Mistika Workflows: Media Management, Transcoding and Delivery in a single app

Mistika Workflows

SGO pre-releases Mistika Workflows, its first dedicated Media Management, Transcoding and Delivery software solution. The open beta phase is open to everyone who wants to test-drive it.

Aware that the demand for highly efficient content production is greater than ever before, with new delivery standards becoming a requirement, especially from the increasing number of on-demand providers, the European developer, SGO, which offers high-end software solutions within the post-production market since 1993, developed a new product, Mistka Workflows.

The new app aims to solve the problems created by the lack of automation and repetitive human interventions that can lead to mistakes, and are still the principal bottlenecks throughout the entire media content production chain – not only with color correction and VFX but also in quality control, final content delivery and distribution.

Easy-to-use interface

“This was our main initiative and compelling reason for designing an all-new product – Mistika Workflows, SGO’s first dedicated media management, transcoding and delivery application,” explained Miguel Angel Doncel, CEO at SGO. “Due to its easy-to-use interface it is specifically designed to be used by all industry professionals with various skill levels, enabling highly efficient, truly productive and fully customized media content production.”

Running on Windows, macOS and Linux, Mistika Workflows is designed to facilitate media file related workflows, including transcoding, specialized data transfers and triggering user-defined actions or scripts to make media content-production pipelines easier, smarter and faster.

Thanks to GPU processing, advanced CPU parallelisation and Mistika Technology unique performance optimizations, Mistika Workflows achieves, says SGO, “incredible transcoding speed at the highest possible quality. It also supports the most complete set of industry-standard camera RAW formats including ARRI, Canon, RED, Sony and even 360º cameras”. Additionally, Mistika Workflows enables seamless automation for encoding and data moving as a whole with the Data Mover feature. Example capabilities are file copy over the network, tar compression, FTP transfers and Aspera & Signiant uploads.

Open beta phase

Mistika Workflows open architecture permits the addition of custom-built features by creating new tasks using Python programming language, providing their users with total control over the platform and allowing them to fully customize its behaviour for the client-particular needs. Python nodes can be created quickly, without most of the complexity of independent applications. Using the Python scripts allows automating repetitive tasks while adapting necessary aspects such as file-naming rules, URL paths and communication with asset management databases or metadata files.

Mistika Workflows is currently in the open beta phase, and open to everyone who wants to test-drive it and give their feedback on pre-release versions.After the period of beta testing, Mistika Workflows will be available online through the SGO Shop based on a pay-per-use business model with flexible payment options starting at €49 a month.

Free of charge for SGO active clients

As a part of SGO Loyalty Reward Program all active Mistika VR and Mistika Boutique subscribers at the time of release will get a copy of Mistika Workflows included in their existing subscription. In the upcoming days, they will find the software installer and activation code in their Online Account on SGO website. As long as the current subscriptions are being maintained active and not canceled, Mistika Workflows will come included completely free of charge. In addition, all Mistika Ultima customers on support will have access to Mistika Workflows at no extra cost.

“Our customers that have embraced Mistika Technology are extremely important to us and we wanted to reward them for their loyalty by being among the first to benefit from this latest innovation from SGO,” said Geoff Mills, Managing Director at SGO. “The preview of Mistika Workflows has already been well received and will certainly be a complementary and cost effective solution regardless of what products or pipelines you are using.”

The post Mistika Workflows: Media Management, Transcoding and Delivery in a single app appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Photographing the Milky Way From an Airplane?

Photographing the Milky Way From an Airplane?

If someone said that you could shoot the milky way right out of a plane window, what would your first thoughts be? Would you say given the right time and location it’s possible, or would you say no way without a tripod?

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DPReview TV: Photo lingo 101 – a guide to common photographic terms

It’s back to basics in this week’s episode as Chris and Jordan break down some common photographic terms that might not be familiar to newer photographers. Learn all about IBIS, BSI and CIPA, as well as a, shall we say, ‘creative’ origin story for the word ‘bokeh.’

Get new episodes of DPReview TV every week by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

10 Great Horror Movies That Surprisingly Never Got A Sequel

Most successful (and sometimes even not-so-successful) horror movies receive unwanted sequels. Sometimes they turn out to be good, but mostly they end up being poorly-made cash grabs. Horrors are usually cheap to produce, yet they can do well at the box office.

Not just their sequels, but these days universes like “The Conjuring” also manage to do it. They don’t spend much effort with any of the original film’s spin-offs, but they just keep doing well. Blumhouse Productions is also seemingly an expert at this recently.

