Sunday, August 26, 2007

4:4:4:4 and New CineForm Builds

Normally, I don't post here about new software releases, as we do so many with pretty regular one month release cycles, but these new builds have been a while in the works. One issue with being a "middleware" company, as some VCs have called us, is we are a little at the whim of what the big players do. Adobe releases CS3 with lots of under-documented "features" that we now have to work around, new cameras with new formats (seemingly weekly), Sony Vegas revisions (released almost as often as CineForm), Apple FCS major revisions, and, of course, Microsoft Vista (big headache.)

Sometimes, it seems hard to find the time to add features to our products, rather than just patching features of others. Note: sometimes that is to the advantage of CineForm that we can patch features of the bigger guys; we are the glue that makes this stuff work. While there are plenty of patches for the above tools, we did have time to put in some cool new stuff that I didn't want to go unnoticed. In the NEO 2K and Prospect 2K lines there is now extensive support for 4:4:4 with Alpha channels (4:4:4:4), at 12-bits per channel -- this is a first for any visually lossless compression product. While adding 4:4:4 a few months back has a clear market with dual link recording and film-out mastering, 4:4:4:4 was created with pure speculation that there is a market for it (given that that is typically the domain of uncompressed.) I hope that it finds its way into some interesting applications, if so, please tell me how you use it.

The latest versions of the CineForm tools are available here :

Update : The new NEO HD/2K and Prospect HD/2K builds now include a license to the Mac codec. See the press release for details.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Our latest movie shot with the SI-2K

Now, there is always a huge story about what went right and wrong when doing the 48 Hour Film Project, and we had lots of both--maybe I will get into that later. Unfortunately, we were not eligible for competition this year, as we submitted our film two hours late (The "50 hour film project"), along with 17 other late teams of the initial 49 (with two not submitting.) We did get selected as one of the films for the "best of" screening, so it was not a total bust, and of course we (mostly) had fun (and stress) making it.

We shot with two SI-2K minis, one production unit with a P/L mount Super-16 zoom and one older prototype with a C-mount Canon TV zoom -- the $50 lens from last year. There will be a whole post with more technical details soon.

This year we got the genre of Fantasy.

Required elements:
Character : Alex Gomm, County Employee
Prop : A spoon
Line of dialogue : "Keep that thing away from me."

To save to your local drive, as it is too big to stream (350MBytes), right click on the download link for a 720p WMV/HD version of Sir Late-a-Lot or here for a poor quality youtube version.

P.S. If you want to see what we did last year, here is the and HD links to Burnin' Love .