The History of Typography

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I never gave much thought to the names like Caslon, Bodoni, Didot and Gill, but this illustrated history of typeface styles, created by Ben Barrett-Forrest, made me look at them in a whole new way. Anybody that works regularly with typeface designs will get a kick out of this.

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Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review

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Thanks to the folks at Google for creating this way cool look back at 2011. One hell of a year…and not all good.

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“Inception” Zero Gravity Scene

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This is Kuh-Ray-Zee. Amazing how much technical wizardry goes into the making of a film with the ambition of Inception. I remember after seeing this last summer with a couple buddies. We went to the neighborhood bar after the showing, had a couple cocktails and discussed the movie. We were all guessing about how they did the hotel hallway fight scene. I assumed they used some sort of rotating set but I honestly thought they used the Vomit Comet to shoot the scenes where they were floating in zero gravity.

This video shows exactly how it was done and it’s quite ingenious. Inspiring what can be accomplished if you have the money to hire the best in the business and let them get busy.

Check it out…

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Final Cut Pro X: Back Away from the Ledge

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I must admit I am amused by the hyperbolic reaction to Apple’s release last week of Final Cut Pro X. It is apparent that either a large percentage or a very vocal minority had determined before even using the software that Apple had destroyed their popular NLE application. Maybe they did just that. Or maybe this is the first step in revolutionizing the way we all edit. Nobody knows right now.

It is obvious to me that Apple really mishandled the rollout of this new product and misjudged the way the professional editing community would react. I think that Apple has become used to just rolling out new products and having the world genuflect at their altar of genius. Unfortunately for Apple, the editing community is a bit different than the consumers of iPods, iPads and iPhones. Professional editors like to feel special and a bit above the crowd when it comes to technology, and I often notice a bit of annoyance at Apple for being so focused on consumer products while treating their suite of editing products as less important. But it doesn’t take a genius to realize that Apple makes a hell of a lot more money from the consumer market than it does from its various niche products.

But just because Final Cut Pro is not Apple’s flagship product doesn’t mean they don’t care about it. In fact, I think this complete redesign shows their long-term commitment to the professional editing market. The question is not if FCP X is ready for prime time now, but if it is the dominant NLE in a few years.

There are plenty of blog posts out there about how Apple screwed up, with lists of “what’s missing” from the software. I think most of these writers are making uninformed assertions. While I agree that there are some troubling signs from this latest release, it seems that almost all (but not all) of the criticisms have been answered by the FCP development team.

As for myself, I am going to hold off on judging FCP X as a success or a failure until I have an opportunity to download and learn it…and that probably won’t happen until they have released updates with some of those “missing” features. For now, I will continue working in FCP 6 & 7 for some clients and Avid for others.

Here are a couple of very informative articles about FCP X that clarify what is fact and what is fiction. Read the comments below each article for more insights into the issues and for a taste of the passion.

from Studio Daily…

Should You Upgrade to Final Cut Pro X?

From New York Times…

Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X

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Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens

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This is really cool.

Artefact, a design, research and technology company has re-envisioned the idea of photography and come up with WVIL (Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens). This is only a concept camera right now, although the videos make it seem like a new product (a bit of clever viral video production).

Check out the product video…

While this video looks cool for still photography, I am already extrapolating the concept to video. By having one wireless controller with multiple lenses set up around the room, a single person could oversee what is now called a multi-camera shoot. And the entire camera setup could fit in a backpack.

Here is another video for the WVIL. This one takes place on the show floor at CES. Keep in mind, this is not real…they used CGI to show what it would be like.

Read More to Mass Market Infographics

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There is a stunning amount of data in the world…and an unlimited number of ways to process and share it. Up to now, high end infographics have been the domain of entities like the New York Times and other well-funded organizations. A well designed infographic can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

That is where comes in. Their new business model is to provide well designed, informative infographics to anybody that needs them to tell a story…supposedly all at an affordable price. Check out their promotional video…

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