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Realistic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Costumes

We weren't fond of the designs for the most recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, but this TMNT imagining we found at this year's Monsterpalooza were awesome. Originally designed and fabricated as costumes, these mechanized sculpts are the work of an artists collective whose members work in special effects and animatronics. These are the Ninja Turtles we'd like to see on screen!

Vote for Tested in This Year's Webby Awards!

We're thrilled to be nominated this year for two Webby Awards in the Online Film & Video Category! Webbys are awarded based on the decision of a panel of judges, but a People's Voice award is also given based on online voting. That's where we could really use your help!

First up, Adam is one of the five finalists for Best Web Personality/Host, for our Inside Adam's Cave series. It's a competitive category with other great nominees, so help Adam win this one by voting on this page.

One of our favorite videos from last year is also a finalist, in the How-To & DIY video category. It's the collaboration with animator Marty Cooper, who visited the Cave to geek out with Adam about cel animation and make one of his awesome Aug[de]mented Reality shorts at the shop. You can vote for that video on this page.

Additionally, one of our sister sites, Cinefix, has a video nominated in the Animation category. We'd appreciate your help giving that video--an exploration of how Samurai Films influenced Star Wars--some love too.

Voting for the People's Voice awards has already commenced, and will be finished at midnight on April 23rd, The awards ceremony will be in New York on May 18th--wouldn't it be cool if we got to go? Watch the videos that were used for these nominations below!

Watch SpaceX Rocket Launches in 4K

SpaceX just uploaded this montage of its recent rocket launches (but not landing attempts) which were shot in 4K resolution. YouTube 4K is pegged by some reports at around 15mpbs, though Google recommends that 4K source files are encoded at 35-45mbps. Regardless, the footage looks spectacular, even if you're viewing it on a 1440p monitor. Happy Friday!

In Brief: Dropbox Adds Office Online Integration

Microsoft and Dropbox today announced further integration between their two web services, Office Online (Microsoft's free document editing web apps), and the Dropbox website. In the former on Office.com, you're now able to create and edit Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents and have them saved directly to Dropbox, as you would previously have done with OneDrive. That's a little more convenient than manually exporting a local document file when working with something like Google Docs. And when browsing your files on Dropbox.com, recognized Office files can not only be read, but opened and edited in Office Online and saved back to your Dropbox. You have to link your Microsoft and Dropbox accounts to enable the feature.

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Tested Mailbag: Tabletop Game!

We open another package at the office that was sent in by a reader. This time, the contents are tabletop game related, but not something you can get in stores. It's a nifty custom game made by a design firm. Thanks, Steve!

LEGO with Friends: Veronica Belmont, Part 4

We're nearing the end of our build day, so the gang starts freaking out about just how much there is left to build in this week's Lego with Friends! The AT-AT, Mini Cooper, and Spaceship are in various states of completion, but we remain optimistic. Conversation turns to our convention travels confusion about actors in superhero films. Fun times! Follow along with us by signing up for a Tested Premium Membership here!

Testing: Zoom Q8 HD Camera for Podcasting

I've been looking for the right camera for our mobile podcasting setup ever since we started recording video podcasts away from our studio in 2012. When we first started Still Untitled, we used a GoPro HeroHD 2 to record the show. Over the years, we've upgraded those GoPros to newer models, but have remained pretty dissatisfied with the cameras--they just aren't meant to be used for long videos with lots of talking.

The action cameras I've tested have a hard time maintaining a consistent clock over long videos, which isn't a problem when you're recording a ride down a mountainside or your first time skydiving, but when you need to sync separate audio and video tracks, it's a huge pain in the ass that involves stretching the duration on either the audio or the video. Most action cams also lack viewfinders, so it's difficult to reliably frame your shot, and all this is compounded by the fact that action cameras simply aren't designed for long shoots. The camera have overheated over 40 minutes of runtime, which causes lost or corrupted video. It isn't a great experience.

We've tested pro cameras for podcast use before too, including the Panasonic cameras we use in the studio and the Sony PXW-X70 that Joey had on loan from B&H in January. Our aging Panasonics are tied to the proprietary P2 storage cards, which require a special (and very expensive) P2 deck to grab footage from. The Sony camera produced great video and integrated easily into my Premiere Pro-based workflow, but it is much more expensive than I was looking for and is frankly overkill for long, static shots.

On paper, inexpensive point and shoot cameras seem like the perfect middle ground between inexpensive action cameras and fixed lens prosumer models. We've used Norm's Sony RX100 Mk III for the last half dozen or so episodes of Still Untitled with reasonably good results. However, it's not an ideal solution either. While it's capable of maintaining a constant clock (making A/V sync easy), most point and shoots lack line-level audio inputs and they are universally limited to 30 minute maximum record times, either due to sensor overheating issues (rare) or strange European tariffs (common).

Enter the Zoom Q8. The Zoom Q8 was designed for exactly the situation we shoot Still Untitled in every week, longer fixed shots where audio is really important. Zoom specifically calls out podcasters, YouTubers and folks who want to record live music from the audience as potential users of this camera. While I can't speak to the latter, the two former use cases are spot on. I've used the Q8 to record three episodes of Still Untitled, and the results are exactly what I was looking for in this type of camera.

Putting the Original Tron's Special Effects Together

Seeing Tron when it first came out in the theaters was an insane experience. You knew by word of mouth it was going to be a major step forward in special effects technology -something state of the art, like when Star Wars first exploded - and many young filmgoers, like myself, were completely blown away. I had no idea the movie was a flop until many years after the fact, and I was completely flabbergasted to learn this.

Even with the film initially tanking at the box office, it's remarkable how Tron still has a stronghold of fans after all this time, and how ahead of its time it really was. It took Hollywood many years to catch up with the marvels of computer technology, and Tron first opened the door for it, eventually paving the way for Jurassic Park and the Pixar films.

From a production standpoint, Tron was a hell of an undertaking, and the origins of the film go all the way back to the late seventies. The film's director, Steven Lisberger, had his own animation studio, Lisberger Films. A graduate of the city's School of the Museum of Fine Arts, he was creating animation regularly for networks such as ABC and PBS, but he had his eyes on a much bigger prize.

"When you have an animation studio you try to create your Mickey Mouse," Lisberger says. "It's no secret that animation studios survive by creating characters who are their actors they own, and we were a team of people in Boston who wanted to create a character."

On Lisberger's team were Roger Allers, who went on to direct The Lion King, and John Norton. Norton came up with an idea of a warrior who was made of neon. They called him Tron, but they didn't have a setting for him. Then one night Lisberger went to visit his in-laws, and everyone was crouched around the TV, playing Pong.