The Evolution of Display Connectors

This article was originally published on Premiumbeat’s blog here.

connectors-2-865x505

Display connections are evolving to keep up with new video technology and data rates. See what lies ahead for the future.

Chances are, you have a shoebox filled with a bunch of obsolete connectors collecting dust in your garage, or worse, your parents’ house. Each of these cables and display connectors can only fulfill one specific connection. You can’t mix a VGA cable with a tri-colored composite cord and expect it to work; the connections look and act differently from each other. This was the norm for years.

Today, the trend is moving toward fewer display connectors that handle more. This will be great news for your parents, who will bug you a little less about clearing out those ratty shoeboxes. They’ll still bug you, just about other stuff.

Connectors now are able to handle multiple signal formats, so they can carry video, audio, and data information while often being able to charge the connected device. This’ll be familiar to anyone who’s got a smartphone, and in fact, this connectivity trend is being driven by consumer devices like advanced phones and tablets. Compare this to a decade ago, where connections were driven by advances and needs of professional equipment.

The interfaces through which we connect our devices are getting smaller, denser, and faster, much like the phones themselves, now sporting fewer ports. The interfaces can make decisions about display resolutions, audio formats, Ethernet connectivity, and can receive and send control signals, so you don’t have to sweat the details. All of these interfaces use Extended Display Identification Data which allows your video card to configure itself automatically. This is what makes your display rotate to landscape mode when you plug in your phone to display content on a TV. What’s more, wireless connections are also right around the corner.

Read the full story at PremiumBeat.

Popular Fashion Looks in Resolve

This article was originally published on Premiumbeat’s blog here.

In this tutorial we take cues from fashion and glamor print and apply them to video in DaVinci Resolve.

As a colorist specializing in fashion and beauty work, I’m constantly cross-referencing still images from fashion magazine editorials to inform the polished look that has become synonymous with glamour. When asked to think beyond a generic look of healthy contrast and color saturation, I employ a few techniques that have been ported from Photoshop and brought into the moving image realm.

Skin tones, skin tones, skin tones

The majority of my job involves addressing client concerns as quickly as they are mentioned, maintaining consistency across scenes, and retaining healthy skin tones. I regularly get to the suite early to begin on an overall grade before the client comes in, but if I have a few minutes more and the spot centers around predominantly female talent, I pull skin tone keys for each shot beforehand as well.

To illustrate some concepts, I’ll be working off the following image from Shutterstock.

1_original

In the original, note that there are quite a lot of blues in the shadows. I’ve corrected for that in the second image to give us a neutral starting point. If this isn’t something you noticed, toggling between the two images will certainly make this more apparent.

2_balance

Here are the Resolve dials for my balanced image. When I corrected for the blacks and whites, the image looked a little yellow so I’ve swung the gamma accordingly:

2a_balance

Read more on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Paul Schrader Discusses the Future of Entertainment

This article was originally published on Premiumbeat’s blog here.
schrader-865x505

Hear from industry vet Paul Schrader as he talks the future of Hollywood and oncoming demise of the multiplex.

Paul Schrader, best known for writing such classic screenplays as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, is also an accomplished director who recently helmed Dying of the Light starring Nicholas Cage and collaborated with author Bret Easton Ellis for The Canyons in 2013. Schrader recently spoke at an intimate venue at IFP’s Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo, Brooklyn about the state of the industry as he sees it.

After working for decades in the industry, one might think Schrader would hold onto more traditional ways of working. In fact, Schrader’s wisdom revealed him more in line with Futurist rather than Luddite thought when he expounded on topics ranging from writerly advice to the changing future of entertainment.

Schrader first addressed the construct of the two-hour feature film as an antiquated model in need of reinvention:

The goal of a storyteller is not to invest in technology, it’s simply to use the best tools available. If we come up with a better hammer, we use that hammer. The vessel of audio-visual storytelling has changed totally. The notion of the theatrical two-hour experience is a 20th-century model they came up with about a hundred years ago for economic reasons. [At that time] people thought that movies were a projected image in a dark room in front of an audience. Maybe that’s what movies were, but they aren’t anymore.

It’s finally now that we’ve broken away from the pillars of that 20th-century model. One pillar is length. To me, a Youtube cat video is a movie. So is Mad Men. One is four minutes long and one is about sixty hours long, but they’re both movies. [The second pillar is] economics. You can’t make your money showing in theaters, it’s just not there. [The third pillar is] the delivery system people prefer. [Other services compete against] getting me out of the house. The kind of movies people leave the house for are for something big, or something that is really benefitted by the communal experience. The reason can’t be, “here’s another movie like the one from last week.

Schrader maintained this broken 20th-century model carries over to our conception of the dramatic three-act structure used for ages:

The mechanism of the three-act drama has become so rustic. You can hear the gears clanking when you’re in the theater. People have seen so much audio-visual entertainment over the years. How many hours of drama did your father see? How many did his father see? By your 20s you’ve seen tens of thousands of hours of longform filmed drama, and it’s so old hat. Your father saw a fraction of that. How in the world can you get this mechanism alive?

Read more wisdom from Schrader here.