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Final Cut Pro X epicenter at NAB '15!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
April 22, 2015, at 8:47 AM

Just as gear and software manufacturers had their booths at NAB, Final Cut Pro had its place as well. Owing to FCPWORKS, visitors to Las Vegas had the opportunity to participate in a series of presentations over three days. There has been a large variety of topics – all of them highlighting the features and functionality of FCPX. As info in their website reads:

FCPWORKS was proud to offer a special NAB Final Cut Pro X Presentation Suite. This served as the epicenter of Final Cut Pro X at NAB 2015. We presented the latest products, workflows, opinions, and opinion makers in a series of curated presentations.

There’s some good news for all those who didn’t have the opportunity to be there – FCPWORKS made seventeen presentations available in their YouTube channel. In the first of them - Presentation Suite Keynote – Chris Fenwick and Sam Mestman outline the presentations:

Among the videos made available you’ll find:

Mark Spencer withincredible tips for creating effects, generators, transitions and filters using Motion in conjunction with FCPX. With a special look at new 3D titles and effects” – new features that have been implemented in the latest FCPX/Motion update; Mike Matzdorff presenting the workflow of Focus – a large Hollywood production edited with Final Cut Pro X; or Isaac Wayton, TED editor, discussing the entire process after their switch to FCPX.

Each of the uploaded videos is approximately 30 to 60 minutes long, so book some time, choose the topic of your interest and enjoy some first-hand knowledge and experience.

Source: http://www.fcpworks.com

NAB 2015: new cameras from Blackmagic Design
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
April 20, 2015, at 8:35 AM

On the occasion of NAB ’15 Blackmagic Design broadens their camera offer. The newly announced cams are:

  • 4.6K URSA
  • URSA Mini
  • Micro Studio Camera 4K
  • Micro Cinema Camera

Let’s start with the 4.6K URSA model. As a matter of fact the announcement is for the newly developed sensor, rather than the camera (info from BMD press release):

The new Super 35 image sensor features high resolution of 4608 x 2592 at 120 frames per second and an extremely wide 15 stops of dynamic range for images that rival those shot on traditional 35mm film.

a sensor which, however, will only be found in the URSAs for now, both PL and the EF mount versions, which will cost $6,995 and $7,495 respectively, and with the upgrade possibility for previous URSA owners for $1,995 and $2,495 respectively. Additional information on 'New High Performance 4.6K Digital Film Sensor' can be found in the official press release here.

Second comes the URSA Mini. The Mini version uses the same sensor and in general, as the name suggests, it’s a much smaller and lighter version of URSA, more suitable for a single operator. The Mini’s price will range from $2,995 (4K EF mount) to $5,495 (4,6K PL mount). For a closer presentation please refer to the official product webpage here and the interview by newsshooter.com:

Last but not least – the twin cameras from Micro series – Micro Studio Camera 4K ($1,295) and Micro Cinema Camera ($995). Both surprisingly small, with MFT lens mount, no back screen, generally designed for remote recording – be it a studio or a drone’s board. It may be a far fetched comparison, but the MCC could serve as a ILC GoPro. Again, For more details please refer to the official product webpage here for Micro Studio Camera and here for Micro Cinema Camera as well as the interview by newsshooter.com:

Source: http://www.newsshooter.comhttps://www.blackmagicdesign.com

NAB 2015: First experiences with Canon C300 Mk II
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
April 20, 2015, at 8:32 AM

Canon’s C300 Mk II has been only announced a few days back, and NAB ’15 is practically the first occasion for a wider public to check out how the new model changed. Owing to great NAB coverage by newsshooter’s Dan Chung you may have a chance to participate in checking out the new C300, as he interviews Canon’s representative.

First of all, we learn that the C300 is much ‘beefier’ – bulkier body with redesigned handle assembly and fans, solving the issues of wobbly handle and increased heat production (natural result of 4K capability).

Another interesting discussion point is the lack of MPEG 2 in C300 Mk II – we learn that for now it’s not planned as an addition, however Dan compares the situation to ARRI’s move, who also didn’t intend to use MPEG 2, and 6 months later it appeared with a firmware update.

