Author Archives: Hal

Photoshop For iPad

Photoshop for iPad

Photoshop For iPad

Photoshop For iPad

Photoshop for iPad was re-designed from the ground up. It is now a touch based app where it was mouse and keyboard based before. On the left side of the screen are the tools, although this initial release is missing some features like the Pen Tool which draws vector-based shapes.

This product is not intended to be a complete version of Photoshop for the desktop. The Photoshop CC app for iPad allows users to open and edit PSD files giving it cross platform functionality. Adobe will in teh near future add some more features like rotate canvas, custom brushes and fonts, smart objects, grids and guides.

But like the current Photoshop, Photoshop for iPad is a subscription based software. It will not be available for outright purchase. Here’s the Adobe link which includes a free trial of Photoshop for iPad. The full release of Photoshop for iPad will be available by the end of 2019.

A better value is probably Affinity Photo from Serif Labs. $9.99 This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.

Make Vinyl Records At Home

Make Vinyl Records At Home

Make Vinyl Records At Home

The Phonocut is an analog vinyl lathe which makes vinyl records and costs $1100.

The machine cuts 10 inch vinyl records with 10 to 15 minutes of stereo analog audio on each side. The lathe can also cut 7 inch records. The blank records will cost about $10 each, but discounts will be available for quantity purchases. The vinyl records are as durable as commercial records. Any turntable will play these records. An audio machine with an 1/8″ stereo mini jack can be source. A wireless version is in development.

The Phonocut is approximately 14 x 12 x 10 inches.

The copyright laws apply to the records just as they do when you make a mix tape. Phonocut will pay artists a Private Copying Levy as a part of the sale of each PHONOCUT and PHONOCUT blank disc.

How To Make A Vinyl Record

1) Place the Vinyl blank on the platter
2) Connect to the music input of your choice
3) Press the start button

Pre-orders are available on Kickstarter. The Phonocut Company is located in Vienna, Austria.

Check out the best value Audio-Technica turntable on Amazon.

Costco Video Transfers vs Mine

Here’s what Mimi Stevens wrote in a Google review of my service, “Recently received a couple of reels from my aunt, of my dad as a baby. I took those to Costco. They use an outside service called Yes Video. I was not happy with the transfer. In some parts the top half of the picture was on the bottom, and the bottom on the top.

Because of this experience we called a cousin for a recommendation for the rest of the reels. Hal came highly recommended and he did not disappoint. We are very happy with his work and the service he provided. Easy to get a hold of and discuss things. Pretty quick turnaround too.”

Read the Google Review.

I enjoy helping people preserve their family history from videos, films, slides, photos and more. For additional information see Transfer Your Videos. Or call me at 401 253 2800. (9 – 5, M – F). Thank you.

Drone Killer

Drone Killer: A Drone That Shoots Drones

Mount a shotgun on a drone. What could possibly go wrong? A Russian defense contractor has patented a 50 pound drone that uses an automatic shotgun to shoot other drones out of the sky. The shotgun has a 10-round magazine. Fortunately the drone is not autonomous. It requires an operator who wears a video visor. This enables the operator to fly the drone and aim the weapon. The shotgun is in the nose of the aircraft. The wider pattern of a shotgun compared to a rifle or pistol makes it easier to hit the target. This drone killer has an auto-follow system that takes over after the drone locks onto a target.

Drone Killer

It looks more like an airplane, but takes off and lands vertically like a conventional quadcopter. This prototype drone killer was built by the “Student Design Bureau of Aviation Modeling” at the Moscow Aviation Institute. It’s similar to a drone made for mining companies, farmers and pipeline surveyors. As one YouTuber commented “It’s amazing how passionate humans get about inventing new ways to murder each other.”

A smarter use of drones is the mini drone for under $30.

Marvel Movies

$1K to BingeWatch 20 Movies

Marvel Movies

If you love Marvel movies and want to make some extra cash, here’s a dream gig for you. is looking for someone to binge-watch all 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies back-to-back ahead of next month’s release of “Avengers: Endgame.” You will binge-watch more than 40 hours of Marvel movies. The binge watcher will be paid $1,000 cash and lots of Marvel prizes.

The requirements: you must 18 years or more, a US citizen. They also want a Marvel fanatic with an outgoing social media personality who would enthusiastically tweet while binge watching the Marvel movies. There’s no sleeping till “Endgame.” For complete details and an application form see the complete posting at Applications will be accepted until April 15.

Protect Videos

Protecting Video From Manipulation

Protect Videos

Video from security cameras, body cams and many other sources is important evidence for law enforcement.

But this once sacrosanct medium is easily manipulated. Right now you can download free software that uses machine learning to perform a convincing digital video face-swap. See Changing Faces.This free software utilizes deep learning to recognize and swap faces in pictures and videos. And the software is getting better.

This presents a real problem for legal matters. Is the video true or false?
There’s a new tool that can tell for sure. It’s called Amber Authenticate./ The application runs in the background on any video capturing device. At regular intervals, it generates “hashes” which are cryptographically scrambled representations of the video data. These hashes are indelibly recorded on a public blockchain. If you run that same video clip through the algorithm again, the hashes will be different if anything has changed in the file’s audio or video data—tipping you off to possible manipulation.

The interval between hashes is a critical aspect of the technology. If, for instance, you set the interval to every second on a small business surveillance camera that would be overkill. But if the interval were set to every 30 seconds on a police body camera, there is too much that could be changed to mislead people. So the operator must choose the interval carefully.

When a video is entered into evidence it’s really hard to say what’s a fake. Just look at computer generated imagery in feature films. It’s pretty hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. Detection is not a sure thing. But with Amber Authenticate either the hash matches or it doesn’t, and it’s all publicly verifiable through the blockchain.
The technology has attracted the interest of the Department of Homeland Security and many others.

Amber Authenticate is built on the open-source blockchain platform Ethereum. It includes a web platform that makes it visually simple to determine if a video clip has been manipulated. A green frame appears around footage that matches its hashes. A red frame appears around any part that does not match the hash. Amber Authenticate also shows a detailed audit trail that lists when a file was originally created, uploaded, hashed, and submitted to the blockchain.

Now it’s up to manufacturer’s of security cameras and body cams to license the technology and install it on their video devices.

Scanning Art Object

Scanning the Original Tomb of Tutankhamun

Scanning Art Object

This company operates a Renaissance-type workshop, but uses 21st century tools. They scan original ancient art objects like the original tomb of Tutankhamen. Then they print it with 3D printers.

These copies are better than the originals. You can see the surface of the tomb better in the digital files than you can see with the naked eye on site. You can keep zooming in, so it’s like a doctor using a microscope.

Instant Replay 115 Cameras

Instant Replay 115 Cameras

Instant Replay 115 Cameras

At Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, CBS Sports has 115 cameras, including three SkyCams flying through the air, and 28 others squeezed into the pylons marking the edges of the end zones. As CBS’s Ken Aagaard said “You get these definitive shots right here on the sideline, all the way down to the 10 yard line…There isn’t a square inch on this field that we do not have covered.”

Replay producer Ryan Galvin knows that for every play he had just three seconds to choose which of those camera angles to air as an instant replay. There’s a digital tape machine for every camera. And each one has a name like leopard, Charlie, eagle which he has memorized with a hand-written map. Galvin has the help of 36 technicians who are controlling and watching all the camera angles.

The very first instant replay was in 1963 at the Army Navy game. In the 4th quarter Army was on the one yard line. The quarterback flipped over the line and made the score and this was the very first instant replay. Ironically the tape of that historic moment no longer exists. The TV viewers who saw that first instant replay thought that Army may have scored twice. They had never seen an instant replay before.

Watch the CBS Instant Replay Story

My Favorite Super Bowl Commercials 2019

One of my favorites was The NFL’s own commercial called “The 100-Year Game | SBLIII”
See 100 Year Game.

It’s just so funny and silly like a food fight in tuxedos. And it sells the idea of the fun of football. Unfortunately this commercial was much more entertaining than the game itself.

The second one “Google’s Jobs For Veterans” shows what you can do with simple close-ups of paper forms. The visuals couldn’t be any easier to produce.

It’s a powerful ad that relies on minimal visuals. As a video producer, think about how this approach could be used in a commercial or promotional video you produce. It is the script and sound track that makes this one so powerful. You can get a lot of mileage from this concept.

Want to see some more funny SuperBowl Ads? 10 Funniest Superbowl Ads from the past.

Animation and CGI Motion Course

Animation and CGI Motion Course from Columbia University

Animation and CGI Motion Course

This free online course from Columbia University shows you how to create lifelike animations focusing on the technical aspects of CGI animation and also give you a glimpse into how studios approach the art of physically-based animation. The course is rich in mathematics and science. For instance you will learn the fundamental concepts of physical simulation, including:

  1. integration of ordinary differential equations such as those needed to predict the motion of a dress in the wind.
  2. formulation of models for physical phenomena such as crumpling sheet metal and flowing water.
  3. treatment of discontinuities such as fractures and collisions.

The course is 12 weeks long starting Feb 4 and will require 8 – 10 hours a week.
For more information see this link.

There are more than 400 free Ivy League university courses you can take online in 2019.

HAL Keywords

Music Video Made with Printed Photos

The song is called “UnAmerican” by the indie rock band Said The Whale. It is a stop motion video created entirely by hand, no digital effects. This music video made with printed photos.

First they shot a video of the band performing the song. Then they printed 2,250 frames from the video as separate photo prints at a cost of $680. Finally they photographed each photo as a stop motion video. This stop motion photography took over 80 hours. Director Johnny Jansen says they timed the entire video as an animatic before they shot anything. Time code was embedded in each photo to synch with the stop motion software.

He says “Almost everything was planned in advance to make sure it was timed properly. For the longer traveling scenes like in the backyard, we measured out the distance and divided it by the amount of frames in the shot so we knew exactly how much to move the photo each time. Pretty crazy process.” Since it was uploaded, the video has been viewed over 200,000 times on YouTube.

This technique is something you could do for a business client. Study the video without the sound so you can slow it down and see it more clearly. Could you make a music video made with printed photos? For more inspiration see <a href=””>“The Greatest Music Video Ever Made!”</a>