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.
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.
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.
During the highly anticipated 2023 Adobe MAX Sneaks presentation, Adobe astounded the audience with a remarkable array of experimental features that harnessed the incredible capabilities of generative AI. These innovative tools were designed to revolutionize the realms of video, audio, and 3D design, ushering in a new era of creative possibilities.
Before diving into the list of remarkable features showcased at the 2023 Adobe MAX Sneaks presentation, it’s worth highlighting not only Adobe Firefly, but also Project Stardust, an impressive innovation that has the potential to transform image editing. Adobe Firefly is already revolutionizing content creation across video, audio, animation, and motion graphics. It streamlines video editing, reducing post-production time and automating tasks. In audio, it enhances sound quality, simplifies dubbing, and caters to global audiences. In animation, it empowers creatives with lifelike movements and stunning effects, enhancing overall efficiency.
Meanwhile, Project Stardust simplifies the process of selecting, editing, and even deleting complex elements within any image, ushering in a new era of intuitive, accessible, and time-efficient image editing. For instance, this groundbreaking tool allows users to select individuals within a photograph, relocate them within the composition, and seamlessly fill in the background where they once stood. Users can also tweak elements like clothing color or positioning, treating static images as if they were files with layers.
Now, let’s delve into the impressive array of features demonstrated at this year’s Adobe MAX Sneaks presentation:
One of the most groundbreaking unveilings was Project Fast Fill, which introduced the power of Firefly generative AI to the realm of video editing. For the first time, this tool allowed users to effortlessly remove objects or seamlessly alter background elements within video footage, matching the quality and fluidity of traditional still image editing. With Project Fast Fill, users could achieve feats like removing an unwanted person from a video clip or seamlessly transitioning a scene to a completely different location. The AI’s prowess automatically filled the void with realistic content that harmonized perfectly with the surrounding environment, opening up endless creative opportunities.
Project Dub Dub Dub was another game-changing feature that showcased Adobe’s prowess in AI automation. This tool streamlined the complex process of video dubbing by automatically translating a recording or audio track into all supported languages. Remarkably, it preserved the original speaker’s voice, ensured temporal alignment with the original dialogue, and readied the content for global publication. For video creators, this was a monumental time-saver, facilitating the process of translating content for a worldwide audience and making videos more accessible to non-English speakers.
Project Scene Change is a new technology that makes it easy to composite a subject and a scene from two separate videos — captured with different camera trajectories — into one scene with synchronized camera motion.
This is done by using artificial intelligence to render a 3D representation of the background scene from a prerecorded image as if it was captured by a free-moving camera. The separately filmed subject is then composited into this new scene with proper shadows, creating a realistic and seamless effect.
Project Scene Change has the potential to revolutionize the way video editors work, as it removes any limitations due to the camera motion of existing video assets. This means that editors can now place a subject into any environment they want, with realistic camera motion, without having to reshoot the footage.
Project Neo is a new technology that enables creators to embrace simplified 3D design within 2D tools and methods.
This is done by using a new, unified 3D and 2D design space that allows creators to work with 3D objects in the same way that they would work with 2D shapes and images.
Project Neo also includes a number of new features that make it easier to create and edit 3D objects, such as non-destructive modeling and real-time rendering.
Project Neo has the potential to make 3D design more accessible to a wider range of creators, and to open up new possibilities for creative expression.
Project ResUp is a new technology that uses artificial intelligence to upscale low-resolution images and videos to high resolution without sacrificing quality.
This is done by using a deep learning model that has been trained on a massive dataset of high-resolution images and videos. The model is able to learn the patterns and relationships between pixels in high-resolution images, and then use this knowledge to upscale low-resolution images and videos in a way that preserves detail and quality.
Project ResUp has the potential to be a valuable tool for creators who need to upscale their legacy work for different platforms, such as social media, print, or large-screen displays. It can also be used to restore old or damaged images and videos.
Beyond the sphere of video, Adobe didn’t hold back on revealing innovative AI-powered tools for audio and 3D design. Project Poseable, a prime example, was a novel AI-based image generation model that facilitated the creation of realistic 3D images and videos of people, even in intricate or impossible poses that would challenge traditional cameras.
Meanwhile, Project Draw & Delight emerged as a comprehensive suite of generative AI tools that breathed life into raw ideas, often mere doodles or scribbles, by transforming them into refined illustrations. This could really come in handy for those who can’t draw, looking to create compelling storyboards.
These dazzling examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Adobe’s commitment to AI-driven innovation is poised to change the game again for the creative landscape. These tools have the potential to democratize creativity, making it accessible to individuals of all skill levels. In the grander scheme of things, as AI technology continues to advance, we can anticipate an influx of even more innovative and potent tools that will enable us to explore and express ourselves in novel and thrilling ways. The democratization of creativity, enhanced accessibility, and a more powerful creative toolkit await us, thanks to Adobe’s pioneering efforts in the AI realm.
But the question remains … is it too late to keep this genie in the bottle?
CinePi is an open-source cinema camera project that aims to democratize filmmaking by offering a build-it-yourself camera that enthusiasts can customize to their preferences at a remarkably low cost. The project was inspired by Csaba Nagy’s fascination with cinema cameras and his desire to make them more accessible to the general public.
CinePi is powered by a Raspberry Pi, an easily accessible and affordable single-board computer. Nagy’s first prototype was capable of capturing 2K video at up to 50 frames per second, but with the introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4, he was able to achieve impressive 4K resolution with 12-bit Cinema DNG Raw.
The second iteration of CinePi features a Super8-sized Sony IMX477 image sensor that can record up to 4K video in 12-bit Raw. It is also equipped with a Raspberry Pi 4B processor, a next-generation camera module, support for external SSD recording via USB 3.0, a four-inch high-resolution LCD touchscreen, and a fan-driven Noctua cooling system. Nagy is also working on adding HDMI output while maintaining a simultaneous LCD preview.
The camera is equipped with a high-capacity internal battery and housed in a 3D-printed case featuring 1/4-20 mounting points, Ethernet, USB 3.0, and various other ports. The only downside is the reliance on a screw-on C-mount lens for the Raspberry Pi’s camera module, which often results in using security camera optics of lower quality or hard-to-find Russian-made lenses. However, CinePi users can opt for C-mount lens adapters to maximize image quality.
The total cost of the CinePi project hovers just under $400. The most expensive components include the Pimoroni HyperPixel 4” touchscreen at $75.00, the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 processor board at $75.00, and the Pi HQ camera module at $50. The remaining off-the-shelf cables, connectors, switches, computer fans, and 3D-printed casing come in at under $22.
CinePi is still in the development stage, but Nagy has released a detailed build guide and all of the necessary software on his GitHub page. He is also working on a more comprehensive user manual and a community forum where CinePi users can share tips and tricks.
The CinePi project has the potential to revolutionize the filmmaking industry by making professional-grade cinema cameras accessible to a wider range of creators. This democratization of filmmaking could lead to a more diverse and innovative landscape of visual storytelling.
CinePi is also a valuable educational tool for aspiring filmmakers, providing hands-on experience with the inner workings of cinema cameras. This knowledge can be essential for success in the film industry, where a deep understanding of camera technology is often required.
The CinePi project is an exciting development in the world of filmmaking. It offers an affordable, accessible, and customizable way to build a professional-grade cinema camera. CinePi is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to revolutionize the industry by making filmmaking more accessible to everyone.
In addition to the above, I would like to add that CinePi is a great example of the power of open-source software and hardware. Nagy’s willingness to share his work with the world has enabled other creators to build and customize their own CinePi cameras. This has led to a thriving community of CinePi users who are constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with this affordable platform.
What does the future hold for CinePi? Well, that depends on how far Nagy wants to take it. But judging from the growing community and the availability of next generation designs, it’s sure to have the potential to change the way that films are made and to make professional-grade filmmaking more accessible to everyone.
Adobe has released its latest update to Premiere Pro, promising a series of enhancements that will make video editing more efficient and introduce a groundbreaking text-based editing feature.
The update includes a new high-performance timeline drawing feature that significantly accelerates the editing process. This enhancement results in “buttery smooth editing and trimming,” making the editing timeline more responsive than ever before. Editors can expect faster and more fluid video editing, reducing frustration and saving valuable time.
Another significant addition is the “Save Projects as Templates” feature, which streamlines project organization. This feature enables editors to initiate new projects with bins and sequences already meticulously organized. These templates can be applied to ensure consistent branding, color styles, and asset management across multiple projects, simplifying post-production workflows and enhancing consistency from one project to the next.
One of the most exciting features of this update is the introduction of text-based editing. This game-changing feature includes a batch deletion function, allowing editors to select and delete multiple instances of text with a single click. Deleting text also trims the corresponding section of the video file, offering greater control within the transcript view.
In the audio realm, a multi-channel audio feature enables users to re-transcribe audio files using a specific channel or a mix of multiple channels, providing more flexibility and precision in the editing process.
Other notable features in the October 2023 update include:
The October 2023 update of Premiere Pro is now available to Creative Cloud users. With these improvements and innovative features, Adobe continues to push the boundaries of video editing software, providing an enhanced and more efficient editing experience for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re a seasoned editor or just starting your video production journey, this update promises to elevate your creative capabilities and streamline your workflow.