November 24, 2015

#1 Technology Pick for 2015 – LG OLED 4K HDR


It’s that time of year again to look back and see what 2015 bought us in terms of technology that enhances the ever changing video production workflow and experience. In 2014 I talked about UltraWide displays taking over the video production desktop and no question I’ve seen them everywhere as I traveled around the globe this year. While there are several high quality models of these 34” wide displays on the market from various manufactures, no question that the LG models still stand out to me with their onboard Thunderbolt which helps us in our daily workflow with so many add-on Thunderbolt benefits ranging from portable storage to 10Gig Ethernet adapters and more.

For 2015, I once again look to what’s changing in our world of high-end video production. We all know 4K/UDH is here and available at various price points that attract buyers at all levels. But honestly, 4K for me is not enough to change my personal TV viewing habits. I’ve been working daily in 4K and even some 8K for a while and for the past few years we have narrowed down many of the 4K – 6K resolution challenges. These once complex high-end workflow pipelines are now fairly commonplace in many video production houses.

We all knew that High Dynamic Range color (HDR) is coming and as you can imagine working for a company like Adobe Systems (20 years now), I’ve been working with HDR in one form or another for many years. If you are new to HDR for video, in simple terms, it’s higher contrast/brightness and more accurate color that deliver a more “real world” experience. For years, I’ve worked with extremely high-end proofing displays and often wondered when/how would we get that quality delivered to the average consumer for everyday use. My peers and I would discuss these questions as they would range from the obvious workflow pipeline (moving huge files in/out of production) to content delivery to the consumer.

I’m here to tell you – 4k HDR is here, it’s real, it’s now, and I’m hooked.

HDR On 206

For the past several weeks, I’ve buried myself into the latest 4K & HDR technologies. As with any new technology you need to look at what will drive the change. Or – why would anyone spend money on this?

Whenever new TV technology comes out, it usually requires you spend a lot more money to buy additional items to get the full experience. These include things like expensive media players or worse, special 3D glasses that only work with that particular TV set and so on. For the record, I still dig good Stereo 3D content, but lets face it, it’s not really an everyday thing and it’s more or less a fad that had it’s time. I consider it more as a special event technology.

4K and HDR is anything but a fad. The sheer difference in image quality will leave in you awe. If you are new to 4K, you’ll quickly see that the image looks great when you are really close to the TV. This is completely opposite from your current experience with many LCD or Plasma sets which looks better from about 6-8 feet back. With 4K/UHD resolution sitting about 6-8 feet back from the TV it still looks great but any further back and you will quickly see that it starts to lose it’s effectiveness.

HDR 2020 432

With 4K and HDR content your experience is completely different. The image is strikingly better no matter how close or how far back you are. The simple reason for this is the new color space it now offers the viewer. I could go into a deep explanation of current TV standards known as Rec709 and switching to newer standards like Rec2020, but all you really need to know that the image is so different and more true to life, you’ll be hooked at first glance – guaranteed.

What about content? This was my first question when I started reviewing this technology. We all know to well that “Content is King” for any kind of mass adoption. As you can imagine, at first, I had lots of questions: What’s required for the full experience? Will I need to buy another media player? If so, forget it… I have too many already.

WOW, was I surprised when I started to look for HDR content. There is already HDR content ready to stream to your TV and no “extra” media player is required to view it as it’s all built in the Smart TV and ready to use.

Companies are already fighting for your “eyes on screen” time as there is simply too much video content to absorb in one day. The video production world is quickly ramping up and learning newer and faster ways to work with HDR as one sure way to get more eye on their screens.

People are always looking for new ways to see, experience, and share video content. I see HDR as hands down a clear winner for new content technology that will quickly evolve. If you remember the first time you saw HDTV vs your old TV , HDR will leave you with the same feeling.

Amazon HDR 505

What’s changed for content delivery in 2015 – 2016? As you might recall, previous advanced tech like HDTV or worse 3D, usually was centered around sports or specially video like nature shorts. Currently for me, Amazon has been the HDR destination place and they have some great new content with more coming. I’m currently hooked on a new show called “The Man In The High Castle” which is beautifully shot and breathtaking in terms of the total picture immersion experience. Tip- HDR really stands out in this series starting with episode 3 when there are brighter shots outside the city. Amazon has several other HDR series as well as movies. No question more are on the way and other media delivery/broadcast companies are taking note.

What makes it different and do I buy now or wait?

With HDR, for me it all comes down to the power of light and how to control it. How black is the black and how pure is the white? These are the image basics for great and accurate color. Hands down OLED is my current technology of choice. Once you see the difference between the various technologies it’s a no brainer.

Again, it’s all in the power of controlling the light. Here are 2 TVs showing LED vs OLED. There is virtually no bleed of the white light. In simple terms pure black is produced by turning off the voltage at the pixel level. You’ll quickly notice when the TV goes to pure black it looks as if the TV is completely turned off. Another bonus… OLED also draws less power compared to other LCD & Plasma technology.

LED vs OLED_3 900


LED vs OLED_7 900

While there are several companies making OLED TVs available, LG clearly as a company that is committed 100% to bring this technology to the home. They are basically putting all of their efforts in the OLED space and helping to bring the cost down to affordable levels for the average consumer. As with any new technology, it does come at a price when it first rolls out and settles down after several months. If you are looking for a long-term TV now rather than replacing your TV every few years then take a look at the new LG OLED HDR TVs. Your best bet is aim higher and keep the set longer and enjoy the new content as it rolls out.


Back to Content Delivery…LG has built their content delivery on webOS 2.0 . You might remember this technology from a few years ago from cell phone maker Palm Inc. and later sold to HP. In 2013 LG acquired WebOS from HP and it’s now part of the growing LG family of advanced technologies.  LG’s WebOS 2.0 for SmartTVs now includes even more powerful features in it’s software development kit making it a solid and fast technology to build a content delivery playback platform.


YouTube 4K
I reviewed lots of SmartTVs over the years and one thing always stood out…the built-in apps are too slow…. This includes many set top boxes that all had access to various Content Apps – all too slow… The webOS 2.0 App experience on the LG TV’s like the Curved 65EG9600 and the standard 55EF9500 is blazing fast. There are also additional free Apps you can download from the LG Content Store.

LG remote

For quick navigation, LG also provides a very simple remote that acts like an “Air Mouse” making application switching a breeze. You can quickly jump from 4K YouTube to Netflix or Hulu to Amazon HDR with a simple point and click just like your desktop or laptop.

What’s next in my HDR workflow testing for 2016? I’ve added LG 55EF9500 OLED display to my current editing suite and so far I’m very impressed with the result for 4K preview – actually it’s stunning. I also use a LG Curved 65EG9600 for viewing online content via the built-in webOS 2.0 as well as a 4K ready TivoBolt matched with a Yamaha RX-A1050 AVENTAGE 4K HDR receiver – Yes, I’m all in……

OLED Workflow copy 900


PremierePro CC HDR 700

Lastly , what about HDR preview in Premiere Pro CC ? I’m currently beta testing some new and some unreleased computers with the first HDMI 2.0 on board display output. The goal is to see how/if we can use OLED technologies and HDMI 2.0 with 10bit/12bit color HDR workflows and it’s metadata (that’s the “magic trigger” that turns on HDR) for workflow preview. I’ll also be looking for adapters to bridge SDI to HDMI 2.0 to carry those signals at CES 2016 for 3rd party I/O cards that currently offer 4K HDR over SDI.

