Test Drive

A Colorist Flight School for DaVinci Resolve

FlightSchoolLearning to use Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve software can be challenging, so I found it important to take advantage of every training opportunity. I had already finished the training offered by Tao of Color with Patrick Inhofer, so when I heard that he was now offering a three-day “Colorist Flight School” with a hands-on workshop, I signed up. The Flight School will be offered in cities across the country, but the first class was held in Atlanta, Ga. at Biscardi Creative Media, which is owned and operated by Walter Biscardi, Jr. of Creative COW fame. 


SpiderPro Single-Camera System

spiderIf you use small camcorders or DSLRs in your workflow, you know what a pain it can be to carry these cameras around. Always having your hands full during a production doesn’t really work, and hanging the camera around your neck can be bothersome. The solution? I recently tested a new product that’s usually used by still photographers but seems very adaptable to video production. The SpiderPro single-camera system from Spider Holster contains everything you’ll need to professionally carry one camera during a shoot — and it only costs $135.


GoPro HERO3 Black Edition

gopro hero3 smI really like my GoPro HERO2 camera, but the new and improved GoPro HERO3 Black Edition is even better. The HERO3 is smaller with housing that’s about 30-percent lighter. It also has a new LCD Touch BacPac, so you can see what you’re shooting and have a viewable playback of the shot. The images are better too. With 12MP images and ProTune firmware, RAW images are possible, and the HERO3’s easier-to-use images are available in higher resolutions and frame rates. The Black Edition also has a more powerful DSP and a larger sensor, giving it better in-camera processing and noise-reduction capabilities.


Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 9

davinci_resolve9_smOver the years, I’ve noticed that one of the main differences between amateur and professional videographers lies in how they handle the color correction process. While the amateur just shoots and cuts, the professional will even out and match shots while also fixing bad lighting and color balance problems. Color correction plug-ins are available for most editing platforms, but they pale in comparison to the power of the DaVinci Resolve 9 — and for a good reason.


Band-in-a-Box 2013 for Windows

bandbox2013Have you ever wanted to create your own soundtrack, but didn’t have any musical instruments or players available? If you have any basic musician skills, PG Music’s Band-in-a-Box software may be just what you need. Musically speaking, Band-in-a-Box can do some amazing things — simply tell it who is in the band and what chords to play and it will figure out the rest.

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