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Wow. IBC was a dud if you were looking for anything new

After 10 years of going to the IBC show in Amsterdam, I am used to seeing a fair number of products announced at NAB to be finally shipping. Yet there is usually a good number of new products that are released on the European market too. But IBC 2012, by that standard, was pretty much a lackluster show.

While there were a couple of cool announcements like the newest Nvidia K5000 Card for Mac Desktops offer users an unprecedented level of power within the Nvidia "Keppler" architecture. Nvidia is really pushing the bounds of computational processing and bring that power to the Mac Desktops really makes me want to see the next machine apple will produce ( hopefully it has multiple PCIe slots to support these oversized CUDA family cards

Aja showed working T-Tap and announced that they are now shipping but there were 2 things that Aja was showing that caught my attention. Finally announcing a Dock with both USB 3 and Thunderbolt for the KiPro Drive modules and new KiStore drive versions utilizing USB 3 instead of FW.

The other product was the Corvid Ultra, this is designed as an OEM product for other manufacturers to build product lines on. Shown at IBC for the first time it evolved from the "Riker" prototypes Aja has shown both publicly and privately for the last 2 years. With extensible architecture for both hardware and software this may be one of those products that will be utilized for Autodesk, Avid and other workflows, shown at the show in conjunction with ColorFront, showing realtime 4K Raw playback from F65, Canon and Arri workflows, this board harkens to the future of DI workflows.

Blackmagic Design showed working models of the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. I attended the BMD Press dinner and had a limited hands on with the camera in a press meeting, but was unable to shoot and process the media to determine effectiveness of the workflow. I was impressed with the weight and feel of the BMCC and the model I held was far better built than any of the models I touched at NAB and seemed up to the tasks one would ask from a prosumer level camera. Hopefully I will get chance to get my hands on a unit for a full evaluation.

Blackmagic also showed UltraStudio Mini adapters to allow separate capture and playback devices in a Micro formfactor and a Thunderbolt enabled 4K ( Really Quad HD ) I/O solution to allow a laptop to output 4K to a monitor or projector. Pretty neat stuff for a TB geek like me.

Autodesk showed off the expanded toolset in the latest builds of Smoke 2013 beta and it keeps looking more and more promising.

Arri showed a new digital connectivity control back for Alexa, but I was far more interested in what is now a complete set of Zeiss Anamorphic lenses designed for Digital Cinema Applications.

Zeiss also announced prior to the show that they were expanding the Compact Cine Lens line with the addition of a couple of short zooms and Angenieux powered focus and zoom attachment for cine lenses and a new integrated metadata module to tie into the i/Data metadata systems.

So, There were actually a large number of announcements, I just did not find most of the interesting.



Posted by: gary adcock on Sep 17, 2012 at 10:02:23 amComments (1) BMCC, NVidia

IBC opens today, Wonder what is happening?

So far, this IBC looks to be an interesting show.

Some of the new products will be featured here as the media embargo is lifted, One special product, my first look at the Blackmagic Cinema Camera will be featured on the @Techhive blog site that is now supporting and I am looking forward to taking a look at what all the buzz is about.

As most everyone has already heard,

Zeiss has announced new Zooms in the CP series.

Arri will be showing the finished full set of Master Anamorphic PL mount lenses and released a Accessory kit for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera

DSC Labs is showing a simpler chart designed by PVC's Art Adams.

Adobe has updated Premier to 6.02 and announces "Adobe Anywhere" an online collaborative environment for working groups

ColorFront is showing their Onset Tools in conjunction with a new product from Aja Video Systems.

Schneider has dragged filter guru Ira Tiffen in to replace the late Bob Zupka to head the Cinema Filter Division.

There will be plenty more on my @garyadcock twitter account.

Posted by: gary adcock on Sep 6, 2012 at 10:30:47 pm IBC, New Products

Congrats to CHIFCPUG on it's 10th "official" anniversary and My 25th.

