Get the Latest BuZZ Each Week

Producer’s Corner: December 27, 2012

Tonight on the Digital Production BuZZ, as Larry Jordan and Michael Horton take their places in front of the microphones and as listeners from over 170 countries in the world settle down for another live show, I am struck by how fortunate we are to be able to share this time together.

Since September of 2007, when Larry asked me to produce the BuZZ for him, the search has been on each week for very special guests who would enjoy being on the air with us and who would have something timely to share. From the industry veteran who has been around for 40 years, to the newcomer with a great start-up, everyone who has visited us has left a mark on the BuZZ’s legacy. I am constantly amazed at how much there is to learn and share in our business! It sure is fun.

All who work on the BuZZ are industry veterans with jobs and lives that take them to all corners of the world, yet they continue to devote their time on a regular basis to help our show be what it is, the longest-running tech podcast on the planet! Thanks tonight to all our regulars listed above who are once again sharing their knowledge with us! We are so grateful.

Thanks to you, our listeners, as well. We get emails from people who have learned something new or been inspired to carry-on throughout he hard times and also from those who wish to celebrate their successes and good times. Could it be that in our industry more than any other, we are surrounded by kindred and creative souls? Seems like it from where I sit!

So, as we gather for our sixth annual “look back and look forward” show, I invite you to just sit back and enjoy an hour of friendly discussion with some of our industry’s greatest minds.

After the show, you might want to visit our archived and individually searchable interviews (over 900 to date!). Spend some time discovering the many resources available to you there: Interview Archives.

Of course, we invite you to subscribe to us on iTunes.

And, if you are so inclined, please tell your friends about us. We don’t advertise, so this has all been built by your word-of-mouth. This is all for you, our listener!

And, most of all, thanks for letting us into your homes every week!

Happy New Year! 

May 2013 be the best ever for you, your family and all your friends.


Feel free to write me with guest suggestions!


Cirina Catania
Producer, Digital Production BuZZ

Digital Production Buzz — Dec. 27, 2012

  • 2012 Year in Review
  • What were the highlights and what are the trends?
  • Hardware, Software, and Plug-ins
  • Production, Labor, and Jobs

GUESTS: Ned Soltz, Philip Hodgetts, Michael Kammes, Michele Yamazaki, Bruce Nazarian, Jonathan Handel, Jessica Sitomer, and Cirina Catania

Click to listen to the current show.
(Mobile users click the MP3 player underneath image.)

*Right click on Download and “Save Link As…”

2012 In Review

New interviews every show! Join Larry Jordan and Michael Horton this week as they talk with:

Cirina Catania, Producer, Digital Production Buzz

Cirina Catania is the Producer of the Digital Production Buzz. As such, she is integral to everything we do, from booking guests to keeping her eye on our entire industry to figure out what guests we need to book, and what issues we need to talk about. She will be on mic with us during the entire show, which is a rare treat for us, providing her perspectives on the industry.

Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, DV Magazine

We start our look back at 2012 with Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor for DV Magazine. We asked Ned to share his thoughts on the key hardware trends, cameras, codecs, and interoperability issues that caught his attention during the last year. Then, we’ll ask him the hard question: “What do we need to pay attention to in 2013?”

Philip Hodgetts, CEO, Intelligent Assistance

With Ned Soltz setting the basic hardware scene, its time for Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Intelligent Assistance, to join the conversation on key software trends for 2012. We asked Philip to expand his gaze beyond editing software and look at some of the bigger software issues that we are grappling with.

Michael Kammes, Director of Technology and Marketing, Key Code Media

Michael Kammes, Director of Technology and Marketing for Key Code Media, then adds his thoughts to the discussion as he looks at the trends revealed by the editing software we use every day. Not just the latest features, but how are they perceiving where the industry is headed, and what have they done to position us for it.

Michele Yamazaki, VP of Marketing, Toolfarm

Next, Michele Yamazaki, VP of Marketing, Toolfarm adds her thoughts on how plug-in technology is changing. Plug-ins are now doing tasks that we used to expect our main editing software to handle. How did plug-in developers see the market evolve over the year and what trends can we look forward to next year?

