Thursday, December 28, 2006

GPU-Tech releases Free Edition of renderer RTSquare 1.3.

GPU-Tech launches a free full Edition of RTSquare 1.3, renderer plug-in for 3DS Max and VIZ. RTSquare is compatible with Autodesk 3DS Max 6, 7 and 8 and with VIZ 2005 or newer.

RTsquare is the only gpu-based renderer that allows you to gain in speed by 10 to 50 compared to other renderers. The difference is that the free version is reserved for non professional use and you can not use the network rendering that is in the professional version.

Learn more about the Free Edition | Regular Full Version

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Review: After Effects PowerStart from dvCreators.net

After Effects PowerStartBy Michele Yamazaki, Toolfarm, Inc.

There are several wonderful training pieces for After Effects, but it's the Chunkalize feature that really sets the dvCreator's training apart. Chunkalized.... I know, it sounds like a slogan for Chips Ahoy cookies.

What the heck is Chunkalized?, you're wondering. It's a simple, interactive feature which allows the viewer to work in After Effects along with the video DVD without missing a beat. The video automatically pauses for you at the end of the chunk so that you can flip between the video and After Effects, do the excercise and come back. If you miss something, you can quickly jump back to the last Chunk without having to look around for the start point. This hands-on approach saves time and streamlines the training process. You can bypass this feature, too, if you choose not to use it. (View some excerpts)

After Effects PowerStart training is taught by Stephen Schleicher, who writes for Digital Media Net. Stephen is a smart and funny presenter and his personality comes through in the training, but occasionally it comes off a bit scripted. He says things like "Neato!" and "Good job!" which delivers some schticky playfulness to the program.

The lessons are straightforward and progress logically. In the end, the user creates a compelling title animation that is very "real world". Stephen begins with an intro to the program and then gives a very quick overview of the interface and project settings. There's no reason to spend a lot of time there, since the specifics are revisited several times throught the training. He covers the transform properties, keyframing, animation presets, shortcuts, masks, nesting, a couple of effects, track mattes, an introduction to the Advanced Text Engine and 3D layers with ease. The project files are included on the DVD.

The graphics throughout the program look amazing. The pop-up windows with the shortcuts are similar to the ones we used in Toolfarm's Expert Training Series, and get the job done efficiently by really brining the shortcuts to your attention. It's visual reinforcement at it's best. The color schemes and segment titles are appealing, as is the music bed.

As a veteran After Effects user, I cannot say that I learned any new techniques or tricks. However, the material presented is well-organized, and it was beneficial to me in another way. I teach After Effects at an art college and after viewing this training, I'm now rethinking the order of the material that I cover and how I approach certain topics.

The training is fast, which is great if you have a short attention span or not a lot of time. It gives a more than adequate introduction to After Effects, touching on most of the important areas of the program. If you're new to After Effects, I highly recommend this training. I also recommend it to those teaching After Effects.

Boujou 4 review at DMN

Boujou 4Check out Boujou 4: Camera and object tracking software introduces scripting control By Todd Sheridan Perry. There's a nice before and after image and Todd says "is and always has been an impressive piece of software, and it's performed beautifully on numerous projects I've been a part of."

Buy Boujou 4 | Upgrade to Boujou 4

Yes, it is an expensive product, but it's so awesome! If you use our "holiday gift" that we gave to our mailing list, you would save $479! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you might want to join our mailing list to get in on the next deal!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

After Effects Tutorial: Reflection

reflection
Image courtesy of istockphoto.com
Author: Michele Yamazaki, Toolfarm, Inc.
Skill Level: Easy
Application: Adobe After Effects
Version: AE 7.0
Project Files: Download Project File
Movie Sample: View Quicktime
Plug-ins Used: None

I've been seeing this reflected look everywhere these days... from Apple.com to software to jewelry print ads.

This look is very easy to create in Adobe Photoshop or After Effects.

Note: The image is not included with the project file because it is a stock image. The image is replaced with a solid blue placeholder. If you replace the solid with your own image, it may not line up properly because of size differences. You'll need to reposition your image.

Instructions:

  1. Import your image into After Effects. Scale it to the size that you wish it to be.
  2. Make the image layer a 3D layer. We will be animating a camera later in the tutorial.
  3. Duplicate your image layer.
  4. On the duplicate layer, scale the X & Y values to -20.0. Scale the Z value to -100%.
  5. On the duplicate layer, set the Y rotation to 180°.
    layers
  6. Line up the bottom of the duplicate image to the bottom of the original image.
  7. Double click the duplicate image to open the image in layer editing mode.
  8. Draw a mask around the bottom portion of the image.
  9. Tap the F key to bring up the Mask Feather settings. Set yours to 175 or higher... whatever looks good to you.
    Mask
  10. Close the layer window and go back to the comp window.
  11. Select your reflection layer. Apply Levels. Effect > Color Correction > Levels.

