Friday, June 25, 2010

Manually controlling your MacBook Pro fans for better cooling

I do a lot of high powered video editing on my MacBook Pro and I often run compressions in the background while I'm doing other work. Sadly I've found that even when I'm using 150% of my cpu, the computer doesn't manage its fan to run at maximum speed, even when it's clearly and catastrophically overheating.

In comes this handy little utility from Hendrik Holtmann. Control your fan speed with preset preferences right from the menu bar or prefernces pane. Lovely little utility.

as I type this I'm running a heavy h.264 compression in quicktime and i've got SMC Fan control running my fans at maximum speed for a total savings of 10 degrees.

Please donate and support his free software.

Friday, May 21, 2010

if you want to UPLOAD a movie to youtube, here's what I recommend:

for HD:
"movie to quicktime movie" (.mov) or "movie to MPEG-4" (.mp4)
codec: h.264
Data rate: 13,000 kbits/sec
frame rate: native to the project
key frame rate: 24
audio: mp3 or aac
audio bitrate: 128-160 kbits/sec (or 80/96 if audio isn't too important)

and for SD:
all the same as above except NTSC pixel resolution 720x480 / 720x540
and video bitrate 8000

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Extracting assets from Keynote 5.0.3 (iWork 09)

Here hopes this saves you some head-desk-banging when trying to extract images and videos from a keynote.

1) in iWork 09 > Preferences> select "Save New Documents as Packages" checkbox
2) save a copy of your project as an iWork 08 (available checkbox/dropdown in save-as dialogue)
3) in finder, find the file you just created, control-click (right click) and select "Show Package Contents"


Monday, April 26, 2010

The CMOS Rolling Shutter Problem

I will dedicate a more thorough posting to this issue some time soon, but much of the problem with the DSLRs out there today, as well as any small camera on a phone, flip camera or iPod, is the rolling shutter.

Check out this rainbow picture I took from my car, out the side window, while moving at highway speeds. Can you see the curve of the power lines? Doesn't it look a little unlikely?

It's unfortunate, but CMOS imagers are in use nowadays partly because they use far less power, which is a major consideration for mobile devices. I'll have to wait until we graduate to a better sensor technology than CMOS, that uses less power, or when battery technology advances adequately to the point that we can use less efficient sensors.

This rolling shutter artifact occurs because CMOS sensors read the image one line at a time over the course of the shutter time, and read from top left to bottom right, like a book, hence a rolling shutter, rolling across the image and line to line. You can deduce the orientation of the sensor, and therefore the camera if the image or camera are moving quicly. This is likely an interesting factoid in many forensics debates in courtrooms. You could determine which orientation and in which hand a camera was used because of this artifact!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Create a Mac DMG package with background

Check out this great tutorial for making your own installer package. I'm using this to roll out my first iPhone app.