Film Tech

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March 2, 2017 Shane Murphy

Kids favourite desserts – pancakes!

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March 1, 2017 Stoffel Jansen

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Julian CleophasMarch 9, 201611min140

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Lighting, Henry Cavill, Immortals

Set lighting is a very important aspect in the creation of a film, due to it having a direct affect on how the film looks.  It is for this specific reason that the Director of Photography deal directly with the lighting department. With so many different types and colours of light, one can easily become overwhelmed, but thanks to Premium Beat we are able to demystify all of that below:

Kelvin Scale

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Kelvin Scale, Lighting, Set lighting, Filmmaking, Colour Temperature Chart

  • The kelvin scale is used to measure light
  • A kelvin(K) is a unit of measurement for temperature, meaning it starts at zero and only increases
  • The lower the Kelvin, the more Red the colour
  • The best way to remember this would be to think of a candle light or lit match ranging from 1000k – 1900k e.g. Fire = Red

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Kelvin Scale, Lighting, Set lighting, Filmmaking, Colour Temperature Chart,

  • As you go higher up on the scale you progress through yellow, white and blue lights
  • Halogen lights can be found at around 2500k -3000k
  • Direct sunlight can be translated to 4800k
  • Daylight is normally around 5600K
  • Cloudy sky or cool white found between 6000k -7500k
  • Clear blue sky at 10 000k

This progression can be seen in the colour temperature chart above, and in the light bulb representation below

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Kelvin Scale, Lighting, Set lighting, Filmmaking, Colour Temperature Chart

Types of Lights

There are many different types of lights, so we decided to focus on the lights most commonly seen on a film set.

Tungsten Lights (-3200k)

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Kelvin Scale, Lighting, Set lighting, Filmmaking, Colour Temperature Chart

Image via ARRI

  • Tungsten lights are very similar to home light bulbs
  • They produce an orange hue
  • Lamps require large amounts of power and get very hot
  • Offer higher colour temperature than incandescent tungsten bulbs
  • Lights can be dimmed, allowing you the option of adjusting
  • Add blue gels to create daylight


Hydrargyrum Medium – Arc Iodide (HMI) Lights (-5600k)

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Kelvin Scale, Lighting, Set lighting, Filmmaking, Colour Temperature Chart, HMI Light

Image via ARRI

  • HMI lights are often the most used light on set
  • HMI lights emit a UV light with blue hue
  • To power up, you require an electrical ballast
  • Ballasts limit the current to prevent flickering
  • HMI lights are 4X the power of incandescent’ s
  • HMI lights make a very loud noise when powering up, requiring lighting technicians to shout “striking” to notify all on set.
  • Brand new bulbs will have a colour temperature of up to 15000k
  • Bulbs should be left on to reach an optimum level of 5600K, close to daylight
  • Bulbs should not be used halfway past their lifetime
  • Bulbs require more voltage and colour temperature will continue to decrease 1 kelvin every hour
  • HMI lights are expensive, but are much more efficient
  • Bulbs can be dimmed to 50% but causes colour temperature to rise to a stronger blue
  • If blown out or dropped, HMI bulbs will explode hot glass and mercury vapour
  • Very important to have a knowledgeable lighting technician on set when using HMI lights.


Fluorescent lights (2700k – 6500k)

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Kelvin Scale, Lighting, Set lighting, Filmmaking, Colour Temperature Chart, Fluorescent Lights, Film production

Image via ARRI

  • Fluorescent bulbs are known for flickering and have a very ugly orange hue
  • With the development of new technology, bulbs are flicker free, offering multiple colour temperatures
  • Has a very soft light, more efficient than an incandescent bulb  and can offer an output similar to HMI lights
  • The colour temperature can range from tungsten up to natural daylight, depending on the phosphors mix in the bulbs.
  • Fluorescent bulbs are much often packed into small fittings, allowing them to be compact and lightweight.
  • Fluorescents are much cooler than any other bulb option.


Light Emitting Diodes (LED Lights) (White 3000k- 5600k)

Demystifying set lighting and colour temperature, LED lights, film making, film Lighting, film lights

Image via ARRI

LED lights are becoming more and more popular on set. While LED lights are most commonly seen in white, they can be manufactured in every colour.

