Archive for August, 2008


happy birthday – me 30, rory 28

Just dinged 30.  Holy crap, I’m officially old and untrustworthy.

Cosmically, my good friend and colleague Rory Sheridan also got one year cooler today.  If you’d like to celebrate with us, sing along to the epic rock ballad Rattler Way of Life:

proactively • 30 is the new 25 • peter


apple color – control surface consideration

Starting to research control surfaces to use with Color in the finishing suite. So far, the three setups in consideration are, in no particular order:
Option 1: JL Cooper Eclipse CX

JLCooper ECLIPSE CX Integrated Colorist Command Station

Option 2: JL Cooper MCS-Spectrum

JLCooper MCS-Spectrum Colorist Control Station

The MCS-Spectrum additionally requires the JL Cooper MCS-3000 Media Command Station W/ No Faders

JLCooper MCS-3000 - Media Command Station Main Console Without Faders

Option 3: Tangent Devices CP200-K, available in black or silver

Tangent Devices CP200-BK Trackbal/Knob Grading Panel

And visiting Tangent’s site I’m reminded of the Wave which I blogged about some months ago when it debuted at NAB

Tangent Devices Wave Panel

There’s a review of the Wave at here and a review by Scott Simmons here.

Lastly but not leastly, there’s the Euphonix MC Color which I’ve blogged about here.

Euphonix MC Color - Color Grading Control Surface

Scott Simmons has a blog review of it here and Oliver Peters has a review of the entire Euphonix Artist series here.  All of these panels are available at B&H.

So right now I’m leaning towards the simplicity and elegance of the Tangent Devices CP200-K. But if cost is a factor (and when is it not if you’re spending your own money), take a close look at the Tangent Devices Wave and the Euphonix MC Color.

And if you’re looking for some good colorist literature, be sure to check out Steve Hullfish’s book The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction.

proactively • stepping up to the next level • peter


motion master templates – learn by buying

First seen (by me at least) on Mark Spencer’s site, this could be one of the coolest collections of Motion master templates around.

Available for purchase here, I will most likely be putting these in my edit suite. If you are wondering what the hell are Motion master templates?? the answer is the best thing since sliced video clips.

Motion master templates essentially nest a motion project in your Final Cut Pro timeline and contain drop zones and text fields that you can edit in FCP. In addition, you can open them up in Motion and customize them to your heart’s content. Two words: awe-some.

For me, the best way I learn is to see someone else do something and then copy it shamelessly while adding a slight tweak (isn’t that the definition of originality?). So purchasing 100′s of working hours of master templates and then having the felxibility to customize them just so a) saves me the time of creating them from the ground up and b) let’s me see how they were made in the first place.

Imagine an After Effects guy nesting his project into your FCP timeline. Hey says “Sure, go ahead and resize the text and change out the video in the windows as you see fit. And if you want to change the colors of the 3d strokes, go right ahead.” He then comments on the cold front that came in last night and what a pleasant change the ice storms are for this region of hell.

If you want to learn more about Motion templates (and Motion 3 in general) I can’t make a higher recommendation than Mark Spencer’s two Motion 3 tutorials from Ripple Training. Fast Forward walks you through the interface and Deep Dive focuses exclusively on 3D.

holy crap these toots are frickin’ awesome

They’re available for download so you can just impulse buy them right now. Kind of like the Matrix but without the coaxial cable jacked straight to your brain.

proactively • psyched as hell about these master templates I’m getting • peter


in studio interview – eric hutchinson

Music starts at 5min if you want to skip ahead.

I think this came out really well all things considered. HV20, HV30, & HF10 used for cameras and audio recorded (a bit over-modulated) from the board. Jon’s first time working with three cameras and setting things up on the fly and he did a solid job. We’ll work out camera angles, maybe use a fish eye on the DJ…

This will be the first in a series of in studio interviews with a performance by the artist. Maybe we’ll turn it into some kind of local access tv show, who knows.

proactively • peter


Travel Channel on Vimeo

Shameless, self-promotional pandering incoming…

We’ve recently launched the new Vimeo channel TravelChannelHD. Here you can find Travel Channel clips streamed in 720p high definition. While you can embed the SD stream on your blog…

…you need to visit Vimeo’s site for the HD stream. Hopefully sometime soon Vimeo will enable HD embeds. When that day comes I think Vimeo’s user base will expand exponentially.

