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The unsafe 'Safe Harbor'. How the US web companies may have trouble doing business in Europe.
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
October 7, 2015, at 8:58 AM

Up until now web companies from the United States which collected and stored customer data were operating for the past 15 years under the ‘Safe Harbor’ directive – a set of principles designed to ensure that customer data is not disclose to other parties, or simply lost. That was until now, that is October 6, as the European Court of Justice (EJC/CJEU) invalidated the Safe Harbor. This can have a huge impact on US web companies – cloud storage, online retailers and many others, including Facebook.

But first let’s have a look what the issue with Safe Harbor was. As the article on explains, the directive has been challenged (along with a case against Facebook in Ireland) by an Austrian law student Max Schrems. The accusations were that major US web companies provide access into user data to US government, or NSA (National Security Agency) to be more specific. As we read in the text, these claims were based on revelations by ex-NSA’s contractor Edward Snowden.

Now, what does that mean to users? Just a day before the verdict has been given, an article by Boris Segalis (US), Marcus Evans (UK) and Jay Modrall on speculated on the possible outcomes:

The practical effect of such a decision would, however, depend on the actions of DPAs and others. We believe that DPAs would be unlikely to take immediate action to suspend transfers by companies under their jurisdiction in reliance on the Safe Harbor. However, there would likely be a wave of complaints and possible requests for interim action such as injunctions before national courts.

To make it more clear – since the Safe Harbor framework has been invalidated (with immediate effect), the affected companies will have to negotiate the terms with DPAs (Data Protection Authorities) in each country – separately.

Or as the text at puts it:

With the ruling, the CJEU is effectively passing the responsibility for agreeing data-transfer partnerships to individual countries, which could prove a regulatory nightmare for US companies operating in the continent. Law firm Morrison Foerster said that by invalidating the data-sharing mechanism currently in place, the CJEU "puts these companies in an impossible position".

Does that mean all US web companies will cease to operate in Europe? The article at puts some doubt in here:

Even though an ECJ ruling invalidating the Safe Harbor would likely be applicable immediately, we believe regulators are unlikely to take immediate action to stop transfers from their jurisdictions in reliance on the Safe Harbor

Which would mean that the business can possibly go as usual, until new agreements are made. Unless, however: 'activists like Mr. Schrems could try to seek injunctive relief to block exports more quickly. The likelihood that Safe Harbor-certified companies will become targets for such action varies significantly from organization to organization.'

Find out more in the text at here and here.


Great lighting video tutorial - how to create 3 atmospheres in one room!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
October 7, 2015, at 1:22 AM

Can tutorials be entertaining and really creative? Of course they can! And here's a great example - a video tutorial made by Dugly Habits for the 30th Anniversary of Dedolight International Competition 2015. In the video you will see how to create 3 different atmospheres in one single room by using an SPS5 Dedolight Kit. Of course the authors also used a few other lights as well as a couple of simple but pretty cool tricks - but watch the tutorial to discover them all! The video was produced by Dugly Habits who was also responsible for all the lighting stuff and Mark Klotz was behind the camera. Their goal was to make this video as entertaining as possible and each chapter of the tutorial consists of a one-shot scene and tells a little story about Peter and Paula - a typical German couple. Enjoy!



New MacBreak Studio episode: Screen replacement in Final Cut Pro X with TrackX!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
October 7, 2015, at 12:53 AM

Traditionally it's time for the new MacBreak Studio episode. This week we meet Mark Spencer and Steve Martin to learn a thing or two about TrackX and how this plugin can be used for Final Cut Pro X to track a video clip to an iPad for a recent project. Many video editors should find this tutorial quite useful because screen replacement is a common task in many projects and even though masking tools in FCPX can be handy, Mark thinks that there are still some limitations - for example you still need to set keyframes to animate these masks to track along with objects. If you want to perform tasks that are pixel-accurate, for example such as localized color corrections, you need much more precision. And this is where the TrackX plugin by CoreMelt comes in. 


