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V-LOG L firmware update for GH4 will increase dynamic range by 2 stops!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
September 3, 2015, at 10:15 AM

This should be a merry news for GH4 users: Panasonic has announced that the V-Log L Function Firmware Update Kit is now available. We should highlight the should part of it, as the firmware update is not free – you’ll have to pay $99 for it. Still, sounds like a good deal, if you really need it.

What the FW update brings is:

  • Adds V-Log L Gamma Profile to GH4
  • Wide Dynamic Range of up to 12 Stops
  • Improved Color Matching with Varicam
  • Similar Characteristics to Cineon
  • Same LUT and Curve as Standard V-Log

At Panasonic.com we read:

In response to the demand from the film production market, log video recording (V-Log L) is now available for the LUMIX GH4, and offers exceptional flexibility as well as wider dynamic range for color grading in post-production process. V-Log / V-Log L were developed to feature similar characteristics to Cineon, which is a characteristic curve for film digitalization. Taking full advantage of Four Thirds sensor, V-Log L boasts a log characteristic with 12 stops. Both V-Log and V-Log L have the same characteristic curve, and LUT (Look Up Table) can be utilized.

What you’ll also find there is an instruction, which explains that what you purchase is not a immediate, downloadable content, but rather a key code, that you later on type in. The process is quite simple – after downloading the 2.3 firmware the usual way, you’ll need to juggle an SD card between the camera and your computer a bit, and it’s done. Keep in mind that the key is locked to GH4’s serial number – once activated on one camera, it can’t be moved to another. Full install instruction can be found here.

Source: http://shop.panasonic.com

Apple looking into original programming?
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
September 3, 2015, at 9:32 AM

The latest rumors on Apple’s plans suggest that the company is considering becoming a full scale media company. Andrew Wallenstein’s article at variety.com suggests that Apple may already be making efforts to move into original programming, and explores several rumor paths as to what this content could actually be:

The scale of Apple’s ambitions vary depending on whom is asked, but one high-level executive who talked with the company said the goal is to create development and production divisions that would churn out long-form content to stream in a bid to compete with Netflix. Apple is hoping to put a headhunting firm on those hires in the coming months, according to source, with the goal of being in operation next year. Unknown is whether the focus is on TV series, movies — or both.

Andrew believes that getting into original programming would be a strategic move, that would improve Apple’s position against other tech giants like Google, Amazor or Facebook, whereas the cost of such an investment would not be significant against the amount of resources Tim Cook has at his disposal.

The article’s author suggests it may be possible that Apple TV may become the key device here:

That device, which is expected after years of languishing to get a significant upgrade at a press event Apple is hosting next week, could be central to the company’s content plans.(…) it’s possible the company is willing to take on filling the content pipeline itself to at least supplement the service. But it’s highly doubtful the programming piece would be in place by next week, let alone any time this year.

We also should keep in mind, the author reminds, that Apple has already made some first steps by launching the Apple Music service and the Beats 1 radio. Given the brand and capital Apple possesses, it won't be a problem to hire top executive staff and add some famous names to it, that would make the new service really competitive.

For full article at variety.com please follow this link.

Source: http://variety.com

Atomos presents the Assassin. Perfect for small 4K capable cameras?
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
September 2, 2015, at 2:11 PM

Atomos has just presented their new external monitor/recorder that might prove a very interesting solutions for small, yet 4K capable DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. It’s called Ninja Assassin and among the most important differences between Assassin larger external recorders we’ll find the lack SDI and XLR ports, making it just the right product for users of GH4, a7s and other similar cameras. There’s one more thing – it costs considerably less than Shogun.

The advantages and new features of Assassin are presented in the below promo video:

Key specs include (via atomos.com):

  • 7.1” with 1920x1200 resolution touch screen
  • Records up to 10 bit 4:2:2 4K-UHD 3840x216 to ProRes and DNxHR
  • Bypasses 30 min recording length barrier
  • Pre-Roll cache recording, up to 8 seconds of HD or 2-3 seconds of 4K-UHD
  • Lightweight - 430g weight
  • LUT support -  3D/1D LUT (on screen, on output, in recording, split screen view)
  • Monitoring tools including Focus Peaking Zebra and Waveform/Vector Scopes

Full specs sheet is available here. Atomos Assassin is available now for $1295.

Source: http://www.atomos.com

Logic Pro X in Hyper Light Drifter - a tutorial in designing game sounds
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
September 2, 2015, at 11:09 AM

Here we’d like to bring up a detailed Logic Pro X tutorial, however, let’s start with some background story. The tutorial covers creating sounds to an indie game called ‘Hyper Light Drifter’ that was recently funded on Kickstarted. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t be discouraged, but please note that the game’s campaign goal of $27,000 was vastly stretched and raised a total of $645,158.

This general description taken from the campaign’s page is as follows:

Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D Action RPG in the vein of the best 8-bit and 16-bit classics, with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale.

This short introduction should be helpful in understanding the work done in the below LPX tutorial – designing sound effects for particular game events entirely from scratch. The tutorial has been recorded by Akash Thakkar, the sound designer for Hyper Light Drifter. The main point of the video is to show how much of a trial and error this work can be; how sounds evolve from basic to complex, and how many completely different versions can arise from a basic concept by modifyind and adding new layers.

What is more, Akash explains that in designing game sounds you cannot be sure whether you’ve nailed the right one – you need to send your work to the development team to see how it works in the game, and when it doesn’t, you end up creating another and another modified (sometimes entirely) version. The video focuses on only a few sounds, showing how much work is put into each of them:

You may want to check out previous videos on developing sound for the game: part one and part two. For really detailed info on the game itself, please head over to the campaign page here.

Source: http://www.heart-machine.com

Few reasons why you should avoid film school and shoot a movie instead!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 2, 2015, at 2:45 AM

If you want to become a filmmaker, you probably wonder if you should go to film school. There's no doubt that you will learn many useful things, such as proper terminology, theoretical knowledge, useful techniques, and so on. But on the other hand let's face it - you don't need to go to film school to learn all these things and many successfull filmmakers learned everything they know when they were working on a film set. Caleb Ward of Premiumbeat wrote a blog post in which he explains why he regrets film school - and his main thought is plain and simple - you’re going to be learning over the course of your entire career anyway, so going to film school can be a waste of time. And money.



First of all he believes - and it's hard to disagree - that film school can be crazy expensive. For example going to USC will cost you $42,000 a year.

"Think of what you could shoot for $168,000 or the equipment you could buy. With that kind of money you could start a production company, build an amazing editing station, hire actors, and invest enough money to have $2,000,000 in retirement by age 65."

But there's also technology and in general film school is unable to keep up with the times - you will be working on older cameras and this can be a big problem. For example Caleb had a class where he had to shoot on DV tapes.



He also thinks that reality is harsh if compared to film school - you pay to go there, so film school tries to say nice things about everyone’s work. And it also sets false expectations. 

"One of the most helpful parts of film school is the fact that you will be surrounding yourself with like-minded peers… but this is also one of the most detrimental aspects of formal film education. Students, in general, have never even been on a professional film set, let alone worked in the film industry. So their preconceived notions of what the industry “is like” are often skewed by speculation and uncertainty.

In an ideal world, the professors would shed light on this complex and difficult-to-navigate industry, but there lies the problem. Professors are often just as disconnected from the industry as the students they are teaching. With the exception of the occasional standout professor, you’ll likely end up being lectured by someone who hasn’t been in the industry in years, if at all."

This is why Caleb suggests that you should go out and make a film - you'll learn everything along the way.

You can read the full version of the article here.

Source: http://www.premiumbeat.com

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