Friday, April 29, 2005

Adobe Press Room: For immediate release

avcPress Release: Adobe Video Collection Professional 2.5 Now Shipping with Photoshop CS 2

The Adobe Video Collection 2.5 Professional edition delivers a comprehensive toolset for Windows based video production, providing the power and control you need to put your ideas in motion for film, video, DVD, or the Web.

Professional Edition includes:
- Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5
- Adobe After Effects 6.5 Professional
- Adobe Audition 1.5
- Adobe Encore 1.5 DVD software
- Adobe Photoshop CS2

There's also a standard bundle available, which is not quite as robust, but still really great.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Profile of Adobe CEP Bruce Chizen

From the Economist: The alchemist of paper, April 14, 2005

Tiger and After Effects 6.5

tigerTiger isn't officially released tomorrow at 6pm, but René Hedemyr, admin of the AE-List, has reported a problem with AE 6.5.1 and Tiger, the latest feline-monikered Mac OS.

René said he was getting an error message when starting AE and no keyboard shortcuts were working in AE. He said that changing his keyboard from Swedish to a US keyboard setting took care of the issue. This issue may appear in other languages as well.

If you run into any issues with Tiger and AE 6.5.1, please use the comments link below and post them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New Items in the Toolfarm Store

cinelook2New versions! Boris FX 8.0 and Boris Graffiti 4.0 now available! Just need a Boris upgrade? Check this page.

Also, you may have noticed the lovely new ad above. Cinelook 2 is coming! Order your upgrade now. Never tried Cinelook? Well, let me tell you... it's freakin' awesome. Get Cinelook 2. Check out the PDF Help Guide for Cinelook 2.

(Yes, the image looks like something from Star Wars, but it is the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam, on the Lake Mead side.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Free Backgrounds Presets

Dean Velez from the Anvil has released some free Backgrounds Presets. Lots of fun stuff!

Want to know more about making backgrounds? Toolfarm has a tutorial with Background Recipes, using Fractal Noise and Colorama or even the Cell Pattern plug-in.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Last NAB Post, I Promise

Matt Schirado from the West Michigan After Effects User Group has put together all of the big news items from NAB (the items that we care about, anyway) in an easy to understand format. (By the way, if you're in Grand Rapids, MI, on Tuesday I'll be on the panel discussing all of the great memories of NAB.)

Adobe Systems Unveils Creative Suite 2.0

creative suite(Toolfarm Price $1189) It's Photoshop CS 2.0, Illustrator CS 2.0, Adobe Bridge, GoLive CS 2.0, InDesign CS 2.0, and Acrobat Professional 7.0, which was released last year.

Replacing the File Browser in Photoshop, Adobe Bridge is a new component used in all of the CS suite. You'll browse and preview all files, add metadata in XMP format, do searches for text content, compare different Version Cue project versions side by side, and also browse the new Adobe Stock Photo service, where you can purchase royalty-free stock images from Adobe's own huge library. You can do batch file format conversions, run scripts, and drag-n-drop just about anything. It's a "super" Open dialog box.

Photoshop CS 2.0 can now generate HDRI 32-bit image files (although the list of 32-bit clean tools and filters is short). There's "animation" to image sequences or GIF's, "smart guides" similar to the guides in Apple Motion, NTSC video preview from FireWire, single click red-eye correction, even more 16-bit clean filters, additional scripting and Action commands, and updated PDF creation presets across the suite.

The jumbo PS CS 2.0 feature is Vanishing Point, which reminds me of RealViz ImageModeler a bit, in that you can create "perspective planes" for objects in your photo, and the texture on those "planes" follow the perspective, which means using your Rubber Stamp tool got a lot easier. It's hard to describe in words. The imagery acts like it's on a 3D surface, facing you at a particular angle, and selecting a window pane to copy along the side of a wall makes the copy grow "larger" the closer it's to your "camera," and "smaller" the farther it's placed from your "camera." Dave Nagel of CreativeMac. com does a remarkable job showing the feature in his first stab at Photoshop CS 2.0.

Image Warp is a transformation bringing the text warping from CS 1.0 to photos, including a grid warp, which reminds me of Liquify with dragable points and tangent controls across the entire grid. Smart Objects is a kind of AE Pre-Comp, or Sub-Comp; it represents a "Symbol" in other programs, which can be worked with nondestructively, and remain fully editable.

Power users can address 3.5 gigs of RAM, select and modify multiple layers at a time, see WYSIWYG font menus, and there's a Spot Healing Brush so you can be even more lazy than before. There's a new Optical Lens Correction filter, Reduce Noise filter, Smart Sharpen filter, and better Camera RAW file support.

Illustrator CS 2.0 has a physics-bending feature called Live Trace, rendering a photograph into anchor-point and pathlaiden vector art. It's something you just have to see. You apply different presets for different types of images: sketches, line art, photos, JPEG photos, etc.

By creating a "Live Paint" object, you're allowed to "paint" between different layers and objects without having to precisely align or draw paths. Whatever is visible amongst several objects is effectively treated as "one" layer. Illustrator CS 2.0 is intelligent enough to see path intersections, or non-intersecting paths, and fill colors in between.

Illustrator can import Photoshop files, read Layer Comps, and apply Photoshop filters destructively or non-destructively. Illustrator and Photoshop can swap solid color palettes, there's better Flash export, better Wacom tablet support, custom workspaces, and several dozen typographical improvements.

InDesign CS 2.0 also reads Photoshop Layer Comps, has it's own "Symbol"-like reusable objects called Snippets, new Footnotes, Object Styles which save graphic, frame and text attributes, load any style from any ID document, and you have backward compatibility because you can export an ID CS 2.0 document back to ID CS 1.0 (if you download the necessary plug-in).

Now choose what pages of PDF files to import, and dragand- drop text anywhere. Pastewithout- formatting will strip the style you copied from and match the style where you are pasting to.

GoLive CS2 now supports XHTML coding and InDesign CS2 import-to-XHTML, as well as SVG-t mobile device standards for web displays. GoLive adheres much better to CSS, offers many CSS web page templates, and can drag and drop CSS block objects. There's a split-code view, windowing your web site with a 2nd window below with the corresponding code.

There's just too much to go over for the new Creative Suite, but I must mention one more detail: the software authorization that Adobe began with CS 1.0 on Windows is now being implemented on Mac OS X, which ties your serial number license to one particular computer.

Apple Wows the Crowd!

Thanks to QuickTime 7.0, Final Cut Pro 5.0 now can capture up to 24 tracks of 24- bit, 96 kHz audio, and now do multi-camera editing, of up to 128 layers - 16 layers at a time (Avid Media Composer does 9 layers). It supports Panasonic's P2 hardware and Sony's IMX 50 MPEG-2 acquisition codec. Sony's XD-Cam MXF injest and output support comes from Telestream's optional Flip4Mac software. Of course, FCP 5 can do native HDV codec editing with NO intermediate codec. Improved Dynamic RT Extreme rendering allows multiple real-time HD streams by lowering quality and/or lowering framerate. More HD streams at higher quality the faster your CPU. Audio hardware fader control is added using Mackie Control Protocol.

motionApple Motion 2.0 adds integration with Adobe After Effects to drop a Motion project into an AE comp, make changes to the project, and update the changes automatically in AE. No pre-rendering necessary! Version 2.0 has 3D rotation of layers (but NOT a 3D compositing system), 50 new particle effects, a Real- Time plug-in scripting architecture called FxPlug with 3rd party support from BorisFX, dvGarage and Zaxwerks, MIDI controllers which can map to Behavior controls (imagine playing a Motion animation as if it were music), support for unlimited RAM, 32- bit floating point color space rendering with Tiger 10.4 (no more 8-bit), GPU-accelerated rendering, and full HD and OpenEXR support. Wait, there's a new caustics filter, glass distortion, ripple, tiling and kaleidoscopes, and the new Replicator Tool, with 150 presets, for "replicating" various shapes or images along geometric lines or patterns.

Apple wowed the crowd with Soundtrack Pro (with video introduction by Walter Murch), with 50 Logic Pro plug-ins included. It's AppleScript-able using Tiger's Automator, it can "clean" noisy audio of clicks and pops, it ships with 4500 Apple Loops, and has an "Action" layer list for completely non-destructive editing. Many see this as a direct competitor to Avid/DigiDesign's ProTools (minus the MIDI editing capabilities, though). Both Soundtrack Pro and FCP 5 get hardware control surface support (if it supports the Mackie Control Protocol).

DVD Studio Pro 4.0 now authors HD-DVD's and supports Blue-Ray HD technology. HD support is based on the H.264 MPEG 4, Layer 10 codec which is part of QuickTime 7.0. Apple's QMaster 2.0 distributed rendering engine (derived from Shake) lets you distribute your encoding tasks to up to 10 PowerMacs or XServes on a standard NFS network. Compressor has also been updated to version 2.0. DVDSP has a Dolby Digital Pro encoder, new transitions, and HD previews in real-time on a G5. With a capable DVD burner, you can make double-layer DVD. Watching HDDVD's requires a G5 processor.

Most of these applications' features only require Mac OS X 10.3.9, NOT 10.4 Tiger. You still get LiveType 1.2, FontMaker for creating LiveFonts, and Cinema Tools 3.0. Apple's web site says upgrades are not available for educational licenses.

shakeI Can't Forget Shake 4.0

Available in June, version 4.0 of Shake marks the beginning of true 3D, OpenGLaccelerated workspaces with 3D lights and cameras. Shake 4 has tighter integration with Final Cut Pro 5.0, where an XML cut list translates FCP layers and edits to Shake process trees. A new optical-flow algorithm allows for dynamic speed re-timing and with Smoothcam, automatic camera jitter removal. The Truelight color calibration technology from FilmLight (http://www.filmlight. ltd.uk) is included for maintaining consistency for film previews on computer displays. Auto-Align can combine images into panoramas (like RealViz Stitcher), but it also can combine image sequences, warp and luminancematch them to create 360-degree background plates. You can apply individual motion trackers to multiple spline-based Shapes, and use them for warping or morphing imagery. Upgrades from 3.5 are $999. Oh, and yes, Shake is still made for Linux for $4999 ($2999 for OS X).

Adobe Creates OpenHD Certified Editing Solutions

Partnering with HP, Microsoft, Dell and Intel, Adobe announced OpenHD Certified Solutions, that offer HDV to Uncompressed HD editing systems based around the Adobe Video Collection (Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition and Encore DVD). The turnkey HDV system uses a Dell Precision 670 workstation, while uncompressed HD and SD turnkey systems use a HP xw8200 or xw 9300 with the Decklink HD or Matrox Axio PCI capture cards. Specs, pricing and other details are at http://www. openhd.org.

Adobe Licenses Curious Software Technology

curiousThe highly-praised rotoscoping capabilities of Curious Software's gFX Pro+ paint and compositing application are going to be licensed by Adobe, but for use in which Adobe programs I can only speculate (hint, hint, AE for sure!). And speaking of Curious Software....

Curious Software Purchased by Vizrt

The maker of gFX Pro+, Curious Software, is being purchased by Vizrt, a broadcast graphics company, who wants to integrate Curious' World Map products. In the announcement we learn that Curious Software is made up of 13 employees, so we should remind ourselves that many of the software companies we buy from are very small endeavors.

Red Giant Software Updates

The 1st update is Knoll Light Factory 3.0, which offloads some render cycles to the GPU (to 3.5 times faster), and ships with 30 new presets. Second, Primatte Keyer 3.0 is now optimized for DV and HDV video media, light spill and shadows. A new product coming out this summer, Key Correct Pro 1.0, comprises 17 AE 6.0 plug-ins for massaging composites, alpha channels, depth blur, and 16-bit foreground/background color correction.

Elastic Gasket at 2.0

Profound Effects announced version 2.0 of Elastic Gasket for Avid Xpress Pro and Adrenaline for Windows. It supports Avid's "realtime mode," when the Timeline's green dot is turned on. Now some AE plug-ins will preview in real time. They suggest downloading the demo version and testing the AE plug-ins you want to use. A Mac-based Avid version isn't available.

Twixtor Updated to 4.5

Twixtor, RE:Vision's re-timing plug-in for AE, FCP, Combustion and Premiere Pro exhibits fewer artifacts, better object tracking and separation of foreground objects. Twixtor 4.5 is a free upgrade for version 4.0 owners. View example movies here.

New AE Plug-in's from Digital Anarchy

Toon!, an After Effects and Final Cut Pro plug-in, will treat video to make it appear in a "cartoon" style. Data Animator 1.0 consists of 7 After Effects plug-ins dedicated to generating animated charts and graphs for presentations.

Digital Film Tools Updates 55mm Plug-in

Version 5.0 of 55mm, compatible with Photoshop, AE, FCP, Motion, Avid AVX, and Discreet systems, is a set of digital optical filters that simulate different photographic effects, grain, lighting gels, glass lenses and more. There are 15 new filters, new presets and updated filter algorithms.

au naturelBuena Software's Au Naturel Updated to Version 1.1.1

This small update supports Premiere Pro and fixes bugs and improves the demo version's performance.

Gridiron's X-Factor uses grid computing technology to speed After Effects rendering

Doing a lot of rendering these days? Gird Your Grid is an interview with Gord Watts of Gridiron, and he explains the technology behind Gridiron X-Factor.

Tutorial: Making Banner Ads in AE

A short tutorial on creating a Flash banner by Franklin McMahon Studio. This doesn't cover a lot, unfortunately, like whether he took the file into Flash before he exported the swf file, or how big the file is. I'd really like to know. The video and effects would have to be rasterized, so I'm guessing that the file is pretty darn big.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Questions about Macrobe?

From Daring Fireball: Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Adobe's 'FAQ' Regarding Their Acquisition of Macromedia

NAB Wrap Up

I'm back home from my trip out west to NAB. Overall, it was a good trip.

On Wednesday, the convention wasn't nearly as busy so it was much more fun and easy to see the displays and presentations. I caught the second half of a Masters session by Brian Maffitt of Total Training. He showed how to simulate the "Waking Life" look using After Effects and Illustrator.

I stopped by the Creative Cow booth and met Barend Onneweer, who is a Cowmunity Leader for AE. I got a free mousepad, too!

I had the pleasure of meeting Darrin Cardani of Buena Software and he showed me Depth Cue 1.0, a set of 3D effects for After Effets. It contains a cool feature that allows your 2D footage with a depth channel to interact with AE's 3D layers, falloff lighting, Fog and Rack Focus that looks realistic. If you work with 3D, you need this.

I moseyed over to Trapcode's booth and met Peder Norrby, Trapcode Founder, who walked me through the new 3D plug-in. I'll have more info on that for you later. Peder said that the pricing isn't set yet, but it will be about the cost of Shine. It was very cool.

I stopped by the Digital Anarchy booth and saw a demo of the new Data Animator plug-in for AE, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro. It allows you to easily animate charts and graphs. If you've ever done them by hand, it's really a pain in the butt. This product will be a huge seller for all you corporate schmoze out there. I guarantee.

I walked around and caught an amazing demonstration of motion tracking using 18 cameras and little reflectors all over this dancer. The animation was realtime and the character was a military man. It was very odd to see this military man dancing like a woman... really cool demo. The system costs a quarter of a million dollars so I guess I'm not buying it.

I learned a lot and do have advice for NAB virgins in the future:

1. Get a hotel that's close to the strip and the convention center. I found Vegas really difficult to get around. Cabs are expensive and cab drivers are creepy or take you a completely roundabout way (most of them I encountered, anyway). The bus is slow and the monorail is inconveniently located in the back of huge hotels so that you have to walk through casinos.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. I cannot stress this point enough!

3. A 17" Powerbook is really heavy. Bring a 12". Don't forget your cables! An extra long ethernet cable and the full power cord will be helpful. Also, you USB camera cord if you're bringing a digital camera.

By the way, McCarran Airport in Las Vegas has free WIFI, so if you happen to be stranded there for 4 hours, use it!

4. Grab lots of magazines on the way out so that you have something to read on the plane. If you're suddenly forced to be on standby for 4 hours, you have some good reading material.

5. Get to the airport 2 hours early. We got there late because of an accident on the highway and a "lobby situation" and were bumped to standby and left Las Vegas 4 hours later than we planned. NAB brings a lot of people and they all seemed to flyout on the same day. It was absolute chaos.

When you obtain your boarding pass, take a close look at your boarding pass. If SSSS appears on your boarding pass, this is not a good thing, and you can expect to be searched. A random number of boarding passes have this SSSS code and if this appears you will be searched. I was pre-"selected" on the way to NAB and back. In other news, the terrorists have won.

6. Don't bring your spouse to the convention. They won't enjoy it and will only drive you crazy.

7. If you're a single woman in the business, you really should go to NAB. The male/female ratio at NAB has to be about 15:1.

8. Don't forget to bring lots and lots of business cards and dental floss.

9. Bring a notebook and pen to take notes during the Master Class sessions and demos. Those trainers throw out great little tips left and right.

10. Don't miss Big ELVIS at the Barabary Coast lounge.

If you're in Grand Rapids, MI, next Tuesday, please come to the West Michigan After Effects User Group meeting on Tuesday. It's a joint meeting with MCAI. I will be on a panel discussing NAB and I picked up lots of goodies at NAB to hand out... girl t-shirts from GenArts, Digital Anarchy slinkies, IMUG coffee mugs and more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

NAB2005 - The World's Largest Electronic Media Show

nabNAB is a crazy busy place. That is the South Hall in the photo. The only advice I was given before the show was to wear comfortable shoes. I have worn the rubber through.

I'll just give you a few highlights of my day at NAB so that you can live vicariously through me. Lucky you.

I headed to the South Hall at NAB and met Perry Kivolowitz of Silhouette FX at his booth SL1024 and introduced myself.

angieI worked my way back to the Adobe booth and watched Angie Taylor demo a project about Motion Stabilization, keying and Particle Playground. You may know from Angie from her Creative After Effects 5.0 book. That is Angie in the photo to the right.

While she was presenting, Steve Holmes of Total Training had a presentation on the big screen. I watched for a few minutes and then walked around to absorb the atmosphere.

Zaxwerks has a new product called Zaxwerks 3D Flag, which makes flags. I swear we saw it used on the Fremont Street Experience tonight.
More on that later.

I watched a terrific Master Class presentation by Chris and Trish Meyer. I learned quite a bit and I won a portable blue screen, donated by Digital Anarchy.

Jason and Colin Sharp (President and Vice-President of Toolfarm), Robert Sharp, Matt Silverman, my husband and I went to a really great restaurant just a walk away from the Convention Center. We had a lot of fun. Then we headed to Downtown Las Vegas and were awestruck by the Fremont Street Experience. It was very patriotic (more patriotic than this). You can get deep fried Twinkies and deep fried Oreos here too. By the way, I lied about being awestruck.

Industry news.... is that what you want?

Boris FX announced a new version of Continuum Complete AVX which they showed running on the new Avid Visual Extensions 2.0 architecture. BCC AVX 4.0.

Don't know if you heard the value of the Macromedia acquirement... $3.4 billion. I can't wait for the VAST improvements in Dreamweaver. Maybe they'll update it so that it won't freeze every 8 minutes and can interpret stylesheets properly.

DeckLink v5 is completely compatible with the Mac to work with your Final Cut Pro HD system. Adobe announced that DeckLink is now certified for Premiere Pro.

I'm doing it all again tomorrow so I'll have news from the Plug-in Pavillion.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

NAB and the Media Motion Ball

PC200077.JPGPC200078.JPGPC200079.JPGPC200081.JPG PC200082.JPGPC200083.JPGWell, folks, I'm in Fabulous Las Vegas and having a blast. Click on any image to see it larger.

First the big news out of the way (which you've probably already heard)... Adobe has aquired Macromedia.

The Media Motion Ball is thrown by IMUG and was sponsored by several great companies. It was held at the Stardust Casino and Hotel where you can catch Wayne Newton 6 nights a week.

I got there very early and chatted with Steve Griffiths of Visionlink, who is Australian. I love the Australian accent. Steve Kahn of Edit on Hudson handed me my name tag. Really nice guy. Everyone received a free mug at the door, a Stardust pencil and a slip of paper to enter for prizes. There were over 80 prizes, and incidently, I did not win EVEN ONE of them!

Soon after, the men started pouring in. Yes, men. I think there were about 15 women in the entire room the whole night, without including waitstaff. Where are all the ladies? I had my husband with me, but if there are any single women out there, come next year... the pickings are great ;-) But really, I was so surprised that there were not more females there... just an observation.

I had a rum and coke to socially lubricate myself and then proceeded to read everyones name tag to see if I knew anyone. Well, I knew everyone's name from the AE List. It was so cool to put a name with a face!

My friend from Grand Rapids, Karen Kleinhexel of Pigs Fly Post was an early arriver. She was a proctor for Avid over the weekend and filled me in on all of the great seminars she had been to at NAB. She introduced me to her friend, Elowny Hickey from USC School of Cinema and Television. She is an Avid Certified Instructor, so if you need help, you know who to call.

I met Liz Roach and Todd Prives of Genarts who were set up at a table and handing out their brochure. Todd is the User Group liason and a really nice guy. He sent our user group, the West Michigan AE User Group some brochures a while ago and he remembered my partner-in-crime, Matt. Todd has cool hair, by the way.

I met Ko Maruyama, which was really great. He told me about a big announcement from Red Giant on Tuesday at 9am, so let's see if I make it there! I found out what Ko is short for, which I'm not sharing. Ko works for Digital Media Net, where you may know his tutorials, and Treelined.

I met Jay Alpern from Excalibur Productions. Is it me or does he look just like James Garner, except more handsome? What a friendly guy.

Robert Broussard of UserSoft Technology and I sat at the same talbe. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and once drove from Houston to New Orleans and back on a Harley, just for Beignets.

Brian Maffitt of Total Training announced this last night at the Media Motion Ball and made cracked some good jokes, so let's see if I can remember them. (Last night is a little foggy, not because I drank too much but because I'm still on Eastern Standard Time and I was totally knackered by 9pm.) His jokes - Macromedia and Adobe are changing their name to Macrobe, then something about Christianity and Buddhism joining forces, then Freehand and Illustrator comes out it will be called Frustrator. (Thanks for jogging my memory, matzeking.)

Dinner was an incredible buffet of salads and entrees... fettucine alfredo, safron rice, potatoes, salmon in dill sauce, Moroccan chicken and a beef dish that I didn't try. I don't eat red meat. I do, however, eat desserts and the dessert tables were freakin' awesome! Baklava, cheesecakes, petit fours, canneloni and more. Karen and I decided we were going to become bulimic right then in there, because, hey, What Happens in Vegas, Stays in VegasTM. I commend IMUG on their menu choices. Seriously, the best meal I've had in a long time.

The prizes were delved out throughout the evening and I mingled and met "The Famous Stephen Schleicher" (and even learned how to properly pronounce his last name). I met Chris and Trish Meyer, superstars of the AE World.

Michael Vitti, of Vitti Photo, took photos all over the Ball and was kind enough to take retakes if you had food in your teeth. I did not.

I had a very long chat with Dean Valez of the Anvil, who is now working for Adobe and moving from Atlanta soon.

Right before I left, I met Joe Mbayen and Dr. Sebastian Deguy from Allegorithmic. They're both from France and really friendly guys and crepe connoisseur.

I had a really great time and I encourage you all to attend next year before the Media Motion Ball gets really big!

- Michele

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

RE:Vision Effects releases Twixtor 4.5 and ReelSmart Motion Blur 3.2 for Discreet Systems

revisionfxRE:Vision Effects releases major updates to their Discreet Systems (Sparks) versions of Twixtor, their popular retiming solution and ReelSmart Motion Blur, which adds and removes motion blur based on per-pixel calculated motion.

Read the Full Press ReleaseTwixtor 4.5 raises the bar in motion estimation. Nick Brooks, Academy Award and Emmy Award winner for visual effects says, "Twixtor 4.5 represents a new touchstone in retiming. The difference in accuracy means that retiming artifacts are either drastically reduced or disappear on the hardest to retime footage. "

Twixtor 4.5 introduces a complete rewrite of its tracking. Twixtor is much more accurate, tracks objects farther, and exhibits fewer artifacts when there are objects crossing in the scene. This means less tearing and stretching of objects as they cross or go out of the frame. Twixtor now includes a smart blending option for pans and zooms to prevent inappropriate streaking or weird artifacts at frame borders. Twixtor also adds an option to automatically enhance dark imagery or imagery with poorly defined edges. With the new features, many pieces of footage that were previously difficult to track become well behaved .

For a comparison of the previous versions of Twixtor 3 and Twixtor 4.5, see their comparison page: ReelSmart Motion Blur (RSMB) 3.2 uses the new pixel tracking found in Twixtor 4.5.

New in Twixtor 4.5 Sparks:
  • Completely rewritten motion estimation engine. Twixtor is much more accurate, tracks objects farther, and exhibits fewer artifacts when there are objects crossing in the scene.
  • Support for marking material so that Twixtor does not motion-interpolate inappropriately across a cut or other transition, allowing Smoke and Fire users to quickly setup a retiming for a long sequence with multiple cuts without having to cut it into pieces first.
  • Contains an option to remove motion blur when slowing footage.
  • New warp modes Forward Warping and Inverse Warping with Smart Blending (as seen in RE:Flex) to avoid artifacts at the edges of the frame.
  • Option to switch between Source time, Output Time, Foreground and Background views.


New in RSMB 3.2 Sparks
  • Completely rewritten motion estimation engine.

  • Adds Crop Box to avoid non-valid black edges to spill into the safe-area.


Availability:

Available for Irix systems: Inferno 4.7, Flame 7.7, Flint 7.7, Fire 4.7 and Smoke 4.7 and later.
Smoke, Flint and Burn versions for Linux of RSMB and Twixtor are being developed and are planned for release in early summer 2005.

Twixtor and ReelSmart Motion Blur continues to be available for Apple Shake and Final Cut Pro, Avid Editing Systems, Autodesk Combustion, Eyeon Digital Fusion, Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, Quantel systems and others.

Demo material and software, along with pricing and exact compatibility for all versions of Twixtor and RSMB are available at the RevisionFX site.

Twixtor and ReelSmart are trademarks of RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Sparks, Inferno, Fire, Flame, Burn, Flint, Fire are registered trademarks of Autodesk Discreet. All other references to trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Tutorial - Bluescreen

Spoono.com has a new tutorial about Bluescreen, using AE Standard version and Premiere.

Elastic Gasket(TM) 2.0 Gains The "Green Dot"

Elastic Gasket (Toolfarm price $375.00), a popular software adapter that lets Avid users run many Adobe After Effects compatible plug-ins, now operates in Avid's real time "green dot" mode. Available only for Windows(R) versions of Xpress Pro and Media Composer Adrenaline, existing owners can upgrade to Elastic Gasket 2.0 for $95 (USD).


Read press release. Verona, WI (April 1st, 2005) - Profound Effects(R), Inc., a leading innovator in special effects technology, is pleased to announce the availability of Elastic Gasket 2.0. Version 2.0 enables adapted 3rd party After Effects compatible plug-ins to use of the Avid's "green dot" real time mode of operation permitting an overall increase in performance and interactivity. Owners of previous versions of Elastic Gasket can upgrade to
Version 2.0 for $95 (USD).

Compatible with the Windows version of Xpress Pro and Media Composer Adrenaline, Elastic Gasket 2.0 makes it possible for some 3rd party After Effects compatible plug-ins to provide real time previews. Elastic Gasket 2.0 is not available for Macintosh-based Avid platforms.

Users are encouraged to download the evaluation version of Elastic Gasket 2.0 and try it on their Avid systems with the plug-ins they wish to adapt before purchasing or upgrading. Not all 3rd party After Effects compatible plug-ins will work on all Avid systems. Trying the evaluation version of the Elastic Gasket on your system with the plug-ins you wish to adapt is the only way to know for sure that this solution will work for you.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Silhouette Roto 1.0 Standalone Ships!

Silhouette Roto 1.0 Standalone/Plug-in Bundle
Silhouette Roto Standalone

Available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, the SA version is targeted at facilities with rigorous roto demands. Motion stabilization (also added to a new release of the plug-in version) produces fewer keyframes and High
Dynamic Range support means Silhouette Roto SA fits in well in the most demanding of film environments. Apple Shake rotoshape export has also been added.

Silhouette FX will be at NAB 2005 in the South Hall at Booth SL1024. NAB is in Las Vegas from April 18-21

Read Press releaseLos Angeles, CA (March 30th, 2005) - Silhouette FX, LLC is pleased to announce the availability of the stand-alone (SA) version of Silhouette Roto, the thoroughbred rotoscoping application. Battle tested at large high profile effects facilities, the SA version makes the ubiquitous task of roto more efficient and easier to integrate into production workflow. Motion stabilized roto, High Dynamic Range support and Shake export are added to Silhouette Roto's already best-in-breed feature set.

Motion stabilized roto means greatly enhanced productivity by eliminating many of the keyframes caused by an object's motion. Silhouette Roto's integrated motion trackers can be used to translate, rotate, and scale objects automatically, sometimes with no shape keyframes at all. Even if shape keyframes are necessary, there are far fewer of them because the object's basic motion has been factored out of the job.

The SA version's support of High Dynamic Range image file formats such as DPX, Cineon and OpenEXR(TM), means that roto in over- or under-exposed areas of the image are made easier and more accurate. Exposure compensation is accelerated in hardware right in the main user interface of Silhouette Roto.

The SA version, as well as the new 1.0.6 release of the plug-in version, add Shake rotoshape export to Silhouette Roto's broad range of shape import and export options. Shapes are exported by Silhouette Roto is the Shake SSF format. Silhouette FX provides a Shake module that imports SSF files into Shake version 3.5 rotoshape nodes. Silhouette Roto now boasts shape import or export compatibility with Avid(R) Technology's Elastic Reality(R), Pinnacle System's(R) Commotion, Discreet's combustion(R) and flame(R) family, Adobe(R) After Effects(R), and Apple's Shake.

Silhouette Roto's design expressly as a roto system shows, says Jan Cilliers speaking on the Creative Cow Silhouette FX forum. Jan said, "In the act of creating and animating your splines... nothing (bar none), will beat Silhouette Roto in efficiency, accuracy and speed of use. (You can quote me on that!)."

Mike Parsons, Visual Effects Supervisor for Mike Reed & Partners Post Production, Melbourne Australia had this to say, "As a commercial post production house we are always looking at ways to get support tasks such as rotoscoping and motion tracking off the big machines. In the past we have used flame, DS, Commotion, After Effects and combustion but have now standardized all our rotoscoping systems to Silhouette Roto. As a new system it already has a remarkably mature toolset which clearly shows that the developers understand what a roto artist needs. Add to this the 'no-brainer' GUI with fast interactivity and a realistic price point and Silhouette Roto is clearly the best solution on the market today."

Leveraging years of experience, the Silhouette Roto engineering team led by Paul Miller has taken care to produce a lean, clean user experience. Chris Poisson said that Silhouette Roto has "...one of the best interfaces I have ever seen, really intuitive. I picked it up very quickly."