CAT | Video Technology
We’re very pleased to announce Sync-N-Link X, a completely rethought version of our popular and powerful batch synchronizing application for dual system (separate audio and video) workflows.
When we considered what was needed for this workflow we realized we weren’t facing a simple rewrite, but like Final Cut Pro X itself, a complete rethink. Even better we’ve been able to make it much more affordable, reducing the price from $495 down to $199.99. Here’s the press release: (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.
Highlight Hunter Finds Your Best Clips, Cuts Video Editing By 80% http://t.co/EruxPNpE
That’s the headline from Techcrunch but it’s really misleading. Highlight Hunter doesn’t actually “find” your best clips, you tail slate a good bit by covering the lens (black), and then it finds all the black bits, trims them and trims a certain (user specified) time before that.
As one records adventures, whatever they may be, a user bookmarks highlights by momentarily obscuring the camera lens after the highlight is over. Upon returning home, users open Highlight Hunter on a Mac or PC, load the highlight-rich videos, and, after a few minutes, the app has turned the footage into highlight clips.
The nifty thing about Highlight Hunter is that it is compatible with most outdoor video cameras (list here) or media files, and users have the ability to choose the length of their highlights, though the average is about 30 seconds. The app then spits that highlight real out, and the resulting file is compatible with other video editing apps so it can be uploaded to iMovie or the editing software of your choice for more advanced post-production. And, hey, you can also share it directly from within the app to Facebook or YouTube.
Can’t see it has much use in the sort of production I’m interested in!
OK, it’s a provocative headline, and while I don’t for a minute think Avid are deliberately setting out to sell out editors, it may be an inevitable result of inevitable technological innovation. (more…)
The war on H.264 is over: “We lost,” says Mozilla at Apple Insider
Thank Goodness, sanity finally prevails! In fact Mozilla’s previous approach – holding out for Ogg or WebM codecs – had the unfortunate side effect of driving even more people to the very closed Flash for distribution of H.264 in FireFox. Exactly the opposite of what the Mozilla folk wanted.
I’ve long said that H.264 is “one codec to rule them all” (because it scales so well) and it’s about time Mozilla realized that the world really only wants one codec. Well, really users just don’t want to care about codecs at all!
1@patInhofer @piersg @quintessential I’d agree with that – Cineform and DnxHD are the best cross platform mastering codecs.
If you saw a cryptic headlong for this post – the first line above – I apologize. I have my Twitter account set to post to the blog when I post “new”, that is not a reply to someone. Even then I catch the tweet when it posts, tidy the headline and expand the post with a little commentary. (more…)
Three NLEs, three approaches to 64 bit. http://t.co/v0ye0xEy Episode 38 of the Terence and Philip Show.
In this episode Terence and Philip discuss the different approaches to updating their NLEs to 64bit modern architectures, with a particular emphasis on Media Composer 6, Avid’s just-released 64 bit update to the venerable Media Composer.
I figured you could answer this question, one which has been knawing on me since I first saw the beta of MC6.0. How is it possible that Apple, and Adobe had to rewrite their apps virtually from scratch in order to switch to 64 bit, but Avid didn’t? Is MC6.0 really 64 bit?
It’s a really good question. When an application needs to move from 32 bit to 64 bit, there are many approaches, but one thing is certain: all the code has to be 64 bit, including any dependencies or plug-ins. By dependencies I mean where the application relies on OS frameworks or libraries, such as QuickTime or AVI or other OS level service. All these must be 64 bit or the application can’t compile to 64 bit. So all three companies had some rewriting to do, but because of their histories it’s actually different for each app.
Even though Premiere Pro is the most modern app of the three (Premiere Pro, Media Composer and Final Cut Pro) having been completely rewritten ahead of the 2003 release, it still largely depended on AVI (Windows) and QuickTime (OS X) for media handling. Neither have been adequately rewritten for 64 bit: AVI because all development stopped in 1996 (the zombie format that will not die) and QuickTime because Apple decided to transition to AVFoundation for media handling in applications, after attempting a partial rewrite of QuickTime as QTKit in 64 bit.
