Adobe Tightens The Leash

Adobe Tightens The Leash
How does this effect me as a user and product developer for After Effects?

after effects

First things first

A few notes and disclaimers: Prices mentioned in this article and any related URL links are subject to change without notice. The info I state below about pricing was accurate at the time of this writing. Also I have in the past and in some cases I am still actively creating and maintaining script products & video tutorials relating to Adobe software and it’s 3rd party fx plugin developers. As well as Maxon Cinema4D, Jawset TurbulenceFD, Insydium X-Particles, Redshift3D, and Agisoft MetaShape (formerly PhotoScan). I also do have personal and business friendships with a number of software developers, and related staff within some of those companies.

With that said I have NOT been commissioned nor sponsored to write this article. I have chosen to voice my own opinion based on my own personal experience.

This article is being written from a personal perspective as a Visual Effects Professional of nineteen years, as a ten year After Effects script developer, and simply as a twenty year user of After Effects. This article is meant to hopefully get conversations rolling, perhaps stir the pot a little, possibly even shed some light on where to begin your search….if you are choosing to move on that is.

The news

On May 8th, 2019 Adobe announced on their blog that they are now limiting the download availability of older versions across the whole Creative Cloud lineup. ProVideoCoalition’s own Scott Simmons has an editors perspective on this announcement as well. View his article here:
Adobe limiting the availability of older versions of the Creative Cloud apps

The limitation Adobe has initiated is to only allow the two newest major versions of the software. Not long after Adobe made their official blog post, users such as Gary Tussey started receiving emails started receiving emails. Gary posted his to Twitter.

 

I received my own email notice on 5/10/2019 at 4:02PM.

Email sent from Adobe

There are a few concerning parts to this information. First, there is the “…should you continue to use…” section.

“Please be aware that should you continue to use the discontinued version(s), you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.”

This sounds very threatening in my opinion. So if I continue to operate as normal, I now under no fault of my own can be possibly sued by third parties for infringement. All by simply waking up and starting work on an already active job? That’s some pretty serious sh**!

The second part is that they are aware of the versions we are running. As you can clearly see in my email, they stated the old installs I currently run. This of course is because the apps, and installers call home to Adobe to verify your subscription. So if I was to not comply, continue to use the apps, and take my chances…. how long would it be before Adobe just cuts the cord on their end? That’s totally possible since even as a user you can yourself go into your account and deactivate licenses on machines you have installed to. That remote deactivation system exists. So either way, it pretty much sounds like the apps could ultimately cease to function at some point in the future. By your hands or Adobe’s if they so choose.

As Adobe states though…

“…under the terms of our agreement, you are no longer licensed to use them.”

It was always temporary to begin with. We only rent the tool. No pay, no play. Personally, I’m not happy about the situation, but I can’t really complain right? I did agree to the terms and pay my money like many others each month. Now you can get deep into End User License Agreement’s (EULA) and if they actually are enforceable, but that is a whole other conversation. You can search online for “Is EULA legally enforceable?” to find many discussions on the topic. Some arguing yes, some saying no. You can also check Wikipedia for more info on EULA.

Some users may be confused too, because of Adobe’s wording. Not everyone is familiar with the software names versus their actual version numbers.

AFTER EFFECTS:13.2, PHOTOSHOP: 18.0

At first glance, you would say wait a minute. 18.0? Wouldn’t that be Photoshop 2018, and the top two newest versions are CC2018, and CC2019. What gives? Well Adobe has had a long history of making confusing product names that didn’t match the actual software version numbers. After Effects made it to version 7.0 before it was renamed Creative Suite and labeled CS3 for version 8.0. This offset happened again with CS5.5, then Creative Cloud (CC). After Effects version 13.2 is actually known as CC2014. You can view the whole history on Wikipedia for After Effects. Photoshop is a bit muddier on Wikipedia, but version 18.0 is actually Photoshop 2017.

Any reason why this is happening?

The announcement has users reacting all over Twitter.

Some believe this whole debacle is based on a legal issue from a third party. That party being more specifically the Dolby Laboratories. They filed a complaint back in March of 2018 according to a couple online findings I’ve seen.
Justia Dockets & Filings
The Register

Given the wording in Adobe’s email, “….you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.”

