Check out Apple's BTS video of how the new Mac Pro is made. Very impressive!
Ryan Holmes Cut Color Post. Excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry of editing, color grading, and deliverables.
As 2013 begins to wind to a close, I thought I would bring up an old topic. Should (will?) 4K be embraced within the home? Here's a snippet from Geoffrey Morrison's article from 2012 on Why 4K TVs are stupid:
Most people sit about 10 feet from their television. At 10 feet (120 inches), your eye can resolve an object 0.035 inch wide, if like I said above, there's enough difference between it and the background (or its adjacent pixel, in this case). The memories of the Westwood school system that told me I was bad at math compels me to show my work, so feel free to check my math:
2 x pi x 120": 753.98" (circumference of a circle, with you at the center)
753.98 / 360: 2.0944" (360 degrees in a circle)
2.0944 / 60: 0.0349" (60 minutes in a degree)
This math, or just looking at your TV, tells you that you can't see individual pixels. What's interesting is that a 720p, 50-inch TV has pixels roughly 0.034 inch wide. As in, at a distance of 10 feet, even 720p TVs have pixels too small for your eye to see.
That's right, at 10 feet, your eye can't resolve the difference between otherwise identical 1080p and 720p televisions. Extrapolating this out, you'd have to get a TV at least 77 inches diagonal before you'd start having a pixel visibility problem with 1080p.
Or, you can move closer. Beyond being a math exercise, let's be realistic. No one's going to sit 6 feet from a big TV. I'd doubt 7 feet, either. So if we say 8 feet (96 inches), or 0.028 inch on the resolution side, this means you'd need a TV that's bigger than 60 inches to really benefit from 1080p.
In bringing the point directly to your home Morrison states:
So if your eye can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on nearly all modern televisions, what's the need for 4K?
Excellent question. There isn't one. Not as far as TVs go, anyway. You'd need a 2,160p TV over 154 inches diagonal before you'd be able to see the pixels. On a 4K 50-inch TV, the pixels would be roughly 0.011 inch wide.
Where's the crossover where 1080p and 4K become noticeable? It's not exact because of all the above mentioned variables, but suffice it to say at 10 feet, it's somewhere well above 77 inches.
Stu Maschwitz, a year later in 2013, echoes Morrison's article as he debates for himself 4K in the home:
Morrison goes on to back up this assertion with wonderful facts and math. If you bought a 60” television, you’d have to sit about four feet away from it before you’d perceive the full benefit of 4K over good old 1080p.
Like Stu says, read Morrison's article. Every word. It's smart, mathematical, and well reasoned. Now that may not stop 4K from taking over, but it should make you seriously question if you need it in your home theater setup.
And in an attempt to resolve the debate about if people can perceive the resolution difference from a normal viewing distance Richer Sounds in Leicester, England is conducting a 4K vs. 1080p viewing yesterday, Sunday, December 1.
Attendees will be invited to guess which TV is the 4K Ultra HD one, taking as long as they need to scrutinise the content from 9 feet away (and hopefully without asking the next person). By submitting their pick on a short survey form, participants will be entered into a prize draw. When both TVs are revealed towards the end of the event, those who have correctly chosen the 4K set will stand a chance to win £100 worth of Richer Sounds voucher.
My guess: the math holds and people at the Richer event will be simply guessing 50-50 on which is 4K and which is 1080p. Though there is the real possibility that a down sampled 1080p image from 4K will appear slightly sharper and therefore, better to the average viewer. We'll find out soon enough...
This article from David Pierce on The Verge makes you appreciate Sunday football all the more:
To watch a football broadcast is to see much more than a football game. There are only about 11 minutes of actual action during a three-hour game, which means 95 percent of the time there’s something else going on. The graphics, replays, highlights, and analysis that make a football game into the at-home experience millions of people know and love — it’s all from Fox, and it’s all done on the fly. Nearly everyone on the crew says that while they broadcast the game, what they really do is make television.
The pro-caliber players aren't simply the ones on the field on Sunday afternoons. They are also in the trucks, booth, behind a camera, behind a computer, or flying a helicopter. If any broadcast looks simple and easy, I can guarantee you it isn't.
(1) The App Store has no upgrade path. All purchases are one time purchases. If you release a new version (not an update), it'll must be another purchase. This is how Logic X operates. Adobe, conversely, has moved to a subscription model wherein you pay every month for access to the software. So the "upgrade" path is built into the model.
(2) According to that ReUp article, Apple hasn't updated FCPX in over a year!
According to Apple, there have been no major FCPX feature updates for a year. It looks like they've been saving the new features for 10.1.
Likely, as the article notes, because they want to say some snappy features that will entice users to upgrade both the software as well as the hardware (i.e. new Mac Pro). Avid does this as well. Instead of rolling out new features ASAP they hold them back until the next large upgrade offering so that users will jump to the next version. Adobe was on this same cycle not more than a year ago. One of the strongest benefits of the Creative Cloud approach is that Adobe doesn't have to entice users to upgrade anymore. If you're paid up, you can download the latest version whenever you want. So Adobe doesn't have to prioritize bug fixes vs. feature updates anymore. It can do both at the same time.
Is one model better than the other? No. They're just different. It remains questionable if the subscription model Adobe holds to currently will pan out over time. However, it does offer some staggering differences between Apple/Avid and Adobe.
Some thoughts from RevUp Transmedia regarding the imment release of the new Mac Pro and presumably FCP X 10.1:
I expect Final Cut Pro X 10.1 to be a major version upgrade. I expect it to not only add jaw-dropping new original features, but also add back some of the requested features that have been missing from Final Cut Pro X in its first 2+ years. According to Apple, there have been no major FCPX feature updates for a year. It looks like they've been saving the new features for 10.1.
Yours truly writing back in July about Blackmagic's shipping prospects:
If they ship the 4K camera in September, and if within 3 months of BM shipping the camera they've fulfilled all pre-orders then I think that's a strong success for BM, especially compared with the original BMCC rollout. And I'm only focusing on the 4K camera here. The Pocket Camera is pretty much on track according to the rep. I don't think I need to remind anyone reading this blog about a small camera startup that still has trouble hitting shipping targets 8 years and several camera bodies after its inception.
And writing again in September about the Blackmagic shipping struggles :
However, in the future stop creating arbitrary deadlines that just frustrate your customer base as they get blown past. Announce the product, not the delivery date. Stop setting goalposts only to move them a couple of weeks later. Just stop it. Take a page from Apple's playbook in this area. The new Mac Pro was shown, but no expected date was given, save for the generic "Fall 2013." Or use the most common page from Apple, don't say anything about the product until you're ready to deliver it. Instead of showing the under-development 4K camera at NAB wait until IBC to show off the finished product. Or wait until NAB 2014 to show it and sell it on the show floor (how many people would just buy the 4K camera right there on the show floor and just fly home with it?! I'm guessing they'd blow throw cameras if that were the case). Or if the product doesn't fit into a simple trade show/convention release schedule then hold a press release about the new camera and start taking/filling orders when it's ready. The Internet and blogging community will easily take care of moving the information out to your customer base.
Well looks they're starting to learn their lesson...updated shipping date for BM 4K now reads "Shipping Q4."