So when a movie gets popular, obviously the studio is interested in making as much money as possible by using the popularity of the original film or character. Sometimes they’re popular enough to get a theatrical release; sometimes they better fit into the straight-to-video market. Though, for some reason, these films listed below didn’t get a sequel, despite being successful at the box office or having gained enough of a cult following/popularity.

 

10. The Skeleton Key (2005)

The Skeleton Key

This was certainly not the best era for commercial studio horrors, but “The Skeleton Key” felt like a fresh air. It was actually entertaining. In a rare case where we get to see Kate Hudson in a good movie, she played a hospice nurse who begins a job at a Terrebonne Parish plantation home, and becomes entangled in a supernatural mystery involving the house, its former inhabitants, and voodoo rituals that took place there.

The critics were way too harsh on it; they claimed it was slow, its characters were unpleasant/uninteresting (I mean, John Hurt and Gena Rowlands have the ability to make any character interesting. How could they claim that?), and even though it had suspenseful moments, it was just dull and formulaic.

While it’s obviously not a masterpiece or anything, it was a much better film than they claimed it was, and it’s still somewhat known among the public. Even the recent “Get Out” got comparisons to it. Despite the fact it grossed over $90 million, the studio strangely didn’t bother with a sequel, even though its themes has a lot of material to make one.

Actually, there’s an independent micro-budget horror spoof comedy that has the title of “Skeleton Key 2,” but it has nothing to do with this movie. It’s also hard to find any sequel talk around it, so there has probably never been a plan.

 

9. The Craft (1996)

The surprise box office hit and cult favorite “The Craft” is another one that surprisingly didn’t get a sequel. At least not yet, but we can very well get one. Even though it didn’t get the best reviews when it was initially released, its reception has grown better since then and many people praised its relevance.

In 2016, producer Douglas Wick said there is some kind of mix of a remake and sequel in plans. “There will be callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a connection between what was happening in the days of ‘The Craft,’ and how these young women come across this magic many years later.”

It doesn’t always work out. Just recently they tried to do this with “Flatliners,” but then they thought the scene, where it’s revealed that Kiefer Sutherland plays the same character he did in the 1990 version, got cut out simply because the audience would find it too confusing. But here, maybe they have found a way to make it work. That said, the project has been developing very slowly.

This year there was news that the remake is still in works and finally Zoe Lister-Jones has signed on to direct the remake. Will it also be a sequel as was said before? We will have to wait and see.

 

8. The Burning (1981)

The Burning (1981)

After the success of “Halloween,” we got back-to-back low-budget slasher films. There were more than you thought there were. While most of them were garbage, there were also good ones that went unnoticed.

“The Burning” was one of those that flopped at the box office while actually being a very decent slasher film that actually cared about its characters. The makeup effects were also cool for its time. The film, just like several others on the list, turned out to be a cult classic and it’s referenced in popular culture these days. For example, the very fun underrated genre comedy “The Final Girls” made several references to the film.

But for some reason, the film never got a sequel, unlike many slasher films at the time. Not even for the direct-to-video market. Nowadays, the film’s reputation has gotten darker.

It was basically Miramax’s first film; the story was in fact co-written by Harvey Weinstein himself and for obvious reasons, anything with his name on it sounds toxic right now to the public. 

 

7. Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark

No disrespect to “The Lost Boys,” but the best vampire movie of that year was Kathryn Bigelow’s “Near Dark.” A genre film with a surprising amount of nuance and full of well-written characters, “Near Dark” is a modern vampire classic that delivers on all levels. Despite a poor box office performance, the film was applauded by critics and was a hit among horror fans.

It obviously got talk of a remake at some point, but nobody bothered with a sequel. Yet, Bigelow’s co-writer Eric Red got to think about a possible sequel “in a way that stayed true to the modern vampire western fundamentals of the piece. The vampire clan of Jesse, Severn, Diamondback, and Homer had to have kin, after all,” and he shared some sequel talk online.

He also adds that “the movie will never get made,” which is sad because there doesn’t seem to be any interest in a sequel anywhere; it has been a long time and Bigelow would probably not return to direct a movie like this. We would like to be proven wrong, of course.

 

6. Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas

A landmark of a horror movie. Before “Halloween,” there was “Black Christmas,” which has been very influential to this day. It’s understandable why it never got the popularity “Halloween” reached, but it’s basically the grandfather of all slasher flicks. It is also praised for concluding without revealing the identity of its villain.

Bob Clark had a great year in 1974 as he also made the criminally underrated “Dead of Night.” But he made it clear that he didn’t come to the business just for the horror genre, and he was never interested in making a sequel to “Black Christmas.”

Instead, we got a terrible 2006 remake. They could have gone for the sequel again without revealing the identity of our villain, and keeping things as simple as possible while giving depth to characters and finding other fresh ideas to frighten the audience.

