Tuesday, February 28, 2006

dataisnature.com - Early American Computer Animation

The National Film Theatre 2 in London will be presenting the program "Early American Computer Animation" starting this Thursday, March 2nd.
The development of the computer as an animation tool inspired a period of radical innovation in techniques and visual form. By the late 60s, there were a number of film-makers using the new ‘dream machines’ as their medium, often exploring new aesthetics that had no precursor in the history of cinema. This programme (curated by Gregory Kurcewicz) features work by film-makers including Lillian Schwartz, John Stehura and John Whitney, who overcame the constraints of low memory and primitive interfaces to create works of lasting beauty.

A Curates Egg

A Curates Egg

Site updated, check "longform" to find film clips. But everything else there is equally brilliant!)

Lifelong Friendship Society is cooking something up. Looks to be a feature film, but who knows. It defies all explanation. Three trailers are linked on the site, each equally baffling and hilarious.

No other info than that. I emailed them, but assume a response may never come. I venture a guess that this is going to be feature film. Who knows.

I wonder who else in design/animation collectives is taking on feature films. MK12 is making History of America. Now these guys. I'm pretty excited by the bent, but brilliant minds going into this.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Fresh HDV is a good page of links to HDV production info, with tips on combatting artifacting and other HDV pitfalls.
FresHDV | Fresh news & views for videographers, editors, filmmakers, directors & producers.
Found Via Mike

MakeZine.com: Maker Faire Movies

Make is hosting a mini film festival of DIY video's that celebrate the Make aesthetic:
The first film festival that celebrates makers and the DIY mindset.
Grab those hacked CVS video cameras and $14 steadycams. It's time for MAKE: Movies! MAKE: is hosting the first festival for makers to show off their DIY short video clips. Don't think of it as a contest, because there isn't much to win if you make the cut... other than the admiration of your peers, a bag of MAKE: goodies, and the chance to see your work on the big (well, medium) screen at the upcoming Maker Faire in April. Our favorite footage will premiere at a special MAKE: Movies! party at the Maker Faire and shown throughout the event. Of course, you're invited to walk down the asphalt carpet and say a few words about your work. After the Faire, the selections will be available for free download on Makezine.com. So charge those batteries, fire up Final Cut, and... Action!

Important: Submit your movie by March 24, 2006!

Found Via BoingBoing

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Democracy - Internet TV Platform - Free and Open Source

Brian writes:

Democracy Player is a video content aggregator, and it also includes a component named the Broadcast Machine that allows users (budding filmmakers?) to easily set up a distribution channel for their work. It's very intriguing... I could potentially see filmmakers setting up channels to post short films, sample clips, teasers, or production
videos... who knows! Whatever the case, this is a great way to increase exposure.

Democracy Player: http://www.getdemocracy.com/
Broadcast Machine: http://www.getdemocracy.com/broadcast/

Here is a sameple BM page (complete with RSS feed for Democracy) I set
up: http://www.small-scale.net/bm/

Democracy - Internet TV Platform - Free and Open Source

Friday, February 17, 2006

Uncompressed 4:4:4 Stereoscopic Camera System - 3DVX3

This looks like a pretty impressive piece of kit. Stereoscopic 1280x720 HD camera, with the video recorded to two Mac CPU's mounted in the case!

No doubt costs a fortune but maybe could inspire DIY solutions. Gives me notions of using a Mac Mini in some kind of DIY HD camera. I'd be more likely to just duct-tape two hi-8 camcorders together or something though. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Adobe Report

Yesterday I attended the Chicago leg of the Adobe "Production Studio" tour. Since moving over to the PC, I've been editing on an old version of Premiere and I've been pretty happy with it. I figured that this tour would show off some more whiz-bang special effects or eye candy that doesn't really interest me, but I was wrong. From the demos, it seems that Adobe has put in a lot of productivity shortcuts (back in the Amiga days, I did everything from keyboard shortcuts), creature comforts to soften the blow of the task at hand, and tons of other stuff that seems like it will make a big difference in the editing experience, instead of more crazy transitions wihch really don't help anybody. ;-)

