Archive for April, 2008


Site Redesign

Tonite I’ve activated a new site layout and will be going through archive posts to correct any layout issues.

Main reason for the site redesign is giving you guys the opportunity to see archives and other stuff above the fold (so to speak).  Hope you like it!

proactively • proofreading & proofviewing • peter


AJA Kona 3 Setup

Here’s the breakdown of the Kona 3 setup and FCP config that is working consistently for me at the moment:

Mac OS X.4.11

QT 7.3.1

AJA Kona 3 5.1 drivers

FCP 6.0.2

AJA Control Panel Setup:

FCP System Settings:

This combination is per AJA Support’s recommendation and has performed flawlessly since I implemented it four weeks ago. Resolved assemble edit and insert edit issues when laying back to Sony MSW-M2000 MPEG IMX VTR.

proactively • promoting permanence of knowledge • peter


Awesome RED One Workflow Article

Props to Dan Carew at Indie 2.0 for posting a thorough documentation of his RED One production work flow. Read the post here. Particularly interesting are his Redcine bugs and workarounds:

  • Occasionally, in Leopard at least, files rendered out from RedCine will have a single frozen frame in place of one (or more) of the video clips. You can avoid this by going to the deleting the folder “RedCine” in folder “Library” on your main computer name under Places (in my case “carewdan”). Do this each time you use RedCine (a slight hassle, but much better than finding out, after 3 hours of rendering, that your eagerly awaited rendered output is corrupted). Each time you open RedCine, a new clean “Library” folder will be created. Just make sure that any “looks” and files you save are not saved to that “Library” folder. It’s wise to write down in a notebook in detail all the default settings for your “Project” and “Output”, as you’ll need to re-set these manually each time (because they get wiped when you delete the Library folder). This sounds like a hassle, but it’s not. Only takes about 15 seconds (and the process of manually setting those defaults each time makes you a lot more confident and quick in RedCine.)
  • In Color, changing the “Highlight” setting does not seem to do anything. I.e., you change the value, but nothing seems to happen. To solve this, after changing the “Highlight” value, click on the word “Brightness” (or “Shadow” or “Contrast”). This makes the change you made to Highlight value take effect.

Dan as a lot more cool RED posts like

The Missing Red One (Build 15) Camera Menu Guide

Making Real Movies with Red

Red’s Ted Schilowitz on Scarlet, Epic and SDK

Aweome stuff Dan, please keep it coming. proctively • peter


Update Color FX Room Presets

Thanks to Brian Conner from on the FCP-L for pointing this out.  Read the knowledge base article here or simply click the picture for a full rez screen grab

proactively • updating my Color FX presets • peter


Apple Pro-Apps for Sale? rumor-mill monger Randy Little struck again earlier today with his Autodesk Rumors subject heading:

Did anyone else get told by Autodesk that apple is selling off its pro apps? A friend of mine was told by an Autodesk employee this rumor. I don’t really believe it. Little OT but I thought it goes with my last post a little.

I too was privy to an onslaught of pre-NAB 2008 Apple pro-app rumors, mainly flung from the Avid base. Rumors such as “Apple Pro Res 422 is going to be discontinued due to copyright infringement” and “Steve Bayes stole Avid’s dnx_hd code to create the Pro Res 422 codec” and so on. Haters.

Back to the listserv report, Tim Turner chimed in with an illuminating post:

In one of the Fxguide NAB podcasts, they said that Apple Officially denounced that rumor, and made a point of it, because Apple never responds to any rumors.

And if you weren’t interested enough (yet) to click through the above link, commenters responded with posts such as Brau’s

All these Pro Apps have filtered down to the average Mac user in some form and there’s no way Apple will divorce themselves from them. In my own case, after using GarageBand on a 900mhz G4 tower, it convinced me to upgrade to a G5 Quad and invest in Logic Pro. The improvements Apple made, followed the radical price drop, were an incredibly welcome surprise. I also know a few people who have upgraded to Final Cut after having taken iMovie to its limits.

and daniel.lucas’s

I’d like to see an Adobe acquisition by Apple but I’m not sure how realistic that is. With so many apps in the Creative Suite it might be a little too much for Apple to handle along with their current pro apps plus consumer apps plus hardware.

and then lehenbauer’s stroke of poetic rhetoric reared it’s furious head summarizing

Video and audio production are to Macs today as desktop publishing was twenty years ago. With an upgrade path from free to semi-pro to pro apps (iMovie -> Final Cut Express -> Final Cut Studio, GarageBand -> Logic Express -> Logic Studio), anyone can start with the free apps and grow into completely pro apps on which mainstream movies and TV shows are produced (Logic can even load GB files.)