Bruce Nazarian, The Digital Guy

Bruce Nazarian, The Digital Guy, is back after a long absence doing radio. So we want to pick his brain about how audio has evolved over this last year. Not just the tools but the music. He’ll also give us his thoughts on key audio plug-ins that helped to define the audio market in 2012.

Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Labor Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter

We wrap up with labor issues and getting jobs. Jonathan Handel, entertainment labor reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, takes a look back at the Hollywood Guilds, the election, and the challenges for labor in the current economy. This time, we asked him to use a wider view as he shares his take on 2012 trends.

Jessica Sitomer, CEO, The Greenlight Coach

The Buzz would not be complete without Jessica Sitomer, President of The Greenlight Coach, sharing her thoughts on how the job market evolved during 2012 with her ideas on where the jobs are and the trends we need to watch in 2013.

It’s an amazing year-end show – with a stunning group of industry leaders and commentators. The Buzz is all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

The Digital Production BuZZ airs LIVE Thursday from 6-7 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Ask questions during the show on our Live Chat, listen live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!

Pixologic Releases ZBrush 4R5

AV3 Software has announced that whether it’s browsing the internet for inspiration or accessing pictures from a database or library on your computer, Pixologic’s ZBrush 4R5 gives you unparalleled artistic freedom to do what counts: design. With the addition of features like Quick Save, Mouse Wheel Support and a new See-Through mode, you’ll have more time for exploring your creativity without leaving ZBrush.

Here’s the techy stuff:

Topology and Geometry

Panel Loops

With Panel Loops you can convert your model’s PolyGroups into panels of polygons with or without thickness, or even as extruded surfaces. The edges of these panels are created with a custom bevel around them defined by an editable curve. This is a great companion to ZBrush’s existing Mesh Extract feature, providing advanced control over the final result.

Delete Loops

The new Delete Loops command analyzes your model’s topology based on a user-defined angle setting. With a single click it removes all unnecessary edge loops – polygons that don’t contribute to the shape of the model. Not only is this a blessing for artists who must work within a polygon budget (such as game designers), it also allows you to push your high resolution sculpting farther. After all, unnecessary polygons add up quickly when you subdivide your model several times!

Incidentally, pushing the limits of the Delete Loops settings can be an interesting way to quickly explore alternate designs by producing original models derived from the original polygon structure.

Align Loops

A companion to the Delete Loops feature, Align Loops uses the same settings but doesn’t actually remove any polygons. Instead it moves them to what you would get if you’d used the Delete Loops function. In this way you can push the settings to their extremes in a non-destructive manner and quickly explore new directions.


As mentioned above, the new Panel Loop feature is the newest in a series of functions that work from your model’s PolyGroups. To that end, ZBrush 4R5 provides even more features for quickly and accurately assigning PolyGroups to your model. The new Merge Stray Groups function lets you “clean” the results of ZBrush’s automatic PolyGroup creation tools such as PolyGroups from PolyPaint.

You can also now automatically create PolyGroups based upon Surface Normals.

Creasing can be added to a surface or removed from it based upon PolyGroup edges alone. This ignores creases that are elsewhere on the model, running through the middle of the PolyGroups.

Polish by Feature

The Deformation sub-palette now has Relax options including Polish by Feature, which intelligently improves your mesh’s shape without sacrificing volume. It produces beautiful by analyzing the model’s PolyGroups, creasing and split areas.

Improved Frame Mesh

The Curves Frame Mesh option can now create curves based on the model’s PolyGroups, creased edges or outline. These curves can then be used with any of the curve-based sculpting brushes like Curve Multi Tube or even QRemesher Guides.

Workflow, Usability Improvements and More


Saving your work has been streamlined with the addition of Quick Save. This feature supplements your regular saves by creating uniquely named backups which can be made with or without the Project History. Each time a QuickSave is called for, it creates a new project with incremental numbering. By default, ZBrush will cycle between ten QuickSaves but you can change it through the Preferences settings to as many as one hundred.

Auto Save

If you have ever become so focused on creating that you’ve lost track of time and forgotten to save your work (and who hasn’t had this happen?) you will appreciate the new Auto Save feature! If you step away from your computer or switch to another application for a few minutes, ZBrush will add a new QuickSave to the existing series. This turns QuickSave into an Auto Save process!

This feature isn’t limited to inactivity either. You can also set ZBrush to automatically perform a QuickSave after a specified amount of time has passed since your last save. This gives you total freedom to save when you wish, but also security for those times when you simply forget.

See-Through Mode

Sometimes as you work you might find yourself searching for reference images on the internet or maybe referring to an image already loaded into another program. Or maybe you’ll be working through an online tutorial and don’t want to constantly switch back and forth between ZBrush and the instructions. Whatever your reasons, the new See-Through option lets you make the entire ZBrush window partially transparent so that you can see what’s in the other windows behind it.

You can now save time by skipping the need to switch between windows, print stuff out or even load reference images into ZBrush to be able to work against them!

Mouse Wheel Support

Scrolling your mouse wheel up or down can now be assigned to any slider in place of a hotkey. Simply assign the hotkey like you normally would but scroll the mouse wheel instead of pressing a key.

Switching Between the Mask and Selection Brushes

To improve your workflow when using the Selection and Masking brushes, you can now use the Ctrl/Cmd key to between the various Selection and Masking brushes without the need to cancel your current stroke.

Dynamic Brush Size

Makes it possible for the brush size to dynamically change as the model moves closer or further away from the camera. This becomes extremely helpful when sculpting items such as bolts, alpha pattern, scales, and etc. No matter the distance the model is from the camera the bolt, alpha pattern and scales will remain the same size due to the brush dynamically changing.

Click for more information about ZBrush 4R5.

Eyeon Ships Connection v1.5

Eyeon has updated its Eyeon Connection plug-in for Avid’s AVX2 architecture to v1.5, adding new features to its round-trip functionality between Eyeon Fusion and Avid Media Composer, Symphony, NewsCutter, and DS.

By building a bridge between Avid’s NLE environment and Fusion’s node-based compositing tools, Connection is (like Autodesk’s new Smoke 2013) a way for editors to get at high-end VFX functionality and see that work reflected on their editorial timeline.

New features incorporated in v1.5 include single layer and node multi-input from DS composite containers; clip and track effect support for DS containers, support for 10-bit video remapping to 16-bit float in Media Composer and Symphony, and to 32-bit float in DS 11.02; VFX comp versioning, allowing editors to view and switch VFX results on the Avid timeline; uncompressed or compressed Fusion raw files; and faster processing from the Media Composer and Symphony timelines.

Click for more information about Eyeon Connection v1.5 with the Avid DS.

EditShare Adds New Features to Shared Storage, Archiving, Video Server and MAM Solutions

EditShare, the technology leader in shared media storage and end-to-end tapeless workflow solutions, has announced the release of EditShare Shared Storage 6.3, Ark 2.3, Flow 2.3 and Geevs 5.3. The new versions include many enhancements and features that simplify workflows and improve the overall user experience.

New Enhancements for EditShare Shared Storage Version 6.3:

  • Per-Media-Space Selection of OS X Network Protocols – By specifying the use of either the SMB or AFP protocol for mounting each Media Space on a space-by-space basis, administrators can pick the best network protocol for each application without the risk of mixing protocols on the same space. This allows EditShare Shared Storage users to safely leverage the increased power and performance of AFP for high data rate codecs and applications on OS X.
  • Project Browser Compatibility for Adobe Premiere Pro in Windows – This matches the existing functionality for OS X-based Premiere projects. By using the Project Browser, multiple editors can safely open the same Premiere Pro project with the assurance that only one editor at a time will get read/write access to the project. Premiere editors can open a locked project in read-only mode in order to review it or copy project elements into their own project.
  • Read-Only Access for Avid Style Spaces – You can now limit users on Avid Style spaces to read-only access, extending the same fine-grained user permissions available in other EditShare space types to this Avid workflow.

New Enhancements for Flow Version 2.3:

  • Enhanced Frame Rate, Raster, Codec, and Wrapper Support – Flow 2.3 has vastly improved the range of codec support for SDI Ingest, File-based Ingest, and Scanning functions. Full support has now been extended for progressive frame rates/rasters, including 1080p (23.98, 25, 29.97) and 720p (23.98, 29.97, 60) in many codecs and wrappers. Also included are support for QuickTime-wrapped DNxHD and AVC-Intra, as well as support for EditShare’s patented Universal Media Files now using the DNxHD codec. Flow has also extended its File-based Ingest support to recognize many additional cameras and devices.
  • Asset Groups – The new Flow Asset Groups tab gives administrators an additional way to grant users permission to browse and search for clips in Flow Browse. It allows specified users to browse clips from Media Spaces that have been deleted, so that they can bring material back to online storage from the archive. It also allows a specified user to browse clips in Flow without granting them permission to mount the Media Space and access the high-resolution files.

New Enhancements for Ark Version 2.3:

  • Deletion From Ark Disk Via Flow Browse – Customers who have both Ark Disk and Flow can now delete individual clips from their Ark Disk nearline storage. Using the Flow Browse interface, authorized users can search for clips based on any criteria, including how long a clip has resided on Ark Disk, or whether there is also a copy on Ark Tape, and then delete all matching clips with one click thereby freeing up nearline storage space.
  • Storage to Ark Disk to Ark Tape Migration Workflow – Leveraging the new ability to delete individual clips from Ark Disk, it is now possible to institute “migration” workflows where clips move down through different “tiers” of storage. A clip might start out on EditShare storage, then be backed up to Ark Disk, and only deleted from Ark Disk or EditShare Storage after being successfully backed up on Ark Tape.
  • Ark Tape Backup Verification – This new option provides additional checks to ensure that Ark Backup/Archive jobs have been successfully written to LTO tapes.

New Enhancements for Geevs 5.3:

  • Capture and Playout of QuickTime (.mov) Wrapped XDCAM-EX and XDCAM-HD Are Now Supported – At either 35 or 50 megabits, this provides a space-effective HD codec alternative for immediate exchange between QuickTime-based NLE’s and ingest/playout.
  • Updates to Studio Multicam and Geevs Live User Interfaces – Based on user feedback, additional sorting, metadata and display features have been added to the Geevs Client applications. These features enhance productivity, accuracy, and speed.

Click for more information about EditShare Shared Storage, Ark, Flow and Geevs.

Picture-in-Picture Plugin Released for Final Cut Pro X

Noise Industries, developer of visual effects tools for the post-production and broadcast markets, introduces Tokyo PiPinator to FxFactory. An advanced but simple-to-use picture-in-picture effect, PiPinator brings the power of menu-driven animation and a wealth of useful features exclusively to Final Cut Pro X. Editors can create elegant and original composites without the need for keyframing. Tokyo PiPinator is available now through FxFactory.

Key Features of Tokyo PiPinator:

  • Many Options to Choose From: Tokyo PiPinator can be found in the FCP X Effects library and comes with five modules to choose from, making it easy to find the ideal set-up for any animation.
  • Build Elaborate Composites: While the effect is perfect for single image picture-in-picture animation, it’s very easy to use multiple layers of the effect to build up elaborate composites.
  • Maximum Control Means Maximum Creativity: With Tokyo PiPinator, editors have maximum control over every aspect of the effect, combined with the maximum ease of use, so they can spend time being creative – without having to worry about keyframes.
  • So Easy to Use: Changes are quick to make and equally quick to fine tune, whether it’s motion path, scaling, rotation, cropping, image offset, border, drop shadow, reflection and more. You design – PiPinator takes care of the rest.

Click for more information about Tokyo PiPinator.

iStopMotion for iPad 2 Is Here and You’re Going to Like the Sound of It

Boinx Software has annouced, just in time for the holidays, iStopMotion for iPad 2 gives moviemakers of all ages and skill levels new audio tools to make their animations sound even better. New iStopMotion audio capabilities mimic the ingenuity of the platform that hosts it, the iPad, providing a variety of ways to incorporate sound and flex your creative genius.

No matter where it comes from – iTunes, Dropbox, the highly popular music website SoundCloud or another iPad app – iStopMotion for iPad 2 provides the workspace and toolbox to manage audio easily, including a sound waveform in the Timeline. Users can record soundtracks directly in the app before capturing animations, dub them after the fact or import pre-recorded soundtracks. The brand new Navigator displays the complete animation at a glance, letting moviemakers scrub through frames easily. With better control and more sound effects, users can convey the full emotion of their animation whether it is a drama, comedy or thriller.

New Features in iStopMotion for iPad 2:

  • Step Inside the App and Get Lost in the Music –  Animators can now record audio right inside iStopMotion for iPad, either before capturing frames or after while watching the clips play back. Already have the script written? Record it into iStopMotion for iPad 2 then animate frames to the soundtrack. Or work vice versa. The app provides ultimate control over recording, including an option to limit the sound bite to the length of the current clip and an audio reader displaying the audio signal coming into the iPad. By default, the app uses the iPad’s built-in microphone, but animators can use any microphone or other sound input device compatible with the iPad. Preview the sound to ensure it’s just right, then enjoy watching and listening to your original masterpiece.
  • An Endless Supply of Audio –  With music libraries overflowing with songs, a multitude of programs to create original music and sound effects galore available on the Internet, we’re inundated with sound. Now, iStopMotion for iPad provides even more ways of importing those external audio files into a stop motion animation or time lapse film. In addition to pulling in music from the iPad’s Music Library, animators can import music or a pre-recorded soundtrack from Dropbox or SoundCloud, or copy audio files prepared on a computer to iStopMotion for iPad 2 via iTunes File Sharing. iPad pros can even use a separate app, like djay from Algoriddim, to create audio and open it in iStopMotion.
  • Help Along the Way is Music To Your Ears –  Getting started, iStopMotion for iPad’s “Working with Audio” guide will assist all moviemakers with adding in sound, whether they’re recording audio within the app or importing it from one of its many sources. After audio is recorded, an audio waveform appears on top of the animation’s timeline. With a visual representation of their movie’s sound, animators can easily recognize significant events in the soundtrack, making it easy to match sound with the animation. Imported audio files are automatically stored in iStopMotion for iPad’s audio library for future use.
  • Get the Full Picture With a Brand New Navigator –  iStopMotion for iPad 2 now features a Navigator in addition to the classic Timeline, which displays the full animation from start to finish at a glance. Animators can click and drag the Navigator’s slider to scrub through clips or quick-jump to specific scenes by tapping the desired section. The Navigator can also be hidden to provide a larger workspace for animating.
  • iStopMotion for iPad 2 SPECIAL Pricing and Availability –  To celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of the iStopMotion product family, for a limited time only, iStopMotion for iPad 2 is available from the App Store or as a free upgrade for existing users. Its companion app, iStopMotion Remote Camera, is also available now from the App Store for free. Give the gift of animation by gifting iStopMotion for iPad 2 to friends and family. iStopMotion for the Mac is also on sale. Special pricing for both apps ends December 28th.

Click for more information about iStopMotion for iPad.

Producer’s Corner: December 20, 2012

We have an interesting, eclectic and inspiring show tonight!

David Lewandski, animator extraordinaire turned director at Pulse Films, gives us the back-story of his incredible work building an animated arm for Elijah Wood for Flying Lotus’ music video, Tiny Tortures. David’s work has recently been seen in Tron and will be featured in the upcoming Tom Cruise starrer, Oblivion. Check out the eerie and very cool video on Vimeo.

Then Terry Curren, Founder of the Editor’s Lounge and Alpha Dogs post production house is chatting with Larry and Michael about the best and worst of 2012.

