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Steve Douglas

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Everything posted by Steve Douglas

  1. Davide, Wish I could be more specific on this but much depends upon the duration of your video, what format and codec you have used and even the number of active composites from your original timeline. You really do need to experiment but you don't have to use an entire sequence for the experimentation. Just encode several 10 second clips with your different choices of bit rate and determine for yourself, which looks the best. Using a short clip will save you a ton of time. Go with that one. Steve
  2. Hi Davide, Hope you enjoyed your vacation. I hope this article will be of help. I wrote it a few years ago but still encode for Vimeo and You Tube along these lines. Steve http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/vimeo_hd_compressor_douglas.html
  3. Well written and thought out. Everyone should keep this in mind. I have seen many similar situations as you've illustrated.
  4. Received a request about my opinion of this cam this morning but I have had no practical experience with the quality of the footage or its ease of use. Any one have any thoughts? Steve
  5. I just looked the card up again and was surprised to see how low it was selling for on Ebay, which I never really use. Never the less, I am dropping the price down to $400. Steve
  6. While it may not be available in the UK or overseas, DAN equipment insurance is IMHO a great way to go. I highly recommend them for great and timely service. Steve
  7. This graphics card for Mac Pros sells for $1799 msrp. The Quadro FX4800 card uses NVIDIA's CUDA and the Mercury Playback engine for the Adobe Suite of software so that you can achieve incredible speed increases while editing and real time performance when viewing composites, text, transitions and other effects. When using FCP 7 or X I would say that real time performance without rendering is not quite there yet but you still can view your editing work without having to render first. It is for those with a Mac Pro so it is not for anyone with a laptop or iMac. I am selling it for $950.00. Do not hesitate to contact me with regard to any questions you may have. Steve
  8. There are 3 recently added films to the one I posted before. One is an interview with Grant Petty, the CEO of BM discussing this new cam. http://www.moviemachine.tv Steve
  9. Hey Jo, You can find plenty of good tutorials for FCPX here and their discussion forum can be very helpful. http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_homepage_index.html Don't feel bad for Simon, he'll be diving in the Cocos Islands, Costa Rica very soon. I'm jealous. Steve
  10. Basically, you simply cut to the beat and it was very effective in my opinion. You kept it short which was good. You could have used a slower paced music so as to stay on a subject for a bit longer time period as others suggested, but that would have produced an entirely different feel to it. You never can predict what an individual judge will see or how they will react to a given film so a lose in one competition might be a win in another. I did the same thing a few years back, simply as a fun exercise and having too much time on my hands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EU54Y8B6EM If you watch it, you will see that its' 3;40 duration is way too long. I watched it yesterday for the first time in years and that is what I felt at any rate. But it was a cool piece of music and it was something I wanted to do just for the fun on it. I liked your video...you kept it under 90 secs and it works. Give FCPX a little time and you'll see how intuitive it can be. Steve
  11. It is widely known that a companies advertised specs for most anything including camera gear, stereo equipment and a wide variety of other devices do not always, and frequently do not, meet the actual performance of said equipment. That is why reviewers review a product. In some cases, the performance actually does better than advertised specs, but often it is the other way around. We always tell beginners to do their research and learn, learn, learn before they actually buy anything. This means learning from a variety of sources and yes, sometimes a reviewer can misinterpret something. When I write reviews, I always send a preview URL of the article to the company before publication to be sure there are no errors of this kind. Sometimes I do get a correction which I am always happy to make as it only makes the article more accurate and helpful. Unfortunately, most print reviews are not to be taken too seriously as they rarely point out deficiencies and usually only praise the product. I believe this is because these same companies take out expensive magazine advertisements and the mags do not want to lose this financial source. Fortunately, for me, I can be critical but, even then, I try to do so diplomatically. It is rare, but it has happened that I have been sent a product for review that was so bad that I refused to write it up. Rather than trash the company, I just don't provide that gear or software the publicity. There is no 1 expert. Everyone can bring something to the table which the individual can sort out for themselves. In fact, this brings to mind a discussion I had back in 92 with Wayne Hanson on the Okeanos Aggressor. Wayne was then the sole owner of the Aggressor Fleet. They hand out applications to all divers and ask them to check whether they are beginners, intermediates, advanced or experts. He said that anyone who checks themselves as an 'Expert' is the one who they watch most closely as they are the most likely to get themselves in trouble. Glad I just listed myself as an 'advanced' diver, but what he said stuck with me and I believe it applies to a great many other situations and people.
