Flip Mino HD Workflow To Final Cut

I got this from Larry Jordans newsletter and I thought I’d share it here because my Flip Mino HD posts have been popular.

Use compressor to convert the footage to the followings ProRes specs:
Apple ProRes 422
23.98 fps
1280x 720
Audio Settings
Stereo, 48khz, 16 bit

The audio the flip records is 44.1khz and will cause problems if you don’t make this change.

The files produced are large and it does take some time. It’s a let them encode overnight solution.

If you need a quick turn around on the project iMove 09 is still the way to go or use the included flip software.

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June 16, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Video Announcements

One of my first big projects after joining LakeShore was to begin to produce weekly announcement videos. We’re shortening our service times so this helps us make up some time. We show it during the offering.

The graphics were from a revostock template

I’ve got a list of ways to improve for next week:
– Forgot to shoot an intro with Amber
-Need to get ahead on the script to get an intro and outro from each announcement. This would also give Amber some more confidence I think
– Need to get better audio to give her more presence in the video
– Need to polish some of the eye candy: Animate the LakeShore Update logo, better transitions from the Motion GFX to the talent, better text and animation over the video we shot.

This week took longer but now that I have a template to work from I should be able to finish the post production much faster.

I’d appreciate any feedback as we’re looking to improve on what we’re doing.

June 15, 2009. Video. 7 comments.

The Rest Of The Video Equipment

The camera post went a little long so I thought I’d break this up and talk about the rest of the video equipment.
Tripod
Miller DS-20 Tripod System Ordering over the phone I actually ordered the wrong legs but they are swapping the legs out for me. They shipped me this version with alloy legs. I was using a Manofrotto/Bogen system at Grace Outreach Center. But the Miller is in a different league as you would expect from the price. The movement is smooth and controlled. It’s like a Ruth Chris steak after eating at Golden Coral. It’s so much better, but if all you’ve been eating is Golden Coral you’ll be happy with Golden Coral because ignorance is bliss. The legs that shipped with the DS-20 are annoying. I hate the bottom spreader attachment so I’m really looking forward to the carbon fiber legs. Unfortunatly they’re backordered till July.

For lighting I went with a Lowel DV Pro 55 kit. I also have a 3 light kit from Smith Vector. This should give us enough light for green screen work and just about anything else.

We’ve got a Westcott background system with black, white and green screens. It also has a double bar so I can leave the green screen up and put white or black in front of it.

For audio I’ve got some Sennheiser Lapel mics coming in.

One of piece I’m real excited about is the Matrox MX02 Mini. It gives me the i/o I need for the occasional DVD or VHS tape that will be brought to me. But it also gives me an HDMI output that I can callibrate with the included software. I use this monitor from Dell as my main monitor and I’ve ordered another to go with the Matrox because it has HDMI input. So it should be a very nice editing setup. We also have a 42″ plasma that’s not being used that I hope to use a screening monitor for when other people come into my office to preview videos.

Update: I linked to the wrong monitor. I meant to link to this monitor:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/productdetail.aspx?c=us%26l=en%26s=dhs%26cs=19%26sku=320-7345

June 11, 2009. Video. Leave a comment.

Sony EX-1

We’ll we got the approval to move ahead with the new video equipment purchases.

Here’s what we ordered and my initial thoughts to what’s come in so far:

Camera
Sony EX-1: I looked at all the cameras and settled on the EX-1. Here was my thought process.
-The JVC HM100 was the smallest with the smallest chips. Since we chose the EX-1 and this camera shoots the same format. I might think about adding this camera if we need a “B” camera.
-The Pannasonic HMC-150 seemed a step up in optics and image from the HM100 but AVCHD is a newer codec and could be problematic
-The Pannasonic HPX-170 is a step up optics and codec from the other two cameras. 4:2:2 color space is great for fx work and grading. I was very familiar with it having shot with the HVX200 for the last year. But P2 cards are expensive, even the new “E” series. It’s an older codec but it is very easy to work with. The image sensors are not full HD size and as a result the image is softer than other cameras.
-The JVC-HM700 has interchangeable lenses, shoots on SDHC cards and uses the same codec as the EX-1/3. The form/ ergonomics of this camera are the best of the group. But it’s also the most expensive. Once you add a power supply it was pushing $8k

So what stood out to me about the EX-1?
-I really think it has the best optics at it’s price point ($6,099). It’s full 1080p with 1/2″ sensors and it shows. Very sharp images. Very clean with little noise.
-I’ll be doing a lot of green screen work but the higher resolution should offset the loss of color space.
-Even though it’s long GOP file structure the HQ setting blows HDV away.
-It does use SxS media which are expensive but I’ve found using a MxR adapter from e-films.com allows me to use cheap class 6 SDHC cards in the camera. At this time with the SDHC card + adapter is about $100 for 16GB. This made the cost difference between the EX-1 and the HVX200 or HPX-171 negligible. It also increased the difference between the EX-1 and the JVC GY-HM700.

So what are my thoughts so far?
1. The images this camera creates is awesome! I’ll post some footage I’m editing now later this week.
2. The control for focus, zoom and iris on the lens are great. So much easier to work with. I’m going to be spoiled by it and be shocked when I shoot with another camera.
3. Ergonomics for handheld work is tough. But most handheld cameras when I shoot off the tripod I end up holding the camera by my gut. When shooting this way the EX-1 has a nice feature allowing you to rotate the hand grip.
4. There is a lot of tweak-ability in the picture profile menu but unlike Pannasonic you don’t get some “starter” profiles to jump off of.
5. I don’t know if it’s because of the higher resolution or if it’s the 1/2″ sensors but I find the focus more critical than the HVX200. I’m assuming it’s the 1/2″ sensors giving a shallower depth of field meaning a smaller “in focus” zone.

Overall I have to say I’m very impressed with the EX-1. I’ve shot some “studio” interview shots with only 2 cheap Smith-Vector lights (we have a light kit ordered) and the shots looked amazing. I’ve shot a few run-n-gun things around the church where the light was not as flattering and it’ll take some tweaking in post.

Hopefully I can develop some picture profiles for various scenarios. But the fact is it’s hard to get great looking shots in bad lighting situations.

June 10, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized, Video. Leave a comment.