Archive for the ‘Tools/Equipment’ Category

Customize Your Camera

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Here’s a cool little article courtesy of Creative Cow: “Want to be ready for Reality? Mod your camera!”

This isn’t for everyone, especially those that don’t own their own equipment or those that are concerned with resale value. But if you’re going to use your camera until the wheels fall off, so to speak, then this article may provide some tips or, at the very least, inspiration.

Red Centre at fxguide

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

For those who are trying to stay up to date on the Red One camera, let me recommend fxguide’s Red Centre podcast. Each episode features Jason Wingrove and Mike Seymour discussing the latest news, accessories, and tech tips (both production and postproduction).

I recently dug into these episodes and found they’re a good way of staying informed about this in-constant-development camera without having to spend a lot of time on the Reduser forums.

For a list of other Red-related links, go here.

Matte Box and Filters – An Intro

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

It’s a few days old, but B&H Photo/Video has a nice introduction to Controlling and manipulating the light (that enters the lens of your camera). The article describes the functions of a follow focus, mattebox and filters.

If you’re convinced you need these tools after reading the article, you might check out DV Magazine’s Matte Box Roundup and Follow Focus Shootout, two fine articles by FresHDV’s Kendal Miller and Matthew Jeppsen.

Making a Fullscreen Video Loop for an Installation (or Kiosk) Using Automator

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

UPDATE: Spring 2013.  SRF reader Jessica Barr corresponded with me in 2012 about how users of more recent versions of the Mac OS (10.6 and higher) might have issues with the Automator script below because QuickTime 7 is no longer the default movie Mac OS movie player. Jessica kindly revised the automator script and offered it to me so I could share it with you.

Download it here: Revised Automator QT Movie Loop script

(By the way, from my limited testing, it appears you still need QT Pro 7 — which is still sold as of May 2013 — to run this script. Quicktime X, or whatever it’s called, can loop, but you can’t save a movie as one that loops. And Automator’s loop instruction in its “play movie” actions don’t work reliably. )

Read on for the full instructions…..

Original Post from 2008:

Apologies for the long post title. This is to help anyone searching for such a thing on the internet.

This post will explain how to create a video that plays full-screen and loops repeatedly on a Mac. Looping full screen video is useful for, among other things, kiosks and video installations. If you want to cut to the chase and learn how to do this, skip down. Otherwise, I’ll offer a few words explaining the reasoning behind what I did.

Ashley Maynor and I recently put up a small video installation near the offices of the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge. The installation was done as a gratis piece of temporary public art, so we needed to keep the budget as small as possible.

In our case, this was a three channel installation — that is, we had three different videos playing simultaneously on three different screens. The screens were going to sit next to each other, so we wanted some uniformity in presentation. Video projection wasn’t an option — the space was too tiny for projection. (It’s basically an empty downtown shopwindow.) So we needed televisions or computer screens.

We didn’t have three identical televisions, but I did have three identical old semi-working iMacs sitting in a “junk” closet at Virginia Tech. So I borrowed those.

Regardless of whether you use a television with a DVD player, or a computer and its video monitor, for this sort of thing you might burn a DVD that loops. That’s a perfectly fine solution, but the DVD player on one of the iMacs was broken. Also, there might be solutions out there for having a DVD player and television power up and down automatically, but I know it can be done (and know how to do it) with a computer.

So how to do it?

I decided to create a simple Automator application that could be used to automatically screen a QuickTime movie in full screen mode when the computer was booted. I also automated the startup and shutdown of the computers so that the installation runs during prime hours downtown, saving power in the wee small hours of the morning. Details on how to do this after the jump.

(more…)

DIY: MiniCrane

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Here’s a link I missed promoting because I was off the grid when it was posted back in May: Stu “DV Rebel” Maschwitz shares a link about a “mini-crane you already own.” This isn’t exactly DIY as it’s normally defined (i.e., building stuff for cheaper than it can be bought). But it’s still pretty darn inventive.