4 8 stars

For now – well done LG on your successful rollout and commitment to OLED.
Only one small complaint keeping it from 5 stars … No Skype on webOS 2.0 (**note**a Microsoft issue not LG issue) and I use Skype a lot in my studio. Let’s hope that gets addressed.

More to come…

1:04 PM Comments (0) Permalink
September 7, 2015

Top Technology Pick: High Point Technologies



One of the challenges I face quite often in my ProVideo testing lab is the ever changing hardware that arrives on a regular basis. While it sounds awesome (let’s be honest – it is…) , it’s also a challenge  – as we all know in the real world we need to keep those older high dollar investments up and running as long as we can. I get these types of questions on how to keeping older tech updated  all the time.

One clear example of this $$$ investment is storage. As man you of you know, I have always been a fan of the Gtech ES Pro line of SAS drives. They are blazingly fast, very reliable, and in heavy use by video professionals world wide. I’ve had my pair of ES Pros with 8TB of storage running pretty much everyday for years without a hiccup. For many of those years it was the only real way to get the speeds I needed for true 4K editing on a Windows or mac based computer (Remember that PC Windows Dual Xeon Workstations did not really get Thunderbolt2 until mid-2014 and SAS was and still is a solid performer) .

Once companies started to offer Thunderbolt 2 add-on option cards for Dual Intel E5 class Xeon processor workstations like HP’s Z 820/840, Dell Precision 7910, and Lenovo’s P900, things got a little tricky in terms of keeping those SAS drives going at full speed while taking advantage of new technologies like Thunderbolt2. For the past 12 months or so, I have been testing some add-on gear to help solve this problem.

Why so long before recommending it?

I wanted to insure its reliability and overall performance for the long haul. The desktop I’ve been using in my most recent stress tests over the past 6 months as been the Dual Xeon equip’d “tricked out” ThinkStation P900 with a M.2 Boot SSD module, 128GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce TitanX,  and Thunderbolt2 option. With the proper storage speeds as I’ll discuss here,  it edits 4K & 6K with ease.

Lenovo TB2 with RockStor

The best solution I could find to solve the challenge from a price/performance standpoint was High Point Technologies RocketStor 6328 Raid adapter (priced at about $675.00) . With its Dual SAS Input connection and Thunderbolt2 I/O it gave me the speed I needed to keep the raided pair of Gtech ES Pro units up and running at full speed (about 650-750 MB/s) . Installation was a breeze. Just  load the Windows 7/8/10 Thunderbolt2 RocketStor driver and connect your SAS cables to the RocketStor 6328 Thunderbolt2 storage adapter and watch your drives mount. *note* HighPoint recommends that you back up your SAS drives before you proceed with adding the RocketStor 6328  adapter . I had no issue as my data was intact after the upgrade and still is as of this day. For the record, OS X users can also take full advantage of the RocketStor 6328.


One reason that my data was still intact and no need to format  might be that the original G-Tech SAS card that came with my ES Pro drives was in fact made my HighPoint Tech (If you have one just look at the SAS card) BUT AGAIN, be careful with your data and make sure you take the proper steps to insure that you are covered if you need to reformat. If you don’t need the data on the drives or can back them up , then I would HIGHLY recommend formatting the drives to have a solid fresh start on the new raided drive set. I will admit, that the HighPoint Web UI takes a little  getting used to for Raid management but has everything you’d expect to see in a utility like this. Setting up the unit for RAID 0,1,5,6,10,50, or JBOD was straight forward.


For people just wanting to add Windows 10 compatibility and wanting to stay with a SAS card (many older SAS card drivers won’t work reliably on Windows 10), you can now just replace your older SAS card with the new RocketRaid 4522 (priced at about $599.00) which still gives you a full 8 channel PCIe 2.0 connection to 8 SAS/SATA drives with 6Gb/s hardware RAID. With 512MB DDR3 Cache and Thunderbolt aware (for TB chassis use) it’s my top pick for a new SAS card. (Also supports OS X) The RAID modes are basically what you would expect from any high-end card – RAID 0,1,5,6,10,50, & JBOD. Speeds are great…. (750MB/s in my tests on SAS equip’d ES Pro drives – 2 pair of 4 drives , 8 total)


I also wanted to point out a few other cool technologies from High Point Tech that I use on a regular basis. The RocketStor 5212 dual bay Thunderbolt powered docking station for 3.5” & 2.5” HD/SSD’s is something I use nearly every day in prepping drives for various machines (6Gb/s channel for both drive bays) . Compatible with any Mac or PC with Thunderbolt

Highpoint dual bay


Recently, I received a RocketStor 6414AS drive enclosure (mini SAS connection) paired with a RocketRaid 4522 card mentioned above as well as the new RocketStor 6314A Thunderbolt2 Raid enclosure and both units have been up and running non stop for about 45 days or so and no reported issues. In short, these enclosures allow you add your own drives (I usually get matching drives from AMAZON or reuse  older matching drives) and build out a RAID system based on your specific storage and speed needs. Both units support, SAS, SATA, and SSD drives. For 4K editing I highly recommend a total of 8 drives on a hardware RAID card or Thunderbolt 2. This will insure that longer projects load quickly and give you the playback performance needed. You can pair two 4 bay units or Highpoint also offers a full 8 bay rack unit like the Rockstor 6424TS or even a 16 bay unit like the RocketStor 6424TS



If you are new to High Point Technologies you can find out more here :


5 Stars copy

DAV TechTable Top Pick

5 out of 5 stars on the Rockstor 6328 


8:21 PM Permalink
April 8, 2015

What’s new for Premiere Pro CC at NAB 2015

As you’ll see, Adobe ProVideo engineering has been busy. The features in this release are simply amazing and totally fun. I should take the time to thank many of you that submitted feature requests, bugs, and general comments on what’s working and what can we can improve. User feedback that end up as user features is truly what makes Adobe Premiere Pro different than other editors and Creative Cloud just gets you those user suggested features delivered faster than ever.

When you launch the new app for the first time, you’ll see a new Welcome Screen as well as an updated cleaner look to the user interface.

Copy and paste this Link  to view the video:

lumetri Color

1. New Color Workspace: now includes the Lumetri Color panel
As many of you know, Lumetri is the color engine that powers Adobe SpeedGrade and it’s now integrated into Adobe Premiere Pro CC in a new more “creative way”. The idea is to adjust color as you go during the editing process. I like to call this “color editing” . While the new Color Panel is very powerful and will satisfy most users need for complex color work , we wanted to be careful not to confuse Color Editing with Color Grading with specific grading tools like Adobe Speedgrade and others.

selection follows playhead

2. Task Oriented Workspaces
You can now toggle between new workspaces that are optimized for the task you are doing. You can manage toolsets and options. One example is the new “Selection Follows Playhead”. This is turned on by default in the new Color Workspace as it will automatically select any clip that the playhead touches.


3. New support for Premiere Clip work flows
Now you can shoot and rough cut on your smart phone/tablet, sync with Creative cloud, and if needed finish the work on your desktop with the new tools in Premiere Pro CC.


4. Morph Cut
This is a perfect tool for cutting together interviews where you have a locked down shot,  still background, and when your subject looses their train of thought and goes silent or they talk on you now have a new tool that allows you to cut down the interview tas needed. The problem has always been how to cut and transition between segments without a huge “jump cut”. This new tool will Morph the 2 segments together. You just have to try it to understand it… It’s mind blowing.. You will need to spend time with it to understand when it will work and when it won’t . Audio can be an issue as you can’t really Morph audio the same was as video.Take a look at the video link to get a better idea.

