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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

IndieVice - ILC smartphone body for filmmakers to come soon?
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
May 19, 2015, at 1:55 PM

If you’d like to take full advantage of your smartphone’s video feature, you’ll definitely need some gadgets; there’s already plenty to choose from, but one that looks exceptionally smart is about to enter the market. We’re talking about the ‘IndieVice’ described as ‘the world’s first universal Smart Body for The Smart Phone, which converts your smartphone into a professional camera’.

While the ‘professional camera’ part is a strong exaggeration, the device has quite a lot to offer. According to info at indievice.com, it will feature:

  • zoom-in/zoom-out technology
  • glare-deflector
  • comfortable eye-piece
  • flip screen technology
  • universal accessory mount
  • universal lens adapter
  • and all the other add-ons

You can find out a little more about IndieVice’s build and features in the official product page here (although the data is far from complete). Now, you may ask how much does it cost – it’s not for sale yet. The official page states that only one prototype exists so far and they’re only just preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign. So, not much is known, except that the website and marketing strategy for IndieVice looks rather professional, and the crowdfunding campaign may be more of a formality.

Source: http://www.indievice.com

Kickstarter news: SSD instead of CFast - a plug & play device called C BOX
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
May 19, 2015, at 1:32 PM

The cost of media you record onto is sometimes overlooked when you pick your camera, which is particularly important when you get one that uses CFast 2.0, that can be easily called the new standard for 4K recording. An interesting project just came up at Kickstarter – it’s called C Box and it’s basically a dual SSD bay plugged directly into CFast ports.

Let’s have a look at the promo video for C Box:

One thing is that the cost of SSDs is smaller than that of CFast cards, but C Box has other advantages too: SSDs have faster data transfer rates, you can use any SSD that you like, and additionally you’ll generally have longer record times available (e.g. a 1TB SSD instead of a 25GB CFast)

There are some drawbacks too. The design looks absolutely non-weather proof, so outdoor use will be very limited – SSDs are only halfway inside the C BOX, plus you’ll need to have your media bay opened on your camera. There’s also the issue that you’ll have to find some space to mount the C BOX. The SSDs will require some powering too, this is what the Kickstarter page says on this matter:

Draw Powered From Your Anton Bauer, V-Lock, or Wall-Mount Power Supply! The C-Box system comes equipped with a standard 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC female power port. Use this with any 5V 2A power supply and you’re ready to go. We recommend using at least 2 amps of power in order to ensure proper powering of device and all connected drives.

If the C BOX in the video looks amateurish too you, that may be due to the fact that it’s been 3D printed – the final product is promised to have a better looking case with a little more space between the drives to keep the cool. According to the information, the C BOX will cost $499.95. At the moment of writing this, the C BOX has nearly half the funds with more than 20 days of campaigning to go. Find out more about the C BOX in its Kickstarter campaign page here.

Source: https://www.kickstarter.com

Is ‎360° video the tech of tomorrow? GoPro buys Kolor!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
May 14, 2015, at 3:43 PM

360 degree videos are by no means a novelty, and the fact that YouTube support 360 download & viewing plus the recent acquisition of company called Kolor by GoPro Inc only highlights the potential of this technology. If you haven’t heard about 360 videos on YouTube, you may want to look at this post in our blog, meanwhile, let’s have a look at Kolor, and how it is relevant for GoPro Inc.

Kolor has a decade of experience in creating software stitching images, currently providing solution for panorama software, virtual software and video-stitching software like the Autopano, Panotour or Autopano Video. And they’ve just been bought by GoPro. Currently there’s already a good few of manufacturers offering spherical GoPro mounts designed to shoot 360 video, but still a third party app was needed to stitch the footage. The addition of Kolor into GoPro team will hopefully help develop the tech further (both software and hardware).

In the press release on GoPro.com we read:

Spherical media enables a range of immersive viewing experiences and is an essential building block of virtual reality (VR), a technology poised to transform entertainment, education and other industries. Kolor’s solutions enable users to combine multiple photographs or videos to produce high-resolution panoramic or spherical content that can be enjoyed on mobile devices, the web or in a virtual reality environment.

And an excerpt from Kolor’s press release:

This is a unique opportunity to give professionals and casual users the chance to use the advanced technologies that Kolor develops. It also gives us the necessary support to fully commit ourselves toward what we’ve always believed to be the next digital revolution: immersive media. GoPro’s capture devices and Kolor’s software will combine to deliver exciting and highly accessible solutions for capturing, creating and sharing spherical content. The transaction is scheduled to close in May, when we’ll officially be part of GoPro.

Source: http://gopro.comhttp://www.kolor.com

Freefly Systems presents ALTA - a new, innovative drone
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
May 6, 2015, at 9:20 AM

The drone industry is growing, however the majority of new products has little innovation to offer. A drone that is truly different has been now unveiled by Freefly – it’s called ALTA, and aside from numerous improvements, it features a top mount camera option allowing an entirely new perspective for filmmaking.

ALTA is a fairly large, six rotor drone, capable of lifting up to 15LBS (6.8 kg) payload. According to info provided by Freefly – it has been optimized to reduced vibration and propeller noise. ALTA allows you to mount MoVi gimbals on top, and underneath the drone.

Have a look at the official promo video:

and a presentation of the drone via B&H:

The quality and innovation have a steep price though – its price has been set to $8,495, and should be available in June this year. You can find out more about Freefly ALTA on the official product page here.

Source: http://freeflysystems.comhttp://www.bhphotovideo.com

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