Saturday, April 28, 2012

Samish Island

So we went to Samish Island for a gig my wife had doing World Drum and Dance workshops at a campground style retreat. Gorgeous scenery, the people were extremely friendly and accommodating and the food was amazing! We didn't want to leave. The focus of this retreat was the arts and they had all sorts of workshops on writing, music and even basic studio production- all taught by industry professions. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Frame Rates, Scaling and All That Cal

So after deciding to incorporate more GoPro HERO and Canon Vixia HF G10 footage into Rats & Gassers: Kustom Kulture Takes A Ride with the sixteen plus hours I already shot in Standard Definition on my trusty Panasonic AG DVX100 footage, I needed a new game plan. It took all day and hours of reading internet post after internet post about mixing footage, workflows, Final Cut Pro timelines etc. etc. to figure it out. This is what I came up with-

GoPro Hero Footage (shot setting 5 which is sized 1920 x 1080)
1. Load clips onto desktop.
2. Use MPEG Streamclip to convert the MP4 clips to Apple ProRes 442 (HQ) .mov files. Keeping frame rate at 29.97 (not like in the picture in the upper right where I have it set at 23.98)
3. Use Cinema Tools to "conform" the clips to 23.98. This eliminates any possible jerky frame rate conversion, like I experienced when doing the conversion in MPEG Streamline.
4. Drop clips into Final Cut Pro timeline set at Apple ProRes 442 (HQ) 1280x720 24p 48kHz and speed up 125%.

Panasonic AG-DVX100 Footage (shot SD 24p 720 x 480 letter boxed)
1. Capture clips in Final Cut Pro.
2. Use Cinema Tools to Reverse Telecine (now clips have the .rev filename extension and are at 23.98 frame rate).
3. Drop into Final Cut Pro 24p 720x480 timeline and export as .mov files.
4. Drop into Final Cut Pro timeline set at Apple ProRes 442 (HQ) 1280x720 24p 48kHz and enlarge 200%.

Canon Vixia HF-G10 Footage (see note below- added 10/12/12)
1. Load clips onto desktop.
2. Use iSkysoft Video Converter to convert the .mts files to .mov files (seems the only easy program I can find to convert the .mts Canon files to HD .mov files, but they still don't drop easily into the Apple ProRes 442 (HQ) 1280x720 24p 48kHz timeline).
3. Use MPEG Streamclip to convert the HD .mov files to Apple ProRes 442 (HQ) .mov files. Keeping frame rate at 29.97 (this step seems to fix all Final Cut Pro / Apple ProRes 442 timeline issues).
3. Use Compressor to Reverse Telecine and export at Apple ProRes 442 (HQ).
4. Drop into Final Cut Pro timeline set at Apple ProRes 442 (HQ) 1280x720 24p 48kHz.

As you can see now everything sits pretty in my master Apple ProRes 442 (HQ) 1280x720 24p 48kHz timeline. Now of course to put it on standard DVD, I will have to export in lower resolution than 720p but if the film does well,  I can easily go back, separate and send out the SD footage to be professionally uprezed for BluRay, etc.

NOTE: Since writing this I found that the Canon Vixia HF-G10 Conversion Process I mentioned above gives a jerky look in Final Cut pro 24p timelines. but only on certain clips. I think what was happening was the 29.97 frame rate being converted in Compressor was not getting a clean frame removal for fps conversion to 23.98. I now use Brorsoft's MTS Converter and then run through MPEG Streamclip to make sure the files have no issues in FCP.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Destrucution Of A Space Pod

Buhgabaa's Space Pod was in bad shape.
Mucho rat poop.
After a half hour with a sawzall.
The layers of PVC pipe and wood took some time to cut apart.
Sides cut- only the center remains.
Sides cut away.
Bottom board and a few pipes.
Sawzall 1 - Space Pod 0

So I decided it was time to scrap the ol' Space Pod prop I built for Buhgabaa's trip to Earth in Hot Rod Girls Saves The World. The Pod took months to build and included a kustom built lift up canopy (pulled up offscreen by fishing line), computer keyboards inside the cockpit, various hoses and engines nozzles that lit up remotely. It was a highly detailed,  elaborate construction that would have held it's salt on any George Lucas set.
I had been hauling it around, storing it at various locations for years. Sitting under a tarp, outside in the Northwest had not been kind to Buhgabaa's old ride. Mold was abundant, the paint was flaking and rats had eaten the interior fabric leaving hundreds of droppings all over it and in it. So it was time- time to see how well the Space Pod would hold up to a little sawzall action. After I cut away the initial exterior bits, I began cutting, hammering and cutting some more on the sturdy Pod. It took an hour and a half of solid work to get down to the base boards and pipes. The last pieces I cut with a skill saw, cramming them into the trash. A quick sweep up into the dust pan and the Space Pod was no more. Well I guess it will always live on in Hot Rod Girls The World, with a determined Buhgabaa at the helm. "Moosha maa!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hot Wheel Thinning

Decided to thin out my die-cast car collection. Being a collector my habit, I end up with multiple versions of the same vehicles, or cars I don't know why I purchased in the first place. Came up with four full bankers boxes of "duplicates" or "do not wants." Gonna sell these at Car Shows this summer to lighten my load of little cars. Collecting is a strange addiction. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rats & Gassers Filming - Trevor Robinson's Shop 2

More pics from yesterday. These were pulled from the Canon HF-G10 video, not as single shot digital pics. 

