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September 2010
Sony Unveils Interchangeable-Lens Handycam
Sony has introduced the NEX-VG10 HD Handycam camcorder, the first consumer camcorder with interchangeable lenses and the first Handycam camcorder to feature an extra-large Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor.
Turnkey HD Streamlines Mobile Production
Mobile-studio services company Turnkey HD offers streamlined equipment, support and delivery systems packaged in its customized fleet of Mercedes Benz Sprinter vehicles.
Matthews Updates Car Mounts
Matthews Studio Equipment has introduced two car-mount systems that integrate MicroGrip technology with the MSE family of Ball Heads to provide a strong, safe, reliable and versatile system for mounting cameras to automobiles, trucks, boats, trains and low-flying planes.
Polecam Introduces Lens for Mini HD Cameras
Polecam has introduced the HRO 69, a high-quality 3.5mm lens designed for use with the latest-generation 1⁄3" miniature 3-CCD HD cameras. 
Panavision Offers 3-D Projection System
Panavision has introduced a 3-D cinema system that incorporates filter technology developed by Omega Optical and is compatible with white and silver screens and film and digital projectors.

Fujinon Becomes Fujifilm Optical Devices
Fujinon Inc. has become Fujifilm Optical Devices U.S.A., Inc., a new subsidiary of Fujifilm North America Corp. Fujifilm Corp. has identified the optical-device business as one of the company’s main priorities; this restructuring is aimed at reinforcing the company’s global objectives while taking advantage of synergies and shared services that will allow the company to serve its customers more effectively.
OptiTrack Announces Virtual Camera System
OptiTrack has introduced the Insight VCS virtual camera system.
Tracker Trolley from Porta-Jib
Porta-Jib has introduced the Tracker by Losmandy, an any-environment track/trolley system configurable to any length in 3' increments.
JVC Expands Vérité Line
JVC Professional Products has added the 9" DT-V9L3D to its line of Vérité professional LCD monitors. 
Digital Vision Releases 2010 Software
Digital Vision has unveiled its updated Nucoda grading and Phoenix restoration products, as well as its 2010 software release.
Primatte Chromakey Supports 64-Bit CS5
Digital Anarchy has announced the 64-bit Primatte Chromakey 3.5 blue- and greenscreen plug-in for Adobe Photoshop.
Digital Jungle Offers Red Training
Digital Jungle has teamed with Richard Salazar to present an ongoing series of Red One training classes.
Weisscam HS-2 Gets Mark II Upgrade Online
P+S Technik and Weisscam have introduced the Weisscam HS-2 Mk II high-speed digital-cinema camera system, which builds on the successful Weisscam HS-2 and introduces a host of new features.
Angenieux Packages 3-D Ready Optimo Lenses  Online
Thales Angenieux has introduced a 3-D-ready package for its line of Optimo DP lenses. 
Wide-Angle View from Angenieux Online
Thales Angenieux has introduced the WA 0.75x Wide Angle Adapter for use with the company’s Optimo 15-40mm 35mm film lens and the Optimo DP 16-42mm lens. 
Angenieux Introduces Canon EF, Nikon F Mount Solutions Online
Thales Angenieux has introduced Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, allowing the company’s Optimo 15-40mm, Optimo 28-76mm and Optimo 24-290mm lenses to be used on Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras without removing the reflex mirror from the cameras. 
OptiTrack Offers Ethernet-Powered Mo-Cap Camera Online
OptiTrack has introduced the S250e Ethernet camera for motion-capture workflows. The camera boasts exceptional speed, precision, scalability, processing and flexibility at an incredibly low price point.
FSI Releases Firmware Update Online
Flanders Scientific Inc. has released firmware version 9.35 for the LM-0750W, LM-1760W, LM-1770W, LM-2450W and LM-2460W monitors.
Nucoda Integrates Automatic Duck Plug-In Online
Digital Vision and Automatic Duck have announced the successful interoperability between their toolsets with the integration of Nucoda with Pro Export FCP, Automatic Duck’s export plug-in for Final Cut Pro. 
Digital Anarchy Opens Beauty Box Online
Digital Anarchy has introduced version 1.1 of its Beauty Box Video skin-retouching software.
Digital Anarchy Updates ToonIt for CS5  Online
Digital Anarchy has announced a free update to its popular ToonIt Photo cartooning plug-in.
Red 101 DVD Shares Red One Tips, Tricks Online
DreamWelder Productions has introduced the Red 101 DVD, designed to guide owners and renters of the Red One digital cinema camera through the camera’s operation and configuration. 
Comprehensive, Interactive Training for Stereo 3-D Online
Co-produced by Parallell Cinéma and Innoventive Software — a French production company and an American software company, respectively — “Stereo 3D Filmmaking: The Complete Interactive Course” makes the technical skills necessary for stereoscopic 3-D productions accessible to all filmmakers. 
Legacy Inspires at Stan Winston School Online
Gnomon School of Visual Effects has partnered with the family of the late character creator and effects visionary Stan Winston to establish the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

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Sony Unveils Interchangeable-Lens Handycam

Sony has introduced the NEX-VG10 HD Handycam camcorder, the first consumer camcorder with interchangeable lenses and the first Handycam camcorder to feature an extra-large Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor.

