Jeff Foster

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Jeff Foster has written and contributed to several books and magazines, and has been producing motion graphics, photography and creative design for major corporations, television and film for more than 20 years. See his full bio and content at http://PixelPainter.com

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KEEP CALM: The FAA and sUAVs/Drone Rules UPDATED 6/29

Filtering-out the Facts from Fiction & Paranoia
Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 29, 2015

With the publishing of Jack Nicas and Andy Pasztor's speculative and interpretive article in the Wall Street Journal in the fall of 2014, it seems every news agency, media outlet and publication has totally lost their minds in a fit of hysteria liken to Chicken Little proportions; sparking "end of days" tweets and forum discussions throughout the social mediasphere that has brought on an industry-wide panic akin to Orson Wells' War of the Worlds live broadcast radio play. Let's just stop right there and breathe for a moment - turn off the TV, put down that paper and let's look at some facts... (UPDATED 6/29/2015 with FAA Section 333 Exemption at bottom of article)

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Aerial Videography with the DJI Inspire 1: Part 2

Professional Dual-Operator Controls in a Prosumer Quadcopter
Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 29, 2015

My second part as a follow-up to my first DJI Inspire 1 review, covers what I think is one of the most advantageous features of the DJI Inspire 1 that makes it a professional aerial videography tool: Dual Operator Control. This allows the pilot to manage and control the craft's flight while a camera operator can control the camera's gimbal and recording operation in-flight with a second remote. This is the first commercially available dual-operator quadcopter on the prosumer market, that functions very much like a larger professional multirotor system.

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Flashpoint LED Panels Best Bang for Your Buck!

Affordable Quality LED Panel Lighting
Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 22, 2015

Flashpoint LED panel lights are durable, portable and quality construction - and best of all, affordable. I've used other higher-priced brands of LED panel lights in the past and found them useful in many situations, but extremely overpriced for what you get. Thankfully, Adorama's Flashpoint brand has released these sensible and affordable production lights and we used a couple of them in some real-world projects to test their versatility.

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Aerial Videography with the DJI Inspire 1: Part 1

Get Professional Results in 4k & 60p with a Prosumer Quadcopter
Written by Jeff Foster  |  May 19, 2015

Since the DJI Inspire 1 was announced back in November of 2014, it took a long time to finally get my hands on one to test for any length of time. I finally got to borrow a brand new one from Eric Cheng of DJI for a few weeks in early April, but to really put this thing to work and test in real-world shooting scenarios, I turned to the guys at Multicopter Warehouse to provide me with a dual-controller unit for a series of productions. This is just part one of a series of articles I'll be writing over the next few months of putting this incredible quadcopter to the test in real-world scenarios!

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DJI Aerial Camera Comparisons in 4K and 60p

Comparing the DJI Inspire 1, Phantom 3 and GoPro Hero4 Black
Written by Jeff Foster  |  May 17, 2015

With a modified DJI Phantom 2 and a GoPro HERO4 Black with a 5.4mm lens, a DJI Inspire 1, a DJI Phantom 3 Pro and a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced in hand, we set out for a fun day of flying around the San Francisco East Bay and did some comparison testing of this range of cameras. Here's our casual test results:

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NAB 2015 Aerial Videography Workshops and Drone Pavilion Wrapup

From Flying in the Desert to the Cage in the First Annual Drone Pavilion
Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 20, 2015

After months of planning and preparation plus several days out in the dusty desert and 4 days of teaching, meeting, walking and networking at the expo and conferences; NAB Show 2015 has come to an end. In addition to the great new product announcements from manufacturers such as DJI and 3DR, there were also many firsts this year with sold-out Aerial Videography workshops and the all new Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion with a giant flying cage. We got lots of photos and videos of what you may have missed this year - but hopefully it's incentive to join us again next year! 

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3DR Announces the Solo at NAB Show 2015


Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 13, 2015

NAB Show 2015: Monday, April 13, 2015 - following a crative teaser video earlier this week, 3DR Launches their innovative new "smart" quadcopter to the world with truly smart features. The new 3DR Solo will be demonstrated in their booth at NAB throughout the week.

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DJI Announces the Phantom 3 in 4K

Major Design Upgrades for their Flagship Prosumer Quadcopter
Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 8, 2015

With much anticipation, DJI announced in a worldwide live streaming event today, the newest version of their most popular quadcopter airframe, the Phantom 3, with features and options that prosumers have been waiting for and 2 different models priced to accommodate most budgets - including a new 4K camera and lightbridge FPV along with a new remote controller that many features are shared by it's big brother, the Inspire 1.

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Amkov AMK 5000 Action Cam vs Entry Level GoPro HERO

Can a sub-$80 Action Cam hold its own with a $130 GoPro HERO?
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 31, 2015

When I was first asked to take a look at the Amkov AMK5000 WiFi 1080P/14MP action camera that is obviously a clone of the popular GoPro, I was not only skeptical but a bit amused at just how much detail this manufacturer went through to copy the HERO form and function. So I thought, okay - is it really worth saving $50 to get a lesser-known brand action cam, and what features/quality could it possibly provide that would make it worth the investment to find out? Let's find out...

