Pages

Monday, September 8, 2014

HP Z Workstation and ZBook 2014 Fall Launch..!


Here we are again. HP is back with a brand new line of Z Workstations and Z Book Mobiles. I keep seeing more and more amazing products from HP. Just this past month I was up for Siggraph and sat down with some of the great people behind the HP Z products. All I can say is wow. They truly listen to us Media and Entertainment users like myself who was an all Mac guy from my cell phone, mobile, and workstation I made the switch over to HP Z products. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy seeing all the great ideas and products Apple has brought to market but as my needs changed and stepped into the Ultra HD 4K, 5K, 6K and beyond world I needed and wanted more from the MacPro. Thankfully there are options out there and that really what it's all about. Before the new MacPro(aka 'Garbage Can)came out I was patiently waiting for their next workstation. I'm one that is always looking for the edge when it comes to computer technology and really any technology for that matter. Well I decided to go HP from my tried and true workstation my MacPro(pre garbage can). I've heard great things from users who are incorporating the very well put together new MacPro but it's not so difficult to see why some users such as myself still like a true workstation over the new MacPro design. I still like to upgrade my GPU, and that's not really an option with the latest MacPros. So for me this is really a bonus that I have the option to still drop in the latest and greatest GPU. Currently I'm running the Nvidia GeForce Titan Z. I've ran the original Titan, and Titan Black in the past. For the money it's the obvious choice for many but I still think the Quadro line is amazing and one day I may give them a try again. My MacPro I ran a Quadro 4800 and when I first got my HP Z820 I ran a Quadro 5000 so I'm no stranger to Quadro Graphics. While I was up at Siggraph I got to check out the latest updates to the quadro line and I feel they are on the right path. The Quadro K6000 still sits as their flagship model with their cards like the K5200 there's an option for everyone. The new cards have more ram and that for me is definitely very welcome since so many apps and plugins now tap directly into the GPU for many computing task. That is a reason why the Titan Z was a good choice for me(it takes up 3 slots over 4 which is useful for keeping open slots for other cards such as the HP Z Turbo drives I also just recently added to my Z820-which isn't the latest machine but still a beast with plenty of horsepower to keep things moving along. The latest models just take the performance another leap forward with more computing in less time and effort.

The mobiles in the past were rather bulky and felt large. The new line of Z Books that were introduced last year at the launch in New York I attended and was on the tech panel were heading in the direction of smother lines, a thinner feel and look rounding those corners and making things less boxy. The pattern continues with the new additions of 15 and 17 G2 ZBooks announced today.  This is very welcome because even though the mobiles HP offers are far more powerful and have more potential for us Media and Entertainment users...many still preferred the MacBooks and MacBook Pros. I think the lineup today demonstrates HP is listening and continuing to bring equally powerful mobiles that now look as good as they perform. I am still running an older Elitebook which was the powerhouse mobile that featured a large 17" screen, multiple hard drives, Dreamcolor and so on. These kinds of features with the latest tech and Thunderbolt, Z Turbo Drive, etc are a great alternative to what Apple offers. I know what some of you are saying or thinking...ya it still doesn't run OS X. True...but if sheer performance is what you're after I welcome you to compare spec for spec. It might change your mind about what Apple offers compared to the very exciting HP Z line. They are just more powerful and rock solid with really good tech support. That in itself is also very important when you run into a challenge someone is there to help you though it. I've used it myself several times and it's just easier to make that call than to jump on google looking for mixed answers to your challenges.

So if you've been following the latest Apple products and haven't felt satisfied or just want to learn more about what options HP has...read on below for all the deets..! :)

Below I breakdown the new offerings with the detailed specs from their data sheets so you can compare for yourself and see how they can help you achieve your production and post needs..!

HP Z Turbo Drive and Setup for Adobe Applications..!


With the extensive line of HP Z products one that might go overlooked is their Z Turbo Drive. Think a ioFusion card but in a small form factor and at a lower buy in price. First off the cards are not going to outperform the latest ioFusion drives but I think you'll find them to be very fast, priced in the market of similar pci-e SSD cards and most of all stamped with the trusted HP seal of approval. Why does this matter. Well mainly because their are all kinds of these pci-e SSD cards out on the market now. Not all are up to the quality as say the HP Z Turbo Drive. HP partnered with Samsung to bring you an affordable alternative to the above mentioned Fusion cards but not cutting on performance as you'll see in some screen grabs below..!

I myself have tried another similar card out there called the ASUS RaidR. I was very excited to try this card out and for the money is an option you can certainly look at and give it a try. I felt like for the money it wasn't bad but my benchmarks didn't quit live up to the advertised speeds. That being said I like the HP Z Turbo Drive even better. Both are easy to setup. Basically plug and play. All you have to do initialize it like you would any other spinning hard drive or SSD. Initilize, Format, choose a block size or go with default and you are ready to start benefitting from having a super fast(approx double the speed of a typically SSD)and not double the price of an uber fast traditional SSD. Now that sounds like a winner doesn't it..?! :)

How I'm using it is mainly for my scratch, media and cache files. Why is this important you might ask? Well just like having a dedicated raid to store and playback all your media files like audio and video clips with the fastest access you can afford(see here my DIY 4K RAid)you want your scratch, media and cache files to load equally as fast without any lag. Even the fastest SSDs on the market won't be as fast as the HP Z Turbo drive or similar(but again not all are created equal so do your own test and make sure if you opt for an alternative they have a good return policy-I've talked to others who tried other brands out there and were not too impressed with the results like the Asus RaidR is wasn't as fast as advertised at least in my case).

So for me the HP Z Turbo dive has been a nice addition to my workflow. I've found that files load extremely fast, playback seems improved(more r3d layers playing back in some cases at FULL Resolution with multiple layers), and also great for After Effects in place of a fast traditional SSD. You can expect even better results.

I'm going to leave you with the basic setup I'm running. Note that I'm mainly focusing on Premiere Pro and After Effects but any program that utilizes a scratch, media and cache files etc will most certainly benefit also. Photoshop and Speedgrade come to mind but just scratch the surface of apps that do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CTRL+Console Official Broadcast Partner with Adobe..!


Today I caught up with both Jeff Chow and Mandy Godown Founders of CTRL+Console! We discussed the new Broadcast Partnership with Adobe. Mandy says "The partnership solidifies a supportive relationship that began in CTRL+Console’s Kickstarter days and highlights how valuable intuitive interfaces are for creative software companies and the people who use them."

Why am I excited..?! It puts CTRL+Console a creative new startup into a closer working relationship with Adobe one of the largest leading creative software companies in the World now boasting over a Million Creative Cloud Users. With CTRL+Console's Premiere Pro CC Editor you now have an intuitive iPad touch interface with gestures instead of just relying on your mouse and keyboard. I've personally been playing around with the Premiere Pro CC Editor with the buttons and gestures and it's a no brainer it's nothing less than a huge time saver. Any time I can get my hands on a control surface over a mouse and keyboard I welcome it. In time you will become so much faster like using keyboard shortcuts but using gestures is like being hands free to fly all over the iPad. I highly encourage you take a closer look and if you want more control over your edit I definitely recommend it. It will save you so much time and the cost is really very affordable. I see so much potential for future products based around this touch technology. I can't wait to get my hands and gestures all over it..! :)

ps: Here is the link to the coverage at NABShow 2014 Supermeet..!

Startup Gets Adobe’s Attention with Cutting-Edge iPad Editing App
New Adobe Partner Makes Creative Software Intuitive with iPad Interfaces


Press Release:

CTRL+Consolejoins the ranks of Blackmagic Design, Dell, ATOMOS, and RED as an Adobe Broadcast Partner. The Boulder, Colorado startup has released an app that builds better interfaces for creative software, including Adobe’s Premiere Pro for video editing. The CTRL+Console App brings smart design and touchscreen technology together to simplify user experience, speed up workflow, and give people a more intuitive way to create.


Computer programs are designed around the limited functionality of the keyboard and rely heavily on hundreds of keyboard shortcuts to improve speed of use (photoshop has 1,069 shortcuts). The development of touchscreens offers new ways to interact with computers. However, few products address this leap in design to improve user control of the complex software modern creatives use on a daily basis.


In response, CTRL+Console turns the iPad into a powerful and versatile control surface. The app is designed to give novice and pro users a modern alternative to the slow mouse and cumbersome keyboard shortcuts.


Instead of expensive hardware that only works with one program, the CTRL+Console app brings iPads into the workflow as an intuitive touchscreen for many programs (including the Adobe Creative Suite) and incorporates a cutting-edge Gesture Control System that allows creatives to edit faster, all while keeping their eyes on their work.


“Worth buying an iPad just for this software if you are an editor ...the gesture control is fantastic... Will make a lot of editors very happy!” ~ racgordon | Via iTunes


“Best editing companion EVER!!!” ~Adam Reber | Via iTunes


“Every day we use CTRL-Consoles for controlling our timelines for both our editing and motion graphics suites. We even unplugged our $1,000 Mackie after I got CTRL+Console because the app is more responsive! ” ~Arthur Bell | Dreamlike Pictures



CTRL+Console was born after photographer, videographer, and inventor Jeff Chow became frustrated with how difficult it is to learn and use many creative programs. He knew he was on to something when his 2012 Kickstarter campaign surpassed its goal by nearly 20%.


“iPads aren’t just for watching YouTube, they’re an elegant way to seamlessly integrate touchscreen control into our work. There’s a huge opportunity to make life better for people by improving the way we interact with computers and software. That’s what’s really exciting about CTRL+Console. That’s what keeps us innovating and thinking creatively about next-gen interfaces.” Said Jeff Chow, CTRL+Console Founder and Chief Creative.


The startup has enjoyed a supportive relationship with Adobe. In 2013 Adobe was so impressed with the Kickstarter concept that they invited CTRL+Console to demo their Premiere Pro prototype in the Adobe booth at NAB. “The folks at Adobe have been amazing! They build world-class software and our consoles make those programs easier to use. It’s a great relationship.” said Jeff Chow.


Today, the app has thousands of users around the world and maintains a 4 star ranking on iTunes. Current consoles include Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Quicktime (free). Additional programs will be added on an ongoing basis to their expanding console “library.”



Additional Links Below:

Website: CTRLconsole.com

CTRL+Console Video:

Touchscreen Gestures Video:

About Jeff Chow: LinkedIn-JeffChow



PR Contact:
Mandy Godown
Brand Builder & Creative | Co-Founder

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cine Gear Entertainment Digital Expo 2014



So last week was Cine Gear Entertainment Digital Expo in Los Angeles. This was my first experience attending. I drove down from Portland Oregon to do some coverage for my blog and more importantly to see what it was all about first hand. I've been attending NABShow in Vegas for around a decade. My first NAB was overwhelming and covered a lot of different stuff from Broadcast, Radio, Tv, Audio, and in recent years with the introduction of Dslrs with Video I've noticed a trend of a lot more tools around Filmmaking. One thing I can say about Cine Gear that I can't say about NAB is that it's on a much smaller footprint but it's all about Filmtools. What more is that it's not too overwhelming but that being said very cool to attend. If your into Filmmaking or want to be and on the West Coast I'd say it's a must attend. It's basically all about the tools to help you make your films. The fact that it's much smaller is actually a benefit cause it's not always easy to get away for the full NAB and Cine Gear Expo portion is only two days. Plus it's all on Paramount Studio lot(for the most part...there are some off Lot happening but I did not attend them. More information can be found on there website if you want to learn more like films being shown and workshops). I can't speak on them since I didn't attend but the experience I had at Cine Gear was great. I saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones. Unfortunately I had some trouble with my car so I got there late Friday but I'd say if you hit it just on Saturday and had focus on what you wanted to see you could really get a lot in. If your going to attend some of the seminars(many are free thanks to the Sponsors). So there's definitely more than just booths with gear. Not to mention partly why I attend is to just network, meet vendors, ask questions, learn about what's new and what tools can solve your creative needs.

Here is a pic on the way down before my car challenges.
Here's a pic below at Cine Gear on the Paramount Studio Lot!
On site as you can see you already feel like your on a movie set...cause frankly you are...it's at Paramount Studios.  That alone is very cool. I actually have never been on the lot being that growing up I tended to go to Universal Studios with my family. If you don't know there are a number of large and many smaller lots. Last year I was at an event at Red Studios. It was an invite only but anyone can attend Cine Gear to my knowledge. I'd recommend signing up even if you are not 100% sure you can go because my good friend I stayed with while down here visiting didn't and had to pay $25 after I believe May 31st. Before that it's completely free. So even if you are not sure you can make it I'd sign up. Now if you are for sure not going I'd say probably don't sign up for I'm sure they'd like to have a fairly accurate head count. I've heard from a number that it's grown over the years.

So onto blogging. Since I had the car trouble I didn't get as much exposure as I planned this year but I'll have half a dozen videos in the booths that will trickle out to the blog. Some are repeats of what you could have seen at NAB but if you didn't get to attend NAB I think you'll enjoy the coverage I got.

Thing is for me I'm all about meeting and taking the time to get to know people attending as well as the vendors. It's invaluable in my opinion to meet the vendors behind the products. If you are not hip on it basically it's your opportunity to speak directly with the people who create the products for more info, help and support. I've personally gotten a lot of help from many over the years and eventually created opportunities to blog, speaking and so on. Social Media has really changed the way we get information so even if you can't attend following the Hash Tags, and the vendors twitter accounts will get you the info but there's nothing like actually shaking the CEO or inventor of a product. You'll never experience that just sitting behind a computer. So I highly recommend getting out to attend as many of the events from DV Expo, NAB, Cine Gear, to name a few. Also note Cine Gear has added a New York show so if you're on the East Coast you are not left out. Honestly I've only really heard about the event in Los Angeles on twitter the past few years but after checking out their site I realized of the show on the East side. I'm sure it's equally beneficial to attend and if I had the time and money to attend every show in the world like IBC I would because different people will attend one but maybe not another. So what I'm saying is just get out to the shows you can and you will no doubt take something back beneficial. Below I have links to the vendors I will have video coverage in the near future.

Thanks so much for checking out my brief 411 on Cine Gear. I do hope to make it back next year and heck maybe the New York one too..! I had the pleasure to visit New York for the first time taking part on the HP Tech Panel past September. It's an amazing city with different things to offer than LA. So get out there and meet some new people, check out some cool film tools, and hey...just create..!

Best..!

Ryan Brown Aka: Filmguy

List of Vendors with video coverage(coming soon:)

Camera Car Systems:
http://www.filmotechnic.com/

Flying Camera Systems:
http://dactylcam.com/

Camera Gimbals and Accesories:
http://defywithus.com/

Wireless Video Devices:
http://www.teradek.com/

Camera Support and Accessories:
http://elementtechnica.mybigcommerce.com/

Professional Lighting:
http://www.cineolighting.com/

Quad-Copter, Camera Stabilizers and Unique Custom Configurations Upon Request:
http://pmgmultirotors.com/pmg-products.php




Friday, May 9, 2014

Guenter Noesner Technical Sales Representative Arri Amira NABShow 2014

It was a pleasure to get all the details about the new Arri Amira from Guenter Noesner. In my opinion after getting a really informative breakdown I have to say the Amira is one really well layed out camera as far as mounting points, ND filters, I/O, adjustability, pinless media, and Arri is known for their amazing color and skin tones. This camera looks and feels like a winner...but don't take my word for it. Check out the video below and see all the really useful benefits of the Amira..!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dan May President Blackmagic Design NABShow 2014

Once again I get of the latest updates from Dan May President of Blackmagic Design. This is a three part series of booth videos. Part 1 is the new Ultra HD URSA Camera all it's highlights. Part 2 Dan goes over the possibilities with the new Studio Camera. Part 3 we get more updates to Davinci Resolve including some very useful editing capabilties. So kick back and check out all the latest Blackmagic has to offer..!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Aaron Pinto and Kira Letus NABShow 2014

Good times checking out all the cool new innovations over at Letus Direct. Aaron Pinto and his lovely assistant Kira show us all the latest offerings in part one of the Letus NABShow 2014 booth video coverage. In part two Aaron and with the help of Kira rocks the cool new GoPro gimbal and in part three Aaron and myself(Ryanb. Aka: Filmguy)check out the new and exiting updated Helix Electronic Stabilization System. So get all the latest in the video series below starting with part one of the series.