Thursday, September 30, 2010

White Balance Calibration System

Proper white balancing of a video camera or digital DSLR is the first step in assuring your footage will look great. Most people just set their camera to auto white balance and pray for the best. Professionals know better, and always do a manual white balance before serious shooting.

But what if you want more creative options instead of just shooting a plain old white card? One trick is to put a colored card in front of the camera and set it's white balance to the card. If you want to warm up a shot, put a bluish card in front of the lens, set your manual white balance to it, and the camera will shift the colors of your image towards warmer tones to help compensate for the reading of the blue card. Conversely, if you wanted to cool down a shot, you would use a yellowish card.

Download our FREE "White Balance Calibration System' and give it a try. All you need is a color printer, and some white paper or white card stock, and you can have your very own custom white balance cards.

Good Luck & Happy Shooting!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ask a Ninja - Green Screen Challenge

Alex Lindsay, the main man over at dvGarage & Pixel Corps, has come up with a green screen challenge for the show opening of "Ask a Ninja". Shot on a RED and delivered at full HD Apple Pro Res 4444. This is a great chance to play with some seriously high quality green screen footage. Deadline for submissions is October 3, 2010. Go here to download.

Put on your black gloves and polish up your Shuriken.

Handy 1.0 Coming Soon!

Pixelphile is proud to announce the upcoming release of Handy 1.0 for After Effects. Featuring 20 handheld camera tracks optimized for AE7, CS3, CS4, and CS5. HD and SD versions are also included for self tracking in Shake, Nuke, Fusion, Smoke, etc.

Coming soon from Pixelphile!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Enhance It

I've been doing computer graphics professionally for the past 15 years, and the number one most annoying request I have heard is, "Can we enhance it?" My answer has always been the same, "No we can't f***ing enhance it!"

No matter what you see on TV or in the movies, there is no magic enhance filter or button that you can select or push. If it ain't in the image, it ain't in the image. Period, end of story. Unless you were using a plenoptic camera, in that case, all bets are off.

Now leave me alone, I have to go watch CSI Miami with my sunglasses on, off, on:)

Canon G12

The 'G" series of cameras have been immensely popular for Canon ever since the 3.3 Megapixel G1 was introduced in 2000. Fast forward ten years, and Canon has introduced the G12. Clad in black, and looking retro sexy as usual. Now featuring a leather crinkle finish on the rubber hand grip. Nice.

Killer specs include: High Sensitivity 10 Megapixel sensor, 1280x720 HD video at 24p and High Dynamic Range (HDR) scene mode.

This is a great semi pro camera that is small enough that you can easily take it with you, whenever you don't want to lug around a heavy and expensive SLR.

The best kept secret is that it can also flash sync at 1/2000 second, which is amazing for a 500 dollar camera. It's bigger brother, the mighty 5D Mark II, is five times more expensive and only syncs at 1/200 second. If you want to shoot outside with strobes during the day, and want to control the sun, there is no better camera at any price.

Pros: Crazy Sync Speed, 720p HD video, HDR.

Cons: No Time Lapse.

List Price: $499.00

Thursday, September 16, 2010

AET Campus 2013

I've been teaching at Santa Monica College's "Academy of Entertainment and Technology" for over 9 years. Holy S#*t! Can it really be that long? Well it looks like our campus is about to receive it's much anticipated makeover.

Designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects of West Hollywood, this proposed redesign has already won a Los Angeles Real Creativity Award. This new complex will feature a new 30,000-square-foot building that would be added to the Academy site to house computer classrooms, a student radio station, production spaces, edit bays, new server room, TV studio and control rooms, art studio, café and a 180-seat auditorium.

In addition, the plan calls for a 34,000-square-foot, three-story structure to house KCRW, which is currently in the basement of the Cayton Associated Students building on the SMC main campus. All buildings are being designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.

I like the futuristic Blade Runner styling. It's definitely going to be a great back lot for doing student film shoots.

Now if I can only find a parking space for my flying car.

HDR Video - Yay or Nay?

HDR photography has been steadily gaining popularity in the past few years. It's often used for creating toned mapped artistic photographs. This technique creates a painterly/hyper real version of the subject. It is also used professionally for gathering global illumination information that can be used to provide accurate lighting for 3D models.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging is usually accomplished by taking a series of photographs with varying exposures. Usually comprised of at least 3 pictures and up to 7 pictures, of the same moment in time. One picture is shot at a normal exposure, one at 2 stops underexposed, and one at 2 stops overexposed. These images are then combined in software to create either a tone mapped or HDR image.

Now that same technique has come to HD video. Using a beam splitter, that is commonly used for creating stereoscopic 3D imagery, the guys over at Soviet Montage have taken two Canon 5D Mark II's and creating what might be the first high dynamic range video. Using a one underexposed, and one overexposed technique, they have come up with something completely different.

If you find it visually attractive is really a matter of taste. But one thing is for sure, this is only the beginning. Get ready for a onslaught of HDR videos that will be coming our way. Hopefully this will help people forget all about the whole 3D rebirth.

I hope the porn guys don't get any crazy ideas.