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Disney will use Nokia’s Ozo camera for 360 video content.
Posted by Maciej
May 6, 2016, at 9:03 AM

Since the announcment of Ozo, the 360 degree camera from Nokia, the company has been promising to set it up as a truly professional solution for creating 360 content. A few days ago Nokia is announced a partnership with Disney that should help deliver on that promise. As part of the deal, Ozo cameras will be put into the hands of Disney filmmakers and its marketing teams to create 360-degree, virtual reality content across all of the studio’s various brands.

Content is slowly starting to become available, with Disney using the Ozo for two recent pieces as part of the promotional campaign for The Jungle Book. One brought viewers into a 360-degree roundtable interview with director Jon Favreau, the film’s cast, and moderator Chris Hardwick, while another planted them on the red carpet of the film’s Los Angeles premiere. While those kind of straightforward uses serve as decent proofs-of-concept, Nokia Technologies president Ramzi Haidamus stresses that they’re just the beginning, with the deal also covering the other studios that Disney owns like Marvel and Lucasfilm. That means the Ozo could potentially end up being used for 360-degree VR content for Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar properties.
Although Nokia is not sharing much about Disney’s future content plans, it is known that Ozo is currently being used to shoot behind-the-scenes footage for an upcoming Disney production — stepping onto the set of Avengers: Infinity or Star Wars: Episode VIII does indeed sound appealing.

360-degree video has been taking off in recent months, with YouTube and Facebook both increasingly focused on the format. The topic was of particular interest at this year’s NAB trade show, with a lot of products being presented that are designed for 360 video shooting. That’s where Nokia announced new 360-degree live-stream capabilities for the Ozo, as well as a new partnership with audio company Steinberg that will improve the Ozo’s potential both in post-production and in-live applications.

The Ozo is just one of many different VR camera options that have been announced, but Nokia seems to be setting itself as a company that’s uniquely suited to tackle the challenges of the emerging market by treating VR as the core of the business. Ozo is being positioned Ozo as the only camera today that is purpose-built for VR at a professional level.
It will be very exciting to see If the VR/360 video content will end up being interesting enough to push the sales of VR hardware, which in turn could pave the way for high budget, fully immersive cinematic experiences.

Source: The Verge

Leica's new LCD-less digital camera will take you back in time.
Posted by Maciej
May 5, 2016, at 11:13 AM

We all have gotten used to digital photography and looking at a digital panel when taking a photo. But maybe there is something lost in the moment of taking the photo, as we focus on what it will look like rather than the choosing the perfect moment to take it.

The German manufacturer Leica seems to think so, and is putting out a new camera dubbed the Leica M-D Typ 262, lacking the LCD screen. Leica claims it will take users to a simpler time before digital photography and focus entirely on taking a photo in the moment. In the place of a rear LCD you'll find an old-school ISO dial and of course without a screen, it also means this digital rangefinder features analog controls for every setting from shutter speed to drive modes.

Leica argument goes back to the ongoing legacy of analog Leica M rangefinders, and will help photographers focus on capturing the moment at hand. No worries about taking shots in the dark as as the digital rangefinder comes with a built-in light meter that will help tell you if you have the right exposure settings.
Nowadays we seem to be in the habit of checking every photo we take immediately after taking it, but it can sometimes waste more time than it is actually worth it. Perhaps not every single selfie needs to be perfect, and your family may want to have a good time on their holiday rather than pose for five minutes every time you want to get ‘the perfect photo’
Leica's sensors are famous for capturing great quality and detail, and the Typ 262 should have no problems doing the same thanks to its 24 megapixel sensor. The onboard Maestro image processor saves RAW images as DNG and you will be able to flexibly post-process any shots you didn't nail perfectly.

This camera isn't designed to take video, which should notcome as a surprise considering it doesn't have a screen. The Typ 262 also isn't Leica's first screen less camera, previously the company released a limited edition run of the Leica M-Edition 60.

The Leica M-D (Typ 262) is priced at $5,995  in a bundle that includes a carrying strap in full-grain cowhide leather, and it will be available in the first week of May.

Source: Techradar

mRevealer - 50 Multifunctional Revealers Built Exclusively for FCPX
Posted by Szymon Masiak
April 28, 2016, at 11:07 AM

Every editor knows the difficulty of working under the pressure of time. Sometimes we just have little time to polish every aspect of our project, leave alone creating custom openers, logo and typography animations and footage transitions. We have to use third-party plugins and outside sources to make our edit interesting and engaging, but those are often complicated, slow to render and expensive.

At MotionVFX we understand all those things better than anyone else, because we are editors ourselves and we've been creating VFX plugins for years. We put all our experience into creating mRevealer as well. This plugin is an awesome life-saver when it comes to creating and animating revealing animations of all sorts. Whenever a quick bump with typography, logo or video is needed, mRevealer comes in handy with a stylish and modern collection of 50 diversified ready-made animations.

