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  • Don’t Follow Your Passion

    Posted on September 7th, 2015 Alan No comments

    Unconventional speech by Ben Horowitz at Columbia University

    Don’t Follow Your Passion

  • My 3 Monitor Development Workstation

    Posted on August 22nd, 2012 Alan 1 comment

    I’ve been working at home with my new company DigitalHarmonyGames.  I picked up a 2nd 23in monitor adding to my work Macbook Pro 17in I now have a triple monitor setup.  I have Unity3d running on one external, MonoDevelop on the other external and I do mail, skype and web surfing on the Laptop screen.  The 2nd external monitor was made possible by the $50 Cirago USB Display Adapter.  The USB adapter works great.  As long as I don’t run full-screen video or run anything that is too demanding on the usb connected monitor the setup works perfectly.

  • New Job with ATX Innovation

    Posted on January 5th, 2011 Alan No comments

    This week I started my new job with ATX Innovation, makers of TabbedOut a free iPhone and Android application for paying your restaurant or bar tab eliminating the need to hand over your credit card.

  • DVFilm Introduction Videos

    Posted on April 22nd, 2009 Alan No comments

    I work with some nutty creative folks at DVFilm.  Here is the latest in-house promotional video produced by Andy,  Dave and Marc.  You can view all our videos here on our YouTube channel.

  • Raylight Mac Training Video

    Posted on March 2nd, 2009 Alan No comments
    Raylight Training Video

    Raylight Mac Training Video

    We’ve created our first training video. It describes how to use our Raylight for Mac program which allows you to edit P2 data in Final Cut Pro without having to convert it to quicktime first. As far as training videos go I think it’s pretty snazzy. Check it out here .

  • Avid recommends DVFilm MXFX for format conversion

    Posted on September 29th, 2008 Alan No comments

    Avid, one of the biggest players in professional video editing, links to our MXFX product in their P2 White Paper.  It’s at the bottom of page 2.

  • Raylight and MXF Metadata

    Posted on April 28th, 2008 Alan No comments

    The Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) is one of our customers.

    According to Jan, the ITC is making great use of our metadata support.  She writes:

    The ITC also made a very cool use of the metadata and Raylight. Metadata files were created to correspond with the many checkpoints across the trail. There are 10 cameras and 6-7 shooters out there filling up cards, As each shooter enters a new checkpoint they load the next Metadata file. So when the cards are ingested with Raylight, Raylight sorts the clips into the appropriate folders according to checkpoint, regardless of shooter or camera. Now when the editor sits down to edit they are organized for the edit, they know the story, and where it happened, and they know where the clips are. Pretty cool. Now this is what the ITC, Original organized by shooter, and that may be more appropriate for their production as certain folks were assigned to certain mushers. All-in-all I think that this is the most footage collected on a singular subject, except Olympic coverage and that isn’t quite the same, in the world of P2HD production.

  • DVFilm and Raylight

    Posted on November 26th, 2007 Alan No comments

    It’s not easy explaining my job to friends and family.  I explain “I help write software that helps film makers in their post production editing”.  My bio on our website describes what I do more succinctly: “…develop new software products for the Raylight family of plugins for HD editing”. People generally understand that but to be more specific requires some knowledge of film post production work flow and/or familiarity with high-end video editing software such as Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier, or Apple’s Final Cut

    Specifically, this is how our software can help a film maker during editing.

    DVXUSER.COM is the place to go for discussions and help on film making.  Our Raylight product is well known and recommended there because it solves some work flow problems.

    Here are some of the threads at DVXUSER describing why people use our products:

    P2 Card transfers

    cheap pc laptop- P2 re capture to mac workflow

    How Raylight works around Apple’s Final Cut software issues

    “Get Raylight, and all this will disappear. Raylight fixes every problem that Apple seems to introduce. It seems like every other version Apple breaks something in their log & transfer/import P2 functionality. Raylight has been stable and fixes all that, plus it lets you avoid all the duplicate file size stuff and the time it takes to import footage. Now more than ever I consider Raylight a mandatory portion of an FCP workflow.”

    Q. Raylight is a way to access your P2 footage without changing or converting it in any way? I guess what I want to know is does it actually remove the pulldown or just let FCP see it that way. Can Raylight in any way change the information I save from each P2 card dump to my hard drive. I downloaded the demo but am still a bit confused.

