The fallout from NAB 2016 is soon diminishing and here are some finals thoughts of the experience and 5 things we want to see happen to the video production and film industry improve upon.

1. Software Updates

Coming back from NAB has put into perspective the future of  video software that we as videographers and editors rely heavily on in order to create quality content. At Cinema Spice we want other software companies to adopt the attitude of making programs run smoother and faster, rather than coming up with a new flashy plugin every once an while. New flashy plugins just add bloat to the software and half the times they don’t even work, without the exact footage they were previewed on.

Adobe CC does a great job at catering to their subscribers by continuously tweaking their programs in order to fit the needs of the users.

Now we were getting into the age of 4K, 6K, and 8K high resolution video files, so the need for more efficient software is huge. This summer the newest version of Adobe Premiere Pro comes out and we’re excited because it will be equipped with a proxy file option, meaning when you import your high resolution files the software will display a key, compressing it into a smaller proxy file. When you’re finished with editing the with proxy file you can switch it back into it’s original high resolution file with the edits you already made. A new VR view mode will also be featured in the software enabling editors to edit 360 stitched video.  Premiere Pro will also have upgraded Lumetri tools enabling the users to alter specific colors, and there be choices to mess around with shortcut keys and captioning according to Macworld.com.

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All these features may look cool, but in the end we hope these different adjustments will generate manageable workflow and empower the user to express their creativity with ease.

2. Affordable Module Cameras 

This 2016 NAB debuted company called Craft was the new up-in-comer for the race of modular cameras. When you first look at the components and parts Crafts offers, you can see how compact and customizable the cameras are. At Cinema Spice we think the future of the video production industry includes camera modularization where one camera can used for multiple productions. Even the company’s slogan is: one camera, one purpose.

 Once upon a time it seemed Red was trying to pull off the same stride Craft is doing now, however, their cameras are no longer the affordable price range. Modularization of cameras will switch our thinking of how cameras should operate and be purchased.

The new generation of filmmakers are getting their hands on hand-me-down DSLR’s and camcorders learning on their own shooting passion projects. Soon they will need to broaden their horizon, and pick up more advanced tools that will improve the level of quality in their shots.

Craft offers three different types of modular camera suits: studio, action and cinema. Unfortunately, we still have no shots of the  modular cameras’ capturing quality. The biggest question now is can Craft deliver? We’ll have to wait and see and hope they can pull it off.

According to www.craftcamera.com, Craft announced it will do a tour of it’s cameras in the fall season of this year and product shipping begins in December. If you want to see the price range for every individual part go to https://s3.amazonaws.com/craftcamera/CRAFT-Camera-Price-List.pdf

3. Innovation of  Video Cameras

New camera companies are coming out with killer designs like Craft’s modular cameras, Lytro Cinema and Light’s L16. First off, I have no words to say how I feel about the innovation that is going into these products. It feels like perspective consumers are seeing the Swiss Army knives of video technology. These cameras look like the next game changers for major film studios and indie filmmakers.

Light’s L16 has an intriguing shape and design. At first glance it doesn’t even look like a camera but a smart phone, which is precisely what Light designed it’s body after. Dr. Rajiv Laroia, Co-founder and CTO of Light, said he use to shoot spectacular photos on his DSLR camera but found he took more photos on his cellphone. Light wanted to design a camera that had all the features of a high definition camera, but also fit in someone’s pocket. On the surface you notice it has multiple apertures, 16 sensors shooting at focal lengths of 35 mm, 75 mm and 150 mm  in 4k, according to lightco.zendesk.com. Since the L16 has multiple sensors it’s capable of capturing 10 photos and compiling them into one high definition image for the user to work with.

 

highres-Light-L16-Camera-WBjpg_1444304130We’re excited for this new tech because this opens the door for HDR cameras that are compact, light weight and simple to use, especially aiding small film crews during run-and-gun scheduling. Our thoughts is as it becomes popular new models be improved with newer features but old reliable features will no be axed out.

