Thursday, May 17, 2007

Workin in a coal mine...

Hardware update

Well, a few things of note. We recently purchased a new Apple MacPro and it's amazingly, blindingly faster than the old Powerbook. Installing FCP on it was a bit of a challenge. We had to install version 4, then install the 5.1 crossgrade and finally delete some license file from the system and re-enter the serial number to get it up and running.

We bought the Blue-tooth upgrade for it and the Apple store just gave use the unit to install ourselves. It came with zero documentation so we had to do a bit of sleuthing to figure out where it went in the Mac. The antenna wire just does not want to attach to the BT board so the folks at the Apple store will have to take care of that for us.

One of the issues with getting this beast from the online Apple store is that the video card that we wanted (ATI x1900) has been back ordered for months. However, the local store had several in stock so we just went that route.

By next week, the machine should be configured with 5GB of RAM and 1.5TB of disk in a RAID 0 configuration. In theory, we could edit uncompressed HD with this but I do not have any illusions about performance in that space.

Workin in a coal mine

Nancy has been working from 7PM to 7AM over at Quarter Mile and has been pretty hammered. But, being the consummate pro that she is, her high level of productivity has impressed them enough to allow her to basically set her own schedule. We were looking at getting a used DVCPRO deck for her so that she could just work at home and then sell it after the gig was over, but with their willingness to work with her schedule we decided not to bother.

The Reel Deal

I have been putting together a plan for our demo reel that will include a mix of cool edit transitions over live footage, composited scenes, motion graphics and 3D animation. It's going to take me a while to get it all done but it should be pretty slick. One of the first items I have started working on is a shot on a pool table tracking the ONE ball as it drifts across the felt. I have some work to do finishing up the felt texture for the pool table using SasLite in Lightwave as well as getting a decent image map for the pool balls.

FCS 2.0

Well, the new Final Cut Studio is supposedly shipping now. It looks to have some very exciting features that Nancy and I will be taking advantage of. Mixed format timeline, the new 3D features in Motion look really slick as well as the upgrade to Soundtrack Pro (a GREAT app if you have never tried it). The manuals are available online over at Mike Curtis's great HDForIndies blog.

Mike and Nance @b-scene films