I wanted to send out a note to congratulate the Editing Community and specifically to Sue Lawson and the current board of what transformed from a group of 40 or so people people following my sessions on VIdeo Editing at the Apple Market Center Chicago, into what "officially" became the Chicago Final Cut Pro User's group on August 15th, 2002.

The Group had been under my guidance for more than2 years at this time, but with assistance from Apple's Heather Lopez-Cepero, Matt Geller, David Sallak, Fred Pfeiffer, and Billy Sheehan for over 2 years. However, with the growing number of Final Cut Pro Followers, I begrudgingly took the suggestions of my associates and we re-created CHIFCPUG as a group effort with officers and the legal declaration that we wanted to operate as an Non Profit.

I left the group about 4 years later, mostly because I did not want to be so closely associated with a single product as my business was embracing a higher and higher level of tools and technologies but also to allow the group to grow beyond my vision (with some really good advice from Ted Schilowitz).

Currently CHIFCPUG is alive and well, operating as the Chicago Creative Pro Users Group and under Sue Lawson's guidance, the group has (like many others) take the Final Cut out of the name, but still provides a knowledgeable community resource, as well as a place that users of all skill levels can go to find assistance and further their post production knowledgebase.

I may have started the group, but it was the FCP community that kept the group together until Sue took over as President, I applaud both her and the group for holding on to the concept and sharing with the community in Chicago.

this also marks a milestone for my little company, Studio37 Inc., as this August also marks the 25th year. Little did I know that my company would offer me the knowledge, experience and the travel that I have been able to do.

My Thanks to the many companies like Adobe, Apple, Panasonic, Sony, Arri, but a special thanks goes out to Aja Video Systems for the everything that we have done together that made this possible, because with out them I would not be here.

Thank You

Gary Adcock

Posted by: gary adcock on Aug 15, 2012 at 6:56:01 amComments (4) Chifcpug, Final Cut Pro

My first thoughts on my first week with a new Retina MacBook Pro

As one of the early adopters of Thunderbolt, I ordered my new Retina MacBook Pro from my friends at Tekserve (NYC) the day after they were announced. With the Retina {Retina-MacBookPro is too much of a mouthful) Apple finally has added a second TB port to the laptop line, something the iMac has had from the beginning and added a HDMI output that allows me to use a Projector or monitor with my laptop and not take up my TB connection.

First off, who here on the Cow does not like a new toy, and opening a new laptop ( or any other new gadget) has always been a point of joy for me. Opening the Retina was no different, but it was. This is the first laptop I have had that ships sans disks, not an issue when the realization that there is no longer any DVD drive in the computer.

Apple tells me that the Retina is a little more than one pound lighter that my first gen TB model, when honestly, it feels like more, I swear it seems to weigh 1/2 what my previous laptop weights and it is considerably thinner, with the entire laptop not even as thick as the bottom half of my 18month old 1st Gen Thunderbolt MacbookPro

The entire Retina MBP on the right is noticeably thinner than just the bottom half of my 1st Gen TB version

OK lets remember a couple of things about this 15in Laptop, the size if beguiling, not having the same screen limitations of the previous 15" models the Retina display supports a stunning 2880 by 1800 px screen resolution. Even though Apple has made it a tad difficult to figure what your actual screen rez is, let me say that the high rez screen requirements of color grading applications like DaVinci Resolve and Autodesk Smoke both work flawlessly on the new machine.

Now that Apple has 2 TB ports on the laptop, most of my connection issues with monitoring via the TB connection have been alleviated, mostly because Apple chose to add a dedicated HDMI output instead of hanging a dongle off the Thunderbolt data pipe. That HDMI connection solved something that has caused grief among those of us that try to use a projector at the same time as a video device like Aja's IoXT or BMD's UltraStudio3.

Handling video content as YPrPb while sending a signal out t would supply the projectors that same YUV signal, even though the projector was expecting RGB, making for some nasty colored images being projected on screen. Now with the HDMI connection I no longer have to retune every projector that I work on to use YPrPb / YUV instead of the RGB default.

