Jordan Westhoff

Jordan Westhoff's Blog


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Summer Updates

Hey everybody!

So, over the last couple of evenings I’ve spent a good deal of time updating the site! I”ve added new content, a couple new pages, and most importantly of all, began posting content from Spring semester! There’s a lot going on here so let me break down all of the updates for you!

 

Third Year MPS Camera Shootout!

So this is the first big one! If you head over to my page under projects, you’ll see the page for the MPS Shootout! This is a whopper and all of the content from the shoots, uncluding b-roll, final analysis and our final video screened for all of RIT’s film school is posted. There’s a lot of information here, and if you’ve followed along at all, it should be pretty exciting. I found it easier to turn it into a whole page, rather than a post so it can house more information as well as be easier to find later as more posts pile up!

Raw & Order Shootout

 

Senior Thesis Project Update #1

The page is finally live! I have some updates to publish tomorrow so stay tuned for those! If you follow the header, it will take you to the landing page for my senior thesis project – this sucker is being researched over the summer and then the completion of research and the beginning stages of engineering will start in the fall! I’m still working on populating the page with information about the initial ideals and concepts of the project but those will be up soon as well!

alienware

 

GitHub!

As a lot of you know, I’ve recently moved over to doing all of my code versioning and revision tracking via GitHub and I think it’s pretty cool! I’ve started a couple of pages within this site to either pull from Gists that I’m working on or completed that I want to show you or from actual Git hub repos. Basic Gists can be found here and the rest of my stuff can be found on my actual GitHub page for now!

git

 

Thanks for catching up, be sure to check back to the pages as I’m adding more posts!

 

 

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Updates for the Summer!

Hey all,

Well, the semester is finally over which means like the academic semester, my junior year at RIT is complete! It was certainly a busy one! I have a lot of really cool summer plans, which I’ll post here but I wanted to recap the year a little bit and I’ll be spending the next week or two uploading a lot of thework myself and my teammates accomplished over the semester.

For the summer, I’ll be returning to RIT to work as a member of our research computing department. Originally, I had investigated traveling to LA after receiving job offers from SONY and IMAX but after some thinking I decided to stick around ROC and take an innovative position with RIT RC since it catered a bit more to my interests and offered some really valuable opportunities to learn about open source and parallel computing. There I will be maintaining and working to make research advances on 4K video streaming over IP as well as a variety of other tasks that tie into parallel computing, open source computing, global teleconferencing and open source global video delivery to  large tiled displays!

Also, this semester we finished the third year MPS shootout – a deeply analytical camera comparison test designed to pit two cinema grade systems against each other in order to determine which system is better for upperclassmen RIT School of Film and Animation students to produce films on based on a variety of factors. My role for the project was primarily to oversee DIT and technician work as well as programming and analysis. In the next week or so, our final public video will be posted with our results in a video delivery format for easy synopsis of our project. Our team was responsible for the most sophisticated video systems, the Sony FS700 and the Arri Arriflex D-21 and tasked with comparing their RAW workflows.

Standard Viewpoint

Over the course of the semester this was a very common way to find me – peering over the lid of my laptop at any given time.

 

Additionally, my senior thesis project was approved which means research for that will begin and continue throughout the summer, I’ll be posting a lot of updates here (Senior Project Page) with some translations to English as well (not just engineering speak!). As I reach checkpoints and make progress, I’ll make it a point to update this page so any interested parties can follow along!

As always, thanks for reading and look for more content in the coming days – I’m home now and I’ve begun to catch up on some much needed sleep so work should be updated soon!

 

-Jordan


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SB 2014

Hey all,

As I’m sure you all know, it’s spring break time in America! However, now that RIT is on the semester system, this is no longer the eat and sleep break that I’ve grown accustomed to, but another opportunity to catch up on mountains of homework!

Sony FS700

A good friend of mine, Carly P. Cerquone, DP’ing the Sony FS700 for high frame rate shooting.

That being said, I’m actually embroiled in some pretty cool projects at the moment! Of these, most are Motion Picture Science related – we are in the middle of our third-year shoot out, initial thesis proposals and a host of other projects and labs. I promise to post lots more updates as we continue through; we’ve only just wrapped up our first day of shooting! As with all of my other projects, I will post them when they are completed as well! I’m progressing through a lot of new code, 4K RAW cinema, some thesis builds in the computer department and others, so look for updates over the next couple of days!

 


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Sikki Sakka – Color Grading

Earlier in the year, a very kind artist living in Rochester reached out to me via my page and contacted me to do the color grading for an indie music video that he and several other artists had banded together to make. The song, titled “Ngi Dem” (translation: I Remember) is a track dedicated to the loved ones of the artists who died in their home continent of Africa. The band of artists goes by Sikki Sakka, also assisted by Bachir Kane.

The music video was shot on the Red One on site in Africa, and the majority of the footage was very impressive. Tasked with color correcting the film, I set out to do the best I could.

Screenshot 2014-02-06 18.28.36

 

I chose to use Final Cut Pro and Apple Color to do the grading of the clip, although I am currently upgrading my home systems to use Adobe and DaVinci since I have far more computational power for Windows/UNIX packages. It was a very interesting color grading experience, some white balance had been mis-set in the shooting, some shots were over or under exposed and some preliminary editing was already done. Along with this, some quick Final Cut Pro 7 Three Color Corrector presets had been applied as well. While this made some shots difficult, it was still very enjoyable and boy, this video was shot with sound in mind. The physical audio talent of the members of Sikki Sakka was incredible, and the audio mastering was done very professionally. This was particularly important because over the course of the color grade, I probably saw this feature about 200 times! That’s a really painful experience if the audio is awful! (Thankfully it was great – and had lots of bass) so it really boiled down to a pleasant experience in the edit bay. Here are some neat before and after screen caps of one of the lead rappers!

Screenshot 2014-02-06 18.37.11

Before Apple Color pass

 

Screenshot 2014-02-06 18.37.12

After Apple Color pass!

After the project was done, I was told the final render was to be sent off to Africa where it would broadcast across various countries! Hopefully Sikki Sakka is doing well and their music is continuing to spread, best of luck to you guys!


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FreeNAS, woo!

Hello all,

The last couple weeks have been busy but I’ve made significant progress on a lot of the projects I posted about last and figured I’d share some of the gory details from the tech spehere.

First off, the FreeNAS server is finally up and running. FreeNAS is a freely distributed version of the FreeBSD operation built specifically for engineering a personal or enterprise level Network Attached Storage server (NAS). Since I have a solid array of computers and Dropbox is very limiting, I figured that with the insane bandwidth RIT offers student, it would be an infinitely valuable addition to my computing fleet.

FreeNAS Boot Screen

The welcome screen of FreeBSD based FreeNAS

I decided to repurpose a sever that I was running Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition on. Since FreeNAS is best run using the ZFS file system which requires 64 bit, I decided to utilize one of the blade servers from my rack – a Dell CS24-SC Cloud Server header. Dual Intel Xeon quad core processors will handle all of the work, and it has enough RAM (16 gigabytes) to handle all of the serving very capably. Installed are 6 Terabytes of information (2x2tb drives and 2x1tb drives) which should be plenty of storage to host all of my common files.

Since I am using all three major operating systems to access these files (OS X, Windows and Linux) I decided to also set up a variety of shares from within the freeNAS setup. This includes a Samba/CIFS share for Windows machines to access from (one of my personal laptops and two of my other servers), an AFP (Apple File Protocol) share for my personal workstation MacBook Pro and all of the school lab machines and a couple office machines, as well as a NFS share for Linux access.

On top of this, I decided to enable SSH and FTP/SFTP access so access from pretty much any device is guaranteed! A week or so ago I migrated all of my common data over to the server once it was running and I tested the validity of the drives. Let me tell you, moving 5.5 terabytes of information takes a loooooong time! Most of the slowdown was the result of moving files over LAN rather than something like FireWire, Thunderbolt or USB 3.0, however it still clocked along at a very good pace since my apartment is very well connected – RIT gives each of us several gigabit (10/100/1000) access jacks in each apartment and the network is full fiber! This makes accessing the files remotely very, very handy since the speeds support even the most intensive tasks (even streaming Blu-Ray content from computer to computer on campus!).

My final goal for the project is to open up a drive on the server to use for various Apple Time Machine backups, I’ll keep you all posted, thanks for stopping by!


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Mining

Recently, given the massive expansion of internet interest in crypto currency, I decided to start to explore the concept and application of “mining”. This process refers to the massive application of CPU or GPU power to determine and calculate very large numerical strings that can be used as currency across the internet. 

Since I run far more computing equipment than I do graphics work, I decided to go with Primecoin (XPM) and devote a significant amount of my computing resources for a day to the process and see what I could accomplish. The task overall wasn’t too complicated, after the creation of an account at ypool.net to get started (this was the pool that I decided to pick for simplicity’s sale) all I had to do was download a couple applications and get going! After downloading one of the more efficient miners <jhPrimeMiner T17v8> it was a simple matter of editing a couple Windows Batch files and slaving the units to my Ypool.Net account. This is what my setup looks like on screen now when mining at full bore.

jordanwesthoff_mining

Snapshot of my desktop while CPU mining Primecoins

Here you can see that the miner is running in the command prompt under administrator. Task manager reports that each of my PowerEdge Xeon cores are running at full throttle which is actually surprising given the individual core temperatures reported by my CoreTemp utility. Since this is an enterprise level machine, cooling turns out to be the least of my worries, which was one of my biggest concerns going into the operation. In addition to this machine, I have three other machines slaved so we will see how profitable it becomes!

Got any questions about mining? Leave them in the comments section below!


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Breaking into Wikipedia!

Last semester, as a final course term paper for a class at RIT called Color Science, it was required of each student to generate and research information on a given topic and then present it in the form of a Wikipedia page!

Well, I recently got work from the Wikipedia Daemon that the page I submitted for my final was approved, and is now publicly available on Wikipedia! While the assignment itself made little to no sense, it is now properly published and looks pretty schnazzy if I do say so myself! One of the major hangups of dealing with Wikipedia is their use of Markup publishing language and their strict commons and user uploaded image policies. This wasn’t really apparent to our professor at the time, so in stead of simply publishing a professional paper in LaTeX or Word, each student had to spend a significant amount of time learning and adapting to Wikipedia’s publishing policies. As a result, many were removed immediately and few made it through the moderation process, so it’s really cool to see that this one made it through to be published!

The Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hues Color Vision Test, by Jordan Westhoff on Wikipedia

Image