5. CC Libraries & Project Candy
Now you can share Looks and Luts and other assets from the new Library Panel which sync with Creative Cloud. You can also share assets with other team members. Project Candy is a new iOS app for creating .Look files from your smart phone/tablet. The captured Looks sync to your Library folder and appear instantly in Premiere Pro CC and AfterEffects CC.Once synced , you can apply those .Looks to any clip.

time tuner

6. Time Tuner
This is a new tool for the Export workflow where duration of the exported movie is critical. We do this by adjusting the length of your video by automatically adding or removing frames at scene changes, in sections with still images, or low visual activity, or during quiet audio passages. No more manually “micro editing” to reduce time. This is a perfect solution for broadcasters needing to make room for ad insertion. This is another new tool that you will need to experiment with as adjusting the video to anything close to 10% tend to be noticeable. I find 6-8% is the “sweet spot”.

7. Mercury Transmit Performance Improvements 3rd party I/O
Significant performance improvements to Mercury Transmit mean users of third-party I/O hardware for monitoring will experience increased responsiveness and improved playback reliability. We have worked closely with AJA, Matrox, BlueFish , and BlackMagic on these performance gains.
burn in captions
8. Closed Caption (CC) improvement
One common request I got all the time was to support “Burn-In” for closed caption. While Premiere Pro CC is well known for its simple Closed Caption workflow, this opens up the workflow for other uses . This also makes it easy to review CC on non-CC enabled hardware.

9. Expanded format support
Premiere Pro leads the industry in native format support, now including  Canon XF-AVC, Panasonic 4K_HS, JPEG2000



10. Support for Windows touch devices like the MS SurfacePro 3 and the new Dell m3800.
This is our first steps towards a more touch-friendly editing experience, allowing editors with hybrid devices to easily do things like move clips in the timeline, scrub the playhead, and manipulate color parameters directly by touching the screen. The work is just beginning and we will want to hear from our users as we go through the design process. I find myself using touch a lot more than I thought I would. I think it’s due more to the daily use of our smartphones/tablets as you just instinctively touch the screen. I find this more useful when I’m reviewing a timeline with an other editor rather than actual editing. I should point out that we are also being careful not take away any part of the editing experience that are 100% keyboard driven or clutter up the UI. Let us know what you think as comments are always welcome.
11. Audio workflow improvements
You’ll see that we added a faster voiceover record setup and much easier audio channel mapping, improved multi-channel export, and a more consistent Audio hardware setup. We’ve also done a fair amount of work with AAF for DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations ) for tools like Adobe Audition and ProTools.
R3D source
12. New Source Settings workflow for RAW media
Now you can access the RAW source settings in the MasterClip Effect section of the effects panel allowing you reset any parameter quickly and easily.
hot keys
13. Hot Text now uses Up/Down Arrow
OK, this one is HUGE for me. In the Effects Panel or new Color Panel you can now click on the value and adjust it up/down using the arrow keys. You can hold down the shift key to adjust by 10 or Cntrl/Cmd key to adjust by 1/10.

9:01 PM Permalink
February 2, 2015

My Little 11″ MacBook Air …

I have to admit that I really missed carrying my 11” MacBook Air (2012 model) with me on my travels. The internal SSD was just getting too small to demo our apps with all of my demo files and I basically was using it less and less. With my huge 4K and 6K demo files , I had to use an external drive which worked fine but really took away from the cool factor of this tiny but powerful computer that not much bigger than an iPad. – and yes, with Premiere Pro’s Mercury playback engine , even the MacBook Air with 1GB Intel OpenCL graphics can edit 4K & 6K video…..

As my good friend Terry White ( and I have known for years, OWC understands our “Mac upgrade” pains so well. With a quick click over to the OWC website, I quickly found exactly what I was looking for – a 1TB internal drive SSD module which is actually larger than my current 15” Retina MacBook Pro @ 750GB .

install guide 1

The hardware install part of the upgrade took me less than 5 minutes . OWC even has a full online installation help sections with video “Walkthru” guides and phone support if you need it. What also makes this the perfect and easy upgrade is that they have really thought of everything . They give you both Torx drivers. These are also fairly high quality Torx drivers that you will actually want to keep after the installation. These quick pictures show the process.

install videos






The old 512 internal SSD model would be useless in most cases relegating it to a drawer somewhere, but OWC also includes an Envoy USB 3.0 sleek looking case that matches the side profile of the MacBook Air to re-use the proprietary memory. You even get rubber feet to hide the screws and a small black velvet slip case to keep it looking shiny and new.






Using the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test, I ran a speed test on the external memory and I got 387 Mbs on the Read and 320 Mbs on the write

Speed Disk External

If you are curious the internal memory module got an impressive 516 Mbs Read and 426 Mbs on the Write. – wow is all can say…. This Tiny 11″ is now back in my Laptop Bag !!!

Internal test

5 out of 5 stars on the TechTable….

5 Stars copy

5:37 PM Permalink
January 8, 2015

My #1 pick for 2014

LG Desktop


As many of you know, I review a ton of gear each year and I often get asked which piece of gear I found most useful for my daily work and which piece of gear would I most recommend that people consider adding to their workflow and why…

In past years, my pick usually involved getting better pictures from cameras but this year we saw our share of some great new tech for the video professional. Gimbals like the DJI Ronin and smaller units like the iKAN FlyX3 but the one item that stands out the most to me and one I recommend to clients several times a week is the new line LG 34” super wide  displays . LG actually calls these “LG UltraWide” which is more accurate description.


Why a display? For starters, it’s more than “just a display “, it’s a well thought-out 21:9 display with a Thunderbolt 2 dock built in! With one cable I can connect my Thunderbolt desktop or laptop to the display and get all my necessary connections as well as unbelievable desktop space for editing. As you can see from the picture of my busy desk , I have a lot going on as I have 4 editing systems in my editing bay ranging from OSX , Windows 8, NVIDIA , and AMD GPUs. This set up actually allows me to do bench marking as well as answer questions from customers based on different configs.


In the past it took 3 monitors connected to an expensive Gefen Display Port 4×4 KVM switch and a ton of cables. As many of you know, it’s very common to run 3 displays in order to get the real estate they need to organize their work. With the newUltraWide LG’s , you can actually reduce those down to two displays- one for editing and one for 4K preview. For me, it also provides a wider timeline view without the need to keep switching resolutions back and forth. The key benefit on the technical side but only using 2 displays you are saving GPU processing resources by only needing to “push” 2 displays rather than 3 (less pixels to refresh) . As many New Mac Pro users now know, having too many displays on your system taxes performance on the AMD D500 or D700’s and understanding the 3 different Thunderbolt Buses is critical to the New Mac Pros performance. With the newer LG 34”UltraWide , you can rest easy with less configuration headaches.

I started using the 34UM65 Thunderbolt 2 displays in early 2014 and quickly found them to be the answer I was looking for. I tried using a single 4K display as well but editing on a 4K display requires more GPU to access the 4K real estate and you still need a 2nd display for full screen preview. As LG figured out, the simple answer is width not height.

LG quickly followed up with their Curved version of the UltraWide display 34UC97 which is what I now use daily – I can honestly say that the best just got better….