Mark explains:

"TrackX allows the Final Cut Pro X editor to track objects with this level of precision without needing to leave Final Cut. Built on Mocha's planar tracking engine, TrackX can tackle many different tracking tasks with ease. I highly recommend watching the tutorials before plunging in to avoid frustration, though; there are some great tips on how to use the toolset to get the best track possible.

Personally I've found that I've often needed to create more complex shapes to track rather than just outlining the screen of a device. Rather, I've created "C"-shaped shapes that avoid the screen itself but include features of the phone or tablet that aren't changing during the video. It all depends on the nature of the video, how much the screen is moving, what is on the screen, and if there are objects (like fingers) obscuring the screen. If you have the ability to control the shoot itself, you can make your tracking job in post much easier by cutting down on movement as much as possible, keeping objects from moving in front of the screen, and having fixed objects on the screen (like a home screen)."


A beautiful short filmed with iPhone 6s Plus
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
October 2, 2015, at 8:45 AM

Shooting indie films with iPhones is increasingly popular – perhaps that’s why the first shorts are being shot only days after 6s / 6s Plus launch. And such videos and indie films will come even more often with the addition of 4K. One of the published films that is way above an average iPhone shootout is the ‘Painter of Jalouzi’ by RYOT. What’s it about? The video description explains:

The film tells the story of one citizen from Jalouzi, one of the largest slums in Haiti, who is determined to bring color to the impoverished area by helping paint the entire town, literally.

Believing that color has the power to transform his community, he’s helping to paint everywhere – on houses, on buses, and the entire hillside. Armed with brushes of bright blues, pastel pinks, and sunshine yellows, he’s helping to mobilize citizens of all ages, determined to turn the grey town into a rainbow full of color to lead the way to a brighter Haiti.

Have a look at the video first:

While the result looks quite impressive, let’s not forget it’s not shot solely on iPhone – RYOT used a cradle with SLR adaptor, a couple of additional lenses, a Sennheiser mic, and a gimbal by IKAN, plus of course, a drone for aerial shots. Pretty much everything you’d use with any of compact cameras, which could also produce 4K, and cost around or even less than the iPhone. Just remember that the best camera is the one you have with you, and treat the video a beautiful presentation of what you could shoot just by taking the phone out of your pocket. Here’s a short BTS the team has also posted:

See the links below either of these videos on YouTube for additional gear links.


OS X El Capitan is here!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
October 1, 2015, at 8:12 PM

Just as the title says – the latest OS X version 10.11, nicknamed El Capitan, is now available as a free update. Apple announced it a day before the official release in a statement here. Now, what’s new in El Capitan? Apple promises it's simpler, smarter, more intuitive and more responsive.

First of the changes is the Split View – it does exactly what it says – you’re able to choose two apps that’ll share your screen:

Running lots of apps at the same time is one of the great things about using a Mac. Focusing on just one app in full-screen view is another. With Split View, you get the best of both. It automatically fills your screen with the two apps you choose.

Another one is the Mission Control. When working with multiple windows, it’ll help you finding the one you’re looking for, and if you need a few windows at the same time – you won’t have to click and drag – Mission Control will do that for you.

There’s also the improved Spotlight, which will search results from more sources or allow a search using your own words like ‘email from Harrison in April’ or ‘spreadsheet I worked on yesterday that contains budget’ - that's a brilliant idea.

Other changes include new Notes and Maps apps, improved Safari, Mail and Photos. And something you’ll most likely be really excited about: Metal. The new technology is promised to bring a solid graphic performance boost. We’ll be happy to see how it works in practice. You may read more about OS X El Capitan on the official page here.

Finally, the usual warning – take precautions before updating. Backup important files, and never update in the middle of a project. Some apps or plugins may not work properly after the update. As Szymon twitted earlier – all our FCPX and Motion 5 plugins work fine in the new El Capitan.



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