Brian Arrowood, National Sales Director for StreamVu represents a company that provides everything we need to stream our content on the web. This solution is different from others we’ve spoken with in the recent past and I know you will find it fascinating. For a very modest cost, producers can create their own network and stream live, on demand or via a pay-per-view solution.

And because we know that the last week has been very difficult for all of us as we watched the events unfold from Newtown, Connecticutt, we thought we would take a few moments to think about what is important, and that is – love. Kathleen Kinsolving wrote a popular book called, “Dogs of War,” and will be with us to talk about the amazing group of K-9 rescue dogs from a Lutheran mission in Chicago who traveled 800 miles to Newtown to bring comfort to the victims’ families and friends. What do we have that binds us during times of crisis, if not compassion?

Thank you for listening to our show.

Feel free to write me with guest suggestions!


Cirina Catania
Producer, Digital Production BuZZ

Digital Production Buzz — Dec. 20, 2012

  • World-class animated graphics for Tron: Legacy
  • Behind the Scenes at the Editor’s Lounge
  • Distributing Web-based Branded Content
  • Dogs of War…. and peace.

GUESTS: David Lewandowski, Terry Curren, Brian Arrowood, and Kathleen Kinsolving

Click to listen to the current show.
(Mobile users click the MP3 player underneath image.)

*Right click on Download and “Save Link As…”

New interviews every show! Join Larry Jordan and Michael Horton this week as they talk with:

David Lewandowski, Filmmaker and Animator

David Lewandowski is an animator turned director. In 2008 he began creating original works, and in 2011 his focus shifted to the intersection of comedy and visual effects. Recently, he created an amazing animated arm for Elijah Wood in Flying Lotus’ video “Tiny Tortures.” We want to talk with him about how he created the graphics for Tron: Legacy, as well as Tiny Tortures.

Terry Curren, Founder/President, Alpha Dogs, Inc.

Terry Curren, Founder and President of Alpha Dogs, Inc., has been hosting the Editor’s Lounge since 2004. This is a regular roundtable discussion on the craft of editing. This week, he shares his insights on the industry with a look back at 2012 in the world of post production. (And, knowing Terry, we’ll probably get some good stories in the bargain.)

Brian Arrowood, National Sales Director, StreamVu

StreamVu is a branded portal that distributes video content via the Internet. Brian Arrowood, National Sales Director for StreamVu, has a long background in broadcast sports and entertainment. We invited him to join us this week to share his insights on how filmmakers can leverage this new platform to distribute their projects.

Kathleen Kinsolving, Author, “Dogs of War”

In memory of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticutt, we invited Kathleen Kinsolving, author of the book “Dogs of War,” to talk with us about the K9 Rescue dogs that just journeyed 800 miles from Chicago to Newtown to comfort the families of the victims at funerals and other gatherings.

The Buzz is all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

The Digital Production BuZZ airs LIVE Thursday from 6-7 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Ask questions during the show on our Live Chat, listen live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!

Schneider Optics Debuts Compact ND Kit for 114mm/CP.2 Lenses

Schneider Optics introduces the Schneider Compact ND Kit for 114mm diameter lenses. The neutral density filter kit provides a low profile clamp-on locking ring adapter that is designed to mount 4-1/2 inch filters included in the kit on camera lenses such as the Zeiss CP.2 and Canon Cinema EOS Primes.

The Compact ND Kit answers the specific need of cinematographers working with 114mm diameter lenses with no front threads, and for situations where using a regular mattebox to mount filters would cause too much weight, time to mount, or wind drag. Neutral Density filters are used to reduce the amount of light transmitted into the lens. Such filters are commonly used to allow the use of larger lens apertures, reducing depth of field to allow selective focus and rack focus.

Schneider’s Low Profile Clamp-on 114mm Sunshade (not included in the kit) can be mounted on the Compact ND Kit assembly to minimize stray light from causing unwanted image issues, such as lens flare.

The kit, available now, includes three genuine Schneider Neutral Density filters in strengths of 0.6 (2 stops), 0.9 (3 stops), and 1.2 (4 stops).

Click for more information about Schneider Optics’ Compact ND Kit for 114mm/CP.2 Lenses.