Rats & Gassers Filming - Trevor Robinson's Shop

Went out to Trevor's place yesterday to shoot his '29 Ford Pickup- "The Nothing Special" as he calls it, and his shop. We did some drive around footage with the two GoPro's and I used my new Canon HF- G10 for some drive-by shots as well. I need to make a decision if I am going to try and uprez the Panasonic AG-DVX100 interview footage to HD or compress the new GoPro and Canon HD footage to standard definition for this documentary. Documentaries are known for mixed media sources and resolutions. Considering it will end up on standard DVD first I may just compress the new footage down. My next feature will be HD, but still don't know if it's necessary for a documentary like Rats & Gassers

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Boss RC-3 Loop Station

Just took delivery of a Boss RC-3 Loop Station. Did a three part credit payment plan with Sweetwater Music so it didn't sting the pocketbook much at all. Really looking into alternative ways to create loops, rather than the old sampling discs and libraries created by third parties. Hooked it up to my "The Board" home made percussion instrument and was instantly making Tom Wait's - Bone Machine era percussion loops. The coolest thing about this pedal is it has three hours internal recording and a USB port to dump your creations into your PC or Mac for further use. Been wanting one of these for the last year. Many possibilities. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rats & Gassers Filming - Robb Newby's Shop

Went over to Robb's shop yesterday for some pick-up shots of...well his... err pick-up. First time I used both GoPro cameras at the same time. Robb had a cool idea to mount one camera out in front of his truck on a series of poles weighted by (of all things) a can of peas (that was my wife's quick thinking). It work exceptionally well and we got some in your face shots of Robb's very bad ass ride for Rats & Gassers. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sound Library

Pulling more sounds from various formats into my Sound Library. These are for the new D.A. Sebasstian & The Inner Demons - Burnt Orange album and my new documentary Rats & Gassers: Kustom Kulture Takes A Ride. I am finally digging up all the good stuff for ease of use. This latest batch are sounds from my Korg DW-8000 andYamaha TG-33 (both sold years ago).  Before I sold them, I plugged them into my Panasonic AG-DVX100 video camera and played each sound set into the camera whilst filming the keyboards menu screen. This gives an easy visual identifier with the sound. When you want to recover you open a video editor and cut and export to .wav or .aiff  files. Great way to archive your old drum machines and keyboards. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dodge Truck Die-Cast

Got these two cool M2 Machines Dodge Cab Over Engine die-cast at Fred Meyer today. Interesting that all the collector die-cast are branching out from the now typical Hemi Cuda, Chevelle and Mustang 1/64th scale die-cast cars and making more obscure cars and trucks.  Their current fave seems to be the 1950s era vehicles. Nice to see the heritage of these cars and trucks being kept alive by the die-cast manufacturers. Wish I could say the same for FIAT-Chrysler. With the recent rebadging of the "Dodge Truck" brand to the "Ram" brand and the newest version of the Viper trading its "Dodge" nameplate in for the more AMG-esque/Abarthish "SRT" branding- will the Dodge brand even be around in another 10 years? Dodge is one of the greatest names in the American Auto Industry and I would hate to see it reduced to a three car brand. Maybe the new leadership of FIAT-Chyrsler (i.e. Italians) just don't get it. Dodge is an iconic nameplate, why kill it?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Egg Hunt Day

We did a little Egg Hunt for our Arts School today. Exceptional weather. Not a lot of kids came out this year, but hey- more plastic eggs for them :) 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sound Library Consolidation Project

As part of my ongoing Sound Library Consolidation Project- I have started recording real time audio transfers from my DAT libraries. Incredible percussion sessions, guitar sessions, studio loops and  strange instruments. I used to back all my recorded work to DAT Tapes (the standard back in the early-mid 1990s). Man what  a treasure trove! Sometimes I forget how prolific I am (was). Must be ten albums worth of material here!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pontiac's Great One by Darwin Holmstrom

Just got this excellent book by Darwin Holmstrom (photos by David Newhardt) about Pontiac's GTO. I am going through an automotive historical phase that includes more than my normal Mopar reference materials. I have always had a soft spot for Pontiac's GTO (and Firebird) and have recently become convinced that the 1967 GTO is one of the greatest muscle cars of all time, both in looks and performance. Of course my list of "Greatest Muscle Cars Of All-Time" is compsed almost entirely of Chrysler Products, with an occasional Mustang, GTO or Comet Cyclone thrown in here or there. This book is a great buy, with tons of researched historical information about "The Great One" as well as exceptional pictures, spanning the entire multi-decade GTO history. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Go-Kustom Studios

Decided to start editing other peoples films, sound design, music videos, etc. to wrangle up a little extra cash. Got the idea as I was working on my wife's arts school performance video and a friends wedding video. I have all the gear necessary and more experience than most. Why not? The new site will go live in a few days with formats and fees.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Decided to start converting some of my massive Roland S-550 Sound Library to Reason 6 to use on projects. I used the S-550 all through the late eighties and into the nineties as my main sampler. It is very limited by todays standards, but with an external monitor and mouse system it was ahead of it's time. I have years of sound files to look through (all on 3.5 foppies!), nostalgic but useful sounds.