Archive for ‘January, 2010’

Back to Pics……

datePosted on 17:11, January 31st, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Wow I just realized I hadn’t posted any of my recent photos. I think the last set was from my trip to Portland. Anyways, I guess this will be a combo post. I’ve been busy shooting people for a bit before the holidays (Toronto Strobist Group and a private shoot) and while that was fun, I also gave food a try recently. I have to admit Food Photography looks easy (light from the back, blah, blah, blah), but it’s damn hard to get a good shot. Getting the food to do what’s in your head is another mammoth task, all hail the Food Stylists, they are (potentially) more important than the photographer. Last but not least, was my night out with the Toronto Photographic meetup group. More than a hundred photographers decended on Markham Theater for Performing Arts to photograph Ballet Jörgen Canada’s dress rehearsal for Cindrella.

As always the full photosets are here, here, here and here :-).

Jeremy - 01
Victoria - 01
Lynn and Tonya - 01
Stacey - 02
Meghan - 03
Stacey and Meghan - 03
_MG_7942 - Version 2
_MG_5361 (1)

._ resource fork files don’t work properly in OSX 10.6 Samba……

datePosted on 23:36, January 29th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Well the title is a bit misleading… are the details. I found out that if you have a NTFS native shared directory on your server, everything works fine as long as you’re using OSX 10.5 (Leopard) or below as a client. You can move files from Leopard and/or Tiger clients to the share and as long as you don’t mind the ._ files everything works.

Well something new has been introduced in Snow Leopard that kinda breaks this. If you have a Snow Leopard client machine accessing a NTFS native shared directory (via smb), by default the shares are mounted with the new xattr (Extended Attribute) feature, instead of those “old” ._ files. This messes everything up if you’re in a mixed environment with 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6 clients all accessing files in a NTFS native smb share.

Snow Leopards version of samba will read those old resource fork files, but files uploaded or modified by the Snow Leopard client will be unrecognizable by the older samba clients (10.5-) as far as the resource fork goes. This introduces some problems with programs that use the resource fork to store information.

All this headache is related to the ‘NTFS Streams’ feature of SMB mounts, so if we disable that, everything goes back to normal. To do this you have to create a file named /etc/nsmb.conf on all your 10.6 clients with the following contents:


Hiding Files and Folders in OSX Finder…..

datePosted on 20:52, January 29th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

If you ever have a need to simply hide extraneous files and/or folder entries in Finder you can use the following command:
chflags hidden ~/Movies
This example will hide the “Movies” folder from showing up in Finder. There is a easy way to get to the folder if you decide to later on, just go to Finder’s “Go to Folder” menu option. If you want to reset this option you can use the following command:
chflags nohidden ~/Movies
If you want to check a file or folder for hidden files you can issue the following command:
ls -lO

PodCamp Toronto 2010 is right around the corner

datePosted on 13:34, January 19th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Yep it’s that time of the year again. Mark February 20 & 21 in your calendars…..PODCAMP TORONTO 2010 IS COMING TO TOWN. PodCamp Toronto 2010 is a FREE “unconference” bringing together professionals and hobbyists from Toronto and the surrounding area to explore the cutting edge of new and social media. If you are an online content creator – hobbyist and professionals – who are building communities online in a variety of ways, then PodCamp Toronto 2010 is for you. Share ideas, discuss theories and learn lessons from an audience of experts.

We’ll be at Ryerson University’s flagship centre for studies in converging communications and interactive media — Rogers Communications Centre. In operation for almost twenty years, the Rogers Communications Centre has grown to become Canada’s premier facility for education in digital media communications.

The Rogers Communications Centre is about design and research in a community employing both current and advancing communications technology. These five themes have placed the Rogers Communications Centre among the best educational communication and design facilities internationally.

Just steps away from Yonge Street and the heart of Toronto, the Centre is located at the core of Canada’s electronic media and digital communications culture.

So have you reserved your seat yet? Why the hell not? :-).

Solid Colour background in Windows causes 30-second login delay…

datePosted on 12:38, January 19th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Yep MS strikes again. This time though it’s funny as hell. Turns out a bug in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 causes a whopping 30 seconds delay to your login process if you have a solid colour background set as your desktop wallpaper. Why? Well it’s MS, what did you expect, a working OS….HAH??? My solution…..Format C:\…..If you prefer an MS solution, check the support page.

DisplayPort does true 4K video….plus other stuff….

datePosted on 12:16, January 19th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Well, it’s taken a bit of time, but I think with the announcement of DP1.2 specs last December, the specs (and hopefully soon the vendors) are ready for True Digital Cinema home implementation. The DisplayPort connector supports 1, 2, or 4 data pairs in a main link that also carries clock and optional audio signals, each with a symbol rate of 1.62, 2.7, or 5.4 Gbit/s. The video signal path supports 6 to 16 bits per color channel. This allows the updated DisplayPort 1.2 specification to drive 4K x 2K display (3840×2160) with 30 bits per pixel and 3D over a single 2m cable.

DP 1.2 supports a maximum of 5.4Gbps per lane, with 4 lanes providing a whopping 21.6Gbps throughput, more than enough for 10-bit 4xHD resolution (3840×2160). To achieve the 21.6 Gbps rate, the per-lane data rate is doubled from 2.7 Gbps to 5.4 Gbps max, over the four lanes that exist in the standard cable. For a single display, this enables up to 3840 x 2400 maximum resolution at 60Hz, or a 3D display (120Hz) at 2560 x 1600.

Display Port 1.2’s massive data rate will enable Multiple-Streaming, support for stereoscopic images beyond full HD, a high-speed data channel, and support for mini connectors.

Multi-Streaming — is the ability to transport multiple independent uncompressed display and audio streams over a single cable. This enables the use of multiple monitors connected by cable in a daisy chain or hub configuration. Whereas the current Display v1.1a standard can support one 2560 x 1600 monitor at 60Hz, DisplayPort v1.2 can support two such monitors with one port, or four 1920 x 1200 monitors.

Another new feature is the ability to support high-speed, bi-directional data transfer, allowing USB 2.0 or Ethernet data to be carried within a standard DisplayPort cable. For DisplayPort v1.2, the maximum data rate of this “AUX” channel has been increased from 1 Mbps (Mega-bit-per-second) to 720 Mbps, providing suitable bandwidth for USB 2.0. The DisplayPort cable can therefore support USB data to/from the display to support Display USB functions, in addition to sending the video and audio information. Standard Ethernet can also be transported in the DisplayPort cable.

On the audio front DisplayPort v1.2 adds the following new enhancements:

  • Audio Copy Protection and category codes
  • High definition audio formats such as Dolby MAT, DTS HD, all Blu-Ray formats, and the DRA standard from China
  • Synchronization assist between audio and video, multiple audio channels, and multiple audio sink devices using Global Time Code (GTC)

DisplayPort v1.2 also includes improved support for Full HD 3D Stereoscopic displays:

  • Life-like motion using up to 240 frames-per-second in full HD, providing 120 frames-per-second for each eye
  • 3D Stereo transmission format support 
    • Field sequential
    • Side by side
    • Pixel interleaved
    • Dual interface
    • Stacked
  • 3D Stereo display capability declaration
    • Mono
    • Stereo
    • 3D Glasses

The only thing on my wish-list that they (VESA) omitted is support for true 4K DCinema (4096×2048) resolution. But I guess you can’t have everything……and there is always DP1.3 :-).

Elgato turbo.264 HD video encoding coprocessor review…….

datePosted on 18:00, January 15th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

I just picked one of these babies up from the apple store and after testing it a bit for the past hour, I have one word for it: WOW. This little guy is no gimmick, it’s zippy as hell and it does exactly what they say it would. The details for the device are on Elgato’s Website, but this is just a mini review of the tests I ran against a couple of software encoders.

Here is my setup:

– Mac OSX 10.5.8 with latest updates running on a 2.16Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Black MacBook w/ 2 GB 667Mhz DDR2 SDRAM.
– Test input file was a HD movie I grabbed from vimeo through BT. It’s 12.5 minutes in lenght.

– Output was done through the Elgato Turbo stick, Mpeg Streamclip encoder and ffmpegX.

– In all cases I’ve tried to produce a single pass h264/x264 file with the same dimensions and settings as the Elgato software preset for ipod best (640×360 @ 24 fps @ 1500 kbps at 80-90% quality).

The results blew my mind:

  • Elgato Turbo took 8:43 min to encode the 12:29 min movie.
  • Mpeg Streamclip took 50:25 min to encode the 12:29 min movie.
  • ffmpegX took 49:52 min to encode the entire 12:29 min movie.

Here are a couple of full size frames (640×360 px) blown up to 1920×1200 to exaggerate imperfections (click on the pics to see them full size):
– Elgato Turbo stick

– Mpeg Streamclip

– ffmpegX

– And last but not least all three at the original size (left to right): Elgato Turbo Stick, Mpeg Streamclip, ffmpegX

Best C$179 I’ve spent in a while. It just works.

OpenShot Video Editor 1.0 released…..iMovie for Linux is here.

datePosted on 13:24, January 14th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

For those of you who don’t know OpenShot Video Editor(TM) is an open-source program that creates, modifies, and edits video files. OpenShot provides extensive editing and compositing features, and has been designed as a practical tool for working with high-definition video including HDV and AVCHD.

Jonathan Thomas and crew have reached their 1.0 milestone (congrats :-)). The program is rock solid and is running beautifully on my Ubuntu 9.10 installation.

OpenShot’s Features include:

  • Support for many video, audio, and image formats (based on FFmpeg)
  • Gnome integration (drag and drop support)
  • Multiple tracks
  • Clip resizing, trimming, snapping, and cutting
  • Video transitions with real-time previews
  • Compositing, image overlays, watermarks
  • Title templates, title creation
  • SVG friendly, to create and include titles and credits
  • Scrolling motion picture credits
  • Solid color clips (including alpha compositing)
  • Support for Rotoscoping / Image sequences
  • Drag and drop timeline
  • Frame stepping, key-mappings: J,K, and L keys
  • Video encoding (based on FFmpeg)
  • Key Frame animation
  • Digital zooming of video clips
  • Speed changes on clips (slow motion etc)
  • Custom transition lumas and masks
  • Re-sizing of clips (frame size)
  • Audio mixing and editing
  • Presets for key frame animations and layout
  • Ken Burns effect (making video by panning over an image)
  • Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma key (bluescreen/greenscreen), and over 20 other video effects.
 There are 4 ways to install OpenShot: LiveDVD, PPA, DEB Installer, and the Build Wizard. Grab it here.

Best 12 minutes you’ll spend in January……

datePosted on 19:38, January 11th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Check out Alex Roman’s “The Third & The Seventh” video. Absolutely amazing and right up there with some of the best produced pieces of art I’ve seen on the net. The amazing part is that except some small compositing elements, the rest of the movie is ALL 3D. Watch it in full screen for the full effect (and turn up your sound to 11) :-).

Homebrew Digital 3D Movies

datePosted on 10:03, January 8th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Great article over at Make Magazine online, all about homebrew digital 3D movies. It’s a reprint of an older  article (from Make Vol. 14) by Eric Kurland, where he explains in quite a bit of detail how he accomplished this setup.