Elevate Blog


This is the official blog of Elevate Visuals. Video, Post Production, Commericals, Promotional video, Pre-Production, DIY Projects, gear reviews,  and much more. Located in Petaluma, CA.

Add Your External Stock Libraries to FCPX Sound and Music Browser

You can easily add your external media libraries or folders to FCPX's built in media browser in just a couple easy steps. This will allow you to browse folders and libraries on your machine through the Final Cut Pro X interface, without having to tab over to a Finder window, look for the items you want, drag them in, or fuss around with the import window.

1. Simply drag whatever folder ("Test Folder" in this case) containing your desired media library in to the Music and Sound browser.

addlibrarytomusicandsoundbrowser
removelibrarytomusicandsoundbrowser

The folder will automatically appear in the Sound and Music browser from now on. If the media folder being referenced is on an external drive and the drive is disconnected, then the media will be unavailable, obviously. If you had already used media from the added folder, it will have been copied to your FCPX Event, and will not go offline, even if the drive was disconnected. 

To remove any added folders, simply right click on the folder in the Sound and Music browser and click "Remove Folder."

 

 

GoPro to Release Its Own Drone Next Year

Dean Hutton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Dean Hutton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

More details here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102220432

This seems like a very smart move for GoPro, in that they can sell you not only a camera, but the drone that will carry it.

Instead of simply making the cameras and letting other companies like DJI base their entire drone platforms off of it, GoPro can simply make their own drone, as well as continue providing a camera for other manufactures to use. Maybe this is why DJI has only shown their new Inspire 1 drone with their proprietary camera, even though its very similar in size to a GoPro? 

The drone world is just beginning to explode, and getting in early as the "affordable and accessible" camera & drone manufacturer can only help them long term by diversifying their product line and pioneering the "next big thing" in video.

How to Add a Second 1/4"-20 Screw Hole to Your Blackmagic Cinema Camera

How to Add a Second 1/4"-20 Screw Hole to Your Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Sometimes you just want to throw the camera and a lens on a tripod, and keep it simple.

On occassion you also must modify equipment to make it do what you want, which is why I figured I'd post this simple fix for mounting the Zacuto QR Dovetail Plate directly on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (or Production Camera), so you can use the quick release systems like the Zacuto Tripod Adapter, Kessler Kwik Release or Really Right Stuff.

This also allows you to quickly swap the camera body and lens to your jib, gimbal or slider without having to take apart rigs, get screw drivers involved or any other BS you don't need to be doing when a client is standing over you looking at their watch.

 

Step 1.

Set your camera somewhere stable. I used thick cloth to pad it in my workbench vice.

Step 2.

Locate your Blackmagic Cinema Camera's set screw and then grab a 1/4-20 tap, and a tap wrench - or do as I did if you don't have one of those, and put the tap in your electric hand drill, and use that as a tap wrench. Be extremely careful and don't even bother to actually press the button on the drill. Just use the drill like a screw driver to get it started.

Step 3.

Go back and forth a bit to get the tap in there slowly. A drop or two of oil or WD-40 can help lubricate the tap and make it a little easier to get it going.

Tapping threads.

Tapping threads.

Step 4.

Now you should have a second tapped hole, which can still function as a set screw hole because it hasn't been enlarged really.

2x threaded 1/4-20 screw holes on bottom of Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

2x threaded 1/4-20 screw holes on bottom of Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Step 5.

You should now be able to mount your Zacuto QR Dovetail plate (or Kessler or Really Right Stuff) without it twisting on you. This should allow you to easily move your camera around without having to use anything but quick releases.

The second (big) screw is just for illustrative purposes. You'll need another small head one or else it won't fit in any of the quick releases. Zacuto will sell you one for $12...WHAT? :-/

The second (big) screw is just for illustrative purposes. You'll need another small head one or else it won't fit in any of the quick releases. Zacuto will sell you one for $12...WHAT? :-/

On a tripod.

On a tripod.

On a DJI Ronin Gimbal in about 10 seconds.

On a DJI Ronin Gimbal in about 10 seconds.

You can even do this on rods if you mount your quick release plate to your baseplate.

Kessler Kwik release on an old Zacuto Universal Mini Baseplate.

Kessler Kwik release on an old Zacuto Universal Mini Baseplate.

Quick release camera body from tripod to gimbal, jib, slider, etc.

Quick release camera body from tripod to gimbal, jib, slider, etc.

