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January 31, 2007

Lots of Media Mill updates

Just in case you don't read the other blog routinely, check out the new feature-set I just rolled out for Media Mill.

Posted by at 12:34 PM

Canon HV20 officially announced

News of the HV20 was leaked a few days ago, but now it's official. The Canon HV20 is in the same product line as the HV10 consumer HD camera. The HV20 is a different form factor, looking to be similar to the Panasonic GS line of small consumer cameras, rather than the palmcorder look of the HV10. The primary feature added to the HV20 is 24f support. The HV10 could play back 24f tapes from an XLH1/XHG1/XHA1, but couldn't record in 24f. That makes it a pretty tempting choice for beginning filmmakers who want a higher-end look. I would guess that it'll street for $899, which makes it a pretty nice choice for folks who are serious about their video, but working on a limited budget.

20070131 Hires Hv20 3Q Back

20070131 Hires Hv20 3Q Front

Posted by at 10:11 AM

Scopes? Hu?

CreativeMac/ has a nice little tutorial video about using scopes within Final Cut Pro. It's a nice introduction to what the different scopes do and why you should use them. Take a look, then upgrade to some real scopes ...

(via FresHDV)

Posted by at 9:59 AM

January 29, 2007

Color voodoo

The process by which real life turns into digital video is, by all accounts, pretty arcane. Not necessarily because of bad design decisions (though there are plenty of those) but just because real life is very complex, and our tiny little brains haven't figured out great ways to capture it.

In any case, color sampling and color spaces is an area that trips up many folks in this field. You've got analog ranges, digital ranges, 8bit, 10bit, 12bit, and then you've got color profiles on the computer to contend with. has a two part article (part 1, part 2) dealing with color spaces in video. Take a look if you're at all interested in understanding why your image changes colors when you move it from Photoshop to Final Cut, or from your Mac to a PC. Keep in mind though, that all of this happens separate of the color subsampling step. The detail lost by going to 4:2:2 or 4:2:0/4:1:1 is independent of the latitude lost due to color space conversion.

Posted by at 11:23 AM

Pan's Labyrinth VFX

FXGuide has an article up about the VFX in Pan's Labyrinth. It's a film I really hope to see soon. It sounds like there was a fair amount of practical work done on the set - from the trailer, I was sort of expecting that every shot would be a VFX shot. It's worth reading to just to learn about all the tools that were used. I'm not well schooled in the world of 3d, but I'm always interested to hear people talking about the ways in which one renderer can be worlds above another. A lot of kung foo going on there.

Posted by at 11:17 AM

January 27, 2007

I dun made a podcast

Mike, Dave and I finally got it together to record a podcast. I've posted the results over on my .Mac site. So, I present to you the first very episode of the Mike, Dave and Colin Show. We cover html compression, leopard APIs, health care reform and a few other topics. Don't worry, they'll get better in the future...

Posted by at 1:04 AM

January 25, 2007

I'm so Web2.0 that I bleed rounded corners

Sorry for the slow updates lately. We've started our semester here at the University of Minnesota, so much of my time is being spent getting the young folk excited about production. Woo.

The other major time sink lately has been a major set of new features for Media Mill, including project management, locking and tagging, and drag and drop clip organization. An unfortunate side effect of all this goodness has been growth in page load times. In my case, loading the "my videos" page results in 250K of html, in addition to the included javascript libraries. So, rather than follow the advice of my namesake to "simplify and add lightness," I've instead focused on complicating and adding ajax. Thus the title of this post. You're going to love it.

Anyways, the video industry is in a post-CES, pre-NAB lull right now. Everyone is off drinking at Sundance,and frankly I don't really care about Sundance...

Posted by at 2:03 PM

A few XDCamHD articles

I'm still a fan of the XDCamHD camera line, particularly the F350. If you are too, you might be interested in two articles that were recently posted about the F350, one from giving a general overview, and one from Digital Content Producer which provides some real life use stories. One day, it will be mine.

Posted by at 1:55 PM

January 22, 2007

Making of the 'Children of Men'

I'm going to check out 'Children of Men' tomorrow, but I've heard it's a remarkable film. In the meantime, there's a making of video available, as well as a more in-depth article from FXGuide. They've done some pretty remarkable stuff with long takes and creative use of practical photography. Cool.

Posted by at 1:11 PM

January 16, 2007

Apologies and MacWorld roundup

Sorry for going silent for the last few days. Zero hours of sleep at MacWorld, combined with real-world work kind of caught up with me.

