bmdpcc4k SSD clip

Budget Cinema – Using an SSD with BMPCC4K

Ammon and Bryan show how to set up an SSD on the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

We love using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, and we found a simple way to mount a Solid State drive to the top of the camera. It stays out of the way and works when mounted to the Zhiyun Crane 2 (check out how to attach the follow focus to the Crane 2). In this installment of our Budget Cinema Series, we’ll show you what we use to set up the SSD and how easy it is to use it.


Houston We Have A Problem!

Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you need more storage on a card? Ammon and Bryan from Blueforest Studios discuss how to set up a Solid State Drive (SSD) to the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. We found this tip to be extremely helpful when filming with a larger hard drive, and we had to make a video about it!


What you will need is an SSD (we used a Samsung), Angelbird Cable (SATA to USB-C), Joby Cell Phone Holder, Camvate Superclamp, and of course the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. You can set this up in under 5 minutes and here is how we did just that.


We found that the ¼” – 20 thread fit with the bottom of the Canvey Superclamp. We then mounted the Joby Cell Phone Holder to the tightening ring and mounted that to the top of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.


Next, we slid the Samsung SSD into the phone holder with the SATA side pointing out to the left of the camera (lens away).


Plug in the Angelbird Cable from SSD to Pocket Cinema camera and there you go!

Ready to roll

We found that this method was the most inexpensive and reliable method for us. The SSD does not take up too much viewing area above the camera. When you turn on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K the SSD will show up just like it would if you had an SD card in the spot instead. Let us know if you have a different setup. Let us know how you connect larger drives to your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. And check out some of the stuff we film on the BMPCC4K and other fun toys!

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh, North Carolina Video Production company.

crane 2 follow focus

Budget Cinema – Setting up the Follow Focus on the Zhiyun Crane 2

Blake and Bryan show you how to set up the follow focus on the Zhiyun Crane 2

Blake and Bryan back again with another installment of the Budget Cinema Series from Blueforest Studios. In this video, they are walking through the installation process of the follow focus for the Zhiyun Crane 2. We’ve had the Crane 2 for a while now, but we recently added the follow focus. And it opens up a lot more options for great shots. We love it! (Despite Blake’s feeling of hatred to Bryan…)


Right out of the box!

When you open up the box for the Zhiyun Crane Follow Focus you will see the motor, a power cable to power the motor from the Zhiyun crane, two follow focus gear rings that will go onto the focus ring of the lens, components for the rod which mounts the motor to the gimbal, and a small Allen wrench.

Step 1

Mounting the rod to the gimbal. There is a threaded hole where the mount for the rod will be placed on the left facing side of the camera will be mounted. This then allowed the rod to be tightened into the gimbal. You will need to use the small Allen wrench to tighten the mount onto the gimbal.

Step 2

Next, you can thread the rod into the mount. Make sure to tighten down the mount and rod as tight as you can so that when tightening the motor onto the rod nothing becomes lose or slips. We used the Allen wrench to tighten the rod as much as we could onto the mount.

Step 3

Add the follow focus cable onto the focus ring of the lens you will be using with the gimbal. Make sure it is nice and snug and grips the focus ring well. There are little teeth on the cable that will fit into the clamp on the one end of the cable. It helps if the camera is already mounted onto the gimbal.


Step 4

Time to mount the motor onto the rod. Loosen the clamp of the motor to enable it to slide easily onto the motor. Heads up if you loosen the clamp too much the whole clamp could come off and you don’t want to lose or break that. Slide the motor on and line the teeth of the motor with the teeth of the follow focus cable. You can test if the teeth are gripping by putting the lens in manual focus mode and twisting the lens by hand and watching the interlocking teeth move simultaneously.


Step 5

Last step. Giving the motor power. You will see a small hole where you will connect the power cable from the Zhiyun Crane 2 to the base of the motor. There is another connection where you can connect the motor to the camera. We find this way the easiest method. Make sure to rebalance the gimbal so that the added weight of the motor does not throw off the calibration of the Zhiyun Crane 2. The follow focus should start working immediately.


Diggity Done!

Congratulations you have successfully installed the follow focus to the Zhiyun Crane 2. You can now pull focus from below the camera on the dial of the Zhiyun Crane 2. If you enjoyed this video give us alike. If you have a Zhiyun Crane comment below what you like to film and if you found this blog post helpful. Check out more of the Budget Cinema Series and see some of the work we film on our fun toys!

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh, North Carolina Video Production company.

animation boat in ocean

A Helpful Guide to Choosing an Animation Style

The Right Animation

Here at Blueforest Studios, we’ve been doing video production in Raleigh, North Carolina for a long time. And, we’ve realized that animation is here to stay and it seems like it is getting even more popular. So, if you have asked yourself, “Is animation right for my business?” and answered “yes,” you are in the right place. We have compiled some of our favorite animation projects over the last year. There is a huge variety of animation styles out there but what is most important is to pick the style that best speaks to your audience and your brand story. It can also be hard to know how to describe a particular style, so we will show you. We’ve found the best way to know the right animation style is to find examples that you like. Then we will use those animation styles as a reference. Take the time to find what you like. Just like Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

The Secret Formula

There are many ways to create 2D and 3D animations, and this is how we make ours. Most of the animation work done at Blueforest Studios is through Adobe After Effects with some help from plugins. We also use Photoshop and Illustrator to create the assets that are animated in After Effects. In the end, you shouldn’t worry about having the correct method in mind of how to make it happen, leave that to us. Finding the style that fits best is key.