    The idea is to make the reflection light without completely blowing it out or turning down transparency. I adjusted Output Black to 214 and left the remaining settings alone.
    Levels
  12. Apply a camera to the comp. Layer > New > Camera. Set it to whatever size you like.
  13. Keyframe the Y rotation of the camera. I set it so that it rotates from 13° to 0° over 3 seconds. Do whatever looks right to you.

Other options: Use video or animate shapes or images using this method.

monet and mokey adds Intel-based Mac support

Imagineer Systems19th December 2006 - Imagineer Systems, the UK-based innovators of next-generation VFX tools, announced today that its latest release of monet and mokey includes Intel-based Mac support.

"We are excited about Apple's commitment to being at the forefront of workstation performance and we are experiencing significant performance improvements on these new systems," says Imagineer CEO Allan Jaenicke. "We are committed to the Mac platform and look forward to exploring the opportunities for adding more complex features to our software that the increased performance of the Intel-Mac enable."

IntelThe new release will be a Universal Binary, running both on G5 and Intel based systems. Users with Intel-based Macs will experience a significant performance improvement compared to previous releases.

"The blazing speed of our Intel-based Macs offers a significant performance advantage for high end applications reliant on heavy visual effects," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "We're thrilled that Imagineer has joined the thousands of developers using Xcode and other innovative Apple tools to develop Universal versions of their applications."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Red Giant Magic Bullet Colorista v1

Magic Bullet ColoristaAn inexpensive, smart, fast, color correction tool without needing to fully understand the color wheel.

Now that you've locked your edit, it's time to load Colorista to apply a natural finish, and make your image pop. Under the hood is the next generation Magic Bullet engine with real-time processing for quick review and rendering of SD and HD media. Colorista is ready for action with industry-standard color wheels for precise color control. Tweak the image further with saturation and exposure to make it balanced. Plus, isolate areas with an animatable mask shape - the easiest way to light up your talent. Colorista paired with Look Suite are the perfect tools for color finishing.

fxplugUniversalColorista ships as a native plug-in for all major hosts applications including Final Cut Pro (FX Plug), Motion, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Avid AVX 2-compatible systems.

Red Giant Software Offers New Color Correction Tool: Magic Bullet Colorista

Colorista Paired with Look Suite are the Perfect Tools for Color Finishing

San Francisco, CA, December 15, 2006 – Red Giant Software today announced Magic Bullet Colorista, a new plug-in to get the right color for every shot. Magic Bullet Colorista ($199 USD) ships as a native plug-in for all major host applications including Final Cut Pro (FX Plug), Motion, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Avid AVX compatible systems.

For the past 18 months, Red Giant Software has been engineering a completely new line of video enhancement products that address the needs of its customers. The number one request was an easy to use color correction tool that could deliver great results, fast. Proper color correction is of course an essential step before applying a Magic Bullet Look. So Red Giant took it upon themselves to create a high quality color correction tool. Magic Bullet Colorista is just what you'd expect from a Magic Bullet product with features that stand out from the crowd of color correction tools.

For additional product information visit Magic Bullet Colorista in our Plug-in Finder.

Key Features


Precise Color Balance

Colorista make your whites look white and your talent look their best with controls for modifying shadows, mid-tones and highlights. The familiar Lift, Gamma, Gain color wheels allow for easy adjustment of color balance and luminance with ultra-sensitive control for precise results. Additional, Saturation and Exposure options let you makes flesh tones look natural, plus set the highlight and shadow levels exactly.

Real-Time DeepColor RT

Maximize your performance with the power of the DeepColor RT engine inside Colorista. Playback SD and HD (720p) projects in real-time by efficiently using your system’s graphics processing power. The next-generation DeepColor RT engine preserves quality in every application host so that 10-bit projects
remain 10-bit.

Power Mask with Ease

Apply the correction just where you need it. With Colorista you can create a simple circular or rectangular shape to isolate a specific zone. No longer is it necessary to pre-mask a shot to deepen the color of a sky or emphasize the action in a shot. The animatable controls for area and feather let you work right in the canvas or composer window.

Pricing and Availability

Magic Bullet Colorista is available now for $199 USD. To order, go to Colorista v1

About Red Giant Software

Red Giant Software LLC (http://redgiantsoftware.com/) is a San Francisco-based company that develops and distributes professional tools for digital video production. Products are available as plug-ins for popular video editing and effects applications including Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and other compatible applications such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro. All tools are based on production-proven technology developed by visual effects veterans.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

LME Amazing Video Walls & Displays

LME logoLME has come out with an 'Amazing' product which is a big help to those who have miniscule budgets and need to crank out high-quality work at break neck speeds. I used to work in that sort of place, and man, I could've used LME's Amazing Video Walls & Displays.

