Animation Master and Shooting Digital Video

Pro Series Training Videos 2000 Siggraph — Martin Hash’s Animation:Master

Hash, Inc. (2000, www.hash.com, 3 VHS tapes, approx. 6 hours, $50)

This set of three tapes offers presentations from eight professional users of Hash’s Animation:Master computer program. The presentations were recorded at the Siggraph 2000 Conference in New Orleans. Although billed as training videos, the demonstrations target the program’s more experienced users and will not be as helpful to novices in computer animation. If you use a computer graphics program, and especially if you use Animation:Master, you will definitely benefit from watching the presenters demonstrate tricks of the trade. At times, the explanations of the procedures could have been clearer, but overall it is a nice package of how-tos for Animation:Master users. The videos cover everything from working with basic shapes to creating complete computer-generated landscapes. On the down side, the audio quality was mediocre.

rating 3

Shooting Digital Video – DVCAM, Mini DV, and DVCPRO

Jon Fauer (2001, Focal Press, www.focalpress.com, 284 pages, $35)
Rich with illustrations and examples, this book is a must-have for serious videographers working with the digital video format. It covers everything from inserting a tape, to tripods, to lighting, all in a user-friendly format. It has valuable sections about equipment selection and maintenance. If you have ever asked, "What equipment should I buy?" or "What format should I choose?" this book is for you.

The book also covers advanced topics not typically covered elsewhere. In one section entitled, "Why Don’t They…," Fauer presents some wonderful suggestions to the "nice folks designing the next generation of DV cameras." Some good ones are more use of interchangeable lenses, more manual dials (especially for audio controls) that can still be operated when wearing gloves, and lenses with separate barrels for focus, zoom and iris. All are good ideas for engineers to consider.

rating 5

Film into Video – Second Edition

Stuart Blake Jones, Richard H. Kallenberger, and George D. Cvjetnicanin (2000, Focal Press, www.focalpress.com, 390 pages, $55)

This book contains a wealth of information. The authors explained how we got where we are today in terms of film and video in a clear and concise manner. The book covers everything from how film is made, what a video signal looks like and the inner workings of high-end film-to-video transfer equipment in an entertaining and educational way.

They adeptly explain how an image is captured through the complex physical and chemical properties of film or through the processing of an electronic signal. That is no easy task, but they do it very well.

The book also covers audio for film and video. If you work with film-to-video transfer equipment, are interested in film-to-video transfer or just enjoy learning about the history and current technology of film and video equipment, you will definitely enjoy Film into Video Second Edition.

rating 4

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