How to make a DIY motorized slider for a Manfrotto high hat style bowl tripod using an old gate piston.
How to make a DIY motorized slider for a Manfrotto high hat style bowl tripod using an old gate piston.
In the realm of filmmaking, the ever-evolving landscape of AI is revolutionizing workflows at a breathtaking pace. Enter Stability.AI, a pioneering force in AI-generated art derived from machine learning. Their latest endeavor? Crafting full-motion videos from a single static image through a groundbreaking technique termed Stability Video Diffusion.
In a bold statement on its website, the company unveils a research preview of this cutting-edge generative AI video model. They herald it as a pivotal stride towards democratizing model creation for a diverse array of creators. This innovative process empowers users to upload a solitary image and employ text-based directives, enabling the algorithm to conceptualize and generate a video lasting around four seconds. With a frame rate ranging between 3 to 30 frames per second, the output encapsulates either 14 or 25 frames at a resolution approximating an animated GIF’s dimensions.
However, the nascent stage of Stability Video Diffusion hints at more extensive developments on the horizon. Despite its current limitations—constrained to animated or drawn imagery—Stability.AI is optimistic. They foresee the algorithm evolving to fashion more lifelike videos featuring smoother camera motions. Yet, caution pervades their approach; they meticulously source publicly available images for research purposes, cognizant of the pitfalls of unintentional plagiarism in generative AI. Recent controversies, such as the resignation of Stability’s VP of Audio due to the use of copyrighted content, underscore the need for vigilance as video integration amplifies the complexities.
Amidst this unveiling, users keen on exploring the potential of Stability Video Diffusion can access the research preview’s source code via Stability’s GitHub and Hugging Face portals. The provided models serve as canvases for experimentation, accompanied by a comprehensive guide on Google Colab Notebook to fine-tune settings. Additionally, a detailed technical white paper awaits download, offering deeper insights into the intricacies of this groundbreaking technology.
The implications of Stability Video Diffusion loom large, particularly for content creators. The ability to transform static images and storyboards into dynamic animatics, and potentially even full-fledged animated films, tantalizes creatives. Already, companies like Corridor Digital leverage Stable Diffusion’s generative image tools coupled with adept editing to produce AI-generated short films. The inevitable progression towards generating complete motion videos, incorporating diverse angles, fluid camera movements, and perhaps even visual effects, looms tantalizingly close. A mere amalgamation of descriptive text and an image could birth a cinematic sequence.
As Stability Video Diffusion continues its evolution, the boundaries of creative possibility within AI-generated content expand exponentially. The journey from a single image to a fully realized, dynamic video heralds a new chapter in the fusion of AI and visual storytelling. As Stability.AI navigates the delicate balance between innovation and ethical considerations, the future promises an era where the line between imagination and creation blurs even further.
Insta360, a key player in the action camera market, has unveiled its newest offerings, the Ace and Ace Pro cameras, aiming to disrupt GoPro’s stronghold in the industry. Touted as the smartest action cameras ever created, these devices feature a new 5 nm ACE CMOS image sensor, a Leica-designed Summar IT lens, and a 2.4-inch flip-up LED touchscreen. With groundbreaking features in tow, Insta360 claims these cameras elevate action footage to the quality seen in professional sports broadcasts.
At the heart of the Insta360 ACE Pro system lies an elite 1/1.3-inch CMOS image sensor and a 5 nm chip enabling impressive capabilities. The Ace Pro records 8K HDR video at 24 fps or 4K HDR video at up to 120 frames per second, reaching a maximum bitrate of 170 Mbps. Additionally, it captures 48 MP still images and offers Pure Video low-light image capture. For its part, the more affordable Insta360 Ace is equipped with a smaller 1/2-inch image sensor.
The Ace Pro incorporates a 16mm F2.6 Leica Summar IT lens (F2.4 for the lower-priced Ace) and integrates three microphones for recording 16-bit AAC audio with wind reduction, stereo, and directional modes.
