Sony adds Real-Time Animal Eye AF to the RX10 IV via firmware update

Sony, today, released a firmware update for its RX10 IV camera that gives it Real-Time Animal Eye AF and improves the overall stability of the camera.

Firmware version 2.00 adds the same functionality we’ve seen Sony add to a number of its other mirrorless cameras. As with the other cameras, the update makes it possible to use Sony’s AI-powered eye-tracking feature on certain animals. Sony doesn’t specifically say what animals the functionality is limited to, but does note in the firmware changelog that ‘Eye detection may not be possible depending on the environment, animal type or the movement of the animal.’

Below is a brief explainer video of the feature shared by Sony on its YouTube channel:

Firmware version 2.00 for the RX10 IV is available to download for macOS and Windows computers on Sony’s RX10 IV support page.

B&H Photo Accused of Avoiding Over $7 Million in Taxes on ‘Instant Rebates’

The New York Attorney General has filed a major lawsuit against photo and video gear retailer B&H Photo alleging that the retail giant has dodged millions in sales taxes over the past 13 years. B&H calls the lawsuit “outrageous” and says these claims are “flat wrong.”

As initially reported by The Verge, the lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of New York for the County of New York earlier this morning, and the allegations are quite serious. According to the NY Attorney General, a whistleblower revealed to the state that B&H knowingly avoided paying over $7 million in sales taxes since 2006 on products that it offered to customers via “instant rebates.”

When offering products with instant rebates, explains the suit, the retailer is reimbursed by the manufacturer, and therefore has to pay sales tax on the full price of the item, not on the discounted price for which it was sold. B&H, claim the lawsuit, did not do this, pocketing some $67 million in reimbursements over 13 years without paying the $7 million in taxes owed on that amount.

Going even further, the lawsuit claims that B&H did this knowingly, citing internal communications that admit “B&H has a NYS Sales Tax issue with products for which a vendor-sponsored rebate or discount is offered…”

Ultimately, the AG is asking that B&H pay penalties, damages, and all of the back-tax “plus applicable interest and penalties under the New York Tax Law,” and be forced to collect and pay sales tax on instant rebate reimbursements moving forward.

You can read the lawsuit in full below:

For their part, B&H is furious about these allegations, and is accusing the New York AG of targeting the company and punishing New Yorkers with this lawsuit. When we reached out to B&H Photo for comment, we received the following response from spokesperson Jeff Gerstel within minutes:

The Attorney General is flat wrong – and is trying to create a tax on discounts in order to make New Yorkers pay more. B&H is not a big box store or a faceless chain; we are a New York institution, having operated here for nearly 50 years with a stellar reputation. The tax department has done countless audits and never once – not a single time – mentioned this widespread industry practice.

B&H has done nothing wrong and it is outrageous that the AG has decided to attack a New York company that employs thousands of New Yorkers while leaving the national online and retail behemoths unchallenged. The Attorney General wants to charge New Yorkers a tax on money they never spent. It’s wrong and we won’t be bullied.

As B&H mentions in this statement, this appears to be “widespread industry practice” where “instant rebates” are concerned—charging sales tax on the sale price, rather than the pre-discounted price. The NY Attorney General’s lawsuit seems to imply that other retailers take on that extra tax themselves, since they’re being reimbursed; B&H appears to be claiming that they do not, and the AG is “bullying” B&H Photo to the exclusion of “national online and retail behemoths.”

In the end, photographers should pay close attention to this lawsuit as it develops. Whether or not B&H was in the wrong, the case has the potential to set legal precedent for how discounted goods are taxed; if the New York Attorney General succeeds in punishing B&H for their alleged misdeeds, it’s likely the customer will be picking up that tax bill moving forward.

(via The Verge)

Image credits: Photo by Ajay Suresh, CC BY 2.0

Using a Single Speedlight and Modifier to Achieve Five Different Looks

Using a Single Speedlight and Modifier to Achieve Five Different Looks

When just starting out, It’s easy to think that we need more gear, different gear, or just one more modifier that will let us achieve our goals. I challenged myself to try and shoot five different looks in my humble home studio with a single modifier and light to show just a few ideas of what you can do with them.