Open premade After Effects comps and replace their photos with your video and images. They work with AE 6.5 and 7.0. You'll really impress your clients and it can be our little secret that you used LME's stuff. I promise I will not tell.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Color Finesse 2.1.4 Update Now Available

color finesseUniversal
  • Universal plug-in for use with Final Cut Pro 5.1.2 on Intel-based Macintosh systems.
  • Universal standalone SD/HD+ version for Intel-based Mac systems.
  • Additional support for floating-point pixels under Premiere Pro 2.0.
  • Corrections to preview gamma under certain combinations of host application versions and preview card driver versions.
  • Corrections to a number of issues when running under Combustion 4.
  • The Limiter now defaults to NTSC/PAL depending on the Video System preference setting.
  • Other minor fixes and optimizations.

The new 2.1.4 installers are available now on the Synthetic Aperture web site. There is no charge to upgrade from Color Finesse 2.1.x to 2.1.4.

Discounted upgrade pricing is available for those wanting to upgrade from Color Finesse 1.x.

Monday, December 11, 2006

10 STEP STAR: A simple piece of geometry

Author: Ko Maruyama
Skill Level: Easy
Application: Maxon Cinema 4D
Version: r9.6
Project Files: Download Project Files (zipped)
Plug-ins Used: None
Demo: Download Free Demo of Maxon Cinema 4D
View text tutorial

Instructions

  1. Choose the front view. This will make things easy to see - later you'll be able to do this in any viewport, but it allows you to see what's going on.
  2. Create a STAR SPLINE object. Star spline will allow you to set up the right number of points in the right area quickly and easily.


    Click the screen grabs for larger images in a new window (pops)

  3. Set the number of points in the star to the number of points in the star you want to make. In the attributes window, set the number of points to 5.

    star
  4. Now that the Star Spline has been modified, make it editable by using the pulldown menu or simply use the "C" key on the keyboard to make the selected object "editable".

    star
  5. With the editable star object selected, open the STRUCTURE MANAGER. Select all of the points (these represent all of the points in the star (not the spikey points, the 3D vertices!) There should be 10 points (count '0' as one of the points). COPY THOSE POINTS (cmd or ctrl-C).

    star
  6. Create a polygon object. Note: this isn't a primitive shape, it's just an empty polygon object.
  7. In the polygon object's structure manager, PASTE the point data from the clipboard.

    star
  8. Create a new line (you're making a new set of data for a new point). This point should have values of (0, 0, 0). The new point will be in the center of x,y,z.

    star
  9. With the POLYGON objet selected, and the points now pasted in the object's structure, you'll need to connect the points to create polygons. Note from the pulldown menu, the shortcut is to type (in rapid succession) M then E.

    star

    SEE MOVIE HERE:
  10. Let's revisit the new point that was created in the center of the structure. Change the Z value to -50. This moves all of the newly created geometry out to meet the new position of the center point.

    star

OPTIONAL EXTRA

11-opt. If you're going to see around to back of this model, you may want to add a symmetry object to easily recreate the geometry on the other side of this. Add the symmetry object while holding down the option key to add it as a parent to the selected object. Don't forget to switch the mirror plane to the correct face (this one is XY)

12-opt. Add a material. There are tons of presets that you'll find in the application. There are even more on the CD in the goodies folder. There are more yet online. Have suggestions for where to find CINEMA 4D materials? Check in at the Toolfarm Forum and let us know where your favorite material site is.

Here's the file if you need to get there in a hurry. DOWNLOAD .C4D FILE (R 9.6) Go through the steps to figure out how to make this, and you'll see how easy it is to make many other models using CINEMA 4D. NOTE: There is an alternate version of the model in the file using an array object. Click the READ ME objects for more information. Wanna learn more about C4D? Check out Cineversity Tutorials, now over 500 video tutorials www.cineversity.com.


Purchase Cinema 4D

After Effects 7.0.1 Update is now available

Adobe After Effects BoxAdobe has fixed a lot of bugs, including the unable to unhide.

arrowAdobe After Effects 7.0.1 update for Mac

arrowAdobe After Effects 7.0.1 update for Windows

Also, Jonas Hummelstrands great blog, The General Specialist has an article on Avoiding the "After Effects error: could not create image buffer".

Friday, December 08, 2006

DVCreators Final Cut Pro Foundations

DVCreators Final Cut Pro FoundationsDVcreators.net has been known as the world leader in Final Cut Pro training since the day Final Cut Pro 1.0 was released.

Final Cut Pro Foundations is the quintessential Final Cut Pro editing course, guiding users through every step of the essential editing process from organizing projects through capture, basic editing and fine-tuning to exporting the final project for delivery in the highest possible quality. Complete with student project files, Final Cut Pro Foundations is the only chunkalized Final Cut Pro training in the world!