  • Diodes are designed to offer directional light
  • Very efficient but limited in overall output, normally used on small budget productions
  • LED lights only produce single wavelengths of light

Africa's first film blog, Zoom-in, Kelvin Scale, Lighting, Set lighting, Filmmaking, Colour Temperature Chart, LED Lights, Film production, Set lighting, Premium beat

Image via ARRI

  • To create white light, you will require red, blue and green LED’s
  • White can also be created with the combination of phosphors and ultraviolet LED
  • LED lights provide soft and even lighting
  • Incredibly high efficient, can be battery powered
  • Can easily be dimmed and moved along the colour spectrum
  • LED’s have a long lifespan and wont explode


Julian CleophasJuly 23, 20153min120

After publishing the article on “Premier Pro tutorials every editor should know”, I decided to dig deeper and while browsing the web, I discovered an info graphic by Jamie Spencer displaying a complete shortcut guide to Adobe Premier Pro and After Effects. The info graphic is only the tip of the iceberg, in a series of Adobe Creative Cloud keyboard shortcuts published by Jamie on SetUpABlogToday.

If you are new to Adobe Premier Pro CC, these shortcuts will be of great assistance in speeding up your editing process. However, for those migrating to Premier Pro CC from other editing software, you may also configure your shortcuts to those you are already familiar with. Now all you need to do is download Adobe’s Premier Pro and After Effects shortcuts  for professionals and beginners below!




Adobe Premier, Adobe After Effects, Adobe

For those interested in shortcuts for other Adobe Creative Cloud programs, you can get them by clicking here .


Julian CleophasApril 22, 20158min41

While perusing the web, I came across a comprehensive list of Adobe Premier Pro video tutorials for the professional and aspiring editor, compiled by Premium Beat. The tutorials divulge the capturing and importing of footage, to more professional multi-cam editing and warp stabilizing, which essentially is the entire post-production workflow. So check out the tutorials listed below, touted the ‘holy grail’ for any video editor!

The Interface



Importing/Capturing Media



Basic Timeline Editing



Three  and Four Point Editing

‘Three and four point editing’  is an important part of video production, as this relates to how your workflow will look in Premier Pro.

via Creative Cow


 Keyboard Shortcuts

This one thing you definitely want to know, as shortcuts tremendously speed up your edits.

via Videomaker


Adding Effects

via The New Boston


Colour Correction

Colour correction and grading will provide you with the necessary tools to get that professional video look, a feature commonly overlooked by new users.

via Roberto Blake


Multicam Editing

This feature comes in handy if you have recorded footage from a live event or TV show with multiple video clips. By using this feature, you are able to switch between multiple video feeds in real time like on a live production.

via Infinite Skills


Audio Editing

Audio is an integral part of video production, which is why it can completely ruin your work, if sound was not mixed correctly in post. The video below will ensure that you do not make the same mistakes again.

via Medill School


Exporting Video

After completing your edit, you will need to know the export format and with the large amount of options available on Premier, it is not exactly an easy task. To ease your confusion, the tutorial below will show you how to export video from Premier Pro

via Curtis Judd


Using Dynamic Link

This feature allows you to link to other Adobe software like After Effects, which is very useful when you work with motion and graphic design.

via Video2brain


Creating Credits

via BizVidCommunications


Warp Stabilizer

The warp stabilizer effect is an awesome tool, enabling you to quickly smoothen out any shaky footage. This feature can also be used to minimize rolling shutter.

via Karl Miller


Adding Markers

Markers come in handy if you are working in a team, as this allows you to add edit notes or tasks that need to be completed in Premier Pro’s timeline

via HowTechMultimedia


Project Manager

When saving your project, it only includes the project file but no video assets are included. By using the project manager to save your project you are able to copy all video assets used within your project to a new location.





Julian CleophasMarch 24, 20151min60

Ever wonder how much thought goes into the first and final frames of a film? Well, attention to detail so commonly stressed upon by directors, is brilliantly depicted by filmmaker Jacob T. Swinney’sFirst and Final Frames” video that we stumbled across. In most films you discover a trend that the first and final frames are identical to each other with very subtle differences. The reason for this, is so that the filmmaker consistently communicates a theme, whether to illustrate progress or to depict a sign of decline. To gain a better understanding of this, take a look at Jacob T. Swinney’s supercut of 55 film opening and closing shots in the video below:


Julian CleophasDecember 18, 20148min50

GoPro, Hero 4 Black Edition, Action Cameras, HDThe unveiling of GoPro’s new Hero 4 Black Edition camera left many, including action camera competitors, marveling by the developments of GoPro’s latest offering!  The pioneers of action cameras, who in 2013 received a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award in the category of ‘Inexpensive Small Rugged HD Camcorders’, were selected for their ground breaking Hero 3 camera technology, which enabled television production professionals to capture amazing perspectives that had never been possible before! Are we really surprised by the award? Well, no!

