Blackmagic Fusion 8 Public Beta
The public beta of Fusion 8 for Windows and Mac is here.
The compositing and 3D application used by a number of Hollywood films was purchased by Blackmagic about a year ago, and they released version 7 for free, along with a $1,000 studio version containing more advanced features and options. While version 7 was only available on Windows, version 8 is now available for both Windows and OS X, and the $1K studio version will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux when it’s finally released.
Here’s a general overview of Fusion from Rick Young:
They just released the first Public Beta for Davinci Resolve 12, which you can download here. Resolve 12 brings over eighty new features to the popular color grading tool, with a host of editing, audio, workflow, and of course, color grading improvements.
First, here’s a video from Blackmagic that gives us a great rundown:
(Thanks to Robbie Carman of Amigo Media for the heads-up on Frame.io)
Collaboration is a major part of filmmaking, but sometimes it seems as though technology hasn’t quite caught up with our increasingly mobile and online workflows. That’s why Frame.io is so exciting. This collaboration platform aims to “pick up where Vimeo left off” by allowing users to upload, review, and share videos privately with collaborators anywhere in the world with a single application. And once you check out the workflow, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
What is Frame.io?
Frame.io explains the workflow:
Frame.io acts as a home base for all your creative projects. It replaces the hodgepodge of using Vimeo, Dropbox, and Gmail to work with media files online. We solve cloud storage, client review, transcoding, and light asset management into one seamless app. We have great tools for video like time based comments and annotation so you can draw directly on video frames. We have version control and comparison tools built in so you can see what’s changed over time. Frame.io is social too. Every action performed is tied to an individual user and tracked so you get notifications about what’s going on. It’s built for teams from the ground up so you can create a private workspace for each project you’re working on and decide who has access to what.
Frame.io allows you to create projects, add collaborators to them, and drag and drop files from your computer to share all within the dashboard, which is a real time-saver.
Click here to try Frame.io and to read a lot more on this collaborative tool for video creators.
Nothing makes or breaks an audience’s expectation for a film like a trailer.
On one hand, a well-cut and expertly crafted trailer can stoke an audience’s imagination, giving subtle, yet alluring hints of the film’s plot, style, and overall tone. If the trailer audience likes what they see, they’re a hell of a lot more likely to follow through and watch the film. On the other hand, if the trailer disappoints in some way, if it’s awkwardly cut, includes too much or too little plot, if it confuses audiences or leaves them feeling underwhelmed, well, then you’ve done the marketing equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.
Luckily, just about anything can be learned on the internet these days, including the art of cutting a trailer for your upcoming film. So without any further ado, here’s Ryan Connolly and the Film Riot crew to offer some helpful tips on crafting a trailer:
Adobe released one of the largest updates to Premiere Pro in recent memory.
Of the many new features that are integrated into the software, the most exciting of them is Lumetri Color panel, which comes in a completely revamped color correction workspace. While the workspace itself features new scopes (courtesy of SpeedGrade) and a few other nifty features for editors who find themselves correcting and grading footage, the Lumetri Color panel provides perhaps the biggest boost in grading capability and ease of use that has ever been seen in Premiere.
Jib shots are great, and there’s no doubt that they can add massive production value. However, they can also be a tremendous pain in the ass to set up and operate, especially as a one man crew.
Luckily, like most technical aspects of filmmaking, jib shots can be hacked. In an excellent episode of PremiumBeat’s newish tutorial series, aptly titled Awesome Cinematography, filmmaker Brent Pierce shows us just how simple it can be to use a slider to capture vertically and horizontally-moving shots that would otherwise require a small jib. Also, the results of this technique look absolutely fantastic.
Depth of field is an incredibly powerful tool, but the mathematics and mechanics of calculating and pre-visualizing it can be overwhelming.
A Polish software engineer (and amateur photographer) named Michael Bemowski recently put together one of the most helpful depth of field tools out there, and the best part is that it’s completely free. The tool, which you can find here, allows you to manipulate every camera and lens setting that affects depth of field, from sensor size to focal length, from aperture to the distance between the subject and the camera. Plus it gives you a handy visual approximation of what each specific set of parameters would look like in a real world setting.