Created to be absolutely universal, mRevealer lets you make a stunning spot with your text, logo or any footage by just drag and drop action - all within seconds. We also made its design very modern and minimalistic to keep all the attention on what is the most important element - your text, logo or video. Creating entertaining interludes, openers, transitions or inset footage views has never been easier than now. Get a copy of mRevealer and make your work faster and more efficient!

Learn More: mRevealer

The World’s First Thunderbolt 3 External RAID Storage - AKiTiO’s Thunder3 Duo Pro.
Posted by Maciej
April 25, 2016, at 1:51 PM

As today’s requirements for faster and more reliable solutions grows, AKiTiO comes to the rescue with Thunder3 Duo Pro, the first hardware RAID and display dock solution with a Thunderbolt 3 port. The Thunder3 Duo Pro offers fast transfer speeds with the added flexibility of a DisplayPort video output in a form factor small enough to fit multiple desktop and mobile workflows and applications.

With two Thunderbolt 3 ports available, the Thunder3 Duo Pro can deliver transfer speeds up to 770 MB/s while simultaneously providing two 4K video streams to connected displays.  To put things into perspective, the latest Thunderbolt 3 technology provides roughly 8x faster speeds than USB 3.1 Gen 1 and it’s 4x faster than USB 3.1 Gen 2.
The Thunder3 Duo Pro comes in as a 2-bay RAID enclosure supporting four RAID modes, including RAID 0 striping, RAID 1 mirroring, SPAN, and Non-RAID. The unit features two Thunderbolt 3 Ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-B) port, and a DisplayPort video output that supports the latest 4K 60HZ displays. The second Thunderbolt 3 port on the Thunder3 Duo Pro operates the same as a Thunderbolt 3 computer port by supporting Thunderbolt 3 (up to 5 daisy chained), USB 3.1 (10Gb/s), and DisplayPort devices.

The Thunder3 Duo Pro can also accommodate 2.5” SSD/HDD and 3.5”HDDs up to 16TB as the drives can be easily installed or uninstalled. Additionally, Thunder3 Duo Pro can run fanless when needed, making it the perfect choice for professional audio recording when SSDs are installed on board. The best part is that Thunder3 Duo Pro gives creative professionals the ability to edit and playback multiple streams of HD and/or 4K content with enough headroom to daisy chain multiple 4K displays simultaneously.
The Thunder2 Duo Pro retail price starts at $389 for the enclosure only. The AKiTiO’s RAID enclosure can be already purchased at the global authorized resellers. You can also take a look at the other AKiTiO’s Thunderbolt 3 storage solutions by visiting the AKiTiO’s official website.

Source: 4KShooters

 

Introducing Skywand VR - Planning Aerial Shots in VR Made Possible.
Posted by Maciej
April 24, 2016, at 2:33 PM

Skywand VR is a new software tool utilizing virtual reality to bring pre-vis (and pre-planning) capabilities to aerial cinematography.
There is a lot of buzz at this year’s NAB, on how virtual reality can potentially be a major tool for directors and DP's in pre-production, essentially allowing them to step into the locations they will film before actually getting there. Skywand VR's new system allows you to manually walk through your location (in the sky) to set keyframes for a drone to follow. Essentially you plot these points using GPS on maps taken from Google Earth, but what's really special is that you can also give the camera commands to zoom, focus, tilt, pitch, roll, etc., within those keyframes.

Currently the product is only compatible with DJI drones (including the new M600), but it is more than likely that once it passes through beta testing next month, more drone manufacturers will be looking to partner.
Skywand is an advanced motion control system for aerial cinematography that combines ease of use, repeatability, and precision. Harnessing cutting edge technologies in virtual/augment reality (VR/AR), animation, and drone flight, Skywand allows users to create precise aerial filming plans by intuitively placing key frames in the 3D virtual world that meet all cinematographic needs, and the drone follows the path precisely in the actual world and captures epic, smooth and high precision aerial shots. Filming, not flying. Skywand removes technical barriers to achieving expert drone cinematography by automating the flight process, giving imaginative filmmakers a powerful partner in the sky.

The makers of Skywand boast that the technology behind Skywand is the most advanced robotics control algorithm and state-of-the-art virtual reality interface. The sophisticated algorithm guarantees that the drone captures epic, smooth, repetable and high precision aerial shots every time. The company claims their virtual reality interface is the most intuitive way for filmmaker to transport their framing idea into the real production. The interface and robotics technology of Skywand is currently patent pending.

Skywand is just one of the examples of VR potential in cinematography. What are your thoughts on using VR in filming? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Sources: NOfilmschool and Skywand.com