Archive for April 15th, 2009

Sony EX3 on “The Unusuals”

The digital revolution is trying to take a serious shape. I was watching this brand new TV cop show “The unusuals” and I was thinking that it looked “different”. There is almost no shallow depth of field in it. I kept thinking that they used a cheap(er) camera, and they did: the $10,000 Sony EX3, with its 1/2.0″ sensor. They also use the much more expensive F23 sometimes, but the EX3 seems to be the camera used mostly. The CC and lighting is minimal and that makes the show look cheap, but I guess this is part of the idea behind the show to make it look like a documentary. Still, it’s cool to see a digital camera used for a TV show, because on most of the rest of the primetime shows, they use film.

Regarding 3D filmmaking

High frame rates and 3D video are in our near future. Many times I have cheered for 60p over 24p, but I think this won’t be accepted by many directors until 3D becomes a reality. 3D just looks better in high frame rate, and so this might be the catalyst for the move to higher frame rates. Even James Cameron said so.

In the last year, 3D filmmaking has seen a strong comeback as new digital cameras help out with the complicated workflow. Even the TIME magazine did a special article recently about the 3D comeback. However, the true revolution won’t be here for another 10 years, when TVs will display 3D objects without the need for glasses. The current monitors/TVs that do no-glasses 3D are still not very good, so there’s at least a 10 year maturation period in that technology.

I have thought out the traditional 3D process, and I might give it a shot if I get a second HV20 or HV30. All I need to shoot in 3D is a second HV camera, a clapper for synchronization, and this tripod accessory. Then, the workflow to edit in anaglyph 3D on Vegas is pretty straightforward. Sure, there’s some extra work involved, but it’s not unachievable. Maybe one day Vegas adds 3D editing capabilities by automatically packing two or more different clips into a single track (and I am not talking about the “takes” feature here).

I have already exported a small 2D clip I had around as pseudo-3D anaglyph (by misaligning the two stacked copies of the clip in the timeline by 2-3 frames), and even that worked great when using the red-cyan 3D glasses! Download the Vegas Pro .veg file here to see how I did it (use a clip of yours, and pay attention in the track’s plugins, compositing settings and misalignment of the two clips by a few frames). The pseudo-3D trick with the Vegas Movie Studio versions requires a somewhat different workflow, follow it here.

The whole 3D craze started for me a few weeks ago when I saw the above 3D music video by Golden. I even wrote a review for the band’s album too, should be published soon at the local Bay Area OWL Magazine that I occasionally contribute at. Video requires red-cyan 3D glasses, best watched full screen. Download the original HD file for best 3D results.

250 official HV20/30 music videos!!!

This is such an unprecedented record for any consumer camera ever, and surely for many prosumer cameras too! There are out there over 250 official music videos shot with the HV20/30 cameras (update: they are over 320 now!!). It really shows how easy it has become to attain high quality output from a $500 camera and how people jump on the opportunity to take advantage of this great deal!

Here’s a recent music video by the Outsider, shot with an HV20 and a JVC camera, I love the song. Can’t wait to get released on iTunes soon!

The only thing that’s mind boggling and shows how slow and stupid big corporations are, is Canon not taking advantage of the huge HV20/30 success and fanatical community in the last 2 years. They do nothing with this unique opportunity, apart from slightly refreshing the brand with the upcoming HV40 model (which was basically a cheap throw in to shut us up). But when I am saying that they should do something about it is not about creating new HV models (their time is passed, people don’t want tape cameras anymore). What I am saying is, heck, where are the official HV20 t-shirts I could buy? Where are the paid firmware upgrades that could make thousands of us flock to pay that 50 bucks per year in order to get full manual control, or native 24p.

The problem is that Canon believes that the way to cater to these needs is to release a new camera. Like these new super-noisy and non-stabilized HF-S10/S100 models. Erm, no thanks. Canon fails to realize that a good percentage of enthusiasts like us don’t move to another product so easily. We are here for the long run. Users who already own the legendary HV20/30 won’t rush to upgrade as easily as someone who upgrades from a Sony HD camera, or from a plain DV camera. Reason being, we already have a “good enough” camera.

Canon needs to wake up and smell the money they are losing for not appreciating this thing called ‘community’. They see their buyers in a flat way, but unfortunately for them, the HV20/30 enthusiasts are not your average customers. And there are thousands of us. Not to mention the whole marketing game that they don’t take advantage of, as many HV videos are very popular and potential new customers keep asking over and over what camera was used.

How our subconscious keeps us sane

Yesterday an event took place that I wanted to participate in. I wanted it too much, it was all I could think of for weeks. But it was not going to happen to me for several reasons, and surely it didn’t. Knowing that, I was depressed for the week before (JBQ can attest to the validity of this as he was the recipient of my angry/sad face for a week).

This morning, I dreamt about the event. I was there, and I came face to face of what I wanted to see there. It felt so real. My dream did not exaggerate and it did not give me more than the absolutely minimum that was required. It felt like an objective, realistic dream. And just before I pressed the shutter button on my iPhone to capture the moment, I woke up.

Believe it or not, this dream that came to me exactly the right time after the event happened, has healed me. And it healed me because it offered me the absolutely minimum of what could have potentially happened if I was present at the event. It gave me nothing more. It kept me in check, but without taking away the moment.

Today, I feel liberated.

Random Stuff, Part 31

* 50% of the OSNews readers (ok, it might be close to 80%) hate my guts thinking that I dislike open source (based on some old Linux distro reviews I wrote). Of course, this is misguided. What I hate is half-assed jobs, not open source as an idea. I am a perfectionist, not an OSS hater. In fact, my older software releases were usually under the BSD license, my current videos are under the liberal Creative Commons “Attribution” license too, I write tutorials, and I spend the best part of the day answering questions on a multitude of video forums. What’s driving me to do all that is because I occasionally think of myself in the death bed. And when that depressing thought appears in my head, the only question I seem to ask is “did I do enough for the world? did I give enough back? did I matter?“. My health doesn’t allow me to go out and work for Unicef or anything like that, so I try to help from the compounds of my office, in the fields that I also enjoy.

* I need to put a break on my iTunes purchases. I spent $90 this week. I don’t know if I give enough “to the world”, but I definitely give enough to Apple.

* I am floored by the Capital Lights. The whole album is really good, with “Mile away” being the best song in it, and “Work it out” being second best. I bought the album immediately after previewing it, it has very catchy tunes!

* Some other great releases: Music for Animals‘ “If Looks Could Kill” and Dizzy Ballooon‘s “Raise a glass”. I also can’t wait for Drist‘s third album in a few weeks. All local Bay Area bands.

* I am taking care of JBQ’s iPod, updating it and such (he doesn’t seem to bother). Of course, every song is legal in our players. We are also careful about the free songs that labels/bands have given away overtime as promotional material. I have updated the metadata of these downloaded songs to incorporate the information where they were downloaded from. With these new international laws about having to potentially justify your music ownership in an airport, it’s becoming important that freely downloaded indie songs have some sort of information in them about where they were acquired from.

* Adam Lambert is the real deal this year on “American Idol”. Amazing talent, a true rock star/actor. If this guy doesn’t win, then it’s the best example of democracy not working.

* My love for “Lost” has nearly eclipsed. Too many errors in it, and also it’s like the scripts don’t have enough detail in them for the actors to show emotion. The right words about the Lost situation are “I am not feeling it”.