At the bottom of the app is another helpful tool, which gives you visual approximations of the distance between the camera, subject, and background, as well as the exact depth of field measurements for the settings defined above.
In order to make this tool as accessible as possible, you can download a version of it that runs offline on any operating system, and there is a dedicated mobile version as well, so you can access it anywhere at any time.
So, you’re a noob filmmaker, huh? Well, that essentially means you’re a walking mistake factory.
That’s okay! Making mistakes is part of learning and becoming better — which, if we’re smart, we never stop doing. But, it’s always nice to learn how to avoid pitfalls before its too late, which is where filmmaker Darious Britt comes in. He has compiled 15 common (though not altogether obvious) mistakes that filmmakers make when they first start out and not only gives examples to learn from, but he also offers some excellent wisdom on ways to fix them in the video below:
Here’s a written list of all 15 common mistakes from the video:
Poor casting choices
Poor shot composition
Unnecessary insert shots
Too many pregnant pauses
No blocking (movement)
Too much chit chat
Action for the sake of action
We can all be honest here and admit that we’re all guilty of making at least 95% of these mistakes (if we’re really honest, 100%). Darious offers so many great tips on how to not only avoid these things, but also how to fix them after we’ve made them.
What common mistakes have you made as a beginner filmmaker? Which ddo you notice in the films of other beginner filmmakers? Let us know in the comments below.
A few filmmaking apps have made themselves indispensable in years past. Shot Assistant is bound to become the next.
Shot Assistant was designed by a cinematographer and Steadicam operator by the name of Ruben Sluijter, and at its very core, the app takes advantage of the advanced motion sensors embedded in our phones, and it uses that data in order to present camera operators with information about how their camera is positioned and how it is moving.
Our friend Matt Workman, who runs the excellent Cinematography Database website, recently test drove Shot Assistant and shared his thoughts on the app.
Here are the main features of Shot Assistant:
Highly accurate level with multiple readouts.
Heading (absolute and relative display) and tilt indicators.
Built-in seismograph with high and low sensitivity setting, useful for hunting down the source of vibrations in shot.
Ranging tool to allow the operator to easily get back to a certain angle.
Clear visual feedback for all actions.
Various layouts, including a full screen level
Absolute and relative horizon display, changes how the onscreen horizon rolls in relation to your device.
Calibration delay, gives 3 or 5 seconds to let everything settle before zeroing the app
Simple to operate without even looking at your iOS device, just hit the screen at the right point in rehearsals and you’re set!
Here’s a bit from the app’s description on how to use it:
To best use it; attach your iOS device to the camera or to whatever is carrying the camera. Once it’s secured start the app and you’re good to go. This way the information on the screen correlates with what the camera is doing. Optionally, if you mount your device at an angle, you can tap the screen with three fingers to zero the accelerometer to your current angle as a base to start from. The “button” functions are:
1 finger stores the current heading, tilt, and roll as a range.
2 fingers clears the stored range.
3 fingers zeros the angles to whatever angle you are at, useful for mounting your device (Note: only works if “three finger zoom” is turned off in your Accessibility Settings!).
4 fingers switches between high and low sensitivity for the seismograph, useful for finding vibrations in the camera or mount, or to find trouble spots on dolly tracks, or anything else that might vibrate. (Note: Will also reset the mounting angle, useful if three finger zoom is still turned on in your settings.)
5 fingers brings you to the menu.
While Shot Assistant isn’t going revolutionize the way you shoot or anything nearly that hyperbolic, it will provide you with incredibly accurate information about how your camera is positioned, and it gives you that information in real time and in an interface that is intuitive, easy to read, and full of helpful visual cues. How you choose to interpret and put that information to use is entirely up to you, but it will almost certainly make you more aware of how you naturally move the camera on a Steadicam or gimbal stabilizer. The app’s real power, however, lies in its ability to store marks and then visually guide you back to those marks. Whether you’re doing a simple pan that needs to be exact or a complex dolly jib (jolly) move, the Shot Assistant app can guide the camera operator to where he or she needs to be using a combination of simple visual cues.
Shot Assistant is currently only available for iOS, but Ruben is hard at work on an Android version as well. If you’d like to stay up to date with the latest Shot Assistant news, be sure to like their Facebook page, and if you’re interested in purchasing the app ($10), you can find it through the app store.