“The NEX-VG10 takes Sony’s Handycam line to the next level by allowing unprecedented artistic expression that isn’t possible with conventional consumer video cameras,” says Andy Bubala, director of Sony’s camcorder business. “With this camcorder, video enthusiasts and photographers can now capture cinematic, full-HD movies and premium stereo sound.”

Like the NEX-5 and NEX-3 digital cameras, the NEX-VG10 is equipped with the Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, which is compatible with the high-grade E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses optimized for video shooting, with silent operation and auto-focus capabilities. With a mount adapter, the camcorder is also compatible with A-mount interchangeable lenses — including Sony G Lenses and Carl Zeiss branded lenses — used by Sony’s existing DSLR camera lineup.

Coupled with Sony’s Bionz processor, the camcorder’s Exmor sensor realizes high-resolution video and 14-megapixel still images. Approximately 19.5-times bigger than the standard sensor found in conventional consumer camcorders, the APS HD CMOS sensor enables an extremely shallow depth of field, allowing videographers to achieve cinematic results with stunning background defocus, or bokeh. Users can also enjoy DSLR-quality photo capture with features like Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur, as well as catch fast action sequences with a continuous burst rate of up to 7 fps.

The NEX-VG10 can capture full 1920x1080 high-definition video at up to 24Mbps for excellent clarity and detail, ideal for recording Blu-ray Disc media. It also comes with an E-mount 18-200mm lens, which features a powerful 11x optical zoom in addition to a silent auto-focus system and Optical Steadyshot image stabilization with Active Mode for superior versatility.

The camcorder’s Quad Capsule Spatial Array stereo microphone uses advanced processing algorithms to combine signals from four individual microphone capsules, resulting in exceptionally clear stereo audio with high directional response, allowing users to capture more sound from their subject and less background noise. The camcorder also features dedicated inputs for optional external microphones and headphones to monitor sound levels.

TruBlack technology brings higher contrast and brightness to the NEX-VG10’s 3.0" Xtra Fine LCD swivel display, delivering more natural, realistic colors and easier viewing in bright conditions. Supplementing the LCD is a high-resolution, adjustable electronic viewfinder.

Compact and easy to handle, the NEX-VG10 gives videographers the flexibility of a removable lens with the ergonomics and operability of a Handycam camcorder. An intuitive jog dial and hotkeys make it easy to navigate menus and adjust shooting parameters, including full manual control of iris, shutter speed, gain and white balance. The camcorder accepts both Memory Stick Pro Duo (including Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo) and SD (including SDHC and SDXC) media. Users can record up to 4 hours of HD footage (1920x1080, FH mode) when using the 32GB memory card.

Dual accessory shoes (Alpha Hot Shoe/Universal Cold Shoe) allow for many still photography and video accessories. There’s also a choice of rechargeable battery options, including the NP-FV100, which provides up to 315 minutes of continuous HD shooting.

The NEX-VG10 sells for $2,000. The purchase includes a download voucher for Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 video-editing software, which includes powerful tools for video compositing, color correction and sound mixing to produce HD movies with ease; the program also allows users to easily share their creations via DVD, Blu-ray or the Web.

contact info:  
www.sonystyle.com
Turnkey HD Streamlines Mobile Production

Mobile-studio services company Turnkey HD offers streamlined equipment, support and delivery systems packaged in its customized fleet of Mercedes Benz Sprinter vehicles. The fully equipped Sprinters include industrial shelving, lockers, a workstation, and a comprehensive grip and lighting package. 

Currently based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, THD has plans for expansion throughout the United States over the next few years. “We are offering an affordable, turnkey solution for live-action film and video production,” says Joel Newman, THD’s founder. “It’s our hope that people take advantage of our one-of-a-kind equipment rental, support and delivery system, especially during a time when budgets are being cut and support staff are kept to a minimum.”

Integrated pure sine-wave electricity powers THD’s Sprinter-based digital workstations, while ample lighting and ventilation offer a comfortable, reliable and secure base of operations. The Sprinters come equipped with a Sony PMW-EX3 HD camera package, a Porta-Jib Traveler Arm, a Panasonic 17" HD monitor, a digital-imaging kit and workstation, and a versatile grip and lighting package, which includes a Honda EU6500 generator and an all-purpose production kit. Expendables are also available through THD.

contact info:  
www.turnkeyhd.com
Matthews Updates Car Mounts

Matthews Studio Equipment has introduced two car-mount systems that integrate MicroGrip technology with the MSE family of Ball Heads to provide a strong, safe, reliable and versatile system for mounting cameras to automobiles, trucks, boats, trains and low-flying planes.

