June 16, 2014
The GoPro Hero line of cameras offer a high-quality way to capture footage that ordinary cameras can’t. They go underwater, they’re light enough to attach to helmets, they shoot at high frame rates for great-looking slow motion. Still, the fixed lens means you’re stuck with what you’ve got—a small sensor with a fish-eye wide field of view. If that fish-eye look bothers you, how can you get rid of it?
A frame from the original clip, in which I went surfing, and managed to stand up.
Learn to love it
Easy, if impractical: getting used to the look is the easiest path of all. If your client doesn’t mind it but you do, set aside your personal preferences and roll with it. You’ll get the best resolution and sharpest results, plus you won’t crop away any of your image. But if your client has noticed…
The official option
If you’ve never imported your footage into FCP X, you may have luck with the free GoPro Studio app.
It works if you take the files straight from the card, but not if they’ve been re-wrapped.
However, when you import your footage into FCP X, the .mp4 that GoPro makes is re-wrapped into a .mov, and that apparently causes the fish-eye removal hidden in Advanced Settings to be unavailable in GoPro Studio. That’s a shame, though if you’ve dragged your footage into FCP X from the Finder (rather than using File > Import) you may not have problems.
Correct it with Photoshop
It seems like a less than obvious choice, but Photoshop can actually handle video as well as stills, and you can even apply its advanced lens corrections to video too. You’ll need the Exchange panel if you don’t have it already—here are some instructions. Install Exchange, restart Photoshop, then open the new panel from Window > Exchange.
Next, you’ll need a custom module to do the hard work. The latest one is called WideAngleVideo3, and you’ll need to search for that in the Exchange panel. Click the Free button to download it, then restart Photoshop to use it. (Note: if it doesn’t work after this step, restart your Mac too.)
Once you search, you’ll see this.
Drag your video clip onto the Photoshop icon, or use File > Open and locate it. Choose Windows > Extensions > WideAngleVideo3, then look in the panel that appears and find the settings you used to record this footage. I’ve used a GoPro 3 Black at 1080p in Wide mode, which is good for video quality but bad for fisheye. Luckily, just pushing the button works a treat. Scrub through the video, and even take a look at the Adaptive Wide Angle filter that’s been applied (to a Smart Object) if you want to see how it works.
And here’s the button I need to press.
To export, use File > Export > Video, choose a destination and format settings (H.264 on high quality should be OK) and wait for the export. It can take a while, though.
And here’s the button I need to press.
Correct it with FCP X
Another strategy is to correct the footage a little closer to the editing process. First, download the trial of Lock & Load from CoreMelt. (Disclosure: I create tutorial videos for CoreMelt, but you can use the plug-in used here for free, even after the Lock & Load trial expires.)
Lens Undistort lets you pick the degree of correction you want to apply.
In FCP X, add your clip to a matching timeline, then open the Effects tab. Look for C2 Lock & Load, then drag the Lens Undistort effect onto your clip. After a few seconds, it should deskew nicely, and you can adjust the Field of View parameter to match GoPro settings, or with Custom settings to match another camera instead.
This is much, much faster than the Photoshop method, but you have less control. Keep Photoshop ready for extra-tricky clips.
And here’s the corrected clip, which plays in real-time on my iMac.
Next time, shoot with different settings
You have a couple of options to minimise the issue a little. You can either shoot on a “medium” or “narrow” field of view instead of the default “wide”, or shoot at a higher resolution to make cropping less deleterious to image quality. You can’t combine these settings, though: for the 2.7K resolution, you only have the “wide” option.
In 1080p mode you have a few options, and wide will be most distorted.
While going through the settings menus on the camera itself can be an exercise in frustration, it’s quite easy to find the settings in the companion iPhone app, so do it there if possible.
While the plug-in used here isn’t the only way to de-skew GoPro footage, it’s the easiest way I know, and it’s free. There’s another free FCP X plug-in from Alex4D that seems to do a good job too. So get out there and do something silly with your camera!*
*No, not that silly.
Find out more about the GoPro Hero range of cameras here:
June 12, 2014
Well, you’ve decided to make the switch to a standing desk – way to take a stand. Your back, your energy levels and your overall happiness level will thank you. But like any new addition or change in life, it has to happen somewhat gradually. Don’t go cold-turkey and throw out your office chair quite yet. Here are a few helpful steps to help you easily transition into a full-time standing pro…and soon, that chair might just be used by all the people who want to hang out with you as the office trendsetter.
- Don’t Ditch the Desk Chair. Since UpDesks can be easily raised or lowered, you can go back and forth between sitting and standing whenever you want to. Today you can try standing for 15 minutes and sitting for 30. Next week, switch to standing for 30 and sitting for 15. Or maybe you even want to stand for 30, sit for 15…and dance for 15. Whatever you decide, the easy maneuvering of the UpDesk will make your move to standing a cinch.
- Hit the Right Height. It may seem hard to believe, but standing desks are not one-size-fits-all. With the UpDesk height adjustable desk, you can make sure that your standing desk is customized to the unique little snowflake that you are. An easy way to figure out the right height for your stand up desk? Check your computer monitor. Lifehacker says that if you align your desk so that your eyes hit the top two-thirds of your primary display, that will be the perfect height. (Check out their article, for a handy image tutorial on how to do that.)
- Accessorize Wisely. There are a ton of great add-ons that can help you keep standing. Single or dual monitor supports easily clamp on to your UpDesk and put your computer screen at the right height so you won’t be hunching like you live in Notre Dame. And your feet will thank you if you invest in a trip-resistant anti-fatigue floor mat to keep standing like a champ all day.
There you have it. Three helpful tips for making the switch to an UpDesk standing desk. You’ll be standing in no time and reaping all the benefits. And we would love to hear about your experience! Share your UpDesk story via Twitter or Instagram…who knows, you might just see it in one of our monthly social media round ups.
June 4, 2014
After putting money behind the push for revamped commercial drone laws, Hollywood is officially petitioning the Federal Aviation Administration to let filmmakers fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) before final rules are put in place. Seven aerial production companies have requested an exemption from flight regulations, pilot licensing requirements, and airworthiness certification rules, none of which have been finalized. FAA rules allow the agency to grant exemptions for “narrowly-defined, controlled, low-risk situations,” and film and video companies hope that includes using low-cost drones for shots that would otherwise require a helicopter.
“Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) offer the motion picture and television industry an innovative and safer option for filming,” says Neil Fried of the MPAA, which facilitated the petition. “This new tool for storytellers will allow for creative and exciting aerial shots, and is the latest in a myriad of new technologies being used by our industry to further enhance the viewer experience.” In order to actually get the exemptions, however, the companies must prove that their plan would benefit the public good, and that it would not create unsafe conditions. If the FAA approves those exemptions, it will still need to approve individual operations.
Currently, public-sector groups like police, fire departments, or government agencies can obtain exemptions to operate UAVs. According to an FAA release, agricultural groups, power line and pipeline inspectors, and oil and gas flare inspectors have also approached the agency about exemptions and are considering their own petitions. Small drones are already common video tools, but they hover in uncertain legal territory. Private hobbyists are generally allowed to fly them under 400 feet outside populated areas, but the FAA hasn’t created robust regulations for for-profit flights, though Congress has ordered it to do so by 2015. Until then, commercial drone flight is officially banned, with a court case that could legalize it stuck in appeals. In late May, a real estate photographer who uses UAVs to shoot houses received a notice from the FAA advising him that there was no legal framework for his business.
If this exemption is granted, it’s extremely unlikely you’d see Hollywood drones filming a busy street scene in Manhattan, but they could be used as cheaper and arguably safer alternatives to traditional aerial photography on controlled sets. While there’s no timeline for when the FAA will consider a petition, it faces mounting pressure to make commercial UAV flight easier — alongside the film industry, Amazon is reportedly pushing for a way to fly its delivery drones to customers. A number of news media companies, including The New York Times Company and the Associated Press, also oppose the current ban on First Amendment grounds.
May 7, 2014
According to Wikipedia…
“The Dutch angle, also known as Dutch tilt, canted angle, oblique angle or German angle, is a type of camera shot where the camera is tilted off to one side so that the shot is composed with vertical lines at an angle to the side of the frame.