So, Adobe decided to write their own media engine so they could go to 64 bit without the external dependencies. (Premiere Pro still imports and plays QuickTime media by use of a complex workaround.) Most of Adobe’s code is C or similar with only an OS level wrapper around the cross platform code. So it’s “true” Cocoa on OS X because the interface is a heavily subclassed Cocoa frameworks (subclassed to make it look like an Adobe app, in the same way many Cocoa frameworks are subclassed in FCP X for its unique look).
Avid also decided to rewrite all their code from scratch, but instead of one big hit, they have been progressively rewriting their code for the last three or four releases, if not longer. You can write the code and have it compile into a 32 bit application (MC before 6) and then when you have all the app ready in 64 bit, you recompile it into 64 bit. Avid did not need to radically change the application, although there are two very major changes from the original code base. Avid Media Architecture was Avid’s approach to the multiplicity of non-tape sources, and it was all new code ready to recompile to 64 bit when the main application did. Avid also appear to have changed their approach to hardware interfaces with Media Composer 6, integrating a hardware abstraction layer so that third parties can integrate with Media Composer without needing to make any changes to Media Composer code. (Previously the Media Composer code needed to be rewritten to talk to each piece of changed hardware.
Apple had to rewrite because their media engine – QuickTime – was only partially rewritten to 64 bit and was lacking most of what the Pro Apps team needed for a modern video application. The solution to the media engine was AVFoundation originally created as the media frameworks for iOS and ported back to OS X with 10.6.7 and Lion, which is why FCP X requires 10.6.7 or later.
Adobe relies on its own proprietary media engine. Avid relies on its proprietary media engine. Final Cut Pro X relies on AVFoundation, which only exists on OS X and iOS and is very, very new to code to0. (This was the likely reason that broadcast video out was delayed, because they had to wait for AVFoundation to be finished before BMD, AJA etc could even start work on drivers no longer based on QuickTime.)
All are really 64 bit, but they’ve taken different paths to get there, as they had different needs.
I was a little shocked to find people posting on Twitter and Facebook that they had tried to import Final Cut Pro 7 XML into Final Cut Pro X with the new “import XML”. That would be like opening a Word document and complaining that it didn’t translate from Spanish to English while opening the file.
By itself, XML tells you nothing. It is a generic term that tells you as much about the content as having a “Text” document tells you about the content. As I wrote four years ago for KenStone.net XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. You may be familiar with another markup language: HTML, or HyperText Markup Language. In HTML only the WC3 consortium can add new tags because it is not extensible. On the other hand XML is “extensible”, meaning anyone can extend it to mean whatever they want it to mean.
And that’s true for every type of XML. In the case of XML for editing applications, the XML represents the underlying data structures from the application. So, we have:
In the mid 1990′s my Australian company made the decision to purchase a Media 100 system. That remains the best business decision I ever made (and selling it to jump to Final Cut Pro 1 was the second best business decision). It also meant we were migrating from Amiga computers to Macs. Given that I already had a graphic designer on staff for titles, illustrations and animations, I decided to delight clients by having our designer create a full color slick for the (then) VHS deliverables. (Masters simply got descriptive labels.)
Until that point we’d only done black and white printing, and it’s easy to proof what you’re going to get on a B&W laser printer. Not so with color. Color output wasn’t as common then as it is now and we didn’t get the first Kinkos until very late in the 1990′s, so we really only had one choice for our runs of 2-3 covers for each job.
This became a serious problem when – while developing a food product for my parent’s company during the period I managed it (in addition to my own two companies) – we needed a very specific purple on mockup packaging we were presenting to food buyers at the national department store chains in Australia. Cadbury – Australia’s biggest chocolate company – have always used a specific purple in their packaging, and had just spent several million dollars on a campaign that heavily featured this purple. Since the new product was a chocolate variation on a traditional English Christmas Pudding, having the purple match was beyond important. And we got blue-purple, and red-purple: seemingly every color except the one we wanted. (more…)