This sounds like Dolby could be the likely cause, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

Mixed emotions

With all of the sudden announcements and let’s call them what they are–threats, I’m in turmoil over what to do. If I am to follow Adobe’s notice and comply, I will now have to delete any old installs on all of my machines. Now I have yet to find full clarity if this also applies to pre-Creative Cloud versions as they were disk shipments and not downloads. My assumption is yes, but I have not seen it worded specifically anywhere yet. Are the old disk installs an option again now? Realistically no, just from a workflow standpoint these days, but am I now gonna be sued just for keeping these in storage?

For me this would mean currently removing After Effects CS3 – After Effects CC 2017 and all of it’s third party plugins since some of them are compatible only to a specific version of After Effects. These plugin patches has become a normal process we are all accustomed to dealing with these days. You may have noticed I said After Effects CS3 a moment ago. That’s not a typo. I actually have an old MacBook laptop lying around with CS3 through the first CC installed on it for testing AE scripts in development on Mac.

In deleting AE CC 2014, I would be then left with AE CC 2018 on my current machine and little to no 3rd party plugins. I made the decision to stay with AE CC 2014, due to its stability. Also it supports all of my 3rd party plugins that I also paid for. While some users experienced some issues, for me it has been rock solid for the work I was doing. This work involved feature, TV, and mixed media up to 4K compositing, keying, minor rotoscoping, and of course expression and script developing, plus video tutorials.

I should state too, that I am running a Windows machine that I built from scratch when leaving Apple behind for good in 2016. Besides stability, my other main reason for not upgrading to the latest After Effects is I am running Windows 8 and I can’t update. When I built the machine, AE CC2014 was the stable choice for my setup, based on my direct experience. Currently Creative Cloud now requires Windows 10 minimum. That’s another big strike for so many users on top of Adobe’s limitation enforcement.

Feeling the squeeze

The legal enforcement means I am now bound to only using AE CC 2018. How long before the next major version comes along? Maybe another six months or so, then I will be forced to remove AE CC 2018 as well. To even consider doing the Adobe update I would need to upgrade all plugins, upgrade my OS, and then because of the OS upgrade I would have to tackle upgrading ALL of my other software. As well as some of their plugins possibly. This immediately became a multi thousand dollar situation, and not a simple “just update to the newest After Effects CC 2019”.

With the variety of top plugin packages I use to create my work, upgrading is definitely not a cheap prospect for an individual freelancer.

after effectsafter effects

 

after effectsafter effects

 

I work and make tutorials for a number of softwares, and subjects, and my skill sets include other areas as well. Right now I actively run…

  • SynthEyes
  • Cinema4D
  • Redshift3D
  • TurbulenceFD
  • X-Particles
  • MetaShape
  • Houdini
  • SublimeText.

Most of these are softwares I have to maintain annually as well. I have an entire set of small utility apps, but those are more trivial and normally free to begin with which helps. All this software relates back down to Visual Effects or Motion work in some way in my career.

This puts me in a major bind on a number of levels. Maintaining multiple versions of the After Effects software is vital for many users. Working from home is a key part of a freelancer’s career, they need that software flexibility to keep jobs.

Now there is a greater question here that we could discuss, which is why are we so dependent on the older versions? Why isn’t everyone upgrading to begin with? Wouldn’t it be easier if 100% of the users were on the same product version? Absolutely. There would be no need for dealing with incompatible plugins, nor mismatched features. It would mean that another studio could provide a project file and outside of including any 3rd party plugins, it would work.

The reality is that most a lot of clients return for the same old work, they just want altered versions of a previous campaign. Reuse is a big part of the business. Certain looks achieved can and are usually dependent on 3rd party plugins. Sometimes those plugins hit end of life cycles too. So being able to go back to an old project file is a must, and not a luxury for some users. Their actual livelihood and clients depend on it.

3rd party

3rd party plugins are a vital key to the success of After Effects. Why is it that I am continuously finding new scripts to make myself? How does aescripts + aeplugins exist with a catalog of over 630 After Effects specific products alone? What about VideoCoPilot, Boris FX, Red Giant, and many others. Why has there actually been the need for so many plugins? Of course there are a lot of overlaps in some of these plugin packs and scripts, but again why hasn’t Adobe just started implementing these kinds of features and upgrades to the software we are paying for?