OK, so it's lighter, it's faster but what about connectivity, without an ethernet jack or a firewire 800 port, I am stuck with USB3? Well yes and no,
I have a collection of TB adaptors already. Apple just released their TB to Firewire adaptor today, but most of the people I talk to are not bothered by that.

My $150 Sonnet TB to Express card adaptor facilitates most of my connection issues so far in addition to being my main card reader for Sony and Alexa media, having that as a TB device has saved me scad's of worry. Since I have rarely carried a 17" for the express slot, it is not something I have even missed, but I welcome no longer having to move media over USB2.

Now that I can use the entire Thunderbolt architecture to handle data onset, handling data has a totally different attitude.

So far this laptop has been a dream, its lighter and faster than it's predecessors and with the increased speed and functionality from the internal SSD drive, multiple TB connections and lower power consumption Apple's Retina MacBook Pro is by far the best machine available for the portable, power user. Yes I will need to carry multiple connectors and adaptors to make all of this technology work correctly, but that is a small price to pay in the scheme of a lighter faster laptop. And while FCPX has updated graphics supporting the Retina display, there is no doubt in my mind that with the updated Nvidia graphics, that Premier Pro and the Adobe CS6 Suite can truly perform at it's peak on this Mac system.

At last I am finally thinking about ditching my desktops for good, because when I can handle data as fast or faster than I can on my desktops I am finally at piece with that notion.

I do not know about you, but numbers like these are hard to argue with on a laptop.

Posted by: gary adcock on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:05:14 amComments (9) FCPX, Retina

Zacuto's just released "Revenge of the Camera Shootout" is a must watch

Since I joined Creative Cow few things I have worked on have garnered as much interest as my work on the Zacuto Shoot Outs. I have been lucky enough to have once again asked to join Steve Weiss, Jens Bogehegn, Scott Lynch, Mandy Rodgers and the Zacuto Team for their latest effort, dubbed the "Revenge of the Shootout".

Like last time, I expect people here on CreativeCow to both offer support and vitriol, especially since I am credited with both assisting the overall Production Workflow, while also being the onsite camera tech for the Alexa shoot.

Watching the final project online is nothing like being onset for these shoots, this one held at the Tribeca Flashpoint Academy in Chicago earlier this spring was a massive affair, with over 600 participants, using 9 different cameras a Sony F65, Arri Alexa, Red Epic, Sony FS100, Sony F3, Canon C300, Canon 7D, Panasonic GH2 and Apple iPhone 4s.

Zacuto is not working with just anybody, I am genuinely honored to be included with DP's of this caliber. It's not just that I get to work with Bruce Logan ASC, Rodney Charters ASC/CSC, Nancy Schreiber ASC, Polly Morgan are among the many people that worked on a variety of subjects that are intended to move and enlighten you. < Search for more info on each DP >

"Revenge" is not about how much better one camera is than another, this time Steve and Jens focus on creating a environment that allowed each individual shooter to shine, so it is not just about the camera this time around. The DP's this time were brought in based on their working knowledge of each individual camera, then allowed to modify the rather complicated base lighting setup to best suit the camera and tools each was working with from camera through post.

The cameras until now have only been shown blindly, each defined with a letter. This installment of the web series finally unwraps the cameras and really opens the eyes of many of the viewers shown at the screening sessions. As far as I know, not a single person has been able to accurately choose every camera, (I personally was only able to pick out the iPhone4s, the Alexa and F65 from the pack, mainly because those are the tools that I work with regularly)

The Part that I found most interesting was not how each shooter accomplished the task, but also how much additional time was needed to make the changes onset, but "Revenge" also goes into great detail on the Post process and how long each camera took to achieve that look in post using a Baselight grading system at Filmworkers Club here in Chicago. This goes way beyond the basics and to me it showed one of the issues with using prosumer cameras vs those designed for "actual production". That means that if you are a small shop / one-man-band kind of setup that shoots and edits your own content, the tools are here now allow you to create at every price point, but when we are talking real production projects, the higher end camera actually excel at fitting into the existing workflows most larger productions use.

