February 26, 2009
Sony intros 4:2:2 XDCamHD field deck
Sony has announced a portable XDCam HD deck that records in the new 4:2:2 XDcamHD format, the PDW-HR1. The 422 format first debuted on the PDW-700, which I gather has found fans in a variety of fields, from ENG to dramatic feature content.
Having a compact portable deck that records 4:2:2 is great, even if your workflow isn't XDCam-centric. This would be great paired with something like an XDcam EX1 - you could feed HD-SDI into the deck without having too much to haul around.
Now we just need to see HD422 pushed to the EX product line. That would a pretty huge deal.
February 19, 2009
ScreenFlow 1.5 adds extra awesome to the party
ScreenFlow, the uber-awesome screencasting app, has been bumped to version 1.5, adding a number of new features - most importantly, the ability to add titles.
The titling feature is simple to use and works as expected - it creates a text track on top of your video that you can manipulate in a variety of ways. You can create multiple stacked text layers if you want, and apply transitional effects to them.
Nearly as exciting is a set of audio effects. I often end up bringing my screencasts into Soundtrack Pro for some sweetening - hopefully one day ScreenFlow will be able to do basic hum removal, compression and normalization internally. For now, you get basic reverb effects and preset equalizers.
Anyways, it's a free update, so if you've got ScreenFlow you'll be prompted to update. And if you don't have ScreenFlow, what are you waiting for?
February 18, 2009
Command line tool to split H264 files
Here's a quick hack of an application to take an H264 (or any quicktime really) and spit out a new subclip.
This is based on the code from Codeshop, and I'm not implying any ownership. All I did was write a little wrapper for their moov code.
The zip includes the code, xcode project and a built binary. Command line usage is "./H264Parser <file> <start in seconds> <end in seconds>". Output is dumped to stdout, so you probably want to redirect it to a file with > output.mov. Progress info goes to stderr.
Output is throttled, but you can turn that off by commenting out the usleep.
This probably isn't a very useful application to many, but if you want to implement pseudo H264 streaming to Flash without a browser mod, you can probably think of some clever uses ... (IE, pass the output to a client side flash player).
February 10, 2009
BBC recommended settings for the EX1/EX3
There's some very interesting qualitative and quantitative analysis of these cameras. Additionally, they give some good setup tips and tweaks, without going into too much technical jargon. Definitely worth a read.
February 3, 2009
ClipWrap 1.1 brings transcoding to the party
ClipWrap has been out for a while, taking M2T files and turning them into Final Cut Pro compatible Quicktime files. Now, ClipWrap 1.1 adds transcoding to the feature set - bring in any M2T file, spit out ProRes, Apple Intermediate, DNxHD and a variety of other formats.
I've been playing with the beta of this for a while, and it's pretty slick. Many people are shooting HDV but prefer to edit in an intraframe codec. This allows you to easily batch convert a whole day's shooting into something more edit friendly like DVCProHD.
Perian for Pro Codecs - Free HDV/DVCProHD/XDcam decoders
I've been hacking on some patches for Perian to allow it to playback the "pro codecs" that you normally can't play without Final Cut Studio installed.
So, I'm posting four different Quicktime components. These are playback only (no encoding). I chose to break them into separate components so you can pick and choose only what you need. Just put them in your Library/Quicktime folder.
These are, of course, UNSUPPORTED, and may very well leap out of your computer and murder you with an axe. On the plus side, they let you play all those Quicktime files that your Final Cut using friends give you.
So, here we go:
And of course, the source for all of this. This is based on Perian 1.1.3. You'll notice I've modified the Xcode project to add separate build targets for each component (plus a few others, not posted here). This allows me to spit out a half dozen different components without having to modify source.
Firmware update for the Zi6
I haven't had a chance to apply it yet, but Kodak released a firmware update for the Zi6 camera a few weeks back. Hopefully it solves all of the troubles and the world is joyful again.
February 2, 2009
Hello Mimo, my name is debt
The Mimo. Talk about "want," it's a 7" USB monitor, perfect for displaying extra data, panels, email, etc. Or for a few bucks more, add a touch screen, a webcam and a mic.
This is also perfect for any number of embedded systems as well - especially with the touchscreen. I think I'm in love.
B&H reviews the HVR-Z5U
The Z5U is a pretty nice camera for those needing more than an A1U and less than an EX1.