Using the Matthews BH-20 Ball Heads and a series of three suction cups, MicroGrip heads and rods, the Pro-Mount system accommodates camera packages up to 26.4 pounds. Based on the Matthews BH-30 Ball Head mounted on a 10" suction cup and two 6" suction cups, the Master-Mount integrates MicroGrip supporting components to ensure solid, steady imaging while carrying camera loads up to 39.6 pounds.

“In five minutes, you can mount one of the newer, lighter-weight cameras utilizing the vehicle’s suspension system in combination with our MicroGrip technology, Ball Mounts and suction cups,” says Ed Phillips, president and owner of MSE. “Now you can capture incredibly expensive-looking images at a very low cost in terms of time and equipment.”

Pro-Mount and Master-Mount systems are shipped complete, with an instructional, introductory video as well as visuals for suggested camera placement. MSE also offers camera risers in both 3" and 6" lengths to offer a maximum of 9" further extension of the camera from the mount.

contact info:  
www.msegrip.com
Polecam Introduces Lens for Mini HD Cameras

Polecam has introduced the HRO 69, a high-quality 3.5mm lens designed for use with the latest-generation 1⁄3" miniature 3-CCD HD cameras. 

“Miniature split-head cameras have become standard tools for HD video production in recent years, but traditional lens manufacturers have not responded to demand for matching high-quality optics,” says Steffan Hewitt, Polecam founder and managing director. The HRO 69, he continues, “produces far higher resolution images than any comparable model and represents a tremendous advance both for Polecam operators and other program makers wanting to benefit fully from the compactness of modern HD cameras and recorders.”

Nigel Paine, camera systems sales manager for Polecam, adds, “This is the first in a range of 3-CCD HD lenses which goes a significant way to filling a requirement that the HD broadcast and film markets have been requesting very stridently. The HRO 69 is compatible with cameras such as the Toshiba IK-HD1, Iconix RH1, Panasonic GP-US932 [and] Ikegami MKC300.”

Polecam’s HRO 69 offers 69-degree horizontal angle of view and an aperture range from f2.2 to f16. Features include back focus, a special bump cover to protect the front element and a 40.5mm filter thread-adapter option. Stainless steel locking screws for aperture and focus adjustment are provided, as are spare lens caps. The lens weighs only .35 pounds and measures 50mm long by 37mm in diameter (without the filter adapter).

contact info:  
www.polecam.com
Panavision Offers 3-D Projection System

Panavision has introduced a 3-D cinema system that incorporates filter technology developed by Omega Optical and is compatible with white and silver screens and film and digital projectors.

“Our industry faces a challenge,” says Eric Rodli, senior vice president of Panavision Inc. “With the unprecedented availability and popularity of 3-D content, studios need more 3-D screens, while exhibitors need to use their screens more flexibly. This new 3-D system offers a high-quality solution to address those issues. It enables exhibitors to show 2-D or 3-D content on the same screen and to convert back and forth easily, without making major new investments in new screens or projection equipment.”

Spectral filtering in the lens or in the projector “combs” the visible light spectrum, slicing it into 10 slim bands of even and odd wavelengths of light. High-quality dichroic passive glasses enable the audience to consistently receive a distinctly different image in each eye, while providing each eye with the sensation of seeing the full color spectrum of the stereoscopic image. Because polarization is not required, images can be shown on a white screen or a silver screen.

For projectors using DLP technology, a filter wheel is installed between the lamp house and the light integrator; projectors using LCOS technology use static filters. Split lenses are provided for film projectors; 3-D film prints shown on the system are in the over-under format compatible with conventional 35mm projectors. Because no ghost busting, image processing or color correction are necessary, there is no ancillary equipment for users to install and maintain. Additionally, conversion from 2-D to 3-D and vice versa is fast and easy, enabling exhibitors to quickly move 3-D prints from larger to smaller screens as business dictates.

In addition to the lens and filters, Panavision offers high-quality, reusable glasses and a cleaning and sanitizing system. The company also provides system setup, training and technical support. “The glasses are one key to system quality,” says John Galt, senior vice president for advanced digital imaging at Panavision. “Ours have lenses with tempered dichroic-coated glass for exceptional color stability and consistent performance, although they are made at a very reasonable cost. And because our approach is based on splitting light, we’re ‘technology neutral’ — the glasses can be used with film or digital systems.”

Panavision’s ability to project 3-D images on white screens, which boast more even center-to-edge illumination than silver screens, enables more of the audience to more accurately see the colors and image quality of the 3-D projection, even if they’re sitting high or low in stadium seating or off to one side or another.

contact info:  
www.panavision.com
Fujinon Becomes Fujifilm Optical Devices

Fujinon Inc. has become Fujifilm Optical Devices U.S.A., Inc., a new subsidiary of Fujifilm North America Corp. Fujifilm Corp. has identified the optical-device business as one of the company’s main priorities; this restructuring is aimed at reinforcing the company’s global objectives while taking advantage of synergies and shared services that will allow the company to serve its customers more effectively.

