Archive for April, 2011

Sony Vegas Interpolate Mode – Only used when frame size unchanged

Thursday, April 28th, 2011
    • Choosing interpolate or blend has nothing to do with this particular process, you shouldn’t see any difference, but you do need to select one method or the other. The only point at which is make a difference is when you’re deinterlacing AND not changing the frame size. Then the deinterlace method WILL make a big difference. 99.9% of the time, I will use interpolate as blend will cause “halos” on the edges of moving objects.
    • 99.9% of the time, I will use interpolate as blend will cause “halos” on the edges of moving objects.

Audio Perceived-Loudness – NuGen Audio VisLM

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

  •  For TV adverts, how to maintain legal audio loudness.
  • Can use NuGen’s Audio VisLM, then (for US ?), level audio files using ATSC/A85 preset.
  • Compact version, as of 2011-04-22, costs $186
  • They say:
    • True cross-platform, multi-format loudness meteringThe most fundamental question in audio production, how loud is it? Simple and yet elusive, with loudness inconsistency and incompatibilities present every day in broadcasts across the world.With detailed, objective loudness measurement, history and logging facilities, VisLM provides a simple, ITU, ATSC and EBU standard compliant* way to measure, compare and contrast loudness during production, broadcast and post production, on the fly or for entire sections of audio.VisLM introduces several essential parameters for audio measurement.* True-Peak level metering (inter-sample accurate level monitoring)* Loudness Range (to help decide if and how much dynamic compression to apply)* Momentary ‘instantaneous loudness’ for mixing by ear* Short term loudness (3 second time window)* Program Loudness (long term integrated loudness measurement)

DropBox – Initial Reactions

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

You register and get 2GB free storage area, visible in Windows Explorer as “dropbox”, alongside the existing “downloads”.  There, you can drag files (from elsewhere) to some place such as the eisting Public folder or you can create a new folder and make it personal or sharable.  If you make it sharable, you get prompted for an email address of the sharer.  Dropbox then auto-sends an email to that address.  The email includes a probably-unique secure (https) link (incorporating a big pseudorandom number) for them to click on.   OK so it’s not just public.  Great!

Conservative Software Policy in Cutting-Edge Movie

Friday, April 15th, 2011

  • << “Avatar” was cut on Avid Media Composer systems running software version 2.8.4. >>
  • << Even with the help of stalwart first assistant Jason Gaudio, the editing team did not want to risk upgrading their NLE software in mid-project despite the fact that Media Composers have been able to playback 3D sequences directly from the timeline ever since version 3.5. >>
    • (my italicization)
  • << So when they wanted to view the 48 terabytes of footage on their Avid Isis storage system holding both left and right eye tracks, they had to run both dailies footage and cut sequences through a QuVIS Acuity 3D playback platform. >>

Sony Vegas Preview Speed Optimization

Friday, April 15th, 2011


Sony Vegas: Guidelines for Fast Preview Speed (from Sony Vegas forum,


  • Match project properties exactly to your source footage. Use the “match” feature to do this. Failure to have these settings correct is the biggest reason for slow timeline playback.
  • Don’t use higher preview resolution than necessary. Use Auto instead of Full, and use “preview” or “good” instead of “best,” especially when smooth timeline performance is more important than being able to see every last detail.
  • Turn off “scale video to fit preview window.” This doesn’t make a huge difference, but it helps.
  • Make your preview window smaller.
  • Set “Deinterlace Method” in “Project Properties” to “Interpolate” instead of “Blend”.
  • Try setting “Thumbnails to show in video events” in “Video” preferences to “None”, especially for multicam projects.

PowerPoint: How to SaveAs 300dpi (default is 96dpi)

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

For Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 (and probably earlier – though unknown to me) you can SaveAs to image files, e.g. .png, useful for incorporating in a video (say).   But in some cases the resulting image seems blurry as compared to the original.  This is because the default SaveAs image resolution is only 96dpi (dots per inch).  One can increase this to 300 dpi by making a simple registry modification:

DaVinci Resolve Lite – free

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

DaVinci Resolve Lite – free:

The full version has 3D tracking “Power Windows”, so you don’t have to manually generate and track masks.  It is said by some to be runnable on linux.