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Drone Invasion at NAB Show 2015

Aerial Videography Ramps Up at This Year's Show!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 31, 2015

This year's NAB Show is going to be buzzing with drones/UAVs - both literally and figuratively! Starting with two-full-day workshops out in the desert in the Nelson Ghost Town and moving into the NAB Show Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, there will be several exhibitors demonstrating their gear as well as several conference sessions plus an all new Aerial Robotics & Drone Pavilion, which will feature scheduled demos and presentations throughout the show with a 30x30' flying cage and several exhibitors.

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Product Review: DOMKE Next Generation Camera Bags

Yes, a bag. And a damned good bag at that!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 29, 2015

I don't usually do reviews on accessory products like camera cases or bags, but as a long-time photographer and small gear geek, I've gone through hundreds of different configurations and designs over the years and even modified my own bags to best suit my needs, as most "portable" bags either feel like a woman's overstuffed purse if you're carying enough gear for a casual day trip, or it's like dragging luggage with you on the bus. That's why I was intrigued by Tiffen's new line of DOMKE Next Generation camera bags. A wide variety of manageble portable and confiurable gear bags that will meet just about everyone's need, whether it's just to carry a single DSLR or a larger video camera or a couple of cameras and lenses. 

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Product Review: DSLRPros Nighthawk Thermal P2 Kit

Featuring the FLIR Quark 2 Thermal Imager
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 28, 2015

The DSLRPros Nighthawk Thermal Kit includes all of the great features of their Cannes Edition Kit with some very valuable additions--specifically, the FLIR Quark 2 thermal imaging camera. Used with the P2 and the DSLRPros dual-FPV system, the Quark gives you clear thermal image in no light situations, and provides an acurate heat signature on various objects in daylight environments, which is useful for search and rescue, agriculture, gas line inspection and much more.

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Firmware Upgrade for the GoPro HERO4 Announced (and Reviewed!)

HERO4 Black and Silver get New Features and Performance Boost!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 9, 2015
GoPro recently unlocked a host of new features for the HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver that will amp the performance, capabilities and convenience of the cameras even higher. Run a quick update on your HERO4 software to enable even more dynamic content capture.  Announced on Feb 4,
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Demo: Freefly Systems CineStar 8 & MOVI M5 Gimbal

PVC Exclusive Video Interview: Ryan McMaster - Professional Aerial Videographer
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 6, 2015
I recently had the opportunity to interview Ryan McMaster with Volant Productions and his Freefly Systems CineStar Heavy-Lift Octo with dual operator controls with the MOVI M5 gimbal. Oh. Em. Gee! The Freefly Systems CineStar 8 is a heavy-lifter...
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Product Review: DSLRPros Expedition Series P2 Aerial Kit

Adventure-Ready and Totally Portable P2 Aerial Photography/Videography System
Written by Jeff Foster  |  January 21, 2015
Taking the popular and durable design of the DJI Phantom 2, DSLRPros has created a truly portable kit for the extended-travel road warrior, camper, hiker or outdoor explorer, with the DSLRPros Expedition Series PD Aerial Kit. I live with...
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Drone Academy X DJI Phantom Flight Training Series

The Best Basic Training for UAVs on Video from DSLRPros
Written by Jeff Foster  |  January 8, 2015
Want to learn to fly that new DJI Phantom you got and get professional results (and fewer crashes)? DSLRPros has produced what I think is the best, most professional video training series I've seen to date, with their Drone Academy X
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Breaking: The TAYZU 720 Quadcopter at CES 2015

Utilizing the ICRealtime 720-degree Camera Technology for Spherical Aerial Imaging
Written by Jeff Foster  |  January 6, 2015
There's something truly groundbreaking (skybreaking?) getting a sneak preview at CES this week in Las Vegas. It's a quadcopter that has two hemispherical cameras that take a full 720-degree 1080p/30fps video of the area you fly it in. This.... is going to be huge! There is a new "bird" in town and it sees...
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Product Review: The Padcaster Mini

The Best Way to Use your iPad Mini in Production!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 22, 2014
In addition to the original Padcaster for the full-sized iPad, they've developed a solid, smaller variation for the iPad Mini, plus a host of other accessories to make this ingenious design even more attractive in production - more than just a...
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Best of 2014 Aerial Videography Gear Guide

A General Guide for Aerial Photo/Video Gear Currently Available
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 11, 2014
2014 has been an amazing year for aerial/drone photography and video, and I've compiled a list of great products that will appeal to fliers and shooters for all levels! The aerial photography/videography industry has literally taken off this year and so many enhancements, improvements, options and...
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KEEP CALM: The FAA and sUAVs/Drone Rules Examined

Filtering-out the Facts from Fiction & Paranoia (UPDATED 12/10/2014)
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 10, 2014
With the publishing of Jack Nicas and Andy Pasztor's speculative and interpretive article in the Wall Street Journal this past week, it seems every news agency, media outlet and publication has totally lost their minds in a fit of...
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UPDATE: DJI Announces the Inspire 1 sUAV

A New Form Factor for Professional Aerial Videography
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 16, 2014
At 4:30pm PST November 12, 2014, DJI launched a new concept in sUAV design specifically for the professional aerial videographer and photographer. I was happy to be invited to this special event with a few of my colleagues and share the specifics around this new aerial craft with you. *LATEST UPDATE 11/16
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DJI Announces the Inspire 1 sUAV on LIVE STREAM 11/12


Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 11, 2014

At 4:30pm PST November 12, 2014, DJI launched a new concept in sUAV design specifically for the professional aerial videographer and photographer. I was happy to be invited to this special event with a few of my colleagues and share the specifics around this new aerial craft with you. *LATEST UPDATE 11/16

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Product Review: SteadiDrone QU4D 2014 Quadcopter

Heavy Duty and Stable Flying Multirotor for Aerial Videography
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 8, 2014
This UAV manufacturer based out of South Africa has set out to make durable, stable and easy to transport designs that run on the popular 3D Robotics Pixhawk GPS Flight Controller and provide smooth footage for a GoPro HERO4 in a brushless gimbal. I think they're on to something here...
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First Look: Hands-on with the GoPro HERO4 Black

Actual Results and Dispelling Misconceptions for Aerial Videographers
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 14, 2014
Since the announcement of the flagship camera in GoPro's new HERO4 lineup, I get to give the HERO4 Black a test with several devices and gimbals to see how it compares to the HERO3+ and share my initial results. By now everyone has seen all the press releases and news about the new GoPro HERO4 camera lineup;...
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Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

A New Experience for Flying/Shooting FPV with HUD on Clear Lenses
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 7, 2014
Unlike typical FPV goggles that basically block out the world around you and force you to only see what the on-board camera sees, the Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses work directly with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ with the DJI VISION app and the WiFi extender. Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses for...
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Product Review: DSLRPros 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizers

Two Amazing New 3-Axis Powered Stabilizers for Smartphones and GoPros
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 3, 2014
Never before have 3-axis brushless motor-driven handheld stabilizers been more needed than with release of the latest smartphones and GoPro cameras! I've had a chance to test both of these products from DSLRPros and give you a sample of how they work and what kind of results you can expect from them.
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Small UAV Coalition Launched to Advance the Commercial Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Big News in the Fight for Aerial Videography and Photography in the US!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 2, 2014
Iconic photo and commercial small drone manufacturers, 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, Google[x]'s Project Wing, GoPro, and Parrot all join forces to form a coalition to fight for the rights to commercial small UAV/UAS useage and work with existing orgnaizations to devlop safety and proper regulatory...
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OFFICIAL: GoPro HERO4 Lineup Announcement!

The New Lineup of GoPro Cameras Now Includes Real 4K/24-30fps Capability, Built-in Touchscreen and Overall Improved Performance
Written by Jeff Foster  |  September 29, 2014
Beyond the leaks, rumors and speculation over the past month, we've got the official press release directly from GoPro this morning, complete with images and a great new launch video. This lineup of cameras is truly impressive and we'll be sharing a hands-on review with you shortly as well.
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Product Review: 3D Robotics RTF Y6 Multicopter

Precision, Power and Autonomous Flight Control
Written by Jeff Foster  |  September 28, 2014
Beyond traditional smaller quadcopter designs on the market, the usual choice for an upgrade is a hex or octocopter... but the form factor of 6 motors and props on the three-armed "Y" formation of the 3D Robotics RTF Y6 airframe provides not only good stability in windy conditions, but a hotrod of a UAV capable of over 55mph and some truly...
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Sir Richard Branson Invests In 3D Robotics

Brings Aerial Expert Colin Guinn to Necker Island for a Demo
Written by Jeff Foster  |  September 7, 2014
In a surprise posting on the Virgin website this weekend, Sir Richard Branson share about interest in this emerging technology and acknowledges his investment into the tech company founded by Chris Anderson. ...
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SmartSound Plug-ins For Soundtrack Creation With Adobe Video Apps

Use SmartSound Plug-ins with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects CC For Round-Trip Music Soundtrack Creation and Editing
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 28, 2014
SmartSound has made some great advancements in their software plug-ins for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects since I did my last how-to tutorial two years ago and posted here on ProVideo...
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3D Robotics - The Future of Autonomous Aerial Imaging

Leading Technology for Filmmakers and Industry with Flying Robots
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 23, 2014
You might hear the name 3D Robotics and say "Oh yeah, I've heard of those guys. They also make small UAVs don't they?” ...and you'd be right.. kind of. I take a closer look at this innovative company and peek into the future with one of the industries' great visionaries and technology leaders... and I get excited for...
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Product Review: DSLRPros Cannes Cinema Edition P2 Aerial Kit

The Next Generation Aerial Kit Does So Much More!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 15, 2014
The DJI Phantom 2 is the second generation quadcopter from the industry giant, boasting better performance and longer flight time and it's remained pretty much a "hobbyist" craft as it comes from the factory - but I'll show you why the
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ProAm USA Aims to Bring its CarryOn Jib to Market Through a New Kickstarter Campaign

A new trend for filmmaking tools manufacturers to get products to market
Written by Jeff Foster  |  July 25, 2014
Filmmaker Jonathan Baty of ProAm USA taps into the Kickstarter filmmaking community to help launch the CarryOn Jib, the most compact, lightest camera crane of its kind. I found this press release interesting because I've known that the ProAm brand is an established manufacturer of filmmaking tools and...
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Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Videography Workshop

