Tuesday, May 30, 2006

CinemaTech: Coming from Texas Instruments: Handheld 3-D Projectors for Consumers?

CinemaTech tracks a BusinessWeek Europe article that alludes to consumer-end portable DLP's that could project in 3D.. just vapor and rumors right now of course, but.. *slobber*... *hlompth*.. *drool*...

Choose Your Own Adventure DVD's

The classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" kids books are being adapted into animated DVD's. Not the first time that a choose your own adventure-style disc has been made, but it's notable that they are adapting the actual books for this.

With a distribution deal set to become final today with a distributor of family DVDs, Norton, 31, and Crames, 30, are hoping to persuade a new generation to test the adventuresome waters, using a remote control in place of a bookmark. First up is "The Abominable Snowman," a film aimed at children ages 6 to 11 that allows users to guide what happens by registering their choices on their DVD player.

'Adventure' DVD Idea Leaps From Books - Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wired News: The Dead Formats Society

Momus muses about dead formats and the transient nature of media (a subject near and dear to my laserdisc-lovin' heart) over on the Wired site.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Welcome Editors Keys

Video Thing would like to welcome this week's sponsor, Editors Keys. The company makes key cap shortcut labels for all the major audio and video applications- an easy, affordable alternative to pricey editor's keyboards and full key cap replacements (which require you to yank out all your keys and only fit in certain keyboards). The pre-cleaning cloth and applicator they include make sure that the labels don't peel or collect gunk like a lot of key labels do.
Editors Keys have launched a new website which carries all new Video and Audio editing keyboard sets for the following programs:

-Adobe Premiere
-Final Cut
-Sony Vegas
-After Effects
-Pro Tools
-Cubase and many more...!

Each key contains your programs shortcut function and tool on it for faster access, whilst keeping the keys 'Letter' in the corner for standard typing.

HDMI DRM dormant until 2010 -Boing Boing

From Anti-DRM advocate Cory Doctorow over on BoingBoing:
Hollywood studios and some CE manufacturers have reportedly entered into an informal agreement to hold off on using the 'image constraint token' in HDMI DRM until 2010 or 2012. The image constraint token is a flag in a video signal that instructs receivers, DVD players and other high-definition sources to 'down-rez' their output to a low-definition signal when connecting to an 'untrusted' screen or other sink.

The effect is that if your screen or recorder isn't blessed by Hollywood, they can limit the video they send to it to a low-resolution image. Manufacturers who want the full signal have to enter into the HDMI license agreement and agree to cripple their hardware in lots of ways -- and have to promise not to make their equipment compatible with anyone else's, unless they, too, agree to cripple their hardware.


Videos from NAB 2006

Related to the camera link I just posted, here are some videos from NAB 2006. Of interest are demonstrations of the Automatic Revolution self levelling Steadicam rig (costs $80K!), a long demo of the Silicon Imaging camera, and a quick demo of the Varizoom DV Rig Pro camera support system for those long shooting days.


All about cameras at NAB 2006

NAB is the biggest tradeshow of the year for video professionals. Mike Curtis over at HD For Indies has posted a huge long article about cameras and shooting gear from NAB 2006 on his site here. All the new interesting cameras, including Sony's 3x slomo HD camera, Red Digital's amazing new camera, Silicon Imaging's new camera that records 10 bit wavelet based codec stuff to USB 2.0 disc in a portable computer, Grass Valley and Ikegami's new HD camcorders that record to hard drives, Arri's D-20, new HDV camcorders from JVC, the crazy Automatic Revolution self levelling Steadicam rig, and tons more.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Way back at the dawn of Video Thing, I posted about Quartz Composer, an OS X developer's tool that gives you easy and direct access to all the graphical tricks built into the operating system. People have done some amazing stuff with it, including some pretty impressive VJ apps. (I was able to make a couple of screensavers with it.) My complaint at the time was that there was no way to make an iTunes visualizer plug in with it. I wanted someone to make an oldschool analog-looking visualizer like the Atari Video Music to replace the cheesy ravey 90's looking visualizer built in to iTunes.
Today I saw this:
With Mac OS X Tiger Apple introduced a convenient way to create your own graphical effects: The Quartz Composer. Sadly by default these could only be used as screen saver or run in Quicktime.
With iVisualize it is finally possible to run these in iTunes, have them react to your music, and display a lot of song information.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pioneer BDR-101A Blu-ray burner now available, for just $999 - Engadget

Pioneer has released a $1k internal IDE Blu-Ray burner. Discs come from Sony, 25 bucks a pop. I think I'll wait a little while on this one.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Timeline of CGI in film and television - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia has an interesting and comprehensive history of CGI use in films, with stills. Did you know that Westworld was the first film to use 2d computer-digitized images? It probably cost half the budget for a few seconds too, I'd expect.

