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"Mad Max: Fury Road" - behind the scenes video focused on cinematography!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
November 27, 2015, at 3:21 AM

John Seale is one of the best cinematographers in the industry. He was nominated for an Oscar four times and he has won the Academy Award for "The English Patient". But of course he has many more great movies in his portfolio - such as "The Talented Mr. Ripley", "Rain Man", "Witness" and just recently "Mad Max: Fury Road". "Mad Max" is one of these films in which cinematography, grading, visual effects, camera work, etc. play a great role and the reset of the series was a big commercial success. But it was also a superb, high-rated movie. This is why it's great that Variety Artisans published just a few days ago a short video in which you can see John Seale in action - don't miss the opportunity to check it out!


And here's the video description:

"Cinematographer John Seale has been one of the best in the business for decades, and has an Oscar for “The English Patient.” At age 70, he found himself in the Namibian desert shooting one of the year’s most startling films, “Mad Max: Fury Road.” He joined Variety’s David Cohen to explain what it was like to shoot a film that had been planned for 10 years, but didn’t even have a proper script."


Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K test footage - the best Blackmagic camera yet!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
November 27, 2015, at 2:19 AM

For many filmmakers the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K was a bit of an enigma because we didn't have the opportunity to see the footage produced by this camera. Luckily this has changed and Joe Marine of NoFilmSchool reports that the first samples are available. This camera is quite special because it incorporates a new sensor - different than the one that was used in the case of the original URSA and the Blackmagic 4K. The camera also offers better dynamic range, but this shouldn't come as a surprise. Nevertheless Blackmagic is known for great products and their previous cameras were able to record amazing footage, so it's great to hear that those who had the chance to test the new camera report that it offers the nicest image from any of the cameras produced by this company.


Here's what one of the users wrote:

"Noise / Low light: I have 2 night shots (the last 2 night ones in the video) which were at 1600 ISO. I decided not to use neat video or reduce the noise so you could see what that looks like. At 800 though, it's amazing and so contained it becomes a HUGE sigh of relief knowing I can go under by 1-2 stops, bring it up and see about as much noise as the 2.5K exposed properly @800. When exposed properly, it goes from good to perfect. Like... the noise is so well handled that adding in extra grain might be attractive for some (but it sure doesn't need it). In the video, there's quite a number of underexposed shots that I brought up 1-2.5 stops without doing anything to reduce noise and it was still looking solid.

Aliasing / Moire: If there is any, I haven't seen it anywhere."

For more info on the camera and additional reports head over to Joe Marine's article - you'll find it here.


Motion Magic in Under 5 Minutes - Creating an optical illusion in Motion!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
November 26, 2015, at 1:45 AM

As we all know Apple Motion is a great tool for motion graphics, capable of sophisticated tasks. "Motion Magic in Under 5 Minutes" explores the topic of Motion and in the latest episode you can see how to create the "Crazy Circle Illusion" in Apple's software using shapes, replicators, and behaviors. What's also great is that you can download the free project media files - to do it simply click here. Optical illusions can be pretty fun, so this short video tutorial is worth checking out. The one you will see below shows balls bouncing around a red circle and the balls appear to be moving as one single unit. Actually the white balls are moving in straight lines, but watch the video for all the details.


Does the Sony a7S II live up to the hype and is it much better than the a7S?
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
November 25, 2015, at 3:28 AM

The Sony a7S was a big success and an amazing camera. Well, obviously it still is. The a7S was a great step forward in matter of image quality and the camera was the king of low-light video shooting. But of course nothing lasts forever and Sony was well-aware, that even an almost perfect product needs an update. The a7S II brings internal 4K, 120fps video and 169 point autofocus, so now the specs are even more amazing. Caleb Ward of Premiumbeat had the chance to get his hands on the new camera and he reports that Sony nailed it - low-light abilities are still extraordinary, but the new features are a nice step forward and he believes it will be hard to beat this camera. Caleb thinks that the a7S II is worth looking into even if you already own the original a7S.

It doesn't mean that the camera has no cons though:

"The a7S II shoots really good video, but there are a few notable limitations that make it somewhat painful to work with in a professional context. The battery life is pretty dreadful, especially if you are outputting HDMI footage while simultaneously recording 4K footage. The rolling shutter isn’t horrible, but it is noticeable if you have a fast moving subject. The camera also can’t record in RAW, which could limit what your colorist can do in post."

But filmmakers should really take the a7S II into consideration:

"4K and HD up to 120 fps is usually enough to get the attention of the indie filmmaking community. But couple that with high sensitivity and a feature-rich interface, and you have yourself a great camera for filmmaking. The a7S II will help you save money in the end by eliminating the need for an external recorder to record 4K. Plus you can save money on expensive lenses because the camera is sensitive enough to make virtually any lens a low-light lens."

And here's the list of pros and cons:


  • Fantastic Sensitivity
  • In-Line Exposure Readouts (photo accurate viewfinder)
  • 4K Video
  • 5-Axis Stabilization
  • Exposure Dial
  • ISO Range
  • Focus Peaking
  • Fast Autofocus
  • 120 fps HD video
  • Large, Bright LCD Screen
  • S-Log Color Profile
  • Optional In-Camera Applications
  • HDMI Output


  • Low-Resolution Images (12.2 MP)
  • Battery Life
  • Small Design
  • Native Lens Options
  • No Fold Out Screen
  • Complex Menu Structure

Make sure to read the full review, because it features a lot of information on the camera - you will find it here.


Final Cut Pro X tutorial - how to create optimized media to improve your workflow!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
November 20, 2015, at 2:52 AM

Final Cut Pro X is a great non-linear editor and if you know how to use it working with it is pure pleasure. But you're probably aware that if you're importing high-quality or RAW footage, it can slow down the software - and this goes with all non-linear editors. Luckily in the case of Final Cut Pro X you can easily transcode your media - after optimizing your footage, the performance of the software will be dramatically better, so editing your project will be easier and faster. Creating optimized media in Apple's program is really straightforward, but there are a few ways to achieve this goal and in his new blog post, Jonathan Paul of Premiumbeat describes these methods.


The quickest way is to transcode your media during importing. Go to File > Import > Media and make sure to check the Transcoding option that reads Create Optimized Media.

But of course you can also import your media after import - just select the desired clips in Final Cut Pro X Browser and then select the Transcode Media option and choose Create Optimized Media.

And you can optimize your media by default during drag and drop. In FCPX go to Preferences and go to Import where you can turn on media optimizing. 

For more info head over to the full version of the article (here). Also make sure to watch the video above.



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