Clearly there is a demand and money to be made. If you work as a freelancer, you will see lots of these popular 3rd party plugins on just about every machine in a studio. Maybe they only have one license that seven artists have to fight over who can render or use it when, but they have it.

Do I keep paying Adobe $20.99 (current single app price) each month? I also have the Photoshop/Lightroom plan for $9.99. For me $30.98 made more sense than the $52.99, since I have absolutely no need for those other apps. Save some money. You’ll notice too, that the “All Apps” price is currently on sale for $29.99.

Well the actual cost of using After Effects isn’t just that monthly dollar amount if you are so dependent on the arsenal of 3rd party tools. It could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually, plus the $20.99 a month.

Should I stay or should I go?

Currently I am a user, and a product developer. I can see a bit of both sides. As a user of After Effects, I first started with version 5.0 which released in 2001. Learning, and playing in this app was my life. It was fun, and I was creating. Over the years I got better at it and turned it into the start of a career in Visual Effects. In 2007, I had gained interest in ExtendScript scripting thanks to Jeff Almosol saving my butt on a horrendous roto project.

Around mid 2008 is when I was picked up by Ghost Town Media, LLC. That was a godsend as it opened the door to work on some amazing projects, and work with some great people in the industry. In 2016 I was back in the freelancer world and transitioned to 3D volumetrics and particle simulation work. I still have this love for being able to dive in After Effects and just knock out something quickly though. This is only true because of the depth of familiarity I have with the app and its technical issues.

During many of these years, on the product developer side I was creating tools and
templates for After Effects. After being on this journey for nineteen years, I know it very well. The products I made/make were both a way to fix shortcomings in the application, or to improve work speed. Deadlines, and volume of work was always a motivator to figure out how to streamline and automate repetitive tasks.

During an eleven year period I have made well over forty hours of video tutorial content. For many of these videos, After Effects has been the main subject. I’ve built several scripts. Some I have given away for free right here on ProVideoCoalition, others I have sold. After Effects has just been such a deep part of my life.

So the user in me is like, well I don’t do much production work with AE these days, so I can probably let it go really. I can save the $20.99 a month (USD $251.88 annual) and have dinner out with my wife more often. The problem I face in leaving though, is that it means I ditch all of you, my loyal customers, friends, and fellow freelancers that decide to stay.

It would mean that I set an End of Life (EOL) on my scripts, templates, and tutorials relating to Adobe. No more creating and maintaining them. Scripts that so many users have expressed their gratitude for being so helpful in their process. I even did a major release for a new script as recent as this past April for Organize Projects Assets Pro.

So I’m torn. I don’t support Adobe’s current choice, however I don’t want to be adding to the abandonment already felt by so many. Many conversations have happened the last few days on this question. Many more will continue.

What are the replacements?

If you were to jump ship, what are the actual options to replace After Effects? I had to really think about this. After Effects is a very unique tool. The vast amount of 3rd party plugins that has expanded its capabilities makes it difficult to figure out. I have seen a number of suggestions floating about and I have to say that none of them are a full 100% replacement. It would require a collection of new softwares to even match the functionality that you as a daily user would find familiar.

To help determine what could even be a replacement, I started to break down what is After Effects being used for. This varies from user to user of course. For myself it was, for a long time at least, a compositor, keyer, rotoscoper, asset generator, editor, title animator, file exporter, format converter, fx creator, and keyframe animation tool. Automation of those things as well through scripting, and expressions. I even used ExtendScript to pick my Mega Millions loto numbers one time. Don’t laugh I was only one number off from winning $20.

For others it has been used for motion design animations, title sequences, 2D/2.5D character animation, visual effects, lower thirds, credit scrolls, and I’m sure much more.

Within those categories we have to decide what the actual functionalities are. Then we can start comparing and looking at alternatives. Base on the above tasks, and categories. I’ve come up with this list so far. I would encourage comments to help expand on this as well.

  • Keyframe based animation
  • Code based procedural animation (expressions)
  • Chroma/luma keying/alpha channel extraction
  • Footage grain matching (compositing)
  • Footage grain removal
  • Footage rig removal/paint out
  • 2D/3D tracking
  • Masking/rotoscoping
  • Vector spline shapes (shape layers)
  • Automation/templating (extendscript/CEP scripts)

So from that and from others I’ve talked to, these are some suggestions that have been made. Again comment to expand on this list.