Adult Film Studio Offers Downloads to DVDs - Yahoo! News

Starting Monday, Vivid Entertainment says it will sell its adult films through the online movie service CinemaNow, allowing buyers to burn DVDs that will play on any screen, not just a computer.
It's another first for adult film companies that pioneered the home video market and rushed to the Internet when Hollywood studios still saw it as a threat.

Found Via HD for Indies

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Light Organ

Phillip Sanderson writes:
Hi Video Thing
.you might enjoy this? An updated "light organ" image to accompaniment synthesizer.

At last a use for all those unwanted adult movies now using the wonders of max/msp/jitter you can turn them into pixelated lyrical piano music. At least that is what psouper has done with an updated "light organ" image to accompaniment synthesizer.

See more at :

Read more below:
The concept of a correlation between sound and vision goes back to antiquity. One starry night on the island of Samos Pythagoras stood contemplating the skies, to him he very rhythm and motion of heavenly bodies in their orbits appeared to him as if governed by a cosmic harmony, a carefully choreographed sequence, the music of the spheres.

Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci produced sophisticated spectacles for court festivals that fused music and colour. In 1760 Father Castel constructed an Ocular Harpsichord or as he described it a " harpsichord for the eyes". Castel's machine was a normal harpsichord above which were 60 small windows, each with different coloured-glass and a small curtain. Each time the player depressed a particular key, the relevant curtain would rise to show a burst of colour.

In the next two hundred years many new instruments for combining light and sound were built. The British painter A. Wallace Rimington developed a Colour Organ which provided a moving light accompaniment to the 1916 New York premiere of Scriabin's symphony Prometheus: A Poem of Fire. Scriabin had scored not only the music but also the precise colours he wanted to accompany particular passages.

Such colour music forms the conceptual starting point for Fleshtones, a piece for extreme pixelated porn and auto generated accompaniment. Footage from webcams and other online sites is broken down into a simple tableau of colour bands, at times rather like the paint charts one might find in a DIY store. Given the subject matter this palette is either predominately pink or coffee coloured thus producing a sequence of flickering fleshtones. Using the wonders of max/msp/jitter these Fleshtones are turned into lyrical piano music that rises in falls in response and exact correspondence to the onscreen movement. The motion of earthly bodies thus is transformed into something of beauty, harmony and contemplation.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

AVCHD format will enable 8cm DVD-equipped HD camcorders - Engadget

Sony and Panasonic are working on an H.264 variant that that would record directly from cameras, sort of like HDV. Engadget seems down on the endeavor, but personally if I am going to shoot something in a compressed "HD Jr." format, I'll take H.264 over Mpeg2.

What I really want is a cellphone that shoots iPod-sized H.264 and blogs it Lifeblog-style. If I'm going to shoot HD footage, I'll stick with DVCPRO HD.

Sony and Panasonic-parent Matsushita have teamed up to develop an encoding format based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 that will enable future camcorders to capture HD footage directly to standard 8-centimeter DVDs. Called 'AVCHD,' the new format is able to handle numerous resolution/frame-rate combinations, including 480i at 60fps, 720p at 24, 50, or 60fps, and 1080p at 24fps (or 1080i for 50fps and 60fps configurations), and can encode audio in either 5.1 channel AC-3 or up to 7.1 channel Linear PCM.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006



Create Digital Motion

The VJ content of Create Digital Music has spun off into it's own site: Create Digital Motion, with their VJ Roundup as the first article.

Modern Mechanix - Flat Screen TV in 1958

This is crazy- Modern Mechanix posts about a flat screen crt technology developed in 1958 that got abandoned over licensing issues.

BECAUSE OF NEW TECHNIQUES in the field of electronics, airplane instrument panels and home television sets may soon have something in common—a rectangular picture tube less than three inches thick. The thin cathode-ray tube was invented by William Ross Aiken and developed in the Kaiser Aircraft and Electronics Corporation laboratories. Military uses for the new TV tube were developed for the Douglas Aircraft Company. For the aircraft pilot, the thin TV tube will serve as an electronic windshield, showing an artificial picture of the terrain and sky conditions about him. For the TV viewer at home, the new picture tube may result in new designs for sets, with screens mounted in any wall or hung like picture frames.


picturephoning.com: Video Glasses Meet Mobile TV

picturephoning.com: Video Glasses Meet Mobile TV
Kowon Technology, a South Korean venture start-up, has announced an eye-glass type display - dubbed MSP-209 - a mobile broadcastings screen incorporated into eyeglasses.