds 1/48-1/60).  What shutter setting (mode /value combination) can best achieve this for different shooting modes, e.g. 25p, 50i, 50p ?  I am no expert on this but from my web-search I assume the following:

  • For progressive modes around 25-30p, where light level allows, use Shutter On.
    • But for double-rate progressive (50p-60p),  use shutter-off.
  • For interlaced modes or double-rate progressive or for low light situations, use Shutter Off.
    • In interlaced modes, Shutter Off is equivalent to 1/50 or 1/60 (depending if 50i or 60i)
  • Warning about Angles: in Interlaced modes, “180 shutter” acts more like a 135 shutter.
    • The “Angles” option is really aimed at film veterans, who by definition only use progressive.


Shutter Speeds – progressive (24p,25p,50p) and interlaced (50i)

Friday, December 17th, 2010

On an EX3, what’s best for indoor shots of lectures etc?

  • Normally film runs at 24fps, with a 180° shutter – which is 1/48th second.
    • Hence for 25 fps, ideally use 1/50 second, or nearest available match to this.
    • Uncertainty: For 50i, each field is at 25fps, so presumably still use 1/50 second ?  Depends on how camera works?
  • For a shot of someone talking, it would be hard to see the difference between a 1/48th shutter time and a 1/60th shutter time.
  • To avoid (conventional) light flicker, frame rate should divide by integer into twice the power frequency.
    • EX3 has no 1/50 shutter speed, at least when specified by Time – nearest equivalent is 1/60.  This may risk some degree of light-flickering in 50Hz mains countries.
  • For 1080i50
    • Initially, used “No Shutter”, to maximize exposure with least Gain.  But gave noticeable motion-blur.
  • For 50p or 25p
    • 1/50 or nearest equivalent (on EX3 is 1/60)
  • For 50i, opinions vary:
    • UseEX3’s nearest equivalent time-based shutter time of 1/60
    • Use 180 degrees (assumes this angle relates to frames-per-second, namely 25fps for each frame – but is this valid when interlaced)
    • Use No-Shutter (assumes 50i shoots each field alternately, at 50fps, hence no-shutter is inherently 1/50 – but is that assumption true?)


Final Cut – Lightweight Intro & Basics

Friday, December 17th, 2010


Final Cut – Markers

Friday, December 17th, 2010

One of the uncertainties holding me back from weaning myself off Sony Vegas to FCP for real projects is over Markers.  In Vegas I can do everything easily, and routinely use markers to identify cue-points, ideas, problems, all kinds of things.  I use them at media, timeline and project/sequence levels, sometimes promoting them from one level to another.  So how easily can I follow a similar practice in FCP?  Google: [fcp markers]:

  • markerTool
      • markerTool … allows to move markers from clips to the sequence level, from sequence level to selected tracks, moving an arbitrary selection of sequence markers in time, exporting the marker settings to the clipboard and finally creating sequence markers with data from a tab delimited text file.
      • It also does allow to collect all sequence markers from nested sequences.
  • Markers
      • All about Markers in Final Cut Pro, by Sandy on September 1, 2009
      • Varieties: Chapter Markers, Compression Markers, Scoring Markers, Sequence Markers, Clip Markers, and the list goes on
        • Clip Markers are Pink, Sequence Markers are Green
          • …with Final Cut Pro 7:
            • …you can … color-code clip and sequence markers of your own.
            • You can add notes while the clip is playing and when you export your marker list, your custom names are exported also.
        • … default marker is the Note Marker.  This is the marker that is created when you add a marker to a clip or a sequence.
      • Markers can be used for making comments, synchronizing multiclips, adding DVD chapters, and even making subclips.  Usually, markers are placed only on a specific frame, but you can also create a marker with a longer duration.
      • To add markers:
        • …add markers to clips or sequences by hitting the “M” key.  To name your markers or add comments to them, simply hit the “M” key twice.
        • …you can also go to the Mark Menu > Markers and add them from there.
      • Varieties in more detail):
        • Our default marker is the Note Marker.  This is the marker that is created when you add a marker to a clip or a sequence.
          • Wonder if can have different colours for different purposes (e.g. problems, opportunities, suggestions, review status).  Looks like FCP7 might alow this.
          • Ideally would like user-defined type where each type had customizable look (size, colour, font, whatever) and one could filter the display to only show the required combination of types (e.g. via list-of-types checkboxes).
        • Chapter Markers automatically become DVD chapter markers to be used in DVD Studio Pro
        • Compression Markers can be added to tell Compressor or DVD Studio Pro that it should generate an MPEG1-frame during compression.  You want to add these where there is an abrupt visual change from one frame to the next within a clip, to improve MPEG compression.
        • Scoring Markers are used to make visual cues to sync music to and can be exported to Soundtrack Pro
        • Audio Peak Markers, when you have them activated, can show you where in your clips that the audio level should be reduced at that point.
          • Sounds highly useful.  In Vegas I instead preview everything and watch the meters.
        • Long Frame Markers can be added if your clip has long frames that you might want to avoid using in your sequence.