RED Ranger 8K – Your questions ANSWERED!

In this last video covering the RED Ranger, I answer questions that have been submitted either on Instagram or here on youtube. If your question about this camera wasn’t answered in the video make sure to leave a comment and I’ll answer them as soon as I can.

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RENT this BEAST of a Camera: http://bit.ly/2WlxEWm

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DJI STORM – High Payload Aerial Platform by DJI Studio

STORM is a custom aerial platform designed for professional cinematography industry. It incorporates the DJI Ronin 2 and can carry payloads of up to 18.5kg (40lbs). The DJI STORM is compatible with Master Wheels or Force Pro for precise control of the camera angle. The platform is only offered as a service via DJI studio.

DJI STORM aerial platform. Source: DJI

DJI offers all kinds of drones of various sizes. One of the biggest drones for cinematographers they offer, is the DJI Matrice 600. This year DJI kind of silently launched an even bigger aerial machine – the STORM. The DJI STORM is a custom aerial platform designed for heavy loads. It features four arms with a total of 8 motors and propellers.

The drone utilises a DJI Ronin 2 gimbal for mounting a camera. The maximum payload the STORM can lift is 18.5kg (40lbs), which is enough for instance for ARRI ALEXA LT, Sony Venice, or RED even with a smaller zoom lens.

DJI STORM aerial platform. Source: DJI

The maximum speed of the drone is 80km/h and it can operate in a wide temperatue range from -10°C up to 40°C. Flight time is 8 to 15 minutes depending on various factors like payload, temperature, speeds, etc.

DJI STORM carrying ALEXA LF with ARRI 25mm Signature Prime. Source: DJI

Thanks to integration of the Ronin 2, the STORM can be controlled with DJI Master Wheels or DJI Force Pro for precise camera angle control. The battery of DJI STORM can be swapped quickly so that the drone can be back up in the sky within minutes.

STORM is, however, not something you can buy. DJI offers this platform only via DJI Studio as a custom aerial cinematography service (you can contact them here). When booked, the STORM comes with a professional crew and a big DJI-branded truck with own power source and lots of equipment.

DJI STORM service truck. Source: DJI

We don’t have the information right now if this is a worldwide or location-limited service. Because DJI is a Chinese company I would expect it to be available in China first. There is no information yet about pricing as well.

This is certainly an interesting and a bit controversial move from DJI as some of their customers offer similar services. Does it look like DJI is trying to compete with their own customers?

What do you think of the DJI STORM? Do you have an experience flying high-payload drones? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post DJI STORM – High Payload Aerial Platform by DJI Studio appeared first on cinema5D.

Sony a6400 Firmware 2.0 Enables Real-Time Animal Eye Autofocus

The Sony a6400 might not be the perfect camera for video. But it has a superior autofocus engine which is really impressive to play with. With version 2.0 of its firmware Sony have improved the autofocus even more. This time it’s all about eyes. Animal eyes.

image credit (lion): Jeff Rodgers | unsplash.com

Sony is not new to the animal eye AF game. Its a7 III and a7R III full frame mirrorless offerings already sport animal eye AF in real time (article here). Now, around 8 weeks later, the s6400 is part of the pack, too. Check out our own Johnnie’s video review of the Sony a6400 here! Oddly, other Sony mirrorless cameras, such as the a9 or the a6300/a6500 a still behind in terms of this new animal eye AF.

Sony a6400 Real-Time Animal Eye AF

Real-time AF for tracking animal eyes? This feature might not be on your top 10 list for video features but it is a thing for wildlife filmmakers and, of course, photographers. This new mode is fueled by AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning algorithms  and these make it possible to detect and focus on eyes. Human eyes were the target first, now the algorithms expand to animal eyes, too. Cats (including big, wild ones) and dogs are already implemented, other animals, including birds in flight will follow.

The system will detect eyes of very different species, so the underlying AI is a fundamental part of the system to work properly. Think of some kind of database which the cameras autofocus system will refer to in order to recognize the animals unique features (and even anticipate movements). The AI is smart enough to stay on target even if the eyes are blocked in frame, turned away for a short period of time or if the scene is backlit.

Availability

The new firmware v2.0 can be downloaded over at Sony’s website for both Windows and MacOS operating systems. Upgrading requires a USB connection between your computer and the camera and you should have a fully charged battery handy.

a6400

While all these added features are cool, we still desperately waiting for another kind of update. An update about the upcoming Sony a7s III, am I right?

What do you think about this data driven autofocus thing? Are you using animal eye AF already? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The post Sony a6400 Firmware 2.0 Enables Real-Time Animal Eye Autofocus appeared first on cinema5D.