Friday, October 17, 2008

"Fullflav" Attempts a Hit Piece

Someone posting as "fullflavormenthol" on JREF claims to be a video expert, and has taken a stab at trying to review my treatise. Fullflav is just another disinfo clown trying to confuse the issues with lies and nonsense. 

Here's his pathetic attempt, with my comments.

Well honestly the problem with Ace Baker's treatise is that it isn't well thought out, or based upon a real working knowledge of the subject matter at hand.

1.) Ace believes that the functions of any video compositing program can be applied to any other compositing program, this isn't really true at all. After Effects is not Apple Motion is not New Tek Tricaster is not Avid.

Lie. I never said that, and I don't believe it. I claim that Avid was used for the live composites. Drawing clear distinctions between what is possible live and what is only possible with editing time, is crucial to solving 9/11.

2.) His logic isn't consistent, especially when trying to defend the footage as being stable enough to live composite on. He gets into issues about stabilizing the footage, and then tries to claim that by unstabilizing the footage you could tell if the plane moves strangely. It don't know, personally I could not follow what he was getting at, because it makes no logical sense from a video compositing special effects perspective. Especially given that he was attempting to claim that a gyro stabilizer would already make it stabile.

My logic is perfectly consistent. A real airplane has smooth motion. Camera motion makes smooth motion appear shaky. Stabilizing footage removes camera motion, thus making the apparently shaky motion of a real airplane look smooth again. 

Laying a smooth motion fake airplane into a shaky shot doesn't work, because you would have no camera motion on the airplane. You could demonstrate this by stabilizing the footage, and comparing the motion of the airplane before and after. The motion of a real airplane must become more stable after stabilizing the shot. If the opposite occurs, there is a problem.

A gyro-stabilizer DOES make a helicopter shot very stable, that is the point. It works very well. I still claim that the Chopper 5 shot was SLIGHTLY unstable, measurably so. But it is subtle, and overall there are only tiny imperfections in stability of the Chopper 5 shot. If Chopper 5 was wildly unstable, you could easily demonstrate it, by stabilizing the footage, and comparing before and after. 

3.) He doesn't understand the programs in question. I mean this is outside his "treatise", but when I posted still images of my motion tracking of the footage; Ace argued that I had attempted to stabilize the footage. Ace had no idea that in After Effects motion tracking and stabilization work from the same engine. He has access to this program, and doesn't really understand this. His concept of motion tracking is drawing an outline over something, well this isn't really motion tracking. Basically he is tracing a shape, and calling it an analysis. Where as I would simply tell the program to lock in on an object and track its motion through the video. Ace doesn't understand the programs he is using for an analysis beyond a very superficial, "look what effect I can create" stance.

I'm perfectly aware of how motion tracking in After Effects works, and I use it. The tracker in Motion works better in a lot of situations, but it's basically the same thing . You select a certain region of picture to track, and the software look for the same pattern of pixels on subsequent frames.  FullFlav posted some still images showing he had attempted to track the motion of the towers. That's what you do when you are trying to stabilize the footage. 

Fullflav never posted his stabilized video, or all his frames, so we really don't know what he has actually trying to do. 

Another technique that can be used to analyze motion is keyframing. It involves drawing an outline of the airplane, then animating the motion of the outline. You place one keyframe at the beginning of the airplane motion, and one keyframe at the end. Then the software will make the outline travel the exact same distance in each frame.

If the motion of the airplane is smooth, then the outline can be made to follow the airplane perfectly. If not, then not. The test then, is to see whether the motion of the airplane is smooth on the raw version, and whether it is smooth on the stabilized version. 

Fullflav claims to not be able to understand this. Maybe he really can't, I don't know.

4.) He clearly doesn't understand that a gyrostabilizer on a helicopter doesn't make the footage completely stable. It merely means that is doesn't jitter, and that doesn't mean that small bumps and movements are not seen in the final footage.

If there are small bumps and movements in the final footage, significant enough to affect live compositing, then you could easily demonstrate that, using the technique I have just described.

5.) He obviously is not familiar with the knowledge base of many people within the broadcast industry. It is not uncommon for people to be a camera operator and know how to use video editing systems. This is because most colleges that teach broadcasting require their students to know these things, and people within the industry will learn as much as they can to get the best jobs.

Fullflav  is referring to the fact that Kai Simonsen, camera op on Chopper 5, is an expert in compositing. Another poster on JREF questioned that fact, and said Simonsen was "just a reporter".

6.) He uses the technical specs of current technology and software to justify what could have been done back then. He claimed that the chopper 5 footage wasn't low quality by linking to the technical specifications of the current model of the Flir camera that is a HD version. We don't how old the one used on Chopper 5 was, and he never presented that information. He links in his "treatise" to the current specs of the Avid Symphony.

Avid Symphony was available in 2001. The camera in question is a FLIR Ultra Media II.

So this is my review of this work of his. The main flaw is that Ace has a conclusion and simply manufactures the evidence to attempt to back it up, and he simply ignores and publicly attacks those that prove him wrong. His argument style is similar to the kid on youtube that well proven wrong will still claim victory and talk about pwning you in front of everybody.

Lie. I have "manufactured" no evidence. 

My review of this thread...I don't like being lied to. I initially found myself here under the impression that someone who was neutral simply wanted to know opinions on Ace Baker's work. Quickly I found that I was at first arguing with a constant..."well according to Ace." By half way through it became very obvious I was arguing with Ace Baker.

Go ahead, try arguing with me. It's going to be quite difficult for you, because I'm right. 

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