To start, if you saw GoPro’s Hero 4 Silver Edition camera with built-in LCD at the back, you will probably be a bit disappointed to know that the Black Edition unfortunately does not come with a built-in LCD. However, GoPro’s new Black Edition camera shoots 4K up to 30 frames per second in comparison to other models which shoot 4K video at 15 fps. So what does this mean?Basically, the higher frame rate makes 4K video more usable after shooting, a feature pro Videographers love! Along with the awesome possibilities of 4K, the Black also shoots 1080p HD video at up to 120 frames per second and 12 mega pixel photo’s at 30 frames per second, being the best new feature!

Some of the new developments on GoPro’s black edition include, shooting 2.7K video at speeds up to 50 frames per second, an increase from 30 on the Hero 3+ black edition. The new SuperView feature, captures a taller 4:3 ratio image and brings it down to a 16:9, allowing you to get more in the shot. Along with this GoPro have introduced more modes including 2.7K at 30 fps and 1080P at 80 fps . Just when you thought it could only get better, you were wrong, the only dissapoinment would be that shooting 720P will still be at 120 fps like previous models. But wait there’s more…


To address the low-light issue of prior models, both the Hero 4 Silver and Black have Night Photo and Night Lapse modes. I mean, you must have seen it in the Hero 4 Black promo video! Essentially, this now means that you have manual control over how long the shutter remains open, which is up to 30 seconds for an exposure. Despite how great the image quality is, to be honest, the user interface needed serious attention. The two button navigation system became worse with the evolution of the camera. So GoPro never added  any additional buttons but decided to just remap. So the location of the Wi-Fi button on the side of the camera, now brings up an aware menu for whatever shooting mode in. This now makes changing from video mode, to frame rate or flip to Protune, without having to scroll through thousands of different options.  You’ll be pleased to know that this feature is also available in Photo mode and Multi Shoot mode (including Time-Lapse, Night Lapse and Burst).

The side button just got pimped out! While recording,should something amazing happen, you can just tap the button and a highlight tag is added to that segment of footage. The tag can then be identified on the new version of GoPro’s Studio editing software, which allows you to filter through your highlight tags. So what else got improved? The camera now not only has Wi-Fi but Bluetooth, too. According to GoPro, they have improved the audio system on the Hero4 (both editions) stating that the units have two times the dynamic range compared to previous models. GoPro’s Protune feature gives you high bit rates, RAW-ish video with adjustable parameters for exposure, ISO and colour. This feature is also available in Photo, Time-lapse and Video modes!

For you to make your own decisions check out footage shot with both the Hero 3 + black and 4 black below.

Hero 3+ Black

Hero 4 Black 

To make things easier you will be pleased to find Gopro’s Video Resolution Chart below thanks to Peta Pixel.

GoPro Hero 4 Black Video Resolution Chart

Overall, GoPro destroys any action camera out there in the world. The only dissapointment would have to be that there’s no improvement on battery life. In fact, the new batteries are 1160mAh in comparison to the old ones of 1180mAh. If you thought you could keep your old batteries, forget it, as the new batteries have a different shape. To conclude the new Hero 4 Black edition is estimated at +- R 7 400 Ex VAt and is available at Orms, Cape Union Mart and Visual Impact to name a few.


Julian CleophasDecember 5, 20149min6

Convergent Design, Odyssey 7Q, External Recorder, Monitor, 4K, For most people hearing the name 7Q, the first thought that comes to mind is an Audi motor car but in the film industry, we actually mean Convergent Designs Odyssey 7Q external recorder! Convergent Design’s (CD) Odyssey 7Q External Recorder was one of the most exciting announcements to come from the makers of the ‘Gemini 4:4:4’ and Nano Flash recorder, who unveiled their latest offering at  NAB Show 2013. CD’s latest offering was well received, even winning a DV Black Diamond Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Advancement of Video Technology!

CD’s Odyssey 7 series comprises of two models; the Odyssey 7 and 7Q which only differ on their recording capabilities. The Odyssey 7Q had been our main focus as it was touted as a versatile external recorder, capable of recording various codecs including 4K RAW! So what’s the big fuss? Well, the Odyssey devices boasts a 7.7inch 1280 X 800 OLED monitor with fantastic high end monitor display features like waveform, zebras, histogram, Vector scope, Focus Assist, False colour, Time code display, LUT’s, Audio level metres and 1:1 Pixel mode. The Odyssey 7Q is capable of adding options for recording to various camera formats including ARRI RAW, Canon C500 Raw, Sony FS700 and more.

