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A few useful tips on how to light a film beautifully without a big budget!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 19, 2014, at 2:34 AM

If you plan to shoot a film, you need to think about lighting and Noam Kroll of Premiumbeat published an article on how to light your film without a big budget. He writes that if you want to achieve beautiful results, you don't need just the right lights, but you need to learn how to shape and craft light. And he is perfectly right, because the same goes with shooting video - the hardware can help, but if you don't have the knowledge and talent, your videos won't look amazing. And so Noam reminds that lighting for a cinematic image involves many variables, but what matters the most is to achieve lighting that will speak to your audience. This is why you need to think how you can achieve your goal and what you want to tell with the scene - sometimes all you might need is a single light to illuminate your character, in a different situation you might want to use a three point lighting kit. But in general you need to remember that you don’t always need lots of lights to capture the mood of your scene and for every light that you add you will likely need a modifier or fill light to counteract spill/shadows from it. 

Noam also suggests to use natural light:

"Utilizing natural or available light on cinematic productions is a fantastic idea, so long as it suits your story. It will not only allow you to free up space in your budget, but will also allow you move more quickly on set, as you don’t need to reposition lights in between every setup. (...) When possible, try shooting during magic hour or blue hour (an hour before sunset and an hour after sunset), as the quality of light at this time of day is naturally gorgeous and will allow you to use a minimal amount of reflectors/bounces, and still capture a soft quality of light on your talent."

Another nice tips is to use a China Ball to achieve soft light. 

"China balls create an omni pattern of light, which works to provide soft light in all different directions. I really love these lights because of how versatile they are and how many different ways they can be used. For instance, they can be used as a key light source for your main talent, or alternatively you can use multiple balls to light an entire room if you wish."

For more head over to the full article - you'll find it here.


You can turn your iPhone into a 4K motion video camera... it will cost you $999!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 19, 2014, at 1:57 AM

Did you know that you can shoot 4K video with your iPhone? And you don't need to grab the iPhone 6 - the iPhone 5S is just fine. You'll need to install the app called Vizzywig 4K and according to reliable sources such as TUAW it works and is not a scam, but the price is totally out of this world, because you need to pay $999.99 for it (sic!). This is absolutely crazy, especially that for a few hundred bucks more you can get a more capable camera allowing you to shoot 4K videos, such as the Panasonic GH4. This is why we show you this app only to prove that shooting 4K on the iPhone is possible, but we're also 100% sure that when Apple officially introduces 4K video recording, the results will be much better. This is because the app captures full 4K resolution photos at the rate of 24 photos per second along with synched audio and then all this data is used to generate a 4K video. This walkaround is pretty clever, but for sure getting it is not worth it at this price. Let's just hope that someone will come up with a similar solution, besides we wouldn't be surprised if Apple added 4K video recording with a system update (or we'll just have to wait for the iPhone 6S).

If you want to view this app on iTunes, click here.


RØDE Stereo VideoMic X - small, on-camera microphone for finest audio!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 19, 2014, at 12:52 AM

RØDE Microphones introduced recently a new product - the Stereo VideoMic X. The mic features an acoustically matched pair of 1/2" externally polarised, true condenser capsules. Their goal is to provide studio-quality, immersive stereo sound and the mic is packed with interesting technology that was designed to minimise noise. The mic can be powered by battery or an adapter and it provides balanced output via the XLR standard (mini jack also available). According to the company, this new model is using components shared with RØDE's studio recording microphones, and for the very first time on any RØDE microphone the Stereo VideoMic X features integrated digital switching, allowing you to easily select any of the numerous in-built filters and settings. Below are two videos published by RØDE - check them out to see an overview of this new product.



And here are the specs:

  • Variable Level: -10, 0, +20dB
  • Output Impedence: 200Ω
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 82 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
  • Equivalent Noise: 12 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
  • Maximum SPL: 143dB SPL
  • Dynamic Range: 131 dB SPL
  • Sensitivity: -32 dB re 1V/Pa (25mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 2dB @ 1kHz
  • 10 year warranty - with online registration

The microphone is not available yet - it will launch in November and according to sources should be available for $799.


News from RED: 7" 1080p touchscreen, interchangeable OLPFs, and more!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
September 18, 2014, at 12:02 PM

In the vast variety of IBC ’14 camera and gear news there’s also something from RED. The news regarding RED cameras were somewhat scarce lately. A roundup of what the company has in store for us has been written by Joe Marine from

The first of them is 7’’ 1080p touchscreen monitor ($2950). Info via

The lightweight display mounts to the DSMC BRAIN® or other tactical component using standard 1/4-20 mounting points. Featuring a near 360° rotation and lay-flat hinge design, as well as a 180° image rotation option, the RED Touch 7.0” LCD is the most ergonomic display available for yourEPIC and SCARLET DSMC.

Another change would be interchangeable OLPFs for Dragon cameras. That’s a bitter sweet news, as in truth neither of the available OLPFs is universal – one has problems strong light sources, the other produces noisy shadows, Joe writes. He also mentions the OLPFs that are planned for future release, including: Underwater, IR Monochrome or IR Color. While these open some new possibilities, not all camera users would like to dig into the hardware, putting the optics' cleanness at risk.

The next item on the list is the information about  Dragon Sensor upgrades – the good news is that they’ve started, the bad is that the price has increased by $3000 from the original $9500.

In his article Joe also covers the following subjects:

  • Tethered Recording
  • OFFHOLLYWOOD Hotlink, Hotbox R/S WiFi, HotTap, & foolcontrol iOS App
  • NextVR Virtual Reality Camera System with RED DRAGONs

So head over to the article at for more information, photos and videos.


Filters for Video series - popular filter types, sizes and why you should use them!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 18, 2014, at 1:07 AM

Video filters are a great thing and they allow you to easily modify the video you record on your camera - without the need to use any software. Sure, you can apply a filter effect in post, but with a good video filter you can get better results and you can also preview the effect on your internal or external display. Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter posted a video which is his first installment of filtration series. Caleb will take a look at filters for video and the gear needed to use them properly. As you know many matte boxes allow you to mount filters, there are also filter holders and rod systems for filters on the market and all this gear will be present in Caleb's future videos. But for obvious reasons the author kicks off with the basics and you'll find the list of topics covered in the first video below.


Here is what is covered in the video:

  • Why use filters?
  • Rectangle filters vs Fader ND and round filters
  • Filter sizes
  • Popular filter types and uses
  • Pro vs cheap filters



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