Fusion Studio – $299 (VFX, animation, and more)
Davinci Resolve – FREE (edit/color/vfx/mograph/free version of Fusion)/
Calvary – $??? (animation) Currently under development as of this writing.
2Dimensions – FREE (animation for apps and games)
MoHo – $399.99 (2D animation/rigging)
Spine – $99/$329 (2D animation for games)
Blender – FREE (Rendering, Modeling, Animation, VFX, Simulation, Video editing, Scripting)
ffmpeg – FREE (audio/video recorder,converter,stream)

Who will adopt what?

Based on what functionalities After Effects was providing at the core level, not factoring in vital 3rd party tools, I compared the various suggestions above. My first thought was that a whole new collection of software will need to be learned, and adopted into a brand new pipeline. For me, I am pretty adaptable, even at 44 years old. I have no problem learning new things and have a tendency to do that anyways on my own to find solutions, but a lot of users have different mindsets. Not everyone learns the same way or at the same pace.

I would love to turn this section of the article into a review session suggesting you should use this app or that app, but I am in the same boat as you. These are unfamiliar softwares to me (with the exception of ffmpeg), and I would be learning them fresh as well. Best thing to do right now is to download a trial and try them out for yourself, look for tutorials from existing users, and share your experiences with others so we can all learn together.

The biggest hurdle beyond finding alternate software, learning it, and optimizing its use into your pipeline, is going to be getting everyone else to do the same. Change does need to start somewhere first, but it will be a long transition.

Based on a generic poll I posted on Twitter this past week, there are some users that are staying put and some that are unsure if they will step away from Adobe. They feel they have no choice because so many studios are still using Adobe products primarily. Those same studios will likely be apprehensive to adopt such a dramatic change to new unfamiliar software. Change is difficult for people.

Only time will tell how this plays out.

I for one am placing my vote as….Unsure.

The post Adobe Tightens The Leash appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Coachella 2019 – streaming live from the ARRI Alexa Mini & Amira

The Coachella 2019 music festival was live streamed on YouTube. The production team used a combination of ARRI Alexa Minis and Amiras to stream the iconic event to a wide world audience. ARRI cameras are probably not the first thing that jumps to mind when you think Multicam and live streaming. Using digital cinema cameras … Continued

The post Coachella 2019 – streaming live from the ARRI Alexa Mini & Amira appeared first on Newsshooter.

Adobe informs users that using old versions of CC apps could lead to lawsuits from third parties

Last week, Adobe informed Creative Cloud subscribers that programs older than the two most recent version releases would no longer be available to download. Now, Adobe has sent out an email warning subscribers that continuing to use older software could put them at risk of getting sued by third parties.

Below is a transcription of the text sent to a number of Creative Cloud subscribers:

Dear Valued Creative Cloud Customer,

We have an update to share with you regarding Creative Cloud version download availability. For customers who have not yet updated to the latest version of Creative Cloud, please note that you are no longer licensed to use certain older versions of the applications or deploy packages containing these older versions. We ask that your organization discontinues all usage of the unauthorized products listed in the table below, and instead update to the authorized versions provided. You will continue to receive all the value that Creative Cloud has to offer, but with more advanced features, capabilities and security. Please be aware that if you continue to use or deploy the older, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud, you will not have third-party claim coverage pursuant to your contract with Adobe. Should you continue to use or deploy these unauthorized versions, you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.

Here’s what to do next:

• If your users have self-service access to Creative Cloud via the CC Desktop App, you should encourage them to upgrade their software.
• If you package and deploy products to your users, then you should go to the Adobe Admin Console and create new packages from the versions available
• If you are still licensing with a serial number, you should continue to create packages using Creative Cloud Packager
• Finally, we advise that you un-install unauthorized versions and delete pre-existing packages to prevent future accidental deployments.