The idea that Apple going to ditch the pro apps is nothing more than, at best, wishful thinking or, at worst, an attempt to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt among an Apple stronghold.

One of the most interesting snippets I found in the article was the time line of Final Cut Pro’s evolution:

  • NAB 2000 Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 with support for 16:9 video format and native YUV color space, Matrox real time video cards.
  • NAB 2001 Final Cut Pro support for more real-time DV hardware from Pinnacle, Canopus and Matrox.
  • NAB 2002 DVD Studio Pro 1.5
  • NAB 2003 Final Cut Pro 4, LiveType, Soundtrack, Compressor, DVD Studio Pro 2, Shake 3.5
  • NAB 2004 Final Cut Pro HD, Motion, DVD Studio Pro 3
  • NAB 2005 Final Cut Studio, Motion 2
  • NAB 2006 Shake 4.1, 500,000 Final Cut users
  • NAB 2007 Final Cut Studio 2, Color, Motion 3, Final Cut Server. 800,000 Final Cut users

Finally back to the listserv reporting, Deke Kincaid arrived on the scene with his voice-of-reason-hat firmly in place reminding us

That’s February old news, where have you been? :)

Well Deke, your humble narrator isn’t too proud to serve day-old bread. And if you too are in awe of the awesomeness that is Roughly Drafted Magazine, check out a few more links of interest:

Microsoft’s Plot to Kill QuickTime

How Microsoft Pushed QuickTime’s Final Cut

Mac Office, $150 Million, and the Story Nobody Covered

proactively • narrating away • peter


Mark Spencer Shameless Plug

Mark Spencer was the trainer for my Motion 3 T3 in Santa Monica back in October 2007. He’s the first guy to cram 3D compositing into my brain. He was very gentle.

If you haven’t visited his website, stop what you are doing right now and click that link dammit. You’ll be amazed by all the free motion tutorials he’s posted. Really, you will be. Things like

Free 3D Cube and Die

Using Motion Templates in Final Cut

Free Tracking Video Tutorial

Creating a TV Screen Effect

3D Shatter Effect

Wormhole Tutorial

And if you’re an After Effects person or beginner or whatever and you want to get up to speed on Motion 3, check out

I’ve worked through this and it’s unbelievable that this dvd is only 99 bucks. I mean, don’t high end compositors make 100 bucks an hour at least? And this thing has like 10 hours of awesome training content. Instantly gratify yourself and buy the digital download. If for some reason you don’t want to take your humble narrator’s word for it, here’s a no-compromises review from Ken Stone.

If you’re already familiar with Motion 3 and want to dig in and learn all you can about the new 3D features, check out

I’m on lesson 4 and so far this training is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. Again, instant gratification download right here.

I don’t get a dime from these sales, but I do get a lot of feel-good karma knowing I’m pointing you towards an awesome trainer who will expand your mind without the use of hallucinogens or other questionable substances. And if for some reason those download links are lagging for you like they are for me, check out the homepage for Ripple Training Motion DVD’s.

proactively • spinning my 3D compass in perspective view • peter


Blu-Ray DVD Auth-or-ama

Yeah ok, the title for this post is a bit of a stretch. Authoring + o-rama = Auth-or-ama… yes?