See some samples!

Alien Skin Snap Art

Alien Skin Snap Art is natural media plug-in for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro. Isn't it gorgeous!

impasto rollover oilpaint rollover
Click for larger sample image.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Zaxwerks ProAnimator Updated to 4.1.0

ProAnimatormac universalZaxwerks ProAnimator 4.1.0 has just been released, and incorporates many changes and bug fixes that affect both the Mac and the PC user. ProAnimator is now a Universal application, so for those of you running Intel based Macs, you can now run ProAnimator natively on those Macs.

The 4.1 version is a FREE update to anyone who already owns version 4.0 of ProAnimator.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Automatic Duck product news

automatic duck logo

Combustion importer now Universal, adds HD ability

Automatic Duck's Pro Import Cmb 1.05 is now available, bringing Universalness as well as compatibility with Combustion 4.04 on the Mac. The new version of Pro Import Cmb can now also handle Avid DNxHD media!

If you're using Combustion on the Mac, you should definitely be using the latest 4.04 release. Not only is it native on Intel Macs, it is even much faster on PPC-based systems. On the Mac side, this new release of Pro Import Cmb is compatible with Combustion 4.04, but only 4.04, not earlier versions. On the Windows side, Pro Import Cmb works with Combustion 3.02 and later.

Pro Import Cmb 1.05 is a free update for users of Pro Import Cmb. Installers for the updated plug-ins can be found on the Automatic Duck web site. Users of Combustion 4.03 or earlier on Mac should not update.

Updates to FCP plug-ins correct P2 incompatibility

Automatic Duck recently learned of a problem where the FCP P2 import module would crash FCP if either of their Pro Import FCP or Pro Export FCP plug-ins were installed. This update corrects that defect.

Users of Pro Export FCP 3.0 can update to 3.05 at no cost. Users of Pro Import FCP 2.0 can update to 2.02 at no cost. Installers for the updated plug-ins can be found at the Automatic Duck web site. Users of older versions of these plug-ins can upgrade for $195.

Check our Plug-in Finder for more Automatic Duck information.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Complete Guide to Plug-Ins

Studio Monthly has a terrific and long list of plug-ins for After Effects, Premiere Pro, Shake, Sony Vegas and loads of other hosts. The list shows each plug-in with a summary, URL to purchase, host application, platform and notes where necessary. It's a very nice guide and we're happy to be mentioned in the list.

If you're looking for more indepth information about plug-ins, all in one place, look no further than Toolfarm's Plug-in Finder. The Plug-in Finder is updated and modified just about every day, so the information is as up-to-the-minute as you'll find anywhere.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Maxon Cinema 4D Christmas Ornament Tutorial by Ko Maruyama

Ko Maruyama has created some gorgeous Christmas bulbs with Maxon Cinema 4D and has a tutorial and the project files to share. This is the season of giving, after all. (I always wondered... why isn't every season a season of giving? It should be.)

So, are you learning Cinema 4D? Maxon has a cool tutorial/training experience called Cineversity. I really recommend that you check it out!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Imagineer Updates mofex, mokey and monet

The folks at Imagineer have been very busy.

monet

monet v2.0.5 released

These are the highlights of the release note for monet version 2.0.5. The release is a full install kit that allows users to install a brand new version or to upgrade an existing version (can only upgrade version 2.0.X). You can download this installer from imagineersystems.com/download/.

New Features Introduced

Several new features have been incorporated within this release; the new functions introduce an enhancement to the method of tracking these include a new default tracking technique which allows Monet Version 2.0.5 to double the speed of tracking.

Interlaced Single Frame Tracking: For interlaced projects the default is now to track every second field and interpolate the track for in-between fields. This doubles the speed of tracking. The user can switch this feature and revert to tracking every field by switching on "Track Individual Fields" in the Tracker settings.

Layer Link to Adjust Track: When linking a layer to the tracking data of another layer there is now the option to link to the adjusted track. This is controlled by a new "Link to Adjusted Track" checkbox in Layers.

Reference Frames on Every Frame: When using the Luminance feature and creating reference frames, you can optionally select "Build on Every Frame" which creates the filtered reference frame on every frame.

Universal Binary: This version is the first to be available as a universal binary on Mac, and runs natively on both Intel and PowerPC Macs.

Fault List Fix
Below is the list of known faults that have been corrected in this release. All fixes have been incorporated and tested for this release.

Application locks after stopping playback: The problem was that auto-save cannot occur during playback but can occur once playback has been stopped. Project save can be slow due to the encoding of the garbage mattes. This has changed so that the mattes are not saved in an auto-save file. This greatly increases the speed of project auto-saving

Trace jumps vertically with interlaced clips: When you display the trace for the tracking reference points of a layer in an interlaced project, the position jumps up and down through the even and odd fields.

Threaded Execution Failure - Hangs on Tracking: When tracking backwards from the end of the clip the bug was that the tracker would track the end frame into itself. This resulted in an infinite loop when tracking frames near to the end frame,

Stabilizer AutoFill feature does nothing: The problem was that the output matte produced by the stabilizer was being computed correctly in each thread, but the mattes were not being brought together after the threads had finished, so the output matte was white everywhere. Then there was nothing to fill!

Incomplete track error in stabilizer preview: When you only track part of a shot and then switch to stabilizer, you immediately get an error message saying 'Overlay Error Tracking Data incomplete Tracking data....' This happens even when you are on a frame that has been tracked. The solution is to change the 'Range' setting to only include the range that has been tracked, but that is not obvious to a new user.

Matte artefacts: If you create very thin layers, the rendered mattes (not the interactive preview) can have a "staircase" of white pixels, resulting in renders with artefacts.

Curve Weight problem: The previewed matte can appear to be too blocky, especially when zoomed in. The problem disappears on rendering. The sampling of splines used in rendering the matte has been increased to make it the same as when drawing the curves.

mokey logo

mokey V4.0.5 released

This is the highlight of the release note for mokey version 4.0.5 The release is a full install kit that allows users to install a brand new version or to upgrade an existing version (can only upgrade version 4.0.X). You can download this installer imagineersystems.com/download/.

New Features Introduced

Several new features have been incorporated within this release; the new functions introduce an enhancement to the method of tracking these include a new default tracking technique which allows mokey version 4.0.5 to double the speed of tracking.

Interlaced Single Frame Tracking: For interlaced projects the default is now to track every second field and interpolate the track for in-between fields. This doubles the speed of tracking. The user can switch this feature and revert to tracking every field by switching on "Track Individual Fields" in the Tracker settings.

Layer Link to Adjust Track: When linking a layer to the tracking data of another layer there is now the option to link to the adjusted track. This is controlled by a new "Link to Adjusted Track" checkbox in Layers.

Universal Binary: This version is the first to be available as a universal binary on Mac, and runs natively on both Intel and PowerPC Macs.

Fault List Fix
Below is the list of known faults that have been corrected in this release. All fixes have been incorporated and tested for this release

Incomplete track error in stabilizer preview: When you only track part of a shot and then switch to stabilizer, you immediately get an error message saying 'Overlay Error Tracking Data incomplete Tracking data....' This happens even when you are on a frame that has been tracked. The solution is to change the 'Range' setting to only include the range that has been tracked, but that is not obvious to a new user.

Matte artefacts: If you create very thin layers, the rendered mattes (not the interactive preview) can have a "staircase" of white pixels, resulting in renders with artefacts.

Curve Weight problem: The previewed matte can appear to be too blocky, especially when zoomed in. The problem disappears on rendering. The sampling of splines used in rendering the matte has been increased to make it the same as when drawing the curves.

mofex

mofex v1.1.4 released

These are the highlights for the release note for mofex version 1.1.4. The release is a full install kit that allows the user to install a brand new version or to upgrade an existing version. (Can only upgrade version 1.0.X) You can download this installer from imagineersystems.com/download/.

New Features IntroducedThe new release, mofex 1.1. 4, incorporates compatibility with the latest release of Shake as well as creating a standard universal binary that will support both Intel and PowerPC Macs.

  • Shake 4.1 support - This release provides compatibility for the product with Shake version 4.1
  • Universal Binary - This release is a universal binary, supporting both Intel and PowerPC Macs.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Foundry releases Keylight for Autodesk Combustion and AE 7.0 Standard Edition

Keying power for the desktop

keylight

London, UK. November 28, 2006. Leading visual effects developer The Foundry today announced the release of Keylight, the Academy Award-winning blue and green screen keyer, for Autodesk's Combustion and Adobe's After Effects Standard Edition desktop software. Keylight is already available on a range of leading platforms including Autodesk's inferno, flame, flint, fire and smoke systems, as well as Shake, Avid DS and the Professional version of Adobe After Effects. The new release extends this acclaimed and hugely popular keying technology to the global After Effects and Combustion communities, delivering a powerful new toolset for the creation of quality visual effects.

Keylight is easy to use, and is highly effective at tackling shots in which it is problematic to pull a clean key, particularly shots featuring hair, reflections and semi-transparent areas. Spill suppression is built-in, meaning that selection of the screen colour is often all that is needed for the user to pull a perfect matte and allow effects elements to be seamlessly seated together and to look genuinely photographed.

"Whilst Keylight has been available on a range of host platforms, we had more and more requests from the After Effects Standard edition and Combustion communities, and felt Keylight would be a beneficial resource for both of these user groups," said Dr Bill Collis, The Foundry's commercial director. "Keylight will really enhance the style and quality of visual effects they wish to create."

Keylight has an unparalleled pedigree, having been used on scores of feature films including: King Kong, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Harry Potter series, Mission Impossible, Resident Evil, Sleepy Hollow, Chicken Run, The Truman Show, Armageddon and many, many more.

Its ease of use, and ability to tackle difficult footage via an array of built-in tools, has earned Keylight an enviable reputation, and established it as a favourite with visual effects facilities and artists across the world.

"Keylight remains one of our most powerful keying tools. I've relied on it for nine years. Its spill suppression and matte manipulation capabilities are second to none. Keylight is simple to use and versatile enough to cope with the wide range of key extraction/colour correction situations." Gavin Toomey, senior compositing artist, Framestore CFC.

Keylight features include:

  • Outside matte input to manage shots with uneven light
  • Inside matte input to aid the prevention of print through and to help maintain the true colours of the source image
  • Advanced integrated spill management
  • Separate colour correction, suppression and edge correction tools for fine-tuning
  • Substantial matte processing tools for refining mattes
  • Extensive viewing capabilities for rapid troubleshooting
  • Built-in controls for blurring chrominance, helping to pull cleaner keys from compressed footage
  • 8 and 16-bit image support
  • PDF user guide complete with tutorials

Availability and Pricing
Now shipping, Keylight is available for artists running Adobe After Effects 7.0 Standard Edition and Windows versions of Combustion. Nodelocked licenses are available for $395.00 / £210.00 and floating licenses can be purchased for $592.50 / £315.00. For more information and free evaluation licenses please visit www.toolfarm.com.

About The Foundry
The Foundry is a London based software developer specialising in visual effects technology for the film and video markets. From an initial start-up in 1996 by Bruno Nicoletti, The Foundry has grown considerably in size and scope over the last nine years. Initially Bruno and his business partner Simon Robinson used their extensive experience in post production to produce Tinder plug-ins for Discreet's Flame systems - the first set of such plug-ins to be commercially available. Today the company employs more than a dozen people and develops and markets plug-ins on a range of host applications, including After Effects, Autodesk Media Entertainment Systems, Apple's Shake and Avid|DS.
The company now also successfully licenses its sophisticated image processing technology to third parties, expanding its scope beyond plug-ins. The Foundry has also used its considerable influence to drive the development of an open standard for visual effects plug-ins known as OpenFX, which is gaining wide acceptance by host and plug-in developers, such as Grass Valley, FilmLight, Autodesk, D2 Software and others.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Get Free Training from Total Training!

adobe adBuy Adobe Production Studio Premium or the Adobe Video Bundle and get over 17 hours of video-based training for FREE (US$199.00). Offer expires November 30, 2006 or while supplies last.

Offer Terms & Conditions

This offer entitles customers to get the Total Training for Adobe Production Studio: From Edit to Output DVD for FREE (a value of US$199.99) when they purchase full and/or upgrade versions, Commercial or Education versions of Adobe Production Studio Premium or the Adobe Video Bundle (Studio 8/Adobe Production Studio Premium). Adobe will cover all costs associated with shipping, tax, and handling for the training DVD. Offer is available to customers located in the U.S., Canada (excluding Quebec), and Mexico.

To receive Total Training for Adobe Production Studio: From Edit to Output, customers must do the following by December 15, 2006: Visit the Total Training website. Enter their contact information, serial number, and date of purchase for the qualifying product. Adobe reserves the right to modify means of verification at any time during the promotion.

Limited to one Total Training for Adobe Production Studio: From Edit to Output DVD per household. Offer is valid for purchases made from September 18, 2006, to November 30, 2006. All prices listed are determined by the Adobe Store and authorized participating reseller partners; prices may vary. Price is listed in U.S. dollars and excludes all taxes and shipping. Other limitations apply. The Offer is available only in conjunction with offers in this e-mail and at Adobe authorized participating resellers, and not in conjunction with any other offers. Allow 2-3 weeks for training delivery after providing the required purchase verification via theTotal Training website. All prices and offers are subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited by law.

Chicago Motion Graphics Festival Call for Entries

Last year Toolfarm was a sponsor of the Chicago Motion Graphics Festival. I presented at the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. and attended open houses and a couple of very cool posthouses in downtown Chicago. You gotta go to this event! Or enter something!

CMGF07 is a four-day premier Midwestern event catering to 3D and compositing effects. It takes place January 25th through 28th in downtown Chicago. The festival features an awards ceremony, industry mixer, HD screening, a 4-day educational conference, and year-round online coverage. Current partners include School of the Art Institute, North Michigan Apple Store, Screen Magazine, and Midwest Media Group.

CMGF will screen work that includes: special effects, compositing, music videos, commercials, experimental, machinima, game graphics, animatics, web motion designs, dvd intros and micro-cinema. The festival accepts entries from all over the world, but will emphasize work from the Midwest (represent!).

This year we will give special attention to work at HD resolution.

The DEADLINE for entry is 8 December 2006.

To submit a motion picture for consideration, please enclose a print out of the application form, a check for the $15 entry fee made payable to Design After Next, LLC, your entry in one of the accepted formats, and mail to:

Motion Graphics Chicago
1573 North Milwaukee Ave #510
Chicago, IL 60622

All entries should be submitted on DVD, MiniDV, HDV, BetaSP or compatible data file formats such as an uncompressed Quicktime file.

Entries should also include:

  1. A brief artist or company bio.
  2. A list of the software used to create the work,
  3. An indication of the content's original format (i.e. computer animation, live action footage, hand-drawing, stills, etc.),
  4. A description of the work of 35 words or fewer, and
  5. An optional, separate description of not more than 100 words.


Please send an email with your name and the name of your project to filmfest@mgchicago.com when you have mailed your submission, and we will notify you when your entry has been received.

Entry Fee is $15.00 per person or company. Each person or company can include as many pieces, works, or movies in their entry as will fit on their entry DVD.

Please Note: All submission become the property of Design After Next, LLC to be used at their discretion. All relevant permissions and copyrights are assumed to be cleared by the entrant. The accepted festival entries will be shown at the festival screening, MGChicago events, on the festival website, and on the festival DVD.

If you have a question about your entries eligibility please contact filmfest@mgchicago.com.

For more information about the festival visit www.MGChicago.com.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Softimage Announces SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6

softimage

Latest software version will offer accelerated animation tools, mixed-pipeline interoperability and collaborative framework for 3D artists and technical directors

Tewksbury, Mass - November 15, 2006 - Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), today announced that its Softimage, Co. subsidiary has unveiled SOFTIMAGE|®XSI® 6, the latest version of its flagship 3D animation and character creation software. XSI 6 software introduces new solutions for accelerated animation that simplify working with 3D characters and motion capture data. A new collaborative framework in XSI 6 software also allows 3D artists to work together non-destructively, in a studio environment that provides easy integration with other 3D applications.

SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 will support the .NET framework and include integrated C#, an object-oriented programming language, popular with next-gen 3D game developers. The software also offers support for Python, a preferred scripting language used by technical directors for setting up film and visual effects pipelines. In addition, Softimage is working closely with industry partners to offer support for DirectX 10 hardware that will operate on Microsoft Windows Vista once it is available.

"At Blur, our animations and stories are becoming more epic and definitely more complex. We chose to fold SOFTIMAGE|XSI software into our established 3D pipeline for our latest animated short film, 'A Gentlemen's Duel.' We needed a very organized structure for the complex 3D character rigging and a solid animation package," said Tim Miller, President and founder of Oscar®-nominated BLUR Studio. "By introducing XSI software into our pipeline, our artists were able to bring our characters to life while effectively managing over 1800 parts to each human rig. XSI performed like a champ," added Miller.

Creating animated 3D visual effects, characters and 3D game titles for next-gen consoles - like the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PLAYSTATION 3 - is becoming increasingly complex. Because it is built on the newest code base of any comprehensive 3D application on the market, XSI software is best suited to operate with next-generation hardware and 3D game development and visual effects pipelines.

Additional highlights of XSI 6 software include:

  • Crosswalk - a dedicated toolset that offers extensive asset transfer to and from other 3D software, ideal for today's mixed pipelines;
  • MOTOR - a streamlined way to transfer and move animation and motion capture data between arbitrary XSI rigs and other 3D software character rigs;
  • Delta Referencing - a new lightweight production-level referencing solution that streamlines the process of working with and making changes to 3D models and scene set-ups;
  • Elastic Reality Warper and Morpher - built into the Illusion compositor in XSI 6 software, this intuitive solution allows artists to 'distort' and 'morph' images and sequences;
  • Quick Shade - a fast way to preview rendering elements with large scale materials management and support for mental ray® 3.5 and an new open framework for integrating third-party renderers.

A full feature list for Softimage XSI 6 can be found at: www.softimage.com/xsi.

"With a next-generation scalable architecture, and the ability to easily fit into existing 3D pipelines, XSI software offers a collaborative workflow environment that underlines our dedication and sole focus to offer the best 3D solutions for the entertainment market," said Marc Stevens, vice president and general manager for Softimage.

Pricing and Availability
SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 is expected to be available by the end of December 2006 in the following configurations:

  • SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Foundation will sell for $495 USMSRP from the Softimage web site or from authorized Softimage resellers.
  • SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Essentials will sell for $1,995 USMSRP from authorized Softimage resellers.
  • SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Advanced sell for $6,995 USMSRP from authorized Softimage resellers.

Once shipping, all versions will be available for download for upgrades from existing licenses or first time 3D customers at www.softimage.com/download.