LG Desktop copy copy

New Mac pro Z820

As you can see in the picture above, There are 2 UltraWide displays on my editing desk. One for my HP Z820 (now with Thunderbolt2) and one for my New Mac Pro. Each editing platform has a matching 4K display for 4K preview as well as additional workspace.

One cool thing about Premiere and using multiple displays: whenever you jump out of Premiere (say to your desktop) , Premiere will release the full screen preview and present your expanded desktop allowing for additional workspace. Again , using only 2 displays. Tip: you access these settings in the Preferences>Playback>Video Device area (also known as Mercury Transmit

A few things to point out: The new LG 34UC97 and the previous version allow you to connect 2 computers and split the screen to a single display. This might be handy for people that want their laptop and desktop or Windows and Mac systems available at the same time with out needing a switcher. If you are a Windows 7/8 user , consider getting a newer PC  system with Thunderbolt 2. I have a single connection from my HP Z820 to the LG and it works great. Of course this is the current norm for Mac users already it’s just great to see HP, Lenovo, Dell, Gigabyte and others supporting Thunderbolt 2 as well.

If you have a system without Thunderbolt, you can still use the Displayport and HDMI connections. The good news is that you’ll have a Thunderbolt 2 ready display for your next system upgrade. I routinely recommend this display for users still wanting to use their older Mac Pros with a newer NVIDIA Cuda card or AMD card and needless to say, it quickly became their favorite upgrade as well.

If you plan to buy a 4K display as well , I would also recommend the LG 4K (31MU97) IPS display as a companion to the UltraWide display as the IPS colors are fairly close to each other. Always nice to have displays that match.

I also just got back from CES 2015 and there are a few other 21:9 displays but none have Thunderbolt 2 which again is not a must but nice to have the option.

A note for RED Dragon 6K users – This 3440×1440 display also provides an excellent playback display when used with RedCine or Premiere Pro CC 2014. Just set playback to ½ resolution and let the GPU take over and you’ll see what I mean. The IPS colors are truly amazing for this price point. This display should hold us for a while until true 6K display’s or 8K displays come within reach and I’m sure LG will have something for us.

What’s missing? Honestly, the only thing I would add to this display is an Ethernet port.  For now, the problem is easily solved with a $20.00 USB 3.0 to GigE adapter that you can hang off the back of the display. I use the Cable Matters one as it’s OSX 10.10 and Win 8.1 compatible – here’s the Amazon link.

That’s my 2 cents……


four_half-stars_0 copy

I can easily give this display 4.8 out of 5 stars  – hats off to the LG engineers…


9:51 PM Permalink
November 8, 2014

Should you upgrade your old Mac Pro ?



One common question I get at least once a week, from my Mac Pro customers is whether or not to upgrade their current Mac Pro or just bite the bullet and buy a New Mac Pro or a High-end iMac to run the latest versions of our Adobe Creative Cloud video/audio/imaging apps.inside-old-mac-pro

As in most cases, it really depends on what current gear you need to keep connected to your Mac Pro to insure your trusted workflow continues. I/O boards like Atto Fiber & SAS cards, AJA/BMD/Bluefish I/O cards and other PCI cards might be a compelling reason to upgrade your current Mac Pro. I’ve also seen custom Mac Pro racks and editing bays where the editing environment is actually created around the Mac Pro – ie, custom metal or wood work to incase the Mac Pro.


To be up front , it’s not exactly cheap to upgrade your Mac Pro to current high performance specs but it’s also not out of reach. So , let me start with the upgrade price which will typically range from about $1,500.00 – $1,800.00 depending on whether you decide add more RAM.

Keep mind that a high-end iMac with all those awesome options will run you over $3,500 and the New Mac Pro can easily top that (ie, I bought the 12 core D700 unit) . No question that both of these new Apple Desktops offer you a new warranty and of course Thunderbolt 2 (*note* you can not add Thunderbolt to an old Mac Pro as the Motherboard and Intel Chipset does not support it) but it also requires a change in most workflows. BUT – In some cases, it might be time to consider a change in workflow, as new Thunderbolt 2 raids and eternal I/O SDI units from Matrox, AJA, BMD, and others offer some great advantages.

For those people who want spend less and keep their current workflow as well as keep their “trusty” Mac Pro going for a few more years, then read on…..

Since I spend a fair amount of time testing high-end equipment and upgrades and my lab test machines for the TechTable are rarely over 18 months old, I reached out to good friend and colleague, Al Mooney (Premiere Pro Sr. Prod Manager) , who I know is very attached to his 2009 Mac Pro and would be a great candidate for an honest opinion of doing an upgrade like this. For those people that know Al, you know that he calls it like it is. Needless to say, he was up for it.


As most longtime Mac users know, a great resource for what’s new in Mac upgrades has always been OWC (Other World I’ve used them for years and I cruise their website several times a year just to see what’s new.

For  Al’s aging 2009 Mac Pro, I hit the website and easily gathered all the necessary “Pieces n’ Parts” for his upgrade.

These are the options that picked out for Al and  listed in order of performance relevance in case you plan to add these over time instead of all at once. (**note** not all Mac Pro Towers  take the same parts and some are limited to older OSX versions and it’s always a good idea to call your local Mac reseller or even the guys at OWC and double check your model for the correct parts)

680 mac

#1 on your list should be an NVIDIA 680 for Mac card or Quadro K5000 for Mac. This will breath new life in OSX as well as our new CC Pro Video & Imaging apps which use the GPU extensively. To me, the 680 card for Mac is a HUGE value for the price/performance it delivers .



#2 is adding an SSD Boot drive  –  get the largest one you can as prices are nearly half of what they were last year. You’ll also need a Mac Pro drive bracket designed for your specific model Mac Pro (there are a few different models) . This one upgrade alone will make your day as the boot and application launch times are insanely fast. BTW: Another great benefit of OWC SSD drives is native Apple Trim support. 



#3 USB 3.0 card. This one feature will allow you to connect to the latest USB 3.0 drives and Raids for insane transfer speeds when compared to your current clunky USB 2.0. Make sure get a card that requires no additional drivers to work in Mac OSX. The NEWER Tech card I picked out offers 2 USB 3.0 and 2 SATA ports.These cards also currently require that you turn sleep off on your Mac Pro to reduce the possibility of the USB 3.0 drives from disconnecting. Also rememeber to only connect USB 3.0 drives & 3.0 hubs to these ports . Use your built in USB 2.0 ports for everything else like keyboards , Apple display USB, mice, trackballs, controllers. (yes, it’s a common mistake that I see all the time)


AL ram

#4 Max RAM . Since you are taking the time to keep you old Mac Pro going a bit longer., and if you have not done it already, consider installing 32GB (Max for some models) or more if you can.


Here’s Al’s comment after his upgrade.

“It was getting to a stage where my long-serving Mac Pro was taking a long, long time to get up in the morning, and having spoken to a lot of customers who have breathed new life into these machines without forking out for something brand new, I wanted to try it myself. Dave helped me identify what I needed, and Cloud (my cat) did the install with my supervision. He’s pretty mean with a phillips screwdriver. Now the machine boots up in less than a minute and feels brand new. Amazing! “

Al installCloud

My 2 cents:

Dave Helmly Cartoon Bubble

So,  the bottom line is that if you really want to keep your Mac Pro going a while longer running our latest CC apps, then investing in a few parts is great idea.