“We’ve always stressed the importance of after-sales service and customer support, and with this change, we’re in an even better position to see that through,” says Hank Hayashi, president and CEO of Fujinon. “I’m extremely optimistic about this change and believe it will position us very well for more aggressive growth in North and Latin America.”

Fujinon is a recognized technology leader worldwide and a highly respected provider of optics and lens assemblies to the broadcast, digital cinema and industrial markets. While continuing to serve those product areas, Fujifilm Optical Devices will also oversee CCTV, which markets lenses for security, surveillance, factory automation and machine vision; Industrial Optics, which distributes front-view/rear-view automobile camera lenses, digital-cinema projection lenses, laser-focusing lenses and lenses for scanners and digital cameras; and Special Products, which markets high-end binoculars, including stabilized binoculars to the government and marine market.

contact info:  
www.fujifilm.com/northamerica
OptiTrack Announces Virtual Camera System

OptiTrack has introduced the Insight VCS virtual camera system. Available at a competitive price, the Insight VCS is compatible with all optical motion-capture systems.

The Insight VCS is a two-part system consisting of a hardware camera rig and software interface. As the hardware rig is tracked throughout the motion-capture volume, position and orientation data is streamed live via the software plug-in to either Autodesk MotionBuilder or Autodesk Maya to drive the virtual camera within the 3-D application. Real-time reference video is streamed out of MotionBuilder or Maya back to the VCS display, creating a low-latency visual feedback loop, akin to the viewfinder in an actual digital camera.

Developed in close collaboration with previsualization company Halon Entertainment, the Insight VCS is an ideal virtual-camera solution for a broad range of applications ranging from film and commercial previs to digital filmmaking. “In working with OptiTrack to develop the Insight VCS, Halon helped build a tool that puts film directors and directors of photography in a virtual world they more closely understand,” says Justin Denton, technical developer and previs supervisor at Halon Entertainment. “The value of being able to walk out into a space and explore a virtual world by physically controlling a camera, finding the perfect angles and then shooting multiple takes is truly remarkable. All of this is achieved in a fraction of the time it takes to keyframe a single camera take, and the results are more natural. The Insight VCS has proven invaluable on multiple high-profile film and commercial projects for us here at Halon.”

To ensure compatibility with a variety of production pipelines, the Insight VCS has been engineered for interoperability with any existing optical motion-capture system — including OptiTrack, Vicon and Motion Analysis — that can track marker-based rigid bodies and stream data to MotionBuilder or Maya. Different versions of both the hardware rig and software plug-in are available to fit a variety of existing pipelines and production requirements. The hardware component is available in the VCS:Pro or VCS:Mini configuration. The VCS:Pro model includes a 1280x768 HD LCD display for real-time feedback, mappable buttons and joysticks for extensive camera control, and a robust Redrock Micro shoulder-mount kit; markers and posts are also included for a variety of configurations. The VCS:Mini provides low cost, lightweight and highly flexible access to the virtual camera pipeline; the kit includes an anodized aluminum mount pre-installed on a wireless Xbox 360 game pad as well as markers and posts. Comprehensive, customizable plug-ins are available for camera work in MotionBuilder and Maya for control over scripts, button mapping, scaling and camera properties; universal versions of each plug-in are also available for use with non-OptiTrack motion capture systems.

“Our goal has always been to offer full-featured motion-capture systems at a price that production companies of every size can afford,” says Jim Richardson, co-founder of NaturalPoint (OptiTrack’s parent company) and lead engineer for the OptiTrack motion-capture line. “With the Insight VCS, we’re expanding this vision to include the bleeding-edge virtual camera technology that Cameron made famous with Avatar … at an exceptionally low price. OptiTrack now delivers high-performance body, face and virtual camera mo-cap for less than anyone else in the world.”

Pricing for the Insight VCS camera rig ranges from $199 to $5,000. Software plug-ins to MotionBuilder and Maya for OptiTrack systems cost $1,000. Universal plug-ins for other motion-capture systems sell for $2,000.

contact info:  
www.optitrack.com
Tracker Trolley from Porta-Jib

Porta-Jib has introduced the Tracker by Losmandy, an any-environment track/trolley system configurable to any length in 3' increments. The portable Tracker supports cameras and fluid heads with a total combined weight of less than 80 pounds and is ideal for shooting anywhere from a studio to mountainous terrain.