Anywho, Philip Hinkle at has published a great article walking through DVD authoring workflows titled

Adventures in HD Authoring: From NLE to Blu-ray

Taking the perspective of an editor …looking to get into Blu-ray authoring without spending huge amounts on new applications, Hinkle provides some great definitions to help us get started. From his article:

  • BDAV—Blu-ray Discs that have chapter marks but no menus, and start playing automatically when loaded in a player
  • BDMV—Blu-ray Discs with full menu functionality
  • BD-R—Write-once Blu-ray Discs (analogous to DVD±R)
  • BD-RE—Rewritable Blu-ray Discs (analogous to DVD±RW)
  • Blu-ray compliant files—Files encoded for Blu-ray authoring that will not require additional transcoding when working with more ad-vanced authoring applications.
  • I can’t wait for a DVDSP update giving us the capability to produce Blu-Ray menus, etc. The format war may be over, but the post workflow battle has just begun.

    proactively • peter


    Next Generation for Shake?

    There’s an interesting (and, to any credible news source, baseless) thread picking up momentum on the fxshare shake listserv with the subject heading Next-gen shake.

    Not that a lack of credibility or baselessness has ever stopped me from speculating, the least I can do is bring you a bit of listserv lurkage:

    Ean Carr started off the thread with the seemingly harmless question Any news?

    A follow up response from Greg Morgan invited more discussion:

    Not that I know of. Apple is being their usual tight lipped selves. Which, in this market is going to hurt them I think. A lot of places, it seems, are moving away from Shake because of it.

    Eddie Offermann offered up a well formed retort, noting

    It’s vacant hearsay since Apple is using their usual secretive development strategy and draconian nondisclosure agreements. Last thing I heard was that they were slipping on their 2008 delivery schedule. Early 2009 now.
    I agree that it’s a mistake to be tightlipped with clients that make buying decisions that will not only allow them to choose different software but possibly hardware that Apple’s new product might not run on at all. A tech demo of the new product would be nice, even if they did nothing but say “Look, shiny! Not available until 2009.”

    And in typical listserv fashion, most discussion veered off in reference to that silly DirecTV percentages commercial. But not to be taken totally off track, Randy Little chimed in with kindling for the embers:

    I hear its in beta but I hear that those that would really know would be murdered for saying. Really just hearsay. I haven’t seen it I haven’t heard directly. Just rumor mill bs that means ZERO.

    If anyone out there believes in the saying All rumors are based in fact (or whatever it is) eat your heart out. Otherwise, check out Creative Cow’s Shake tutorials and realize how badass this app already is in its current generation.

    proactively • keeping my fingers on the pulse • peter


    The rumor-mill smoked out Stu Maschwitz of ProLost fame. Stu writes:

    I don’t often weigh in on these things but a year ago at NAB, Ron Brinkmann announced that he was leaving Apple and was working with The Foundry. This was in prime iPhone mania time and the rumors I found most credible, given Apple’s Leopard delays, were that many teams have been repurposed to iPhone duty and Ron had left because this reshuffling basically killed fancyNewShake. The main point is that with the prevailing rumors being along those lines, and with no indication from Apple to the contrary, combined with the 100% certainty that any future Shake-like product from Apple will be Mac OS-only, the industry is turning away. Slowly, but surely.

    It’s nice over here in the Nuke pool.  It’s nice to have a modern, battle-hardened comping app and it’s nice to work with a communicative company.  It’s also nice to have an app that runs well on Mac, Windows, and Linux!

    By my count, that’s Shake 0 Nuke 1.


    NAB Hangover

    Anyone else out there feeling the effects? Shout out to Philip Bloom for posting this picture-perfect NAB 2008 montage. ‘Deer Vegas’ tastes like a 7-11 fresh Vitamin Water Essential the morning after…

    And for anyone who missed it on the NAB Show blog, here’s Philip talking about the upgrade to the Sony PMW-EX1 camera he shot ‘Deer Vegas’ with, the Sony PMW-EX3:

    And then, here’s a link to Philip’s short ’3 Days in April’ shot with the PMW-EX3. All in one place for your comparing and contrasting pleasure:

    Mr. Bloom, you sir are a goldmine. Thank you.

    proactively • peter


    4am ichat

    Thanks to Nina for producing this aweome iChat montage.

    It’s fun, light, bouncy, goofy, great. And I think it really captures the new media nature of young people out there.

    proactively • peter

    April 2008
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