Author Archives: Hal

8K video

Cheapest Way to Shoot 8K

8K video

We’ve come a long way from the first handheld 8K video camcorder. But now Sharp has an 8K Video camcorder – The Sharp 8C-B60A. This 8K camcorder will likely be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This camera is $77,000.

And to view the 8K video Sharp has a new 70-inch 8K television scheduled to ship later this year. Prices in Europe range from $7,000 – $14,000.

The camera, the Sharp 8C-B60A, comes with a Super 35mm sensor that’s approximately the same size as the one on the Red Helium Weapon 8K and is capable of recording 10-bit 60 fps 8K video. Grass Valley’s HQX codec helps keep the file sizes at a manageable level but the camera comes with a custom 2TB SSD pack that was developed in collaboration with Astrodesign and can hold approximately 40 minutes of 8K video.

For about $2,000, Panasonic’s GH5 can deliver 4K 10-bit video. But it will be a few years before there’s an similarly priced 8K version. The cheapest 8K camera from RED is their EPIC-W at $29,500 body only. It can only run at 30 fps in 8K in RED’s own raw format rather that ProRes or DNxHR. The required accessories are about $40,000. But considering that smartphones today can shoot 4K, Moore’s law may give us better, cheaper chips and 8K video sooner than later.

8K Video Editing Computer And Storage

The iMac Pro can handle 8K footage using Final Cut Pro X 10.4. $6000 – $7000. Alternately, you could edit lower res proxy files of your 8K footage. You could probably build a PC that can handle 8K video for about $4000.

An hour of 8K video from a RED EPIC-W will require about 500 GBs and this assumes a 9:1 compression ratio on the raw footage. So you’d need a 2 TB hard drive for every production day.

For backup you will want to go to tape. A tape drive runs about $3600. 20 LTO-6 tapes will provide 50 TB of storage for about $500.

Lenses

Moving from 1080p to 4K and now 8K, is like moving from 2 megapixels to 9 megapixels and now 33 megapixels. So a great HD lens will not look so great in 8K video. The lenses will cost more.

To buy the cheapest RED camera, a new editing computer, and storage, you’re going to spend about $45,000. But you can rent an 8K camera package for less than $2500/week from various rental houses such as borrowlenses.com, lensrentals.com, and others. Lenses and other accessories are extra.


Changing Faces

Changing Faces

Today you can download software that uses machine learning to perform a convincing digital video face-swap. The video is called a deepfake. It can stitch the eyes of one person onto the face of another person doing lip-sync karaoke. It isn’t perfect yet, but it could fool some people.

Photo fakery is certainly not new. It’s been around for decades. But artificial intelligence completely changes the game. AI makes it possible for anyone with a decent computer and some time to do the same thing. You can use free, open source software called OpenFaceSwap. It’s available from Deepfakes.club.

Changing Faces

And this is just the beginning of powerful fakes. As machine-learning advances, the fakes will become much harder to spot. This has potential to create great harm to our society. AI doesn’t just give us a better Photoshop or Premiere, it helps the computer learn what the world looks and sounds like which can then be emulated.

To do the work, you will need an advanced graphics chip in you computer. These chips cost a few thousand dollars. The good news is that you can rent access a virtual machine for pennies a minute using a cloud machine-learning platform like Paperspace.

So when you get this far, the next step is easy. Just feed in two video clips where you want to put one face on the other and go have dinner while the program learns how each face looks and moves so that it can map one onto the other. The two clips you choose must be similar to each other. If they are too different, the results will be a mess.


ai music for video

Music for Video Created by AI

AI Music For Video

Create unique professional music for your video. Just choose a mood and style of the music you want, Amper can create it in a few seconds.

That’s the claim made by Amper Music. This new royalty-free music program uses AI to produce music that fits the style of your video and synchs to it exactly. Amper is a free website still in Beta, but it looks promising.

See this tutorial:

Some Youtube comments on this program:

thanks for killing composers.

don’t worry AI will kill other jobs too.

Compare this music, or any AI generated music, with Nino Rota love theme for example. Nothing to worry about for another 100 years.?

Giovanni “Nino” Rota was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor and academic who is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti. He also composed the music for two of Franco Zeffirelli’s Shakespeare films, and for the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, receiving the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Godfather Part II.


Drone Video Publicity

Drone Video Gets Local Press

Jason Allard with Uncommon Sense Media posted the nearly two-minute drone video of Belton Court Estate in Barrington, RI. This is the ninth in his “Uncommon’s Abandoned” series, which traces the history of historical locations throughout New England. The series documents sites which are examples of urban decay. Many are former mansions which are slowly being reclaimed by nature. Aerial video is an ideal way to show these large estates.

