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Kickstarter news: wireless GoPro charging!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
December 19, 2014, at 3:44 PM

It doesn’t happen all that often that you’re able to say a particular Kickstarter campaign is almost 100% going to be successful, before it hits the goal. It appears that this little innovation will do just that. At the moment of writing this MOTA wireless charger for GoPro has got over $10 000 out of $15 000 goal, and plenty of time to go.

The name is self-explanatory – the MOTA charger has been designed and optimized for GoPro 3 and 4 and the set allows you to charge these cameras wirelessly without the need to swap the batteries – the camera can remain in its housing. Without further ado – the video posted in the product’s Kickstarter campaign page explains it all:

More info from the campaign page:

The patent-pending wireless receiver is the technology that makes the MOTA Wireless Charger compatible with Hero 3 and Hero 4 batteries. The receiver is engineered to enable wireless charging for your existing batteries. Before placing your camera in its casing, replace the GoPro’s USB port cover with the MOTA wireless receiver and align the bottom flap along the device’s base. After doing so, enclose your GoPro in its casing and simply insert it into the MOTA charging station.

If (of when, should we say) the campaign is successful, the product should be available at the turn of first and second quarter of 2015. Find out more about the product, and support if you wish, at the official Kickstarter campaign page here.

Source: https://www.kickstarter.com

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K used to shoot Hilary Duff’s music video!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
December 12, 2014, at 12:05 AM

The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K offers great specs for an affordable price, but to be fair it is indeed a very capable camera. This is why it is being used in many professional projects around the world and here's a new example - the Production Camera 4K and the Cinema Camera were used to shoot Hilary Duff’s “All About You” music video. You can watch it below and it should give you an idea on what to expect from this hardware and what can be done in the process of editing, grading, etc., especially with 4K footage - the results can be superb. The video was shot by Nightjar, a company led by Felix and Julian Mack who also shared some insights on making of this material and they revealed that they had only seven days to bring the video from concept to completion and to shoot, edit, animate and post produce it.
 

 

“We wanted the video to be about the audience and Hilary. We are minimalists, and we approached this project in that style. We wanted it to feel intimate, small and personal,” explained Julian. “We shot from two angles at once with the Production Camera 4K as the A cam and the Cinema Camera as the B cam".

“We had no sets or backgrounds, so it was all in the lighting. The cameras’ dynamic range, detail and color reproduction had to be as good as possible,” he continued. “Whether it was hair in front of a green screen or strong gradients on a face, we just needed to capture as much detail as possible, and the cameras keyed well and delivered.”

They didn't want to make any camera moves or framing in advance and their idea was to shoot the entire duration of the song from two angles. The video was shot in ProRes and 4K gave them additional possibilities - they were able to reframe the footage and create extra movement and effects by cropping the 4K in post and this is also a big advantage of 4K (if your target is FHD).

Source: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com

Sony FS7, Alpha7S, Canon C300: color science comparison
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
December 5, 2014, at 3:45 PM

When choosing  a set of camera that will be the subject of (any kind of) comparison you would expect that the choice will be based on a key like similar price range, low light capabilities, camera type or purpose, or any other. Therefore at first, some comparisons, like the one presented below, may seem odd. Christian Balducci from keyframe.tv has put a great effort to compare color science of Sony FS7, Sony a7s, and Canon C300. Why these? Both Sony cameras are relatively fresh, and already received a ton of praise, meanwhile the C300, despite being a much older camera, is still very popular and ‘its color science has set new standards in the indie cinema and broadcast business’ as the author states. Christian's analysis is very thorough and has been divided into three parts, and for this reason we’ll only be bringing out the highlights.

Let’s start off with the summary of each of the cameras’ recording settings:

Christian describes the procedure:

For each camera we decided to shoot at normal exposure (as measured by Sekonic L-778 Dual Spot Exposure Meter) then 3 stops over and 3 stops under the spot meter reading.
We decided to design this procedure despite all the findings and white papers about Slog3 and Slog 2 handling, just as if we were some unaware users or orthodox d.o.ps. that follow the conservative method (setting the ISO, Fps and shutter in the spot meter then reading the values). Here you can see the same setup with exposure readings set at 2000 ISO (for matching Sony FS7 native sensitivity).