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AJA shows OG-12GDA-2×4, an openGear 12G-SDI distribution amplifier

AJA OG-12GDA-2x4: an openGear 12G-SDI distribution amplifier

AJA Video Systems has announced the OG-12GDA-2×4, an openGear 12G-SDI distribution amplifier, featuring support for High Dynamic Range video and Ross DashBoard software for remote monitoring.

AJA Video Systems announced at the InterBEE show, in Japan, new 8K support for the HDR Image Analyzer 12G, its real-time HDR and WCG monitoring and analysis platform developed in partnership with Colorfront. The second announcement from the company relates to the new OG-12GDA-2×4, an openGear 12G-SDI distribution amplifier.

Designed for critical broadcast, OB truck and live event production environments, OG-12GDA-2×4 features dual-channel inputs for incoming 12G-SDI signals, with reclocking of the distributed signals to dual 4x 12G-SDI outputs. In an AJA OG-X-FR openGear frame, this allows, says the company, “for incredibly high density with up to 20x 12G-SDI inputs distributed to a total of 80x 12G-SDI outputs when fully loaded with ten cards.”

OG-12GDA-2×4 features compatibility with OGX, OG3 and DFR-8321 openGear frames, and DashBoard software support on Windows, macOS and Linux for flexible device control and monitoring over a local network or remotely.

AJA OG-12GDA-2x4: an openGear 12G-SDI distribution amplifierOG-12GDA-2×4 features include:

  • Dual 1×4 12G-SDI openGear Distribution Amplifiers
  • Dual 1x 12G-SDI BNC inputs
  • Dual 4x noninverting 12G-SDI BNC outputs
  • Format agnostic 270 Mbps – 12 Gbps video formats
  • Automatic input equalization and output reclocking
  • Support for HDR video
  • Passes embedded audio, all ancillary data including closed caption and time code
  • Input Present and Input SMPTE Lock LEDs
  • 10x 12G-BNC rear connector module included
  • Power: 4.5 watts
  • Hot swappable
  • DashBoard Support with OGX, OG3 and DFR-8321 openGear frames
  • Five-year warranty

“To address the rigorous demands of modern production environments, we strive to provide our customers with powerful, new technologies for more flexible and failsafe workflows,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “We’re excited to introduce the OG-12GDA-2×4, our first 12G-SDI openGear card, to seamlessly integrate into higher bandwidth 12G-SDI workflows that support higher resolution, large raster content at higher framerates — with less cabling.”

OG-12GDA-2×4 will be available in December through AJA’s worldwide reseller network for $695. Free DashBoard software is currently available for download from the support page on AJA’s website. For more information, visit AJA Video Systems.

The post AJA shows OG-12GDA-2×4, an openGear 12G-SDI distribution amplifier appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Disney CEO Bob Iger Masterclass: Learn Business Strategy and Leadership

Disney CEO Bob Iger Masterclass: Learn Business Strategy and Leadership In his 45-year career in media, Bob Iger has never shied away from change. That quality has served him well at The Walt Disney Company, where he’s helped one of the world’s most beloved and established brands evolve without losing any of its magic. As…

The post Disney CEO Bob Iger Masterclass: Learn Business Strategy and Leadership appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.

Facebook fixes iOS bug that triggered the camera app on iPhone

Facebook has released an update that fixes a bug in its iOS app related to the iPhone camera app, something that had raised privacy concerns among users.

On Tuesday, a report from CNET highlighted a complaint from some Facebook users on iPhone who shared videos showing a bizarre bug involving the phone’s camera app. At least two different scenarios were found that would cause the Facebook app to become off-center on the phone’s display.

The iPhone’s camera app with its live view would be visible next to the offset Facebook app, spurring conspiracy theories that the social network may have been deliberately using the device’s camera to collect data on the user. In a tweet, however, Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen explained that a recently published bug fix for a different issue caused the Facebook app to ‘partially’ navigate to the iPhone’s camera.

Soon after on Wednesday, November 13, Facebook released a fix for the problem through the App Store. Users will need to download and install the latest update to fix the bug. Some users have reported an inability to trigger the camera bug after updating, indicating that it is an effective fix.

The Video Show: more than 100 sessions exploring the future of the industry

The Video Show: 100 sessions exploring the future of the industry

Creating out-of-this-world video stories, and how AI can enhance video production are two of the themes on discussion at The Video Show, a must attend event for everyone working in video.

