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By Rob Garrott | Tuesday, May 06, 2014

NAB 2014: Panasonic GH4 First Look

The Panasonic Lumix GH4

I’ve been going to the annual NAB Show™ in Vegas for a long time, and rarely get excited about anything in particular; there are usually so many announcements from so many manufacturers that it’s hard to keep track! Each NAB Show ends up having a bit of a theme to it: Two years ago, 3D stereoscopic imaging was all the rage (thank goodness that’s over now). Last year’s NAB was all about drones with quad-, hex-, and octo-copters buzzing all over the show.

This year the big theme was 4K resolution cameras. Every camera manufacturer that didn’t already have a 4K system on the market announced one. But for me, the most exciting new camera this year is the Panasonic GH4.

The GH4 is a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) format camera with a mind-boggling amount of features, all directed squarely at the video market. Its feature list reads as if Panasonic looked at every video-capable still camera on the market and asked a simple question: What’s missing? The GH4 answers that question in many ways: 4K? Check! Clean, uncompressed HDMI out? Check! Solid microphone pre-amps? Check! Headphone jack? Check! Clamp on outboard device for high-end inputs and outputs? Double check! The list goes on and on.

By Robbie Carman | Friday, May 02, 2014

Achieve a Film Look with Plugins

Create a film look with plugins

Even though film stock is no longer popularly used, people still want their videos to have that iconic film look. Third-party plugins give you the tools to create the film look you want directly in your NLE of choice. This week in DSLR Video Tips, Rich and Robbie show how to use plugins from two popular vendors to transform your video footage with a stylized film look with plugins.

By Richard Harrington | Friday, April 25, 2014

Using Mobile Apps for Site Surveys

Episode 90 - 01

Knowing the ins and outs of your location is a very important step in successful productions. Site surveying helps you identify potential problems before your production takes place. In this week’s episode of DSLR Video Tips, Robbie and I demonstrate how to use mobile apps to make your site survey more effective. From weather conditions to the location of the sun, the more prepared you are, the more successful your production will be.

By Robbie Carman | Friday, April 18, 2014

Stabilizing video footage in post

Stabilizing video footage in post

Getting stable shots while you’re in production is ideal—but it doesn’t always work out that way. When faced with shaky footage, there are different techniques you can use to stabilize it during post-production. Join Rich and me this week as we share our insight into stabilizing video footage using both Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro.

You’ll learn

• How to stabilize footage using Final Cut Pro X • How to stabilize footage using Premiere Pro • The difference between a no–motion shot and a smooth stabilization shot

Check out the sample videos above and this week’s complete episode on, and we’ll help you get rock-solid, stable shots in post-production.

By Richard Harrington | Friday, April 11, 2014

Remote control your DSLR

Remote control your DSLR

Getting unique and challenging camera angles for your footage can be tricky. But don’t worry—if a shot requires your DSLR camera to be in an inconvenient or hard-to-reach spot, you can control it remotely. Join Robbie and I this week as we explore an app called CamRanger that works with a small transponder device to let you control your DSLR from another location.

By Robbie Carman | Friday, April 04, 2014

Create a film look in Adobe SpeedGrade

Create a film look with SpeedGrade

Grain, shadows, highlights—getting the right film look hinges on how these three elements are handled. Last week we explored how to build film looks in DaVinci Resolve; this week we’ll look at the same process in Adobe SpeedGrade—an excellent color grading tool that’s particularly user–friendly and intuitive. Joining Rich and me again this week is colorist Patrick Inhofer, who’ll walk us through his personal techniques for achieving a film look in SpeedGrade using footage from a recent music video shoot.

By Chris Meyer | Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Previewing the next release of After Effects CC

Previewing the next release of After Effects CC

In preparation for the 2014 NAB Show, Adobe has begun previewing new features slated for the next release of their video applications. I’ve had a chance to work with the upcoming version of After Effects CC, and I’m working on a new chapter for our After Effects: Creative Cloud Updates course to demonstrate them. In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about some of the goodies planned for this release.

Adobe Premiere Pro integration A main focus of Adobe’s upcoming releases is to strengthen the integration between After Effects and Premiere Pro, making it easier for a Premiere editor to tap into AE’s power. To that end, Adobe is introducing Live Text Templates, allowing you to create a composition (or chain of compositions) that includes text layers; lock the layers you don’t want the editor touching (e.g., the title of a show); and leave the layers you do want them to edit unlocked (such as a name in a lower third). You can then designate the project and this comp as a Template in Composition Settings.

By David Mattingly | Friday, March 28, 2014

Digital Matte Painting is Just Good Painting!

Matte painting is just good painting!

Matte painting is meant to fool the viewer’s eye. It is a special effects technique that combines live-action footage with painted imagery that dates back to 1907— the very dawn of filmmaking. Mattes were originally painted on a sheet of glass, which was suspended in front of the camera. Today, with digital imaging, artists can work in Photoshop, and combine their paintings with a live-action plate in programs such as After Effects, Maya, or Nuke.

The tools and techniques I advocate aren’t just helpful for matte painting, but form the building blocks of all good paintings. If you want to learn the tools and techniques I use for creating a strong digital matte painting, here are five artistic principles to set you on the right path:

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