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You don't get to build a Millenium Falcon every day: behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
July 17, 2015, at 12:22 PM

Even though it’s still 5 months until the release, the hype for the next Star Wars episode called ‘The Force Awakens’ is strong. The recent Comic Con events have only made it stronger – during a panel with J.J. Abrams (director), Lawrence Kasdan (writer), and Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm president and producer) the audience were surprised by the appearance of members of the new and old cast (and a squad of storm troopers, because why not). The panel was concluded with a surprise  concert of The San Diego Symphony, which performed the classic Star Wars music. Pretty cool stuff.

The official Star Wars YouTube channel has also published a video ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Comic-Con 2015 Reel’, which takes us behind the scenes and shows how much work was put into making the movie, and the precision with which every detail is crafted. Also, the score of 7 millions views within a week speaks volumes too:

It needs to be highlighted that J.J. Abrams and his crew are making enormous efforts to add a touch of reality to the movie – something that is fading these days. Filming on a real desert (in Abu Dhabi), and on real sets, using real costumes and practical effects are all supposed to make ‘The Force Awakens’ a believable, breathtaking experience.

For all those who’d like to see more – here a 1 hour video from the Comic Con Star Wars panel:

For all the fresh news on 'The Force Awakens' check out the official webpage, Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter, Tumbler or Instagram. The movie will hit the theatres on December 18, this year.

Source: http://www.starwars.com

Sony RX10 M2 – review and mini-comparison. Better than the amazing Sony A7S?
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 17, 2015, at 1:37 AM

Andrew Reid of EOS HD posted the first part of his review of the Sony RX10 M2 and he also compares the new Sony's camera to the popular and stunning A7S and to the Canon 1DC. It is also his first look at Sony’s new 4K XAVC-S codec at 100Mbit/s. The camera features a 24-200mm Zeiss lens with constant F2.8 aperture and built in ND filter, so as written by Andrew it might be a pretty nice run & gun camera, especially that the 4K S-LOG of the RX10 M2 matches the dynamic range of the Sony A7S in S-LOG. What's more the image quality in the 1080/120fps mode is outstanding and according to Andrew it matches the 1080/24p output of the A7S. In the case of 240fps you cannot count on the same quality, especially because in this mode the camera records in lower resolution and upscales it to 1080p, but hey, don't expect Phantom Flex specs from such a small-factor and relatively cheap camera!



Andrew wrote:

"Think about that for a moment – this sensor is doing a full 17MP 16:9 pixel readout at 120fps!! What Sony have done here is to completely overhaul the plumbing, taking the pipes from the side of the chip and putting them under the sensor. This is what the Exmor “S” implies. “Stacked” A/D converters and an ultra fast DRAM buffer for the insane frame rates. With tens of thousands of converters working simultaneously rather than a queue of pixels from one line going into one converter per row, the sensor readout is much faster now. It is a technological quantum leap over Canon’s CMOS sensors."



Let's not forget that the RX10 M2 is priced at $1,299 and for this price you get a hell lot of features:

"Internal 4K at 100Mbit/s, crisp moire-free 1080/120fps (also 100Mbit/s!) S-LOG 2 and dynamic range like the A7S, practically no rolling shutter, Zeiss 24-200mm F2.8 lens with optical stabiliser and built in ND filter, 240,480,even 1000fps “HFR” burst-modes and it isn’t even too shabby in low light either thanks to the new BSI CMOS sensor (although the super high shutter speeds required by the HFR modes make them ill suited to dim conditions, so far I find 4K with a 180 degree shutter perfectly usable at ISO 1600)."

Read the full review here.

Source: http://www.eoshd.com

Blackmagic Design at The July Editors' Lounge: DaVinci Resolve 12 and Fusion 7!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 17, 2015, at 12:38 AM

Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12 is not only a big update to the previous version, but it also incorporates many features that can be useful if you want to edit a video. And as you probably already know, Resolve can be pretty useful when performing such tasks and there are filmmakers who already use this software to edit their movies. Of course it doesn't mean that DaVinci is as good as Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro if you plan to edit videos, but it's still number 1 coloring solution on the market. And if you want to learn a bit more on this software and on all the new features, you should join the Editors’ Lounge on Friday, July 31st for a night dedicated to the latest versions of Blackmagic Design’s flagship studio software. Product Specialist Fred Beahm will give one of the first demonstrations of the new version of the software and Fusion 7 Studio users will also be pretty pleased, because Product Specialist Rony Soussan will also present Fusion 7 and will talk about 2D and 3D VFX compositing, motion GFX design and animation, and 3D stereoscopic conversions.



