Archive for December, 2009

25
Dec
09

unboxing boris continuum complete free trial

Newly engaged, me and my fiance are enjoying a lazy Christmas in exotic, cold and foggy Chevy Chase, MD.  And while she’s snoozing it up I’m playing around with this 14 day free trial of Boris Continuum Complete 6 FxPlug for Final Cut Pro and Motion.

I’ve been using Motion more and more recently and investigating ways to get more true 3D looking stuff, especially text, in my work.  Boris seems to have a good option with Continuum Complete…

Looking pretty good and I’m wonking my way through this seriously awesome-seeming suite of plugins.  They have a good amount of tutorials on their website and one of the cooler things I stumbled upon was the Pixel Chooser.

Click on the image above for the tutorial, a good way to matte a foreground subject and add a color effect to the background.  I do most all of my color correction in Apple Color and I’m really looking forward to Bob Sliga’s Scone Looks but this level of quick and dirty ColorFX room compositing right in FCP is mind-boggingly cool.  While I’m not sure work will spring the $995 for the full version, I will certainly take advantage of this 14 day free trial and put BCC 6 through its paces.

proactively • the best things for Christmas are free • peter

Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s new rules

None of the manufacturers listed above are paying Peter Salvia to write this article and, so far, none have sent him any samples or demonstration items.

***UPDATE 26 Dec 09***

I’d be remiss not to link to Zac Peric’s BCC 6 review.  Check it out here.

18
Dec
09

happy holidays

Regardless of your political affliation, you’ve got to admit this flash technology is pretty cool.  Click on the above pic to customize your own holiday card.

proactively • happy holidays to both sides of the aisle • peter

16
Dec
09

the best kind of thanks

Two months ago, I received this message from Daniel Marini on Vimeo:

Thank you for your hard work on doing workflow for the 5d, here it is the video i could made …
ciao
Daniel marini

Today, I received this note from Daniel:

Thank you to everyone
Paolo Cattaneo’s video won the Best Italian Indie Video for Best Photography at the PVI Premio Videoclip Italiano in Milano

We would like to Thanks everyone who helped us and belived in this project

I’m blown away that my video tutorials have helped with award winning productions of this quality.

proactively • humbled • peter

16
Dec
09

how long to grade a show using apple color?

For the quick answer, scroll to the end of this post.  For the narrative thread, read on…

Kerry Soloway of Nightingale Editorial in Ringwood, NJ started a great thread on Steve Hullfish’s ColorList:

Subject: [ColorList] How much additional time will it take to round-trip a show in Color?

Although I have Color and use is on occasion, I have stayed away from it because of my perception that it adds a great deal of time to my edits as opposed to using the three-way color corrector within FCP.

The color corrector is one of the only reasons that I ever opt to online on an Avid Symphony rather than in Final Cut, since I can do all of my work in the timeline.

For those of you that use it regularly, can you estimate the amount of additional time that it adds to onlining a project? Also, how much additional storage space is required.

At the moment, I am editing mostly half-hour SD shows being edited either in DVCPro50 or PreResHQ, depending on the system that I’m on.

Kerry

Terrence Curren of AlphaDogs in Burbank, CA responded first:

We do a fair amount of that workflow. It is not so easy to come up with a number here. First, you have to prep your sequence correctly before sending to Color which can include a lot of “baking in” by exporting elements and reimporting to make them the same codec so that Color is happy.
After that going out to Color takes very little time, but you do have to render everything at the end before returning to FCP. So you will need as much addition al storage space as your entire show plus handles in whatever codec you are using.
At this point, any changes you want to make require bouncing out to Color, rendering, and coming back again.  If you don’t have external panels, you are greatly slowed down by trying to handle everything via mouse which limits you to one operation at a time. If you have access to a classically trained Colorist, he will be able to fly through the color correction process with the proper setup. If you treat the whole thing like the classic tape based daVinci approach, it makes more sense. Send a locked master to Color, and get a color corrected master back for titling.
The workflow is nowhere near as efficient as the Symphony approach, but the toolset is better. Symphony still has the advantage of keeping you in the timeline so you can do more than one thing at the
time. You can also listen to audio for any timing cues you may need. And you have source side correction which is a major timesaver in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.
On the flip side Color has a more powerful toolset and the ability to use the external interfaces I mentioned above.

And then Patrick Inhofer of Fini in NYC added a great follow up:

RE: Storage Space
Color re-renders all your shots and then generates an XML that’ll link to those newly rendered shots in a timeline in FCP. So… multiply the per second data rate of the codec you’re exporting out of Color times the number of seconds of your timeline. That’ll give you your additional storage needs.
RE: Time to round-trip
Are you wondering how much longer the prep for Color roundtrip takes? Anywhere from 2 – 12 hours, depending how much prep work you need to do (baking in speed ramps, removing 3WCC filters, simplifying timelines, media managing, etc).
If you’re wondering how long it takes to color correct a show in Color? When I was mouse-only, about 15 minutes of show content a day in a not-too-fast-paced sequence. With a control surface, double that. With a control surface not only will you double your throughput, you’ll find you can also get more in-depth in forming the image with masks, curves, hue curves, etc. A control surface is one of those rare exceptions where you get more done in less time with better results.
I didn’t chime in on the thread (too busy with work at the time), but I would offer up a couple points of emphasis and additions from my experiences (click my friend above for a link to my blog post describing the posting of Travel Channel’s America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions 3).
First of all, you cannot underestimate overestimate how long it will take to conform your project for Color.  Offline to online workflow time aside, there are many ways to conform your timeline so that it will work well with Color and how you choose to do this will effect how you grade your show.  Do you want to first send all of your speed effects to Motion to take advantage of motion blur?  Do you want to make individual sequences to grade footage with picture in picture (or windowed) effects?
My number one recommendation is to shed all color correction filters and export a self contained quicktime of your entire show (or individual acts) and go from there.  Obviously I could really get into the weeds on this, so I won’t.  I’m sure you’re getting the idea.
Secondly, take a look at the show you’re going to grade ahead of time.  The above timeline averaged approximately 125 shots per 4 minutes, or even more approximately  1375 shots for a 44min show.  With slightly fuzzy math, at a 1min-per-graded-shot pace, you’re looking at almost 23 hours to plow through it all (3×8 hour days or 2×12 hour days).  And then you get to render it out.
I never had the luxury of a using control surface on either of the 44min shows I graded for Travel Channel.  Scott Simmons wrote a great review of the Tangent Wave and Patrick Inhofer wrote a great review of the JL Cooper Eclipse CX.  I’ve personally met with the guys at Euphonix and they seem to have a great product with the MC Color but I haven’t got my hands on it to test it out yet.  Mr. Inhofer summed up best the advantage of using a surface, stating:
a typical session [speeding up] from 2-5 days down to 1-3 days…
Price points and form factors aside, it seems that adding a control surface should a) increase your speed and quality and b) up your rate.  Remember: “fast, good, cheap; pick two.”
Personally, not having seen a show, I start my color correction quote at 5 days for a 1 hour show and then we go from there.  That includes conform, grade, and render.  I do work remotely, so if I can help you out drop me a line.
proactively • grading • peter
12
Dec
09

bob sliga’s scone looks for color!

Holy moly, this announcement is hot off Steve Hullfish’s ColorList presses as of Dec 11 @ 11:49am:

If anyone is interested in taking a look at my new Color Looks called the Scone Looks™ there are 4 Podcasts that preview the looks on You Tube. Just do a search for Scone Looks.

The Scone Looks™ are presets and effects users can apply to their clips for Color 1.5
483 preset looks total.
135 Primary looks which can be used in the Primary In or Out rooms.
195 Secondary Room Looks including 23 preset glows, skin softening, blue sky enhancement looks, ect.
92 CFX Looks including 2 and 3 defocus vignettes. All the CFX looks are also de-interlaced.
61 finished Grades that include a number of combination of grading techniques and effects.
12 Podcasts for beginning and advanced color correction techniques. As well as how to use and adjust the looks.
They will be available soon.

I’m just trying to make color correction easier for users of Color 1.5

Bob

This is a big wow for yours truly.  That’s a crap ton of professionally (expertly) designed Color presets.  Plus the courtesy of video tutorials explaining how to tweak them!

For those of you who don’t know him (and I’ve never met him, just heard of him from mumblings in the dark halls of DC post production houses and  the Apple Pro-Trainer listserv), Bob Sliga is “…an experienced colorist who was involved in the development of Apple Color and recently went out on his own after being part of the Apple Color team.” [Creative Cow] Additionally, the Pixel Brothers produced an interview / color grading session with Mr. Sliga and posted it back on April 9th.  Click the image for the video:

The Scone Looks include single click awesomeness to correct a bevy of typical footage issues, here’s Mr. Sliga’s updated YouTube demo…

Check out the comments for full how-to-buy info from Bob Sliga himself.

proactively • poised to step up my color grading game • peter

11
Dec
09

soft diffusion node tree for color

Haven’t posted any blog plaigiarism in quite awhile, and since this was posted on a forum, not sure this qualifies.  There’s a great post at coloruser.net describing the process to get that soft diffusion effect everybody always wants.

proactively • diffused • peter

04
Dec
09

capture ps3 video for fcp editing

A bit shaky, I found this video tutorial after a perusing the machinima.com forums.  The Hauppage HD PVR seems to be the solution to my latest video capture quandary production tangent.

From the Hauppage website:

Record formats

There are three H.264 formats you can choose when recording a video:

  • .TS, which is a generic ‘transport stream’ compatible with many digital media players
  • .M2TS, which is compatible with the Sony Playstation3
  • .MP4, which is compatible with the XBox360

Seems to be the quickest, cheapest way to get HD video capture of Assassin’s Creed 2 out of my PS3 and into FCP.  I think I will need to boot my MacBook Pro using Boot Camp Windows XP to control the Hauppage. I’ll let you know how it works out once I pony up the cash and get to play with it.

Or I can spend $189.50 and capture the HDMI signal straight in to FCP as Apple ProRes, but not sure how that would work for playability.  Hrmmm…

proactively • machinima-ing • peter




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