Laythrom Media is now starting to post regular video tutorials on YouTube. Videos about Autodesk programs, Adobe Programs, and others are being uploaded on a regular basis. Feel free to check them out and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel in order to get notified about new content.
Recently, we were able to demo the very nice Canon EOS C100 with the Canon EF 24-105mm lens and I must say…I definitely like this camera.
For those of you out there that have around $7,000 to drop on a pro camera, this is one that you will want to look at!
The first thing that I will say out right is that you better have a computer that is capable to edit 1080i at 17mbps and you will want a decent sized hard drive. But after other than that, this camera is awesome (and I’m not just saying this because I’m a Canon user).
It has a huge Super 35mm sized CMOS sensor at the heart of it all allowing a good digital equivalence to the Super 35mm film cameras out there.
It features 2 SDHC/SDXC card slots for prolonged filming and has the ability to write to both cards simultaneously for a quick and easy redundancy backup. You get a bit over two hours of recording time out of a 32gb card while filming at 1080i @ 24mbps @ 24 fps (which was what we were using at the time).
Low light was another plus for the camera, boasting the need for only 0.3 lux of light while filming at 59 Hz. Typically we use strategic lighting for nighttime or low light shots but during our testing we didn’t have to insanely worry about lighting like we normally do.
Like other cameras out there, we do like the fact that this camera has dual XLR mic inputs so there is no need for a XLR box (like when using DSLRs). The one thing that we did not like was the LCD screen on the camera. Viewing angles are good but sporting only a 3.5″ screen definitely requires an external HD monitor (which is possible via the uncompressed HDMI output.
If you have the possibility to demo this camera at a camera shop, definitely check it out!
Okay, there has been many questions launched our way via email and in person concerning graphic design and more importantly Photoshop vs Illustrator vs InDesign. We are going to quickly sort this out.
Honestly, I love photoshop…and have been using it for years and although it is definitely a powerful program, it still has its limitations.
First and foremost, Photoshop is a pixel or raster based program. This means that your photo is comprised of thousands (if not) millions of tiny colored squares that make up the image. For photos, web designs, etc, this is not a problem (most of the time). The problem with a raster based image is if you attempt to upscale a smaller (or lower quality) image, it will pixelate and you will lose quality. We’ve all seen it when zooming into a picture. A rule of thumb for photoshop is to keep it in the realm that it is typically designed for.
This means using photoshop for:
1. Photo editing and/or restoration
2. Website graphics design (content creation.
3. Digital “painting”
4. UI > User Interfaces
5. Website Advertisements
6. Motion graphics
7. Special effects/filters
There is a common misconception that you should use photoshop for stuff like business card design or catalog layouts…DON’T. I’ll explain shortly.
Illustrator on the other hand is math or “Vector” based. This means that no matter how small or large you decide to scale the image or artwork, it will retain its quality and not pixelate. A lot of people do not take this into consideration when designing things.
You should be using Illustrator for some of the following:
1. Logo creation
2. Business Card design
3. Scalable designs for banners and posters (I.e. designs for large format printing).
4. Apparel design
5. Motion graphics
6. Vector painting and illustration
Although I’m sure that you can use InDesign for more than I’m going to mention here; we typically associate InDesign with literature and graphic/text based design work.
Examples for these types of work include:
1. Letterhead design
2. Pamphlet design
3. Catalog design
5. Multiple page brochures
7. Interactive PDF documents
Now, I’m not saying that you are only allowed to perform the fore mentioned tasks with those programs, I am just saying that you should take into consideration of what you plan on doing with your design work and what the limitations of the programs are. I can design an entire website inside illustrator (and many people have), but I personally do not feel the need to have superior quality (or larger file sizes for that matter) for base website creation. Just like I can create letterhead designs inside illustrator, but why not use a program designed to do that?
I also say this based on the fact that we are running Adobe’s Master Collection and I do understand that there are people out there that only have legitimate access to one or the other, but just keep some of this information in mind. Also, by all means, we are not proclaiming to be SMEs or subject matter experts…we’re just trying to shed some light on this topic.
The “vs” breakdown follow below:
Illustrator vs. Indesign
1. Illustrator does not have master pages.
2. Illustrator cannot define page numbers.
3. Indesign cannot draw objects as well as Illustrator.
4. Indesign does not have filters, as Illustrator does.
5. Indesign has superior type wrapping tools, while it maybe a bit confusing with Illustrator.
Illustrator vs. Photoshop
1. Illustrator has superior vector support, while Photoshop has limited.
Illustrator does better page layout than Photoshop.
2. Illustrator does not handle pixel art the same way as Photoshop does in terms of effects.
3. Photoshop is superior for photo enhancing.
4. Photoshop creates precise pixel based UI designs compared to Illustrator.
5. Illustrator supports multiple page output for PDF while Photoshop does not.
6. Photoshop layers is much straight forward than Illustrator. Organizing elements is much easier in Photoshop because of this.
7. Illustrator supports the “Place” (Importing graphics) command through dynamic file linking. Photoshop’s “Place” command is strictly embedded into the .PSD file and is not linked. This means that you can make changes to a certain file outside of Illustrator and you can reflect the changes in Illustrator using the Links panel. In Photoshop, whatever you place is permanent.
8. Illustrator exports .EPS file formats better than Photoshop.
Indesign vs. Photoshop
1. Indesign creates page layouts while Photoshop does not.
2. Indesign links elements or design objects from various locations in your hard drive. Photoshop does not. It is all placed in the document.
3. Indesign supports multiple pages for PDF and print. Photoshop is all one document.
4. Photoshop has filter effects while Indesign is limited.
5. Indesign supports XML, Photoshop does not.
6. Indesign supports vectors, imports .AI and .EPS with vector data encoded. In Photoshop this gets converted to paths or pseudo vector. The final output is still pixel based.
The Laythrom.co site is now up and running; So is the Laythrom Merchandise store! Don’t delay, check it out.
Find out more about our current projects, services that we offer, merchandise, behind the scenes footage and everything else in between.
More an more content always getting uploaded!
Stay tuned ladies and gents…the Laythrom website [www.laythrom.co] is in the works. We’ll update you as soon as it launches!
We have launched an independent page for Project Codename: Phantom Walker! Feel free to check it out and bookmark it to check back for future updates.
There comes a time in every filmmakers ‘career’ when things go awry…
Things happen, as they always do; equipment gets damaged, people fail to attend call times, footage gets lost or destroyed, wardrobe disappears and people/companies retract their cooperation. All of these things will happen at some point in time during a filmmakers career, especially when you are an independent filmmaker.
What can be done to help prevent this?
Sadly, this is and is not an easy question to answer. Honestly, the bet defense is to have contingencies for as much as you can. This is an easy suggestion to make, but for a micro-budget filmmaker it can be the last phrase that you want to hear.
Equipment is the easiest but usually the most expensive alley to tackle. Try to have a backup camera in place as a “Just in Case” precaution; same goes for lighting and props. Things do break and depending on what type of film you are making, some equipment may hold a higher risk than others (keep this in mind).
Cast and Crew
This is always a tough one to combat; having a well rounded and multi-faceted crew never hurts. As for actors and talent; this is far more difficult. The phrase “You get what you pay for” usually holds true in this aspect. Seasoned or well ‘respected’ talent are typically very professional and will almost always be on location promptly in lieu of call times. If you are using amateur or aspiring talent; whether they are friends or acquaintances, you have to prepare for no-shows or late arrivals.
Filming locations, if outside a sound stage, carries it’s own issues and risks. Regardless of where it is, who the property owners are or if the property is abandoned, it is always best to try and do things “by the book”. Honesty is always the best policy when approaching someone for attempting to film on location. Let them know if you plan on running primarily day time or night time shots; always let them know if you are planning on firing any type of weapon or explosive device (we will cover more in lieu of weapons/explosives in a second); contracts are always good and so is insurance.
Contracts and insurance helps protect you (as a filmmaker) in more ways than one. It’ll help you secure the property [in writing] for the duration of your film schedule. It also shows the agreement that you and the property owner has in writing in case they change their mind. Many properties and locations will require you to have insurance to protect their property; this is always a good idea. Without insurance you have to worry about possible law suits and the possibility of having to pay large amounts of money out of pocket.
Weapons and Explosives
Always always check with your local law enforcement agencies before running any scenes with weapons and/or gunshots and explosions. Typically, you will have to warn and alert any and all neighbors in the area where you are filming. You definitely don’t want dozens of police showing up thinking that it is real or neighbors calling 911 to report gun fire. It is safest to call the local police chief first, inquire what their requirements are, then afterwards (a good two weeks in advance to your shoot date) fax/mail memorandums to all of the residents surrounding you as well as the police department.
You can setup your memorandum in Word however you would like it, but I would suggest that you BOLD certain key areas so that it catches the reader quickly. I’ll upload a “demo” Laythrom memorandum if you guys and girls with to follow it as a template. [I’ll put it up here once I get back to the studio.]
Lastly, I will cover the logistical tips for Wardrobe and Props. If you are trying to save some cash (and have the talent use their own wardrobe) that is fine; just make sure that they try and keep everything the same throughout filming. It is also handy to take photos (progressively) throughout filming of your talent wearing their wardrobe; it gives you a media to quickly refer to for continuity reasons. If you are starting to stock pile clothes for wardrobe, make sure that you tag (somehow) everything with a code that you can also catalog in excel. Example, we have several military “BDU” tops of different sizes and colors; each one has “LMI” written somewhere on the top as well as the code “BTD #1”. The code (this is just for us, yours can be however you want it) stands for the following: B=BDU, T=Top, D=Desert Camo Pattern, and 1=The number of that top in sequence. All of this is put into excel along with all of our other props and wardrobe. If we assign it to an actor/actress, we can then put their name down next to the line that corresponds with the item we give them. It’ll help prevent mix ups and loses later on.
We hope that some of this information can help other filmmakers, especially the ones who are newer to the game.