The event will be held at AlphaDogs Post Production 1612 W. Olive Ave., Suite 200, Burbank, CA 91506. RSVP is required to attend.

Here's a bit more from the press release:

"In addition, Blackmagic will display a number of their hardware products, with representatives available to discuss features and answer questions.

The Editors’ Lounge offers the opportunity to learn from post-production industry peers and networking with new and old friends. The Lounge opens at 6:30 p.m. with presentations beginning at 7:00 p.m. RSVP is required to attend. The price of admission is to bring your favorite beverage. Editors’ Lounge will provide the food."

To register for the event please visit: http://www.editorslounge.com/nextevent.html

Source: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com

Samsung promoting their NX1 with professional shorts!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
July 16, 2015, at 11:40 AM

As a means of promoting their NX1 mirrorless 4K camera, Samsung invites professional filmmaking teams to shoot short films in 4K – like the handheld ‘In a city’ back in December 2014, and another one called ‘Yvonne’ that’s been recently published. On Samsung’s YouTube channel, aside from the short itself, you’ll find a BTS and also Yvonne crew’s commentary on shooting with the NX1.

To start things off, a little bit of technical details. Among others, the point of the campaign is to advertise the 4K potential of the NX1, and so they’ve shot 8-bit, 4:2:2 4K in h.265 with the aid of two Atomos Shoguns (and a ton of other gear). They’ve found that the small pool of available lenses is enough for the job, and managed to work their way successfully without the log profile. Andrew Putschoegl, the director comments:

I would love — and I know a lot of filmmakers would love — a Log profile and I think Samsung will be including it in a future firmware update. You can certainly get a pretty flat profile, but it’s not quite the same as Log yet. That said, once we started color correction, we ran into no issues whatsoever, so I don’t think that we ever said, ‘Oh man, I wish we could have shot this in Log — it has so much more latitude.’ We had zero problems.

Here’s Yvonne as published by Samsung:

And the BTS:

Looks like a successful production, however, the making of Yvonne is a slightly odd manner of advertising a $1500 camera. You would assume that an average NX1 user will not have access to professional actors, that big of a team, or a camera dolly. Or the other way round – with such resources, the budget would surely bear renting a more professional camera. With that in view, the first of the series (In a city) feels more appropriate.

As mentioned before, there's also the third video - commentary on shooting with the NX1, from which the following excerpt by Andrew Putschoegl was taken (not sure if the refrigerator corporate humor was intentional):

I have to give Samsung a lot of credit, cause when you have the support of a corporation, you sort of expect them to want to get their fingers in all the details. In this case the only thing they said was: ‘It’s a story about a woman who moved into refrigerator. Samsung makes refrigerators, how would you feel about us providing a refrigerator for that?’ And I thought: that makes entirely too much sense that we would actually use a Samsung refrigerator, and in fact, it works beautifully.

More information on shooting Yvonne can be found here.

Source: http://samsungcamera.com

My RØDE Reel winners announced - watch some high level shorts!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
July 15, 2015, at 10:57 AM

This year’s prize pool in My RØDE Reel 2015 has really been beefed up – no wonder that the submitted shorts are least to say well thought and executed. This year a total of 1190 entries came from 86 countries to compete in one of the 19 categories. Announcing the winners RØDE wrote:

It is our honour to have officially acknowledged 152 films across the 19 different prize categories – a testament to the high quality of filmmaking and the outstanding effort of each and every entrant.
This year’s judges were Philip Bloom, Vincent Laforet, Ryan Conelly and Rodney Charters and they’ve chosen ‘Gift’ by DanTheDirector to be the victor. They wrote (quote via RØDE Facebook profile) :

Amazing editing, camera and sound workPhilip Bloom

Brilliantly executed. Excellent style and pace. Very unique with a well told story and conveyed emotionRyan Connolly

Gift touches the soul on so many levels, it is brilliant and shines a powerful light on the future of storytelling in our mediumRodney Charters

And here’s the ‘Gift’:

As said before, there have been multiple categories – aside from Major Awards, there were also Genre and Technical awards – you may view them all via the winners page at rode.com, meanwhile here’s one that received the best cinematography award:

Source: http://www.rode.com

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