One thing about Apple and their engineering –  it’s hard to argue that they really do make incredibly long lasting and beautiful hardware and these old Macs quickly become a “trusted friend” to our critical workflows. Which is easy to see why Al was up for my recommendation on extending the usefulness of his 2009 Mac Pro . No wonder the Apple fan base is growing stronger everyday and the resale of older macs remains strong.

4:58 AM Permalink
September 10, 2014

What’s New in the Fall release of Premiere Pro CC 2014.1

2 New videos posted:

Premiere Pro CC 2014.1 and New Features:

A Deeper Look at the GoPro CineForm Codec and Project Manager

El Nuevo Adobe Premiere Pro CC y el Codec GoPro Cineform

INtro screenA New Look:

New look We’ve been very busy working with our customers over the past year and watching them edit and taking note (wishlists) .As a result ,  we’ve designed a whole new streamlined interface with a new look and feel .

Search Bins:

search bins With Search Bins you can organize and sort media in large projects automatically for much improved discoverability of your project assets. When you search for items in the Project Panel , you can save the results as a Search Bin. Search once and use continue to use the results – I’ve been using it quite a bit and I’m already hooked. Remember these are just aliases of the original project items and not copied media so there are no worries about duplicated media. Once they are set up, no further user intervention is required: Search criteria are persistent so Search bins update automatically as relevant content is added to the project.

Render & Replace:

Render & replace My prayers have been answered on this feature (more like 10 year meditation) . Now you can right click on a Dynamic Link or other effects heavy clip and Render it in place . Speed up your playback of VFX-heavy sequences by rendering After Effects compositions into flattened video clips. AND YES YOU CAN – always revert back to the original comps if you need to.

Consolidate and Transcode in the New Project Manager:

Project manager Streamline your workflow for large projects with mixed formats. Easily move all relevant files in projects and sequences to reduce you content based on user-defined preferences. Render everything into a single codec for passing on other teams, other systems, or for archiving – while retaining the ability to re-edit projects in the future. With the new Project Manager you can now collect your files and copy them to a new destination in their original camera file format or you have the option to trim your media with handles by selecting a codec transcode that fits your workflow. The New GoPro CineForm Codec is a perfect choice for many workflows.

Multi-Project Workflows:

Multiple Project Open media and sequences from other projects and edit them directly in your current project. Edit or re-use existing clips, cuts and transitions from previous projects. Open as many Media Browser panels as needed – now it’s easy to bring all your work together in one workspace. New GoPro CineForm CodecGoPro_CineForm

[UPDATED 1/2015)

Note: this article has been updated to include changes made to the GoPro CineForm color depth settings and encoding presets in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.2. (thanks to Tim Kurkoski on the AE team)

When encoding GoPro CineForm movies, two different pixel formats and five different compression methods are available. To change how the GoPro CineForm movie is encoded you need to set the color depth or the quality, respectively. This is a guide for how these settings map to the encoded results.

GoPro CineForm compression quality settings

The GoPro CineForm codec offers five levels of compression quality:

1. Low
2. Medium
3. High
4. Film Scan
5. Film Scan 2

In After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder the compression quality is controlled by the Quality slider in the Export Settings dialog. The range of this slider is 1-5, and the values map to the compression quality settings above. The default value is 4.

For more information about the differences between these compression quality options, read GoPro’sUnderstanding CineForm Quality Settings article.

GoPro CineForm pixel format settings

The GoPro CineForm codec can encode pixels in YUV 4:2:2 at 10 bits per channel, or RGBA 4:4:4:4 at 12 bits per channel.

The encoded pixel format is based on the color depth and alpha channel settings you choose in the Output Module Settings dialog in After Effects or the Export Settings dialog in Premiere Pro or Adobe Media Encoder.

In After Effects:

  • Setting Channels to RGB or Alpha will encode to 10-bpc YUV.
  • Settings Channels to RGB+Alpha will encode to 12-bpc RGBA.

After Effects renders the composition frames at the color depth specified in the Project and Render Settings, and the GoPro CineForm encoder will re-sample the frames to 10-bit YUV or 12-bpc RGBA as appropriate.

In Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC:

  • Depth can be set to either YUV 10-bit or RGBA 12-bit.
  • If Render At Maximum Depth is enabled, the frames will be rendered at 10-bpc or 16-bpc before being passed to the GoPro CineForm encoder, which will re-sample the frames to the chosen Depth if appropriate.
  • If Render At Maximum Depth is disabled, the frames will rendered at 8-bpc before being passed to the GoPro CineForm encoder, which will re-sample the frames to the chosen Depth as appropriate.

These settings are utilized by three encoding presets included with Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder:

  • GoPro CineForm RGB 12-bit with alpha at Maximum Bit Depth
  • GoPro CineForm RGB 12-bit with alpha
  • GoPro CineForm YUV 10-bit

regarding previous guidance and presets

In previous guides, the pixel formats for GoPro CineForm were described as being 8-bpc YUV, 8-bpc RGBA, or 16-bpc RGBA. Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.1 included three encoding presets that reflected this.

This information was incorrect. The Depth settings for the GoPro CineForm codec and associated encoding presets have been updated in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.2, as described above.

In the CC 2014.1 release, setting the Depth to 24-bit (8-bpc) would encode to 10-bpc YUV, and setting Depth to 32-bit (8-bpc with alpha) or 64-bit (16-bpc with alpha) would encode to 12-bpc RGBA.


Additional info is available in the help doc :


There are a few things to note when using this codec outside of the Adobe apps. We use Quicktime as the container for the codec to insure cross platform simplicity. All videos encoded (Exported) with the GoPro CineForm codec will be .movs. This is true for both Mac & Windows. We can also read the GoPro Cineform .avi’s and .mov’s created by the GoPro Studio application. GoPro Studio currently uses a term Archive (see pict from GoPro Studio below) . This is actually the GoPro CineForm codec.

