The world has changed, and because information is ubiquitous, some think they can acquire hard work for their own purposes for both personal or commercial use. The music and movie industry looses billions to pirates, thiefs, and ignorant folk that think when they buy a blu-ray or CD that allows them to do whatever they want with the media. False! You get a license to view the product or listen to the music for non-commercial purposes only. If you can figure out a way to share the image, give an attribute to the creator too.
Any photograph or video I put online belong to me, or we can license the images for your own use and manipulation for a fee to be determined. The fines for infringement range from $750 to $30,000 per image or video by USA law.
I will use a simple Creative Commons license for images:
Creative Commons License
This work by Ismael Rosales is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
2006 ushers in the year of affordable high quality high definition (HD) capture, edit, and output, with all the pieces finally becoming widely available. Camera manufacturers large and small showed off their wears to the marketplace. The very largest electronics vendors had monstrous booths with entry pavilion theaters with breathtaking visuals. Sony Electronics featured their 4K SXRD projectors with a spectacular 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution. Sony showcased the 70 mm film Baraka, by Ron Fricke, with scenes of Japanese Macaque (Snow Monkey) and volcanoes. Matsushita Electric Industrial under their Panasonic brand headlined the versatility, workflow, and color accuracy of the AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD solid state camcorder. NHK showcased the North American premiere of Super Hi-vision with an astounding 7680 x 4320 pixels, for a near IMAX experience with digital cinema.
The entry into the HD realm starts with 720p, followed by 1080p, and then reaches into the stratosphere with 2K, 4K, and 8K systems. JVC previewed the GY-HD200U a 720p camcorder and Panasonic celebrated the 720p and 1080p AG-HVX200 camcorder. Sony delivered on the 1080i XDCAM HD series, and RED digital cinema promoted a future 4K RED ONE camera.
On the post production side, Mac based editing solutions include Avid and Apple. Compositing software is more diverse with Apple Shake, Boris FX Blue and Red, Autodesk Combustion, and Adobe After Effects. With the rapid move toward Universal applications and Intel based workstations, every software vendor is rapidly moving toward the PowerPC and Intel binaries, but no one faster the Apple Computer. Already Final Cut Studio and very soon Shake will be fully qualified on the Power Mac G5 series, MacBook Pro series, and future platforms.
In front of a well fed and eager crowd Giles Baker and Steve Kilisky of Adobe Systems demonstrated the Adobe Production Studio to the Motion Graphics Los Angeles User Group meeting at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Adobe sponsored a taco bar buffet line to warm up the appetites of creative professionals, and then walked through a vivid scenario using all the tools in the Adobe Production Studio, including Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, Adobe Audition 2.0, Adobe After Effects 7.0 Professional, Adobe Encore DVD 2.0, and a taste of Adobe Photoshop CS2. The glue that binds all these applications together is a unified dark gray user interface presentation layer, along with Adobe Bridge asset management and preset rangler, and the ability to import projects built in After Effects directly in Premiere Pro or and Encore DVD without rendering or final assembly, called Adobe Dynamic Link. Any change in the After Effects composition, updates automatically in the timeline.
Premiere Pro and After Effects also feature float based processing of effects to ensure maximum color fidelity and encourage the use of high dynamic range images. Premiere Pro now offers multicam editing. Most Production Studio applications also support GPU OpenGL acceleration for realtime previews of effects and edits.
Adobe seems to being playing catch up to Apple, with Motion, Final Cut Pro, and Soundtrack Pro already featuring multicam editing, GPU acceleration, 32-bit effects support, and many more features. Premiere Pro does offer more complete integration with Adobe Acrobat with a feature called Clip Notes, a robust edit approval system using PDF to generate notes and comments into the editing timeline.
I discussed directly with the Premiere Pro product manager support for the Panasonic DVCPRO HD HVX200 camcorder, and he balked that the licensing fee for the codec was too great to include in Premiere Pro directly. The only method to edit DVCPRO HD is using the Matrox Axio system priced at $11,495. The Adobe Production Studio sells for $1699.
In a very large North American launch, Panasonic premiered the AG-HVX200 to the public via full page ads in newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. At the DV Expo in Los Angeles, Panasonic contracted with filmmakers to take the VariCam sibling HVX200 through it’s paces, with footage of a college basketball game, Hollywood street scene, a frame rate exploration of a backlit martial artist, and a green screen music video.
Barry Green’s footage looked fantastic. He shot multiple frame rates at 720p and also some 1080p capture. The Panasonic booth had a 17 inch LCD display as the presentation monitor, and the footage was 80% of the VariCam. Michael Caporale showed an experimental music video shot on a green screen. The original pre-composited material looked sharp, excellent contrast, and ready for green screen removal. Caporale also shot run and gun footage of a Hollywood movie premiere, which looked bright, color accurate, and competent.
Panasonic promised sometime in the future these shots should be available on a DVD. I hope that similar to the VCR-FireWire-NLE launch some two years ago, an editing software vendor release raw DVCPRO HD from the camera, so anyone can test their NLE of choice with actual image captures.
Panasonic also announced the availability of the AG-HVX200 targeted for 29 December 2005. DV Expo featured a near 2 hour walkthrough by Jan Crittenden Livingston, the product manager for the AG-HVX200, on the design and features of this revolutionary camcorder. Included here are keypoint slides from the presentation.
