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Fujinon introduces HD Focus assist on lenses

The latest Fujinon Precision Focus Assist system, to be introduced at NAB 2005, will be available on the company’s XA101x8.9BESM HD zoom, HA22X7.3BRD HD EFP lens and the HA13x4.5BRD-S28K HD wide-angle lens. Precision Focus Assist is a lens featurethat assists the DOP find accurate focus using a derivative of auto-focus technology. This is a functional upgrade, particularly in HD where the format has shallow dept of focus and low resolution camera viewfinders.

Although there is an auto-focus mode, the primary goal is to provide a focus indicator that is useful on wide shots with HD equipment. Once a target area is selected, indicator lights tell the camera operator when optimal focus is obtained and maintaned.

Fujinon Broadcast will be showing the Precision Focus Assist System at NAB in Booth SU6730 in the South Hall, upper floor.

Software Stocking Stuffers February 25th

Gordon Flash Decompiler 1.5

If the source isn’t available and you need to decomplile a Shockwave Flash movie, Gordon Flash Decompilter decompiles all Action Scripts and displays all movie elements of a published .swf file. You can use this to edit Flash movies without access to the original .fla project. Elements such as vector graphics, bitmap images and sound can be exported to common formats, including PDF and TIFF. Version 1.5 opens all projector screensave files, improved decompiling and performance and a tool to delete any Action Script. Commercial license US$59. Gordon Flash Decompiler may not decompile every example but it can be helpful.

Screen Query 3.1

A simple free tool that assists in determing whether your LCD or CRT monitor contains dead pixels by filling the screen with a solid color and hiding the cursor. Yes, CRTs can have the equivalent of dead pixels if there is missing phosphor on the screen or occlusion.

Adobe Audition: Frequency Space Editing in Audition 1.5 – Removing palm hits from an acoustic guitar recording

Chapter: Audio

Topic: Improving Bad Sound

Recently I was faced with a thorny problem on an acoustic guitar recording, where the guitar player had thumped his hand on the body of the guitar while keeping time during a quiet moment. So the mission became to try removing it without messing up the continuity of the recording. The next step was to try the Frequency Space Editing tool in Adobe Audition 1.5, and it worked beautifully. Part of the strength of this tool is its intuitive†visual approach to finding the exact spot of a certain audio frequency event. You can easily identify an event that’s markedly different from the rest of the frequencies this way.


Miranda reveals DV-Bridge Cam

Miranda’s DV-Bridge Cam is a small DV-to-SDI that mounts on the camera to give lightweight DV Cameras an SDI output for integration of DV cameras into an SDI facility. The target usage is to creat an affordable auxiliary SDI camera for mobile trucks.

It’s an elegant way for broadcasters to take advantage of DV cameras.

The DV-Bridge Cam can be powered by the camera battery. It outputs SDI with embedded timecode.

No link is yet on the Miranda website, but clearly the DV-Bridge Cam is clearly an extension of the DV-Bridge+ and DV-Bridge Pro product lines.

Elemental Audio introduce Finalis

With a choice of three limiting algorithms, Elemental Audio’s Finalis prevents distortion and controls audio levels while maximizing audio loudness. This RTAS, VST or Audio Unit plug-in is equally useful for preventing an occasional over-limit level excursion or for pushing average levels up without driving the peaks into distortion.

The three algorithms give you control over the way the limiter behaves and, ultimately, the "sound". Although there are three algorithms there are only two primary controls preventing complexity. In most cases you’ll add the plug-in and make a small change to Release or Reaction and you’re done.

Finalis has built-in Peak, RMS and Peak-hold metering for monitoring what is happening to your audio, and includes a new meter – Crest Factor. Crest Factors is used to ensure you don’t kill your audio dynamics (unintentionally).

In appropriate hosts (Pro Tools) Finalis supports 192 kHz audio. US$139.00 from Elemental Audio. OS X or Windows XP required along with a suitable host application. No definitive word on whether the Audio Unit version will work in Final Cut Pro or not.

Sony DSR-400 and 450WS DVCAM Camcorders

Sony has announced two new professional DVCAM camcorders. The two models are based on the same chassis but the DSR-400 is a standard 4:3 2/3" PowerHAD EX CCD while the DSR-45WS is a 16:9 Widescreen version of the camera. Both camcorders ship with a 2.5 inch flip-out screen, adjustable shoulder pads and menu assignable side mounted switches. Instead of the switches being hard-wired to functions, the camera operator can assign any of the available functions to any of the switches to suit their immediate needs.

They "capture images at 60i" at 24 PsF, 25 PsF (PAL model only) and 30 PsF implying that the progressive modes are not true progressive images. PsF (also written pSF) stands for Progressive Segmented Frames and is an adaption of interlaced recording to carry progressive images. With PsF the segments (fields) are from the same moment in time and when re-integrated on the monitor will show a progressive display. In PsF both fields are captured at the same moment in time.

The PowerHAD CCD delivers high performance with improvements in dynamic range, sensitivity and a -65 dB signal-to-noise ratio. Vertical smear is virtually non-existent at -140 dB relative to the signal. The DSR-450WS model has a slow shutter feature for extremely low-light shooting at the expense of

The two modesl are a rugged design aimed at the electronic news gathering, event videography, corporate and electronic cinematogrphy markets. Both models record in DVCAM or DV formats on small or large cassettes. In DV mode a large cassette will record 4.5 hours. An iLink®/FireWire/IEEE1394 interface is standard on both cameras.

The DSR-400 is scheduled for March at a MSRP of US$10,800; a DSR-400K with 17x Fujinon lens in March at $12,700. The DSR-450WS is scheduled for "Spring" at a MSRP of UW$18,000. No doubt both camcorders will be on display at NAB.

Akamai delivers Flash Video

In a major boost for Flash video, Akamai announced that their EdgePlatform network will deliver video to Macromedia Flash Player. Companies can deliver Interactive Flash video for product demonstrations, announcements, sales training and TV shows with the same high reliability of the Akamai network as is already enjoyed for QuickTime, Windows Media and Real Media.

On the face of it, Akamai see the demand for Flash video being on a par with the "big three" in a recognition of the way that Flash has grown as a delivery format from it’s starting point as a lightweight, low bandwidth vector delivery format to a streaming media competitor. This clearly looks ahead to the upcoming release of the next generation of Flash video expected to be Windows Media/H.264 quality competitive – something that Flash video is not currently.

Using Akamai’s delivery network frees producers from the complications of deploying a video on demand network for multiple browsers and platforms. Content is uploaded ot Akamai NetStorage facilities for delivery across the Akamai network. The terms and conditions of Flash delivery are slightly different from the "big three" requiring a leased NetStore.

Akamai-delivered Flash requires Flash Player 6 or higher. the service starts at approximately US$2000 up to several hundred-thousand dollars depending on usage levels.

Wiebetech release High Power PCI FireWire Host Adapter

Wiebetech’s latest FireWire PCI Host adapter is configured for connecting bus powered drives. Each of the three ports on the card support up to 15 watts of power for the attached FireWire device.

Each card includes two 9 pin FireWire 800 ports (800 Mbits/sec, will slow down for 400Mbit/sec devices) and one 6 pin FireWire 400 port (400 Mbits/sec, will slow for 200 and 100 Mbits/sec devices like some DV Camcorders).

The unit is plug and play on OS X, Windows XP and Linux systems that support FireWire 800. MSRP is $190 and delivery is "2-5 weeks". An AC Power supply is included to supply DC power to the card independent of the host computer’s power supply. Although a power supply is required, it is only one power supply instead of needing one each for three or more drives saving power outlets and cable mess.

Sony Vegas: Red Book CD Burning in Vegas – And you thought this was a video app

Chapter: Audio

Topic: Audio Input and Output

Sony ‘s Vegas 5† has got to be one of the best bargains in video editing software. Recently I discovered that Vegas also can burn Red Book audio CDs with ISRC (digital ID), UPC (barcode), and PQ coding (song location and timing). I thought this was a video editing app! But Vegas 5 is kind of a Swiss Army knife. In addition to its comprehensive video editing tools, it includes a first rate audio editing and mixing environment.


Adobe Illustrator: Illustrator Objects to After Effects Layers – Lifting objects to individual layers

Chapter: Compositing Tools and Techniques

Topic: Compositing or Layering

You’ve created several dozen objects in Adobe Illustrator , and now you want to animate them in After Effects . Problem: No matter what you try, the objects don’t come into After Effects as individual layers, but as one single layer. The preventative solution would have been to create each of your objects on its own separate layer in Illustrator. But, since it’s too late for that now, what can you do short of manually moving each of your objects into a new layer? I’ll tell you.