Both cameras harness AI technology to introduce a collection of innovative features. These include denoising footage for sharper images, enhanced brightness, instant video editing tools, and generative AI warp features that overlay dynamic visual effects. The ACE cameras also provide AI generative layers for professional cinematic touches, elevating the appeal of video footage.
“We’re making significant strides in AI, allowing us to introduce features that not only streamline the video creation process for users but also unlock entirely new ways to make shots truly remarkable,” stated Insta360 founder JK Liu.
These cameras pioneer a statistics dashboard overlay, integrating metadata such as GPS, speed, and other metrics from Garmin GPS devices or Apple Watches. This integration results in a video image reminiscent of professional sports broadcasts.
Furthermore, the Ace and Ace Pro enhance image capture through Insta360’s Invisible Selfie Stick effect, employing the AI Selfie Stick Eraser for a more natural third-person angle, rendering the selfie stick invisible. These cameras also feature a 360° Horizon Lock ensuring level videos regardless of the camera angle, alongside 6-axis image stabilization via Insta360’s FlowState technology for steady footage.
The 2.4-inch LED touchscreen flips up, enabling users to frame selfies, video vlogs, and challenging angles effortlessly without disrupting the camera’s magnetic mounting system.
Other notable features include gesture control, instant recording cancellation, 2x digital zoom without loss of detail, photo grabs from 4K videos, and pause/resume recording capabilities to eliminate downtime.
The design withstands depths up to 33 feet (10 meters) and extends to 196 feet (60 meters) using the Insta360 Dive Case. Additionally, it operates flawlessly in temperatures ranging from -4° F (-20° C) to 104° F (40°C).
The Ace Pro’s battery life extends up to 100 minutes while recording 4K video at 30 fps, with PD fast charging reaching 80% charge in just 22 minutes and a full charge in 46 minutes for its 1650 mAh battery. On the other hand, the budget-friendly Ace features standard charging with a slightly larger 1700 mAh battery.
Among the array of innovative features, the stats overlay stands out as one of the most exciting aspects, offering content creators powerful tools to elevate the immersion and entertainment value of their action videos. This integration of statistics provides a unique edge, transforming footage into a more immersive and engaging visual experience.
The Insta360 Ace and Ace Pro cameras represent a significant leap forward in action camera technology. With their impressive hardware specifications, innovative AI-powered features, and user-friendly design, these cameras offer a compelling proposition for content creators seeking to capture stunning visuals of their adventures. The stats overlay, in particular, is a game-changer, providing a unique way to elevate action videos with immersive creativity and providing a unique form of metadata for the audience to enjoy.
The Insta360 Ace and Ace Pro are now available for purchase for $379.99 and $449.99, respectively, through Insta360 direct and authorized retailers.
In yet another black eye for FiLMiC Pro, the entire development and PR team is rumored to have been laid off. Operations, maintenance, and future development of the app are now solely under the management of its parent company Bending Spoons, signaling yet another significant shift in the direction of the beloved application.
Acquisition and Transition to Subscription-Based Model
Bending Spoons, a tech giant known for its diverse portfolio of apps, acquired FiLMiC Pro in a high-profile deal back in 2022. The acquisition sent shockwaves through the mobile filmmaking community as the transition was swiftly accompanied by a fundamental change in FiLMiC Pro’s business model—shifting from a one-time purchase model to a subscription-based service.
Impact of Business Model Change
FiLMiC Pro was a passion project born out of the minds of content creators who wanted to push the boundaries of mobile filmmaking. They poured their hearts and souls into crafting an app that would empower storytellers around the world. However, with the departure of the original team, it’s hard to imagine how FiLMiC Pro can maintain its innovative edge. Without their vision and expertise, the app risks becoming just another cog in Bending Spoons’ vast app empire.
The transition to a subscription-based model was initially met with skepticism, as many users questioned whether the ongoing development and new features promised by Bending Spoons would justify the recurring fees. Now, with the creative force behind FiLMiC Pro gone, those concerns are only amplified.
Without the original team’s passion and expertise, it’s easy to envision FiLMiC Pro becoming a mere cash grab, devoid of the innovation and creativity that made it a beloved tool among content creators. Many mobile filmmakers found themselves hesitant to constantly open their wallets for weekly subscription fees. Meanwhile, those disenchanted by this change, began exploring alternative options, seeking solace in other apps available in the market.
Emergence of Blackmagic’s Camera App
One notable contender that emerged during this period was Blackmagic’s new camera app, enticing users with its promising features and an appealing alternative to FiLMiC Pro. The competition heated up as users weighed their options, exploring different apps to cater to their filmmaking needs while bypassing the subscription burden that accompanied FiLMiC Pro’s new model.
Layoffs and Future Uncertainty
The decision to lay off the entire FiLMiC Pro team is certain to fuel speculation, leaving the future of the app hanging in uncertainty. Many will no doubt wonder whether the app will maintain its innovative edge.
Bending Spoons’ Plans Under Scrutiny
Amidst these uncertainties, the mobile filmmaking community eagerly awaits Bending Spoons’ plans for FiLMiC Pro. Will the app retain its pioneering status in the industry, or will it face a decline due to these recent shifts? Only time will tell whether the application can regain the trust and loyalty of its user base if its prominence will gradually fade into the background, or if Bending Spoons can address the concerns of users and restore FiLMiC Pro to its former glory.
Blind Spot Gear, a company known for its LED designs for platforms like Netflix and Amazon, has introduced the LumiCard, a pocket-sized camera light designed for mobile filmmakers. The credit card-sized light attaches to iPhones through the magnetic MagSafe connection, providing a compact yet powerful lighting solution.
Designed for Accessibility and Performance
Learning from Past Pitfalls
In the past, credit card-sized LEDs like the Nova light faced challenges such as build quality issues and proprietary Bluetooth triggering. Blind Spot Gear aims to learn from past pitfalls and deliver a product that addresses previous drawbacks.
Key Features of the LumiCard
Additional options include the LumiKit, offering a diffuser attachment to soften the LumiCard’s illumination, and the LumiRing magnetic adapter for attaching the light to laptops during video calls. The LumiBank, a battery bank providing up to 5000 mAh of power, is available for efficient wireless charging of the LumiCard and other MagSafe-compatible devices.
Pricing and Availability
Currently in its early bird Kickstarter phase, the LumiCard is available for backers at around $50, with a special 3-pack offering a 35% discount. The package includes the pocket-sized LED light, mag-safe adhesive rings, and a custom-sized USB-C cable.
Backers can participate in BlindSpot’s Kickstarter campaign, with an expected delivery timeline set for April 2024.
The LumiCard is a promising new product that addresses the limitations of existing smartphone lighting solutions. With its compact size, powerful light output, and flexible activation options, the LumiCard has the potential to be a valuable tool for mobile filmmakers and content creators.
Blackmagic has released an update to its Blackmagic Camera app designed to make recording video on the iPhone more reliable and user-friendly. The Camera 1.2 update introduces haptic feedback for control dials, providing a more precise and intuitive experience for making adjustments. Additionally, the app’s screen layout has been improved, and six new languages have been added.
The updated layout ensures that essential controls, including focus peaking, zebra, and false color, remain visible even when the image is zoomed in, allowing mobile filmmakers to closely monitor focus and image quality during recording. Improved grid controls with horizon detection and the ability to flip the image for SLR lenses with depth-of-field adapters further enhance the app’s usability.
Blackmagic has also added support for custom LUTs, enabling users to apply specific looks to their footage and embed them directly into the video file. Flicker-free recording is now possible thanks to adjustable shutter presets for 50 or 60 Hz settings, ensuring compatibility with various lighting environments.
Apple Log has been expanded to include a Rec 709 LUT, providing users with more color grading options. Additionally, users can now tag the color space for their footage. Audio recording has also been enhanced, with the option to choose from the iPhone’s front, back, or even bottom microphones for directional audio capture.
Performance improvements include refined animations for player and slate views, as well as stealth mode optimization for smaller iPhone models. Users can now group camera settings for more efficient management, and clips can be dragged and dropped between different projects in the media panel.
To further enhance the user experience, Blackmagic has added six new languages to the app: Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. Setting adjustments can also be exported and imported, and the recording HUD has been improved. Additionally, uploading can be disabled while on data to conserve bandwidth.
The Blackmagic Camera 1.2 update is available as a free download from the Apple iOS app store.
DJI and SkyPixel have announced the launch of the 9th Annual SkyPixel Photo & Video Contest. Running from November 7, 2023, to February 2, 2024, this year’s contest promises to inspire creators by offering a substantial prize package valued at over $200,000.
The contest serves as a platform for artists to break new ground and push the boundaries of aerial photography and videography. Nan Li, the Photo Director of Southern Weekly, aptly stated, “The art of visual expression revolves around pushing the boundaries of the mind and nurturing creative thought.” Now, in its 9th year, the SkyPixel Annual Photo & Video Contest continues to be a source of captivating moments captured from the sky, igniting curiosity, reimagining the art of imagery, and immersing the public in the enchanting world of aerial photography.
The SkyPixel Annual Photo & Video Contest is a celebration of the remarkable stories that have shaped the art of image capture, whether from solid ground or soaring through the skies. Over nine years, the contest has evolved to genuinely reflect the desires and aspirations of the global community, drawing in an impressive 260,000 submissions and garnering over a billion views worldwide. It has become a platform where exceptional works and photographers receive the recognition they deserve, further advancing the field of aerial photography.
This year’s competition brings exciting changes that promise to elevate the competition. In addition to the main competition, three new Monthly Competitions have been introduced, with each month focusing on a unique category. November highlights Multi-focal length, December spotlights FPV images, and January will showcase Handheld photography. Submissions to the monthly competitions can also be entered into the main competition, offering participants more opportunities to compete for both monthly and overall awards. Furthermore, a new creative category for video creators has been incorporated, providing even more opportunities for participants to showcase their talents.
This year’s competition boasts an impressive panel of judges in both the photo and video categories. In photography, seasoned experts include Wen Huang, a World Press Photo judge and Senior Editor, Anne Farrar, Assistant Photography Chief Editor at National Geographic, Nan Li, the Photo Director of Southern Weekly, and Daniel Kordan, a renowned landscape photographer.
The video category judges include Michael Fitzmaurice, the Aerial Director of Photography of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and Xiaoshi Zhao, known for his award-winning work on “Forever Enthralled.” Bing Xi, a prominent figure in the Chinese TVC industry, and celebrated filmmaker Brandon Li complete the panel, ensuring a fair and critical evaluation of entries.
In a year filled with excitement, SkyPixel and DJI are proud to present a total of 79 awards, with a total value exceeding $200,000. The Best Work accolade winners in the video category will be rewarded with an Inspire 3, while those in the photo category will receive a Hasselblad X2D 100C. Each prize is worth $20,000 and $14,000, respectively. Winners will also be signed as official SkyPixel Creators and receive a prestigious trophy and an award certificate to honor their achievement. An array of other prizes includes top-tier offerings such as the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, DJI Air 3, DJI Avata, Osmo Pocket 3, Osmo Action 4, and Osmo Mobile 6, providing participants with numerous opportunities to expand their creative horizons.
The photo contest consists of four categories:
The Nature Category – A Force of Nature: Share impactful moments of nature’s grandeur.
The Architecture Category – Beauty in Design: Showcase innovative and inspiring architectural designs.
The Portrait Category – Portrait in the Sky: Capture the essence of your subjects.
The Sports Category – More Than a Game: Highlight the significance of sports in people’s lives.
All photos must be shot using a drone and meet specific resolution requirements.
The video contest consists of five categories:
The Nature Category – A Force of Nature: Showcase the natural world’s beauty.
The City Category – Urban Inspiration: Explore the transformative influence of cities.
The Travel Category – Explore Destinations: Share captivating visual stories of your travel adventures.
The Sports Category – More Than a Game: Capture the essence of sports.
Creative – Break the Mold: Explore novel approaches in creativity.