Generate a Wiki table from Excel

Thursday, December 16th, 2010


Mpeg StreamClip to Transcode

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010


  • (Mac or Win): Mpeg StreamClip
    • For the purposes of this explanation, it is version 1.2.
    • It is a stand-alone executable, no “installation” required.
  • Mpeg StreamClip:
    • List > Batch List > Add Files
      • (select file
      • Click the [To Batch] button
    • Select [Export to QuickTime]
      • Say NO to [Join all the files] and [Fix timecode breaks]
      • Specify a destination folder
    • [Movie Exporter] dialog
      • Slide Quality up to 100%
        • Why would anyone want anything less than 100%  What’s the cost / tradeoff involved here?  File size or execution time?
      • Select the required codec.
      • If source footage is progressive then deselect [Interlaced Scaling]
      • Click the [To Batch] button
    • [Batch List] dialog
      • Confirm the displayed list of files to transcode
      • Click the [Go] button.

Mac Cinema Tools to “Conform” (alter fps playback rate)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Suppose you have footage shot at one rate e.g. 25 fps and require it to be played at a different rate e.g. 24 fps.  Possible reasons: you shot at 25 fps and want to edit on a 24 fps timeline, or maybe want a crude but quick way to alter footage duration or to speed up or slow down the action that was shot.  The process below lets you alter the metadata  in video files so that they play back at a different fps to that at which they were shot.  That’s all it does, there’s no frame interpolation etc involved here.  This is a destructive process, the selected files have their metadata altered, to specify the required playback rate.

I’ve only just discovered Cinema Tools here, thanks to Den Lennie’s Creating the Film Look course, and quite clearly have only just scratched the surface.  Looks like its main function is to serve as a database for translating digitaal edits into film edits.  Not something I’ve been involved in thus far.

Iomega NAS – Initial Experiences

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Bought an Iomega Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device for a home network.  Here are my experiences:

  • Plugged it in and (naively) looked for it on Windows Explorer (networks section) but it didn’t appear there.
  • Ran its setup CD. Wary of bloatware, I selected Custom setup.  At the very least, that should list what kinds of thing could potentially be installed, then I can find out about them first.
    • Only installed the basic (non optional) software.
    • There is a backup tool, potentially useful but don’t want to dive into that just yet.
  • The result: a number of extra “drives” (drive letters) appeared, each being mapped to a network drive. The IP address was the same in each case: [].   Although there was only one NAS, each “Network Drive” (letter) was mapped to a different folder on it, as follows:
    • music
    • photos
    • ActiveFolders
      • The NAS config (webpage) lets you define these, e.g. a folder where you can drop a file and it will turn up at your YouTube account.
    • public
      • What’s that for?  How”public” is it?
    • movies
    • backups
  • Reactions:
    • I had not expected that, just expected a single drive letter underneath which I would make my own folders, one for each user plus a shared one.
    • Presumably they are all intended to be shared among all users.
    • Maybe I can still make my own folders per-user etc.?  Maybe also can configure each user’s account to be tied to the appropriate one of these?
    • The NAS is a server, maybe it doesn’t allow access to root, only to folders?
  • User Manual
    • The Setup (disk) offers to Install the User Manual. Slightly concerned over that – only really want a PDF, not (potentially) more unknown bloatware.  Went ahead anyway.
  • NAS Config
    • To access the NAS Config (webpage):
      • In browser, for this particular device, can simply enter its name.
        • The default name was [Iomega-110496/], the numeric suffix being from the NAS’s MAC address.
        • One can change this name in NAS Settings, explained further below (where I indeed did so).
      • Its initially-displayed page is a demo ActiveFolder which presents a slideshow of any photos dragged into it.  So you can e.g. use your laptop as a photo-frame.  This is but one of several types of ActiveFolder.  More on these later…
      • Go to the Home page (via left-most menu)
        • Go to Remote Access tab (via upper tab-selections)
          • Ensure that Remote Access is disabled (for security).
          • Also can see the full MAC address there.
      • Go to the System page (via left-most menu)
        • Go to Date and Time tab (via upper menu)
          • Change it to the appropriate timezone.  By default was the US’s EST.  Changed it to GMT.
        • Go to Settings tab.
          • Change LED brightness down to minimum.  These gimmicks are simply annoying.
          • Change Machine Name from default
            [Iomega-110496] to memorable [magibox].