Adobe’s Customer Support organization is available to answer any questions about upgrading your Creative Cloud software. Please contact them directly should you have any questions. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
The Adobe Team

Below is a list of the unauthorized versions of software addressed in the message:

Photoshop: CC 18.1.6 and prior, CC 17, CC 16, CC 15, CC 14, 13
InDesign: CC 9, 8
Premiere Pro: CC 11, CC 10, CC 9, CC 8, CC 7, 6
Media Encoder: CC 11, CC 10, CC 9, CC 8, CC 7, 6
After Effects: CC 14, CC 13, CC 12, CC 11
Animate: CC 16, CC 15, CC 14, CC 13, 12
Audition: CC 6, CC 5, CC 4
Lightroom Classic: CC 6, CC 5, CC 4
Bridge: CC 7, CC 6
Prelude: CC 6, CC 5, CC4, CC 3, CC 2, 1
SpeedGrade (has been discontinued): CC 9, CC 8, CC 7, 6
Captivate: Captivate 2017 (10.0.0)

Based on the information provided in the email, as well as previous complaints filed by third parties, it sounds as though the licensing agreement Adobe had for technologies inside select Creative Cloud programs has run out with whatever entities it was licensing it from.

It’s unknown at this time what specific technologies were licensed and who they were licensed from, but as Apple Insider has noted, Dolby may very well be one of the companies, as it sued Adobe last year for copyright infringement. Specifically, Dolby’s complaint claimed Adobe was under-reporting how many Creative Cloud subscribers it had, which affected revenue from the licensing fee it negotiated and agreed upon with Adobe for its audio encoders and other software technologies.

DPReview contacted Adobe for comment on the message that was sent out as well as more details on the matter and below is the response we received:

Adobe recently discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud applications. Customers using those versions have been notified that they are no longer licensed to use them and were provided guidance on how to upgrade to the latest authorized versions. Unfortunately, customers who continue to use or deploy older, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud may face potential claims of infringement by third parties.

Venus Optics Announces the Laowa 100mm F2.8 2:1 Macro Lens

The new Laowa lens features low bokeh fringing and chromatic aberration as well as electronic coupling for Canon EF mounts.

Venus Optics has announced that its new Laowa 100mm F2.8 macro lens will ship at the end of May and be priced at a competitive $449 (U.S.). This full frame lens joins its previously released 60mm F2.8 as the second lens in Laowa’s 2:1 magnification line. The lens will be released with Canon EF, Sony FE and Nikon F mounts.

It is worth noting that there are significant variations between the different mount versions. The EF mount alone has an integrated CPU chip and an aperture motor, enabling body-controlled aperture changes and EXIF data transmission. The EF mount also features a nine-blade iris and incorporates an in-viewfinder focus indicator. The Sony FE mount has a thirteen-blade aperture diaphragm and the Nikon seven. The Sony version is also significantly longer (35mm) than the other two versions. All versions are fully manual focus only. Given the physical differences in construction, it will be also interesting to see if there are major image differences between the three mounts.

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How to Get Hired As A “Go-To Editor” [Video]

Tips and tactics from a 20-year editing veteran.

The best career advice I ever received was simply to “be prepared.” There’s no special technical expertise or secret handshake clique that magically gets you hired. Better to cultivate your craft and business acumen so that when opportunity knocks, you’re home.

This is why an industry-savvy editor like Sven Pape (Ghosts of the Abyss, HitRecord) and his considerate YouTube channel This Guy Edits is a true diamond in the rough cut. This Guy Edits is a solid resource of technique and analysis, which has now evolved into an online course, titled The Go-To Editor.

In this introductory video, Pape provides an overview of the course which promises both editing training and career consultation.

There’s three main concepts; The Client, The Work and The Promise.

Pape first extols the importance of client relationships and ways to rear a rolodex. Being foremost in the mind of Those-Who-Hire is the very definition of a “Go-To.”

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C’est Cannes 2019

The 72nd Festival de Cannes is now open. Follow the 12 days of Cannes on the official Festival website. The Cannes 2019 poster celebrates filmmaker Agnès Varda. If anyone knows the name of the camera assistant or grip whose back she’s standing on, please contact FDTimes. It was August 1954 and, as the official Cannes press release describes, she was filming… read more…

What Is Reductive Lighting?

What Is Reductive Lighting?

Lighting a scene is usually associated with placing light sources of certain quality, shape, and power on various places to illuminate parts that have to be visible to the camera. There are ways to light a scene not only without any additional light sources, but also without any white or black bounce-boards.

