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

CAT | Video Technology

A new show in which we discuss 4K.



Demystifying Apple’s ProRes Codec

In this free webinar I examine Apple’s ProRes codec inside and out. Content includes:

Apple’s ProRes family is becoming one of the most common formats in production and postproduction, but how much do you really know about this code? Which version is best for your needs?

  • Introducing the ProRes family
  • RCBA vs YUV – what does it mean?
  • Lossless vs Visually Lossless
  • Using ProRes: a codec by codec guide.

Check out the trailer and register free.

I frequently find myself evolving my position on technology as new information comes to light. As my email sig line used to say “Above all, I reserve the right to be wrong”. As new information comes to light, or reaching a certain point in thinking allows another perspective to open up, my positions frequently evolve.

One example would be the use of 4K, another is the development of Lumberjack System.


I had time to do some export testing from Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X 10.1. Definite proof that second GPU is being used, and worth it!


There as been some discussion – and a little panic – as the news has leaked out from developers that “QuickTime is deprecated”. What does that mean and what affect will it have on video professionals? When an OS API (Application Programming Interface) is deprecated, developers are warned to not write any new code using that API, because at some future (usually unspecified) time, the API will go away and the code won’t run.


Buried in John Siracusa’s excellent review of OS X Mavericks is this little gem:

Modern Macs with integrated GPUs get some nice improvements in Mavericks. Any Mac with Intel’s HD4000 graphics or better can now run OpenCL on the integrated GPU in addition to the CPU and any discrete GPU.

It’s that little bold bit that makes it special! With OpenCL increasingly taking up the load of general computer processes previously forced on the CPU, the more we can take advantage of the GPU power already installed.


I have conflicting thoughts about 4K for production and distribution. At one level I’m convinced it’s being pushed on us by equipment manufacturers when there is no real demand: at another I know from experience that there are some non-obvious advantages to 4K. But one thing is clear: the push to 4K is not about a push to improved quality.


After Terry Curren’s round up of last year’s Hollywood Post Alliance Retreat I decided I should attend this year. While I was working on marketing for Lumberjack – our real time location logging tool – I got an email from the HPA offering spaces in the demo room during the retreat. It was immediately obvious that this was the time and place to reveal what we’ve been working for the last 8-9 months.


So curiosity took me through Ars Technica’s look at the Romney campaign’s technology – Romney campaign got its IT from Best Buy, Staples, and friends– and got down to the heading Picking a few things up at the Apple Store and see that Apple picked up a decent customer in the campaign. (more…)

Good editing, they say, should be invisible. Great audio not only enhances the picture but a well designed soundscape takes the project to a whole other level. Similarly, we never notice the work of the “finisher”, or colorist (although at the most basic level) – or even the editor – who makes sure that all shots are balanced, and consistent.

It’s not something you notice, until a show comes along so bad that it affects the enjoyment of the show. These two shots are just one of the many, many, examples from the same show where shots are gray and washed out, or overly contrasty. Even when they are purportedly the same set up.

With just one shot between them, this is typical of the jarring jump in levels. They’re on green screen with the backgrounds matted in – very obvious when the hair line just gets blurred because, well, doing a decent key was too hard?

I know budgets are tight, but seriously, the rarely-great-but-never-this-bad color match feature from FCP X would be better than this!

These are stills extracted from a digital file, not screen shots. What was seen on the screen had slightly different gamma (not surprisingly) but otherwise was just as jarring.

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