GoPro Export The big question is how people can actually playback the GoPro CineForm file outside of our apps (This includes older Adobe apps like Adobe Encore CS6) . Currently you need to install the FREE GoPro Studio app to get access to the codec for use outside our apps- the app is only 83mb which is about same size any typical decoder . You may already have their app loaded if you own a GoPro camera which is needed to update the firmware of the camera and so on. When you install the app , it loads the additional Quicktime resources to your Quicktime Folder to playback the files. (This will allow older Apps like Adobe Encore Cs6 to read these files and work as expected)  Link for free GoPro Studio SW : ONE CATCH…….  Mac users currently need to install Quicktime 7 in order to playback GoPro CineForm files outside of our apps. Quicktime X currently does not allow the GoPro CineForm codec and most other 3rd party Codecs to play back their codecs. I’m not sure if or when this might change. Windows users, you only have Quicktime 7 (currently 7.5.5 ) available to you so no issue on Windows. The current version as of today for OSX  for Mac users is Quicktime 7.6.6. Quicktime 7OSX users can still get Quicktime 7 here: In reality , most professional editors on the Mac still rely heavily on Quicktime 7 so it should not be a real issue, I just wanted to point it out early. I will say that the fact that Quicktime 7 can open and playback 6K files amazes me (yes, you need an SSD or 2) The current version of VLC 64bit for OSX (2.1.5) WILL NOT playback these files (yet ) .   VLC   Current Error on VLC (as of today) when trying to playback a GoPro CineForm file VLC error New HiDPI support for Windows 8.1 : windows-8 Mac users have had Apple Retina Display support for several months and now we are excited to offer it to our Windows 8.1  users . An updated interface that has been refined to offer users with high resolution displays (like 4K ) a beautiful viewing experience that makes text and graphics much easier to read.( No more 2 point text on 4K monitors) Source Monitor Timeline View: Source Timeline view pancake This is new concept to many – it certainly was to me….. The basic idea is that when you need view a sequence from another project (even on a server)  , you can now use the Media Browser to select the project and it’s sequences. Once selected you can double click on the sequence and it will now open up in the Source Monitor and new type of Sequence will open that is in a read only state (think  – safe mode) . You can now scrub and select areas of the timeline and copy/paste or what our users are already calling the Pancake method (see my video) to drag between timelines.  So simple….. Only when you drag assets from the Read only Source timeline will then import those assets to the project. Only use the clips that you need without the need to import an entire project. One thing I noticed was less of a hit on the server just picking the clips I needed rather than taking up band width by moving files you may not need.   New GPU enhancements: RAW Leverage the power of the GPU with native support for 4K, 5K, 6K and higher content New camera format support : AJA RAW, Canon RAW, Phantom Cine, and Sony RAW. Even 6K RED R3D’s and BlackMagic RAW formats got a nice speed boost. Enhanced Masking and Tracking: bezeir tracking Now you can Easily adjust mask feathering directly in the Program Monitor. You can use the new free-draw polygon pen tool to create complex mask shapes around content and turn any mask control point into a Bezier control point with a single click. Remember that you can also add a tracking to your Bezier path once you select it. Improved Master Clip Effects master clip effect Master Clips effects I’ll admit (as will my counterparts here at Adobe) , that our Master Clip Effect feature that we introduced last April is very powerful BUT, to be honest – it was very hard to tell which clips actually had a Master Clip Effect applied. Now you have 2 ways to tell when they have been applied. In the Sequence , you’ll see a Red line under the FX badge and in the Effects Control Panel (ECP) you’ll notice a NEW tab called “Master” – Improved Send to Audition:Audition Now when you send a clip for audio editing in Audition, the rendered copy is automatically stored alongside the original media file on disk.

Find more details on new features coming soon to Adobe Creative Cloud:


2:29 AM Permalink
July 25, 2014

Premiere Pro CC 2014.0.1 and AME Update


What’s new

Premiere Pro CC 2014.0.1 Release                             Build 8.01 (21)

Editing Enhancements:

• A Codec column was added to the Project Panel

video codec1




• Sequence Timecode was added as a display option in the Monitor Overlays

• Clip name and Timecode filters can now be set to reference and display information for clips on specified source tracks.

Bug Fixes:

• ‘Async’ asserts could occur when exporting some file types

• Incorrect angles could be shown when separate multicam clips were created with different sort order

• Waveforms could be improperly drawn when nesting a multicam source sequence

• Effects could fail to render within effect mask boundaries

• Garbage could appear around the edge of a layer that had a blur video effect applied and a mask on Opacity

• Masks could offset Gaussian Blur in CUDA mode

• Attempting to move a column to the left of the Name column in the Project panel could break cell selection

• Occasional instance where sequences could never finished rendering

• Relinking to spanned MXF clips could be incorrect

• UI responsiveness could reduce in large projects after relinking

• Exporting merged clips could generate silent or missing audio

• Importing sequences could sometimes fail

• Incorrect timebases could be used on EDL export

• Incorrect field display could occur when using Mercury Transmit with GPU acceleration

• Audio presets were sometimes not working correctly if used with a different format container

• Complex video assets could produce a blurry image every 1 second when encoded into H.264

• Mask Expansion could not be rendered correctly during preview scrubbing on layers that were scaled to 50% or less

• Applying a speed change to a multicam clip could cause the extended duration of the clip to play with no video

• Merged clips that contain clips with sync offsets could display out of sync indicators when used in a sequence

• Crashes could occur during export to QuickTime.

• Masking and Tracking: Brightness & Contrast could be incorrectly displayed in an Adjustment Layer

• File import failures could occur when no assets were selected in the Locate Media dialog

• Asserts and crashes could occur when exporting project to OMF

• Crashes could occur when rendering audio with a locked submix track

• Submixes could sometimes lose audio

• Noise could be heard in submixes with empty tracks

• Source monitor timecode and program monitor overlay could be off from one another in multicam sequences

• Audio overlays for Multicam and nested sequences would only display as audio time units.

• 24p/50p XDCAM EX files were sometimes 1 frame short when smart rendered

• MPEG2 TS files with 6 tracks of stereo audio could only play/show first stereo track when imported in to PPro

• Playing IMX 50 clip freezes video after 12 seconds. Timeout on async asserts in 8.1

• Locking all Audio Tracks could cause the system to slow down dramatically

Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.0.1 Release                          (Build


• Added support H.264 level 5.2 which allows for 4K outputs up to 60 FPS.

• New Youtube 4K QuadHD Preset (3840×2160)

Bug Fixes:

• Improved DCP Color Calibration

• Fix for blurriness issues in complex H264 encodes

• Fix for XAVC encoding failures for assets with no audio

Prelude CC 2014.0.1 Release

• Fixes a bug with the trial usage


Download Updates:

**Note** always use the Creative Cloud app to help keep track of updates new CC versions and only use these links if you need to install updates offline.


Premiere Pro



Premiere Pro


3:19 AM Permalink
March 7, 2014

Working with PremierePro CC & the New Mac Pro

I’ll start off by saying that this New Mac Pro is pretty amazing given it’s size. If there is an award for a size to workflow power ratio this machine would wins hands down. Only to be followed only by the Gigabyte Brix Pro w/Iris Pro5200 which measures 5” – but that’s another story. I’ve been reading various blog articles on the performance of this New Mac Pro and decided I should share some of my findings and do a quick video blog showing what I’m seeing and testing.

[UPDATE July 1st] 

We are aware of an issue affecting users of Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe Media Encoder CC on Mac OS X 10.9.3, as of today, Apple has released OS X 10.9.4 which addresses the issue. 