He has a very interesting collection of short drone videos. Another of his historical location videos is of a drive-in theater that is also being overgrown. On his site he quotes Spike Lee “I just want to make whatever is exciting.”

I discovered this story in a local Rhode Island online magazine called GoLocalProv. The story included the YouTube video above, a short interview with the producer Jason Allard and a very nice blurb about his company. It looks to me very much like a press release. And if so, it is a very smart move. I don’t know if the article brought him any work, but articles like this are bound to make the phone ring.


Looney Tunes Returning

Looney Tunes Are Returning

Looney Tunes Are Returning

Warner Bros. Animation announced Looney Tunes Cartoons will return in 2019. These animated shorts relied on traditional slapstick-driven stories. They will be shorter than the originals. The new cartoons will range from one to six minutes. The first season will consist of some 1,000 minutes of animation. They will be broadcast both on television and the internet in various forms. Welcome back Bugs, Daffy, and Porky!

Enjoy Rabbit Fire (1951)


Flies Around Obsticles

Skydio Drone Flies Around Obstacles

Flies Around Obsticles

Despite promises to the contrary, drones cannot follow you down a mountain on a snowboard. But the video that showed that in 2015 was faked. The new Skydio R1, however, can do that. Just toss it in the air and shove off. This drone is $2500 and can follow you around in a challenging environment like overhead trees, dense foliage and going under arches. And it is completely unattended. The onboard camera is 4K. It’s hard to believe that some of the shots in the above video are hands off. Even if you try to hide behind a tree or other obstacle, the drone predicts where you might have gone.

There’s also a lead mode where the drone films you from the front. The Skydio R1 has 13 cameras so it can stitch together a 3-D Map so it knows where all the obstacles are. This is the technology self-driving cars use. On the downside, the drone does not have dedicated manual controls. It is intended for one type of shot – following a moving target.


Affordable Skycam

An Affordable Skycam

Affordable Skycam

You’ve seen Skycam in operation in NFL games and in feature films for those remarkable shots that seem to follow the ball in the air. Skycam is a computer-controlled, stabilized, cable-suspended aerial camera system. It maneuvers the camera through three dimensions often over a football field or arena. The camera package weighs over 30 lbs. and moves at up to 29 mph. Skycam was invented by Garrett Brown who also invented the Steadicam. As you might guess, it is expensive, well beyond the reach of most videographers.

But now there is what can be called an affordable skycam. It is called the Wiral LITE. It is designed for the light-weight GoPro, smart phones, and other cameras weighing up to 3.3 lbs. While this certainly does not do what a drone can do, it is much cheaper and safer. This affordable skycam is available from its crowdfunding site and can be ordered for $279 at the Indiegogo site.


1000 drones

1,000 Drones Make TIME’s New Cover

1000 drones

The drones are getting into final position to make the TIME cover animation.

TIME Magazine’s latest cover was made by 958 Intel drones that were preprogrammed to create a sky animation of the TIME logo with red border. The Intel drones were also used to create a sky graphic during the Winter Olympics. For the TIME cover, the drones could not go above 400 feet. The drones were programmed to be 1.5 meters apart. Not only were the logo and border made by 1000 drones, but they also wanted to shoot it with an Astraeus Aerial drone using a cinema camera. One of the major challenges was not running into other drones considering how close they were. A little unexpected gust of wind could be disaster. An additional challenge was shooting at night. This gave them the contrast they needed for the LED lights on each drone to register against the dark sky.

We first reported on using drones to make art back in 2015 in the article Make Night Art with a Quadcopter. A wide variety of drones are available at Amazon.

As an advertisement to get me to read the magazine this “animation” did the job for me. And to make sure I was not disappointed, there’s an article in the same TIME issue explaining how drones have revolutionized how films and TV are made.


Guerilla Branding

Clever Branding

Guerilla Branding

I was stopped behind an oil truck at a red light and could not help seeing the back of the truck. And then I noticed the phone number. Clever branding!


NASA Camera Melts

NASA Camera Melts

NASA Camera Melts

Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 22, 2018 started a bursh fire which melted this Canon 5DS camera. The blast of the actual rocket launch was a quarter mile away. The blast did not melt the camera, but the brush fire did. Bill Ingalls, a veteran NASA photographer said “I had many other cameras much closer to the pad than this and all are safe. This was result of a small brush fire, which is not unheard of from launches, and was extinguished by fireman, albeit, after my cam was baked.”

However, the memory card survived and captured video and stills right until the camera was broiled. The loss of this camera was bad luck, because Bill had four other remote cameras much closer to the launchpad and those cameras survived and worked perfectly.