In cinematography, the Dutch angle is one of many cinematic techniques often used to portray psychological uneasiness or tension in the subject being filmed. Many Dutch angles are static shots, but in a moving Dutch angle shot the camera can pivot, pan or track along the established diagonal axis for the shot. A Dutch angle differs from a high-angle shot and low-angle shot in that those refer to placement of the camera in height relative to the subject, which for human subjects is mostly defined by a person’s eye-line. A special type of Dutch angle is the Bavarian angle, where the angle is changed by 90° from the common angle where horizontal lines become vertical. A further variation to this, the so-called Luxembourg angle, adds a further 90° to the “Bavarian angle”, resulting in an inverted image.
In static photography, a jaunty angle can add a new variance to otherwise vertical/horizontal framing. Obtuse and acute angles can be added to dull pictures by means of tilting the camera prior to use. This effect can make a picture appear on a slope bringing to it a feeling of creativity and making the whole aesthetic more attractive. The term ‘jaunty’ was popularized by use with hats being placed at an inclined angle and this term has been adopted in the early 21st century by those using their camera on a similar incline.”
The two techniques that we will talk about were used in a short that I recently released. You can view it here.
The first shot we will talk about is a dutch angle dolly. Adding a dutch angle to your dolly creates a very dramatic perspective change for the viewers. The second shot we will demonstrate is an angled dolly.
For all you gear-heads here’s a list of equipment used in the video:
Here’s a great video via Premiumbeat:
As you can see a slider or camera dolly, coupled with these techniques, will add drama and help convey emotion in your story.
What other cool camera moves can you accomplish with these techniques? Do you have any tips or tricks to create Awesome Cinematography? Let us know in the comments below.
Full blog post here: bit.ly/16T3aFu
April 11, 2014
Thanks to Rodney Mitchell of the DCMV Creative Pro User’s Group for posting this article!
Via NAB, the new G3 Steadycam two axis handheld gimbal allows you to use your little GOPRO easy to shoot the videos and photos as smoothly as movies, let you share your life with your relatives and friends in anytime and anywhere. You will always be the focus of the life no matter when and where you are, let the multi-angle, smooth and clear records to become the eternal memory.All of this will easy to realize in your hands. Soon it will become your travel must-have items.
Steadycam, by Steady+ cam (the first three letters of “camera”) make up, G3 Steadycam handheld gimbal is light weight, easy to carry, simple to use, power-and-go,also has electronic slow to follow mode which a mechanical stabilizer cannot do that, and it can steady the up and down before and after. Compatible use with GOPRO3 , GOPRO3+.
Convenient and practical power switch design, integration lightweight design and delicate appearance. It can help you easily to achieve the shooting of fast moving, chasing, steering, and low angle.
It equipped with four batteries and one battery charge. Each battery type is 16340, and capacity is 1800mAh. You just need to use three batteries and one can be used as backup. The use time is over 2 hours.
Feiyu tech kindly remind you: You should first amount the GOPRO to gimbal, then put on the batteries and power on. Otherwise it will cause the phenomena of gimbal disorderly shaking.
Purchase by an Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 8, 2014
by BlackMagic Design, Grant Petty
I received this email from Grant Petty of Blackmagic Design this evening…
It’s NAB 2014 time and we have some very exciting new products this year and I wanted to update you on all the details! I apologize for the long email but we have so many new items to introduce!
Hollywood’s most powerful color corrector
is now also the world’s most amazing editor!
DaVinci Resolve 11 combines the world’s most advanced color corrector with professional multi track editing, so now you can edit, color correct, finish and deliver all from one system! Davinci Resolve is completely scalable and resolution independent so it can be used on set, in a small studio or integrated into the largest Hollywood production pipeline! Only DaVinci Resolve features the creative tools, compatibility, speed and legendary image quality you need to manage your entire workflow, which is why it is the number one solution used on Hollywood feature films.
DaVinci Resolve 11
DaVinci Resolve 11 is a major upgrade and we have added over 70 new editing features including dual monitor support and familiar professional tools like dynamic JKL trimming, audio crossfades and fully customizable keyboard shortcuts for faster editing.
