Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Questions for Listeners

Now that I've posted a few podcasts I thought I'd check to see how well it's working for listeners.

Do you stop by these pages much? I publish occasional non-podcast material (such as this) and wanted to see if it was worthwhile.

How are the length of the podcasts? Is 30 minutes too long?

I listed the times for the sections in the last podcast. Did you notice this in the description of your podcast application? Was this useful?
I can add actual chapter markers for ipods/itunes but this is an Apple format that's not readable by most other devices. I'd rather not post 2 versions.

I reduced the bit rate of the last podcast so it's less than 1/2 the file size. This should make it easier to fiton devices and faster to download. Is the quality still ok?



  1. Hi Scott,

    I'm listening your PodCast from Belgium and it's really interesting.
    I studied Post Production at School and it cover all the aspects of my schooling.
    I'm really impatient to listen your next podcasts about more specific subjects in Post-Production.

    About the bitrate, I personally think that the 48kbps is not so bad, but I prefer the 128kbps one. The file is only 22Mb, not so much, even for a Shuffle iPod. (peolpe don't keep more than 2 episodes on their iPod when the capacity of memory is low)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge !

    Don't you need an Supervisor Assistant for your next job ? I'm looking for that at the moment ;-)

  2. Hi Scott,

    I'm loving the podcasts. This site is on my 'check every morning list'. I can't wait for you to go into more depth on various aspects. As I work in post (compositor) but am an aspiring director I'm particularly keen on all of the on set vfx knowledge and practises you care to impart.

    And as an avid reader of Cinefex from an early age, this is like getting mentored by a hero.

    Keep it coming.



  3. I am finding your podcast most valuable, you are on the top of my RSS feed list. I listen to your work while I am compositing. It keeps me out of trouble.

    Thank you.


  4. Hi Scott,

    Your podcasts are GREAT!!!

    Full of valuable information available only with the years of experience you have.

    I'm a VES member and I think that we must share our skills and experience with the interested artist, both working in the industry or just entering to learn.

    Some pictures or QTs to ilustrate your podcast will help on the learning experience. I can help with material from blue/screen shooting to Motion Control, on-set/location supervising, compositing, animation, matte painting, et al.

    Are you planning any video podcast?

    The lenght is perfect. About half hour is ideal to listen on the way to a location or between shots on set.

    I think that the bit rate is still OK now that you lower it... but more lower must be unconfortable or noisy, specially when listening with FM transmitter on the car.

    Thanks for share. Grettings from Mexico,



  5. One of the reasons for doing a podcast is the potential for doing video casts. I actually have a non-fx video cast (Moving dreams) with a link on the right.

    All of this (including the podcast) depend on my time but there certainly seems to be a desire for this.

    Thanks. (and to all the others who've posted it good to know it of value)

  6. I absolutely love these podcasts, for me its like toby said before "mentored by a hero"

    I'm working in a much smaller "Post-Dimension" here in Germany so its great to hear how it's all done in "a bigger environment". ;) I can't wait until theres a new cast, and I go around several VFX Sites every morning with yours beeing at the top of the list.
    The Quality seems allright for me. I don't bother the size, even if it was 40MB i would DL it anyway. :)

    Thankx and keep on going!

  7. Hello,
    I am VFX beginner from Spain and I've
    problems with my english but however I am able to understand you, also with 48 kbps. But I think a bigger bitrate is better.
    Your podcasts are great and it is a pleasure to learn from a great expert like you.
    Thank you very much

  8. Hey there Scott,

    Your podcasts are very helpful and very good BG for comping. Started compositing around 2 years ago and am very eager to learn as much as I can. Dream of some day leaving the desk and going on set to supervise. Maybe you can include more examples from different productions you have been. ups and downs etc.

    Thanks again.


  9. I agree , the 128k is more pleasant to listen to. Though,I can understand going to the lower one if bandwidth becomes an issue.

    Love the podcasts. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, and I can't wait until you start going a bit more in depth into each of the subjects.
    The video podcast sound like a great idea too. I would love to see you take individual shots (real or hypothetical) and just break the whole thing down, how you would approach things.

    ~Mike D.

  10. Hello Scott!
    I really would like to thank you for your podcast which is really really great!!!

    I'm a junior compositor (who began his career on commotion; thanks to this extraordinary piece of software) and your podcasts are for me a goldmine of informations and knowledge.

    The subjects you are talking about are really great and the supplied informations are of a really high and professionnal level.

    The lenght of the podcasts is perfect. 30 mins is long enough to cover the subjects in detail and to have the audience attention alive all the time.

    English is not my primary language as I'm french but I can understant what you are saying very easily. Dont change your diction, it's perfect!

    Well, to be short, your podcasts are an "earcandy" !
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge to everyone!

  11. Thank you for providing these wonderful podcasts. I live in the UK and am currently writing a script which ,at the moment, contains lots of effects.

    Your help is invaluable, thanks.