            • Test it works by entering magibox as the address in a fresh browser page.  Used Opera, which asked to put a “http://” at the front.
          • Change machine description to read “Julie’s Home Network Drive”.
      • Go to the Folders page (via left-most menu)
        • There is only one tab, “Folders”
          • Click the [+] button at lower-left (scroll-down) to add a new folder.
          • Add folders for each user- in line with my original scheme, to see if I can make that happen.
            • When create folder for self it says something like “since this is the first time you are accessing this folder, would you like to assign a password for it?
      • Go to the Active Folders page.
        • Go to Photos and Files tab
          • See the demo (slideshow) folder is there
          • Add a new folder, [Julie’s YouTube]
            • Inspected its Settings and it appeared already to have some YouTube details (username and password).
  • The NAS offers other features like Bittorrent (in some way) but I haven’t investigated those yet.

Reintroduction to Microsoft Visual C++ (v6.0)

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Picking up an ancient software project in C++, edited in Microsoft Visual Studio for C++.  Where to start?  So I don’t have to work it out again, here are the basics:

  • Double-click a [.dsw] file.
    • That is a Workspace file, plain text, not a lot inside it.
    • It includes a reference to a [.dsp] file, which is a Project file, plain text, serves as a Make file.
    • Do not double-click a [.dsp] file directly.
  • Now to compile.  There are two Compile modes: Debug and Release.   The former makes debugging easier and the latter is slimmer and fitter (more optimized, hence smaller and faster).
    • To select mode, do [Build > Set Active Configuration]
  • If select Release mode, then result, the expected [.exe] file and a bunch of clutter (some [.obj] files etc.) appear in a Release subfolder.

Checksum-based Backup Methodology – Thoughts

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Looks like I’ve evolved a hybrid system:

  1. Proper backup / synch tool: SuperFlexibleFileSynchronizer (abbrev to “SuperFlex”).
  2. Procedural with lower-level tools: File drag-copy combined with MD5Summer.

The idea is that normally I would use SuperFlex, but for occasions where I already have manually-created (supposed) mirrors, I can retrospectively check consistency at content (not just datetime and size) level.  Have yet to experiment with SuperFlex to see if it can verify existing copies of files (as opposed to copies that it is making).

File Backup / Sync / Verification

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I was looking for an app to assist in synchronizing of copies of file systems, for example main and back-up copies.  I chose a good-looking application available for both Windows and Mac:


md5 Check-Sum Apps for Windows

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

md5 Checksumming in Windows:

  • There is no in-built checksumming tool I know of in Windows, but they are standard in linux etc.
  • The best third-party md5 checksum tool I have discovered for Windows is MD5Summer (V.  [].
    • When you run it, it first checks file associations and offers to set it as default for [.md5] files.  In W7 an attempt to do so may be denied (admin status required).
    • You first select a root-folder then files within it (or all, recursively).  To select files, it’s not sufficient to highlight them, you have to double-click them (or click the Add button), so that they appear in the right-hand pane.  Only then will the OK button be enabled.
    • By running it recursively from a root folder, rather than on individual folders, a single [.md5] file is created that does not pollute the subfolders (e.g. BPAV folders as recorded by XDCAM-EX).
    • Had a slight issue once where I manually copied from XP to W7 machines, then generated MD5 on source machine (XP) and verified on target machine (W7).  At first, the verifier immediately returned all mismatches.  So immediately in fact that it seems likely it was not performing any computation.  Later on it worked as expected.  Not known what changed to cause this, maybe simply the act of opening the md5 file in NotePad..