MacWorld was a blast, thanks to all those I met there. Aside from the obvious Apple announcements, the big star for me was the Axiotron ModBook. It really is beautifully engineered. I really hope to get a couple to use with ScopeBox. Check the link if you don't know what I'm talking about.

The LAFCPUG meeting was a good time, though all of us were dead tired by that point in the week so it was a bit hazy. We did some renegade ScopeBox promotion, which was a blast, and had good reactions throughout. I bit my tongue and didn't say anything nasty to the folks from Focus Enhancements. Go me!

Now I'm back at the University and the semester is in full swing. NAB is only a few short months away, and there should be some pretty exciting things in the meantime.

CES didn't bring a lot of exciting announcements for the prosumer/professional video production world. Sony released a slew of new consumer-level HDV cameras, recording to all manner of media. Half of them are AVCHD (recording to mini-DVD) and the rest are HDV (recording to mini-DV). Otherwise, there's not a ton of stuff that caught my eye. Aside from the iPhone of course ...

Posted by at 8:51 AM

January 9, 2007


Ok, I'm a bit sleep deprived, but man-oh-man was that amazing. Steve was giddy! Everyone in the audience was giddy!

Go look at the iPhone. Watch the Keynote. I'm one of the ones cheering every time Steve said anything.


Posted by at 5:13 PM


Image 120
More Lines...

Posted by at 9:02 AM

In Line for MacWorld

We got in line about 4:30, and we're about 300 people back. Woah. This place is crazy to the max

Image 118
This line wraps around one side of Moscone - this photo is of the first half of the second side.

Only 3 and a half hours to go!

Posted by at 7:26 AM

January 8, 2007

I have been to Mecca

We drove down to Cupertino today to do some testing of Scopebox at Apple's developer labs. I'm not sure how much I can say without breaking NDA, but just imagine a room full of one of every machine that Apple has sold in the last decade. They open the door, and say "let us know if you need anything" and that's it. Rad.

Other than that, San Francisco is an amazing place. I love it here. Keynote tomorrow - line up at 4am. I'll be wearing a Scopebox shirt if you're there.

Posted by at 10:34 PM

January 7, 2007

Viva MacWorld!

I'm off to the airport, on my way to MacWorld San Francisco. I'll be posting from SanFran, but if you want to keep up on the latest news from this weeks' trade shows, I recommend Engadget for CES coverage and MacRumors for MacWorld coverage.

Posted by at 6:58 AM

January 4, 2007

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Combo Player?

Engadget claims that LG is going to debut a dual format Blu-Ray / HD-DVD player at CES. This would be a huge step towards resolving this stupid format war, so let's hope that they do. Engadget is a bit skeptical in regards to LG's ability to follow through.

Posted by at 2:03 PM

Premiere comes back to the Mac

It's been rumored for a while, but Adobe is about to officially announce the return of Premiere on the Mac platform. Macworld has the scoop. Looks like I'll get to play with it at Macworld next week (assuming my head hasn't exploded from the joy of the keynote).

This is exciting, not because I'm a huge fan of Premiere, but because it again shows Adobe's faith in the Mac platform, and it provides that much more incentive to bring users over from Windows. That said, Premiere Pro 2.0 is a pretty decent program. It's not quite Final Cut, but it does have the benefit of tight integration with After Effects and the other Adobe applications.

From the look of the single screenshot, it looks like they're not tying it too heavily to the OS, which makes some sense. If you notice, they've got all their palettes situated within a single OS X window, rather than being truly free-floating. I would assume that limited integration holds true on the backend, so it will be interesting to see how codec issues are dealt with. It'll be interesting to see it next week.

Cool stuff.

 2007 01 Images Content Premiere

[Update:] The press release is now available, and in the release Adobe makes it clear that they intend to ship Encore for the Mac as well. That's seriously good news, as Encore nicely fills a space between DVD Studio Pro and iDVD.

Posted by at 9:03 AM

January 2, 2007

Scopebox is For Realz Yo

I hope you've all been saving your pennies, because after 9 months of work, Scopebox is being released tomorrow, January 3rd. You'll be able to download a trial, find out how rad it is, and then purchase your copy.

If you're not convinced, check out this glowing review at Behind the Frame. Hoorah!

 Scope Rgbparade

Posted by at 4:27 PM