With more than 100 sessions on nine presentation stages, as well as a dedicated screening room, demo areas and a streaming studio, The Video Show is a two-day event launching in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The conference and exhibition will be held Dec. 4–5 at Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and admission to the exhibit floor is free to all who pre-register before the event date.

Produced by the international media group and leading digital publisher Future PLC, The Video Show ( covers every aspect of video content creation and distribution, from examining where video technology is heading to showcasing the latest groundbreaking projects to sharing best practices. It will be a must-attend event for anyone working in video content creation, focusing on professionals but also of interest to serious enthusiasts.

This new event comes to the nation’s capital riding the crest of the video explosion and, according to the organizers,”is a must-attend event for everyone working in video content creation, from independent filmmakers to av pros to  journalists,  educators, event producers and enthusiasts.” Video creators from across a range of industries — including broadcast, independent film, sports, news, corporate video, government video, education and event video — will gather at The Video Show.

Premium content streams

Separate content “streams” will focus on specific areas of interest, so attendees can select the sessions that are most relevant to them. In all, 16 premium content streams will be presented in the organizer’s Studios. The full list includes:

  • The Future of Video
  • Producing News and Video in Washington, D.C.
  • Independent Filmmaking
  • Mobile Newsgathering
  • Sports Production
  • Documentaries: Wildlife and Beyond
  • Military, Government & Publicly Funded Video
  • The Business of Video
  • Editing and Post Production
  • AV and Installations
  • Events, Conferences & Weddings
  • 360 Video & Virtual Reality
  • Social Video
  • Podcasting
  • Video for Educators
  • Streaming

From the Moon to the Zoo

“We have a truly spectacular list of speakers from every aspect of video creation and delivery,” said Conference Director Cristina Clapp, “all sharing their expertise and helping our attendees advance their careers and build new skill sets.”

In the session at The Video Show titled “NASA Video Production: Exploring the Universe,” Multimedia Producer David Ladd will discuss the use of data visualization in videos like “Tour of the Moon in 4K.”

At the show, attendees will also have a chance to learn how media professionals like Roshan Patel of Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are using video and short films to highlight innovative wildlife conservation research.

News gathering and independent film distribution

High school students learn about equipment and how to produce news as part of the nationwide PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program. At The Video Show, Leah Clapman, founder of the program, and several student participants will discuss the power of video journalism in education in the session, “PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs: Building the Next Generation of Public Media.”

A sampling of Studio speakers and sessions:

  • IBM Watson Media’s Tom Ohanian discusses where artificial intelligence will fit into the future of video production.
  • DISH Network’s David Scott shares the fundamentals of live streaming.
  • Vimeo’s Derick Rhodes will talk about finding alternate distribution methods for independent films and videos.
  • Eddie Coughlan from the Baltimore Ravens reveals what goes into the dynamic video graphics and footage seen at M&T Bank Stadium.
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group Chief UAS Pilot Jeff Rose discusses the best use of drones in newsgathering.
  • The Consumer Technology Association’s Steven Koenig offers a special preview of technology that will impact video in 2020.

The Video Show: 100 sessions exploring the future of the industry

Sessions for every type of creator

The exhibition space at The Video Show, which offers, as mentioned above, free admission to those who pre-register before the event dates, will give attendees an opportunity for hands-on experience with the latest products and technologies, showcasing companies including AJA Video Systems, Barbizon, BB&C, Canon, Christie, k5600, Link Electronics, Osprey Video, Quantum, TIVA, Yorktel and many others.

“Video has become ubiquitous and necessary — from the biggest corporations and brands to the smallest businesses,” said Clapp. “This is a show for everyone involved in the area who’s involved with creating video content — we have sessions for almost every type of creator.”

“We’ve had a fabulous response from all corners of the video industry, as one can tell by the lineup of panelists, presenters and exhibitors who are taking part,” added Jonny Sullens, Head of Events for Future. “The need for a show like this, which presents valuable tips on how to get the most out of your work in video from the professional level all the way to the personal, is obvious.”

