Friday, January 20, 2006

Reported problems with flip4Mac

I've added a rider to the previous post about software. Currently flip4Mac doesn't play nicely with 3ivx. See earlier post for (corrected) details.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Switch from Tuesday to Monday nights?

Hi all - at the last meeting, we briefly mentioned the possibility of meeting on a Monday night (rather than Tuesday) in Feb. It would suit me better than a Tuesday - any other takes for a night switch?

Also, Phil, which night(s) were you thinking of - Mon 6th Feb?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Useful and free / reasonable software

Somethings old, something new - as promised, I've collected the URLs for my 'useful software' presentation from way back in Oct 2004, together with some new announcements.

Windows Media files (.wmv)
You may have seen the statement that M'soft will no longer be supporting Windows Media Player on the Mac, but for each door that closes, another opens. As a gift to the community (and a handy way of publicising the paid-for upgrades), Flip4Mac are now offering a free download of their WMV player. It gives Quicktime the ability to play .wmv files and, if you go for the paid upgrade, you can export them too. Good documentation in the package, available at

**WARNING - I'm reading reports around the web that the current Flip4Mac doesn't play nicely with 3ivx - If you have the 3ivx codecs (as QT plugins) on your system and install Flip4Mac then Microsoft Office, for one, won't work. Also a report that DSR30 decks lose function with FCP. Apparently Flip4Mac are working on the issues.

Video data calculator
As demonstrated by our very own Richard Atherton at last week's meeting, a free download to calculate data storage needs based on media settings and duration. The web-page has a load of AJA-related links on it, the free stuff is at the bottom.

This free software generates tones. Em, that's it. Don spotted it in my quick flick through slides, as presented way back in Oct 2004. Here's the link
Bad news is, it's not for OS 10.4 (hence the quiet tones it generated last week)

Joe's Filters
One of the earliest sets of FCP filters outside Apple. Still available at
Huge numbers of effects, as you can see from his site. They're available on trial, but none are free that I can see.

1z1 screenworks plugins
Another filters site at
There are a couple of freeware plugins here, including one very useful script to output source timecode and text in vision.

wefcpug members - feel free to add more! If the system won't let you, it's either because you haven't responded to the invite to join this blogging site, or because I've not sent you the invite (I had several bounce-backs and my list may well be incomplete). See the rhs column for my email address.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Apple event in Cheltenham - Wed 18th Jan

(Open to all on application as below - Phil)

An Audience with Apple

18 Jan 06 - 6pm | Cheltenham Film Studio

Calling all users of Final Cut Pro, Logic, Shake, Motion and Soundtrack… The Gloucestershire Media Group and Gloscat Arts and Media proudly presents an essential event focusing on the revolutionary development of Apple solutions for the media industry. Senior Apple representatives including Lionel Paillet (Director, Pro Markets, Europe) and Phil Erhart (Business Development Manager, EMEA) will personally deliver the latest product news and training opportunities in keynote presentations tailored for all those working in fields of video, tv, film, effects and audio. For full information and to register log-on to www.thegmg,org or email

Some of my HD consultancy work out soon.

Here are some of my recent consultancy projects.

"Dance" by Jeffron - Client: Split Image

Click image for half HD res 960x540

Shot on the ARRI D20 with Digiprime lenses,
Recorded on HDCAM-SR, 30p/25p 1920x1080 10bit
Edited on Final Cut Pro 5, compositing in Shake , Quad core PowerMac with Kona LHe card

"Industry" by The Modern - Client: Mainframe
Shot on Sony HDW-750p, Canon lenses, HDCAM
Edited on Final Cut Pro 5, compositing in After Effects, Dual 2.5 G5 with DeckLink HD Pro Dual Link.

"Sunshine" by Lear - Client: Tantrwm

Click image for half HD res 960x540

Shot on Sony HDW-750p, Canon lenses, HDCAM
Edited on Final Cut Pro 5, Composited in After Effects

"Derailed" Miramax Pictures - Client: JDC
Released on 3rd February in the UK
35mm (ARRI 435), Spirit HD Telecine to HD-D5
Background plates in train sequence
Final Cut Pro, Shake, DeckLink HD Pro Dual Link.

Jonathan Smiles
Managing Director - Digital Safari Ltd.
dCinema - HD - SD

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jan 2006 quick report and notes

This is called a 'quick report' because I don't want to tread too far down the path of this blog until I know it's a firm one (ie you can all read it!) - there's confidence in IT for you.
A fine start to the New Year, with Steve Jobs timing his speech just right for Richard's arrival with Blackberry. Thanks Steve - we'll be happy to trial any of the new Intel machines as soon as you can deliver.
I mentioned a software PPM that fell across my field of view this week - it's called 'PPMulator' and looks like this
Actually I've resized the screen-grab a little to fit this post, and it's resizable anyway - as well as configurable to other sorts of meters. (Bargraphs, Mono, etc).
With a couple of provisos that I mentioned at the meeting - it works best as a plug-in, but it's a VST plug-in which isn't usable directly in FCP - this little app should be welcomed on every desktop, especially at the £20.00 price. Reading the company's website, they're aware of the need to fit into FCP!
should get you there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Welcome to the wefcpug blog

So this is it, our new home on the web (provided it works and until we get bored with it).
News about forthcoming wefcpug meetings will appear here, together with links, points arising, reports and whatever news we come across. As you'll have noticed, because it's a blog (and until I get round to tinkering with the code) postings will be dated, though that's probably a good thing. And, of course...comments. Provided you're on the wefcpug list, feel free to add useful comments to the posts. Writing is restricted to members, to avoid us filling with spam - but reading is free to all across the world. {Bear that in mind when you comment!} In theory you can edit your own comments too - I haven't got that far into this system to check it out. Nor have I got round to filling in the front page yet (hence the 'edit here' tags!).
Last but not least, there's an RSS feed of this blog. I haven't got round to putting the XML icon onto the page, so it's a manual job for the moment - you have to paste the atom feed, which is into your newsreader of choice.
I recommend NewsFire, to be found at or of course your browser may display RSS feeds as bookmarks (Safari and Firefox do).