First to come is the original footage from each of the cams:

Further on, in part two, Christian draws our attention to gamma curves elaboration made by Sekonic Data Transfer software, and continues to analyze the footage above.

After grading the footage in Resolve 11, he has got the following results:

In the third, final, part, you’ll find the analysis and conclusions, which are again so detailed it’s hard to even summarize them. But as far as comparisons go, they usually have a winner, which is not hard to predict in this case – it's the FS7:

SONY FS7 seems to be a very solid camera, able to deliver in a wide variety of situations. Its codec is highly efficient and a native 2000 ISO sensor and ND filters can be very helpful in many shooting environments, allowing the videomaker/cinematographer to have more than one option when dealing with shutter/aperture/lens choices.
Canon C300, despite being almost 3 year old now was a worthy competitor and its image is still a real standard setter in the business. Because of its codec and lack of a real log recording, we can state C300 kinda underperformed overall compared to Sony FS7.

Regarding the a7s Christian writes that, though it’s on an entirely different level, is capable of producing great footage if handled properly, and may work as an excellent b-roll camera.

Here are the links to each of the parts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Source: http://www.keyframe.tv

mLUT by MotionVFX available now!
Posted by Szymon Masiak
November 26, 2014, at 3:17 PM

Look-up tables are widely used by professionals in biggest cinematic productions. These matrixes of data provide a way to grade your footage in a very precise way without loosing the fluency of the workflow at the same time. We created this set of 30 LUTs inspired by the most famous movies to take your grading to a higher level - it's called mLUT.

By using our mLUT you can now give a truly cinematic colorization to your shots and make them look just as awesome as the grandest motion pictures. We picked the films that were known for their perfect grading and created a product that will let you put some life in your flat shots within a few clicks. Our mLUTs are very flexible and universal, they will work in any software supporting look-up tables. You can use them with footage from any camera, the gradings will still look amazing and you can customize and adjust them with ease. If you always wanted something more in grading of your footage, mLUT is the answer. For just 49$ you can create a professional look for every shot you take.

Check out what you can do with mLUT watching the following tutorial:
 

 

Source: http://www.motionvfx.com/mplugs-68.html

Dramatic documentary series "Chicagoland" shot on a Canon EOS C300!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
November 20, 2014, at 3:26 AM

Even though 4K is a hot topic right now in the industry, many filmmakers still prefer to shoot in Full HD and this shouldn't be surprising because most projects don't require such high resolutions and also the workflow is a bit simpler, so you can work faster. This is also probably why Mark Benjamin relied on EOS C300 cameras while shooting a challenging dramatic documentary series called "Chicagoland". It is an eight-part unscripted CNN series examining public safety and education and Mark wanted to achieve a cinematic look, but what was also important was to work on hardware offering high mobility and light weight. The documentary series explores how politics and policy meet in the lives of real people to generate change and innovation in social policy, education and public safety on the local level, as well as to meet national and local challenges. Executive producer Mark Benjamin said that they wanted to shoot with the C300 because it gave them a small form factor and user-friendliness, he also revealed that the goal was to go with a "one-man-band" concept of filmmaking.



Mark explained:

"The idea of making minimally invasive, observational documentaries makes it hard to use a crew, which can get in the way. That’s why we work under a framework of ‘no lights, no sticks, no crew.’ The grapefruit size and the curved edges of the Canon EOS C300 camera make it the perfect tool for a one-man-band. We shot more than 300 days – over 1,500 hours – to make eight one-hour episodes. We needed a camera that felt good in our hands for 12-hour shooting days, and the Canon EOS C300 was it."

“You can’t be using a big camera when you’re jumping in and out of police cars at a moment’s notice or running around a high school,” noted first DP Daniel B. Levin. “You also need to be as inconspicuous as possible when you’re at Cook County Jail or filming important politicians at city hall. The Canon EOS C300 camera was able to adapt to any situation. Obviously, when you’re doing cinema vérité people know you’re there, but a camera that enables you to move freely throughout a room without disturbing what’s going on – and ease into a trusting relationship with the people there – is a major asset.”

Source: https://www.shootonline.com

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