Log Rolling

Plus, dealing with 1⁄4” connectors

LOGGING SOFTWARE Q Is there a standard way of getting log notes into something an editor can use? I’m mostly doing shorter projects, but some are scripted, and I get frustrated because, at the end of the day, when I get my stuff to the person doing the edit, it feels like we’re back in the dark ages, with searching through timecodes to... Read more

Lightning Strikes Twice

Plus, conquering critical focus

THUNDERBOLT 2 Q I see Thunderbolt becoming more common, but now I see a new Thunderbolt coming out. Is this like FireWire? My experience with going from FireWire to FireWire 800 wasn’t terrible, but not great. It all seemed to be about theoretical performance, but when I would use it, I wasn’t that impressed. Am I going to be disappointed... Read more

Resolving Detail

Shooting from a different perspective

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES Q I recently set up to shoot some interviews and thought about the concept of what framing I should use. Usually, I would just mix up the framing, going from medium to close-up, etc., so that once the footage got into edit they wouldn’t be hampered by jump cuts. But as I set up my gear, I got into a discussion with the... Read more

Speed Wars

Plus, getting the LED out, Part II

In the last column, I talked about LED lighting and color temperature. I recounted the experience a small studio had when evaluating LED lighting to install in a new stage. They were somewhat surprised at the variance of color temperature and, more importantly, how colors look on camera. While their tests weren’t scientific, they pointed out the... Read more

On The Wrong Track

Tracking updates, LTO warnings, and judging LED color

TRACKING Q I read with interest your column on tracking and also the information on mocha, and wanted to give tracking a try. I shot some stuff and brought it into my system and was amazed at how it all locked up solid. In the past, I would have never thought it was possible without days of tedious adjustments and flipping back and forth between frames.... Read more

Say, What?

LTO, Part II, and dealing with sync issues

In my last column, I responded to a question about how to archive all of this data we’re capturing and brought up LTO. As promised, here’s a little more about the flavors of LTO. Prior to LTO, archiving technology was spread across a number of competing and proprietary systems. Many of you have heard of DLT. This is a tape-based system,... Read more

Exposing Frames

Shutter angles, plus as the big elephant in the room: archival

SHUTTER ANGLES Q I’ve moved to using cameras that have a more cinema background, but I feel a little insecure about setting up for recording. I have a pretty good handle on how I want to set my exposure, but setting the shutter has been a bit confusing. At first, I thought I understood about changing the shutter setting and getting my brain around... Read more

Motion Fixes

Fine-tune your image with tracking

We’re in the business of moving pictures. That seems like an obvious statement, but as I was working with the tracking software mocha for this month’s issue, I was reminded of when I first tried rotoscoping a scene. It was 147 frames long (yes, I remember the number), and I painstakingly worked on each frame to remove an unwanted object. ... Read more

New Year’s Resolutions

Trying to improve our production and postproduction habits

Since this is our January/February issue, my thoughts have turned to the new year and, of course, to resolutions. And for once when I say "resolutions," I’m not referring to 4K or 2K. I mean the age-old tradition of turning over new leaves and attempting to improve ourselves. What would a column called Video Assist be without a little... Read more

The Need For Speed

Getting HD data at 24 and 30 fps can still be an issue

FASTER BETTER? Q I swapped out a FireWire drive with a new Thunderbolt drive, but the performance doesn’t seem to be that much better. Isn’t it supposed to be? John Via email A Performance with drives depends on a couple of things: how fast the data can be read from or written to the drive’s platters, and how data gets from the... Read more

Crossing The Line

HD-SDI cable, and the 180° rule explained

HD-SDI CABLE Q What’s the longest distance that I can run an SDI cable? Frank S. Forest Park, Illinois A When an analog cable run was too long, the picture quality would diminish. On the other hand, digital video cable runs give you a solid indication when you’ve gone too far: You won’t get an image. The maximum distance before... Read more

Get The Balance Right

Tiffen’s Dfx software, dealing with compression and off the beaten path at NAB

ACHIEVING THE RIGHT BALANCE Q I don’t always get the white balance right when I’m shooting. Sometimes when I’m running and gunning, I’m not looking at a good color image on a monitor. It’s not until I’m done that I realize I’ve screwed up. Then I have to hand off my footage and am really embarrassed. I was... Read more