The most popular camera probably to pair with the 7Q, has been Sony’s FS 700. Reason being, it’s the lightest, most economical, lowest power draw RAW recording solution for Sony’s FS700. At first, the 7Q and Sony’s FS700 RAW recording combo had been limited to 2K, which meant users had to buy Sony’s AXS-R5 recorder and HXR-IFR5 interface if you wanted 4K.  A feature missed by CD, was the ability to record compressed formats despite the benefits of RAW, FS700 users don’t want hassles of workflow and storage that come with it. Based on feedback, CD listened and announced they will support 4K RAW recording via a firmware update, provided the $795 Sony RAW option is installed. To accommodate users, Sony has officially given CD access to 4K Raw from Sony’s FS 700.

Check out CD official press info below:

Convergent Design, Odyssey 7Q, Sony, FS700, External Recorder

“Convergent Design’s Odyssey 7Q is the most capable portable monitor/recorder on the market. It can capture and display the signals from more camera systems than any other product. That capability will soon be increased even more as we announce that recording of the 4K RAW signal from the Sony NEX FS700 will be available in the Odyssey 7Q.4K RAW recording will be part of the FS700 record option on the Odyssey 7Q. It will be made available as part of the upcoming February 2014 Firmware update on the Odyssey 7Q. Any current owner of the FS 700 record option, will receive the 4K RAW capability as part of the firmware update and at no additional cost.”

At the time of press release, the firmware update had not been available but had been launched earlier this year. In 4K RAW you will be able to record continuously at up to 60P with high speed 120P in a four second burst mode. So what can you expect? This essentially means that the Odyssey 7Q can now capture all of the digital outputs of Sony’s FS700 along with the addition of Sony’s 4K RAW native. The highest resolution capable of the FS 700’s camera sensor is 4096 X 2160. 4K RAW is captured in Cinema DNG format as full uncompressed files onto the Odyssey 7Q’s SSD drives. The ability to use 4K DNG RAW with the 7Q is awesome but bear in mind that means limited recording times, extra storage space and a not so easy work flow process. CD’s Odyssey 7Q will soon accept the 4K RAW signal, transform it to 4k video and super sample it down to a quality 1080P HD Video. The HD video is then recorded into Pro Res in the 10-bit 4:2:2 HQ quality at 220 mbps, which is a huge improvement on the cameras internal 8-bit, 4:20 AVCHD at 25mbps. Another great advantage, is that up to 4 HD cameras can be connected to one recorder and then tether multiple recorders together,making it ideal for multi-camera functions and concerts! For more on CD’s Odyssey 7Q, checkout Mathew Allard’s in depth review!

To conclude CD‘s 7Q external recorder is quite an impressive piece of equipment, which is not just a quality external recorder but also a very capable professional portable monitor as well! The 7Q costs around +- R57 000 and can be found at Puma Video, Visual Impact South Africa and Time Slice Cinematography to name a few.

Julian CleophasDecember 5, 20141min90

Choosing the right gear for your production is an essential part of film making but can also be a time consuming process due to constant camera releases and the odd word of mouth in the industry to throw you off course. So after doing some research we stumbled across a 2014 High End Camera Comparison Chart compiled by Tom Fletcher at Cineverse Camera Rental House, formerly known as Fletcher Camera & Lenses. The chart compiled by Tom Fletcher, depicts information gathered over a period, after numerous conversations with various cinematographers, colorists, colleagues and manufacturers. So thanks to CINEVERSE, you can down load the complete chart here!


Thiru NNovember 21, 20144min140

Sony’s latest offerings the Sony F65 , F55 and F5 camera systems are doing well in the film and broadcast industry, along with the success of the preferred camera technology at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while broadcasting all 64 games around the world in 4K! God bless you Sony! May you continue to grow leaps and bounds.

The Giganotosaurus  of AV technology is coming alive, to give you a close up on all their latest creative and innovative tools Sony has on Offer.

Catch the workshop in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. Find the details listed below:

Sony Workshop Cape Town  

Date: 27 November 2014

Session Times: 10am to 1pm

                            2pm to 5pm

Venue: Waterfront Film Studios, 1 Port Road

               V & A Waterfront, 8002

              Cape Town

Sony Workshop Johannesburg

Date: Choose from any session on November 24th or 25th,2014.

Session Times: 10am to 1pm

                            2pm to 5pm

Venue:  Blanford Manor, 106 Hyperion Drive

               North Riding, Randpark Ridge 2156



Thiru NOctober 17, 20142min50

Hey ye film geeks check out these free film grains!

Whether you’re amateur or pro or pro-amateur you’d want to spruce up your film and give it an organic look right? Check out the sites below to use in your commercial and/or personal projects 100% free to use film grains.


