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June 14, 2011

Table of Contents

Sweetening Your Sound: Audio Editing Essentials for Event Filmmakers
Review: proDAD VitaScene V2 Pro
Classic Chicago-Style Weddings: Keith and Jennifer Anderson, Wedding Day Cinema
Petrol Bags Debuts Campack Plus, New Backpack-Style Camera Bag for DSLR Shooters
RevoStock Turns 5, Rewards Users With Discounted After Effects and Motion Templates
Sony Creative Software Launches Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 with Pro-Grade 3D Capabilities
NewTek TriCaster 850 EXTREME Ready to Ship 3 Months Ahead of Schedule
Apple Launches iCloud Set of Free Cloud Services
Createasphere Announces San Francisco and New York Dates for Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Road Show

Sweetening Your Sound: Audio Editing Essentials for Event Filmmakers

In the May issue of EventDV, I offered some strategies on how to best capture your audio during the hectic day that is a wedding shoot. But the fact is, I'm sure you've heard editors say, "the magic is in the editing," and for audio it is no different. Even if the audio tracks you captured in the field come in clean, your audio work is only just beginning.

In this article, I'll guide you through our audio workflow: from switching through your multitrack/dual-system audio recording to removing unwanted noises to sweetening, cleaning, and even disaster recovery. And although I'll repeat this sentiment at the clean-up section, I can't stress the following enough: Even the sweetest audio-sweetening skills set will take you only so far. No matter how much time you spend processing and cleaning-up an audio track, nothing beats getting it right in the first place.

The Tools for the Job
At Ever After we use the latest Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 suite, which has some new and exciting and-more importantly-timesaving audio features. In fact, the primary reason we upgraded from CS5 is because of CS5.5's new audio capabilities. That said, although CS5.5 will speed things up considerably, there's no process or idea mentioned here that you couldn't achieve in other NLE systems.

With a background in sound design, I've always felt that using the right tool for the job is half the battle won. In our case, this translates as follows: Your NLE is great at editing video (or at least I hope so), but nothing beats working with audio in a proper audio editor. No, I'm not suggesting you go out and buy yourself a shining new Avid ProTools system; Adobe Audition (which ships with Production Premium), or even Audacity (free and multiplatform) will do this job just fine.

At a high level, our workflow goes like this: We sync our audio files in Premiere Pro and/or PluralEyes and open them as a multitrack project in Audition (in case you're not familiar with this application, it looks like any NLE screen you've seen minus the video tracks). Then we switch between the tracks and clean-up/sweeten where needed.

That Syncing Feeling
If you've used 2-3 cameras and 2-3 separate audio devices, like many event filmmakers, that means you find yourself working with at least 4 audio tracks in post. Although you could start by cleaning up all of these tracks, it's far more time-efficient to sync the lot of them, switch between your tracks, and only clean up the parts of a track you'll actually use. Syncing your tracks in the audio editor by visually inspecting your waveforms, then fine-tuning by ear, is certainly a possibility. In fact, that's exactly what I used to do up to a few weeks ago. It will take some practice, but after a while you'll have it down to an art; syncing 5 (more or less) continuous sound sources takes me about 2 minutes. Of course, we have all heard of the magical application PluralEyes. Although I'd love to boast that my DIY approach works faster (unless you have a gazillion clips to sync), PluralEyes does free up my time. Who doesn't appreciate an extra coffee break?

Until the release of CS5.5, I didn't use PluralEyes, as it could not offer me the synced tracks in my multitrack audio recorder (it supports only NLEs). Adobe changed all this in CS 5.5 by allowing you to send your audio tracks into Audition as a multitrack project and, thanks to Adobe's Dynamic Link "roundtripping" utility, you can make changes at a later time and move them between Audition and Premiere Pro without the need to create new mixdowns.

Creating the Mix
If all goes well, you should be looking at a multitrack project with all your tracks synced. So, where do you start the sweetening process? The whole reasoning for using an audio editor is to easily switch between your tracks and make the most of them.

Adobe Audition

Multitrack view in Adobe Audition

In most instances, you want to hear just one audio track at a time, as this ensures that your listener is fed only the sound that fits the image best. There is no point in having a nice lapel mic on your groom if you end up mixing it in post with the mic on your camera that also picked up the crying baby in the back of the church. By using keyframes, you can bring in and take out the needed audio channel. Sometimes you might have a few audio sources that sound equally good, but most of the time there will be a clear winner.

Here's a rule of thumb: Typically, the mic closest to the sound source should give you your best audio. This means that the sound of the vows will usually come from the lapel mic on the groom. However, if he fiddled with your mic, you might have to use your onboard shotgun mic instead. A second rule of thumb: Any live music should not come from a recording that used auto-gain, as this will flatten the music completely.

Sweeten your Recording
Before you subject a sound to any type of processing, I can't stress enough the importance of a decent pair of speakers! Any computer speaker set, whether just stereo, or the latest 7.1 surround system is typically aimed at gamers. It's designed to create an "immersive" experience, a concept that translates as follows: We'll process the sound in the speakers as well to make those explosions even louder.

Monitor speakers (such as Edirol's MA Series, Genelec, Tascam, and the like) are aimed at people who want a true representation of their sound. They try very hard to make sure it is not biased towards any type of sound. This is important, as you want your films to sound as good as possible on just about any system.

Compression
A good multiband compressor has the ability to enhance your sound. If overused, it can make your audio sound like a drowning AM radio; as with all things in our line of work, moderation is key. Just as your speakers can be frequency-biased and influence the sound, your microphone-and, to an extent, even your audio recorder-are not so innocent either.

Adobe Audition

The Multiband Compressor in Adobe Audition

With your audio recorder the key is to record uncompressed WAV files, rather than MP3s, as this will avoid a lot of issues. But unfortunately this does not fix your microphone's responses. Every microphone has a different pickup pattern and has certain frequencies to which it responds better or worse. Matching the right microphone with the right voice/sound is an art, and certain vocalists now demand the use of certain mics when they perform.

In wedding filmmaking, this type of attention to detail is neither financially sensible, nor feasible during a shoot. I use a multiband compressor to minimize these issues and make the most of my live audio recordings. Let me start by saying there is no such thing as a magical recipe; the settings depend on the mic, the voice, the acoustics, and so forth. Your ears are (or should be) the judge of whether you're enhancing, needlessly changing, or even ruining your recording. The key words: subtleness and consistency.

Let's take a typical voice of the wedding day: a friend or relative giving a toast. Typically, this is untrained "talent" that moves his or her position from our mic and starts talking loud, only to get quieter throughout his or her "moment." Most multiband compressors have an "enhance vocal" (or similar) preset, which is a great starting point. This process will (at least) try to limit the differences between the loudest and the quietest parts of the recording as well as amplify the sound frequencies of the human voice. In most cases, it will lower the overall sound level, so slightly adjusting the master output gain is usually required. Although the fundamental frequencies of the human voice can vary roughly between 80-200Hz for a male voice and 150-260Hz for a female voice, the harmonics above those fundamentals (200Hz-4000Hz) are actually more important for our purposes as they contain the characteristics of the voice (extremely simplified).

If you need to isolate a voice a bit more from background noises, this will be the frequency range you will amplify (hoping your background noise has a different pattern). I would typically split this area in 2 (approx. 200-1000 and 1000-4000) and add between 2 and 4 dB gain to the voice. The lower-frequency part mainly has your vowels, with the consonants being higher up in the spectrum.

Another typical example is the recording of bands or string quartets. I have a great AKG condenser mic that I use for recording choirs and string quartets, but it is a bit bass-biased, so I would typically reduce the frequencies up to 150-200Hz by a few dB to make sure the cello doesn't drown out the violin.

Playing around with these settings is vital to get to know their impact as well as the frequency biases of your equipment. With regards to a string quartet, the impact of the changes can make a great quartet sound like amateurs as often as it may mask the lack of balance of actual amateurs, so be careful with your choices.

Whatever your choices, consistency is key. If the circumstances (your talent, audio recorder, te mics you use) don't change, then neither should your settings. You don't want a best man that starts with Barry White-like bass sound to reappear later sounding like he's ended up on the other side of puberty. There's a reason why a multiband compressor allows you to save a preset!

Disaster Recovery
Although the power of compression can hardly be overstated, in a real emergency (say, if all the mics in close proximity of your sound source failed) even this might not be enough. I'm sure most of us will have at least heard of the magical filter called noise reduction, which is found in virtually every NLE and audio editor. Basically, you feed it a sound that you don't want and then tell it to remove this sound from a recording. Most online examples use an alarm that goes off or something similar and can similarly be used for photography clicks.

Adobe Audition

The Noise Reduction filter in Adobe Audition

However, I've also used this filter a few times where there was a major issue with my recording. Imagine you're shooting in a room with 2 podiums, and you're told the left one is the only one that will be used and there is no venue sound system. I would mic my podium, have cameras in position (in the UK, during a ceremony, you're not allowed to move a camera even an inch), and see my "talent" go to the other podium. Imagewise? I can just repoint my camera. Soundwise? Welcome to my worst nightmare! The audio recorder did pick up a faint signal of my talent, but when amplified (using a compressor to try and amplify mainly the voice) there was still an awful lot of background noise. No hiss or band-pass filter seemed to help much, but using this noise reduction filter, I did manage to achieve a "usable" sound.

I'll be the first to say it was far from great, but you could understand clearly what was said and recognize the voice, and the background noise was low enough to go unnoticed to the untrained ear. When using such a filter for this purpose, the key is to select your noise sample carefully, making sure a noncontinuous noise (such as a cough) is not part of that sample. Then it all comes down to the typical balancing act: removing this noise versus making your talent sound like a robot.

Back to the NLE
However much or little you do to all your sound sources, make sure that the level of each section remains about the same. There are few things more annoying to a viewer than watching a film with her finger on the volume buttons!

Once you've created your perfect mix, you mix it down and send the result back to the NLE. If you just switched between tracks and haven't cut parts out, you can just line it up with the start of your first audio track and all will be in sync. Mute all the other audio tracks, possibly link (or merge) this sound file with your key-camera angle and start your video editing. When reading this workflow, I realize it can sound like a lot of work for (possibly) a rather subtle return. And I'm sure that when you try this the first few times, you will curse my name (if you can pronounce it).

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5

The mixed-down WAVs back in the NLE (in this case, Premiere Pro CS5.5)

Once it's part of your routine, though, you'll fly through it. For a typical UK wedding with a 45-minute church ceremony and 45 minutes of speeches, I typically get this done in less than 1 hour. It's a time investment that can really push your natural sound to the next level.

In the End...
In the end, you'll be completing the final soundtrack of your wedding film. You'll want to make sure the audio levels have stayed consistent throughout your production, but you should also keep in mind that consistency isn't everything: You can ruin all this work by mastering your sound at too high a level. Your typical clients have consumer TVs and sound systems that they barely understand. Just about all of these systems have "virtual surround," "dynamic boosters," or internal systems in place to "enhance the sound."

Whatever the system, it will always try to boost certain frequencies for whatever reason, so it is good practice to leave a little bit of headroom when it comes to setting the final level value. Mastering your audio at 0dB is likely to cause a complaint at some point in the future if it hasn't done so already.

Niels Puttemans (niels at everafter videos.co.uk) runs Ever After Video Productions of Sheffield, U.K., with his wife, Sylvia Broeckx. 2009 EventDV 25 Finalists and winners of IOV Ltd. (Institute of Videography) and WEVA CEA awards for their wedding-day films, Niels and Sylvia were presenters at WEVA Expo 2010.

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Review: proDAD VitaScene V2 Pro

I've always been a sucker for a cool special effect or transition, which is one of the reasons that I've enjoyed working with proDAD VitaScene over the years. With VitaScene V2, proDAD retains the same easy to use and highly configurable workflow found in the previous edition but adds a number of very cool effects and 64-bit operation. There are two versions available, VitaScene V2 LE ($149) and VitaScene V2 Pro ($499), with the Pro version offering more effects and more configuration options. Both are available as fully functional trial downloads.

proDAD offers the products as plug-ins for Adobe Premiere CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5; Adobe Premiere Elements versions 1-8 (but not Adobe After Effects); Avid/Pinnacle Studio 2011 and Avid Media Composer; Corel VideoStudio X4; Grass Valley EDIUS and Grass Valley NEO; Magix Video Deluxe and Magix Video Pro; Sony Vegas Pro 32/64-bit and Sony Movie Studio HD Platinum. Check www.prodad.com for version-related information.

The plug-ins are Windows-only, and at a minimum require a system running Windows XP SP2 with 2GB RAM, with an Intel Core i7 and 64-bit Windows 7 with 6 GB RAM recommended. If you meet the minimum, be sure to check the proDAD website to make sure that your graphics card is supported. GPU acceleration is one of the key features of the product, and the program won't install or run if your card isn't up to snuff. Even if it is, I recommend that you update to the latest driver version and Direct X version before installing the product.

I tested VitaScene V2 Pro on an HP Z400 with a 3.33 GHz 6-core CPU running 64-bit Windows 7 with 22 GB RAM. The graphics card was an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 with 1.5 GB of video RAM, driving my 30" HP LP3065 flat-panel LCD monitor. I tested with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.

In terms of operation, once you install either version, a proDAD folder appears in your Video Effects and Video Transitions folders. You apply the transition or effect as normal, then clicking the Setup (effect) or Custom (transitions) button to choose and enter the VitaScene interface to choose and customize the effect. You'll do most of the heavy lifting in this interface, shown in Figure 1, where I'm configuring the Tilt and Shift Effect (scroll down to the end of the article to see a video tutorial on Tilt Shift in VitaScene V2 Pro).

proDAD VitaScene V2 Pro

Figure 1. Configuring the Tilt and Shift effect

It's a busy screen, so let me explain. All effects are accessed via the Presets list box in the upper-middle window. Find the category that you want, and double-click the preset, and VitaScene applies it to your project. Once applied, you access the most commonly used configuration options in the Specialisation (customization) window beneath the Presets window, or you can access all customization options by clicking the buttons on the upper left.

The large window on the right is the preview window, which is cropped to 75% to fit the screen capture requirements--on my 30" HP monitor at 100% visibility, the video is available in full 16:9 glory. Below the preview window is the timeline, where you can add keyframes by dragging the playhead to the desired location and changing any configuration option.

As to the configuration options on the Tilt and Shift Effect itself, I've boosted the blurriness in the excluded area and increased the A/B Sharpness, which is the line between what's in focus and out of focus. In this configuration, I can more easily apply the focus. Once I've got that nailed, I'll reduce the blur and the A/B Sharpness to normal levels, and can adjust brightness or color as well. You'll need the right footage to produce a truly miniature looking scene, which generally involves shooting down and from a distance, with a mix of very small and very large objects in the scene, but the VitaScene configuration options are great.

Once you apply and configure an effect in VitaScene, you can preview in real time with no rendering, courtesy of VitaScene's GPU-rendering. Once you close VitaScene and return to your editor, normal rendering rules apply. In Premiere Pro CS5.5, since VitaScene is not a GPU-accelerated effect, you'll have to render to preview your effect at full frame rate.

What's in the Box?
Now that we've got the interface and work flow nailed, let's discuss some of the effects offered in VitaScene V2 Pro, which includes a great mix of glows, sparkles, rays, blurs, text effects, movie looks and many, many more. There's a good deal of commonality between effects and transitions, so you can apply similar-appearing sparkle effects to video, and sparkle transitions between clips, which helps create a consistent, polished look.

I use the text effects a lot, because they're a quick way to add a touch of class to any title, and because they're much easier and more configurable to apply than those offered by After Effects. Figure 2 shows the light ray text effect that I applied to the title of a Thriller performance by my wife's ballet group.

proDAD VitaScene V2 Pro

Figure 2. This text ray effect is killer.

Film looks are also very useful, with over 75 highly configurable presets (Figure 3). Configuration options include basics like saturation, gamma and contrast, and adjustments for black and white diffusion, tint and finish. The only disappointment is that you can't save a customized effect for later reuse.

proDAD VitaScene V2 Pro

Figure 3. One category of film looks and some configuration options

Two other classes of effects are also worthy of note. First are the picture-in-picture effects, which are particularly useful with Premiere Pro because there's no easy way to add a border around a picture-in-picture, like that shown in Figure 4.

proDAD VitaScene V2 Pro

Figure 4. Here's the director and editor explaining his creative options in the Thriller video

Though I haven't yet found the perfect vehicle for exploiting them, I also like the various art looks shown in Figure 5, which are all exquisitely configurable. Maybe I'll try one as a background for my next DVD menu.

proDAD VitaScene V2 Pro

Figure 5. The Art Looks

Overall, while there are some rough edges, like German-language controls that appear here and there, the program proved easy to use, stable and functional. proDAD includes demos of many of the effects on www.prodad.com, plus the trial versions. If you're looking for a fast, easy way to spice up your productions, I recommend that you have a look.

Jan Ozer (jan at doceo.com) is a frequent contributor to industry magazines and websites on digital video-related topics. He is chief instructor at StreamingLearningCenter.com and the author of Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5.

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Classic Chicago-Style Weddings: Keith and Jennifer Anderson, Wedding Day Cinema

Keith & Jennifer Anderson, Wedding Day CinemaWhat's in a name? For Chicago-area wedding filmmaker Keith Anderson, everything. He jumped into the business "with both feet" in 2002 with a company name that brought him into contact with more video clients than his two-person studio could handle, but didn't really connect him with the high-end bridal clientele that matched the custom-crafted work he was producing. It was actually Keith's wife and shooting partner, Jennifer, who suggested that they name their company "All Occasions Video," when they first entered the business. "I hated that name," Keith recalls. "But, in the end, it was the right thing to do, because it made the phone ring." And even though he's been mostly successful in shedding that old identity, over the last 2 years, since rebranding his company as Wedding Day Cinema, he says, "I still get calls from clients who say, ‘It sounds like you do a lot of different things.'"

Doing a little bit of everything put All Occasions Video on the map, but Keith found, over time, that he didn't want to do all those different things. "My passion was doing weddings. Wedding clients just appreciated my work so much more than corporate clients. With corporate work, the dollars came easily. But they just stick it on a shelf. There wasn't an emotional bond to the work like there was with wedding clients."

Aiming High
Meanwhile, Keith was developing a reputation in the video industry as a filmmaker who consistently won Creative Excellence Awards (CEAs) from WEVA for his dazzling wedding work and creative edits. But his "all things to all people" company image seemed increasingly at odds with that. "All Occasions just didn't sound specialized enough for someone who was asking people to spend top dollar for a wedding film," he recalls. "I wanted to distance myself from that name and to cultivate a client base on the upper tier. I felt like there was an open market for top-end wedding films. No one was going for it; no one was asking top dollar in the market in Chicago."

The heart of Keith's increasingly high-end brand has always been the signature edits he delivers, which are unique in the Chicago market in the way they capture what he calls "the classic Chicago-style wedding" in a customized short film edited in Adobe Premiere Pro. At the time he started developing his style, Keith says, "No one was offering what I call the ‘Vignette'-an 8-14 minute wedding, edit that anybody could sit through, especially during my presentations. I would show the vignettes and they would book jobs for me." Today, with Wedding Day Cinema, Keith provides a 20-30 minute edit that he brands "The Feature."

On a typical Wedding Day Cinema event, Keith shoots with a Canon 5D Mark II, while Jennifer runs a Canon 60D. They also set up a Sony EX1 (Wedding Day Cinema's camera of choice before the company went all-DSLR last summer) for audio acquisition. Jennifer's direct involvement ends when the shoot is over; Keith handles all the editing.

Keith Anderson, Wedding Day Cinema

Jumping Platforms
As an editor, Keith says, "I've been working in Premiere from Day One." He started with Premiere 6.0, working in Windows, and progressed through successive versions, upgrading to CS5 last year. After running his old PC "into the ground," he says, "I jumped platforms, and went over to the Mac prior to going to CS5. I went to a Final Cut users' meeting, and I tried to like Final Cut. I tried to wrap my head around the workflow, but it didn't take."

The main reason Keith considered switching to Final Cut was that he was still overwhelmed with All Occasions edits at that time-the customary backlog that comes from running a volume business-and it was easier to find freelance editors who worked in Final Cut. "I'm just so glad I didn't do it," he says, "because CS5 can read XML files from Final Cut so well."

"Switching to the Mac platform was really expensive," says Keith. "I started with a laptop. I called [Senior Business Development Manager] Dennis Radeke over at Adobe. I told him I was holding off [on a desktop purchase] until the new Mac towers came out. I gave him the specs of the laptop I was considering and asked him if CS5 would run on it. He said I should have no problem editing a couple layers of DSLR footage on it, and he was right."

Keith says he edited all his HD wedding footage for 8 months on his Mac laptop using CS5 Production Premium and an external RAID drive and Blu-ray burner. Then he upgraded to a 12-core Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM and an SSD drive for his primary editing system. Overkill, perhaps, but Keith says, "When I buy a system, I want to get 6-7 years out of it.'"

Perks of Production Premium
Keith says his reliance on Adobe applications in post isn't just about his facility with Premiere Pro-it's about the seamless integration of CS5 Production Premium. "I love Dynamic Link. I think that's Adobe's strongest suit. I right-click a clip that I have an audio problem with and I can send it straight to Soundbooth. With the new CS5.5, you can send it right to Audition, which is an even more robust sound editor. I fix it up in Soundbooth, save it, and Dynamic Link sends it right back to the Premiere Pro timeline. Dynamic Link is Adobe's bread and butter, and it works as advertised."

Keith also appreciates the versatility of CS5 Production Premium's format support, and the ease with which it ingests an array of formats when he's working with footage from the 5D Mark II, the 60D, the EX1, and occasionally a GoPro camera-all ingested from different media. "Bringing everything into Premiere Pro, I go to the Media Browser to find what I'm looking for. I use separate bins to keep my Project Window neat and tidy. One for raw footage, one for miscellaneous stuff, one for sequences, that kind of thing. I'll just bring in all the stuff. Premiere Pro will go ahead and conform it so it will all play nicely."

One essential component of Keith's edit workflow is working in Premiere Pro's Multicam editor. When he first upgraded to CS5 on the MacBook Pro, he says, "I just couldn't believe it worked-on a laptop? I threw all these different formats on a laptop, and it played smooth enough to get the job done, to get a rough cut, which is all I needed."

Keith says he follows the same exact workflow now on the Mac Pro tower, with the an approved NVIDIA card for GPU acceleration enabled by Adobe's powerful Mercury Playback Engine. "It's really smooth. I've got all different formats on the timeline. There's obviously no rendering, no conforming of the DSLR footage. It just chews right through it."

Keith says that on a typical Wedding Day Cinema project he'll cut the ceremony in the Multicam interface in Premiere Pro CS5, use Plural Eyes to sync the audio (particularly for the reception), and then tweak the audio in Soundbooth. He says he'll also create some effects in After Effects using Adobe's presets. "I'm not a heavy After Effects user, but I know just enough to be dangerous," Keith quips. "I know how to create a Composition and use one of their text animations that looks like you spent all night making it when it really took all of 10 minutes to do."

With the project edited, he's ready to author for DVD or Blu-ray in Encore. There, Dynamic Link comes in handy again: "By using the Dynamic Link feature instead of launching Media Encoder separately," he says, "it creates a Dynamic Link between Premiere Pro and Encore, and it tells Encore, ‘Hey, you figure out what the bitrate needs to be,' and it does it automatically." This is a far cry from "the days of old," he says, when he needed to keep a chart on hand to reference bitrates for wedding DVDs clocking in at different lengths.

"In Encore," he continues, "I'll create my menus in Photoshop. The Dynamic Link between Encore and Photoshop is seamless. You just right-click on your Menu, select Edit Menu in Photoshop, Photoshop opens up, there everything is. Click File > Save and it goes right back to Encore."

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5

Editing an Award-Winning Trailer
Last August at WEVA Expo 2010, Wedding Day Cinema added to its already-crowded trophy case with a Gold Creative Excellence Award (CEA) in the Trailer category. As with most movie trailers, the real magic comes from what happens in the edit. "There's a transition in that clip that a lot of people ask me about," he says, that comes from the TV show The Bachelor. "It gets totally blown out. It's like a flash, but it's not a matte white. All the colors ramp up so it ends up looking like a flash. When I saw it, I thought, ‘I wanna make that.'" So he created his own version in Premiere Pro CS5, and made it the main transition in the trailer.

"In Premiere Pro, you can stack up multiple effects and save them out as a particular effect. The two effects in Premiere Pro that allow you to achieve this effect are Brightness and Contrast and Compound Blur. You ramp up the Brightness and Contrast and the Compound Blur over time, using keyframes. You start with a low value and increase it until it's blown out on the screen. The position of the keyframes dictates the speed of the ramp."

Keith says trailers are a key part of the Wedding Day Cinema experience, which is all about attentiveness to what couples really want in a product custom-built to their expectations. "The trailer is more about future marketing than anything. The key to it is getting it up online the week after the wedding when they're still really high on the wedding"-a goal that would be virtually impossible to achieve without a postproduction workflow that empowers a filmmaker/editor to produce compelling and creative edits quickly. "It keeps the excitement alive," he says, "and does a lot of my selling for me."

Stephen Nathans-Kelly (stephen.nathans at infotoday.com) is editor-in-chief of EventDV.

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Petrol Bags Debuts Campack Plus, New Backpack-Style Camera Bag for DSLR Shooters

Now there’s a backpack-style camera carrier designed specifically for DSLR cameras. Petrol Bags, a Vitec Group brand, introduces the DSLR Campack Plus.

This innovative new camera/PC backpack is ideal for “on-the-move” camera work when travel and hiking to locations is required. Packed with a host of industry-leading advantages, its bright red padded central compartment has room to hold (2) video-enabled DSLR cameras with the lenses mounted. Removable articulated dividers form enclosed storage pockets for important accessories. What’s more, a secondary two-sided zippered rear compartment can hold up to a 17” laptop.

The DSLR Campack Plus ergonomic backpack system is optimally designed to provide correct weight distribution and carrying comfort. The system’s center panel is a “bridge” of 3D mesh fabric designed to encourage air to circulate and keep things cool. Other features include a flash memory card mini pouch (holds up to 4 cards), exterior front/side accessory pockets, padded top handle, removable rain cover, dual directional easy-glide zippers and exterior straps for carrying a tripod. Construction is of black 900D and ballistic nylon fabrics.

For further information on the DSLR Campack Plus (#PD335) and other Petrol Bags products, please go to http://www.petrolbags.com

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RevoStock Turns 5, Rewards Users With Discounted After Effects and Motion Templates

Throughout the month of June, RevoStock, the premiere Stock Video Footage, Stock Music, After Effects templates and Motion templates community celebrates their 5th Anniversary by passing special promotions and savings on to their customers and site members!

As a part of their anniversary celebration, each week in June RevoStock will be offering a select group of these Adobe After Effects templates and Motion templates at 50% off. Also as a part of the June celebration, RevoStock is offering the buyer's choice of free stock footage and audio files from a pool of over 1,400 files offered by various RevoStock producers with the purchase of select credit packages.

RevoStock uses a credit system which allows users to receive bonus RevoStock credits when purchasing bulk credit packages. During the month of June, users who purchase the RevoStock $135 credit package receive the current 15 bonus credits plus 1 free file of choice from the Freebie Pool, the $200 package receives 30 bonus credits plus 2 free files, the $300 package receives 45 bonus credits plus 3 free files and the $400 credit package receives 60 bonus credits plus 4 free files.

Throughout the month of June, Revostock will be giving away 200 RevoStock Credits to a lucky user every day! These 200 credits can be used to purchase RevoStock Media including footage, templates and audio. Users can enter the contest every day of the month, and a new winner will be chosen randomly each day.
For RevoStock producers who upload and sell content, the site is offering 3 $500 gift certificates to B&H Photo Video to the 3 winners of their monthly Producer Challenge. RevoStock producers who upload stock footage, stock audio, After Effects templates or Motion templates during the month of June receive points based upon the number of files uploaded and type of files uploaded. At the end of the month these points are tallied and winners are drawn at random and based upon the number of points each producer has earned.

About RevoStock:
With well over 200,000 pre-screened, pro quality stock media files, RevoStock is the premiere stock media website that offers professional SD and HD stock video footage, music, sound effects and After Effects® project files at prices starting at just $5 for Standard Definition footage, $10 for High Definition footage, $10 for music, $3 for sound effects and $15 for After Effects Templates and Motion Templates. Media professionals may upload and sell their content, earning royalty rates up to 60%. Clients using RevoStock include NBC/Universal, BBC America, E! Networks, The Discovery Channel and Sony Playstation. A free stock video footage file is available for download each week at http://www.revostock.com

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Sony Creative Software Launches Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 with Pro-Grade 3D Capabilities

Sony Creative Software, a leading provider of professional video and audio editing applications, today announced the availability of a new version of its award-winning consumer video editing software Vegas™ Movie Studio HD Platinum 11. The latest version of the application provides professional-grade stereoscopic 3D capabilities and added file format support, enabling users to produce more immersive media projects in nearly any format. Specifically, support for Sony MVC and MPO files allows users to work natively with these 3D formats directly on the Vegas Movie Studio timeline.

Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 is an easy-to-use, full-featured video editing application that provides users with the capabilities to create professional-looking, high-definition projects as well as continued support for standard-definition media. This software's powerful new tools previously only available in professional suites — including stereoscopic 3D editing, support for new file formats and precise audio editing controls — add exceptional value for hobbyists and video editing enthusiasts who want to produce and distribute content via devices such as the PSP® and Apple® iPod, or services such as Vimeo, YouTube™ and Facebook®.

"The easier it becomes to capture 3D video and still images on affordable consumer devices, the more people are interested in editing that 3D footage into movies that they can share with their family and friends," said Dave Chaimson, vice president of global marketing for Sony Creative Software. "Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 provides professional-level tools and expanded support that allow consumers to create compelling 3D videos and post them to online 3D services like YouTube 3D, or burn the 3D content to Blu-ray disc for viewing on their 3D televisions."

New Features in Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 Include:

  • Stereoscopic 3D Editing — Users can now create stereoscopic 3D projects as easily as 2D projects, with support for a wide range of 3D formats; no additional software plug-ins required

  • Stereoscopic 3D Monitoring — Customers can view their 3D projects on dedicated 3D monitors, or use their current 2D monitor via the Anaglyphic Preview mode

  • Added File Format Support — Creative professionals, students and hobbyists working with studio and cinema-level progressive formats are able to edit and output videos in the following file types:
    • MVC and MPO 3D — Sony cameras that support these formats include: HDR-TD10, HXR-NX3D1, PMW-TD300 and the á, Cyber-shot® and NEX cameras
    • 24p/50p/60p — Users can now choose these progressive format settings for their projects

  • GPU Accelerated AVC Encoding — Users can improve their AVC rendering performance and speed using the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in computers equipped with ATI or NVIDIA graphics cards

  • Titles and Text Plug-in — Utilizing a broad selection of presets and templates, users can quickly and easily achieve dynamic and visually stunning text animations and effects which can be modified and adjusted for even further creative options; new features deliver professional-looking results through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface

  • Improved "Render," "New Project" and "Make Movie" Dialogs — Users can create new projects, render to specific file formats and deliver with increased efficiency and speed

  • Audio Event Effects — Users can now apply effects directly to the event level for more precise control over the placement of audio effects

  • New Video Effects Plug-in SDK — The new SDK enables third-party developers to easily create plug-ins for Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum


The Production Suite and Imagination Studio are now updated with Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11:

  • Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum Production Suite 11
    In addition to Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 software, the Production Suite features additional applications to help consumers create more polished and dynamic video projects. The Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum Production Suite 11 includes: DVD Architect Studio 5, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10, iZotope Vocal Eraser technology, NewBlue Effects and Transitions NewBlue 3D titling plug-in, a complete and comprehensive training and tutorial DVD, 400 exclusive original music soundtracks, and deluxe paper 3D glasses.

  • Imagination Studio 3
    Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 is also included in the Imagination Studio bundle, which offers a comprehensive Sony software collection to create the ultimate home multimedia studio with a personal touch. Equipped with the tools to create outstanding multimedia projects, Imagination Studio also features DVD Architect Studio 5, ACID Music Studio 8, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 and Photo Go, as well as 360 original music soundtracks. For pricing and information, please visit: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/imaginationstudio.


Price and Availability
Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 (MSRP: $99.95; Upgrade: $69.95), Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum Production Suite 11 (MSRP: $129.95; Upgrade: $99.95) and Imagination Studio 3 (MSRP: $179.95) are now available online at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com and at retailers worldwide. Language versions include English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

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NewTek TriCaster 850 EXTREME Ready to Ship 3 Months Ahead of Schedule

NewTek, worldwide leader in portable live production and 3D animation systems, today announced the company is shipping the award-winning TriCaster™ 850 EXTREME™ a full quarter before expected. The new and highly anticipated HD portable live production system blurs the lines between live and post production.

“I can’t believe how TriCaster 850 EXTREME has changed my approach to live production,” says Kris Gurrad, NewTek beta tester at ABC affiliate, KATU TV. “I have complete confidence that I have captured every single element of my live production – all of which can be re-purposed and re-edited so many ways in post production that I haven’t even begun to tap into all of the possibilities. And with TriCaster 850 EXTREME’s Apple AirPlay support, the new video input resources blow me away.”

With TriCaster, anyone can simultaneously produce, live stream, broadcast, project and record HD and SD network-style productions. A single operator or small team can switch between multiple cameras, virtual inputs and live virtual sets, while inserting clips, titles and motion graphics with multi-channel effects. TriCaster is used by sports organizations, schools, broadcasters, houses of worship, webcasters, government agencies and others to provide a new level of extended programming and content to their audiences.

Numerous workflow enhancements have been added to TriCaster 850 EXTREME since the system was first introduced at NAB Show 2011, including new recording formats, system browse capability, support for multi-bitrate streaming profiles, and audio crossfade improvement. TriCaster 850 EXTREME benefits include:

  • Proprietary NewTek IsoCorder™ Technology – Multi-track recording technology lets you record up to eight channels of video, simultaneously from any input or output, with multi-format recording support (including QuickTime® and H.264) and adjustable audio headroom.

  • Apple® AirPlay® Support – Add video and audio from any Apple AirPlay source – such as iPad®, iPod®, or iPhone® – into your live production. TriCaster supports two simultaneous AirPlay audio/video streams. It’s wireless and instantly compatible with any AirPlay-enabled app or device.

  • Animation Store Transitions – Deliver transitions embedded with full-color, motion video effects and audio, from a total of 11 animation stores. The included Animation Store Creator is a transition editor that allows users to author custom animation store transitions, using their own preferred graphics software tools to prepare the animation sequences.

  • Web Stream Manager – Configure, store and import favorite streaming set-ups as presets, with support for multi-bitrate streaming profiles. Use the integrated Web browser to access online CDN accounts to manage, test or view shows, even during live production.

  • Advanced Audio Mixer – Every audio input and output includes an integrated seven-band equalizer and compressor/limiter to deliver the best possible sound, with enhanced audio crossfade.

  • Media Players – Performance enhancements include adjustable audio level settings for each clip, improved file format compatibility and function for many common file types, and more.

  • Import Media – Select and import a wider variety of media files, including Apple ProRes for use in TriCaster Media Players, with expanded file format compatibilities and quick batch processing.

  • Alpha Channel Output – Alpha output on the auxiliary video output delivers added flexibility.

  • Multi-Tiered Fail-Safe – Always on-air, multi-tiered fail-safe system and redundant hardware ensure audio and video pass-through.

  • Linear Timecode (LTC) Support – Decodes the time value from the audible signal, and uses it for clock displays and embedded timecode when recording video.


Pricing and Availability
The TriCaster family of products in NTSC is available for education in North America starting at US$4,995 and in multi-standard for US$5,995. TriCaster 850 EXTREME retails in North America for US$39,995. Through June 28, TriCaster 850 customers may upgrade to EXTREME for the special price of $12,995 (a savings of $2,000). For details and other upgrade options, please visit http://www.newtek.com. The price may vary internationally. Educational pricing is also available. For more information, please visit http://www.newtek.com , or call NewTek Sales at 800-368-5441. International callers dial +1-210-370-8000.

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Apple Launches iCloud Set of Free Cloud Services

Apple® today introduced iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free new cloud services that work seamlessly with applications on your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and automatically and wirelessly push it to all your devices. When anything changes on one of your devices, all of your devices are wirelessly updated almost instantly.