DaVinci Resolve 11 now has a new spline curve keyframe editor integrated into the edit timeline that positions keyframes directly under each clip and in context with the clip. You can also add and animate open FX plug-ins directly in the timeline as well as use plug-ins for transitions.
There are new collaborative workflow tools in DaVinci Resolve 11 which allows an editor and multiple colorists to work on different workstations, sharing the same timeline and working in tandem as they complete shots. Another advantage of the enhanced editing features is the better round trip collaboration with Apple Final Cut Pro X™.
Color correction features have been upgraded in DaVinci Resolve 11, including new color grading controls that are designed for photographers who are moving into cinematography. There is also a new camera RAW palette featuring highlight and shadow recovery, mid tone detail, color boost, saturation, lift, gain and contrast.
For on set work, DaVinci Resolve 11 can now securely back up and save digital camera files. The new DaVinci Resolve clone tool copies media drives, memory cards and camera packs to multiple destinations simultaneously. All copies are checksum verified, so you get exact bit for bit digital copies of the source media.
DaVinci Resolve 11 also features an automatic color chart color balancing tool that automatically gives a primary base grade by analyzing shots containing standard color chip charts even if they were shot in different lighting conditions with different exposure and color temperatures. It’s really easy to use and you just lay an onscreen grid over the color chart and then auto grade!
This is an exciting update and it will be available June free of charge to all DaVinci Resolve users! Most of these new features will also be available in DaVinci Resolve Lite.
Blackmagic URSA Camera
Over the last few years it’s been really amazing to watch some of the work being done on our cinema camera and some of the rigs that have been built around it. But when we designed it we never really thought it would be used on such large jobs. It was really designed to be a small intimate camera used for creative work where you need to get in close and personal.
So we have been watching these larger rigs and thinking about how people are working when they do large shoots. Our thinking is that we needed to design a professional full sized camera that had all the extra on set equipment built into it, so there was no need to rig it up as much. We also wanted a camera with enough size to fit a very powerful cooling system so we could run high frame rates without fan noise.
The result is URSA, our new camera for professional shoots. It features a stealthy machined aluminum design that’s incredibly strong and has been designed for large film crews. We designed the camera to be divided into separate DOP, camera assistant and audio engineer workstation areas so multiple crew can work around it at the same time.
The DOP station features a massive 10 inch fold out on set monitor and separate 5 inch screen for settings, camera status and scopes. The camera assist station features a separate LCD screen for camera settings, status and scopes and the audio station features audio meters, controls and audio connections.
URSA also includes an upgradable Super 35 4K image sensor with global shutter, 12G-SDI connections, XLR audio inputs with phantom power and dual CFast based RAW and ProRes recorders. There is a total of 3 LCD’s built into this camera!
One of the reasons we have been able to put in such high quality displays and features is because the camera is user upgradable. What this means is the whole sensor and lens mount simply unbolts from the front using 4 bolts and then it can be removed and replaced. So in the future when new sensors are available you can upgrade simply by swapping the sensor and lens mount assembly. This makes the camera virtually future proof!
URSA is available initially in 3 models. One includes EF lens mount and one has a PL lens mount. An example of how you can upgrade the camera would be if you ordered the EF one, you could later purchase the PL lens mount and install it yourself.
One of the weirdest ideas we had was to make URSA available without a lens and sensor and the URSA HDMI features a ‘cheese plate” with threaded holes and a HDMI input where the sensor and lens mount would normally be. This means you can use any camera on the URSA body and get all the benefits of big screen, scopes, professional audio inputs, CFast recorders and more!
The camera runs at 60 fps, however the body has the high speed processing and high capacity cooling to run beyond 100 fps, so when faster sensors are available you could upgrade and then get higher frame rates.
There are a lot more features in the camera than I have space to describe here. The Blackmagic URSA EF will be available in July for $5,995 and the Blackmagic URSA PL will be available for $6,495 from July.
March 24, 2014
Thanks to contributor and videographer, Guy Noffsinger, for this article.