The rails of the Tracker system are spaced further apart than on Porta-Jib’s Explorer Trolley, and the larger Tracker trolley uses interchangeable inserts to accommodate three standard fluid-head bases: 100mm, 150mm and Mitchell. The Tracker system is larger, stronger and less prone to tipping when carrying a bigger camera system. 16 unique wheels with grooved centers lock the trolley securely on the dovetailed rails. With integrated bubble levels on the end stop clamps, the Tracker is designed to be safe, smooth and quiet. 
contact info:  
www.porta-jib.com
JVC Expands Vérité Line

JVC Professional Products has added the 9" DT-V9L3D to its line of Vérité professional LCD monitors. Featuring a built-in waveform monitor with over-level function, advanced audio-level meter and time-code support, the compact monitor is ideal for accurate color reproduction and critical viewing evaluation in the field or mobile applications. 

The DT-V9L3D includes two HD/SD-SDI inputs with embedded audio, plus analog component (Y/Pb/Pr) and composite terminals to accommodate legacy equipment. The monitor features a high-performance LCD panel (800x480) housed in a rugged metal rear cabinet that can be rack mounted or used with the included tilt stand. For field use, the DT-V9L3D offers AC/DC operation and a built-in handle.

A dynamic mode is included for outdoor visibility, while image markers, aspect-ratio adjustment and a focus-assist function help give the DT-V9L3D the versatility expected from a superior broadcast monitor. Other features include an RS-232C port for remote control, support for analog closed captioning, traditional rotary knobs for picture control and a built-in speaker and headphone mini-jack.

The DT-V9L3D is available now for $2,495. 

contact info:  
http://pro.jvc.com
Digital Vision Releases 2010 Software

Digital Vision has unveiled its updated Nucoda grading and Phoenix restoration products, as well as its 2010 software release.

The Nucoda grading and finishing platform boasts a new pricing structure and two new solutions to address the mid-range DI grading and dailies market: the Nucoda Fuse and an ingest, conform and edit solution called Nucoda Compose. These products join the flagship Nucoda Film Master, which continues to serve premium content creators and now features an entry price of $90,000.

Continuing the company’s commitment to the image-restoration sector, Digital Vision has introduced the Phoenix product range. Phoenix Finish is the flagship end-to-end restoration, re-mastering and delivery system. Phoenix Refine is a mid-range solution providing a complete toolset for advanced image restoration and enhancement. The entry-level Phoenix Touch provides automated and manual image cleanup and retouching.

As part of the 2010 software release, Digital Vision has included applications to increase the new products’ performance. Turbine introduces integrated and distributed background rendering for Phoenix and Nucoda solutions, allowing rendering of multiple projects and compositions without tying up the client’s workstation. DVO Clarity, the next-generation of noise and grain reduction technology, features automatic profiling of the source media for producing virtually artifact-free images that retain the original sharpness. The ergonomically enhanced DVO Fix automatically repairs imperfections associated with degraded film and image media.

The 2010 software release also includes additional 3-D tools and viewing modes, a new color-isolation keyer (I-Keyer) and updated file-format enhancements, including Arri Alexa support, MFX OP1a publishing and ALE file export.

“It has always been our goal to provide more of the company’s innovative science at multiple price points, and with the 2010 product and software release, we have certainly achieved this,” says Martin Bennett, vice president of marketing for Digital Vision. “This new product range allows customers at all levels to benefit from our technology with an array of solutions and price points that address specific tasks for image grading, finishing and restoration. Add to this our continued commitment to develop and include industry-leading tools for stereoscopic 3-D workflow and image enhancement, [and] we will enable our customers to stay ahead of the curve, delivering premium content to clients.”

contact info:  
www.digitalvision.se
Primatte Chromakey Supports 64-Bit CS5

Digital Anarchy has announced the 64-bit Primatte Chromakey 3.5 blue- and greenscreen plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. Primatte 3.5 adds compatibility for Photoshop CS5 and 64-bit operation on Mac, Windows and Vista systems. Version 3.5 also provides an improved interface for easier workflow and adds behind-the-scenes improvements like background rendering to make Primatte faster and more responsive.

Primatte Chromakey removes a blue/green background from a still image or footage, leaving the subject against a transparent background with any color cast removed. Primatte 3.5 excels in preserving important, difficult details like wisps of hair, translucent glass and mesh fabrics, making it easy to convincingly place the subject on a custom background, then substitute that background as needed. Primatte’s new 64-bit speed takes advantage of Photoshop Action and Batch functionality to process large groups of images.

“The 64-bit update to Primatte is the first step in rewriting Primatte to take advantage of new technologies,” says Jim Tierney, president of Digital Anarchy. “We’ve improved the speed and further enhanced the workflow, but Primatte 3.5 is just the beginning.”

Primatte Chromakey 3.5 for Photoshop is priced at $299. 

contact info:  
www.digitalanarchy.com
Digital Jungle Offers Red Training

Digital Jungle has teamed with Richard Salazar to present an ongoing series of Red One training classes. The program is broken into three levels, each of which comprises a three-day intensive course load covering every aspect of the Red, from camera operation to HD digital-imaging tech support and post workflow, all in a real-world, interactive, film-production environment. 

