Friday, December 07, 2012

Quick Links

Many Camera Formats Strike in Waiting for Lightning | Michael Svitak | Hurlblog
The primary camera package, donated by Revolution Cinema Rentals for the documentary project, consisted of three Canon 5D bodies, three tripods, a set of Canon “L” series primes, Canon 24-70mm, Canon 70-200mm zoom, two sets of 77mm Tiffen Water White IR ND filters, two SmallHD DP6 on-board monitors, a HP Dreamcolor lighting monitor and 20 Hoodman 16GB CF cards.

It was this forward thinking that led me to the show—and I knew the innovation would continue when Ircink agreed to let me introduce my Nikon DSLRs to his production workflow. The show has been traditionally shot on Sony’s EX1, but the shallow depth-of-field offered by the DSLRs really allowed the food—the show’s main character—to shine.

RED Ends Lens Production, Dragon Sensor Compares to 65mm According to CEO Jim Jannard | Joe Marine | No Film School
The RED Dragon sensor needs to be directly compared to 65mm film.The Dragon has more resolution than 65mm film when scanned at 4K.The Dragon has more dynamic range than film… by a lot. 65mm film has about 14.5 stops. The Dragon has an easy 16 stops… without sweating.

Pre-production Stress and Five Unorthodox Strategies to Deal with It
| Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Embrace denial. Forget the fact that you still have a million things to do and hardly any time to do it. So pop in a copy of The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, or Star Trek: The Next Generation. In my single days, I used to watch Pink Floyd’s The Wall whenever getting over a heart-break. That film works wonders for drowning your sorrows or stress. Or, you can write a blog post.

Bluefish444 Synapse Range of Mini Converters | Cinescopophilia
By choosing a setting it is possible to convert in real time between a range of industry formats such as 3G HD SDI, HDMI 1.3, Component, S-video, Composite, SDI Embedded Audio, Stereo Unbalanced Audio and AES/EBU digital audio.

top feature requests for After Effects in 2012 | Todd Kopriva | Adobe
I just spent some time going through all of the feature requests that we’ve received over the past year. This post consists of two parts: first, some notes about the feature requests from last year that we were able to incorporate into After Effects CS6 (including in some recent updates); second, a list of the top feature requests for this year, with some notes about each.
Comments on Top Feature Requests of 2012 | Steve Forde | Adobe
Therein lies the point.  Ae is strong because we continue to focus on its strength (animating / compositing elements and movement over time).  In fact, it’s why I believe that the applications could work even better together in the future vs. one application trying to become the other.  By taking this approach, Ae has a ton of innovation to offer in the future with the timeline being its core.

Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X | Larry Jordan | Larry's Blog
There are no new features in this version, 10.0.7, which is in keeping with other updates sequences from Apple. A major feature release is followed with a bug-fix release.While the update is free, I’ll probably wait a couple of days to make sure this doesn’t cause any new problems before updating my production systems. You can access the update via the Mac App Store.

Which cameras and settings are the most popular among Reuters reporters?
| Michal | motionVFX
It's still photographers, but still interesting breakdown of camera and lens usage:
If you wonder which DSLRs are usually used by Reuters reporters and what are the main settings, here are some pie charts that you might find extremely interesting and informative. You will not be surprised that professional photographers are not using an iPhone while doing their job (even though it can take amazingly good pictures), but it can be surprising that the Canon 5D Mark II is still so popular.

Help an Independent Movie Theater with Cinefamily's Digital Projection and Restoration Kickstarter | Joe Marine | No Film School
Small theaters face a real challenge with the shift to digital distribution. One is attempting to raise the funds through Kickstarter:
With everything going digital, these smaller theaters are starting to disappear unless they make serious monetary investments, and that’s exactly the situation that Cinefamily in Los Angeles is going through right now. Click through to check out their Kickstarter launch video

Why does “The Hobbit” look so weird? | ANDREW O'HEHIR | Salon
Another anti-48fps article:
Tastes vary, to be sure, and I have no doubt that some people will embrace the precise, knife-edged shadows, the uniform richness of detail and the startling depth of field, in which both the near foreground and the distant background appear in identical focus. But for me, at least, this cinematic innovation apparently meant to create an atmosphere of magic realism makes the whole thing look immensely more fake.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Quick Links

Game Changers Part 4: Planning and Shooting | Michael Murie
| Filmmaker Magazine
In this fourth episode of a series on the making of the low-budget independent film, Game Changers, director Rob Imbs and cinematographer Benjamin Eckstien discuss audio recording, communication between director and cinematographer, and how to plan out shooting a multi-day, multi-location project. Earlier parts consisted of an overview and then discussed fundraising, casting, camera and lighting gear.

Canon Publishes Short Film Shot on the C100 | Videomaker
1. Looking at the outdoor shots, the dynamic range appears to be pretty good. That said, they're all shot under overcast skies, so it's hard to say what kind of contrast the camera is really capable of capturing based on this film alone.

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey': How Is 48 Frames Per Second? | Mike Ryan | Huffington Post
Q: Is Peter Jackson right that, even if it takes some time to get used to watching a film in 48 frames per second, you eventually do grow accustomed to it?
A: Yes and no. First, never once did I not notice that I was watching a film in a different format. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes this is a bad thing. But the most troubling aspect was that the first 10 minutes of the film looked sped-up.

Smooth Moves: Camera Support Systems | David G. Welton | Videomaker
When watching Hollywood films, you'll find the zoom used sparingly. Here's the reason: there's a good chance your audience will notice the zoom. Usually you don't want viewers to take note of your technical choices - you want them to pay attention to the production's message. So, if the zoom is rare, what's the alternative method to create smooth camera movement? Read on.

Why Go Remote on Your Focus? | In The Field with Redrock Micro | Blog
Better Focus
A remote focus unit can actually deliver better, more consistent focus results. First, because it's wireless, you are not touching the camera, eliminating any shake that could result. Second, the motors give you just the right amount of assist so changing focus is effortless. It's like power steering in your car; smooth easy movements.

How to Do a Festival Q&A | Scott Macaulay | Filmmaker Magazine
Anticipate the questions and have answers. “Think beforehand what questions are likely to be asked, and have answers for them,” Groth says. “Don’t be surprised.” Indeed, like a political candidate preparing for a debate, you should develop responses for the questions that are asked at every screening, as well as those that may be specific to your film.

Film Culture Isn’t Dead After All | A. O. Scott | New York Times
I hate to ruin a good funeral, but all of this is nonsense. The coffin is empty. The habit of issuing death notices for various cultural forms is a vivid example of sentiment and ideology masquerading as sober historical judgment. Film has been buried alive, sharing cemetery space with the novel, painting, serious theater, rock ’n’ roll and all the other still-vibrant artistic pursuits that are routinely mistaken for corpses or shambling, brain-dead zombies.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Another Sony "TheNewF" webchat transcript

Yesterday Sony held another webchat on their new PMW-F5 and PMW-F55. Once again, here's a transcript. I just tidied it up; moving the answers next to the questions and deleting any questions that weren't answered. You can find the full transcript on Sony's Facebook page.

Admin: Hello and welcome to this Cinematographers’ webchat. In this session we will be talking with a panel with hands on experience using the PMW-F55 and the PMW-F5 and finding out how they got on.
Joining us today will be Sony representatives Ainara, Porron, Lucie Wendremaire and Sebastian Leske. Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Director, and Dominique Colin, Cinematographer, join as the team behind the film “Images” shot in XAVC HD on the F5 on location in France.
We are also joined by Steve Lawes, Director, and Martin Scanlan, Cinematographer, of ‘Dig’, a short film shot in 4K on the F55. Dado Valentic from MyTherapy joins to give a colourist’s perspective on working with the F55 footage.

Steve Lawes: I’m Steve Lawes a UK based Director of Photography, with credits on major Network Television Series including the BBC’s critically acclaimed ‘Sherlock’, for which he has received a RTS Craft Nomination and a Bafta Cymru Award, and the multi award-winning ‘Jimmy McGovern’s – The Street’. Steve has worked on international projects for Sky HD and HBO including the feature film ‘Skellig’ and the Action series ‘Strikeback’. Steve’s background was in stills photography, a film school graduate who has worked in the Film, Television and Commercial industry for over 18 years.

Sebastian: Hi. I am Sebastian - product specialist for F5/55.

Q: When camera comes out will internal recording at 4k XAVC 4:2:2 10bit 1-60 fps be immediately available.
Sebastian: Yes 4K XAVC 60P will be from exfactory day. @John. XAVC 4K 422 1-60fps will be FW Ver1.10

Q: What tools are available in camera for judging exposure and how effective were they on your shoot?
Steve Lawes: I used s-log 2 to monitor. There are Rec 709 LUT's plus hyper gamma - but I did not use these

Q:Will we see higher framerates (240/480fps) like the fs700 offers 'em?
Sebastian: You can shoot 240fps in 2K RAW the F55 on the external RAW R5 recorder. This will be the highest frame rate with F55. The F5 can record up to 120fps in XAVC internal on SxS. The F55 up to 180fps. Both for HD and 2K. All HFR will be a free of charge update with FW Ver1.10

Q: Could I ask the panel the thought's on it as an ENG camera?
Martin Scanlan: I think the F5 get used for all kinds of things from Corporates through to low-budget features. My only issue with ENG would be the shallow depth of field, it'll keep you busy keeping focus.

Q: Is there histogram/waveform or false color for exposure?
Steve Lawes: No there is not, but the tech guys from sony said that one may be added

Q: Could the guys who made Dig give us a little more on camera settings they used? Particularly interested in framrate the short was shot at?
Steve Lawes: Frame Rate 23.98. 172.8 shutter

Q: I am confused. So XAVC 4K 422 1-60fps won't be available exfactory or will it? If not, when would Ver1.10 be out?
Sebastian: Sorry for confusion. 1-60fps in 4K 422 will be FW Ver1.10 which will come in first half 2013. You can shoot in 4K 60p direct from the start.

Q: How does skin tones look and the image itself compared to other 4k cameras in its price range?
Steve Lawes: I would say very good

Q: I'm a doc lighting cameraman and, as ever, was most impressed with the 'look' you achieved on 'Dig'. For the 'lit' interiors etc were you able to go with predominantly available light with the F55 ?
Steve Lawes: I did light the interiors but with very small amounts. 2.5 HMI was the biggest daylight lamp - a few 1'x1' LED panels and a Dedo kit

Q: What did you use for exposure? Light meter? or ext. scope? Is there no on-board tools for that? not even zebra?
Steve Lawes: Lightmeter and s-log 2 output to a Oled Monitor

Q: What is the timetable for the planned upgrades?
Sebastian: The first Update which will bring HFR, 2K RAW and some other stuff is scheduled within first half of 2013.
Lucie Wendremaire: 2K RAW will come with firmware version 1.10, free of charge update.

Q: Is the camera easy to use?
Steve Lawes: We had a very prototype software on the camera - other than that it was easy to use
colin dominique: yes the caméra is very easy to use , very simple and very light

Q: So, if I understand correctly, in February, you will only be able to shoot HD internally and for 4K will have to go RAW?
Sebastian: 4K in 60P will be also possible internally for the F55 and 4K RAW as well from day one. ONLY the S&Q 1-60 in 4K will be from VER1.10

Q: Will the new XAVC codec work natively in Premiere, Avid or FCPX?
Lucie Wendremaire: XAVC will be compatible with main NLE partners from End of January on. You will have to install some plug ins for the support but then it will work directly.

Q: Did you do any handheld? Are the ergonomics of the camera pretty good? Steve Lawes: yes the camera is good for hand held
colin dominique: the shoulder mount wasn't ready for the shooting test but the camera is very light and will be very easy on the shoulder

Q: If you used the F55 viewfinder rather than the OLED monitor how good was it and was it good for the few handheld shots in 'Dig'?
Steve Lawes: We shot dig with the new LCD which is good, I saw the new Oled in Poland last week - the one I would buy/Use is the oled

Q: What was your workflow in post with your f5 footage?
colin dominique: the workflow for the f5 was in X AVC 100 , there is a plug in for avid who works well and at the end we do the conformation in TIFF without any problêm

Q: What is the dynamic range of the camera?
Steve Lawes: David - F55 14 Stops +
Sebastian: Same for F5. 14stops

Q: Did you use the 'new shoulder mount' they've been talking about?
Steve Lawes: no, used Arri bas plate and modular bars

Q: Will there be a kind of transfer tool or a AMA plugin?
Lucie Wendremaire: AMA plug in :-)

Q: Does it have regular rosettes for handles?
Sebastian: The Sony shoulder mount will have normal ARRI rosettes, direct usable with 15mm rods and also the V-plate for the camera tripod plat VCT-U14.

Q: What lenses did you use when shooting dig? And did you shoot wide open?
Steve Lawes: we shot on Cooke S4i's. Mostly between T2 and T2.8. Two shots were on the Alura Zooms

Q: Which 2 shots were the Aluras?
Steve Lawes: 2 long shots on the beach, also the tracking shot in the woods at the beginning - so 3 in total :-)

Q: How weatherproof is the F5?
Sebastian: Same as the F3.

Q: How long is the record time on the 512GB medium for raw? 2k/4k in 60p
Sebastian: The 512GB AXS media can do ca. 1hour in 4K 60P RAW.

Q: Can you tell us a little about Sony's flavour of RAW? For example, how will it be implemented into post workflows? Will it be native or will we need to transcode?
Sebastian: For Adobe for example you just need to install our RAW Plugin and then you can directly use the RAW in CS6. For Baselight, etc it should be the same as for the F65 RAW which is already well established.

Q: A Q on using ENG lenses with a servo zoom. I haven't actually looked but is there a 12 pin connector on the F5? or would ya need external supply to power a servo zoom? That was a big plus for me using the F3 (the zoom rocker)..
Sebastian: There are several ways to use zoom lenses. For the new cabrio the zoom rocker will be powered by the lens interface. For our own Sony zoom lens you need the CBK-DCB01 box which then brings the zoom rocker.
Dominique Colin: Fujinon just launched a new zoom lens that fit perfectly on the F5 for documentary.

Q: Was there anything you ran into "problematic" while shooting dig?
Steve Lawes: The software was glitchy - we would sometimes have to switch the camera off and on again - preproduction software...

Q: Wondering just how different the image really is going to end up being.
Lucie Wendremaire: Color gamut from F5 is the one from F3, color gamut from F55 is the one from F65. So this will give a difference in the picture.

Q: Are the new batteries airplane friendly?
Sebastian: They are 75Wh batteries. So I think you will not have probs for the plane.

Q: Which monitor was used? (for making "Dig" and "Images")
Steve Lawes: 7" + 25" oled on set

Q: Do regular Sony or IDX Lith-Ion batteries fit well on the back of the F55 or are they too tall for the camera?
Steve Lawes: IDX fit fine

Q: Which v-mount batteries fit on the f5/55? and is the battery adapter included in the base models without the raw recorder or will it be an extra?
Sebastian: You can use every V-Mount battery. The V-mount plate is in the box. The RAW recorder (Which also have the V-mount connector) is optional accessory.

Q: How is the F5 compared to the F3 as image quality (HD) ?
Lucie Wendremaire: we have not got the chance to do a side by side test until now. The quality image is anyway great for both camera :-).

Q: Did you use any other type lens par from PL? if so how did you find them.
Steve Lawes: Cooke S4i + Alura Zooms - Which I use all the time - great

Q: What were each film rated at respectively? Native is 1250 on 55 and 2000 on F5 if I'm correct?
Steve Lawes: F55 was locked at 1600 iso in Cine/Raw mode
colin dominique: for F5 the normal setting is 2000ASA, it's enough , we try 4000 ASA and it's was good too but it wasn't necessary anyway

Q: Can I register 4k from f5
Lucie Wendremaire: You can record 4K RAW with the F5 only with the external recorder R5.

Q: Did you have any IR contamination issues?
Steve Lawes: No IR issues

Q: Were you using the internal ND?
Steve Lawes: yes, plus glass filters for the in between stops

Q: Is the camera ready to shoot right out of the box?
Lucie Wendremaire: in the box, you 'll find the body camera, V-mount plate, XLR Audio box. To be ready to shot you need to choose your viewfinder and lenses, and batteries.

Q: Did you encounter any rolling shutter issues since you were using the F5?
colin dominique: we didn't notice a strong rolling shutter effect

Q: Will there be package deals available with all necessary parts included? i.e - viewfinder, cards, etc?
Lucie Wendremaire: for now there is no such deal planned.

Q: Is the RAW viewer software ready?
Sebastian: The RAW viewer will be ready to support F5/55 RAW when the cameras will be shipped.

Q: When will the new Sony prime lenses be available?
Sebastian: The plan is to have every single piece of the new F-Series (lenses, viewfinder, cards, etc) ready Beg/February.

Q: Is the F55 easier to use than the F65 ?
Steve Lawes: Different breed really - on a sjze basis - yes it is

Q: Is there a peaking function for focus?
Sebastian: Yes will have peaking and zebra.

Q: [What is the] Crop factor of the new lenses?
Sebastian: There is no crop factor because the lenses are developed for S35 sensors which we are using in the F5/55. So 35mm will be 35mm on a S35mm camera.

Admin: All the information about Sony’s Cinematography range is available on the CineAlta hub here:

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Quick Links

PRODUCT REVIEW: CANON 6D | jthorpephoto | Blog
4) Movie: It can record in all the same resolutions as the MKiii, so no difference there, I've heard of reports of Moire with the video, but I haven't seen it really. The video is a big upgrade from the MKii. Also the LCD is MUCH better than the MKii, and damn near the same as the MKiii.

5 Awesome Production and Post Production Online Newsletters | Jonny Elwyn
| Premiumbeat
Patrick Inhoffer’s excellent weekly newsletter is always jam packed with tons of great links to that weeks best color grading content. There’s always plenty of links to tutorials, color grading craft articles and a ton more on the business side of things, as well as a few ‘Sunday morning funnies’ too.  All enlightening and entertaining stuff.  It’s also a great place to stay on the inside track of what Patrick is up to and has got planned next.

Weekend With The Sony FS700 | Robert Ruscher | YouTube
I had the weekend to learn the ins and outs of the FS700 before using it on a shoot the next week. Wanting to really test out the slow motion, I called my buddies and before you knew it, we were lighting things on fire and shooting Coke Cans. This is all with the stock lens and I have to be honest, not impressed with it at all. Not really sharp, and had to bump the gain due to the iris.

Canon C100, Sony FS100, Canon 5DmkIII - Dynamic Range Comparison
| Magnanimous Media
DPs Jonah Rubash, Scott Regan, and Teddy Hoffman test the Dynamic range of the Canon C100, the Sony Fs100, and the Canon 5DmkIII.

Marco Solorio presents the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera at LACPUG
| lafcpug | YouTube
Marco Solorio shows us the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera at theOctober LACPUG meeting. Marco showed some comparisons between the BMCC and a couple of Canon HDSLR cameras and the difference between 8 Bit and 12 Bit video. 

Technicolor CineStyle Color Assist Tutorial w CS6 | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Here’s a quick follow up to yesterday’s post for those who want to see the Technicolor CineStyle Color Assist workflow in action with Adobe Premiere CS6. You can see how well integrated this workflow is in Premiere CS6 and how easy it would be to integrate this with your existing workflow, or with a DP on set setting initial looks for their editor/colorist. The beauty of this is that you can send the small sidecar .XCSL file via e-mail which makes this very attractive for people constantly on the move. 

Sundance 2013 Premieres and Documentary Premieres Announced
| Nick Dawson | Filmmaker Magazine
Announced today by the Sundance Film Festival were their robust Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections, which always feature a large number of well-established names both in front of and behind the camera. In the narrative section, Richard Linklater’s trilogy-concluding Before Midnight is bound to get a lot of attention, while there are also welcome returns to the festival for Michael Winterbottom, Rob Epstein, David Gordon Green, Park Chan-wook and Jane Campion.

What is a Matte Box? | Richard Harrington | Blog
This digital video tutorial explains what a matte box is, and how it can protect your video from flares and also hold filters for your camera.

What would you get if you combined Kickstarter + The Elders + Hawaii + Interactive Documentary storytelling? | Nathaniel Hansen | Blog
Crowdfunding works. Kickstarter HAS changed the lives of artists and their fans the world over. If you care about storytelling, the elderly, cats, whatever, I’m asking you to help spread the word about what this project is doing and what it has the potential to contribute to humanity and our experience. Lofty? Sure – but that’s my problem and I’m alright with that.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Quick Links

Canon C300 & C100 matching custom picture files | Paul Joy | Blog
Here’s couple of screen grabs from my testing. I wanted to focus on the greens and yellows first as they are the trickiest to get right on the C300 so I assumed the same would be true on the C100. The C100 actually seems to be a lot closer to a natural colour balance with it’s default settings than the C300 is. 
Paul has also posted a follow up: Canon C300 & C100 matching custom picture files
Ive spent some time working on custom picture profiles for the Canon C100 and C300 cameras that allow both cameras to be cut together and match well. I don’t own test charts but I’ve tested these under various conditions and they match well. The following examples were shot using the built in tungsten setting on both cameras, manual white balancing or dialling in Kelvin settings on both cameras can produce non balanced results so I prefer to use the presets for two camera shoots when possible.

Canon C300 Firmware fix for Color Fringing | cowpunk52 | DVXUser
A firmware fix for the C300, but Canon is not making it widely available:
If you're currently experiencing the the color fringing issue across high-contrast edges, you may not have the latest firmware (v. from Canon. Apparently it isn't available for download and is currently only being installed on cams that are sent in for service. Here's a quote from another forum post on the subject:
"I recently had this issue whilst shooting a sunset across some mountains. It resulted in red/green - lines/pixels across the high contrast part of the image where the sun dipped behind the mountains. I sent the camera back to Canon complaining of this issue along with another problem that I was experiencing with the camera. To cut a long story short I ended up with a new camera along with a firmware upgrade which apparently deals with the fringing issue."
Thanks to Paul Antico for pointing this out.

Dig - Sony F55 | Fried Pixel Films | Vimeo
Dig is a short film produced for the European launch of the Sony PWM-F55 camera. It was premiered at the Camerimage Film Festival in Poland on 28th November 2012.It was shot in 4K raw and posted in DaVinci Resolve. The uploaded file is an 1080P MP4 at 20Mbps derived from an HD ProRes master.Dig was produced by Fried Pixel Films, a new venture from Cinematographer Steve Lawes and Director Martin Scanlan, for Sony Europe.

What Is The Point Of A Light Meter In The Digital Age? | Ryan E Walters | Blog
With the proliferation of digital cinema cameras these days, I often get asked, "Do you really need to use a light meter? After all, isn't the whole point of working with digital- 'What You See, Is What You Get?'" While a case can be made for that perspective, I believe that by doing so you miss out on the power, efficiencies, and knowledge that working with a meter adds to your skill set. Here is why I think the light meter is a critical tool to use with digital cinema cameras.

SlashCAM conclude Blackmagic Cinema Camera review, compares to Canon C300
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
If it is an image to rival film you want above all else, you can now have it for $3000 no questions asked. Going back to 8bit after raw I’m quite shocked by how digital looking 8bit H.264 or MPEG is and how bad it can look if pushed around too much in post.
German speakers can read the full article and I have translated the conclusion for English readers below.

The Canon EOS 6D – beta test footage – as good as mark III? | Sebastian
| Cinema5D
It's the aliasing and moiré patterns that have haunted HDSLR cameras since they came out. A very unpleasant side effect that we would like to see gone from our video recordings. Though soft the 5D mark III delivered a very clean image finally free of aliasing problems, but it looks like these have come back to the 6D again. At minute 1:26 in the chocolate video this becomes very clear. The overall image looks like there is less color depth than in 5D mark III material.

Final Cut Pro X takes Los Angeles into the future with SciFi movie The Sphere
| Nick Militello |
I recently had to open up FCP 7 for an archive project, and its funny how I really can't live without event browser and media organization in FCPX.  The other huge help was compound clips, and auditioning compound clips.  In the past, I would make copies of my sequences, but with X, I made each scene a compound clip, then if I wanted to try something different I would create an audition of the compound clip. I really like the way that this kept the whole project really organized.

Lumix GH3 Codec Test | fotogen | Vimeo
Five short panning clips with the main codec from new Lumix GH3, Firmware 1.0

C500 4k DPX Color Grade Test | michaschmidt | Vimeo
Just a quick Color Grade Test for a short film that was shot on c500 in 4k

FAQ: How can I play or preview sound (audio)? | After Effects (FAQ) | Adobe
You can preview audio in several ways. The thing to keep in mind is that pressing the spacebar is not one of these ways. See the "Preview video and audio" section of After Effects Help for instructions for using RAM preview, playing only audio, and scrubbing audio.