Concepts (to the best of my understanding):

  • A check-sum of some data is a “fingerprint” numeric value that is probably-unique to that data.  A fingerprint is useful when it is much smaller than the data it represents yet (virtually) uniquely identifies the content of that data.  A checksum of a file reflects that file’s data-contents but is not affected by the file name etc.
  • Various checksum schemes/algorithms exist, one of the most popular being md5.   An md5 fingerprint is extremely unlikely to be the same for any other file and will (for that reason) almost certainly change in value if the contents of a file is changed by even the tiniest degree.
  • A typical md5 tool will take one or more specified files and generate their fingerprints as corresponding entries (each entry being a filename and a fingerprint) in a [.md5] file.  Correspondingly it will take a given [.md5] file and report whether or not the stated and (re-) computed fingerprints agree.
  • An [.md5] file is a text file with one or more lines consisting of a checksum value (in hexadecimal) then a space then an asterisk then a file name, possibly preceded by a folder path (with respect to the folder containing the [.md5] file).  It can also have comment-lines, each beginning with a hash (#) character.  Example entries:
    • eb574b236133e60c989c6f472f07827b *fred.exe
    • [eb574b236133e60c989c6f472f07827b *tmp/fred.exe].
  • Some download sites include [ .md5] files alongside or along with their associated  files.  Some sites just display the fingerprint itself on the webpage.  Typically the purpose is to allow the user to check whether a download was complete or was corrupted.
  • The fingerprint computed by a typical checksumming application is not affected by a file’s name or read-only status etc., only by its data contents.  Thus it is not a total basis for consistency-checking of system configuration.


Command-Prompt as Folder Right-Click option in Windows Explorer

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

In Windows XP, wanted a folder right-click menu option to bring up a MSDOS command shell.  This proved very simple to add, and gave the further benefit of the text-based (command-line) user interface (TUI?) retaining customisations (e.g. green text).  The steps were (for Windows XP):

  • Windows Explorer: Tools > Folder Options.
  • Select the File Types tab.
  • Go to NONE / Folder.
  • Select the entry labeled Folder
  •  Press Advanced button.
  • Select New
  • In the action block type “Command Prompt” (without the quotes).
  • In the app block type “cmd.exe” (without the quotes).
  • Save and exit Folder Options.


Moire pattern (shirt) fix in Sony Vegas

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Moire pattern on presenter’s shirt when footage’s image size shrunk from HD to much smaller.  Was a corporate shoot where lecturer wore a finely lined shirt (doh!).  Tried a few experiments but a googled solution worked best, as follows.  I applied a Gaussian blur as a MediaFX, so it (hopefully) got applied before the pan/crop downscaling.  Worked well in any case.

    • Your problem is moire. If you want to understand why you have this problem Google “Optical Low Pass Filter”. This is a vital part of any digital camera both still and video. When you downscale an image to a lower resolution the OLPF is no longer enough to filter out high frequency detail at the lower resolution and hence you hit problems with the Nyquist Limit.
    • You fix this by reducing the resolution BEFORE downscaling. This is easily done by using the Gaussian Blur FX in Vegas. You only usually need a tiny amount and can adjust the amount depending on what is in front of the camera. Values of 0.001 to 0.003 should be more than adequate. You may only need to apply it in the vertical direction. …you will need to experiment to get just enough image softening to stop the aliasing without making it too soft.
    • …you need to do this BEFORE downscaling. Render at Best quality mode. Do some quick tests

Sony XDCAM-EX & Letus Extreme

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Canon 5D mk II DSLR vs Sony XDCAM-EX and RED One

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Great comparison of Canon 5D mk II DSLR against Sony XDCAM-EX and also Red-One etc.: