CAT | Interesting Technology
Yes, the lack of need for a browser plug-in is good, but that’s the role of HTML5 which has largely standardized on H.264/MP4 (thank goodness). It will be hard to win against the momentum behind HTML5 and frankly I’d prefer there not to be another alternative, now that we have finally got something like a standard.
Personally, I think this is an interesting technology looking for a reason to exist. I find the claims of “90% less bandwidth” to be suspect at best, and the company provides no details on their site (that I could find).
Australian news website ITwire, has an article up about the MPEG’s announcement of the draft standard of their next generation of video codec, due to replace H.264 over time. Hopefully now that we’ve mostly settled on H.264 as the “one codec to rule them all” it will be a comfortable transition to the next generation. (more…)
Last night we arrived back from the Solar Odyssey as our involvement finished on Sunday (long story shot, “creative differences”) and today my welcome home present to myself – a nice new MacBook Pro retina. Naturally I immediately updated to Mountain Lion. (New machine, new OS, might as well get it all over together).
One of the first apps I was looking at was Final Cut Pro X – very nice to see a full size 1080P signal in the Viewer window 1:1 and still have a whole heap of screen real estate. (My confession is that I’m using all the pixels 1:1 not in Retina mode. I already have to wear glasses for a computer screen so I might as well capitalize on it.)
Of course I look through the menus and what do I find in the Edit menu but: (more…)
Kaggle’s algorithms show machines are getting too good at judging humans http://t.co/sltVPexI
Regular readers will know I’m fascinated by research and technology that has computers understanding human behavior. My interest is personal, but also professionally I’m interested in how these technologies can be adapted to take some of the more boring work out of some types of production.
The article presents two more data points. I’ll just post the summaries.
An algorithm is no less reliable at scoring essays than the average teacher.
With only 140 characters, data scientists and statisticians can get a strong sense for your personality. That’s fairly worrying, considering that this information could get into the wrong hands.
Make of it what you will.
Seamless Video Editing – A Look Toward the Future http://t.co/ILZFqHDd
A provocative first paragraph:
A new application being developed by researchers at UC Berkely and Adobe Systems aims to do just that…helping editors identify the best spot to make a cut based off of audio and visual features of raw footage. The program can auto generate seamless transitions to make the cuts visually smooth and undetectable.
Which sounds exciting, until you read later:
This tech seems useful for working with on-camera interviews (with only one subject), but in it’s current state it doesn’t seem like it would be effective at tackling more complex shooting situations.
So, which is it? Both and neither. Understanding how and why we make edits is complex, but it is/will be doable. Finding the base information on which to apply that algorithm is even harder. But it is inevitable. Certainly not for every type of edit, and not for every project. Given that an enormous amount of editing is not highly “creative” but somewhat routine.
I have long advocated that this type of technology will be developed and applied. When we were developing First Cuts, the algorithm would product a result and it would be “off” in some way – simply not what I would have done as an editor. That forced an examination of how I would have made the edit. That then lead to needing to quantify why I made the edit there.
That part was not easy, although I am fortunate to have a brain almost equally balanced between left and right – creative and analytic.
In layman’s terms: Spots of the video where there is little audio or on-screen movement are given priority as ideal spots to cut, and are plotted on a “cut suitability” timeline. If necessary the application will insert natural looking pauses to bridge two cuts together. From the product demo (embedded below) it appears that editors can simply delete text from the transcript view and the application will go to work creating a seamless transition. An additional features allows for one-click removal of “ums” and repeated words.
They can go back one step. In an interview situation you generally have two voices: breaking an interview up on voice changes, and then paragraph breaks (which is what this research seems to be doing, but adding in the analysis of motion in video) is “trivial” once we get reliable speech transcription.
Reliable speech transcription is the key to unlocking an enormous amount of metadata-driven tagging/keywording and driving these sorts of automatic assembles. At this stage I see this more as an editor’s tool than for finished projects, although there are some applications in exploring large amounts of video material. (Something I hope to demonstrate by the end of the year using some of the Solar Odyssey footage.)
Should we go down this path? That’s an irrelevant question because, with downward budget pressures dominant in the industry, it’s inevitable. Those that can work smarter – using all the tools at their disposal – will continue to be needed.
And I firmly believe that the emotionally compelling, heart-tugging edit is going to remain beyond the ability of a computer for the balance of my lifetime.
I am fascinated by most technology, particularly how it can be applied to the things I am interested in professionally: the production, distribution and marketing of video/filmic entertainment. Two recent articles have stuck in my mind. The Japanese research quoted in the excerpt and How cold, hard numbers can be used to foretell the battle where researchers are using Wikileaks information, among other sources, to predict where violence will break out. (more…)
All Hail the Robotic Farmers and Pilots of the Future http://t.co/dlOM5NXM
A very interesting article on the increasing computer algorithm use to make landings and take-offs safer:
Fighter pilot Mary “Missy” Cummings saw it coming while landing her F/A-18 supersonic jet on a Navy aircraft carrier — the world-changing disruption barreling toward the present.
Instead of landing the multi-million-dollar machine on the small deck of the ship herself in the 1990s, a computer accomplished the tricky feat for her. (more…)
News site Technorati covered our challenge today with the article Will the Solar Odyssey Sail into a World Record?
In order to qualify for the world’s record, the boat will travel during the day only on electricity that is exclusively generated by solar power. No plugging-in allowed on this adventure! If all goes well, it will be the first time this has ever been done and the crew hopes to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first solar-powered vessel to complete the Great Loop. (more…)
Impossible Software Is About To Do Impossible Things With Your Video http://t.co/jpkhy2PQ
The technology Impossible Software are using to insert products into existing video is incredibly clever, particularly as a web service, but if it were my production – one I’d carefully composed and cared about – I think I’d be appalled at what was being done to the “finished” product.
There’s not much more to say beyond that: you’ll hate it or it will solve “everything” for marketers. I don’t think I like it, other than for the pure tech.