Link to Video:  As many of you know, I tend live on the high-end of tech working closely with our various vendors and partners and their hardware prototypes giving feedback on early hardware as it relates to new high-end workflows for our Pro Video customers. I also try to pick add-on components that truly enhance the user experience and to expose those technologies that will tend to make a  make a difference. LG monitors I mention this because this New Mac Pro has inspired a whole new set of add-ons . Take the new LG 21:9 UltraWide QHD ( ) for example  – which at first glance might not seem like a big deal – but this is actually a very well thought out display. (Take it from me, I used to work for Radius/Supermac back in the early days used to live and breathe high quality monitors and graphics cards). This display has Thunderbolt 2 (two ports) , USB 3, two USB 2 ports, Displayport, HDMI, and a headphone jack. This means, I can connect more than 1 computer to it and use the monitors built in controls to switch from computer to computer. It is missing an Ethernet port ( the Apple 27”has a built in GiGe port) but it was easily solved by buying a GiGe USB to Ethernet adapter for 29.00 on Amazon which keeps my Thunderbolt ports open for the mac . This monitor is also a must have for any RED Dragon 6K user as it gives you the closest a edge to edge picture  at 21:9 that I’ve seen yet and colors are excellent. partners Other devices like the Promise Pegasus 2 are continuing to do well in the Mac Thunderbolt space as I see them everywhere and customers are telling me that they are very happy with the performance and reliability. Lacie has done a great job with their portable Thunderbolt 2 raid with fastest speeds I’ve seen yet on a portable drive. I’m also looking forward to seeing more from companies like G-tech as I do use and rely on their EV Docks and drive packs quite a bit. No doubt they have a Thunderbolt 2 roadmap…. Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 10.31.23 PM The system used in the video is a 12 core Xeon, 16GB ram (still waiting on my 64GB kit) , 1TB internal boot drive, Dual AMD D700. This video is mainly centered around the AMD D700 ‘s and OpenCL . Anyone looking for info on whether to buy a 6, 8, or 12 core can clearly see that the D700’s , 32 or 64GB RAM, 1TB boot drive, Processor is how I personally rate the $$ spend priority (in that order)  for this config. I tend to always buy high-end so I can be a better informer. **note** I always recommend higher amounts of RAM for longer projects. Since my tests were short, the 16GB worked fine. opencl The first test was to stack on 9 layers of 1080p video with 12 GPU effects on each clip. Yes, I could have done more layers and GPU effects, but I tried to quickly create a scene opener that was more real-world and would give a good sense of day to day user experience. This first demo was to show that you can select video clips and effects and make changes to those effects while the video is still playing. Adjusting effects parameters while the video is playing adds a whole dimension to creative workflow. I usually look at my external display (use Preferences>Playback to turn on external displays via Transmit) set up a loop point and make adjustments as you see in the video. green dot As you watch the video, keep an eye on the drop frame indicator (Green dot ) and note that at all times we are previewing in Full quality on this New Mac Pro, not a fractional resolution. **Note** You turn on the Green Dot from the Side Wing Menu on the Program monitor. cameras The next test is the 4K test. Here again I tried to show a real world 4K workflow using different cameras on the same timeline. I’ve been a RED user for a longtime and can tell you that adding cameras like the Canon 1DC, and BMD Cinema 4K, and the new Panasonic GH4 to your 4K workflow gives you a ton of options when shooting. I spent some time using the new GH4 4K camera  and can say it is an amazing 4K camera for the price and it will find a place in my camera bag for sure. Even the BMD 4K camera (I borrowed one a few weeks ago – thanks Sonny) is amazing ProRes422 HQ camera for the $ 2,995.00 price. This will show a mixed 4K timeline with GH4 , 1DC, XAVC, ProRes422, and Sony RAW running on the LG 21:9 (3440×1440) and the Sharp 4K display (3840×2160) at Full 4K resolution. I also added and adjustment layer and 3 way corrector and adjusted the properties while the video was playing at Full 4K resolution- Honestly, I was stunned to see how this New Mac Pro performed. It did not skip a beat….. time The next test was the biggest eye opener for me: The EXPORT test. Here I export the above mentioned 4K timeline where every frame needs to be recreated. The results with the Dual AMD D700 were 15 seconds vs software only (12 core CPU) were 2 minutes 30 seconds. This was a fairly simple test showing our 64 bit pipeline and GPU work in action. To be fair, If you added non accelerated effects with GPU effects (redline) , the CPU and GPU would be working together in a more real-world scenario. It’s important to note at that if you ever need to render the timeline , we do use all CPUs and all GPUs to complete the render while working in Premiere. The render tests I did were also impressive to say the least. I did not show those as I was trying to keep the demo around 10 minutes –  Easy enough to test yourself. I know I’ll get questions on why I did not show Single GPU vs Dual GPU and simple answer is that we have special builds of Premiere Pro CC where we can turn off certain options and it’s something a user can’t really test. Remember , the New Mac Pro comes with 2 GPUs in all configs. RED I saved  the best for last …. As many of our users know, Adobe and RED have worked closely together since the very first days of real 4K editing and I think everyone can agree that RED set a lot of this 4K momentum in to motion. Adobe engineering has been working with RED on using new GPU technologies  to allow for full debayering of R3D media. On the New Mac Pro , current tests show that it can handle 4K R3D files at Full Debayer while both 5K and 6K Debayering are dramatically improved with the use of the dual GPU.  Keep your eye on your Creative Cloud app for updates. More cool stuff in the works.

10:48 PM Permalink
September 10, 2013

What’s New in the Oct 2013 Pro Video CC releases

Oct releases

What’s New this month – A lot !!

Premiere Pro 7.1
Speed Grade 7.1
After Effects 12.1
Adobe Media Encoder 7.1
Prelude 2.1


So many things to cover on the latest CC updates for the Pro Video apps. As you’ll see, the Pro Video team has been extremely busy to deliver user requests , bugs, and looking towards the future of our video apps. This cycle had “All Hands on Deck” or should I say, all Adobe Pro Video engineers had “All Hands on Keyboards” coding throughout the day and night.

A few of my favorite things to call out in these releases.

Premiere Pro 7.1

1. Support for Cinema DNG format for cameras like the BlackMagic Cinema Camera

2. Editable Sequence Settings

3. Rippling Sequence Markers
4. Sequence Hover Scrubbing in Media Browser and Project Bin
5. Better 4K playback performance for cameras like the Canon 1Dc and new support for the RED Dragon 6K & Phantom.
6. Improved Workflow between Premiere and SpeedGrade NEW DirectLink !!

After Effects 12.1
1. New Mask Tool – Mask Tracker
2. Anywhere support – Early Access
3. Additional GPU support – same as Premiere Pro CC (any card with 1GB can be turned on)

Adobe Media Encoder 7.1

1. Water Marking on output
2. GPU Support

I know I already said this for the 7.01 releases back in July, but again, I’ve never seen anything like this set of new updates. They are really more like new releases than updates. I’ve already seen what’s coming next and I can assure you, it’s a crowd pleaser and clearly defines the difference between where we were and where we are going. It’s all about innovation lead by user requests.

I hope our users clearly see a pattern here. Our engineering teams now have the freedom to get new features and enhancements in front of the people that need them NOW. As I said in the last blog entry, if you want to be more proactive in feedback requests, you can use the Product Improvement Program feature built in all of our applications under the Help Menu. We really do read these comments daily.

Here’s a New Video featuring working in full 4K resolution on a 4K display

The video features some new gear from HP that I’ve been testing in the lab for the past few months.

The first is the New fully redesigned ZBook workstation Laptop with THUNDERBOLT (finally)  –

click any of the images to watch video


and the MOST IMPORTANT thing (& the one I’m most excited about) , a new Thunderbolt option for the HP Z820 & Z620.

Thunderbolt Z820


This means that you can now have a Workstation with Dual Intel E5 2620 processors, 512GB RAM, Internal 4 drive raid, Blueray drive, choice of video card like the NVIDIA GeForce 690/Titan/ Quadro K6000 w/12GB RAM, Atto Raid card, RED Rocket, and THUNDERBOLT for sharing TB devices and drives. Wow !! – and all from a single desktop tower and one AC Power plug !!

The new workflow where using a Laptop that can edit 4K rough cuts on set via Thunderbolt storage like the Promise Pegasus series or the new G-Tech EV series and sharing that drive on your Thunderbolt equipped Z820 makes the workflow more like older firewire 1394 based workflows. Hint: You can format these drives to work on both Mac & Windows giving you even more flexibility with our apps (ExFAT). See further down the article on how I do this …

Special thanks to our friend Devin Graham (aka Devin Supertramp) for use of his 4K footage.
Click on his YouTube header to see some of his work Yes I’m hooked and I admit, I’m a subscriber …….