    A. FCP does a translation of MXF files into Quicktime files all in one go. Raylight does it on-the-fly, as-needed. So your original footage stays untouched in MXF format, but Raylight creates a Quicktime reference file that FCP can use.
    The difference is that you get instantaneous access to your footage, instead of having to go through the Log & Transfer process. And you can work from the original footage or even the P2 cards if you want, whereas FCP’s Log & Transfer forces you to take up twice as much space by creating Quicktime files (which take up space but also take time). Plus, because you avoid the whole Log & Transfer process, you avoid any issues that crop up when Apple breaks their system (which has happened on more than one occasion).
    So Raylight doesn’t change anything. Your original footage stays intact, unmodified, untouched. But it can automatically skip 24pA pulldown, which is very nice and gives you access to the true pure raw 24P footage.
    “I would say most people I know who shoot HD and edit on a mac absolutely use Raylight. Its a no-brainer and makes the post process totally painless.”
    Ultimately yes, it’s the fault of Apple for insisting on converting away from the native file format when no other editor makes you do that. However, that’s completely overcomable on both sides — on the Apple side you can use Raylight and edit the native MXFs and never run into this again. Or, on the Windows side, now that the damage is done, you can use the Raylight Quicktime Decoder and access the Quicktime DVCPRO-HD files.So either way Marcus can bail you out.

    Concise statement of why you use Raylight with FCP even though there is a way to ingest MXF files directly with FCP

    Accolades to Marcus for Raylight

    THANK YOU for doing all that you’ve done to solve these problems of various manufacturers not playing nice with each other! You’re truly a hero to the HVX community! – Barry Green

    “Darn useful thing” 


    Toaster: If you’re not converting to QT – what are you doing with your MXF files???  Is there a better way to deal with HD data / info?”Barry Green: Of course there’s a better way — just edit them right as they are. Every NLE on the market can do that (excepting FCP, of course, and Sony’s Vegas). But you can get that same functionality with Vegas or FCP by using Raylight.

    So forget the whole “log & transfer” step. Pug the card in, drag the files to the timeline, and edit. A P2 card’s fast enough to allow up to six streams of realtime streaming HD, simultaneously.
    Imagine when you’ve been out shooting for a week, offloading cards to an external hard disk, and you’ve offloaded maybe 8 or 10 hours of footage… when you get back to your edit station, wouldn’t it be nice to just plug that hard disk in and edit IMMEDIATELY, without going through that Log & Transfer process? Well, you can.

    Download the trial copy of Raylight and give it a try.

    Toaster: Actually – that’s a nice feature for being able to show clients a cut as well.  A sort of VTR-lite! I’ll have to check out Raylight – being an FCP guy


    Mac to PC discussion

    if you work between the two Operating systems, Raylight maybe the only RAY of hope


    Vegas 8 Pro, Raylight, and Windows Vista – A review


    Raylight to the Rescue again getting Avid edited files to work in FCP


    solve my Strange 32G P2 problem

    Yet another FCP problem… sigh.  My stock answer is always the same: try the demo of Raylight and see if it doesn’t just make all your problems go away…

    Raylight is the program Panasonic should have shipped with all their P2 cameras


    I recommend to everyone to ditch Apple’s Log & Transfer, and use Raylight instead


    Five Reasons Raylight is essential for FCP users wanting ot use P2:

    Raylight is, IMO, absolutely essential for FCP users wanting to use P2. It does many things for you. The first of which is, all that time you spend in the log & transfer window just disappears. Raylight creates quicktime reference files instantly, so you can just plug in your external drive and edit instantly. No importing, no logging and transferring, just immediate editing.

    Second thing is, FCP’s import window occasionally just refuses to import perfectly valid clips.  Raylight always imports them.  So you’ll save yourself some frustration there.

    Third, Raylight uses the metadata, and in fact can use it rather intelligently. It can sort your clips based on the metadata into individual project folders, doing some manner of media management for you automatically.

    Fourth, you get access to the User Clip name function, so you can name your clips with custom names in-camera, and Raylight preserves them. So when it comes time to edit, you don’t face a bunch of 0003RU.MXF files, you instead get “Marriott Commercial Take 1.mov”-style names.

    Fifth, Raylight lets you author virtual P2 cards and export them back out to cards, if you have need of doing so.

    Run, don’t walk, to get it.  It’s the best P2/FCP workflow enhancement tool on the market.

    That’s why I think Raylight is so nice. You work off the MXF files.


    P2 Import Mystery
    Wish Apple would get with it and allow FCP to use MXF files directly but until then Raylight is the way to go.


    “I’m going to be shooting for 10 days straight (no editing for a couple weeks at least), and I’ll have multiple shots – likely hundreds. How can I organize them??”

    “If you’re doing lots of projects and you want to organize this stuff and you want to take advantage of the power of the metadata and you want to use FCP, all together, then I highly suggest you get Raylight. Raylight knows how to use and preserve the metadata, it knows how to name your clips with proper user clip names, and it can even sort the clips based on the metadata so it can put different clips in different bins automatically.”

    Workflow, working with P2, in the Field and in the Studio


    “Spend $195, get Raylight, and put all the FCP importer bugs behind you once and for all. FCP’s importer is notorious for occasionally refusing to import perfectly valid clips.”  [DVXUSER.ORG]


    DVFilm Maker review


    Getting Quicktime files created by Final Cut Pro working on  a PC.

