Photographing a different world view

David Simmonds is an award-winning photographer who is passionately committed to the dynamic, creative process of making extraordinary images. Beautiful, powerfully structured, bold and graphic, his work challenges us to see our world from a different point of view, to shake off our tired assumptions and enliven our perceptions. The contrasts and drama in the urban landscape are the source of his inspiration. David Simmonds will join an outstanding panel of speakers at the Digital Imaging day on June 8 2006 as part of the Digital Media Festival Melbourne. Since 1976 David has had over 20 solo and 10 group exhibitions and his award-winning images hang in many corporate and private collections in Australia and overseas. Learn how he utilises both traditional and digital camera systems for his work in the architectural, corporate, industrial and advertising sectors. Full program…

Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition Beta

Microsoft has made available for download a beta software version of Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition. This is able to encode using Microsoft’s implementation of the VC-1 video standard (Windows Media Video) as utilise in the HD-DVD format.
The beta includes the following capabilities,:
• Segment-based re-encoding. This allows the content editor to adjust settings for specific segments of an encoded file, then re-encode only the desired segment. For clips with dramatically different attributes from one segment to the next, this ability is critical when a content editor attempts one or more passes at a given piece of content to achieve an optimal picture.
• Full-bit-depth support. Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition can transition from 10-bit to 8-bit without introducing artefacts or contouring, and it enables content creators to capture at full-bit depth without resorting to truncating or rounding any of the bits. This makes it possible to encode to 8-bit without sacrificing quality.
• Hardware acceleration. Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition can be used with hardware optimised for VC-1 video acceleration. This improves workflow and reduces encoding time.
• Additional features include metadata support, multiple audio tracks, encoding from multiple audio and video sources, and a graphical bit stream analyser that can verify the quality of any selected clip.…

Mini HDV 1080i camcorder

Sony has launched its compact HDR-HC3 HDV 1080i Handycam
camcorder (the “HC3”).
Weighing only 500g, the HC3 fits comfortably in the palm of a hand and Sony’s engineers have given it a seven-degree-angled design to make it easy to hold.
It boasts a 2.7” touch panel SwivelScreen LCD and one-button access to simplified camera operation and recording settings.  www.sony.com.au…

New Intel MacBook

Apple has unveiled a new MacBook featuring the Intel Core Duo processor and a new 13-inch glossy widescreen display.
Apple’s entire portables lineup now offers Intel Core Duo processors; a built-in iSight video camera; Apple Remote; and several advanced features including DVI with dual display support, optical digital audio input and output, Gigabit Ethernet, Sudden Motion Sensor, Scrolling TrackPad and MagSafe Power Adapter.
Prices start at $1749 (inc. GST) and the MacBook lineup includes three models: a 1.83 GHz and 2.0 GHz MacBook in a newly designed, sleek white enclosure and a 2.0 GHz MacBook in a new black enclosure.  www.apple.com.au

May program and booking form click here…

A Monkey’s Tale on Varicam HD

Peter Nearhos is an award winning cinematographer with credits spanning most documentary genres and involving film, tape and HD TV productions. For the past several years he has been specialising in macro and set work for National Geographic, the BBC and the ABC Natural History Unit. At the Digital Media Festival Melbourne, Peter will outline his personal digital revolution and the challenges of switching between film and HD with a sneak peek at a forthcoming Becker Television documentary for Animal Planet International “A Monkey’s Tale” recently shot on the Panasonic Varicam and post-produced in HD. “This was my first extended stint behind a Varicam,” said Nearhos. “While one of the reasons we were using the Varicam was to tale advantage of the variable speed function, we were aware that this means an extra step in post-production which means an extra cost.  Because of the limited budget it was decided we would limit our 60fps recording to only a couple of tapes.  Having seen the high speed stuff we did on A Monkeys Tale I wish we’d done shot 10 tapes of high speed.”
Peter Nearhos will deliver a masterclass on digital cinematography at the Digital Media Festival Melbourne on June 6. Full program.

MATROX Launches at DMF Melbourne

Riverstone Multimedia will be giving the first public demonstrating of Matrox Axio Le and Launching Matrox RTX2 at DMF Melbourne…

Training Super Store

Smart Digital Australia has announced the creation of a new on line super store for the distribution of video based training especially for the creative professional. With over 100 titles to choose from there is training available for everyone from all the major software publishers including Adobe, Apple, Avid, Corel, Macromedia, Microsoft and Maya.  There are specialist titles available for digital photography, blogging, podcasts, videocasts and Web creation.
www.smartdigitaltraining.com…

HD VMD format goes to Cannes

New Medium Enterprises will exhibit HD content on HD VMD at the world’s most prestigious film festival in Cannes, France from May 17 to May 27, 2006.
The company is continuing its campaign to position VMD is a feasible low-cost HD solution for the international motion-picture trade.
HD VMD utilizes today’s red laser DVD Technology and its industrial infrastructure. It offers the capacity for 1920x1080i/p High Definition up to 40Mbps bit rate playback using its 20GB – 40 GB red laser optical discs. The HD VMD players & burners, stand alone and computer embedded are inherently backward compatible with DVD and CD.
It is promoted as low-cost offering priced in the range of existing DVD players, burners and discs. www.nmeinc.com…

DMF MELBOURNE 2006 EXHIBITION HIGLIGHTS

Panasonic AG-HVX202, the World’s 1st DVCPRO HD P2 Handheld Camera is designed to meet emerging needs in HD content production using P2, the cutting-edge solid-state memory recording technology … Matrox AxioT LE, a high performance realtime HD/SD editing platform that makes Adobe Premiere Pro the foremost realtime HD/SD editor for demanding broadcast and post-production environments …. Manfrotto Fig Rig a hand held DV camera support system that offers the shake-free stability of a tripod with the framing flexibility of handheld shooting … Canon XL H1 supporting HDV and HD production at 1080i, DV production with SD and offering a range of production options and frame rates (50i and 25f) … Autodesk Toxik 2007, the latest version of its collaborative digital compositing software for feature film production … Autodesk MotionBuilder 7.5 character animation software, which features new keyframe-centric workflows that streamline the process of keyframe animation.…

XMen3 FX frenzy

In a film series noted for its huge set pieces and explosive fighting sequences, X-MEN: The Last Stand takes the action to a new level. At the Digital Media Festival in Melbourne on June 7, Academy Award- winning visual effects supervisor John Bruno will outline how stunts, special effects and CG have been judiciously blended to make the action sequences both massive and believable. X-MEN: The Last Stand includes a recreation of  Wolverine’s “berserker rage” fighting style – a mad, white rage that makes him virtually unstoppable as well as dizzying wirework that had had Halle Berry taking Dramamine to combat motion sickness.  The Golden Gate Bridge figures in the film’s biggest event, as Magneto takes control of the San Francisco landmark, ripping it off its foundations and using it, literally, as a gateway to Alcatraz: ground zero for the cure’s development and distribution. This scene is the biggest in any “X-Men” film. “The Golden Gate Bridge sequence is Magneto at his most intense,” says John Bruno, an Oscar-winner and frequent James Cameron collaborator (“Titanic,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”). “It’s the biggest visual effects scene in the series.” The visual effects and art direction groups built a full-size section of the bridge and a section of Alcatraz. Bruno and his team digitally extended the latter, blending the practical sets with the computerized images. In addition, they built detailed miniatures that were used for reference.

To help realize the film’s massive scale and requirements for hundreds of state-of-the-art visual effects, the production brought aboard several top visual effects companies, including WETA Digital, which worked on creating key elements for the Alcatraz compound and on Dark Phoenix’s powers. Framestore CSC, a London-based house worked on the Golden Gate Bridge scenes. Other visual effects houses working on the picture were Moving Picture Company; …

ACOUSTICA – DIGITAL MUSIC EDITING AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Acon Digital Media is set to make personal music editing and optimizing as accessible, simple and popular as digital image editing with the launch of Acoustica v3.3. This music-editor can read and graphically display the sound waves from all common audio file formats like Ogg-Vorbis (OGG), Wave Audio (WAV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), MPEG Layer 3 (MP3) and Sun Audio Format (AU). Acoustica can also take the sound track from MPG, MPEG, WMV and AVI videos to edit them just as it does with a song from an audio CD.

The Cleaning Wizard automates the whole process from recording and track splitting to audio restoration and CD-recording. Professional users will appreciate the six band equalizer, automatic noise and scratch-elimination as well as sound effects like reverb, chorus, and others. The application can also edit the metadata for MP3, Ogg and Wave files, which can contain for example the song title or artist.

The new Effect Chain Editor allows the user to chain internal processing tools and plug-ins. The chains can be saved, including their settings for later use. Each processing step in the chain can be bypassed and the processing order changed by drag and drop.

The new 3.3 version of Acoustica comes with many other useful additions like dithering and noise shaping; statistics (RMS, DC offsets, loudest peak and more); a new stereo enhancer tool; support for ACID information in wave files; new time formats such as sample index, SMPTE and bars and beats; the addition of a preview button to the file opening dialogue; the option to save regions as a separate file; support for LAME codec if installed and several new usability features.

A free 30-day trial version is available from http://www.acondigital.com. The full, unlimited version costs $34.90 (USD) as electronic delivery or $43.85 (USD) on a