“Today it is a real hassle and very frustrating to keep all your information and content up-to-date across all your devices,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

The free iCloud services include:

  • The former MobileMe® services—Contacts, Calendar and Mail—all completely re-architected and rewritten to work seamlessly with iCloud. Users can share calendars with friends and family, and the ad-free push Mail account is hosted at me.com. Your inbox and mailboxes are kept up-to-date across all your iOS devices and computers.

  • The App Store™ and iBookstore? now download purchased iOS apps and books to all your devices, not just the device they were purchased on. In addition, the App Store and iBookstore now let you see your purchase history, and simply tapping the iCloud icon will download any apps and books to any iOS device (up to 10 devices) at no additional cost.

  • iCloud Backup automatically and securely backs up your iOS devices to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi when you charge your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Backed up content includes purchased music, apps and books, Camera Roll (photos and videos), device settings and app data. If you replace your iOS device, just enter your Apple ID and password during setup and iCloud restores your new device.

  • iCloud Storage seamlessly stores all documents created using iCloud Storage APIs, and automatically pushes them to all your devices. When you change a document on any device, iCloud automatically pushes the changes to all your devices. Apple’s Pages®, Numbers® and Keynote® apps already take advantage of iCloud Storage. Users get up to 5GB of free storage for their mail, documents and backup—which is more amazing since the storage for music, apps and books purchased from Apple, and the storage required by Photo Stream doesn’t count towards this 5GB total. Users will be able to buy even more storage, with details announced when iCloud ships this fall.

  • iCloud’s innovative Photo Stream service automatically uploads the photos you take or import on any of your devices and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices and computers. So you can use your iPhone to take a dozen photos of your friends during the afternoon baseball game, and they will be ready to share with the entire group on your iPad (or even Apple TV®) when you return home. Photo Stream is built into the photo apps on all iOS devices, iPhoto® on Macs, and saved to the Pictures folder on a PC. To save space, the last 1,000 photos are stored on each device so they can be viewed or moved to an album to save forever. Macs and PCs will store all photos from the Photo Stream, since they have more storage. iCloud will store each photo in the cloud for 30 days, which is plenty of time to connect your devices to iCloud and automatically download the latest photos from Photo Stream via Wi-Fi.

  • iTunes® in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices. In addition, music not purchased from iTunes can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match, a service that replaces your music with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version if we can match it to the over 18 million songs in the iTunes Store®, it makes the matched music available in minutes (instead of weeks to upload your entire music library), and uploads only the small percentage of unmatched music. iTunes Match will be available this fall for a $24.99 annual fee. Apple today is releasing a free beta version of iTunes in the Cloud, without iTunes Match, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users running iOS 4.3. iTunes in the Cloud will support all iPhones that iOS 5 supports this fall.


Apple is ready to ramp iCloud in its three data centers, including the third recently completed in Maiden, NC. Apple has invested over $500 million in its Maiden data center to support the expected customer demand for the free iCloud services.

Pricing & Availability
The iCloud beta and Cloud Storage APIs are available immediately to iOS and Mac Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iCloud will be available this fall concurrent with iOS 5. Users can sign up for iCloud for free on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5 or a Mac running Mac OS® X Lion with a valid Apple ID. iCloud includes 5GB of free cloud storage for Mail, Document Storage and Backup. Purchased music, apps, books and Photo Stream do not count against the storage limit. iTunes Match will be available for $24.99 per year (US only).

iTunes in the Cloud is available today in the US and requires iTunes 10.3 and iOS 4.3.3. Automatic download of apps and books is available today. Using iCloud with a PC requires Windows Vista or Windows 7; Outlook 2010 or 2007 is recommended for accessing contacts and calendars.

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Createasphere Announces San Francisco and New York Dates for Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Road Show

Createasphere - bringing together the best of the creative, production and technology communities in a dynamic experience - has set June dates for the Adobe® Creative Suite® 5.5 Production Premium Road Show in San Francisco and New York City. Road Show attendees will learn about new features introduced in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium as well as get insight on ground-breaking workflows such as native editing of DSLR footage and working with other NLEs. Adobe video experts will host the free, in-depth seminars and each venue will include a keynote presentation from Jim Guerard, Vice President and General Manager for Professional Video at Adobe.
Createasphere's Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Road Show began in Los Angeles on June 2, to an enthusiastic crowd at the LA Film School. The next stops include San Francisco and New York City on the follow dates:

June 14th - San Francisco, Adobe Headquarters, 4-9 p.m.
June 21st - New York City, The New Yorker Hotel, 4-9 p.m.

Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium delivers breakthrough, cross-platform performance and is the leading video production suite that enables video professionals to produce top-notch work by offering true native editing of file-based formats and a distinctively efficient post-production workflow.

Guerard's keynote presentation will discuss how high-performance video production software is helping a new breed of filmmakers - whom Adobe calls "Digital Mavericks" - produce their best work more quickly than ever before. He'll explore some of the game-changing innovations introduced in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium that are addressing and helping to overcome challenges users are facing in the production and broadcast industries, and how Adobe is equipped to help video professionals meet those demands-now and in the future.

The Road Show is sponsored by Blackmagic Design, Matrox, MAXON, PROMISE Technology, Drobo, G-Technology, HP, JMR, NVIDIA, and PNY. It is one of many educational initiatives by Createasphere to offer indispensable career development to professionals working in the world of content creation driven by cutting-edge technology.

A Grand Prize drawing and giveaways will be raffled throughout the evening. Space is limited. For information and registration, visit www.adoberoadshow.com.

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