Here’s Dan’s interview:

And a small addition by newsshooter’s guest Simon Glass – a short presentation of Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus in C300 Mk II along with face detection software:

Source: http://www.newsshooter.com

Practical effects vs CGI - special effects you won't believe weren't CGI!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
April 16, 2015, at 1:31 AM

In the video below Special Effects Character Creator Tom Woodruff Jr. and Special Effects Makeup Character Creator Alec Gillis discuss practical effects and they explain why sometimes such effects might look much better than CGI. They explore this topic by discovering secrets of practical special effects used in such films as "Starship Troopers", "Alien 3" and many more. Actually they both had the opportunity to work on the "Aliens" series which is full of practical effects and to make things even better, in 1988 they founded a company called Amalgamated Dynamics that is specialized in animatronics and prosthetic make-up. The company ran a successful Kickstarter campaign (more than 3,000 backers pledged $384,181 to help bring this project to life) to fund their independent horror film titled Harbinger Down that will feature exclusively practical creature effects. 
 

 

And here's the trailer for Harbinger Down - amazing if you consider the budget they were working with!
 

 

"Alec Gillis's HARBINGER DOWN, starring Lance Henriksen, is the all Practical Effects (PFX) creature film the fans have asked for. Funded through Kickstarter and Dark Dunes Productions, Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. of StudioADI present an alternative to big studio CGI-driven genre films. Please help us spread the word. Let the revolution begin.

(...)

For those of you just hearing about HARBINGER DOWN...we are a fan-funded film paying homage to the two great films of the Golden Era of sci-fi/horror: THE THING and ALIEN. We make no bones about our love for those films and our respect for the sub-genre they created. And like them, we will use ONLY PRACTICAL CREATURES. Digital will be used only as a support technique. Hope you'll hop on board as so many others have!"

Source: https://www.youtube.com

DaVinci Resolve 12 announced - multi-cam editing, new interface and much more!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
April 15, 2015, at 2:53 AM

Each year NAB is a great source of news and announcements and this year is no exception. DaVinci Resolve users should be happy to hear that Blackmagic Design revealed DaVinci Resolve 12 during their press conference and as expected it will be a major upgrade with over 80 new features for professional editing and color grading. What should we expect? A new modern interface, multi-cam editing, powerful new media management tools, an entirely new professional audio engine with support for VST/AU plug-ins, shot matching, 3D keyer, new 3D perspective tracker, enhanced curve editing and much more. In general it seems that you will be able to edit your videos in DaVinci from A to Z as the tool got even more powerful. If you are at NAB, you can see DaVinci Resolve 12 in action on the Blackmagic Design booth at #SL219.



"DaVinci Resolve 12 features a new, modern interface with a lighter overall color scheme and new fonts that help reduce eye strain and make it easier to work for long sessions. The new interface is scalable and has been designed to look great on high DPI monitors, such as retina displays. New top down navigation speeds up layout selections and also gives users more flexibility to customize their workspace. The new multi-camera editing feature of DaVinci Resolve 12 lets editors cut programs from multiple sources in real time. DaVinci Resolve 12 can synchronize camera angles based on timecode, audio waveforms, or in/out points. The source monitor displays a grid containing the camera angles and plays them all back in sync while the editor makes cuts to the audio and/or video.

In addition to multi-camera editing, DaVinci Resolve 12 also features several enhancements to the core editing tools. All trim modes, multi-slip, slide, ripple and roll have been extended and editors can now select multiple points for dynamic trimming and asymmetric trimming of clips, even if they’re on the same track. Timelines can be nested, edited together and expanded or collapsed in place to greatly simplify editing of large multi scene projects. New transition curves let editors create and edit custom curves for transition parameters and new on-screen controls let editors see and adjust motion paths directly in the timeline viewer."

The software also includes a new audio engine that offers higher sampling rates and better playback performance, also media management has been redesigned to accommodate editorial workflows. But the core grading and color correction tools have also been improved and the software now even supports remote rendering. 

The update to DaVinci Resolve 12 will be available in July for download from the Blackmagic Design website free of charge for all current DaVinci Resolve customers.

Source: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com

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