All videos must include at least 30 seconds of footage shot with DJI equipment.
Submission Details and Where to Learn More
Submission Start Date: November 7, 2023, 12:00 (UTC+8)
Submission End Date: February 2, 2024, 23:59 (UTC+8)
Award Announcement: March 19, 2024, 12:00 (UTC+8)
Interested participants can find more information on contest rules and guidelines by visiting the SkyPixel 9th Annual Photo & Video Contest website at www.skypixel.com/contests/2023.
Sony Corporation has unveiled its latest marvel in the Alpha series: the Alpha 9 III mirrorless camera. Packed with cutting-edge features and innovations, the spotlight shines on its new Exmor RS sensor with a global shutter, which promises to revolutionize image capture.
The Alpha 9 III is the latest addition to Sony’s Alpha series, known for its exceptional performance, and it has been eagerly awaited by professionals and enthusiasts alike. With the introduction of the Exmor RS sensor with a global shutter, Sony has taken a giant leap forward in the world of mirrorless cameras.
Exmor RS Sensor with Global Shutter:
The standout feature of the Alpha 9 III is its brand-new Exmor RS sensor with a global shutter. This technological marvel allows the sensor to capture images without the distortion associated with rolling shutters, making it ideal for fast-paced action photography and video recording. The global shutter also eliminates the dreaded “jello effect” in video, ensuring buttery-smooth footage. With 35.9 million effective pixels, it promises unparalleled clarity and image quality.
Sony’s Alpha 9 III boasts an impressive burst rate of 30 frames per second, making it one of the fastest mirrorless cameras on the market. This blistering speed, combined with the Exmor RS sensor, ensures that no moment will be missed, even in the most dynamic and challenging scenarios.
Impressive ISO Range:
The camera offers a wide ISO range of 50 to 409,600, allowing photographers to capture stunning shots in low light conditions. The Exmor RS sensor’s exceptional low-light performance and reduced noise make it perfect for night photography, astrophotography, and indoor shooting.
Advanced Autofocus System:
The Alpha 9 III features Sony’s renowned Real-time Phase Detection AF autofocus, ensuring that subjects are in sharp focus with incredible accuracy. The camera also offers Real-time Tracking and Real-time Animal Eye autofocus, making it a versatile tool for capturing a wide range of subjects.
4K Video High Frame Rate Capabilities:
For filmmakers, the Alpha 9 III provides the option to shoot in stunning 4K resolution, which is oversampled from a 6K sensor, ensuring edge-to-edge sharpness. The camera also supports up to 120 frames per second (fps) with no cropping, delivering impressive slow-motion capabilities, as well as shooting high frame rate with greater flexibility in post-production.
Sony has improved the ergonomics of the Alpha 9 III with a refined grip and a 5-axis in-body image stabilization system, making it more comfortable and stable to hold. The camera also boasts dual card slots (CFexpress Type A and SD UHS-II), a 9.44-million-dot electronic viewfinder, and a 3-inch tilting LCD screen for versatile composition.
Connectivity and Durability:
This camera is equipped with a built-in 5GHz Wi-Fi for high-speed data transfer and remote control, and it also supports FTP for efficient file sharing. In terms of durability, the Alpha 9 III has a robust magnesium alloy body with weather-sealing, ensuring it can withstand the harshest conditions.
Sony’s relentless commitment to pushing the boundaries of imaging technology has once again paid off, setting new industry standards with the Alpha 9 III. With its Exmor RS sensor with global shutter, high-speed performance, and advanced autofocus capabilities, this camera is poised to leave an indelible mark on the world of photography and videography. Whether capturing fast-paced sports action or cinematic masterpieces, the Alpha 9 III is poised to be the tool of choice for professionals worldwide.
The Sony Alpha 9 III, a full-frame mirrorless camera, is currently open for preorders through Sony’s network of authorized dealers, priced at $5,999. It is set to commence shipping in the spring of 2024.
Apple was so confident in their new lineup of M3 Macs that they shot the entire Scary Fast keynote event exclusively on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Talk about cinematic.