Premiere 7.1 Feature list

1. Direct Link to SpeedGrade: Open Premiere Pro projects within SpeedGrade for color grading work, and send them back to Premiere Pro with color corrections and looks applied for continued editing.

2. Streamlined Editing: Improving and streamlining everyday editing tasks and workflows to enable editors to work faster. New monitor overlay allows editors to see key data such as time code and camera angle overlayed onto media during playback.

3. Expanded Native 4K, Ultra HD and RAW Formats: New native file format support for Cinema DNG, Sony RAW, Phantom Cine, Canon RAW, improved MJPG from Canon 1DC, Sony XAVC Long GOP, Panasonic AVC Ultra (Long GOP), 64 bit ProRes decoding (Mac OS X 10.8 or higher only), and support for exporting XAVC up to 4K and AVCi200. Cinema DNG can be debayered on a supported GPU for better performance. Support for the RED Dragon at 6K .

4. Improved Multicam Workflows: Further improved multicam workflows now allow for viewing of composite output changes in multicam editing view. Editors can easily turn angles on and off or rearrange them. The ability to track names or clip names was also added.

5. Improved Closed Captioning: New support for captions in MXF OP1A and Quicktime media and encoding to CEA-708 captioning standards. File name extensions with dfxp files can also now be imported.

6. Improved Link and Locate: Sequence settings are now editable enabling the ability to use Link & Locate to connect back to full resolution [online] media, having initially cut with proxy versions.
Audio Monitoring : Ability to down-mix multi-channel audio to stereo for monitoring purposes.

7. Improved High-Fidelity Interchange: New XML export to Autodesk Smoke workflows.

AfterEffects 12.1 Feature list

1. Mask Tracker: Quickly create a mask and apply an effect such as color correction that travels frame by frame throughout your composite. Mask Tracker eliminates the need to adjust the mask and effect throughout time and avoids repetitive rotoscoping tasks.

2. Upscale Effect: Preserve detail and sharpness while up scaling images up to HD or digital cinema size. The new up-scaling tool retains edge detail and reduces noise and artifacts.

3. Property Links: Copy and paste an effect, mask, or other properties from one layer to another so that the pasted instance has a live link to the original. Changes that you make to the original properties are reflected in the linked instances.

4. Faster Warp Stabilizer and 3D Camera Tracker: Analyze your footage up to 80% faster with new speed enhancements added to both the Warp Stabilizer VFX and the 3D Camera Tracker.

5. GPU optimizations: Work faster with GPU optimizations. Enhancements in the ray-traced 3D renderer enable you to quickly work with extruded text and shapes. Inclusion of the NVIDIA OptiX 3.0 library improves performance and stability for the ray-traced 3D renderer.

6. Media Browser : The Media Browser allows you to easily browse, open, and composite virtually any video format. After Effects links to traditional movie, image and audio files as well as industry standard file based media, such as P2 cards, XDCAM, RED, and ARRIRAW.

7. Adobe Anywhere Integration (Early Access): Collaborate on composites and animations with team members. Use the new Media Browser in After Effects to browse and open shared productions on the Anywhere server. Easily share compositions and media, and manage historical versions of shared work.

8. Improved Snapping: Layer and mask snapping behavior makes aligning both 2D and 3D objects simple, without needing to calculate and type in values. Now snap items to individual layers in a precomposition and to lines defined by a layer’s boundaries, even outside of the layer itself, making alignment even easier.

9. HiDPI Content Viewers: When using Apple Retina displays, see every pixel in your high-definition compositions, footage, and layers in sharp, HiDPI content viewers.

SpeedGrade 7.1 Feature list

1. Direct Link: Open native Premiere Pro projects within SpeedGrade for color grading work, and send them back to Premiere Pro with color corrections and looks applied for continued editing.

2. Multiple Masks: Create and save multiple masks within a single .look file.

3. SpeedLooks: Apply camera patches to balance the colors spaces of different types of cameras and combine these with sophisticated creative looks – the result is precision and beauty.

4. Expanded File Format Support: All of the native file formats supported by Premiere Pro can now be brought into SpeedGrade for grading as part of any Premiere Pro project.

5. Enhanced Timeline: Premiere Pro sequences appear on their own Timeline in SpeedGrade, providing all the tools you need for color work and displaying key information from the editorial pipeline .

6. Linked Masks: Layer and link masks for full control over complex Looks. Easily copy and modify Looks for new shots or on new projects.

Adobe Media Encoder 7.1 Feature list

1. Automated Image Processing: Create customized output of media, including watermarks and TimeCode overlays, as well as image processing, such as LUTs when rendering out new content.

2. Sync Settings: Easily sync application preferences between multiple computers via Creative Cloud

3. GPU Rendering: GPU rendering give users the same processing as Premiere Pro and offers significant performance improvements on any process that can take advantage of GPU acceleration.

Prelude 2.1 Feature List

1. Prelude Live Logger: Begin the production and logging process sooner by logging on your iPad while you shoot footage on your professional camera anywhere. Import and combine your metadata later with others and add it to your file-based footage through Prelude CC to have it flow throughout the production process.

2. Export Clips, Subclips, and Rough Cuts: In addition to exporting rough cuts, you can export clips and subclips you create in Prelude CC through Adobe Media Encoder.

3. Export Marker List: Quickly and easily review what content is in your media with a printed out list of markers. Easily run your team through the action by looking at line items which describe the metadata in your media throughout.

4. Expanded XMP Support: With added support of new media, continue to ingest and log your preferred footage in its native file, enabling greater control over the creative process.

5. Still Image Support: Bring still images into any rough cut that you create in Prelude CC.

Adobe Anywhere for Video:

1. Early access to After Effects integration : Collaborate on composites and animations with team members with Adobe Anywhere for video. For Anywhere users who have not invested in a MAM, use the new Media Browser in After Effects to browse, open, and edit compositions stored on the Anywhere server. Compositions are easily monitored to see the latest iterations and resolve version conflicts. Compositions are rendered locally and can be saved back onto the Anywhere server.

2. Growing File Support: Save time by allowing post-production and editing work to begin even as production continues with growing file support. The ability to work with files that are growing in duration, even as they are ingested is important, especially in fast turnaround workflows such as sports and live-to-broadcast shows. Adobe Anywhere supports the same formats for growing files as Adobe Premiere Pro.

3. iPad App: View productions and play back sequences on the Anywhere server from the field or a remote location using the Adobe Anywhere iPad App. (*Available via the App Store.)

How to setup to your drives to be compatible on Mac & Windows via ExFAT.

In most cases, you can simply format your single USB 3.0 drive on the Mac as ExFAT and it will just work on both Win7/8 and OSX 10.7 and higher. It will support both Read and write. I’ve been doing this for years and had great luck. WIth Thunderbolt, ExFAT formatting Raids to be cross platform compatible takes a little more effort.
For starters, use a Windows 7 or 8 machine to set up as the key seems to be in how the first partition is set.
1. Open a command prompt by typing cmd into the Start/search box and pressing Enter
this should open up a familiar DOS like command window.
2. Type format g: /FS:exFAT and then Enter to begin formatting the G drive as exFAT
You can use what ever letter you want . I use G or P for G-tech or Promise drives.
3. Press Enter.
4. Copy a few files onto the drive to insure it works for Read & Write.
5. Unmount the Raid/drive and power it down.
6. Power up the Raid/drive and connect to your Mac running 10.7 or 10.8. When it mounts, copy a few files to it and make sure it works.

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