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How to Remove Almost Anything Using the Clone Stamp Tool

How to Remove Almost Anything Using the Clone Stamp Tool

Photoshop has numerous tools at its disposal that can perform a multitude of advanced functions, many of which are highly automated. But those automatic functions don’t always perform perfectly, and sometimes, you’ll need to fall back on a tried and true method: the Clone Stamp tool. This great video will show you exactly what you need to know about the powerful tool.

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Full-Frame Look on EOS M – Metabones EF to EOS M Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x

Metabones, a company that is known for making premium, innovative lens adapters, has just released their new Metabones EF to EOS M Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x. This adapter allows you to mount full-frame Canon EF lenses on Canon EOS M cameras, while “increasing” the native aperture of the lens by one stop and reducing the crop factor by 0.71x. Let’s take a look at it! 

Metabones_EFEOSM_Featured

Canon EOS M Cameras

Initially launched in 2012, the Canon EOS M line of cameras never really drew too much attention. Many EOS M cameras were launched, like the EOS M/M2/M3, the M10 that we reviewed, and the latest EOS M50, which is currently the top-of-the-line camera of this ecosystem. The EOS M50 is a pretty decent camera, it features a 24.1MP CMOS APS-C sensor, and can record in 4K UHD at up to 25 frames per second, and in 1080P at up to 60 frames per second. It’s not the most excellent camera of all time, but if you are looking for something compact and intuitive, it can get the job done.

Metabones_EFEOSM_01

Image credit: Tinh Khuong

The real problem with EOS M cameras is the lack of quality native lenses. There are only four zoom and three prime lenses available in EF-M mount. Also, with the launch of the new line of EOS R mount cameras, I doubt Canon will continue to develop any new glass for the EOS M line. So – here comes Metabones with their new Canon EF to EOS M Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x.

Metabones EF to EOS M Speed Booster ULTRA

Metabones is famous for making quality lens adapters. Back in 2013, they were the first to introduce an EF to E-mount “Speed Booster” adapter with a lens inside to reduce the crop factor of the camera and even more, increase the aperture of the lens by one stop.

This new Metabones EF to EOS M Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x is no different. It will reduce the 1.5x crop factor of EOS cameras down to 1.07x and make your lens one-stop faster. For example: it “converts” a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 into the field-of-view of a 17-50mm f/2.0 on an APS-C sensor and a Canon 50mm f/1.2 to a whopping 35.5mm f/0.9 field-of-view.

It is compatible with all full-frame Canon EF lenses. Also, it is compatible with EF-S lenses, but you’ll need to modify your glass, which may result in vignetting. When using the adapter, most of the features of the camera and lens are natively supported, like image stabilization and autofocus, except lens aberration correction. The EXIF metadata is changed to reflect the faster aperture and shorter focal length.

Metabones_EFEOSM_02

Image credit: Metabones

The Speed Booster ULTRA uses an advanced 5-element/4-group optical design by Caldwell Photographic Inc. that, according to Metabones, helps to “achieve extraordinary optical performance with improved corner sharpness, distortion and reduced vignetting.”

Pricing and Availability

A few adapters are already available if you want to mount EF glass on an EOS M camera, from companies like Canon, Commlite, Fotga and so on. But none of these adapters can do what the Metabones Speed Booster does. Only Viltrox has a Speed Booster for EOS M, but we don’t know about its quality as we haven’t touched it yet.

The Metabones EF to EOS M Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x is available right now for $479.

What do you think of this new Metabones Speed Booster adapter? Do you use Canon EOS M cameras? Do you already own some Metabones lens adapters? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments!

The post Full-Frame Look on EOS M – Metabones EF to EOS M Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x appeared first on cinema5D.

Alkemy X: VFX Veteran Rebecca Manning

Alkemy X has hired Rebecca Manning as Compositing Supervisor for its Visual Effects division. Manning brings 16 years of experience and more than 40 major feature film and television credits, including Ghostbusters, The Jungle Book, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avatar. Manning will be based out of Alkemy X’s New York studio and will […]

The post Alkemy X: VFX Veteran Rebecca Manning appeared first on Below the Line.

Cutters Studios: Heather Richardson & Patrick Casey

Cutters Studios Managing Director and Partner Craig Duncan has announced the promotion of Heather Richardson to Executive Producer, and the promotion of Patrick Casey to Head of Production. Both Cutters Chicago leadership appointments are effective immediately. According to Duncan, Richardson’s oversight will expand into managing and recruiting talent, and in maintaining and building the company’s […]

The post Cutters Studios: Heather Richardson & Patrick Casey appeared first on Below the Line.

