Posts filed under mike brennan

Making Of Motorstorm

HDCAM SR frame grabs from the Monument Valley shoot. The PS3 game features ungraded footage from the shoot just to prove that this was how the game was bornSince it was first announced, MotorStorm has been one of the most anticipated titles for the PlayStation 3. What intrigued enthusiasts and piqued skeptics was the high-quality rendered video sequences unveiled by Sony. UK developer Evolution Studios had a lot to live up to if it was to reproduce in-game footage which matched the high resolution images it was claiming in test.
Posted on May 19, 2010 and filed under case study, mike brennan.

The Colour Fringe Effect

The fringing issue is evident across all lenses at focal lengths between 5mm-12mm and most noticeable 5mm-9mm. In this test we used regular HD lenses costing £20k and Digital Cinema zooms costing £50k. The effect has been seen on all models of Sony HD cameras as well as the Viper since 2001 without detailed public discussion. It can be seen live with the naked eye on a good LCD displayThe days of colour fringing and registration errors were gone, we were told, in 1985.

The mighty CCD had arrived for professional cameras. I was so impressed I bought a camera. 

Tubes had been around since 1920 but they had significant disadvantages. They wore out for a start. They could also be damaged by bright lights, they show lag and were sensitive to magnetic fields.

In 1985 CCDs began the true phase-out of tube cameras.

Posted on May 18, 2010 and filed under comment, lenses, mike brennan.

Sony SRW-1 Field Recorder (Archives)

The SRW-1 combo – pre-flightWe had been set to record HDCAM aerials over Italy using the stabilised Cineflex HD camera and judging by previous shoots results would be stunning. The problem with HDCAM is that it isn’t the ideal format for the back of an aircraft if you want to record 24p or 25p, as one needs a heavy studio recorder that runs on mains.
Posted on May 18, 2010 and filed under 3d, mike brennan, recording, reviews.

Bad Skills In The Face Of Mother Nature

Shooting in Hurricane Gustav © Medical Student Flickr.comOne of the pleasant by-products of the HD evolution are the benefits brought to standard definition broadcasts. Well lit and shot standard definition material looks far better on a large HD screen than a small screen. Similarly HD productions broadcast in SD also look better than if they had originated with SD cameras and lenses.
Posted on April 21, 2010 and filed under comment, mike brennan, technique.

3D Ball Watching

Michael Brennan experiences history with possibly the first live screening of an international sports event in 3-D HD via satellite. Is this a brave new world or a just a theme park ride effect looking to evolve?In the past century stereoscopic or 3-D presentation of movies has had numerous false dawns. Recent advances in resolution and bright
Posted on May 1, 2008 and filed under 3d, broadcast, case study, mike brennan.

Re-claiming High Definition

The definition of the term high definition is becoming increasingly slippery. In fact I’d say for practical purposes the term can be as misleading as “low fat” or “British beach”.

For example this month I’ve been working on a 3D 3.5k x1k shoot and also fielding calls from a producer who wants to shoot “high def 24p”. Both shoots have been described as high definition but really, they are not.

The “24p” producer was referring to what was in fact mini DV 24p not HD. On discussion he should have been asking for a HD camera in ENG mode. He had been side tracked by confusing digital with 24p DV and 24p with high definition. In his mind there was not much difference between 24p and high definition. He hadn’t bothered to see the difference for himself.

And what to call a 3.5k x 1k 3d digital image? Tri D?

Kodak is now using the term High Definition. Their recent European advertising campaign claimed that Kodak film produces  “high definition” images. For those of us regularly working in HD this claim was as incongruous as HD camera manufactures promoting HD as having “grain”.

While Kodak is using the relatively vintage term “High Definition” the electronics manufacturers are doing their best at predicting the future. Quantel has recently invented the term HDRGB and Sony compressed 444 and Thomson was early off the mark with the brilliantly conceived term filmstream.

Who knows what term in the future will aptly describe the basket of technologies and formats. My 1985 Oxford concise dictionary has no reference at all to the word internet, which back then was more likely to be considered a tennis expression than anything futuristic.

We shouldn’t be distracted by the terminology. Fortunately it is relatively simple, even for the uninitiated to judge for themselves a standard of image. We need only trust our eyes.

If anyone doubts that the concept of high quality digital images hasn’t entered the public arena, then the Kodak campaign is confirmation that the HD train has departed the station, albeit with each carriage travelling in a different direction to as yet unknown destinations.

This magazine will continue to chart where we have come from and where the movers and shakers consider we are going.

We are all embarking on a High Definition journey of one kind or another so lest you want to end up in Milawi instead of Monaco pack this magazine in your digital rucksack.

Bon voyage!

Michael Brennan

Posted on September 1, 2003 and filed under comment, mike brennan.