Registration for The Video Show is free through Dec. 3, allowing access to the 80+ exhibitors on the show floor. At the door Dec. 4–5, registration for The Video Show costs $25, with one-day Studio Passes available for an additional $49 and two-day Studio Passes available for $75. Those who register now on the organizer’s registration site can save $25 and secure Early Bird rates for The Video Show’s premium Studios.

The post The Video Show: more than 100 sessions exploring the future of the industry appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

How to Use Virtual Copies and Snapshots in Lightroom

How to Use Virtual Copies and Snapshots in Lightroom

Virtual Copies and Snapshots are powerful features in Lightroom that often go unused or underutilized. In this article, we’ll cover what they are and how they can be used to make your editing workflow faster and easier.

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DJI developing app that will allow anyone to identify a drone with their smartphone

Chinese company DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, is developing technology that will allow anyone with a WiFi-enabled smartphone to access information on unmanned aerial vehicles flying nearby.

The industry, in general, has been under scrutiny following high profile disruptions, including incidents at Gatwick and Heathrow airports that left flights grounded for days. In a bid for more transparency, DJI wants the public to be able to access basic info on a drone including its remote ID, altitude, speed, and location. The app will be available sometime in 2020, pending regulatory approval.

‘Remote ID functions as an electronic license plate for drones, allowing anyone who is curious about a drone in the sky to learn more about what it’s doing,’ said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs. ‘Around the world, aviation authorities have said remote ID is the key to allowing more complex drone use, and to solving concerns about safety and security. DJI’s direct drone-to-phone remote ID shows we’re committed to providing a solution in a way that is instantly usable worldwide without any additional infrastructure.’

The direct drone-to-phone remote ID system was first demoed to participants this week at a park in Montreal, Canada, during the International Civil Aviation Organization’s third annual Drone Enable conference. Smartphones from Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi received Wi-Fi Aware signals from DJI Mavic Air and DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise drones. The app, in its current form, is able to identify drones operating within a 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) range.

DJI currently holds over 70% of market share worldwide for consumer-grade drones. Global spending on consumer-grade unmanned aerial vehicles is expected to reach $12.3 billion in 2019, up from $9 billion the previous year, according to research firm IDC. As demand continues to increase, aviation regulators including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are pushing for a requirement on remote ID systems for drones. The FAA is on track to complete a mandatory proposal by year’s end, but rulemaking will take another year to complete. EASA will start imposing requirements by June 2020.

‘As more drones take to the skies every day, remote ID addresses the public’s interest in understanding what’s happening in the airspace,’ said Christian Struwe, DJI Policy Director, Europe. ‘DJI’s drone-to-phone implementation helps accomplish that by allowing drone pilots to broadcast a simple description of their flights, so anyone viewing the smartphone app can understand that they are inspecting a roof, surveying a construction site, or performing another beneficial task with a drone.’

Some remote pilots are already skeptical of allowing anyone to access information about their flights.

DJI developed AeroScope back in 2017 to address similar concerns. It’s a much more powerful system, offering a range of up to several miles away. While other drone manufacturers rejected the system, it’s being used by prisons, stadiums, airports, and even car dealerships to detect any unauthorized drone usage. Now, they want to eliminate the requirement for adding telecommunications equipment, subscribing to an ID service provider, connecting to a cell tower, or buying a data plan in order to fly safely and legally. DJI plans to make their latest drone-to-phone technology available to competing manufacturers, though a list hasn’t materialized yet.

Instagram is Now Hiding Like Counts Globally, Tries to Reassure Influencers

Instagram has officially expanded its “test” of the removal of public-facing like counts worldwide. The expansion was announced this morning on Twitter, where the company also attempted to reassure “creators” (read: influencers) that the company is not trying to take away their livelihood.

Instagram broke the news on Twitter less than 2 hours ago, where the Facebook-owned brand announced that “starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally.” If you’re part of this test, “you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own.”

But unlike the previous tweet back in July, when Instagram expanded the test to seven countries in total, this announcement was followed up by two more tweets. The first reassures regular users that this “fundamental change to Instagram” is being taken very seriously, reiterating that initial feedback has been positive:

And the second attempts to comfort “creators” (read: Influencers) who have been less-than-thrilled by how this change might impact their ability to communicate results to potential sponsors. In the tweet, Instagram says they “understand that like counts are important for many creators,” and assures influencers that they are “actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.”

Responses to this initiative have been mixed from the start. Some believe that it’s a step in the right direction—one that will “re-focus” the platform on images and help curb some of the negative effects Instagram allegedly has on teens’ mental health; others see this as the final nail in the Instagram coffin—a veiled attempt to take money back from influencers and a harbinger of the platform’s imminent demise.

Whatever side you stand on, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: hiding public-facing likes is no longer a “test,” it’s an extended rollout. Instagram may disagree publicly, but at this point, the idea that this global expansion will lead Instagram to reconsider and reverse this “test” is laughable.

(via Engadget)

ZOMBIELAND – DOUBLE TAP: Mo Sobhy – VFX Supervisor – Rodeo FX

Mo Sobhy started his VFX career in 2003 at Framestore. He then worked at MPC and Cinesite before joining Rodeo FX in 2019. He worked on many films such as X: FIRST CLASS, GODZILLA, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and STRANGER THINGS.

What is your background?
I completed a degree in BA Computer Animation a good 16 years ago now. I’ve been working in Film ever since. I started as a generalist in the good old days when you did everything, and worked my way up through the CG pipeline. Eventually making it as a CG Supervisor, DFX Supervisor and finally where I am now.

How was the collaboration with director Ruben Fleischer and Overall VFX Supervisor Paul Linden?
We absolutely loved working with ZOMBIELAND’s creative team. For the first half of the project we worked extensively with Paul Linden to establish the look and story that Ruben was after. Very soon after, Ruben joined us and became a member of the VFX team. We were directly working with Ruben, who joined as on all the client calls. Paul continued to support and guide us through to the end. It was a great collaborative experience working directly with Ruben. With a short time to deliver the show, it allowed us to understand exactly what story points Ruben was trying to put across and what was visually most important for him. Resulting in the most honest and direct representation of what Ruben envisioned.

What was their expectations and approach about the visual effects?
This isn’t your classical big visual effects movie. Ruben wanted to make sure that the visual effects supported the story without looking over the top. We were steered away from the classical VFX look that would usually be found in typical Marvel or DC movies. We aimed for a more raw and practical look. Something that could have been shot on set.

How did you split the work amongst the Rodeo FX offices?
The beauty of having multiple offices is that you get to work with talented artists from around the world with a broad range of skills, experiences and aesthetics, all resulting in a richer piece of work. More specifically, we had a killer FX team in Munich supporting out Montreal office and a comp team in Quebec helping us race to the finish line. The work was divided based on the type of work and not sequence.

What are the sequences made by Rodeo FX?
Other than a few smaller sequences at the beginning, we looked after the whole third act and any shots that featured Babylon or a herd of zombies.

How did you work with the art department to design the various environments?
Luckly for us, we received pretty clear reference and mood boards from Paul and Ruben at the beginning of the show. For that reason, we felt that we can start building straight away. We needed to narrow our options when it came specifically to building Babylon, so we worked with the art department to conceive a wedge of possible looks for Ruben to choose from before committing to such a big build. We such a tight timeline it was invaluable.

Can you tell us more about the creation of Babylon?
Babylon needed to exist both as a set extension and a full CG asset. The ground level of Babylon existed as a partial set on location. The building was also shot on location but was half the height. Another practical set that was built and shot was the hippy living space, that would ultimately need to go on top of the tower. We ended up having different practical elements of Babylon that we needed to jigsaw together before we could extend it.

Our first task was to create CG replicas of the practical set pieces, from plates and an extensive reference shoot. We then doubled the height of the building, connected all the CG versions of the practical pieces and started on the actual set extension. We used the already build hippy top set to inspire the rest of the extension. We built hippy defenses around the top of the tower to keep the pesky zombies out as well as giving the tower a lived but abandoned feel. The final element was the view from the top of the tower looking out.

After extensively discussing the view with Ruben, we had a good idea of what we needed. We would need a day and night version. The night version had to be without artificial lights like street lights to give the post apocalyptic feel that Ruben was after. It also need to feel over run with forest and vegetation. Early on, we decided that we needed to shoot for the best result. We hired a drone and did a few scouts around the outskirts of Montreal. We were able to send the drone to an exact GPS location and height. Ruben chose one of the locations. We went back to reshoot it using the x7 a full frame drone camera as tiles, giving us the best possible quality, resolution a coverage. The night shoot was done just after sunset but before the street lights switched on, and graded it after for night. On top of what was shot, we worked with DMP to push the abandoned feel.

How did you create the long shot that starts on the ground and ends on the top of the Babylon tower?
Due to the extensive build of Babylon, tackling this shot wasn’t too challenging. Other than adding our Babylon environment to the plate, we also needed to do a camera takeover, as the practical camera only travelled as height as the original height of the tower. We needed to continue the camera up to match the new tower height. From that point on it was an exercise in assembly.

The final sequence involve tons of zombies. How did you create and animate the crowd?
Developing the herd of Zombies was the most challenging part of this project. A classic crowd shot usually contains thousands of agents so you get away with not having to obsess about the finer details, usually needed for close ups. Our zombie herd was too small, with close ups, to do as crowd comfortably, and too large to handle via animation. So we had to develop a custom hybrid system within Houdini that allowed automated, intelligent crowd animation with a lot of input from animation and mocap. We worked with GameOn to do an extensive MoCap shoot for this. By that stage, we had a rough edit so we knew what the zombies had to do. It ranged from walking, running, jumping, falling, grabbing and reaching. With how close the shots were, we needed to insure that we didn’t feel any replication or patterns in their movement. We needed multiple takes and variations for each action. All these were fed into our custom crowd system to be used intelligently based on needed behaviour and what the individual agent was doing at the time. So for example as the zombies run closer to the truck, the system flags this and their behaviour changes to them try to grab and climb the truck.

We had an added complication where the zombies needed to react with the truck aka The Big Fat Death. As part of the story, the truck is driving around mowing zombies in the way. We needed to add a physically based ragdoll system to take care of this. So for example, while a zombie is running, it gets hit by the truck. The second the truck hits the zombie, it switches from crowd to the ragdoll system resulting in an accurate physical reaction where the zombie is thrown in the air. The zombie might collide with another zombie which would trigger another ragdoll interaction. The first zombie that was hit by the truck will eventually land on the ground. That’s when the crowd system takes over again and a weighted decision is made: does it stay dead or was it just a flesh wound, and therefore the crowd systems triggers the agent to stand up and run again.

Another challenge that came with having such close herds of zombies, is that we needed a big number of zombie variations so the audience didn’t see lots of repeated zombies. We started off with an extensive reference shoot of the 8 real zombie actors. From there, we made as many texture and groom variations as possible, and allowed the crowd system to make many variations as possible with the provided building blocks.

Can you tell us more about the various FX work such as the fireworks?
The fireworks were done entirely in Comp. We only used FX for the obvious cannabis and smiley face fireworks. The fireworks were taken from a video shot by one of our artists at a firework event. We turned them into individual elements allowing us to create custom layouts and animation. Tweaking colors, speed and timing which allowed use to use the same elements multiple times. We then added real smoke elements to fake the clouds of smoke that surrounds the fireworks. Focusing on the lighting interaction for integration.

Another extensive set of FX elements was all the interactions between the zombies and the environment. For this, we implemented a system, again in Houdini, that took the ground, zombies and truck as inputs and produced: dust, grit and debris. More specifically dust from the zombie herd. Dust, grit and debris from the truck wheels. We made sure that everything interacted with each other, so for example as the zombies got closer to the truck, the truck FX interacted with the zombie agents, etc. These FX elements allowed us to better integrate the zombie into the plate. These ultimately helped create big atmospheric and energetic movie shots.

What is your best memory on this show?
Honestly, the best part is how collaborative it all was. Between Ruben, Paul and the whole creative team. With the time available to complete this show we relied on each and every artist to inject his or her own creativity based on the show’s brief, as opposed to it all coming directly from the supervision team. It was amazing to watch how creative and driven everyone can be when given ownership of their work. By the same token we’re grateful for Ruben and Pauls trust with giving us the room to do the same as a facility.

What’s the VFX shots count?
Around 300 shots.

What was the size of your team?
Around 250 super talented artists.

What is your next project?
I wish I could say. Super excited about it though. Watch this space.

What are the four movies that gave you the passion for cinema?

A big thanks for your time.

Rodeo FX: Dedicated page about ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP on Rodeo FX website.

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2019

The post ZOMBIELAND – DOUBLE TAP: Mo Sobhy – VFX Supervisor – Rodeo FX appeared first on The Art of VFX.

Olympus Officially Denies Rumors that It Will Shut Down Its Camera Business

A few days after online speculation sent the Micro Four Thirds world into a panic, Olympus has come out to officially deny rumors that it’s planning to shut down and/or sell its camera business within the next year… or ever.

When we reported on the recent rumors, we made it clear that what was being tossed around was 100% speculation. Only Olympus can officially confirm or deny these rumors, and the brand has since come out and done just that.

In statements provided to both Photo Focus and Sina Finance, Olympus came out to reiterate that the Imaging products are a key driver of their profitable Medical business, and that they “plan to continue to develop its imaging product lines, bringing products to life that embody Olympus’ core benefits, including system compactness and superior lens optics.”

You can read the full statement published by Photo Focus below:

Olympus Imaging products play an important role as technology drivers for all Olympus business lines, including the advanced digital technologies used in Olympus’ Medical, Industrial and Scientific businesses. Olympus does indeed plan to continue to develop its imaging product lines, bringing products to life that embody Olympus’ core benefits, including system compactness and superior lens optics.

And here is the translated statement provided to Sina Finance News:

The image business has always been the driving force of technology, including imaging technology and mass production technology, for medical and The science field has made tremendous contributions. As stated in the new business strategy, since the imaging business and the scientific business are important businesses supporting the company, we will continue to work on the improvement of profitability and efficiency in these two business areas.

It’s important to note that both of these statement stop short of saying that Olympus will continue to make consumer cameras. That said, Sina did ask Olympus why the Imaging and Scientific Solutions divisions were more-or-less completely ignored in the company’s recently-released corporate strategy.

In response, Olympus said that “the business plan for the next fiscal year is designed to effectively maintain the development of the scientific business and the stability of the imaging business,” promising that “detailed information about these business plans can be found in the next quarter’s earnings [report].”

Olympus’ overall corporate goal is still to become “a globally-leading medtech company,” but as of this morning, it does not seem that the camera business will need to be shut down to make that happen. We’ll just have to wait for next quarter’s earnings report to know for sure.

(H/T 43 Rumors)

“‘Follow the Money’ Became So Important to the Structure…”: Lauren Greenfield on Making her Doc about Imelda Marcos and Philippine Politics

In The Queen of Versailles and Generation Wealth, writer and director Lauren Greenfield opened up an elitist world largely off-limits to the public. The Kingmaker, her latest documentary, looks into the life and complex legacy of Imelda Marcos, widow of the former leader of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos. It is currently in theaters prior to its exhibition on Showtime. Five years in the making, The Kingmaker evolved from what was originally a piece about exotic animals transported by the Marcoses to Calauit Island into a full-fledged investigation of Philippine politics. Greenfield and her team wound up covering the election of […]

Start Introducing Video Into Your Photography Business Today: With Filmora9

Start Introducing Video Into Your Photography Business Today: With Filmora9

As a photographer you may not have had any experience in creating or editing video material, but maybe you should consider opening yourself up to learning new skills to not just enhance your marketing materials, but perhaps also start offering something different to your clients that can make you stand out in the crowd?

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Tokina Unveils Updated 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs

Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s leak, Tokina has officially revealed its redesigned full-frame 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for the Canon EF and Nikon F mounts: the Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 Macro FF.

According to the press release, the Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 features the “same great optics” as the older AT-X macro its replacing, but a “brand new look.” Like its predecessor, the new 100mm f/2.8 is made for full-frame Canon and Nikon DSLRs, and it produces a 1:1 magnification ratio at 11.8 inches (30cm) from the sensor plane, giving you “a very comfortable 4.5 inches of working distance.”

Internally, the lens is made up of 9 multi-coated lens elements in 8 groups, and it boasts Tokina’s “flat-field” optical design that allegedly “suppresses the field-of-view curvature to zero.” Finally, the lens’ One-Touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows you to simply “snap the focus ring back” to engage a manual focus mode with “authentic tactile MF feel” and hard stops at both ends of the focus range.

The Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 FF Macro lens will sell for an “estimated USA street price” of $430, with pre-orders starting on November 15th and shipping set for December 6th. That makes this lens significantly more affordable than comparable lenses made by Nikon and Canon, which cost $807 and $700, respectively.