The workshops are geared toward cinematographers, camera assistants, digital-imaging technicians, data wranglers, editors and post supervisors who want to learn more about the art and science of RAW digital cinematography. During the training, Digital Jungle will have a Red camera on hand with the new Mysterium-X sensor; the training includes camera tech, postproduction, editorial, digital intermediate and color grading, and will incorporate guest speakers throughout the workshops. Additionally, Salazar and Digital Jungle plan to incorporate fundamental stereoscopic 3-D rigging instructions for the Red and a broad overview of 3-D post workflows into future sessions. At the end of the workshop, trainees are required to pass an exit examination in order to receive a certificate confirming they have completed the program.

“There are very few facilities that have the experience, knowledge and technological capability to host comprehensive training for the Red One, and Digital Jungle is at the top of that short list,” says Salazar. “I’m excited to partner with Dennis Ho at Digital Jungle for these courses and look forward to initiating and honing the skills of the next generation of Red professionals.”

contact info:  
www.digijungle.com
Weisscam HS-2 Gets Mark II Upgrade

P+S Technik and Weisscam have introduced the Weisscam HS-2 Mk II high-speed digital-cinema camera system, which builds on the successful Weisscam HS-2 and introduces a host of new features.

The HS-2 Mk II incorporates an innovative Dark Reference Adjustment function, which reduces noise and enhances and stabilizes blacks and low-light areas while providing an extended dynamic range. The camera also adds the capability to shoot at even more frame rates when recording in 720, 1080 and 2K modes, and for stereoscopic 3-D productions, the system features a multi-camera synchronization capability.

To ensure flexibility on set, the Weisscam HS-2 Mk II features predefined recording modes as well as customizable segments. The Direct Recording mode allows direct recording to external devices such as the DigiMag DM-2; additionally, the camera memory can be divided into segments, and different operation modes and settings can be defined and saved for each segment. The camera’s internal memory has also been expanded to 36GB.

Two parallel dual-link HD-SDI outputs allow recording and monitoring of 12-bit RAW and 10-bit HD signals, and the camera now boasts an optimized electronic viewfinder with an integrated DVI interface. The system is also compatible with 35mm motion-picture lenses and accessories.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.pstechnik.de
Angenieux Packages 3-D Ready Optimo Lenses

Thales Angenieux has introduced a 3-D-ready package for its line of Optimo DP lenses. The package can consist of either two 16-42mm Optimo DP or 30-80mm Optimo DP lenses. In addition to superior optical quality and a reliable and precise mechanism, the Optimo 3-D-ready package includes specific features for 3-D applications, such as factory-matched zoom and focus scales, comparable optical quality and easily adjustable tracking to assure flawless performance. 

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.angenieux.com
Wide-Angle View from Angenieux

Thales Angenieux has introduced the WA 0.75x Wide Angle Adapter for use with the company’s Optimo 15-40mm 35mm film lens and the Optimo DP 16-42mm lens. The adapter provides a fish-eye effect for both lenses by further extending their wide-angle field of view.

“This simple addition to our Optimo lenses adds even more versatility to these lenses,” says Chris Beauparlant, vice president of U.S. sales and marketing for Thales Angenieux. “We constructed this new adapter with the same optics quality as our Optimo lenses to sustain the exceptional definition Optimo lenses are known for throughout the industry.”

The WA 0.75x is designed to easily attach to the front of the Optimo 15-40 and Optimo DP 16-42, extending the lenses’ widest angles to 11.4mm and 12.2mm, respectively. The adapter is constructed using the highest quality glass and weighs only 1 pound.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
Angenieux Introduces Canon EF, Nikon F Mount Solutions

Thales Angenieux has introduced Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, allowing the company’s Optimo 15-40mm, Optimo 28-76mm and Optimo 24-290mm lenses to be used on Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras without removing the reflex mirror from the cameras. Canon EF and Nikon F mounts replace the PL mount of the Optimo lens so that the lens can be attached to the camera with a very precise flange-to-image-plane alignment; this precise fit lets the user take advantage of the entire optical capacity of the lens.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.angenieux.com
OptiTrack Offers Ethernet-Powered Mo-Cap Camera

OptiTrack has introduced the S250e Ethernet camera for motion-capture workflows. The camera boasts exceptional speed, precision, scalability, processing and flexibility at an incredibly low price point.

The full-feature S250e boasts a number of technological advancements, including its small size, on-board image processing and advanced M12 lenses. Filter switcher technology enables the camera to be quickly and remotely modified to filter or capture visible light in addition to IR, allowing the user to utilize the same S250e camera for both infrared motion tracking and visible spectrum scene video. Additionally, OptiTrack customers have the ability to expand up to 96 cameras in a single volume, and because the S250e is powered over Ethernet, only one cable is needed for each camera.

