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Filming in the moonlight - 'Refuge' - high ISO amazing short narrative shot with a7s!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
June 25, 2015, at 12:03 PM

Sony’s a7s has been called the ‘Low Light King’ for a reason – plenty of tests have shown its potential for shooting in the dark. Tests are one thing, the real action is another, and guess what – someone has actually decided to make a short entirely in the dark with this camera. The short’s called ‘Refuge’ and it was shot literally in the dark – with only the moon lighting the place. The film claims the title of ‘the first narrative ever filmed entirely in moonlight’.

Without spoiling too much, let’s first have a look at it:

It’s clearly visible that it was shot at high ISO (51200), but the setting of a out-of-this-world ecosystem explored by scientists allows for the graining to be acceptable, and even adding some flair to the image. It also needs to be mentioned that pulling the focus and framing is no small feat in such an environment – round of applause here for the team.

There’s not much info in the video description at vimeo.com, but looking in the comments section the uploader shares some insight into how the short narrative was actually shot:

We tested all of the picture profiles and seriously considered pp7 for slog, but unfortunately we couldn't reconcile the way it handled noise in the deep shadows unless we graded down about 2 stops, which we couldn't afford to risk committing to. Therefore we landed on pp6, shot wide open at 1/25 with the speedbooster. Lastly, the 4K from the shogun was utilized to give Neat Video every bit of info we could throw it to smooth out the noise.

Source: http://samshapson.com

Behind the scenes of Mad Max Road Fury - DSLRs in big feature production
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
June 23, 2015, at 10:02 PM

The recently released movie ‘Mad Max: Road Fury’ is exceptional for a few of reasons. First of all, reviving a cult franchise is a difficult task, especially that it’s been 25 years since the original movie ‘Road Warrior’ has been released. Another interesting characteristic is quite extensive use of DSLRs in the making of this movie – a topic which the text at redrockmicro blog sheds some light on.

As we read, the DSLRs were used for the action scenes, but since the movie is so action-packed, they did play a significant role there. First of all, why DSLRs? The truth is quite trivial, if not painful – they were simply ‘semi-disposable stunt cameras', as the team was afraid to lose their workhorse cams in the process (and you’ll see in a BTS these were some serious stunts).

In the redrockmicro blog entry, the author takes a look at the BTS and provides some valuable insights onto what & how has been done. We learn that ‘they originally started with Olympus bodies (due to the in-body stabilizer), but they had a tendency to shut down on impact,overheat, and when they broke they lost the footage as well’ and later changed to a total of 10 5dMkII cams with 16-35mm EF lens.

Here the BTS footage, no commentary, but still really impressive:

In short here’s a list of gear accompanying DSLR has been spotted in the BTS:

  • RedRock Micro rigs – customized for each operator
  • No external recorders spotted (keep in mind it was 2012)
  • External displays by SmallHD and Marshall
  • HDMI goggles (similar to Zeiss Cinemizers)
  • Most likely vari-ND filters

And an interesting addition: 'on one of the camera lenses is what appears to be a gobo-style lens filter that would have footage looking like it was shot POV style through a cage or grate” that looked like this:


If you’d like to look at the full text – it’s available here. You may also want to have a look at the making of presentation, 26:30 in particular, on which the DSLR info was also based.

Source: http://redrockmicro.blogspot.com

WWDC 2015: Apple previews iOS 9!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
June 9, 2015, at 7:55 PM

Among other announcements, Apple’s WWDC has brought a preview of their new generation iOS. With all the novelties Apple has shown, iOS 9 devices will become surprisingly smart, iPads receive versatility boots with new features, meanwhile, the optimization will buy you up to 1 hour of additional running time.

According to the official news release, Siri’s proactive assistance in iOS 9 will provide you with information or suggest music on the basis of your usage patterns – like what type of music you listen at the particular time of day, or tell you that you when to leave for an appointments, taking into consideration current traffic.

iOS 9 will also bring some additional iPad –only features (highlight added):

"With a simple swipe, the new Slide Over feature lets you simultaneously work in a second app without leaving the first. And with a quick tap, you can access the new Split View feature so you can work in two apps at the same time, side-by-side. Picture-in-Picture lets you continue a FaceTime® call or video while using your favorite apps."

Below - iPad's Split Screen funtion:


Major built-in apps like Maps, News or Notes will also come in a redesigned form with new features making them more effective and efficient.

iOS 9 beta and software development kit are already available for developers, public beta (sign in here) will come in July, and the final version of  iOS 9 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and later – the news release informs. Full news release can be found here and plenty more info can be found at the official Apple site here.

Source: http://www.apple.com

WWDC 2015: Apple unveils 'El Capitan' - OS X v10.11!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
June 9, 2015, at 6:23 PM

One of the big announcements at Apple’s WWDC event was the next version of OS X – 10.11 named El Capitan. According to the official news release, the new version will offer a significant boost in performance and refinements to the Mac experience.

We read at Apple.com:

Building on last year’s landmark release of OS X Yosemite, El Capitan introduces enhancements to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight® search, and makes everyday activities — from launching apps to accessing email — faster and more responsive.




The refinements include:

Mission Control - the quickest way to view all open windows, has a cleaner design so you can find the window you need even faster. When your desktop gets crowded, simply drag a window to the top of your screen to access the new Spaces Bar in Mission Control and create a new Space, OS X’s intuitive way to group applications

Safari - now features Pinned Sites to keep your favorite websites open and active in your tab bar and a new mute button to quickly silence browser audio from any tab.

Mail introduces Smart Suggestions, which recognizes names or events in a Mail message and prompts you to add them to your contacts or calendar with a single click.

There have also been some changes making Notes more versatile and Spotlight even smarter. But what sounds the most exciting is Apple’s groundbreaking graphics technology called Metal, which, according to the press release:

accelerates Core Animation and Core Graphics to boost system-level rendering by up to 50 percent, and efficiency by up to 40 percent, resulting in faster graphics performance for everyday apps. Metal also takes full advantage of your CPU and GPU, delivering up to 10 times faster draw call performance for a richer, more fluid experience in games and pro apps.

El Capitan is now available for developers, open beta will launch in July (sign up here) and the final version should arrive this fall. The new OS X version will be a free update. Full text of the announcement can be found here.

Source: http://www.apple.com

Apple buys Metaio - augumented reality pioneer
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
June 2, 2015, at 10:47 AM

The news has gone about quietly, in Apple’s fashion not to spread a word about their plans, but it really deserves to be mentioned that the they’ve bought Metaio, AR pioneer. A recent article at techcrunch.com informs that Metaio has ceased their sales and also shows a document confirming the purchase.

In the video below you can see an example of how Metaio’s 3D tracking technology was put to use to improve presentation of Ferrari cars:

In his text at techcrunch.com, Josh Constine wonders about the entailments of this acquisition:

The acquisition could help Apple bolster its virtual reality and augmented reality efforts. Earlier this year, Apple patented a VR headset that works with iPhones. And yesterday, 9To5Mac’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple is working on an augmented reality feature for its Maps app that lets you point your phone at a street to see what business are around, or a restaurant’s exterior to see the menu or specials. Metaio’s technology could certainly aid with that.

Augumented Reality is often called the technology of the future, even more so than Virtual Reality, and we’re certainly looking forward to see what Apple does with it.

Source: http://techcrunch.com

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