At the Egyptian Theatre on Friday September 30 2005, Jan Crittenden Livingston, Product Line Business Manager for the Panasonic AG-HVX200 camcorder thrilled a crowd of over 100 Los Angeles producers, directors, and high definition (HD) enthusiasts with the latest information on the upcoming DVCPRO HD product. Every aspect of the history and design methodology of this next revolution in affordable HD image acquisition became clear in the 1.5 hour lecture and hands on walkthrough of the HVX200 device.
This camcorder has extensive coverage from around the blogosphere, including HVX User, P2 Info Net, and Creative Cow P2 forum. The most interesting tidbits from the discussion and presentation in no particular order:
Panasonic showed coyness in revealing the HXV200 imaging block specifications, but rather had actual test footage from a prototype camcorder, and asked the audience to judge the final results, and not compare pixel count or CCD size. In the test footage at the booth, and some projected engineering style capture of a luscious tabletop scene of spinning desk accessories, textures, and reflective materials the image held it own. One audience member quipped that we did not actually see raw capture off the P2 card, but due to logistical reasons, the source material was transferred via analog component to an AJ-HD1200A VCR and played back on a DVCPRO HD tape, preserving the DVCPRO HD codec output.
For four days the prototype HVX200 played back a scene on P2 from the IBC 2005 Amsterdam show, with street cars during a night and daylight shot, and on the playback display, the images looked stunning with absolute clarity and image fidelity, even into the shadows. This also demonstrated the robustness of the P2 media, as hundreds, if not thousands of eager camera operators touched, prodded and cajoled the camcorder all weekend long. I left on the final day and the media and camera continued to play back the Amsterdam scene without tape wear or hesitation. The DVCPRO HD codec, based on the compression technology of DV, but at a color sampling of 4:2:2 instead of DV 4:1:1 is one step closer to the highest quality HD-D5, but at a more affordable price point. Panasonic has already announced in some future camcorder a full D5 unit, most like two years away. Currently, a HD-D5 VCR lists at $99,000 as compared to the $5995 list price for the AG-HVX200 camcorder. Another useful point during recording, using the P2 media, the camcorder will be able to remove redundant frames, so a 24p recording session will contain only the necessary information, rather than the limitation of a linear tape based system that maintained a constant tape velocity and needed to always record 60p, regardless of the variable frame rate setting. The output from the firewire interface follows this paradigm, always receiving the full 60p information stream.
This camcorder may be the best product designed for the aspiring filmmaker and documentarian. Though the camcorder is chubby and larger than DV camcorders, the weight is low and controls are well placed, and it offers specifications unavailable in any other under $10,000 HD camcorder. This camera will have four channels of uncompress audio at 16 bit 48 kHz sampling, as compared to the paltry 2 channel MPEG-1 Audio Layer II on HDV camcorder. For a small budget film, or documentary sound is over 50% of the experience, and requires perhaps more care and handling than the picture. Previously, one would need to chain a DAT or MiniDisc recorder to the camera for high sound quality, but the Panasonic rig takes care of that necessity.
Now, the faithful must wait a few more weeks. Panasonic expects to receive shipping AG-HVX200 camcorders by the end of November 2005, but I suspect that it will premiere at the Tokyo Inter BEE 2005 show in mid November, and become more widely available by early 2006.
At NAB 2005, producers and directors of photographers wondered what would become of the video cassette recorder (VCR), as solid state flash memory devices usurp the legacy tape based formats like DigiBetacam, DV, HDV, and DVCPRO 50. Sony has chosen a proprietary XDCAM format, based on a magneto optical disk, while Panasonic is going to a SD format PCMCIA card called P2.
As a VCR replacement one would have to consider these factors:
Speed must be near real time (one hour video transfered in around an hour or less)
Media should be around the same form factor as a video tape
VCR Information Technology Replacement (4 hour project, 250 GB)
Backup Time (hr)
Drive & Media Cost*
Media Only Cost*
* prices from summer 2005 survey
Today, the only viable VCR replacment on a small four hour project is the LTO series, AIT 3/AIT 4/SAIT, and the DSLT 600. In the IT industry, data centers have gravitated towards the multivendor LTO. Quantum is the sole provider of DSLT. Sony maintains a strong following for the AIT and SAIT series.
In an all electronic workflow, producers and directors cannot rely on video tapes or film as an emergency backup. Previously, a still photography or filmaker would keep their negative or positive, and strike new prints as needed. With the advent of digital photography, and soon in affordable digital filmmaking and video production, there is no physical backup, but only the bit buckets, which when arranged properly would describe a vast landscape, a human face, or an airplane landing.
In the still photography realm, image makers have embraced the new workflow, because they realize the potential for new creativity:
Every copy of the image is an original
Since the image is already digitized, it is easily shared
Digital photos are more easily manipulated and cropped
The arduous process of scanning film is eliminated
However, since the bits become supreme, over the film strip or video tape, special storage considerations must be analyzed and scrutinized. Also, still photography describes a single moment in time, while moving images records that same scene but at 24 to 60 frames per second, so a 2 MB still frame file, can become a 48 MB file per second for video, and with Panasonic DVCPRO HD codec 60 GB per hour. How does one store that much data for archiva purposesl and retrieval in the future?
Today, we have current technology, and very soon the future will be now (Blu-Ray Disc, holographic storage, VXA 3, etc). It used to take a simple trip to the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, to get a bead on storage, but for all practical purposes Comdex has ended, and may never return. Instead, we need to look to manufactucturer events and niche events like Macworld Expo, Storage Networking World, or AIIM Expo.
To manage and harness the growing terabyte requirements in entertainment consider these storage solutions: