Hollywood has changed drastically over the last ten years, mostly thanks to the forward-thinking of Netflix. But what’s going to happen in the next ten years?
Over the last decade, Hollywood seems to have gotten smaller. As Disney absorbs everything under the sun, and smaller studios fold, one company has risen above the rest, and fundamentally changed the way we watch movies and television.
That company is Netflix.
Yeah, the place that started as Blockbuster’s main competition has forged its path and become one of the most influential names in the business.
Cine Tracer is a real time cinematography simulator made with the Unreal engine. It gives the user control of real world based cameras and lights to visualize realistic scenes and capture them to storyboards. It is still in an early release version and it is available for purchase on Steam. New features and bug fixes are being added with frequent updates.
Cinematography simulator game. Source: Cine Tracer
Creating a nice storyboard for a film project can be a challenge. There are some simple apps out there to help with that, like Boardfish or Wonder unit storyboarder. If, however, you would like to create more realistic storyboards and also practice lighting and scene building, you might want to try Cine Tracer.
Cine Tracer Cinematography Simulator
Cine Tracer was created by Matt Workman of Cinematography Database. Matt is a cinematographer who worked in NYC for 10 years shooting mostly music videos and commercials. In 2014, he started Cinematography Database and began to create previsualization software for cinematographers and to create content online.
It is a real time cinematography simulator made with the Unreal Engine. The hybrid game/app gives the user control of “real world based” cameras and lights to visualize realistic scenes and capture them to storyboards. It can be useful to learn some basics of lighting and building different scenes as well.
Cinematography simulator game. Source: Cine Tracer
The first version of Cine Tracer was released more than one year ago and Matt is adding new updates and features quite often. The game is still in its early release, so features are added and removed as development continues. It is currently available for both Windows PC and MacOS.
It currently includes several types of cameras – Floaty camera, Tripod, Hi hat, Dolly with track, Telescopic crane, and Handheld camera. When it comes to lighting and grip, users can take advantage of various lights – Ellipsoidal, Small panel light, 4×4 Frame light, 12×12 Frame light, and practical lights. The game currently includes two scene building systems – blocks system and studio system. There are also many props available. Actors can be inserted using 3D scans, CC actors, or simple actors.
Cinematography simulator game. Source: Cine Tracer
The game is still in an Early Release stage. That means it is still an unfinished version, it can include some bugs and even crash at times. It is publicly available already though, so the community can support and participate in its development. The full version will have a larger database of maps/levels, equipment, talent, and sets. The current Early Release has the basic cameras, lighting, and talent systems in place with one medium sized map to explore and build in. According to the developer, more maps are coming soon.
The latest update from December 2019 is version 0.51. The update adds some new Prefabs for building a restaurant or subway scene and it fixes some bugs. There is a walkthrough of the new features on the Cine Tracer Youtube channel:
Pricing and Availability
The Early access version of Cine Tracer is available on Steam for €75.99. All customers that buy the Early Release will get all of the updates leading up to the full release and the full release itself. If you don’t like the game, you can get a refund on Steam (as long as you didn’t play for longer than two hours).
2019 will soon be the past, but once it was the future — a subject explored by Joanne McNeil in her Filmmaker print and online column, Speculations. She revisited films (The Running Man, Akira, Blade Runner) specifically set in 2019, assessing not just the accuracy of their future-dreaming but also the fantasies of progress their own eras entertained. McNeil listed various aspects of the present, including policy denial around climate change, that the films missed. But considering the last quarter century, who could have predicted that filmmaking — and film culture — would have landed where it is? While there’s […]
Remote ID, the concept that drones should have a digital license plate, has experienced numerous delays. As promised, though, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finally announced their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems on Thursday. The 319-page document will be published on December 31st. From there, the general public will have 60 days to post comments for the FAA’s consideration. Those interested in reading through the NPRM, to prepare their comments, can download the unpublished PDF version.
‘The widespread adoption of Remote Identification is expected to clear a path for routine use of drones in more complex and beneficial operations, such as flights over people, at night or beyond the pilot’s line of sight,’ states an announcement from DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer. The new rules proposed by the FAA would require almost every drone owner, both commercial and recreational, operating an unmanned aerial vehicle weighing at or over 0.55 pounds (0.25 kilograms), to broadcast their location along with their identity via radio frequency when flying. Two years after the regulations are implemented, new drones would be required to include tamper-resistant tracking devices.
Under the new proposed rules, remote pilots would have the option to eschew radio broadcasting and upload their information to the Internet. On the downside, that would limit them to flying their aircraft at a maximum distance of 400 feet. If you aren’t able to connect to the Internet, a strong possibility in rural areas, you won’t be able to take off at all unless you’re operating ‘within an FAA-recognized identification area,’ according to one section of the NPRM.
This looks to be a point of contention in the NPRM: If you are operating with limited remote ID (< 400 feet) (think DJI Mavic-type UAS) and can’t connect to the Internet, no flight for you. This might preclude operations in remote areas where cell service is scarce. pic.twitter.com/6VuTCuDjSk
The current NPRM for Remote ID is subject to change based on how the FAA takes comments from industry stakeholders and the public into consideration. Once finalized in an estimated 12-18 month period, it is expected to take 3 more years to implement. Alphabet’s Wing and Amazon Prime plan on rolling out drone delivery networks nationwide and finalized rulemaking for Remote ID is the key to making it possible. Over a 10-year span, the costs to drone operators and the industry, as a whole, are expected to exceed over $500 million dollars. ‘As we review the FAA’s proposal, we will be guided by the principle, recognized by the FAA’s own Aviation Rulemaking Committee in 2017, that remote identification will not be successful if the burdens and costs to drone operators are not minimized,’ Schulman said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.
To date, the FAA has registered over 1.5 million drones. As of June 2019, over 8,700 reports have been filed with the FAA regarding rogue drones operating unsafely and/or illegally. Two collisions between a drone with a helicopter and a hot air balloon have been confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board. ‘Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by allowing the FAA, law enforcement, and federal security agencies to identify drones flying in their jurisdiction,’ said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in a press release.
Some industry stakeholders have already expressed their frustration over the lengthy time period expected from the moment of finalization to actual implementation. Lisa Ellman, partner at international law firm Hogan Lovells and Executive Director at the Commercial Drone Alliance, states ‘our main concern is the implementation period, which is needlessly up to 3 years. Until Remote ID is implemented, the American public will be deprived of many of the vast safety, humanitarian and efficiency benefits of commercial drones…We need implementation yesterday, not 3 years from now.’
Less than a week after reports indicated that “Made for iPhone” certified strobes were on the way, we have our first official product. Made by Anker—better known for their battery packs—the cube-shaped LED flash is compatible with the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models, and will be available to purchase next month for a reported $50.
According to the product specs, the lightning port connection allows for “tight synchronization” with the iPhone 11’s rear camera, and the flash boasts 2x the range and 4x the brightness of the built-in option. It also comes with a detachable diffuser, can operate in “standalone flashlight mode,” is rated for 10,000 shots per charge, and features its own lightning port for recharging.
As of this writing, the aptly-named “iPhone LED Flash” has not popped up on Anker’s website, but it’s scheduled to be available to order later today for $50. Once it is available, we expect it to show up in the company’s “other” section next to the flashlights and selfie sticks.
Obviously this isn’t the kind of high-end strobe or trigger that we’re hoping for from the recent expansion of the MFi program, but it’s just a first step, and a confirmation that the original report was in fact true. Now let’s wait and see what a proper lighting company like Profoto is able to do with this new capability.
If you know me, then you know I love a good one-liner. In fact, I put together what may be the best collection of portrait photography quotes in history. But even I can get sick of hearing the same old pearls of wisdom from the same old boomers. So I’ve upgraded 10 great photography quotes so they make more sense in our modern photography world.
I urge you to read them now and become inspired to make 2020 your best year of photography ever!
Original: “f/8 and be there.” – Arthur “Weegee” Fellig.
2020 Version: “f/0.95 and be there.”
Weegee is often credited as the originator of “f/8 and be there.” But if he saw lenses like the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95, he’d certainly change his tune.
Original: “After a number of years, it came to me that it all boiled down to light, gesture, and color.” – Jay Maisel
2020 Version: “After a number of years, it came to me that it all boiled down to bokeh, microcontrast, and cinematic color grading.”
Jay Maisel is a living legend and a huge inspiration to me… but he clearly underestimates the power of a shallow depth of field and making everything teal and orange.
Original: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” – Robert Capa
2020 Version: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, get a 200-600mm zoom lens and make things easy on yourself.”
Why would you zoom with your feet when you can zoom with your lens? Duh!
Original: “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” – Chase Charvis
2020 Version: “The best one is the one I’m recommending in this YouTube video. I’ve only used it for 20 minutes and barely know how to work it, but please click the link in the description so I can get an Amazon affiliate commission. And don’t forget to smash that like button!”
Sorry Chase Jarvis! You obviously do not know how to recommend a new camera!
Original: “A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it; it is in one word, effective.” –Irving Penn
2020 Version: “A good photograph is one that attracts enough likes and comments to get me on Instagram’s Explore page.”
Original: “Your first 1,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
2020 Version: “Your first 1,000,000 photographs are your worst.”
Sir, my camera shoots 20 frames per second and I have a lot of hard drive space. I can do 1,000 bad photos before my first pee break.
Original: “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” – Andy Warhol
2020 Version: “The best thing about a picture is that I can do anything I want to it in Photoshop.”
I just pulled up some pictures of my no good ex-wife. Thanks to Liquify, she just gained 25 pounds. I can’t wait to tag her on Instagram!
Original: “I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.” – Mary Ellen Mark
2020 Version: “I work in color sometimes, but I prefer black & white because it makes people think I’m artsy.”
Not everyone can be an artist. But you can at least look like one by shooting in black & white only, and making a big deal about it.
Original: “Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.” – Bill Brandt
2020 Version: “Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. But it’s fun to go on the Internet and tell people they’re doing things the wrong way.”
There are a million ways to light, compose, and post-process photographs. But there’s only one right way: my way!
Original: “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman
2020 Version: “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Or, just buy an iPhone 11 Pro, which can take care of everything for you.”
Why on Earth would I learn about light when I can fix everything with a tap of my finger on my iPhone?
About the author: Michael Comeau is the Editor of OnPortraits.com, an all-new online community dedicated to simple, classic portrait photography. Click here for more information. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. This article was also published here.
This comes up again and again, hence why I am writing about it once again.
Raw should never be converted to log before recording if you want any benefit from the raw. You may as well just record the 10 bit log that most cameras are capable of internally. Or take log and output it via the cameras 10 bit output (if it has one) and record that directly on the ProRes recorder. It doesn’t matter how you do it but if you convert between different recording types you will always reduce the image quality and this is as bad a way to do it as you can get. This mainly relates to cameras like the PXW-FS7. The FS5 is different because it’s internal UHD recordings are only 8 bit, so even though the raw is still compromised by converting it to ProRes log, this can still be better than the internal 8 bit log.
S-Log like any other log is a compromise recording format. Log was developed to squash a big dynamic range into the same sized recording bucket as would normally be used for conventional low dynamic range gammas. It does this by discarding a lot of tonal and textural information from everything brighter than 1 stop above middle grey, instead of the amount of data doubling for each stop up you go in exposure, it’s held at a constant amount. Normally this is largely transparent as human vision is less acute in the highlight range, but it is still a compromise.
The idea behind Linear raw is that it should give nothing away, each stop SHOULD contain double the data as the one below. But if you only have 12 bit data that would only allow you to record 11 stops of dynamic range as you would quickly run out of code values. So Sony have to use floating point math or something very similar to reduce the size of each stop by diving down the number of code values each stop has. This has almost no impact on highlights where you start off with 100’s or 1000’s values but in the shadows where a stop may only have 8 or 16 values dividing by 4 means you now only have 2 or 4 tonal levels. So once again this is a compromise recording format. To record a big dynamic range using linear what you really need is 16 bit data.
In summary so far:
S-Log reduces the number of highlight tonal values to fit it a big DR in a normal sized bucket.
Sony’s FSRaw, 12 Bit Linear reduces the number of tonal Values across the entire range to fit it in a compact 12 bit recording bucket, but the assumption is that the recording will be at least 12 bit. The greatest impact of the reduction is in the shadows.
Convert 12 bit linear to 10 bit S-Log and now you are compromising both the highlight range and the shadow range. You have the worst of both, you have 10 bit S-Log but with much less shadow data than the S-log straight from the camera. It’s really not a good thing to do and the internally generated S-Log won’t have shadows compromised in the same way.
If you have even the tiniest bit of under exposure or you attempt to lift the shadows in any way this will accentuate the reduced shadow data and banding is highly likely as the values become stretched even further apart as you bring them up the output gamma range.
If you expose brightly and then reduce the shadows this has the effect of compressing the values closer together or pushing them further down the output curve, closing them together as they go down the output gamma range, this reduces banding. This is one of the reasons why exposing more brightly can often help both log and raw recordings. So a bit of over exposure might help, but any under exposure is really, really going to hurt. Again, you would probably be better off using the internally generated S-Log.
To make matters worse there is also often an issue with S-Log in a ProRes file.
If all that is not enough there is also a big problem in the way ProRes files record S-Log. S-Log should always be recorded as full range data. When you record an internal XAVC file the metadata in the clips tells the edit or grading software that the file is full range. Then when you apply a LUT or do your grading the correct transforms occur and all shadow textures are preserved. But ProRes files are by default treated as legal range files. So when you record full range S-Log inside a ProRes file there is a high likelihood that your edit or grading software will handle the data in the clip incorrectly and this too can lead to problems in the shadows including truncated data, clipping and banding, even though the actual recorded data may be OK. This is purely a metadata issue, grading software such as DaVinci resolve can be forced to treat the ProRes files as full range.
This little gem of a tweet tweeted to the surface of Twitter the other day from Richard Taylor (of FCPX.TV) and it was a great reminder that you really do need to spin up all of those physical spinning platter hard drives you have stacked on the shelf a couple of times per year to keep them in good working order. So this is a reminder to do just that. Thanks for that Tweet Richard so I am pilfering it here.
End of year HD maintenance
Spinning up all of my bare HDs
1) Diskwarrior – rebuild directory
2) Disk Util – First Aid
3) NeoFinder – update catalog
4) Add to Numbers – Free space#FCPX#FinalCutPro@Apple
Final Cut Pro X #MacPro
And if for some reason the Tweet doesn’t embed above here is the bullet point list:
Spinning up all of my bare HDs
Diskwarrior – rebuild the directory
Disk Util – First Aid
NeoFinder – update catalog
Add to Numbers – Free space
As a clarification on the last bullet point (as I asked about that myself) he is referring to a Numbers spreadsheet used to track the disks and the free space left. Personally, I just use NeoFinder for that and often use the old fashioned method of a Post-It note stuck on the case with the free space left over. That is old school and ugly but it works! I’ve found that the periodic spinning up of these old and archive hard drives, besides performing the routine maintenance, is a great reminder of an old project, old media and just the time that has passed. Sometimes I end up deleting a few GBs of media that will never return and reclaiming some space. Yes, hard drives are cheap but really, how long is an editor expected to keep an old client project when they didn’t pay for the service?
Many of us use bare hard disks in a drive dock as a cheap and easy archiving method so I think this routine maintenance is especially important as the RAIDs we might use often have their own diagnostic and repair tools. More than anything though the RAIDs get used where the bare archive drives usually sit on the shelf. This seems like as good a place as any to link back to a 2014 article: A Q and A about those hard drive docking stations we all use. A good read for those who use the things.
Make hard drive maintenance a usual stop as the year turns. Your data will thank you.
Have any tips for your own hard drive maintenance? Please share them in the comments below.
A new Kickstarter campaign is seeking funds for Animaionic, a Mac Mini docking station that supports external GPUs and SSDs. The team behind the campaign says that Animaionic was created specifically for the creative community, offering it the graphics capabilities and storage it needs at a price ultimately lower than that of the Mac Pro.
Apple’s Mac Mini, a small square-shaped desktop computer, starts at an affordable $799, but doesn’t offer the level of performance needed by professional filmmakers and photographers. The Mac Pro desktop is a more powerful alternative, but with a starting price of $5,999, the model is too expensive for some creators.
The Animaionic docking station aims to solve this problem by transforming the Mac Mini into a proper workstation. The model supports two PCIe graphics cards and up to four SSDs, according to the Kickstarter campaign, for up to 8TB of additional data storage capacity. The docking station also features an SD card reader, two USB 3.1 ports, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Ethernet and an audio mini jack.
When used with a pair of AMD Radeon Vega 56 graphic cards, the Animaionic team claims the Mac Mini with docking station offers considerably higher performance in a number of popular applications, including 4.5x greater performance in Final Cut Pro X, 10x in Apple Motion and 25x in Luxmark.
The Kickstarter campaign is offering Animaionic to backers who pledge at least £699; shipping is estimated to start in May 2020.
Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.