The cameras used ranged from $200 USD to $100,000 USD and the thing that really stood out for me? The more expensive the camera system, the less physical time it took to relight and then color correct the footage in post. The increased costs of the handling of those highly compressed prosumer formats can double or even triple the amount of time and expense needed for both editing and final finishing and the post production notes available as part of this test < > hold that stat up to the light for all to see.

Let me also state for the record that I worked on this project Pro Bono, with shoot meals being the only renumeration.

And for my friends at Zacuto, I would do it again in a second.


Posted by: gary adcock on Jul 18, 2012 at 8:57:15 amComments (2) Zacuto, Shootout

A hard drive that will last forever (or as close as we will ever need), Speedgrade and Talking to your laptop

Scouring the web as I do when I have down time often brings some interesting tidbits- this one about a Sapphire coated hard disk drive that could store your data for a millennium

Problems are 2-fold,
how do you make something readable in the future even though we as a civilization have sought out extraterrestrial life before in a manner that all but invited trouble.

The other issue is cost, since the prototype was over $30,000 USD the only people I know that are in the market for these would be the US government or certain Google employees that have already sold their stock. Not on that list would be anyone from RIM or Nokia.

On another note,
This interesting blog post from Eric Philpott talks about the history of Adobe's new Speedgrade Application, with a link to an insightful interview with Iridas founders Lin Kayser and Patrick Palmer here

I have started tesing of Mountian Lion and I have to say, that some of the new features are going to be as amazing as they are confounding- I have a hard enough time talking to my phone or iPad,even with Siri. While talking to my computer is not new -Dragon Speaking has a slew of marginally passable tools from but none come close to Siri, my only complaint is that to use Siri you have to be connected, something many of us do without on our computers from time to time.

What I am worried about is my computer talking back

Posted by: gary adcock on Jul 13, 2012 at 6:05:42 am Adobe Speedgrade, hard drives

Become A Premier Pro or AfterEffects Certified Instructor

If you are interested

Adobe is going to be offering certification classes for Premier and After Effects Instructors. This opens up your training market to any of the Adobe Authorized Training Facilites around the world.

Monday, August 13 - Thursday, August 16
9:00am - 5:00pm daily Location:
Los Angeles, CA USA
The venue will be determined based on class size.

Sign up early and get a $250 discount. Early bird registration fee is only $1,500.00 through Friday July 13. Standard registration is $1,750 after July 13. Includes a 12-month membership to Creative Cloud and all training materials.

Light breakfast and lunch provided each day.

Travel & Lodging:
Plan to arrive the evening prior to the start date. The course will last for 4 full days, ending after 5:00 on Thursday. Plan your departure accordingly. Please see the registration site for lodging recommendations.

What¹s covered:
Overview to the new Adobe Certification Program
Classroom set-up strategies
Book methodology with new books supporting the CS6 version
A detailed walk-through of the 101 and 250 Teacher¹s Guides
What Makes a positive classroom experience: Premiere Pro CS6 teaching strategies
Instructor presentations and discussions: Trainers will be required to deliver a unit from each course
Stand-up certification with peer evaluations

In addition, each attendee will receive the following:
A complimentary 12-month Adobe Creative Cloud membership. This membership provides you with a comprehensive set of tools including the full offering of Adobe Creative Suite 6 desktop applications, Adobe Touch Apps, services and community features.
Instructor's Kit ($250 value).
We realize this program is outside the traditional Adobe certification. Please note that attendance is mandatory for both certification and re-certification for Premiere Pro CS6.

Register Now

If you unable to make the August date in Los Angeles, please send an email with your name and location to Doug Crookston. Doug will notify you of future sessions.

An additional session is planned for late September in London. Send an email to Doug Crookston to indicate your interest in attending the session in London. You will be notified once our plans are final.

Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 28, 2012 at 9:54:44 amComments (2) PremierPro, AfterEffects

Summer's back, FCPX turns 1, ProFusion2012

Ok, I am back once again.

Those that know me, understand that some of my clients are reticent to having me posting/ blogging while working on their long term projects, so if I periodaclly fall off my blog here on the Cow, know that I am working, not just avoiding all of you.