How Watching Bob Ross Painting Videos Made Me a Better Photographer

How Watching Bob Ross Painting Videos Made Me a Better Photographer

When you think of Bob Ross, what comes to mind? A soft-spoken man, painting beautiful landscapes. But, Bob Ross was so much more than a painter. For me, he has changed my life and transformed the way I see myself as an artist.

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Will the Canon 90D Be Available as Soon as August 2019?

The Canon 90D has been on the rumor wheel for a while, but could we see it as soon as August 2019?

While scrolling the rumors section of Reddit this morning, I stumbled across a list of technical specifications that had been attributed to the Canon 90D. Speculation from sources like Canon Rumors theorized that the back half of 2019 would be when Canon rolled out a new mid-range APS-C DSLR camera and a new APS-C mirrorless camera.

These were thought to be replacements for the Canon 80D, but the general consensus was that the release would be the EOS 7D Mark III, but now people are saying it’s the 90D.

Take a peek at the theorized specifications after the jump.

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Someone Put a Flip Up Screen On A BMPCC 4K…and It Works

This camera mod is all kinds of yes, namely because you’re not really doing a whole lot of modding to your camera.

A user by the name of Power_cheung on the forum of a website, www.filmaker.cn, has recently published several photos and a few details of how he installed his own flip screen on a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. (I’m just going to call it the Pocket 4K from now on, mmmkay?)

Power_cheung states that it’s in the early stages and that future versions will be simpler and solve some of the existing problems (I’ll get into those in a minute), but for a first go, it’s got some serious potential.

On top of the pre-existing display, Power_cheung mounted his own personal display to a pair of custom made hinges. From the photos, they appear to be friction-based, allowing the screen to stay in place without any additional locking mechanism.

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3 Things ‘Detective Pikachu’ Rob Letterman Can Teach You about Filmmaking [VIDEO]

The director of ‘Detective Pikachu’ has some essential filmmaking wisdom to share in this video, launching exclusively through No Film School.

Director Rob Letterman’s latest film, Detective Pikachu, is now in theaters. The film marks the first ever live-action Pokémon film and features Ryan Reynolds as the wise-cracking voice of adorable sleuth Pikachu, who joins forces with Tim (Justice Smith), the only human he can communicate with, in an effort to unravel the mystery of why Tim’s father went mysteriously missing.

Letterman’s long journey to Detective Pikachu saw film school mishaps and odd jobs, with screenwriting playing a pivotal role in his directing career. These formative experiences taught Letterman much about the craft of filmmaking.

In Deluxe’s “First Feature” video, launching exclusively through No Film School Letterman shares candid tips for emerging filmmakers to help aid them on their own journeys

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15 Takeaways from the Sigma + Slamdance DIY Filmmaking Bootcamp in LA

Sigma & Slamdance are making a home for micro-budget filmmakers in Los Angeles.

Last Saturday a couple hundred filmmakers filled the halls of Sigma’s Burbank offices to attend a free special event. The first of its kind between the popular lens-maker Sigma and the Slamdance Film Festival, the event’s panels and workshops ranged from screenwriting advice to lighting techniques, post-audio collaboration, DIY distribution and even legal advice. Here are our takeaways from the all-day free event.

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What Went Wrong With Game of Thrones Episode ‘The Bells’

Why didn’t the penultimate episode of the beloved series stick the landing?

Ending TV shows in a way that is both satisfying and surprising is very hard. Time and again shows in this ‘Golden Age of Television’ have had finales that left viewers and critics alike angry, hurt, and screaming “DRACARYS!” At their TV sets. We’re not here to do that today. Whatever you thought of “The Bells,” there are a lot of flaming hot (pun intended) takes out there, so instead we’re going to break down the ‘why.’

Screenwriting is an art, but there are some near scientific elements to it that have been identified and honed over the centuries. Storytelling and making sense of the world in narrative patterns is innately human.

Many have studied it. The result is certain rules, guidelines, and commonly agreed upon methods that build tension, create drama, and deliver satisfyingly.

Did GoT break screenwriting rules or are people just angry because they like to be angry?

Well, it’s a little of both, so let’s break it down as everyone plays Monday Morning Network Executive (or Showrunner).

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