(via DPReview)

These hilarious photos are the winners of the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography Contest

2019 The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

The winners for the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography Contest have been announced, showcasing some of the more humorous wildlife photos from around the globe.

This year, more than 4,000 entries from 68 countries were whittled down to 40 finalists. Of the finalists, Sarah Skinner’s photo titled ‘Grab life by the…..’ took home Overall Winner, as well as the Creatures of the Land Award. The painfully funny image was captured in the plains of Botswana and depicts a little lioness ‘playing’ in the most unfortunate sense of the word.

In response to taking home the Overall Winner prize,, as well as the Creatures of the Land Award, Skinner had the following to say:

‘I am absolutely delighted to be awarded the title as Overall Winner in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019. It certainly warms my heart to know that this image will spread some laughter and happiness around the world. I am happy to report that this lioness continues to thrive in the pride, having seen her again in October this year. I can only hope and encourage everyone, as a collective to each do our part in the conservation of all wildlife species so that future generations can enjoy them, in the same way that I have done during my career as a wildlife photographer. Long may lions walk the plains……….’

In addition to Skinner’s winning photograph, we’ve rounded up the winning photographs from each of the categories as well as the Highly Commended Winners and presented them in the following gallery with permission from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

As funny a the contest may be, the organization also takes a very serious role in conservation, saying ‘is at the heart of our competition.’ To help kickstart conservation efforts, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards offers three tips:


Try to shop locally and avoid buying un-recyclable products and one-use plastics/packaging.


Ok, this is the thing, each time you flush the loo we send approx. 20 litres of water down the drain – seriously, it’s crazy. Have shorter showers, water your garden less and stop flushing the loo every single time. This would save billions of litres of fresh water that could support our environment as well as supply homes and food for a global plethora of wildlife. 


This is a special person who may be not a mega activist, but really, really cares about the environment and wants to do something to help. For more ideas, please go to:

Overall Winner/Alex Walker’s Serian Creatures on the Land Award Winner

©Sarah Skinner / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Grab life by the…..

Image description: African Lion, Savuti (Chobe National Park) Botswana

Spectrum Photo Creatures in the Air Award

©Vlado-Pirsa/ Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Family disagreement

Image description: Birds, Croatia

Olympus Creatures Under the Water Award/Affinity Photo People’s Choice Award

©Harry Walker/ Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Oh My!

Image description: Sea Otter, Seward, Alaska

Amazing Internet Portfolio Award

©Elaine Kruer / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — First comes love…then comes marriage

Image description: Cape Squirrels, Kalahari, South Africa

Highly Commended Winner

©Tilakra Nagaraj / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Warning! Territory marking, follow at your own risk

Image description: White Rhino, Egret, Nairobi National Park, Nairobi, Kenya

Highly Commended Winner

©Corey Seeman / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Who would like a peanut?

Image description: Fox Squirrel, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Highly Commended Winner

©Geert Weggen / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Squirrel Wishes

Image description: Red Squirrel, Sweden

Highly Commended Winner

©Tom Mangelsen / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Laid Back

Image description: Chimpanzee, Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania

Highly Commended Winner

©Alastair Marsh / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Waltz Gone Wrong

Image description: Red Fox, Amsterdam, Holland

Highly Commended Winner

©Martina Gebert / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Dancing Yeah!

Image description: Marmot, Austria

Highly Commended Winner

©Eric Keller / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Inconspicuous

Image description: King Penguin, South Georgia Island

Highly Commended Winner

©Elmar Weiss / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Surfing, South Atlantic Style!

Image description: Gentoo Penguin. Bleaker Island, Falkland Islands

Highly Commended Winner

©Roie Galitz / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — Space Man

Image description: Japanese Snow Monkey

Highly Commended Winner

©Txema Garcia Laseca / Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 — To be or not to be

Image description: Snow Monkey, Japan

How to Create Realistic Shadows for Product Photography in Photoshop

How to Create Realistic Shadows for Product Photography in Photoshop

If you’ve ever used Adobe Photoshop’s built-in Layer Styles tool as-is for creating drop shadows, you may have found it lacking in realism. Here’s a better way to add shadows to your product photography.

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