Another camera on our radar is Lytro’s Cinema. It’s fairly larger than others about the size of our filing cabinet.

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The camera itself can shoot 755 RAW megapixels a frame with speeds up to 300 frames per second  and detect 16 stops on the dynamic range according to www.lytro.com/cinema. The secret behinds it’s spectacular display is it operates through light field cinematography, where it is not shooting normal flat image.

 which allows more freedom in the post production process. You can the depth of field or position of the frame in post, instead of physically moving the the camera or adjusting it’s zoom. You can adjust the shutter speed, the focus, and frame in post production.

Focus the camera near or far, control the size of the aperture, and create a shot as if that exact decision was made on set. – Lytro.com/Cinema 

This light field camera has a depth screen feature that will allow the user to no longer require a green screen. Using this new information in the Lytro cinema will enable compositing in the foreground and background as if there is a green screen. Lytro cinema will also offer plugins to assist visual effects – No more green screens will be needed .

 

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If you want to learn more about the science behind light field visit www.lightfield-forum.com/en/.

What I would like to see more about the Lytro Cinema is to eventually go in the direction of being pro-consumer. In the future, the cinema doesn’t have to only cater to the needs of multimillion production companies, but  smaller in size and at a more affordable price it will meet the needs for indie filmmakers and videographers.

4. 360 Theory 

In the last couple of years the demand for 360 videos and the virtuality reality experience has evolved.  As I said before, Cinema Spice was able to score a sweet (Kodak SP360 4k PixPro Action Cam)  and we’re under away of testing it.

So far our reaction from 360 videos is mixed. Some of the videos look impressive while others are not living up to their full potential.  The quality in these videos we feel could be better and hopefully in the next couple of years we will see more innovation in the companies like GoPro, Kodak and Ricoh Theta.

The software designed to stitch these 360 videos together has run into couple of snags  and it’s frustrating because it ruins the experience we want our audience to enjoy. We want more bandwidth and the 360 cameras to shoot in 8K resolution.

A good thing we see with this new sub-medium is it isn’t possessed by a standard of rules when comes to cinematography and storytelling.  Indie filmmakers take their 360 rigs on scuba diving trips, go to crowded events or amusement parks, or even make their own short horror films.

There truly is no limit to what you can capture and explore, or what kind of story you want to tell.

5. VR Headsets

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This year at NAB,  some of us went to the virtual reality pavilion and for the most it was impressive.  VR entertainment is still in it’s infancy and there is so much untapped potential that can be explored. One of the problems we already seen is it needs to be a more interactive experience. The limitation of being forced to sit still on a chair and tilting your head in order to see more of the world around is frustrating. A more interactive experience allows deeper immersion so when someone puts on the headset they no longer think about it being on their face, but they’re are lost in the technology immersed in a different world.

One of the systems we really enjoyed was HTC Vive. What separates HTC Vive from it’s competitor is it operates on two infrared sensors, which generates a larger playing area creating full immersion.

The PlayStation VR and the Occulus Rift only have one infrared sensor meaning if you turn around and the sensor can’t detect your heat signatures the game glitches out as oppose with the Vive you can turn 360 degrees and still play the game. Another limitation we saw was VR hasn’t hit the scope of high resolution; it isn’t full retina yet.  

This is a perfect time for virtual reality to becoming the next innovative medium in entertainment and we hope to see it evolve to more captivating cinema, video games, and possibly more commercial videos like training videos or office work meetings.

What are your thoughts on what covered? Do you have any suggestions of topics we should review and address? Please put your requests in the comments below or on our Facebook page (right here). 

As always please sends us the links to your own short films and visual effects projects, and we’ll showcase them on our website. Good luck everyone!

 

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About the author

Is a Brigham Young University-Idaho graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Communication. He has experience in journalism and video production. One of his favorite movies is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. His favorite superhero is Spider-Man. He lives in Rexburg, Idaho with his lovely wife.

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