With its global shutter imager and 250 fps capture speed, the S250e is capable of capturing exceptionally fast movement, and the camera provides 832x832 pixels of Super VGA resolution, allowing it to track markers down to sub-millimeter movement with repeatable accuracy. The S250e can also send a variety of pre-processed image types to the PC, resulting in decreased bandwidth and CPU load, and more efficient motion tracking; imaging modes include RAW and MJPEG-compressed grayscale, precision grayscale, hardware object and segment.

The S250e is priced at $1,899.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.optitrack.com
FSI Releases Firmware Update

Flanders Scientific Inc. has released firmware version 9.35 for the LM-0750W, LM-1760W, LM-1770W, LM-2450W and LM-2460W monitors. Version 9.35 firmware provides several new features as well as improvements to existing features.

The firmware upgrade adds two new Scope Modes: Histogram and Color Histogram. As with all FSI Scopes, these new modes work on all inputs, even DVI. Additionally, users can now view a combination of any two of the following Scope Modes simultaneously: Luminance Waveform, Vector Scope, RGB Parade, YRGB Peak, Histogram and Color Histogram.

Version 9.35 also adds a Full Screen function, which allows users to stretch any source to fill the screen. Unlike the Zoom function, Full Screen does not preserve aspect ratio, but it does keep all active video visible. This function was developed specifically to work with some of the new rasterizers on the market that allow for a widescreen 1024x768 DVI output.

Other changes with the updated firmware include an updated Exposure Check feature that more clearly shows under and overexposed areas with a solid black or white onscreen indication, and the SD Aspect Ratio Toggle can now be assigned to a Function Key. All new features are now standard on all new FSI monitors, and the firmware update is available for free to all registered FSI users.

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www.flandersscientific.com
www.shopfsi.com
Nucoda Integrates Automatic Duck Plug-In

Digital Vision and Automatic Duck have announced the successful interoperability between their toolsets with the integration of Nucoda with Pro Export FCP, Automatic Duck’s export plug-in for Final Cut Pro. The integration empowers Nucoda users with a highly efficient workflow from editorial to delivery.

The Automatic Duck and Nucoda workflow adds the ability to export edit information from FCP in AAFs, linking to the original MOV files or to rendered-out MXF files. The files can then be imported directly into Digital Vision’s Nucoda or Phoenix line of products for grading or restoration. In an integrated workflow, the editor finalizes the edit in the background as the colorist grades. Updated edits come from FCP, which can be merged by the colorist, allowing the edit to remain unlocked nearly until delivery. Once finishing is complete, the project is exported from Nucoda or Phoenix, and opened in FCP with Automatic Duck’s Pro Import FCP. At that point, titles and final effects can be rendered for the final mixdown delivery. Automatic Duck’s project interchange from FCP to AAF and vice versa allows Digital Vision’s customers to use the editing tools best suited to their current project and budget, with best-of-class grading, finishing and restoration tools.
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www.digitalvision.tv
www.automaticduck.com
Digital Anarchy Opens Beauty Box

Digital Anarchy has introduced version 1.1 of its Beauty Box Video skin-retouching software. The update uses Nvidia’s Cuda and other GPU optimizations to achieve rendering results 4-6 times faster than version 1.0. Users with a Cuda-supported Nvidia card will see the most drastic speed increases, particularly when used with a 64-bit operating system and multiple processors.

The Beauty Box skin-retouching software uses face detection to automatically identify skin tones and track them throughout the video clip, creating a mask that limits the smoothing effect to just skin areas while keeping hair, jewelry and eyelashes razor sharp. This process requires little or no input from the user and does not involve hand masking. The skin smoothing uses technology from Toonamation, Inc. to eliminate blemishes and even out skin tones while keeping the other facial features sharp.

Beauty Box is priced at $199 and works in After Effects 7.0-CS5, Premiere Pro CS4-CS5 and Final Cut Pro 6.0-7.0. On Macintosh, the product runs on OS 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6; on Windows, the product supports Windows XP Home, Windows XP Pro, Vista 32-bit, Vista 64-bit and Windows 7.

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www.digitalanarchy.com
Digital Anarchy Updates ToonIt for CS5

Digital Anarchy has announced a free update to its popular ToonIt Photo cartooning plug-in. ToonIt 2.6 adds compatibility for Adobe Photoshop CS5 and 64-bit operation on Mac systems; the Photoshop plug-in is already compatible on Windows/Vista. The 2.6 upgrade also adds many behind-the-scenes improvements, such as background rendering, making ToonIt faster and more responsive.

ToonIt Photo is used by photographers and digital artists to create a variety of cartoon styles, painted effects and illustrated looks. One of the key features of ToonIt is its ability to turn people and faces into believable cartoons and illustrations. The software utilizes advanced algorithms from Toonamation, Inc. and allows ultimate control in customizing the cartoon effect with paint styles, shading and outlines.