Last Week I was lucky enough to be brought in as one of the guest speakers at Vistek's ProFusion2012 Event. < >
Billed as the largest Tv Technology show in Canada, to my eyes it was, not to mention it is one of the better mid sized trade shows I have been to. ProFusion2012 seems a little odd, covering both the still and video marketplace, when it shows what a vibrant cross over market Toronto has and how the world of imaging for still and video has dramatically changed while preserving the need for both disciplines.
It was also good to see Alex Buono from SNL, Jeff Schewe, Dougas Spotted-Eagle, and to meet Greg Gorman in addition to talking with friends from Sim Video, TheCameraDept, Arri, Dashwood 3D, ToolsonAir, Fujinon and others.

FCPX celebrates one year.

Wow, it's only been a year since FCPX came out, and I still hear the vitriol spewing out at Apple. Get Over It people, either use FCPX or choose one of the alternatives. I had to switch to Premier Pro just because I was just starting work on 2 year project that required workflows and tools that FCP lacked.

Adobe's CS6 was just into early beta at that point, and with their help I was able to create a solid workflow for that project, even though 3D was not technically a full part of the CS6 release. Adobe is going out of their way to make contact and examine every possible senario for the Premier editors, and from my perspective doing an excellent job of it. While I admit that I set my PPro to look and act like FCP, I have been slowly changing back to the PPro defaults as a work on newer segments of that project.

However, for the Record, I still use the FCPX / Compressor workflow for certain things i work on, most of all transcoding.
I have a workflow set up to take Alexa 4444 ProRes files and with a couple of clicks, add a LUT, drop on a Timecode reader and then burn them to h.264 for iPad dailies. When I add a Matrox Compress HD card hiding out in an M-Logic TB Chassis to the mix and this laptop based setup allows me to do "faster than realtime" conversions for a dailies workflow.

More to come.

Posted by: gary adcock on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:38:26 amComments (3) FCPX, Premier CS6

Post NAB - The NLE Wars between the "A's" will continue, much to the users benefit.


SInce NAB 2011 the NLE market has been aflutter. Apple announced release of FCPX was heralded until the new version of the App hit the street and Apple, in my humble opinion, placed that product on the market about a year too early for the majority of users to understand or handle. < >

Since than Apple has released 4 updates that end up covering a larger number of my complaints including the announcement for FCPX 10.04 that very quietly removed the "Beta" tag on output of true Broadcast Quality Monitoring. Aja, BMD and Matrox released final " broadcast" drivers within hours of the pre-NAB announcement.

Apple has responded to critics. The advancements in the app in less than a year have been impressive for a company that was immediately seen as not caring about it's NLE business. I understand that large numbers of people do not get FCPX, I can assure you the "kids" creeping up behind your business will use it, it has more metadata understanding,power and power under the hood than any mainstream NLE app I know of, hell the only other apps with this much power on the Pro side are customized application toolkits like NextLAB from Fotokem < > or ColorFront < > dallies tool sets.


OK, Avid had a chance to really take back the market they had lost to Apple, but somehow they have managed to let that chance evaporate into thin air. Last year they had bought ProRes as codec into their infrastructure ( and a thank you goes to Arri for forcing the issue because of Alexa's rapid acceptance). Avid pretty much owns the commercial and episodic editing space, mainly due to a multi-user editing environment, efficient and effective media handling and an integrated shared network infrastructure that frankly could have taken back a good deal of their lost market share had they not squandered the chance, I saw very few installed versions of MC6,even at Avid's own booth this year, most of their display machine were touting Symphony as the new tool to have, now with a sub $1000 USD price point.

Avid rules in a couple of the spaces I work in, without question the vast majority ( over 80%) of the OnSet work I do goes for edit on Avid systems, whether that be on a Commercial Shoot or working on features and episodics. The have had infrastructure figured out for a while and that will keep them at the level they are at currently working. However since their tools are not targeted at entry level editing I see fewer and fewer students or small independent production companies going forward with Media Composer like they did with FCP.