In addition to posting 720p broadcast shows, we will also be showcasing shows produced by our pool of up and coming travel journalists.

Most of our Travel Journalists have graduated from the Travel Channel Academy. The Travel Channel Academy is an intensive four day film making course that, well, check this out:

So check in on TravelChannelHD from time to time as we’ll be showcasing new shows and new talent.

proactively • loving vimeo • peter


Dr. Horrible & The Guild

So my good friends Joel & Katie sent me a link to a new Joss Whedon production called Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.

more about “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog“, posted with vodpod

And then during the first sing along I recognized Dr. Horrible’s love interest from this series I’ve only seen on YouTube called the Guild. Watch all of these they are sooooooo worth it.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Check out more on their YouTube page.

proactively • wandering off topic to relive the glorious mmorpg-ing days • peter


apple color – grade sharing

Came across this link some time ago but never posted it. Power to the people!

See anything you like?

See anything you like?

Yeah, I haven’t uploaded any of mine yet because, well, their mine. But if your feeling a bit socialist, or even communal, give this site a shot. I know I’ll be taking a second look.

proactively • thinking about sharing some of my grades • peter


canon hv30 – accessory shoe removal

Yes, the tethered accessory shoe is really annoying. Especially when you want to put accessories on your HV30 like this:

Me & Joel with Sennheiser MKE 400

Me & Joel with Sennheiser MKE 400

Solution found after a search over at Special thanks to Spider.JM for the post and pics!

Its done and I’m proud to announce we don’t need to worry about parts falling into the camera. When you do remove MAKE SURE YOU ONLY CUT ONE SIDE. Otherwise it will fall in… You just need to pull it out after you’ve cut one side.

accessory shoe top view

accessory shoe top view

accessory show reverse view

accessory show reverse view

no more tether!

no more tether!

Tool list:
-Needle Nose Pliers (not required)
-Either Sharp clean Scissors or Exacto Knife

Basically try to stretch it away from the camera so that you have both strands away from each other, then progress to snipping ONE strand. Then just pull the cover out with the last strand STILL intact! Once its out, sever that other side, and make it so theres about 2mm left on the cover so that it will still fit back into the camera.

Pics of my fully accessorized Canon HV30 incoming.

proactively • going to the toy store for an exacto knife tomorrow • peter


crappy keys – good, bad, or art?

So, I came across this post on putitup through the wham city tag thread. A brief segment:

…talked about what motivates these reasons for using low-grad equipment and fidelity and the possibilities of it being more emotive and effective than strenuous attempts of “professionalism.”

My comment:

When it comes to pulling a key I think you have two choices: make it perfect and seamless or make it bad with obvious jaggies along the edges.

On the one hand a seamless key will imply a higher level of competency with the visual craft and focus the eye on the overall composite and production value. To some extent the goal is making a believable scene which the untrained eye would not assume compositing was involved.

In the case of this video, I believe the rough key evokes a response of “what the hell is this?” in the audience, even the lay person, because they know something isn’t quite right.

I’ve watched this MGMT video dozens of times. The first time I watched it I hated it and stopped watching it after 12 seconds. But the music made me come back and reconsider what I was looking at. The rough keys make the experience more enjoyable for me with an appreciation for the simplicity and truth of the composite. I feel as if the director is saying “Hey, look at this crappy key. Isn’t it awesome? Now watch while I work with it as art and truthiness rather than focus on the lack of production value. Doesn’t it make you kind of warm and fuzzy inside once you get over yourself? Like a child with scissors, a glue stick and a stack of magazines.”

It’s the democratization of the chroma key and the director telling young people out there you don’t need to shoot HDCAM in a studio and digitize as 10bit uncompressed HD with 4:4:4 color space to make art well crafted and realized composites. Grab that 4 year old mini DV camera and a green cloth, shoot in your walk-in closet and use your frickin’ imagination already.

The suspension of disbelief is much more enjoyable when everyone’s in on it and goes with it together as opposed to a “how did they do that?” experience. At least in this case. IMHO

Love it or hate it, pulling a crappy key can be a good thing. Welcome to the new fake.

proactively • setting up a chroma key in my broom closet • peter

August 2008
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