  12. Davide, Thanks for those most recent links. I will pass them on. I really found them interesting and, in a discussion yesterday with someone, we talked about how it was actually fun to learn more and more about this BM cam finding the good and the bad. Remember that this is a first generation cam so there should be improvements down the line. Steve No optical stabilization in the BMD cam. Hmmm
  13. Rick mentioned this in his video. Also, no hot shoe so where do you mount your XLR Mics and lights. Battery run time is 90 minutes and recharge is a bit more than 2 hours. The optional battery is cable connected which would be awkward even for topside field work. No audio meters, just a volume control which you would have to adjust via your headphones.
  14. Question, what is the actual frame size of both the raw and pro res? They should be the same but I was asked to check. Drew, are you saying that one could bring the raw footage directly into CS6AE and work in there before exporting to your NLE? I was also just told that the battery is internal so I wonder what the run and recharge times would be. There is supposed to be an external battery that can be bought but if it needs an AC outlet, that would be kind of screwy.
  15. Hey All, Just received this url from Ken Stone. Rick Young, a working producer in the UK, gets to test almost every cam that ever comes out. I have reviewed a few of his books as well. He is an extraodinarily knowledgeable guy. I wish I received all the cams he gets sent to him from almost every company out there. I respect his many reviews very much. At any rate, I thought you might be interested in his review of the Black Magic cam. http://www.moviemachine.tv/video/shooting-with-the-blackmagic-cinema-camera/48431007/ After seeing this, and tho I have never used Da Vinci, if they made a housing, I would be strongly tempted. Steve
  16. Hey Davide, Not sure what is so strange about the sentence. I respected the individual's anonymity and reported on what he said which was that it wasn't too good in low light. Without mentioning his name, be assured that he is a major player when it comes to underwater housings and cams. I do have a friend in Arizona who just bought one. He is not an underwater shooter and I am waiting to hear what he thinks of it. Steve
  17. I am not aware of any company looking to make a housing for it and I have contacted a couple of them. One representative said that it is rather poor in low light. I wouldn't know myself tho Steve
  18. I was playing a club date a few weeks ago as a drummer in a blues band. Someone in the audience was filming in the darkened room with their iPhone. I asked him if he could send me the footage via a dropbox so I could take a look. He shot it holding the video vertically. Now how the heck was I going to use this? I figured out a way but a few days later my publisher sent me this URL. Since I don't even own a cell phone, it had not occurred to me that this was an issue. So, for those who shoot video on their cell phones, please watch this video on YouTube. Very funny and also very accurate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt9zSfinwFA&feature=player_embedded Steve
  19. Hey Eric, You got some fine footage there. Guess I am the only one who has never traveled to that spot. IMHO some of the effects you used are fine in and of themselves but for the entire film, it appeared as if it were a film about FX rather than the whale sharks. Kind of reminiscent of brand new editors who feel that the more effects they use the better. And you are certainly no beginner.
  20. Hey Diggy, What software are you trying to learn to edit on? Why only dives? Going all that way to only get a few dives in seems odd to me. Steve
  21. You're one of the lucky ones. At least you were eventually paid. Steve
  22. Thanks for the info Mike. What time of year were you there? Steve
  23. With some of your footage being so old, my guess is that you probably have plenty of clips that are 4x3 SD as well as HDV and other formats. It doesn't make a difference what you are shooting, but how to preserve and organize your clips appears to be the real concern. All my FCP7 and X projects and events are on my RAID 5 as well and that is what I work off of. However, I also do multiple back ups of all clips onto, at least, two or three other drives. What I do for my underwater clips after importing is go to the Events folder in X or the capture scratch in legacy FC, duplicate it so that I have all clips, and bring the copy over to another drive. For my underwater or African safari clips, I then create multiple folders by Species and format. My ancient hi-8 footage is on one drive with clips named and put in their proper species folder. I do the same with all other clips depending upon format. While I don't date each clip, that is not a bad idea to do so as you might have a few trips to Truk under your belt while I have only one, back in 96 with hi-8. (Would love to go back there. ) At to transcoding old footage to higher res codecs like Pro Res...I personally wouldn't do so unless I needed to use the footage for a specific project. Why make bigger files of footage that really isn't needed at this point and fill up your drives? The clips won't go anywhere and disappear, especially if all is backed up. For current clips that you are shooting now, yes, transcode if they are needed, and then duplicate the transcoded files for archiving purposes but I just see no need to do so for footage that you might never use or need again other than as an attestation to diving and filming history and accomplishments. Steve
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