No video updates at the moment, as my entire night was spent at the Eleventh Annual Las Vegas Supermeet, a meeting of the Creative Pro User Group Network, which is a gathering of editors and like-minded post people. Unfortunately the event was plagued by projection and sound problems (the in-house staff are the only people who can touch that stuff). It's ironic that this happened to a room full of nerds who understand the issues and could have fixed it pretty easily! Regardless we got to see a bit of Adobe CS6, the new Smoke, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Shane Hurlbut talked about the Canon 1DC, and we got a wonderfully hilarious talk from Morgan Spurlock, who went into detail about his career.
I can say immediately that I like the look of Adobe CS6 much better than the older versions. They've done a lot to try to make editing easier and simpler, and try to get the interface to get out of your way. Here are some of the new features that were shown off:
- Hover Scrub: Allows you to skim through a clip by hovering over the picture and moving the mouse
- Adjustment Layers: Exactly what it sounds like - these are added just like they are in Photoshop.
- Button Editor: Change the buttons on the playback windows - or get rid of them altogether
- Dynamic Trimming: Trim clips while the timeline is playing or looping - it doesn't stop even if you change something
- Multicam: Allows an unlimited number of angles
- Supports 5K RAW (RED) and ArriRAW
- Open CL support for AMD GPUs
The Dynamic Trimming mode is absolutely fantastic. The ability to keep playback going indefinitely while you are trimming and changing in/out points is such a faster way to edit. I am also a big fan of adjustment layers, where adjustments are non-destructively added on top of the clips. It makes sense that Adobe is trying to incorporate the better parts of Photoshop into CS6. If a program like Photoshop is that widespread, there's no reason not to want to emulate certain areas. As far as the layout is concerned, Adobe has changed the program to have just two large windows at the top, the preview and viewer windows. It makes a lot more sense as these are two of the more important aspects of editing, actually being able to see what you're doing, especially if you've only got one screen to work with. Here's a brief video preview of CS6 from Vincent Laforet:
Evan Schechtman from Radical did his best to talk about the new Smoke while dealing with projection issues. One of the big things about Smoke is the ability to keep everything within one program. An XML or EDL can be brought over from the editing program and then all the visual effects can be contained within that one program. This is going to make things very interesting in the post world, and the price has come down significantly from the past, standing at about $3500. For a visual effects product as in-depth as Smoke that is a steal of a price for a post-house or small post-company.
Blackmagic talked a little more about their Cinema Camera, and Grant Petty, the CEO of Blackmagic Design, went a little more in-depth about the design of the camera and their reason for building it. After seeing what the original Canon 5D Mark II had done to democratize filmmaking, they were inspired to try to make their own camera to compliment the 5D. Grant was very clear that the market they are trying to reach is people who will own more than one camera - because the Cinema Camera is not a replacement for all jobs and all purposes. It is a fantastic run-and-gun camera, and that was a big part of their design philosophy. That's why the big LCD on the back can handle most of the functions of the camera - it makes the rig much simpler. The DSLR revolution, in their mind, was still missing a huge part: a better post workflow. That's why they have introduced RAW Cinema DNG recording as well as DNxHD and ProRes. The other big part of that post workflow is the ability to do tons of metadata in camera - from complete descriptions to whether a take was good or bad. For a company that is very post-based, it's logical that they would understand how powerful metadata can be, and that's why it's an essential part of the camera's functionality. This is a professional camera with a professional post workflow inside a camera body that only costs $3000 - and includes Resolve absolutely free. That's pretty amazing.
Shane Hurlbut reiterated his love for the new Canon 1DC, and he walked us through some of the production of the short film he did for that camera. Part of the reason he likes the camera so much is the fact that it is 4K in such a small package. I think this is also something RED is striving for, but for people who are comfortable with using DSLRs, this camera is no different. He talked about the places that he was able to squeeze the camera - and himself. One shot involved Shane squeezing into the trunk of a Prius and doing a dolly move on a camera slider. Obviously big cameras like the F65 and the Alexa cannot do this. RED can, but that seemed to be most absent from the conversation. Shane really just enjoys the form factor, because there are obviously some pretty major shortcomings when it comes to color space and compression for a camera that is doing such high resolution. I'm going to get my hands on the 1DC and really try to get a feel for it.
Finally Morgan Spurlock came out to talk about about his new film, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. Here's the trailer:
Morgan was a little disappointed but also inspired by the fact that this was the first film that his dad in West Virgina could watch immediately upon release thanks to digital distribution. All of his other films have opened in very limited theatrical release, and that makes it really difficult if you don't live near one of the major metropolitan areas like NYC or LA. There was also a bit of inspiring talk when Morgan described how at one point he was $250,000 in debt with personally and with his company. He was evicted from his apartment and living in his office, and finally MTV picked up a TV show they were creating. He was able to pay off some of the debt, but also had some money left over, around $50,000. In true independent (and maybe foolish) spirit, instead of putting that money towards the debt, he decided to make a film, and that film became Super-Size Me.
Lots of great info at the CPUG, and some truly inspiring and funny stuff from Morgan Spurlock.