"Production Studio" is the bundling together of Premiere, After Effects, Audition, and various other configurations of Adobe products. More than just throwing them in the same box, these apps integrate into one another in an "unprecedented" way (that's not actually true - I had Amiga video apps that shared buffers and communicated through a timeline the _exact_ same way in the late 90's. See my Amiga rant below.) With this move, they are clearly going after Apple's much vaunted systemwide integration. I was very impressed with a lot of what I saw, and while I usually decry a lot of special effects, I can see actually using a lot of what they showcased in Premiere Pro2 and the latest After Effects:

Much improved chromakey facilites
Vastly improved primary and secondary color correction
Color correction and other effects operate in 32 bit colorspace for much more granular control
Algorythmically calculated slow motion instead of simplistic (and strobe prone) frame blending
Feature rich motion tracking

There was also a really nice method of generating a low res version of your project to email clients. It (somehow) plays from within a PDF. The client is able to make notes while watching the video, and each note has the corresponding timecode referenced to it. When you get back these notes and open them up in Premiere, the timecode in his notes puts markers on your timeline so you can go in and quickly make changes. Wow.

They were alos pushing very hard on delivering online video via Flash. 96.3% (apparently) of computers have Flash 6 or later installed on them (more penetration than Internet Explorer), and of course it runs under Linux and on some phones, etc. The Flash player is also much more customizable as far as customizing it to look good on your webpage (QT and WMP sure don't allow for that). Heck - the screen doesn't even have to be rectangular! They made a compelling case for Flash, but that's really only for playing videos at your site. It's not set up for downloading to a portable playback device. Still - food for thought.

There was tons more things I saw of course, but these are the facilities that spring to mind that I could make immediate use of. Of course there were lots of special effects shown, but the one that has the potential to become as cliche as morphing was in the early 90's is what they call "Live Trace". This is in After Effects and chages live video into vector art, much like the film "Waking Life" (ta-da). It was realyl easy to get good results, but I coudln't tell if there was an interframe relationship between these vector layouts just so each frame transitions smoothly from one to the next.

Actually, one of the biggest shocks to me was how many features Adobe was showcasing that Amiga apps were already doing more than ten years ago. In addition to simple keyframe editing, After Effects has graphs - guess what? So did ImageMaster on the Amiga in 1991. Encore DVD can load a directory of stills, automatically arrange them into a slideshow, add transitions between them, anda make them fit to a certain length of music. The Video Toaster could do this circa 1995.

Yeah, Adobe's stuff is better - but not TEN YEARS better!

Oh, and if you're wondering about the picture above, I was lucky enough to be the first name drawn in the raffle. The other prize was the entire premium Adobe Production Suite. I, of course, won the Tumbuk bag. Darn.

Macsimum News - Pixar looking to build more Mac OS X apps

Pixar Animation Studios, which is being bought by Disney, is is apparently building more native Mac OS X applications and is seeking programmers with advanced skills in Object-C and Cocoa, according to a post on Highend3D online


Monday, February 13, 2006

Laser Projectors Coming to Cell Phones and PDAs

Light Blue Optics Ltd (LBO) has developed a revolutionary technology for miniature laser projectors dubbed PVPro(tm). Today they announced their latest demonstrator unit, which is only 3.78 cubic inches in volume, and is similar in size and shape to a typical matchbox. Projectors based on PVPro technology can be used to display images from a range of mobile devices, including laptop computers, personal media players like the video iPod, digital cameras and even mobile phones.

Found Via Engadget

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Japanese Warhol TDK ad

Found Via ashleyb.org

MyVu Personal Media Player: LCD goggles - Engadget

Cute video goggles/earphones being marketed for the ipod, but probably usable with just about anything. These things tend to give me headaches personally, but I haven't totally discounted them as being something potentially useful for some sort of multimedia art project.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Air freshener timelapse

This is film rather than video, but such sheer genius I had to share. A member of the filmshooting.com small-gauge film forum has hacked an electronic air freshener, which originally sprayed a whiff of scent at timed intervals, into a timelapse cable release for super-8 cameras, complete with the option of automatic day or night-time operation!

Pictures and details on the forum thread: http://www.filmshooting.com/scripts/forum/viewtopic.php?p=119826#119826