How to fix lens distortion shot on a DJI Phantom with a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition in Adobe Photoshop. There is more info on my Phantom review and resource page here http://www.photoshopcafe.com/reviews/…
How to remove fisheye lens distortion for free
by Simon Newton
Here’s a quick video for new Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter camera drone owners on how to use the free GIMP graphics package to quickly and easily remove the “fisheye” lens distortion from your photos. As well as showing you some suggested values for the adjustments I’ll show you how the particular filter I use works and what to expect from the cropping it will apply to the image. Hope it’s useful to some.
March 21, 2014
LRTimelapse is the tool to edit and grade professional looking time lapse movies using Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW or Adobe After Effects.
Time lapse movies are getting more and more popular these days. Still-Photographers, filmmakers and multimedia artists are discovering this new and exciting facet of photography.
Time lapse films are much more than videos played in acceleration – they are in fact photo-sequences taken in certain intervals, edited and combined to these exciting movies we all know from nature documentaries or the internet.
LRTimelapse is today being used by the majority of all ambitioned time lapse photographers and producers because it enables them to use their favorite photographic tools (Lightroom 3/4/5 or Adobe Creative Suite) to produce time lapses with all the advantages and power that those tools offer for image editing. It allows them to easily deal with time lapse specifics, like getting rid of the tedious flicker-effect and even helps them to achieve the so called “holy grail of time lapse photography”: smooth day-to-night transitions.
Time Lapse Photography and Editing
If you want to learn how to make time lapse movies from the beginning and avoid going yourself the hard way of trial and error, consider getting my EBook Time Lapse Shooting and Processing. It’s a step by step guide for beginners, intermediates and even professionals.
LRTimelapse will then take your movies to the next level. It allows you to continuously change Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW development parameters over the time which enables key-frame animations like in video-processing. The great advantage over post processing your time lapse sequences in your favorite video production software is the much better video quality gained from the preprocessing of the Source-files (RAW, DNG or JPG).
Furthermore, LRTimelapse is one of the best instruments to deflicker your time lapse movies.
Even the Holy Grail of Time Lapse Photography, seamless transitions from day to night, gets as easy as a couple of clicks with LRTimelapse. You don’t even need expensive and complicated bulb-ramping devices to achieve it and get better, mostly perfect results, with a little bit of practice.
In cooperation with DslrDashboard, the greatest Mobile App for Camera Control, we now offer the ability to control your camera, analyse histograms and even automatically adjust settings while the light condition changes – and all that wireless, without touching the camera.
Examples and Possible Uses
- Alter white balance and all other Lightroom/ACR editing tools over the time (for example for sun sets)
- Make the “Holy Grail” of time lapse photography – (day to night transition) easy peasy
- Use the full potential of Lightroom / ACR for color grading!
- Deflicker with one click
- Make Ken-Burns effects (pan/zoom) on RAW-file basis
- Continuously saturate / desaturate
- Animate Graduated / Radial Filters
- and many, many more…
March 18, 2014
Few jobs on set are as under-appreciated as the person (or people) operating the boom mic. Not only can it be physically strenuous over the course of a 14+ hour day, but operating a boom also takes a whole lot of technique and skill in order for production sound to be its very best. Luckily, the fine folks over at Videomaker have put together a video that demystifies the subtle art of operating a boom like a pro. Check it out.
This tutorial covers everything from how to set up, hold, and direct a boom pole to how to select the proper microphone for different acoustic environments. So sit back, put your learning hats on, and get ready for a crash course in boom operating:
The key takeaway from this video is that, just like the other technical aspects of filmmaking, operating a boom mic is a wildly varied skill that takes an intimate knowledge of both the proper technique and the available tools in order to get the best results on a consistent basis. Through practicing and perfecting your methods of mic selection/placement, cable management, and through having an innate sense of the cinematographer’s frame, the boom operator can gather top-notch production sound in just about any situation.
Another thing to mention is that boom poles with internal cabling are the devil in this writer’s humble opinion (although I’ve admittedly only used cheaper variations). While practical, the internal elements of these poles can create some truly baffling audio artifacts when the pole is moved around in the slightest. From what I’ve heard, the higher priced poles manage to avoid this mishap, but a solid, stripped down pole wrapped in cable will always do the job just as well.
What do you guys think of the boom information presented in this video? Do you have any boom pole tips or microphone preferences of your own? Let us know down in the comments!