2-Day Online Streaming Video Workshop on CreativeLive
Written by Jeff Foster  |  July 16, 2014
Whether you're new to Aerial Photography/Videography and looking for how to get started, or have some experience and want to see how to get more out of your productions or take it to the next level, then this online streaming video workshop may be just the help you're looking for!
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Product Review: SmallHD DP7-PRO OLED Field Monitor


Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 30, 2014
The SmallHD DP7-PRO OLED field monitor provides accurate color, rich blacks and an OSD/Scope system delivered through touch screen that will knock your socks off! DP7-PRO OLED Overview Let's take a look at the top features of the
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Updated Product Review: Genus Mini Jib with MoCo

Truly Compact and Portable Jib for DSLRs and HD Camcorders
Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 29, 2014
The new Genus Mini Jib was designed for portability and simple setup/operation on location. It's not meant to be a studio jib but while it can handle a decent payload of about 9lbs, you can manage to get a decent load to balance and maintain control of the operation. I give the
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Product Review: Genus Elite Matte Box & Bravo Follow Focus MK3

Professional Filmmaking Gear That Keeps Working
Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 28, 2014
I've had the opportunity to use the Genustech cine gear for several months now on a variety of cameras from a Sony EX3, to a Canon 60D to a Blackmagic Design Cinema Cam and a BMD Pocket Cam. Highly adjustable, durable, and travels very well. In one word: Solid. Genus Elite Matte Box &...
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GoPro Dual HERO System for Stereoscopic 3D

Housing and Sync System for Twin Hero3+ Black Cameras
Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 24, 2014
GoPro introduces the Dual HERO System for two Hero3+ Black Edition cameras to create 3D stereoscopic images and I get to take it to task in this review, shooting still image pairs and video clips. The
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Hands-On Review with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

Ready to Fly with 14MP/1080p Camera and 3-Axis Stabilized Gimbal
Written by Jeff Foster  |  May 29, 2014
The Phantom 2 Vision+ (plus) is DJI's latest offering of their popular consumer-level multirotor "flying camera". With their own built-in 14MP/1080p camera on a 3-axis gimbal, this quadcopter is indeed ready-to-fly right out of the box. I've given it a few flights to test it and here are my first...
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First Look: DJI S1000 Octocopter with EOS 5D MKIII

Video Review of the Latest Multirotor UAV for Serious Aerial Cinematic and Photographic Imagery
Written by Jeff Foster  |  May 28, 2014
I recently had the opportunity to interview photographer Stephen Wheatcraft with his new DJI S1000 UAV and get a full run-down on the setup and operation of the craft and camera. Stephen gives us a full video overview and demo of the DJI Spreading Wings S1000 Octocopter with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII and...
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Fiilex Releases the Q500 Specular LED Light

750W Equivalent Output with Tunable Color & Hue Control, DMX Control and more.
Written by Jeff Foster  |  May 1, 2014
Fiilex introduced the new Q500 (AC) at NAB 2014 this year and I got a chance to try it out at the show. Since then, I got a review unit to shoot with in the studio and am very pleased with the results! When I recently did a review on the
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World's First 3-Axis Hand-Held Sub-Pixel Stabilizer for Smartphones!

DSLRPros 3-Axis Smartphone Stabilizer
Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 25, 2014
The world's first 3-Axis smartphone hand-held stabilizer has arrived!  This is NOT just another Kickstarter campaign for a hopeful product - this is a real device designed and in production now from DSLRPros.
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NAB 2014 Aerial Videography & "Drone" Overview

Field Trips, Workshops & Manufacturers Make A Huge Splash This Year!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 19, 2014
Above all the buzz about 4K cameras and monitors at NAB this year, were flying cameras that sounded like large swarms of bees. POV photography and videography have literally taken off in the past 18 months in a big way, and NAB 2014 was just the place to learn more about this rapidly emerging technology... and how filmmakers will benefit from...
In a private exclusive meeting in a hotel suite the weekend before NAB 2014 officially starts, I get a hands-on look at a working prototype heavy-lift "drone" (UAV) that left me literally speechless. Not only is the design quite stunning and clean, but the technology is so advanced I didn't think we'd see anything like this for...
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GoPro Replacement Lenses for Hero3/3+ Black from Peau Productions

Affordable Quality Glass Lenses Give You More HFOV Options with Your GoPro
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 22, 2014
The more that I've gotten into aerial videography & photography with the GoPro Hero3/3+ Black, the more I've had issue with the GoPro's OEM "fisheye" wide angle HFOV (Horizontal Field Of View), which distorts the horizon and creates a curved "bubble" effect. The biggest issue with that is when the quadcopter is in motion or the camera is...
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Product Review: Steadicam Curve for GoPro Hero3/3+

Steadicam's Latest Mini Handheld Stabilizer for the GoPro
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 17, 2014
First came the Steadicam Smoothie a couple years ago and they teased us with the Curve about a year ago at NAB 2013, but now it's finally shipping and I got one to test with. Smaller and more compact than the Smoothee but is it better? Steadicam Curve The new design of the
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Red Giant Universe Public Beta Announced

More than New Software Plug-ins: an Expanding Community
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 12, 2014
March 11, 2014 - Today, Red Giant, makers of Magic Bullet, Trapcode, and PluralEyes, announced Red Giant Universe (public beta) - a community that gives members access to fast and powerful free tools for editing, filmmaking, visual effects and motion design.  Red Giant...
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Replay XD1080 / XD720 HD POV Action Cameras

Smallest Profile and Most Robust Design of Any POV Action Cam on the Market
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 7, 2014
The Replay XD HD cams are a truly unique design, with a low-profile and they're built like a tank. Made with hard-anodized aluminum cases that are water resistant without the need for an external housing for most applications, these lightweight POV action cams have the versatility and durability that even the most popular competitors...
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MediaZilla: The Future of Media Libraries and Sharing?

Intuitive Platform for your entire Media Library with Blu-ray Style Menus
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 20, 2014
Well, this looks like an interesting concept - and definitely one worth investigating further if not actually supporting. I don't usually give much attention to crowdfunding products, let alone post an announcement or give my thoughts on one, but when I was approached by MediaZilla founder Jon Geddes about their campaign, I was intrigued...
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Product Review: Fiilex P360 and P180E Full-Spectrum Color LED Studio Lights

ENG Portability and Professional, Tunable, Light-Shaping Unmatched with LED Panel Lighting
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 12, 2014
Designed for portability for the independent videographer shooting interviews, quick setup talking head studio shots or even portable green screen, Fiilex P-series LED lights provide a wide range of flexibility to match ambient lighting or provide enough light to...
Adorama's own Flashpoint brand features products that range from cinematography gear to lighting systems for video and photo and are designed for student photographers and designers on a budget. With few exceptions, the new Flashpoint 180 Portable Monolight and the Glow Grand Softboxes fit that need with flying colors. I put these...
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DSLRPros Enhances Their Ultimate Phantom Quadcopter System

Serious Upgrades for Serious Aerial Imagery!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  January 25, 2014
With several major updates and accessories to their popular Ultimate Cinema Edition Aerial Kit, DSLRPros has pushed the capabilities of the DJI Phantom quadcopter to a new level; including the new Futaba 8FG Black Edition transmitter, Long Range FPV Commander Kit with 7" LCD monitor and Diversity Receiver, Skyzone FPV goggles, FPV OSD Android...
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Product Review: Lowel GL-1 Power LED Flood/Spot Light

Dimmable and Focusable Portable Light for Shooting Photo & Video On-Location
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 31, 2013
The Lowel GL-1 Power LED is a compact handheld portable light source that is ideal for any type of event or location photography. It's dimmable and with the adjustable Fresnel lens, it has an 8:1 focus range from full flood to a tight spot and works either handheld or mountable to any...
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Using Mini Quads as Training Tools: Hubsan X4 H107D FPV Quadcopter

Inexpensive RC Quadcopter with Live Video FPV Helps Hone Flying Skills
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 29, 2013
Go ahead and call these mini RC quadcopters "toys", but they won't be insulted, because they're serious flying machines that have many of the same features that the big boys have! But learning to control and pilot these relatively inexpensive quadcopters may help you manage and fly your more expensive DJI quadcopter with greater ease...
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Product Review: iOgrapher for iPad/iPad Mini

Shoot Video, Timelapse and Photos with your iPad/iPad Mini with this Simple & Affordable Rig
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 22, 2013
The iOgrapher Mobile Media Case for the iPad Mini and the full-sized iPad are made from injection-molded polycarbonate - making them flexible and durable and able to withstand a lot of abuse. With several cold-shoe attachments, a tripod mount and a threaded 37mm lens mount for wide angle and telephoto lenses, large easy-grip handles and an...
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Rampant Design Tools introduces NEW Rampant Drives

Save Big and take your effects library with you.
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 17, 2013
The most affordable and accessible way to get several Rampant Design Tools real camera effects, backgrounds, transitions and more - loaded on an ultra-fast portable drive you can take with you to clients or on-location with your laptop. New Rampant Drives It's no secret that I've been a...
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Newly-Released: 3POD Economy Portable Tripods for Photo and Video

Flashpoint Announces their New 3POD Line of Economy Tripods with Heads for under $250
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 9, 2013
Adorama's Flashpoint brand introduces a new economy line of portable tripods with heads for photo and video. Ranging from around $100 to $250, these lightweight...
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Product Review: Genus GoPro Cage

Major Protective Housing, Accessory and Filter Connectivity for your Hero3/Hero3+
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 30, 2013
When I first saw the Genus GoPro Cage announced, I knew I had to get one to try out and see just how versatile it was. Let's just say I wasn't disappointed - and the mounting options and the ability to screw-on filters closes the deal. Design & Build Quality Having a machinist and...
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Product Review: Flashpoint 7" LED Field Monitor

Full-Featured 1280x800 pixel HDMI LED Field Monitor Kit with Case
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 30, 2013
I took this new Flashpoint 7" HD LCD Field Monitor for a test, LITERALLY in a field! I was impressed with the features and flexibility of this portable monitor right out of the package on location during a photographic road trip this Fall - especially for only $400.
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Improving POV Cam Footage with a few Tricks in Adobe CC

Stabilizing, Lens Correction, Camera Filters and more...
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 26, 2013
Whether you've strapped your GoPro to a car, motorcycle, boat, plane, snowboard, skateboard or a UAV, chances are you will need to stabilize that shaky footage, do some quick color correcting or do some lens correction to eliminate the wide FOV inherent with these POV cams. I'll share with you some tips on "fixing" your footage...
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Product Review: Davis & Sanford ProElite Tripod with 525 Fluid Head

2-in-1 Video Tripod with 525 Fluid Head and Accessories
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 20, 2013
Adorama recently added some new affordable video tripods to their catalog from Davis & Sanford. I had a chance to try out the versatile and heavy-duty ProElite Tripod with a 525 Fluid Head for a few weeks and I share my test results with you from both an indoor shoot with a DSLR and a teleprompter plus on-location outdoors with a heavy...
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Hands-On Review: GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition

I compare this upgrade to the Hero3 Black Edition camera launched a year ago
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 29, 2013
While this is not a huge upgrade for GoPro overall, it's significant enough to consider waiting for the Hero3+ Black Edition to be available in retail or shipping online if you're considering purchasing a GoPro in the weeks to come. I'll cover the new features and give the Hero3+Black Edition a side-by-side comparison with the...
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First Look: DJI Phantom 2 Vision

Easier to fly and shoot with built-in proprietary HD camera and smartphone control interface
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 24, 2013
DJI first introduced a prototype "shell" of the Phantom Vision back in April at NAB in their tradeshow booth, but they're finally gearing up to ship them in early November. I've had the chance to test a prototype over the past couple of weeks and am more than impressed with it's stability, maneuverability and overall ease of use...
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Product Review: DSLRPros Ultimate Cinema Edition Aerial Kit

A Souped-up DJI Phantom for Professional Shooters
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 17, 2013
Aerial POV shots are the new rage and many videographers are trying to figure out what the best gear is to invest in and provide the flexibility and professional results they really need to stay competitive without a huge capital investment. When the DJI Phantom for the GoPro Hero3 was
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Rampant Design Tools: Drag, Drop & Go Effects

Professionally-created FX, mattes, backgrounds and lights that work with any NLE
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 9, 2013
Plug-in free and platform/software agnostic, these drag & drop effects, lights, backgrounds, mattes and styles will give your video productions a professional edge with minimal effort. Professional grade effects for video editors and motion graphics artists in high-definition, broadcast quality QuickTime files. They work with all...
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GoPro Announces the Hero3+ Black, Silver & White Edition Cameras

Smaller, longer battery life and more advanced features
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 1, 2013
GoPro announces the latest version of their popular POV cam with the release of the Hero3+ Black, Silver & White Edition cameras. All smaller and lighter* and better performance and battery life. With added new features such as SuperView™ wide angle, Auto Low Light mode and 4x faster built-in Wi-Fi combined with a smaller...
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Review Update: DJI Phantom Quadcopter for GoPro Hero3 with Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal

Part 3 of my review series on the DJI Phantom with updated hardware
Written by Jeff Foster  |  September 14, 2013
This has been a long time in the making as we've been awaiting all the hardware updates surrounding the release of the DJI Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal first introduced back in April at NAB. I've also been waiting for the updated hardware and electronics to arrive before posting this update so you can get the most current information...
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Product Review: Red Giant BulletProof

DSLR shooters now have a great file ingest and management tool
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 17, 2013
Red Giant recently released BulletProof - their new data transfer and management tool for DSLR shooters. BulletProof was first introduced as a "teaser" at NAB 2013 back in April along with the premiere of Seth Worley's "Spy vs Guy". What makes BulletProof unique is its easy to follow...
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Product Review: Flashpoint DSLR/DV Cinema Bundle & Accessories

Affordable Cinema Gear for Students & Aspiring Filmmakers
Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 30, 2013
Adorama's affordable Flashpoint brand has offerings for entry-level DSLR/DV students and budget-conscious indie filmmakers. So I've taken the gear to task in some various shooting situations to see how well it works under normal conditions and if I found them a helpful tool or not. Note that I've never used any cinema gear with a...
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Jeff Foster's New Channel: The PixelPainter


Written by Jeff Foster  |  June 20, 2013
I've been contributing to various production/post-production channels here on PVC for years but created my own channel with the re-launch of the new PVC website format, titled "the PixelPainter". Here's where you can find more about my channel, my interests and of course, links to all...
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Product Review: DJI Phantom Quadcopter for GoPro (Part 2)

DIY Upgrades and Troubleshooting for Better Video
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 27, 2013
After using the DJI Phantom quadcopter with the GoPro Hero3 for about a month, I've discovered several tips, tricks and resources for getting better photos & videos with this setup. In this segment, I share what I've learned about stabilization, calibration and experimental mounts for the GoPro to get rid of Rolling Shutter (Jello...
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The Masters of Compositing Series - Part 1: Petro Vlahos (1917-2013)

Inventor of the Sodium Vapor Compositor and the Blue Screen Color Difference Traveling Matte & Multiple Oscar recipient
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 14, 2013
*REPOSTED: This is the first in a series of interviews with the pioneers and masters in the compositing/VFX film & television industry. I originally recorded these interviews for my published book "The Green Screen Handbook" (Sybex/Wiley, pub) and had intended to produce one full-length documentary from the...
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Product Review: Flashpoint 500C Portable LED Light

A temperature-adjustable 500 LED light panel for $200?
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 6, 2013
Adorama introduces another hit in their line of affordable video and photo lights, with the Flashpoint 500C - a 500 LED portable light panel that features adjustable dual color temperatures and output running on either AC or battery power (battery...
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Product Review: DJI Phantom Quadcopter for GoPro

Part 1 - Initial Testing & Useability
Written by Jeff Foster  |  January 31, 2013
Everyone is looking for that elusive aerial cam that's both affordable and easy to operate for the average videographer. I'm setting out to see if the DJI Phantom Quadcopter combined with a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition is the answer, in this two-part review and workflow...
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The Hobbit in 48p 3D - Technological Hero or Flop?

First reactions to this new HFR format on the big screen...
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 29, 2012
There has been much anticipation for this holiday release of The Hobbit - not only in bringing this classic novel to life from the team that brought us a success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but to experience the new technological advances of 3D on the big screen at 48p. But is HFR...
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Product Review: Lowel Blender 3 Light Kit

Extremely portable LED kit with dial-in color temp controls
Written by Jeff Foster  |  December 18, 2012
I give the new Lowel Blender 3 Light LED Kit a good inspection and ponder the possibilities of it being a single option portable lighting source for on-location video production/interviews. This kit offers extreme portability, dial-in color temp control and flexibility for more interview situations. For today's quick "run-'n-gun"...
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Green Screen Workflows: An Interview with a Compositor

An interview that outlines the history and process of compositing
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 30, 2012
As the author of the Green Screen Handbook (Sybex/Wiley, pub), I’ve been interviewed a few times for publications, blogs and videos. One such interview because a feature on a blog called the SpliceVine with Eric Wise. They do a monthly feature interview that publishes a new topic/question for each weekday and my interview was...
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Product Review: Steadicam Smoothee for GoPro


Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 29, 2012
After struggling with homemade handheld rigs for my GoPro Hero2, I had the opportunity to use the Steadicam Smoothie in various shooting scenarios and after some practice, I believe it's the only way to shoot handheld with the GoPro or your iPhone. I only tested the GoPro Hero mount, but there seems to be a lot more information...
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GoPro Hero3 - 240fps in Slo-Mo

Shoot and Edit Workflow for Super Slo-Mo
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 26, 2012
This is a brief shoot/edit workflow project demonstrating the GoPro Hero3 (Black Edition) running 240fps and editing at 30fps in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 for the entire video. While there are certainly limitations in image quality and resolution shooting standard dev in the WVGA 240fps mode on the GoPro, you...
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Hands-on Review: GoPro Hero3 (part 2)

Side-by-side comparison of the Hero2 and Hero3 cameras.
Written by Jeff Foster  |  November 5, 2012
This is the second part of my hands-on review of the new GoPro Hero3 camera, where I've managed a series of side-by-side tests with the Hero2 camera in various scenarios - from multiple frame rates, resolutions and lighting conditions, in both video/still shots, raw and processed with the CineForm Studio...
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Hands-on with the GoPro Hero3 (part 1)

Time to give the GoPro some SERIOUS consideration!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 22, 2012
So GoPro had this little "launch event" this week to introduce the new Hero3 to the world and invited a bunch of media folks from all over the globe to San Francisco to take part in it and get a hands-on experience. Little did we know that even included race cars, motorcycles, hot air balloons, jets, catamarans and diving with sharks!...
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Product Review: GoPro Wi-Fi App

GoPro's long-awaited App for iOS mobile devices controls the Wi-Fi BacPac
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 16, 2012
For iOS device owners, your day has finally come! You can now download the free GoPro App from the iTunes App Store to configure, control and preview your Wi-Fi-enabled GoPro remotely with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad!(Android app is in development and will be released shortly)Setup &...
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Review: GoPro Protune™ Firmware & Software Update for CineForm Studio

Protune Mode Adds 24p, 35Mbps Data Rate; Ideal Workflow for Professional Production
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 15, 2012
If you were at NAB this year, then you surely caught all the excitement over at the GoPro booth!In addition to the long-awaited Wi-Fi BacPac & Remote released in August, the...
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Product Review: The Padcaster & Lenscaster

Making the iPad a useful production tool.
Written by Jeff Foster  |  October 10, 2012
The Padcaster™ is a strong yet lightweight aluminum frame that comes equipped with both 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes lining all edges of the frame, and has a molded Urethane insert that secures your iPad into position. Attach external microphones, lights and other camera accessories to enhance filming with the iPad. A tripod...
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Product Review: doddle & doddle Pro

Community, directory & callsheets for the video production industry.
Written by Jeff Foster  |  September 16, 2012
We've all got networks we're already plugged into for connecting with other industry pros & colleagues - including social media, blogs, forums and email lists - but what about connecting with new pros, crew and services in your area - or better yet, finding someone to fill in an empty spot on a shoot on location outside your regular...
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Product Review: Red Giant Trapcode Mir

Fractal 3D Motion Design in OpenGL
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 28, 2012
Trapcode Mir from Red Giant is a new 3D shape creating tool that works inside After Effects and utilizes OpenGL rendering for speed and efficiency. Mir allows you to transform a simple polygon mesh with fractal noise distortion, texture mapping, displacement and repeating geometry to create interesting motion graphics and animations....
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Using Premiere Pro & After Effects CS6 SmartSound Plug-Ins

A quick and easy round-trip workflow for creating and editing your music soundtrack!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 25, 2012
SmartSound Sonicfire Pro 5 is not only amazing soundtrack scoring software, but also a collection of royalty-free music clips that are fully customizable, with features like Mood Mapping and Timing Control. You can easily pull out select instruments and "write" a complete score of any length you wish. With the Sonicfire Pro 5 software...
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Product Review: GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac & Wi-Fi Remote

Remote Control and Wi-Fi Enabling your GoPro Camera
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 21, 2012
The controls on your GoPro camera are no longer out of reach!The new GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac and Wi-Fi Remote allow you to control your GoPro camera from up to hundreds of feet away - which includes powering up your camera, changing all the menu settings, triggering the camera to shoot and...
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Product Review: Magic Bullet Denoiser II

A must-have tool for every DSLR shooter!
Written by Jeff Foster  |  August 13, 2012
Today's DSLRs and HD Camcorders allow us to shoot at higher ISO and lower light scenarios than ever before - but with the smaller sensor sizes typical in prosumer cameras, this capability also introduces a great deal of noise. Thankfully, Red Giant has updated Magic Bullet Denoiser II (v 1.3) - available as a stand-alone plugin or part...
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The Masters of Compositing Series - Part 3: John Galt

Sr. Vice President of of Advanced Digital Imaging at Panavision
Written by Jeff Foster  |  July 26, 2012
This is the third installment in a series of interviews with the pioneers and masters in the compositing/VFX film & television industry. I originally recorded these interviews for my published book "The Green Screen Handbook" (Sybex/Wiley, pub) and had intended to produce one full-length documentary from the materials. But...
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Putting the After Effects CS6 3D Camera Tracker to the Test

I give the new 3D Camera Tracker some pretty crazy footage to track
Written by Jeff Foster  |  May 1, 2012
Since the announcement of the Adobe CS6 Production Premium was made, there are a lot of great tutorials and examples made with the product to show off the new features. Most use nicely shot footage with dolly shots or smooth steady-cam work with lots of great contrasting detail to track, which provide great results. Naturally had to try...
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Making a Matte Painting with Elements in Motion in After Effects

I take-apart a real-world project to show you how it was created
Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 30, 2012
In the days of early motion picture making the art of "matte painting" was a process of actually painting with oils on a plate glass that was then shot in position in front of a scene on location or in the studio where the film would be exposed by the combined images through the camera's lens, creating an illusion that the actors int eh...
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Product Review: Tiffen Dfx v3 Video/Film Plug-in

Sophisticated Simulated Glass Filters, Lenses, Film Stocks, FX and More...
Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 27, 2012
Tiffen has released the latest version of their popular sophisticated filter effects. Unlike most other plug-in effects for After Effects, Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro that often cater to creative whimsy and visual effects, the Tiffen Dfx v3 Video/Film Plug-in offers more real-world simulation of glass filters, lens effects and film...
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Adobe Production Premium CS6 FREE Hands-on Workshops @ NAB

Manhattan Edit Workshops booth SL12805
Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 14, 2012
Adobe announced the unveiling of their latest video production tools this week prior to the NAB Show, featuring the CS6 Production Premium suite, which includes After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition, Encore, and the newest additions, Prelude & SpeedGrade.I will be giving hands-on mini-workshops for After Effects CS6 and...
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Product Review: Wacom Intuos5 Touch

A great new tool and workflow for compositors/roto artists & video editors!

Written by Jeff Foster  |  April 5, 2012
Wacom hits another home-run with this innovative and user-friendly pen tablet and touch-sensitive input device. You can greatly reduce the need of a mouse and keyboard for general editing and compositing/roto/paint workflow with custom Express Keys, stylus controls and finger-input gestures directly on the...
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The Masters of Compositing Series - Part 2: Paul Vlahos

Co-founder of Ultimatte and developer of modern compositing technologies.
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 28, 2012
This is the second in a series of interviews with the pioneers and masters in the compositing/VFX film & television industry. I originally recorded these interviews for my published book "The Green Screen Handbook" (Sybex/Wiley, pub) and had intended to produce one full-length...
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Product Review: Monsters GT v7

A Look at GenArts' Latest Upgrade to their Popular Plugin Effects
Written by Jeff Foster  |  March 1, 2012
GenArts has released an update to their Monsters GT v7 - which includes some new effects like Sky, Starfield, Water, Roman Tile and Candle. This brings the Monsters GT suite to 55 effects plug-ins ranging from physics-based particles, fluids, fire, smoke and time-based feedback and artistic effects.What's...
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Simulated Rack Focus for Believable Composites

Matching Foreground Green Screen and Background Plates with Rack Focus Effect in After Effects
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 27, 2012
If you're looking to give your green screen composites another step of realism or to simulate the look of a shallow DOF with a DSLR, then this video tutorial will show you how! Using Adobe After Effects, I show you first how to get a great green screen composite with Keylight and then alter both the foreground and background plates...
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2D Footage with a Stereo 3D Rig in After Effects CS5.5

Edit and Optimize 2D Stereo Pairs from a 3D Video Camera or Twin Cameras with a Modified Stereo 3D Rig in After Effects CS5.5
Written by Jeff Foster  |  February 11, 2012
Adobe included a 1-step option to create a 3D Stereo Camera Rig in After Effects CS5.5, to everyone's enthusiasm for a simpler workflow in 3D space. Great if you are working in 3D space...