Posts Tagged ‘mac’

Don’t buy into whiz bang gizmo hype!

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Alright. I was working on a job at Universal Studios and asked for After Effects to be installed on my iMac work station so I could do some animation moves. But the IT guy (name withheld) tried to tell me that the After Effects won’t run on an iMac and he tried to get our show to upgrade to a Mac Intel 8-core!

WHAT THE… !!!?? So I told him that I sit on my couch at home 2 nights a week with my macbook G4 laptop  (the white one) and run After Effects all evening long while my wife watches reruns of Nip/Tuck from Netflix. Then I render my movies at bedtime and in the morning, dump the resulting files to a flash drive and bring my work in to impress the director and producer. The stuff looks amazing. Well, the files look perfect. But maybe the director isn’t always over-the-moon with my ideas. Never-the-less, After Effects works great on my little G4 laptop.

But the Universal IT guy says it’s impossible and it could never work. So I go deeper into exactly what I do with After Effects and he finally gets it… I’m only using it in “draft” mode for previewing and working with the content. Then I render it out in full HD.  The IT guy’s eyes finally light up: “Ohhhh, I get it.”


See, he was thinking I wanted to actually watch HD real-time rendering on my little macbook.  But if I didn’t speak up, our show would have had a kick-butt new 8-core mac… and the price tag to go with it. Then I would look like a bad line item in our budget and they would undoubtedly hire someone “cheaper” next time.


Cut to another day. We wanted to upgrade our offline Avids from (believe it or not) OS9!  So in the process of figuring out the requirements, the Avid vendor dude said we need Nitrus DX for $14,000. I said, “thanks, buddy, but we are only going to offline and the $3000 Mojo SDI (the pro-sumer version of the Nitrus) would be more than sufficient.  But no matter what I told him about our workflow and how we only want to OFFLINE, he would never get it! He kept saying that we would eventually, maybe down the road, want to online and we should make the right purchase the first time. Okay, so the guy is  a salesman. And some people might fall for that. But the fact is, if we are only offlining, then pro-sumer is more than fine, even for a big movie studio like Universal. 


I guess my point is… gadgets are really cool and fun to play with, but when money is an issue, there is absolutely no point in overkill.  Sure, there are times when I need a screaming, blazing, rocket ship piece of hardware…  and that’s the time when I should pay for it. At that point, it’s just the cost of doing business.

AAKK!!! The large mac files on my hard drive don’t show up on a PC!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Yeah, this is something that comes up once in a while with us. Producers or editors send us a hard drive to which we are to transfer their master videotapes as Quicktime movies.

But when we ship back the drive with the new Quicktimes (.MOV files), they can’t open it on their PC. Then the dialogue goes like this:




But you told us you wanted to use the files on a mac for Final Cut Pro?



Right, but we also need the files to work on a PC so our client can use them.



Oh, in that case… You’re screwed sucka! Just kiddin’ ya. Let’s say you have a 25 GB file that you want to put on a hard drive for cross-platform viewing.  There is no easy and free way to do that unless you by software called MacDrive to install on your PC.



But…. But… But…



No buts. Let me break it down for you:

Hard drives need to be formatted as either Mac OS Extended, FAT32, or NTFS.

OS Extended holds unlimited file sizes on Mac, so that’s cool if you want to use the files on an Apple machine.

FAT32 works on both platforms perfectly. But guess what? FAT32 has a file size limit of 4 GBs!  Jeeze. That’s not even big enough to hold an hour of video. Ridiculous!! Further more, FAT32 has a maximum partition size of 32 GBs.



What??!! Are you kidding me?!



Yeah, that’s pretty damn lame, considering your iPod can hold more than that! 32 GBs is so 1994!

NTFS formatted discs, on the other hand, are capable of holding terabytes of info in one folder. But watch out, that format only works for PCs.



So what am I supposed to do with big files that need to play on both PC and MAC?



Okay. Here are the solutions to choose from:]

1)    Break your files into small junks of only 4 GBs or less and use the FAT32 format.


2) Buy software such as MacDrive for your PC


3) Transfer your large files onto one disc formatted with MAC OS Extended, and another disc formatted with NTFS.


4) Scrap the whole idea and go surfing here.


– Kirk