ToonIt Photo for Photoshop is priced at $159; the plug-in works in Adobe Photoshop CS-CS5 and Photoshop Elements 6.0-9.0, and it runs on Mac 10.3.9-10.6, Windows XP-7.0 and Vista systems. A separate version for use in Apple’s Aperture is available for $129; ToonIt Aperture is also updated to version 2.6 for the render improvements.

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www.digitalanarchy.com
Red 101 DVD Shares Red One Tips, Tricks

DreamWelder Productions has introduced the Red 101 DVD, designed to guide owners and renters of the Red One digital cinema camera through the camera’s operation and configuration. 

“With the Red One, you have a lot of choices, and while choices can mean power, they also can create a steeper learning curve when you’re starting out,” says Jay A. Kelley, president of DreamWelder Productions and the host of Red 101. “The Red One camera is its own animal and uses a lot of visuals and menu systems that are unique. This is not a camera you can just pick up and know all about.

“In creating the Red 101 DVD, I felt my focus needed to be on the beginning of the process, not the middle or end of it,” Kelley continues. “There are lots of techno-geeks out there who love to talk about the cooler aspects of technology, but few want to take the time to explain the simple stuff, let alone make it entertaining. That’s where I come in.”

The Red 101 DVD provides over 3 hours of material as well as PDF menu guides. The DVD itself is designed to give viewers an interactive experience, allowing them to “jump into” more in-depth videos while watching specific segments. “We’ve seen this technology used before on the special features section of a DVD,” says Kelley. “An icon shows up onscreen and when you press it, you see a small documentary on the special effects used to create the scene you just watched. It occurred to me that this same technology could be used in education and training … allowing the viewer to get more information on subjects they may not know about, but letting them pass it by if they are already comfortable with the topic.”

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dreamwelder.com
Comprehensive, Interactive Training for Stereo 3-D

Co-produced by Parallell Cinéma and Innoventive Software — a French production company and an American software company, respectively — “Stereo 3D Filmmaking: The Complete Interactive Course” makes the technical skills necessary for stereoscopic 3-D productions accessible to all filmmakers. 

The training package includes over 2 hours of course material shot in stereoscopic 3-D so that as techniques are explained, the viewer sees the results. Dozens of diagrams support the course and further illustrate the techniques. The package also includes 20 progressive interactive exercises designed in an optically accurate stereo 3-D virtual studio based on the FrameForge Previz Studio software.

Further complementing the course is the Expert Insight Series, with 4 hours of content from the experts behind Alice in Wonderland, Coraline, Monsters vs. Aliens, G-Force and more. Also included are a Video FAQ, the Stereographer’s Handbook and a laminated Stereo 3-D Shooting Guide for easy reference on set.

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contact info:  
www.convergence3d.net
www.parallellcinema.fr
Legacy Inspires at Stan Winston School

Gnomon School of Visual Effects has partnered with the family of the late character creator and effects visionary Stan Winston to establish the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

Winston helped build the foundation for many of the creature effects techniques that fill today’s blockbuster films. As a character development lead on films including Terminator, Aliens, Predator, Jurassic Park, Iron Man and Avatar, Winston created cinematic icons that terrify, entertain and inspire, earning him four Academy Awards in a career spanning four decades.

The first Stan Winston School lessons will be available January 2011 in both DVD and online streaming formats. The initial lesson offerings will include “Practical/Digital Hybrid Characters” with John Rosengrant, co-owner of Legacy Effects; “Script Breakdown for Character Creators” with Shane Mahan, co-owner of Legacy Effects; “Directing Creature Characters” with Alec Gillis, co-owner of Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.; “Creature Performance” with Tom Woodruff Jr., co-owner of Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.; and “Prosthetic Makeup” with Howard Berger, co-owner of KNB EFX. The Stan Winston School also plans to offer hands-on workshops with world-renowned character-effects studios in conjunction with the training DVDs and online content.

“Thanks to the expertise of our partners at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, the Stan Winston School will be at the vanguard of visual arts education,” says Matt Winston, son of the late Stan Winston. “Our lessons will cover the entire spectrum of character-creation techniques, from practical to digital. Never before have my father’s incredibly talented peers allowed such comprehensive access to the creative process, insights and methods they developed together. From day one, students will be transported to the alien-, dinosaur-, robot- and monster-filled worlds these master artists create.”

Gnomon founder Alex Alvarez notes, “Few artists have shaped the film industry as Stan Winston has. We’re honored to partner with the Winston family to ensure his legacy can inspire another generation of artists to realize the incredible accomplishment of seeing the creatures born in your imagination take shape and become characters in a feature film.”

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contact info:  
www.stanwinstonschool.com
www.gnomonschool.com