Using my HP ZBook X2

The HP Z-Book X2 is not your average mobile workstation.  With its detachable keyboard, integrated kickstand, and EMR pen support, it is designed to be the ideal artistic tool for digital illustration and drawing.  But the unique form-factor offers some other interesting possibilities as well, which I have been curious to explore since I first saw a prototype of the device a few years back.  While HP offers a variety of convertible tablets with the X2’s detachable design, the Z-Book version is clearly its most powerful and advanced option available. Continue reading

The Razer Blade with GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q

I am always looking for the most powerful tools in the smallest packages, so the Razer Blade 15″ laptop with a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q was worth checking out. The Max-Q variants are optimized for better thermals and power usage, at the potential expense of performance, in order to allow more powerful GPUs to be utilized in smaller laptops. The RTX 2080 is NVidia’s top end mobile GPU, with 2944 CUDA cores, 8GB of DDR6 Memory, running at 384GB/s and 13.6Billion transistors on the chip.

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NAB 2019

Mike McCarthy   April 12, 2019   No Comments on NAB 2019

I have been to NAB for the last twelve straight years, and it looked like I would break my streak this year, being booked on a travel job through the middle of April. But that phase of the project wrapped early, and so I was headed home a week early, and was able to arrange my layover in Vegas, to make a last minute visit to the NAB Show. Do to the short notice, I didn’t have many scheduled events, and instead just browsed the halls for new products, and crossed paths with people I have met in years past.

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Loupedeck+ Initial Impressions

I am testing out and reviewing the Loupedeck+ edit controller in the Adobe Creative Cloud apps.  This article is Part 1 of 2, where I talk about my initial reactions to trying out the device, and the process of getting it working with my systems.  It will take a while to really get used to the functionality that the device has to offer, so I will be using it on my next big film project.  Then I will write up a follow on piece in a few months detailing my experiences with it once I have setup my custom settings and memorized that the functions, to give me a degree of efficiency with the tactile interface.
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HP ZBook Studio x360 Mobile Workstation

I have had the opportunity to test out HP’s newest mobile workstation over the last few weeks, the ZBook Studio x360.  HP’s ZBook mobile workstation division has really been thinking outside the box recently, with the release of the ZBook X2 tablet, the HP Z-VR backpack mounted system, and now the ZBook Studio x360.   This double hinged cross over unit can be used as a traditional laptop, or folded backward into a tablet, or a few steps in between.
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New Codec and Workflow Options Announced

There were two announcements this week that will impact post-production workflows.  The first was Wednesday night’s celebration of the launch of Red’s new SDK, which leverages NVidia’s GPU accelerated CUDA framework to deliver real-time playback of 8K Red Footage.  NVidia was demonstrating an early version of this technology at Adobe MAX in October, and I have been looking forward to this development, as I am about to start post on a feature film shot on the Red Monstro camera.  This should effectively render the Red Rocket accelerator cards obsolete, replacing them with cheaper, multipurpose hardware that can also accelerate other computational tasks.
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AMDs New RadeonPro WX8200 GPU

AMD has recently released a new high end professional GPU as part of their RadeonPro line.  The RadeonPro WX8200 is based on the Vega architecture, with 3584 compute cores accessing 8GB of HBM2 memory at up to 512GB/sec.  It is roughly equivalent hardware specs to their $400 Vega 56 gaming card, but with professional drivers tuned for optimized performance in a variety of high end 3D applications.   AMD is marketing it as an option between the Quadro P4000 and P5000 from NVidia, priced at $999.
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eGPUs-Sonnet Breakaway Box

Graphics Performance Versus Portability
As a laptop user, and a fan of graphics performance, I have always had to weigh the balance between performance and portability when selecting a system, and that usually bounces back and forth, as neither option is totally satisfactory.  Systems are always too heavy or not powerful enough.  My first laptop when I graduated high school was the 16″ Sony Vaio GRX570, with the largest screen available at the time, running 1600×1200 pixels.  After four years carrying that around, I was eager to move to the Dell XPS M1210, the smallest laptop with a discrete GPU.  That was followed by a Quadro based Dell Precision M4400 on the larger side, before bouncing to the light weight Carbon Fiber 13″ Sony Vaio Z1 in 2010, which my wife still uses.  This was followed by my current Aorus X3 Plus, which has both power (GF870M) and a small form factor (13″), but at the expense of everything else.
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Data Storage for Video Projects

This topic has come up a lot recently, so it is time for a post dedicated to the basics of data storage for video projects.  Storage is the concept of storing all of the files for a particular project or workflow.  They may not all be stored in the same place, because different types of data have different requirements, different storage solutions have different strengths and features.  This is an exploration of those differences, and how they can be applied to various project storage needs.
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Grounds of Freedom-A Creative Cloud Workflow

We recently released the first couple of episodes of Grounds of Freedom, an animated web series that has been in the works for over a year.  Grounds of Freedom is a coffee shop, where a variety of animated mini-figures gather to discuss freedom, and its application to present day cultural issues and events.  It is created with a workflow that weaves through a variety of Creative Cloud apps, by people collaborating from all over the US.  I recently made a presentation about the workflow we used at Adobe MAX in LA, and wanted to share that information with my readers as well.
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