The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

CAT | Technology

My day job is with both Intelligent Assistance, and Lumberjack System. Intelligent Assistance was featured at a recent event on the Focus workflow hosted by Light Iron. The videos have just gone up.

Intelligent Assistance’s involvement starts about 10 minutes into the first workflow video.

And the mention of my Conquering Metadata book is in Part 2 at 3’40”

Sync-N-Link is a specialized app used on productions that shoot picture and sound on separate devices, with matching time-of-day timecode. What we discovered in talking about it a few night ago, is how Sync-N-Link has been at the forefront of evolving workflows over the roughly six years the two versions have been in release.

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For anyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock, you might have noticed that Focus released this week, and edited on Final Cut Pro X. For Greg and I it is the final chapter in a story that started with an email and subsequent phone call in December 2012. We worked closely with the editorial team to make our software tools meet their needs. What I didn’t realize until recently is that my little book Conquering the Metadata Foundations of Final Cut Pro X had a role in this story too.

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CNET are reporting that the February 25th Episode (Season 6 Episode 16) was shot with iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 (with a little assist from a MacBook Pro). An iPad Air 2 was my primary “camera” for my family history video shoot back in early January.

Of recent time I’ve been discussing my minimalist production kit. Well, in our neighborhood today, we had exactly the opposite.

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How small can a high quality production kit go? It depends on the usage, but the kit I used for a recent trip to Tasmania to record interviews for a family history project. This is the same kit I discussed in A New Production Haiku recently. I also discussed the audio portion in more details Larry Jordan’s Digital Production BuZZ on February 5th. The BuZZ segment is below the LACPUG presentation.

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Feb/15

2

Why I Love Keyword Ranges

One of the Final Cut Pro X features that really resonates with me, is Keyword Ranges, and by extension, Keyword Collections. I realize now that this enchantment is because Keyword Ranges are a very pure embodiment of Content Metadata. I also realize now, that I’d been simulating this approach in other software, for as long as I can remember. In order to understand better, we’ll need to take a little trip to the past.

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In early 2012 I went through a process of reducing production gear to a minimum, akin to trying to write a Haiku. I’m gearing up for a production trip to Australia to record interviews with my extended family during our quadrennial family reunion. It’s a new production Haiku with different solutions due to the inevitable march of technology, and the needs of this production.

I do not expect this project to ever reach broadcast, but there’s no reason not to have the best quality sound and picture I can, for these recordings should last into posterity. I am traveling alone, so it was important to not carry too much. Essentially I need a good multicam interview setup, with excellent audio quality. I will shoot b-roll around the family reunion and some of the family sites.

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Dec/14

15

Advances in Content Recognition

At the current stage of technology development, we are largely limited to adding Content Metadata manually. If we want people described; if we want the scene described; or the action described, we need to add Keywords or Notes to achieve that. I don’t expect that to be the case in the future. Technology from Clarifai and Google give us clues to the future.

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Dec/14

2

Final Cut Pro X 10.1.4

Out of the blue, Apple announces Final Cut Pro X 10.1.4, which includes some key stability improvements. There is also a Pro Video Formats 2.0 software update, which provides native support for importing, editing, and exporting MXF files with Final Cut Pro X. While FCP X already supported import of MXF files from video cameras, this update extends the format support to a broader range of files and workflows.

So, I guess we know what happened to Hamburg’s MXF technology!
Here is a summary of what’s new in version 10.1.4:
- Native MXF import, edit, and export with Pro Video Formats 2.0 software update (also works with Motion)
- Option to export AVC-Intra MXF files
- Fixes issues with automatic library backups
- Fixes a problem where clips with certain frame rates from Canon and Sanyo cameras would not import properly 
- Resolves issues that could interrupt long imports when App Nap is enabled
- Stabilization and Rolling Shutter reduction works correctly with 240fps video
For more information about the new MXF support, you can view the following article: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT6423
Hard to categorize this as either a feature or maintenance release. I’ll go for feature release simply because of the support for MXF natively and export to AVC-Intra MXF files. Neither will affect me, but they are features that are very important to the higher end of the editing market.

Jon Chapelle of Digital Rebellion has noted that the support for MXF is much wider than just Pro Apps. What is interesting is that the MXF components seem to be QuickTime based, rather than AV Foundation, probably for historic reasons.

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