Pick Your Style

There are so many different animation styles out there ranging from a vector based clean-cut look to a more hand-drawn pencil style and everything in between. Some of our animations are vector style animations with a grain layer added to the top to bring all of the elements together. Here is a clip from a project with CPESN to promote community pharmacies. Notice how the texture of the blue background. The sleek design is very symmetric and pleasing to watch.


You may also find this vector style of animation used for ScottMadden to be bright clean and modern. This was for a project about Shared Services with ScottMadden. We used a visual metaphor of going on an ocean journey to depict the topic of the video. The shipping containers on the ship float around in a playful manner organizing themselves like so. Both the animations above and below are a vector style of animation, but give a different feel and mood for the video.


This next animation was a vector style animation for a company called Pre-Switch. They make power converters that are used in electric cars and other high voltage applications. During this section, we were talking about the history of electricity and how it spread across the world. That’s a map of NYC. The blue lines flow out into the city similar to the flowing of electricity.


Hand-Drawn Style

This is another ScottMadden animation completely different from the one above. This animation story is about data security. We used a visual metaphor of a security guard protecting a priceless artifact in a museum and data thieves trying to break in an steal it. Most of the elements were hand drawn in Photoshop. The sketch marks and shading add a level of roughness to the scene. There are so many different styles of animation out there and the team at  Blueforest Studios are ready for any idea our clients have. That’s the fun part about animation, you can create your own world.

Here we have another form of hand-drawn animation called Whiteboard animation. Whiteboard is simple and easy to digest as the viewer. There is less going on which allows the viewer to stay focused on the topic of the video. This is 2D animation and is one of the most popular ways to show explainer videos. This would be a great style of animation for educational videos.


Let’s do this together!

If you have an animation project in mind but you just don’t know where to start. Reach out to Blueforest Studios and we can bring your idea to life. We will help you get from start to finish and help tell your brand story (we really like brand storytelling). Check out our full animation reel.


If you are interested in talking about an animation video for your company, fill out our video personality quiz, or email our creative director, Ammon.

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh, North Carolina Video Production company.

battery door bmdpcc4k

Budget Cinema – Replacing the Battery Door on BMPCC4K

Blake and Bryan show you how to replace a broken battery door on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. 

Tiny Problem

In this installment of Budget Cinema, Blake and Bryan from Blueforest Studios demonstrate how to fix a broken battery door on the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC4K). When Blueforest Studios first received the camera, the first thing we noticed was that the battery door was open as soon as we pulled it out of the box. Upon further investigation, we found out the latch was broken and would not stay closed. We reached out to Blackmagic Design, and the support was really helpful. They sent us a replacement battery door, and we wanted to make a little video showing you how to properly install the new battery door.


Take Off the Broken Door

To remove the broken battery door, there is a small black lever near the hinge of the battery door that needs to slide to release itself from the camera. You will need to slide the tiny lever away from the lens, so sliding the lever towards the LCD screen on the back of the BMPCC4K.


Put on the New Door

Putting the door on is just the reverse of taking the broken one off. You pull the tab out of the way, and place the new door into place. It should click into place when it is successfully installed. Then you are all set!


Ready to Film!

It is an easy fix, but we wanted to make sure that the instructions are as helpful and user-friendly as possible  If you find yourself in a similar situation, contact Blackmagic Design support. They were helpful, and they will get you a new battery door. Get back out there and continue filming great content.
Check out more of the Budget Cinema Series and see some of the work we film on our fun toys!

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh, North Carolina Video Production company.

BFGB application

Blueforest Gives Back 2019

This video could very well change the course of your entire non-profit organization. No seriously……we’re not kidding.

What is Blueforest Gives Back?

Blueforest Studios offers the chance to win a $10,000 video. Every year we like to give back to the community and share the love. Being a video production company from Raleigh, we know how to tell your story best. Video Production in Raleigh, North Carolina can get expensive, but we would like to give back and help promote a story of a nonprofit in the local area.


What do I have to do?

To apply, you need to tell Blueforest Studios your story. Storytelling is crucial to marketing – we have a whole video series on it. The more people people understand your brand message the better. Submit a story to Blueforest Studios so we can help you tell others about your amazing story! We know that there are a lot of nonprofits out there that are deserving of this free video but all we ask is to come prepared with the story that best shines the light of what your nonprofit is doing in North Carolina. Make sure to receive permission from the main subject of your story in order to proceed with the story application.


Who is this for?

This $10,000 video is for any nonprofit in the Raleigh area. We are looking for a well-built story from a nonprofit who could benefit from a free promotional video. Your job is to do a little research and find out who best fits as an example to promote your nonprofit. Think about who your organization has impacted and who is your star story that best shows your mission. Make this a key part to your submission to put your nonprofit submission right at the top of the list. If you need help coming up with a story take a look at some of our winners from years past.


Why is Blueforest Studios doing this?

Besides the obvious reason (we’re just awesome like that), there are a lot of nonprofits in the Triangle area that could benefit from this video and there are a lot of good people doing a lot of great things! This is our way of helping distribute and promote that in a beautiful format. We want to help these organizations tell some beautiful stories. Our goal is to provide this video and help nonprofits make a big impact in the Triangle area. We love the work we do for technical companies, medical organizations, and lifestyle brands, but we especially love working with nonprofits, even with animation!

Have a non-profit organization in mind? Share your story and be entered to win a free $10,000 video for your nonprofit! Submit your full story and we will choose one nonprofit as the winner.

Submit your story to win!

If you have questions about how to tell your story, we’d love to help! Drop us a line here.

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.