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Recent Blog Posts in December 2010

December 13, 2010
  Reducation — Part 2
Posted By Daniel Restuccio
Last week I dropped in to Createasphere's Reducation, the week-long immersive training course taught by Red's leader of the rebellion, Ted Schilowitz, and OffHollywood's founder/CTO, Mark Pederson. Schilowitz has always been the man that has this infectious dynamic energy. His smart enthusiasm combines the excitement of a kid that is constantly being handed really cool toys with the intelligence of an engineer who can quote you the science behind how it works. This was the 7th Reducation and it was held for the first time at Red Studios in Hollywood.

"The original intent," says Schilowitz, "was to give training that came directly from the Red company." The comprehensive curriculum, divided into the broad categories of Red Tech and Red Post, covers everything from the detailed workings of the Red camera to the intricacies of post production.  One of the dramatic highlights of the class is the ability to shoot footage with the Red One and then see your dailies projected in 4K on the super bright (21K lumens) Sony SRX-T420 projector on a 40-foot screen. This year included an in-depth demonstration of the Epic camera and an entire day devoted to shooting 3D with Red.

"We're a learn as you go dynamic," continues Schilowitz. "The technology moves so fast that pretty much every class we have something to talk about."

One of the intriguing components of the class is the demonstration of third-party Red-related hardware and software such as Element Technica's Quasar 3D system, Lightiron's OutPost system, the Foundry's Storm and Nuke software, R3D Datamanager and Qtake HD among many others. Red Community Day, which happened in the evening after normal classes, was like a mini-trade show featuring all kinds of accessory camera and post production gear. This greatly enhanced the in-class instruction by underscoring the fact that Red is not just a camera but an entire technology system.

Schilowitz says the three "take aways" he wants his students to walk out with are: "Learn how simple and user friendly the camera is; learn how logical the post production options are and how many of them there are; and know that what we are talking about in class is not the only way to do things but it's what we believe, and the experts in the room believe, are the best practices."

To Be Continued: Stay tuned for more break out bloggiing information about break out components of Reducation, the Epic camera and shooting on Spider-Man 3D.

The next Createasphere Reducation will be offered in May, 2011.
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December 06, 2010
  Universal Studios unveils virtual stage
Posted By Barry Goch
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA — Last week, Universal Studios introduced its new virtual filmmaking stage, Universal Virtual Stage 1. Located on the Universal’s backlot, Stage 36 has been transformed into a state-of-the-art digital production studio. It’s a turnkey digital production space that features a 40x80-foot greenscreen cyc with embedded motion capture sensors and ceiling mounted camera tracking markers. In addition to the stage, the facility also features a conference room with CineSync and RV software for global collaboration and six artist workstations featuring Autodesk’s Maya and Motionbuilder attached to 60TB of storage. Each room features a live feed from the nearby stage.

The Virtual Stage’s highlight is the realtime interactivity it allows directors. It works like this: You load a low-poly model into the software or use pre-built models such as Universal’s own revamped New York Street backlot location. The real camera is then synced to the virtual camera in the 3D scene. Next, bring in the talent and go. They’ve married tons of complex technology — camera tracking, motion capture, and realtime keying — into a turnkey solution for filmmakers.

The stage is pre-rigged to work with a Red One digital camera and lenses. For the demonstration, the camera was mounted on a calibrated 24-foot Technojib camera crane. Other cameras and lenses may be used, and the stage can be configured to work with multiple cameras as well.
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