    By the way, what do you think of the effects houses in the UK? And have you seen any episodes of a series called 'Doctor Who' ? The new series over here was very popular, and was full of effects provided by MillTV.

  12. Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    I haven't seen the new Dr Who series but hear they're very good. There are certainly a number of exceptional effects companies and people in the UK who aren't always recognized in here in the US.

  13. You will be able to buy the new series on DVD in the US in February next year.

    I hope you enjoy it.

    'The Christmas Invasion' is transmitted on Christmas Day on the BBC.

  14. Hi Scott
    Well, all I can really do is echo the thanks and gratitude for your taking the time to lay out this 'foundation series' of podcasts. I think you've definitely got a lot of folks' attention.

    A question, aside from video podcasts and such, it seems to me that in each podcast so far, you've laid the ground work for taking the individual subjects and expanding on them in future updates... is this a part of your plan? If not, would you consider it?

    I know it can be a bit tricky to organize, but I think you've done a fine job so far of presenting the info, and by and large, you've done it in such a way that you get across the technical terms, the flow of a pipeline, and a sense of the inter-dependency of the departments. Having done that, I think the sky may be the limit here.

    Also, as you've got the experience and background that briged the old-fangled to new-fangled days, any chance you may do a podcast flashback? What would a podcast have been like if you were doing one during CE3K? etc...? As a person whose effects education centers largely around his Cinefex collection, I think an occasional trip back would be a blast.

    Thank you again, and I hope for a long and successsful outreach to those who share a love and ambition for this work.

    ps... I really hope Commotion flies again... was talking with Andrew Nelson about it not too long ago... sounds like a great piece of work. I remeber hearing a lot about it, and so hoped to see it in action (well, use) one day...

  15. Hi Scott,
    keep it up!
    even though, feedback seems to be not that overwhelming, i know several folks here in germany who are eager to hear (and maybe see some day) the things to come. hope we'll hear more of the ins and outs from the standpoint of an vfx sup.

    thank you very much,


  16. Amazing!!
    just broke out of the corporate jail, decided to take my expertise freelance. You have great insights and tips on areas i'd never considered going into before.

  17. HI scott
    this is definitly becoming a high class in visual effects and having this teacher is absolutly awesome, I agree with the graphical stuff it is important for all of us that want to learn more, images and videos are very important, thanks for sharing all this information that is priceless and no school talks with this experience, I'll be looking forward for more , thanks

    Jaime Jasso

  18. I like your podcast very much (see my last comment on post).

    Two things:

    - The length is completely ok. It could be even a bit longer, no prob.
    - Please go back to 128, or at least 96. It's much better to listen to.
    - Perhaps you should use a compressor/limiter or something? I heard some disturbing peaks in your Podcast ...

    And a question/idea: It'd be nice if you would go sometimes in a bit more into detail. I appreaciated your recommendations about the QT Animation codec. Or the beginners tip to go for DVX-100p progressive. But you (intentionally) never mention a product or don't go much into detail about a certain technique or technical details, e.g. when you were talking about renderers (mental ray vs. renderman, etc.). Also you always talk about film, what about digital filming with HDCAM (SR)? etc... but as you just started, perhaps there are more detailled things to come! :-)

    Keep up your good, valueable work!

    Greets from Berlin, Germany

  19. one addition to my last comment: I really appreciate also your comments about filming techniques - and as it represents the basis for solid FX work. Keep up on your filming and setup-tips for the set!

    greets from Berlin ...

  20. I did bump the latest recording quality level up a bit. I probably should breakdown and get a good microphone.

    Products and details- I will be getting in to more detail and products but there are quite a few sources of how-to's for specific products. I'm trying to cover some of the key issues not covered elsewhere and hopefully help provide enough information that people can apply it to different software packages.

    I say film but in most cases HD video or SD video would apply as well. (Just ignore the scanning comments if you're dealing with video source)

  21. I like these podcasts, however I do think they are too long. I think it is hard to find the time to listen to them so these.

    I'd like to suggest that you consider giving the written text that is used for the podcast, and have the podcast be instead a short summing up of that document. Perhaps even a discussion. People can then refer to the details in the written article.

    Otherwise, the podcast is an audio reading of an article that may be more accessible in print. From my side, it's easy to phase out and loose part of it, and I'd like to search the article for keywords.

    Hope this helps.

  22. Scott, I love the compact info on the vfx business, but it would be more listener-friendly (and bit easier listening) if you could make it less of a lecture and more of a personal tale by sharing more stories and examples from your point-of-view.

  23. I do plan to plan to cover some stories and a bit more off the cuff type of discussions in the future. I'm hoping these first podcasts are helping to lay the foundation for visual effects work. It's not aways easy to get the stories to converge on a specific topic. Do I cover a given movie from the past and all the issues related to it or do I cover a specific aspect from multiple movie projects?


Messages are moderated so will be checked before posting. This can take a day or two.