    “Yeah it would be great if you could just capture any old codec in QuickTime on a Mac and drop it into Avid on a PC. But doesn’t work that way. HVX logged and transferred into FCP becomes DVCPROHD QuickTime .MOV, which is not a codec that Windows QuickTime player supports.”
    .
    .

    “An alternative is to have your Avid editor install
    the Raylight DVCPRO-HD Decoder software, which was
    designed specifically to overcome this quicktime incompatibility. Apple doesn’t
    support DVCPRO-HD on the Windows version of Quicktime, but if you buy &
    install the Raylight Decoder, it adds DVCPRO-HD
    decoding to Windows Quicktime which will mean that your Avid guy can now use the
    files.”

    Portions of this post duplicated HERE at DVFilm.com

  • Understanding Video Recording Framerates

    Posted on October 17th, 2007 Alan 1 comment

    Here is an excellent explanation of framerates and when you might want to use them.  A summary table follows:

    FPS

     

    description

     

    examples

     

    12 fps:
    usable for extreme fast motion, twice as fast as normal motion.
    In the indie hit film “El Mariachi”, director Robert Rodriguez made use of 12fps for fast-motion scenes such as the hotel front desk clerk scrambling to the telephone to make a call.
    18 fps:
    this is the frame rate that most 8mm home movies were .
    If you’re looking for the Keystone Kops or Charlie Chaplin look, 18 fps is where you should start.
    20 fps:
    20 fps is a fast-motion effect that’s not nearly as exaggerated as 12fps is, but it’s fast.
    If you wanted to show someone running extremely quickly, exaggeratedly quickly in fact, 20fps might be a good choice for that.  It starts to push the bounds of what the audience can believe is “real”, but it’s very fast motion without being exaggeratedly fast.
    22 fps:
    this is a subtle fast-motion effect.
    22 fps is a very popular frame rate for karate action movies – shooting at 22 fps and playing back at 24 fps makes motion look very fast but completely believable.  Shooting a car chase or a fight scene at 22 fps will lend an added edge of excitement and action to your scenes.  The 50Hz camera’s equivalent would be 23fps.
    24 fps:
    this is the standard movie film speed.
    Shooting at 24 fps and playing back at 24 fps gives your footage the temporal feel of motion picture film.  This is the speed you’d normally shoot all dialogue scenes and “normal action” scenes.  The 50Hz camera’s equivalent would be 25fps.
    26 fps:
    like 22 fps, but in reverse.  This frame rate can add a subtle, subliminal slow motion effect to your footage.
    The effect is very mild. Things moving slower than normal can be perceived as being “larger than life” – if you want to add a bit of elegance and grandeur to your scene, but don’t want it to be obvious as to what you’ve done, 26 fps can add that additional element of drama.  The 50Hz camera’s equivalent would be 27fps.
    30 fps:
    this is a slow motion speed.
    It’s mild slow motion, but it’s noticeable.  It’s not very subtle, it’s the first of the real slow motion speeds.
    32 fps:
    just a little slower than 30 fps.
    If you’re shooting your main program in 720/30p mode, filming at 32fps and incorporating in your 30 fps project can give you a similar slightly-larger-than-life feel as 26 fps does in a 24fps project.
    36 fps:
    at 36 fps, the scene is most obviously slow motion.
    Action takes 1.5 times as long to play out as it took to shoot it.  36 fps is as slow or slower than many movie cameras could shoot at.
    48 fps:
    full-fledged slow motion.
    This is a “walk-away-from-the-explosion” caliber slow motion speed.  48 fps makes everything take twice as long to play back as it did to shoot it.
    60 fps:
    super-slow motion.
    60 fps is suitable for shooting explosions or extreme slow motion scenes.  It’s the slowest slow motion possible on a conventional video camera.  The 50Hz camera doesn’t really have a direct equivalent.
  • Raylight for Mac Update

    Posted on October 5th, 2007 Alan No comments

    The Mac update for Raylight has now been released.  This is the program I cut my teeth on Cocoa with.  DVFilm is all about improving the workflow of post production video editing.  I worked on adding MXF support to Raylight.  MXF stands for “Media Exchange Format” which is a popular format used by cameras including the Panasonic HVX200 hand-held, high-definition camera.  The camera uses P2 Cards to store video. P2 cards are solid state flash memory packaged as PCMCIA cards.  Raylight is actually a set of tools that includes a decoder and plugins for video editing software such as Final Cut Pro for Mac and Sony Vegas & Adobe Premier on the Mac.

    Our website describes it his way:

    • Raylight for Mac puts MXF files from the P2 Card straight into Final Cut Pro!
    • It allows instant, direct editing of MXF files in FCP, or any video application on the Mac.
    • It turns the Quicktime Player and FCP into a P2 Card Viewer.
    • View Metadata in the first or second frame of every clip Automatically name and organize clips based on Metadata.
    • New with 2.0: Export Quicktimes from FCP and make a P2 Card!
    • It allows instant, direct editing of MXF files in FCP, or any video application on the Mac