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Panasonic GH4 in the field - compared to the Canon EOS C300 and the C100!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 30, 2014, at 2:35 AM

In his guest post for News Shooter, Nicos Argillet shares a few thoughts on the Panasonic GH4, which he also compares to the professional Canon EOS C300 and the C100. Nicos had the opportunity to spend a week with Panasonic's camera and he used it during a shoot of a documentary film that he did for France 5, one of the French national TV channels. He wanted to see how the GH4 performs when doing such jobs and if it can match the C300 and the C100 in the field. His video, that you can watch below, should give you a lot of info on the camera because all shots were only slightly graded in Adobe Premiere CS6 (mainly exposure and saturation), so in general what you see here is what you get.


According to Nicos the GH4 did a great job and the camera was very close to the C300 and C100 and he writes that shooting in 4K and editing on a 1080p timeline gives a pretty close match in terms of resolution and rendering. But of course the GH4 cannot match professional cameras in all areas:

"All shots on the C300 were done between 850 and 1600 ISO. GH4 was set to 200 ISO. To my eyes, the noise of the GH4 at 200 ISO is as visible as 1600 ISO on the C300. The other thing I noticed is that the GH4 can be very noisy on the dark part of the image. When shooting a mountain top with a forest below, if you set the exposure to protect the sky, the forest – although clearly visible – would become really noisy. Even though the GH4 seemed to capture those dark stops, it was capturing it with a lot of noise."


Nicos also notices that all three cameras have their strengths and weaknesses, but the Panasonic GH4 is indeed a good option and can be very capable in the field:

"Looking at the images from the two cameras side by side, and especially the interview parts, I think that the C-series and GH4 intercut very nicely, with minimum post-production. And for me this is the most important. I can’t afford to spend hours trying to match color sciences and skin tones from completely different planets."

To read more, follow this link.


New MacBreak Studio episode - audio enhancements in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 30, 2014, at 1:57 AM

The new MacBreak Studio episode just got published and as always it features our friends and hosts Mark Spencer and Steve Martin. In the new video they will show you how easily now you can make relative and absolute audio adjustments in Final Cut Pro X. Just as in the case of a few of previous videos, the duo is talking about the new features that got introduced with the 10.1.2 Final Cut Pro X update. Now it is much easier to change the audio levels - for example when the background music of your video is a little loud and you want to decrease its volume just a bit because there's a character talking and you don't want the music to conflict with his voice. All you need to do is use a few shortcuts and a few mouse clicks, but check out the video for all the tasty details:



Drone filming at the world's largest football academy... located in China!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 30, 2014, at 12:48 AM

Spontaneous Combustion is a team that specializes in shooting aerial footage and recently they posted a video they did for the world's biggest football academy. What is a bit surprising is that the school is located in Southern China, and as you probably know China is not a football superpower (currently it is ranked #94 in the FIFA Ranking), but on the other hand who knows, maybe thanks to this academy this will change. But let's focus on the video. The team behind this short movie (which was part of the new ‘On Assignment’ series that ITN makes for ITV) shared some behind the scenes info with Dan Chung of News Shooter and apparently the drones carried such cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III and the RED Epic. You can watch the video below:


And here's an excerpt from the blog post:

"Using the DJI S1000 with the Canon 5D mkIII enabled us to get a rich colour scheme even through the haze, and the rock solid gimbal gave us lots of control to sculpt an eye-catching opening shot that slowly revealed the size of the enormous facilities without giving it all away at the start. With its retractable arms and rotors we were also able to transport the S1000 around easily and set-up it up quickly, allowing us to film in multiple locations during the short time-frame available.

We use a full-HD, zero-latency transmitter and a portable 24 inch HD monitor to help our clients see exactly what the camera is shooting while it is in the air.  This helps to make sure that we can get a winning shot with every flight and adjust the framing to exactly suit the client’s needs before starting our pre-planned filming path.  For a news crew this is especially important as it ensures they can get what they need and wrap the shoot on time."

If you want to find out more on the video and the shooting process, head over to the full article.


Sony A7s in action - 120fps slow-mo sample video shot at ISO 12,800!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 29, 2014, at 1:02 AM

Andrew Reid of EOS HD posted a great video sample that was shot in 120fps mode on the Sony A7s between ISO 3200 and 12,800. Once again you can see how the camera performs and what's a really great thing is that Andrew made this shot quite demanding for the Sony A7s because as he reports all light sources were only a candle, an iPhone torch and an old industrial German desk lamp with red filter on the front. As you will see the results are pretty great and the camera did an amazing job - indeed it seems that Matt Allard was perfectly right when he wrote that the camera is the king of low light. Andrew is amazed by this camera and he is not the only one, because many filmmakers think that the A7s is currently one of the best units on the market. 


Andrew also wrote:

"Exposing S-LOG is still tricky, I am leaning more and more towards over exposure with it and applying the correct exposure with my grade. In that sense it is a bit like raw.

Getting clean usable footage at ISO 12,800 - now that is a new thing. There’s not many cameras that can claim great slow-mo with the low light sensitivity of a 12MP full frame sensor. Certainly not accessibly priced ones! If you want a good scare, check out the price of a Phantom Flex!


120fps slow-mo on the A7S is 720p not full 1080p like on the GH4 but it is excellent for portraiture shots and soft glowing looks. Actually detail is pretty good for 720p though there is some moire and aliasing in this mode of course, like the GH4 slow-mo, I’d say it is pretty close to the GH4′s 1080/96fps for detail but with the benefit of a higher maximum frame rate (120fps vs 96fps) and cleaner in low light."

If you want to find out more on the clip and on the camera, make sure to read the full blog post (you can read it here).


SilhouetteFX version 5.2 now available - rotoscoping made much easier!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 29, 2014, at 12:27 AM

Silhouette FX is a popular visual effects software that was designed to make the rotoscoping process much easier. The suite is a package of visual effect tools which includes rotoscoping, paint, morph, effects and keying. In the case of rotoscoping, it is a process that involves cutting a subject out of the background of a video and replacing it with a new one. The company behind Silhouette FX just released a new version (5.2) and according to the creators of the package, all of the new features in version 5.2 are a direct result of customer feedback. Additionally the new version is available for free for all 5.x customers. If you don't own a previous version and want to buy a new license, the price is $1,495. If you want to find out a bit more, check out the promo video below:  


And here are the highlights of the new release (via Silhouette FX):

  • Crop Node
    Image resolutions continue to grow and become more difficult to work with. The new Crop Node allows working within a small region of a larger image using less memory with faster performance.
  • EXR 2.0 Multi-part File Support
    Silhouette now supports EXR 2.0 multi-part files. When a multi-part file is loaded, all of its parts are loaded into the Project window ready for selection and use in the project.
  • Auto Paint Enhancements
    Extending our already powerful Auto Paint tools, you can now play back selected events forward or backward, rebuild paint in stroke order, and duplicate strokes from one stereo view to another.
  • Tweak Software > RV Integration
    Rendered clips can be sent to Tweak Software’s RV playback software (if installed).



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