While the Smoke on the Mac 2013 < > announcement was a bit of a surprise to many, it has been in the works for sometime, Autodesk is one of the few companies that can truly give Avid a run in the Multi-user editing environment, having already been one of the leaders of shared toolsets driven by their animation division's Maya, AutoCad and 3DStudioMax toolset.

Let's be honest here, Smoke has not been an app that was intuitive or friendly to the user. Other than a few coding geeks, most editors have no idea what a "Gateway" was, not that it was little more than a IP based entry point or location identified on your network. Smoke 2013 throws all of that server level UI controls back under the hood, thankfully. I have been a advocate for both Smoke 2011 and 2012, but the level of use that Autodesk has incorporated into Smoke 2013 is just phenomenal. You will now be able to Drag and Drop files from the desktop into a project, edit and finish in one timeline, much like Avid is messaging with Symphony.

The interesting sidebar here is that one of Apple's largest advocates for FCPX, @RadicalMedia's Evan Schechtman was the main presenter at Autodesk's Smoke 2013 announcement, touting the possibilities with XML interconnection between the 2 apps. Maybe there is far more going on here than any of us are thinking about. Maybe there will be something more between these 2 companies in the future.


This NAB, Adobe was hands down kicking ass all over the show floor, < > with the CS6 Suite announced just before the show opened, Adobe revealed a radically new version of Premier Pro with a fully customizable interface, vastly improved AfterEffects and increased Photoshop's video editing functionality dramatically. So Premier Pro has moved into the position that FCP had about v5, groundbreaking, yet functionally designed for smaller facilities and indie filmmakers that are the vast majority of NLE users.

Premiers functionality update is nothing short of spectacular, with RAW file integration driven by the acquisition of DI industry leader Iridas, has brought nothing short of a miracle to PPro's ability to handle and playback the myriad of camera native formats. Look there is no other editor I know of that you can drop native R3D or ArriRaw files into a timeline and get anything truly close to realtime playback. Add to that the underpinnings that Speedgrade brings into the Adobe Toolset, I cannot wait to see what is next up, because right now Adobe has peaked everyone's interest by offering the community a fully functional NLE that is delivering and usable today. No waiting and minimal re-education necessary.

You can get a lot more info on Premier Pro's new features from my good friend Rich Harrington at his blog

Posted by: gary adcock on May 1, 2012 at 9:00:22 am NAB 2012, Avid Apple Adobe Autodesk

Wow, were did Tuesday go?

This has been one crazy show, I have counted more that 500 products that I have found interesting, inbetween working at the Aja booth and running / speaking at the Director of Photography Conference at Post Production World. I understand that some of my comments have been short but I will be filing a full report on technology and trends later this week. Unfortunately running on 4 hours of sleep a night do wear on your ability to communicate in a coherent fashion.

Cool things this time.

Promise Technologies has a 100M Optical Thunderbolt cable on display in their Booth,

Charlie Kendall of SPYDER Support Systems is showing a $400 mounting plate to allow you do shoot Green Screen footage at the highest possible rez by setting your camera on it's side! It works with ENG style camera all the way down to prosummer versions, any type baseplate, any mounting screw position.

3aility Technica is showing some great stuff this year, but I loved the cheeseplate "armor" for using an F3 in the TS rigs.

Not to be outdone Cameron Pace Group is also outside between buildings showing next gen versions of their "Shadow" rig technology but the Smart Slate they are showing is by far the most advanced that I have seen, as alll of this metadata is being caputured along with the images.

Lastly, because food is a big deal in Vegas (and for me) this was what we started dinner with last night - Iberico ham from Spain at Jaleo

Posted by: gary adcock on Apr 18, 2012 at 9:31:31 amComments (3) NAB Show, 3D

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Join industry geek Gary Adcock as he explores the world and technology as it relates to Film and Video production. I am also a Glass artist, so I spend my free time creating art from silica and fire when I am not cooking.


September 2012 (2)
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FCPX (19)
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