Final Cut Pro X (ten) – FCPX

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Final Cut Pro X (ten) – FCPX.  Wannit now!!!

Cavity Wall Insulation – Problems

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

My girlfriend is considering buying a 1930’s house.  It has evidence of dampness and cracks inside, against the outer and southern wall.  A surveyor mentioned it had cavity wall insulation but did not associate this with the dampness or cracks.  But I remember stories from decades ago where lacking-in-thought installations offering reduced heating bills etc. resulted in just these kinds of effect, by bridging of the wall-cavity.  Furthermore, in this part of the world, the southern direction is where the rain mostly blows from.  I’m no expert, but remember my parents’ repeated warnings about this issue – from their absorption of newspaper & TV coverage over several decades.  So time for a bit of Googling.  Best sites I found:


  • Potential Problems:
    • Cavity wall insulation risks internal dampness and accelerated corrosion of ferrous wall-ties (the latter e.g. by condensation).  Not a certainty, but certainly a risk,the “success rate” would be interesting, but for a specific case, it is more about proper pre-installation inspection for suitability.
    • Increased the risk of damp to the property could in turn cause internal decorative spoiling, plaster damage, fungal decay to  structural and joinery timbers and also accelerate the risk of corrosion to the metal wall ties.
    • Another problem is insulation sinking under its own weight. Over time, the fibre can compact and settle in the cavity, leaving cold areas at the top of the house, ripe for mould growth. Insiders say this is often due to insufficient fibre being used – a common problem with contractors employed on bulk contracts claiming the government subsidy.
    • Foam insulation can sometimes lead to cracking damage – usually to internal wall surfaces – following foam cavity wall insulation which might possibly be due to the expansive force of the foam as it cures.
  • The Failure Physics / Mechanism:
    • Internal wall dampness can arise where rain blown by wind hits external walls then the cavity insulation forms a bridge to the internal wall. This can happen even when the cavity material is itself water-resistant (presumably because of surface tension and capillary action etc.).
    • If the installation is less than perfect, leaving unfilled air pockets – these could leave ‘cold spots’ on the inside walls which attract condensation. Another problem concerns wall-tie corrosion; cavity insulation makes the outer brick leaf colder, and therefore wetter, which can accelerate rusting of the wall ties.
    • Aside from the damaging consequences of dampness, cavity wall insulation can sometimes actually lose building heat.  Blown mineral-wool fibre has to become only slightly damp (around one per cent by volume) to lose all of its insulation properties. Any damper than this, and it will actually start to draw more heat out of the house than if the insulation were absent.
  • Potential Misdiagnosis:
    • It feels like there is some blind-spot, if not denial, to this long-standing issue.
    • There is a tendency to assume damp-course issues, even when they are not relevant.
    • Another reported misdiagnosis is roof problems, the cost of (potentially pointless) fixing of which can be thousands of pounds.
  • Materials & Installation:
    • Various kinds of material can be used, the cheapest and most popular being blown “wool”, others being fibre, bonded polystyrene beads and foam.  Choice of material does not guarantee freedom from dampness risk.
    • In new buildings, usually the insulation is fixed only to the inner leaf, leaving a narrow cavity to intercept any rainwater that penetrates the outer brick leaf. This insulation material is usually in the form of rigid foam boards, which are intrinsically waterproof, or semi-rigid mineral-wool or glassfibre “batts” (vertically-aligned grain).
    • Some properties are not suitable for cavity insulation.   Pre-installation inspection should include checks via a boroscope.  Even large cavities do not give freedom from risk.
    • Installations should be backed by a 25 year C.I.G.A. guarantee.  In any case, assuming that the company responsible for the original installation is still trading, then these costs may well be their responsibility.
  • Removal:
    • Removal under guarantee does not necessarily take place instantaneously…
    • Removal plus damage repair (internal plaster etc. and/or ties) can cost around one to four thousand pounds.  Removal difficulty/cost depends on the material, and can leave “permanent scars” on the building exterior.
    • All cavity insulation can be removed. Mineral fibres and polystyrene granules can be blown or vacuumed out, whilst solid foam insulation must be manually broken up and scraped out.
  • An alternative to “filler” types of cavity wall insulation: Celotex.  This is a type of insulation board that can be attached to inner or outer walls, external to the cavity.  Guides: