Archive for March, 2013

WordPress Cribsheet

Friday, March 15th, 2013

WordPress Upgrade to 3.5.1: My Immediate Issues & Fixes

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Recently, my Hosting account received an upgrade on WordPress to version 3.5.2.  Some immediate issues:

  • Sudden increase in Spam user-comments
    • Possibly coincidental, but can’t help wondering whether its associated with the upgrade, like maybe it caused blog pages to be more spam-machine-compatible?  Just a gut-feeling, no knowledge or evidence.
    • The volume was not impossible to handle manually, just irritating.
    • I chose to enable a shielding-service.  It seems to be working so far, blocking Spam but of course at the cost of discouraging user-comments, as well as some other things…
  • Toolbar did not have the Indent button.  In fact only the first half of that toolbar was present, buttons like Bold and Indent buttons are normally to be found in the second row of that toolbar, which was not present.
    • Fix: Click the right-most button, whose ToolTip says, unhelpfully, “wordpress.wp_adv_desc” (sounds to me like some unfinished programming…).  It enables the second row of the toolbar.


Windows 7: “Are you sure you want to copy this file without its properties”

Friday, March 15th, 2013

On my Windows 7 machine, while copying files (manually backing-up) from an internal drive to an external USB drive that was formatted by someone else, the following warning message appeared:

  • “Are you sure you want to copy this file without its properties”

This turned out to be due to the external disk having been formatted as FAT32 instead of NTFS as per my internal drive.


Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Warp Stabilizer Slow: No GPU/CUDA, Maybe no MultiThread?

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

My current project, a live rock performance (at an offshore radio party on a ship) involved significant quantities of handheld footage.  I’m editing this one in Adobe Premiere,  A lot of the handheld footage benefited from stabilization.  The easiest stabilization to hand is the Warp Stabilizer effect within Premiere.

It is really handy, and worked for me maybe 75% of the time, other situations gave unrealistic or unusable results.  So there is still a role for keeping back-up options such as Gunnar Thalin’s excellent Deshaker (and rendering to intermediates e.g. in GoPro-Cineform).

It is SLOW, a real time-loser, the main delay being its Motion Analysis stage.

  • This stage is computationally intensive in principle, a fundamental issue for any such device.
  • Some systems employ parallel execution here, to good effect: vastly reduced analysis (waiting) time.
  • However it seems that Premiere CS6 does not employ GPU here, and from Windows’ Task Manager, I infer that it is not even using multithreading (though I don’t know that for a fact).

Other than that, it does apparently use GPU/CUDA for its subsequent stabilize/deshake stage, and indeed that stage is very quick indeed, facilitating experimentation with settings (e.g. Subspace Warp or Position mode) to obtain the desired effect.

Incidentally, I found the default Subspace Warp mode to be “fragile”, so I use Position instead:

  • It often makes things in the background flap or wobble in unrealistic manner.
  • I therefore use Position mode, the simplest mode, as my default, then only advance to “Rotation” (etc.) if there is camera rotation.
  • It didn’t work well with very noisy footage, e.g.  Sony Z1 in Hyper-Gain mode, even if when denoising was applied earlier in the effects-chain.

Lastly, it’s a shame there’s no way/settings for:

  • Defining a mask, rectangular or otherwise, for region(s) to focus on or to avoid.  For example to prevent it locking onto a singer’s head instead of the stage.
  • Telling it to definitely not try to compensate for rolling-shutter.  When I know the camera is CCD, I ought to be able to tell the software not to consider rolling-shutter.  I never fully trust “Auto”, not in any application or context…


Blockbuster Movies Without Visual Effects

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Before VFX: Blockbuster movies without visual effects.  The site at the following link has a collection of of behind-the-scenes photos prior to visual effects, hence revealing green screen etc. shots, actors festooned with CGI motion-tracking rigs etc.

Discovered via NoFilmSchool, which I subscribe to and heartily recommend for makers and enthusiasts of movies and videos etc.

It even has some shots from John Carter, in which I was a film Extra, though sadly none of “my” scenes.   I wish I could re-cut it, not only for my bits 🙂  but also to allow its climate catastrophe message to be more dramatically expressed, some of the “cutting-floor” scenes were truly emotional.  Regardless,  “all the world’s a stage” 🙁