out and hands down, Artbeats continues to produce some of the
very finest royalty free footage available. Their ever-growing
library of collections has evolved into the standard by which
other collections should be judged. These two collections, Grow!
2 HD and Liquid Ambience 2 HD offer pristine shots, a good variety
of clips, and beautiful color saturation.
The Grow! 2 HD collection consists
of 26 1920 x 1080 clips shot in progressive mode with an HD Still
Camera at 29.97fps. The clips in this collection vary in length
from 10 to 41 seconds and average out to close to 17.5 seconds
per clip for the full collection. With these HD clips come some
large file sizes ranging from 28MBs to 240MBs depending upon
the clip. The time lapse clips of flowers blooming, unfurling,
growing from the soil, using both exotic plants as well as your
gorgeous rose are breath taking.
From the common dandelion
to the exotic plant, watching them grow and unfurl is a movie
Growth in reverse presents
another perspective as we have with this clip.
The Liquid Ambience 2 HD collection is just as eye catching in
its own way. Shot using high-speed digital video at 1000 fps,
the 35 individual clips in this collection are beautiful to look
at. The slow motion effects create an ethereal ambience with
water flowing as if it were honey gently swirling, and rippling.
Useful in any number of ways, the clips from Liquid Ambience
would serve beautifully as liquid backgrounds.
You wouldn't imagine
that liquid could have such grace until viewing many of these
As with all Artbeats collections, smaller file, low-resolution
clips are included on the disc for quicker access when searching
for just the right clip to use in a production. Once found, the
HD clip is simply copied from the disc to your hard drive and
then imported to your project. I would not recommend playing
the large file, HD clip directly off the disc. The smaller preview
clips can be played directly from the disc, however, with little,
if any, stuttering. The glossy poster which helped identify clips
is no longer included in the package but can be located on the
disc itself for initial viewing. Personally, I prefer having
the poster for easy initial identification of each clip and bemoan
its loss. However, you can print your own copy off the disc,
it won't be thick or glossy but will serve just fine for clip
identification purposes. I did not like having to mount a disc,
finding the card, looking up the clip I wanted only to find that
it was on the other disc. Never the less that is certainly no
deal breaker in deciding which collection would be best for you.
After import into FCP, if I changed my
playback frame rate to half and playback quality to medium, I
could then watch the clip in real time. Otherwise, rendering
is necessary and the rendering time would really depend upon
the compositing or other effects or text that one might apply.
For me, a straight render took only seconds.
While both of these HD collections do
not contain the same number of clips as their SD counterpart
collections, I am pleased that the number of clips included has
greatly increased over previous collections I have reviewed.
Then again, so has the cost of each collection. For the producer
on a budget, buying an entire collection is not necessary as
each clip can be purchased separately for $300 per clip via the
Artbeats website and downloaded as Quicktime.mov files, however,
you would not get the low res clip along with it as you do when
purchasing the disc. The low res clips really are useful for
quick and easy searching for the clip to fit your project.
My bottom line is simply that, for the
Artbeats Grow 2 HD, we have all seen various slow motion clips
of flowers blooming before but many videographers simply do not
have either the equipment or know how to re-produce the effect
themselves. If the need for such a shot is there, you just couldn't
go wrong with the purchase of Grow 2HD. The quality is absolutely
the finest I have seen. For those looking for an almost hypnotic
background for text or other compositing needs, the Artbeats
Liquid Ambience 2 HD also fits the bill perfectly with excellent
color, gorgeous motion and a variety of reflections, lighting
and liquid nature.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro
for Final Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of
the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE
competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition,
and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition,
where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater
Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver
on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed
footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, the History
channel's MegaDisaster show and other networks. Steve is one
of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition
and leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris
with upcoming excursions to Indonesia and the Coco Islands, Costa
Rica in 2008, Kenyan safari in Africa and the Red Sea for 2009,
and Truk Lagoon in Micronesia for 2010. Feel free to contact
him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared
on www.kenstone.net and
is reprinted here with permission.
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