You can purchase this quick release system here:

Modifying a Switronix GP-S Battery Plate for Use On Cheese Plate

switronix_pb70

The Switronix PB70 is a relatively small and affordable V-Mount battery, that has some clever features like 1/4"-20 mounting holes built into it as well as a second quick release on top of the battery for accessories. (or mounting directly to a camera body, which I find to be pretty goofy)

Universal Version

Universal Version

BMCC Specific Version

BMCC Specific Version

We have the Switronix PB70 V-Mount Batteries and decided to go with a Switronix GP-S V-Mount Battery Plate to mount on a cheese plate, for use with the BMCC rig. This is in comparison to the BMCC specific version of the plate, that comes with a built in BMCC cable, and costs a lot more.

I wanted to be able to use the plate for all future cameras, as well as the BMCC we are using currently, without having a cable hanging off the plate if its not compatible with one of our future cameras. All that is needed is a different D-Tap cable to adapt to any future camera, as opposed to having a hard wired BMCC power plug hanging off.

After watching Caleb Pike use this battery plate on a cheese plate with no problem, we figured it would be as simple as bolting it on the cheese plate...that was not so.

As usual, it was gear surgery time...The issue with this Switronix GP-S battery plate is that it has pre-installed screws sticking out the back for mounting directly to a camera body like the RED Scarlet/Epic or Sony F55. This doesn't allow the plate to sit flush an a cheese plate, and even if it did, they would probably short the device out if the two terminals touched the cheese plate in any way.

The general consensus was "just break the tabs off," but I wanted to preserve the potential for using this with the back pins in the future, so I removed the screws and bent back the metal tabs without breaking  them, taped them off with good electrical tape so they couldn't come in to contact with anything, and then put some more tape on it for good measure. Sealed the case back up and it works perfectly now.


Quick Review: Neat Video Is Magic

Neat Video is definitely a plug-in worth checking out if you shoot and/or edit footage with annoying digital noise cause by high ISO's in LOW LIGHT conditions. - neatvideo.com

Check the example below for an idea of how the plug in is able to remove the ugly grain, yet retain the detail of the original image. It's absolutely MAGICAL.

For all the beautiful results you can get from Neat Video, the plugin's website is pretty damn ugly looking. This isn't a case of simplicity = ease of use either...Its downright confusing on how to even buy the plugin, download it, and install it.

You can try the trial version, but don't bother buying anything but the Pro version, as its the only one that supports resolutions 1080p and higher...and if you aren't working in at least 1080p at this point, what are you doing reading this in the first place? Trust me, Its $99.90 well spent, you won't be sorry!

You can buy the plugin for many different platforms, but we use it in FCPX mostly. Once installed, simply drag it on to your clip(s) that need "help". You'll notice that nothing has happened, which is normal. In the inspector tab, click the "Select To Open" drop down and then it will open the Neat Video window and you can start sampling noise patterns to have the plugin use to do its voodoo.

More info on that here: http://www.neatvideo.com/howtos.html

It's a huge resource hog, so I'd recommend waiting until you're almost ready to export you're project before applying this noise reduction. Even at 1080p it will bring very powerful Mac's to an absolute crawl - but its totally worth it in the end!

 

I highly recommend this plugin and can't imagine not having it in our arsenal of tools, there is simply nothing else out there for this price, that works this well!

hopefully someone can help them out on their website, though... ;-)

 

 

Wiring The Office With Thunderbolt 2

33' Thunderbolt 2 Cable Being Hidden Below Baseboard - Routed to hard drive closet.

33' Thunderbolt 2 Cable Being Hidden Below Baseboard - Routed to hard drive closet.

Wiring the office with (hidden) Thunderbolt 2 - incognito style! The 33' Corning cable I'm using, uses a fiber optic connection, instead of the standard copper thunderbolt cables, and is capable of MUCH LONGER runs of Thunderbolt 2 cable. (they make a 200' version!) Highly recommended if you want to get your noisy hard drives and other equipment out of you're edit bay.

Corning 33' Optical Thunderbolt 2 Cable

Corning 33' Optical Thunderbolt 2 Cable

Devin Lane: Backyard Sessions - Bogota

Our friend Devin brought his guitar to our Labor Day evening BBQ in Petaluma, so we decided to do an impromptu multi-camera filming of his mini-concert by the fire. We scraped a few odd cameras and mics together, and in a matter of minutes, and everyone had sat around the inferno to enjoy the tunes. Here is his first song: "Bogota". Check it out! (Watch full screen)

Labor Day Weekend BBQ / Impromptu Multicam Live Concert Shoot

Our good friend Devin Lane had brought over his guitars  to our impromptu Labor Day backyard BBQ, which turned into an even more impromptu multi-camera acoustic concert by the fire.

Devin serenading the group. while cameras roll,

Devin serenading the group. while cameras roll,

Devin through the Zacuto EVF.

Devin through the Zacuto EVF.

Ungraded screen grab of Devin playing.

Ungraded screen grab of Devin playing.

Recording into Logic X.ogicl

Recording into Logic X.ogicl