News: NAB 2016 Highlights
Now that NAB 2016 is passed and I’ve had some time to let my brain settle, here is a review of my week and hopefully this will cover a few things you might have missed during the week.
NAB is always a marathon and every year when I get back, it seems like it takes a full week to recover. This year I decided to do things a bit differently. First, I broke my own rule from my NAB Survival Guide about bringing your spouse. My husband, Dan, is a photographer and is interested in visual imagery, plus he has been friended on Facebook by a lot of my industry friends, so he was excited to meet them. Second, we planned an extra day to get out of the city and see a little nature. Third, we only went to a maximum of two events in the evenings instead of cramming in three or four. Here are some of the highlights.
NAB Show 2016: Virtual Reality: Explore. Immerse. Embrace.
The big buzz this year was VR, virtual reality, and I learned a lot about it. On Sunday evening, we went to a dealer VR event by The Foundry at the Tommy Wind Theater. They had VR content creators talking about how it will change how we plan, shoot, and edit content.
One thing that I hadn’t considered is that cinematography as we know it is no longer part of the project. When content is 360°, your viewer is looking all over the place, so you no longer frame a shot. Lighting setups will also change. How will VR work with stories? It seems to me that it could work with a horror film, but it’s really suited to gaming, concerts, sporting events, and the like. Here’s the whole panel presentation. I did see my friend Nedge who came in from Turkey there, so that was pretty cool.
Goosebumps Virtual Reality Experience!
At the event, there was a Goosebumps clip featuring Jack Black behind the wheel. I sat in the DBox chair with headphones and goggles on and I became the passenger in Jack’s vehicle. A giant praying mantis was chasing us through town and Jack was swerving all over the place as the DBox chair moved. Here’s a photo of me, looking like a dork watching the Jack Black Goosebumps VR. It was really dark in there so please excuse the crummy photo.
You could see the giant bug chasing us through the back window and the sun roof. When you looked down, you had no legs. It was a bit dizzying and the audio wasn’t loud enough, but overall it was a lot of fun. Here’s a video of a lady going through the same Jack Black Goosebumps VR that we saw. Of course, it’s not nearly the same experience watching someone else doing it.
Monday is the busiest day every year. It starts with an IMUG members breakfast at The Peppermill for volunteers at the Media Motion Ball, a Maxon press luncheon, the Media Motion Ball, and the Adobe Party. Monday is always a lot of fun but always exhausting.
At the press luncheon with Maxon, they gave out Google VR Viewers to all attendees. If you didn’t get a viewer from Maxon or another booth, here’s a tutorial on how to make your own.
Paul Babb, president of Maxon, talked about VR and AR, augmented reality. He talked about how he thought augmented reality will catch on and be more useful to most people than VR. Cinema 4D is not a VR or AR tool but a content creation tool. Paul Babb was the recipient of a creativity and innovation award from Studio Daily too. The booth also won an award for cushiest carpet. Congrats to Paul and Maxon!
Maxon’s booth had great presenters all week. We caught Greyscalegorilla’s Q&A session with Nick Campbell and Chris Schmidt on Wednesday and it was chock full of great information. I asked a question about using HDRIs, which turned into a full beginner tutorial on modeling the camera on which they use to shoot their HDRI images. I will need to watch this again when it’s streaming because Chris shared lots of shortcuts that I need to learn. Here I am in the yellow sweater, watching their live webcast on C4DLive.net
Here’s Mathias Omotola of Maxon looking into one of those 360 cameras that Chris and Nick modeled… or taking a selfie with the ladies at the booth. I’m not sure which! You can see the award-winning cushy carpeting.
Everyone is talking about VR. RE:Vision Effects has a new product called RE:Lens which can be used for lens corrections, including 360° footage from a single camera with a super fisheye lens used in VR.
RE:Vision Effects Introduces the RE:Lens Plug-in for Creating 360° Video
Here’s NoFilmSchool interviewing Pete Litwinowitz from RE:Vision about RE:Lens.
The VR Pavillion
We went to the VR pavilion in the North Hall to check it out. It was mobbed with people Monday through Wednesday and we didn’t have a chance to see much. They had a big area behind velvet ropes where people could sit in white chairs and watch VR. Is this the future of social interaction?! The line was really long so we didn’t get to see it.
We did go back on Thursday and the area had closed up shop, but we did get to have a nice chat with both Chris Bobotis from Mettle and Tim Dashwood of Dashwood Cinema Solutions. Both were full of useful information.
Here’s Tim Dashwood at his booth. He was the guy that is responsible for the VR pavilion, and in effect, a lot of the buzz from the show.
Tim said that he found a solution for something that has been plaguing VR for a while. I’m inspired to try and make my own content so maybe you’ll be seeing something at Toolfarm in the near future.
Here’s a video interview with Tim Dashwood if you’re curious about what it’s all about.
Here’s a photo of Chris Bobotis being interviewed by Rob Birnholz, a friend of mine. I heard the story on this and Rob said he was just there to ask Chris some questions and the guy who wanted to interview Chris told Rob to hold the mic and interview him while he filmed!
Here’s Rob’s interview. If you go to 11:54 in the interview, you can see me on the left side of the screen in a yellow sweater and blue Toolfarm t-shirt, snapping a photo on my iPhone.
At the 19th annual IMUG MediaMotion Ball, we were in charge of social media. Dan took lots of photos so he’s not in this photo because, he, of course, took it. The MediaMotion Ball was held at the Montecarlo Hotel on the south end of The Strip. As always, the food was great and the attendees were awesome. It was so great to see everyone. The MMB is run by volunteers. The guys in the blue shirts head it all up. The rest of us in black shirts help out at the event doing everything from photos and video to sound, running the prize table, taking tickets, and more. Victoria Nece, in the pink, works for Adobe on the After Effects Team and she gave the keynote presentation at the MMB.
Here I am with Walter Biscardi of Biscardi Creative being interviewed on his WallyCam. I can’t wait to see the video.
The event was fantastic, as always. This year’s keynote presenter was Victoria Nece, who has recently taken a position on the Adobe After Effects team. She talked about programming and some of the crazy things she has made. She made computer programming sound like a lot of fun!
At NAB each year is about the only time I get to see Hideki Takemura of Toolfarm Japan. His friend took this photo and tagged me on Facebook. He’s such a nice guy!
The prize table was immense but I didn’t win anything this year. Boo hoo. Here’s Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot giving his spiel before drawing a prize. Everyone loves a photo of Andrew Kramer! That’s Chris Rogers of IMUG on stage with him.
After the MMB, we headed to the Adobe party at Señor Frogs. It’s a social event and is a great chance to talk to those who didn’t make it to the MMB. Thank you to Kevin Monahan of Adobe for parting with his super cool Adobe/Deadpool coffee mug. I will treasure it!
(Photo Credit: Little Frog in High Def. Since I was too lazy to take my own photo of the mug, here’s one from a blog post that I borrowed without permission from Little Frog in High Def.)
NAB Show 2016: Holograms, After Effects & Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Adobe Creative Cloud
Andrew Kramer… can’t get enough of that guy! Andrew Kramer’s presentation at the Adobe booth and that was a lot of fun. We had second-row seats to an absolutely packed booth presentation. Adobe has the whole thing on YouTube too!
I talked to several of our vendors at the show, saw their latest offerings, and got to know them a bit more on a personal level. It’s these one-on-one conversations with people that always end up being the best part of the show. So many opportunities and new connections arise from these conversations. I spoke with a guy from Apple who told me about a video program he has started with teenagers to teach them the basics on their phones. It makes me want to start a video club at my daughter’s school. They could use FxHome HitFilm and post their projects to YouTube – two great resources that we didn’t have in school!
I had a nice chat with Matt, Peter, and Ross at the Boris FX/Imagineer booth. They had an incredible booth location this year right in the center of the bottom or the stairs in the North Hall.
The Blackmagic Design booth was enormous and packed full of people. They had a huge banner for DaVinci Resolve on the front of the convention center’s south hall but only a small station showing the software.
I got to see everything I wanted to see at NAB 2016, except the Lytro camera. This prototype camera is extremely large and will be expensive, but what’s cool about it is that it gives not only picture data but depth data, allowing the footage to be refocused or the depth of field to be changed in post. You can also pull mattes from the depth information from any footage shot with the camera, without the need of a green screen. This is revolutionary. That sounds amazing, but the big problem is the size of each frame is in the hundreds of gigabytes. Imagine the storage you would need. Here’s The Foundry’s roving report NAB 2016: Lytro.
Otherwise, I saw most of the people I wanted to see. On Tuesday, I had a book signing at the NAB Bookstore in the Central Hall. This photo makes it look like there were lots of people there, but in all honesty, these are my friends Rob Birnholz and Brent Willett who stopped by to say hello.
Another thing we checked out was a drone race. Now this was not actually anything to do with media, for the most part. It was more to do with two small drones buzzing around, One even got caught in the net. I have video footage of the drone race but it’s probably not worth editing and uploading. It was fun and silly. The videos that they show of the real drone races are on tracks and they’re becoming a big deal. They say that there are now more registered drone pilots than airplane pilots. That sure didn’t take long. Here’s some video from YouTube of a real drone race, to give you an idea.
We had a Toolfarm dinner on Wednesday night that was really nice. Here’s a photo of me with Jason and Colin Sharp of Toolfarm in the convention center.
We really did take it easy all week, pacing ourselves on the show floor, being careful not to overindulge in food or alcohol, which is so easy to do at NAB parties. I stayed hydrated and moisturized all week and got enough sleep. Our hotel was on The Strip, but away from the hubbub but only 25 minutes walk from the convention center, which really helped with convenience and rest.
On Friday, we rented a car and went hiking out to Red Rocks National Conservation Area. Normally after NAB, I’m burnt out completely for a week and hiking in the desert would be the last thing I wanted to do, but this year, because I made sure I took good care of myself all week, I was in great shape to see a little nature outside of Las Vegas. Here we are after getting to the end Keystone Thrust Trail, which was moderately difficult and took about 3 hours, there and back.
I highly recommend going. The desert is truly beautiful.
Posted by Michele Yamazaki