Julian CleophasJuly 23, 20147min40

Sony’s latest offering the PMW-400, a 2/3-inch type Exmor sensor XDCAM camcorder; recording Full HD 422 at 50Mbps had officially replaced Sony’s PMW-350, as announced in April 2013. The extremely popular freelance camcorder was one of the first affordable solid-state recording systems that supported 2/3-inch glass.

The new shoulder-mounted PMW-400 has great low-light sensitivity of F12 at 59.94Hz and F13 at 50Hz. Now, the 400 saw big changes in terms of what the camera records in, which for the 350 was MPEG-2 at 35Mbps, essentially limiting the types of productions it could be used on.  You will be pleased to know that the PMW-400 includes all the codecs as the PMW 500, so what does this mean? Well, it means that it will record MPEG-2 HD422 at 50Mbps, but wait there’s more!

 The launch of Sony’s F5 and F55 cameras also saw the release of Sony’s XAVC codec, which comes ready on the PMW-400; along with the 2014 summer firmware upgrade which will enable Intra frame of 100Mbps. The XAVC codec inclusion to the PMW 400, gives the camera much longevity as possible for owners.  The implementations launch at NAB Show 2014, received positive responses, after indicating that it will be a free upgrade.

So what do you get with the PMW-400?

Firstly, Sony’s latest offering has two versions; the L version comes without a lens and K version with a Fujinon 16X zoom HD lens. XAVC is Sony’s application of the H.264 standard, where Sony uses level 5.2. This essentially allows a single format that is capable of handling High Frame-Rate (HFR) HD and 4K imaging, already used on Sony’s F5 and F55 cameras.

 Sony Europe’s Head of Strategic Marketing, Fabien Pisano said,

We’ve designed the PMW-400 to acquire high quality, clean images especially in low-light environments. It’s very ergonomically balanced, easy to operate and includes features that make it fit seamlessly into various types of productions and workflows. This really opens up new opportunities around cost efficiency and flexible shooting to achieve the desired results.”

When Sony developed the PMW-400 they had in mind an ENG camera with better versatility in the field, as well as it being a highly capable studio camera. Along with this option was the introduction of the free firmware upgrade in November 2013 for their Flash Band Reducer. Those familiar with CMOS sensor cameras, will know that flash banding can tremendously affect recording. To safeguard from this, Sony announced the PMW-400 will have a built in flash band reduction algorithm that will counteract footage before it is recorded. This option essentially makes the camera a valuable field asset, not forgetting that it was developed with the studio environment in consideration.

The PMW 400 comes equipped with 2 SDI outputs for multiple video devices, offering an optional CBK-CE01 interface, allowing the camera to connect to either Sony’s CA-FB70 optical fiber adaptor or the CA-TX70 digital triax adapters. In a nutshell, with these connections you will transmit high quality signals over great distances using the PMW-400, just as you would any CCU in a studio location.

Sony’s PMW 400 Facts:

  • The low res VGA viewfinder of the PMW-350 had been replaced with a ¼ full HD 960X540 pixel resolution, resulting in better contrast and greater viewing angles.
  • Battery life of approx. 180 minutes with BP-L80S compared to 310 minutes with BP-GL95 on the PMW-350
  • Camcorder allows for live logging from a tablet or smart phone via Wifi. If the new CBK-WA100 wireless adaptor is added, content can be wirelessly uploaded via ftp to a server or cloud service via 3G/4G mobile phone network.
  • Recording to SXS  Memory Cards
  • Supports all current SD & HD 4:2:2 broadcast workflows based XDCAM EX using the MP4 & AVI codecs( Including MPEG-2 HD 422 @50Mbps
  • SD CARD or XQD Cards (FAT32)
  • Records .MXF broadcast files on SXS & XQD cards (UDF formatted)
  • New 3DNR noise reduction processing system, giving a signal to noise ratio of 60 dB
  •  Wide gain selection range from -3dB up to +42dB maximum
  • Supports the New XAVC codec to offer 10-Bit HD 4:2:2 100Mbps and XAVC Long GOP 10-Bit (low bit rate)- although limited to 25P or 30P in HD (naturally, 4K is not supported)
  • MPEG IMX @ 50Mbps and DV CAM
  • HD 420 @ 35 Mbps or 25 Mbps

To conclude, Sony’s PMW-400-K is estimated at +- R180 000 and PMW-400-L at +- R147 000 Ex Vat. Being fairly new to the South African landscape, the  400’s can only be found at Visual Impact South Africa (Cape Town & Johannesburg), Timeframe (JHB) and Puma Video (JHB) at this moment.  As time passes, we should see more of these cameras available at dealers and rental houses.