Upgrade Promotion
With the launch of XSI 6, Softimage is offering a special, limited time upgrade promotion. All registered XSI Foundation customers can upgrade to XSI 6 Foundation for $395 USMSRP or XSI Essentials for $1,495 USMSRP until December 20. 2006. For more information about upgrades and maintenance pricing, visit: www.softimage.com to find a local reseller.

About Softimage Co.

Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., delivers innovative 3D character creation and effects tools to animators and digital artists in the film, broadcast, post-production and games industries. Its product line includes SOFTIMAGE|XSI, the most advanced 3D animation and character creation software for next generation games & film, and SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT, the first production for lifelike facial animation, SOFTIMAGE|CAT, a complete character animation system plug-in, and ALIENBRAIN-, an industry leading production asset management solution for creative teams. For more information about Softimage, please visit www.softimage.com.

About Avid Technology, Inc.

Avid Technology, Inc. is the world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management, and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games, and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively, and creatively. For more information about the company's Oscar®, Grammy®, and Emmy® award-winning products and services, please visit: www.avid.com.

Class On Demand Launches Boris Red 4.0 Training

Class on Demand Boris Red 4 Training

Boris FX endorsed self-paced training hits the street

Hoffman Estates, IL - November 16, 2006 - Class on Demand (COD), a provider of professional educational products for creative markets, has announced the release of "Complete Training for Boris Red 4.0". Endorsed by the team at Boris FX, this latest Class on Demand release is delivered by well known Boris Red effects artist and educator Steve Oakley. Steve covers a wide range of Boris Red 4.0 topics, ensuring that both students new to the program and savvy Boris Red users upgrading from an existing version are able to the maximize their learning experience. "Boris Red is one of our most popular packages and the new release delivers a slew of new features and infrastructure improvements including; enhanced user interface, image treatment tools and a new paint engine. Steve Oakley does a tremendous job taking students through the new release; ensuring they can master the Boris Red 4.0 product," comments Peter McAuley, Boris Red product manager, Boris FX.

"Complete Training for Boris Red 4.0" covers the spectrum of the Boris Red 4.0 features and functionality. Students can learn basics such as navigating the Boris Red 4.0 user interface to more advanced effects concepts such as manipulating spline objects. Further, because Class on Demand training products are a self-paced in design, new and experienced Boris Red 4.0 users can focus on learning concepts specific to their needs. "The Complete Training for Boris Red 4.0 DVD is simply the fastest way for anyone to get up to speed on Boris Red 4.0," comments Paul Holtz, founder and CEO, Class on Demand. "Steve does an amazing job of taking you through the massive feature set with a focus on how to use the effects creation and image treatment tools for best results. Students will without a doubt be more productive and creative when they are finished with this Class on Demand self-paced product."

Pricing and Availability
The Class on Demand "Complete Training for Boris Red 4.0" training DVD-ROM is designed for Windows and Macintosh operating systems and can be ordered through the Toolfarm.com for an MSRP of $129.95 USD.

A comprehensive description "Complete Training for Boris Red 4.0 " product as well as sample tutorial can be found on the Class on Demand web site (www.classondemand.net).

About Class on Demand
Class on Demand is a leading producer of education and training programs. Its products and services address the needs of individuals, professionals and corporate training. Current programs cover a broad spectrum of content including video capture and editing, computer animation, federally mandated training, customized corporate training and vocational education. Please visit our web site (www.classondemand.net) for additional information regarding our products and services. Class on Demand is a registered trademark of Class on Demand, Incorporated.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Virtual Katy Garners Par Excellence Award At Aes 2006

Next generation VK technology scores big with Press

Cambridge, MA - November 16, 2006 - Virtual Katy Development Limited, a Digidesign® development partner delivering workflow solutions for audio professionals, today announced they have been awarded the "PAR Excellence Award" from Pro Audio Review. The "PAR Excellence Award" is given each year at the Audio Engineering Society convention to a select group of developers for technology innovations, value and performance. "We have had such a great year and this is a confirmation of our successes and hard work," comments John McKay, founder and president, Virtual Katy "Within the last 12 months we have introduced three new products, opened two offices in the states, and rolled out a cool promotion with our partner Digidesign; putting VK technology in the hands of audio post editors who purchases Pro Tools. It really has been an amazing year - thank you Pro Audio Review for recognizing our efforts."

Virtual Katy was founded in 2003 and is a developer of audio change management solutions for the postproduction markets. Used on everything from feature films to the 30-second spot, VK products - VK Conformer, VK2 and VK CNA - enable Pro Tools users to save saved countless hours by automating painstaking tasks that kill the creative spirit and derail deadlines.

"For post audio studios, the Virtual Katy VK2 auto-conform and change management tool is destined to become invaluable. It's a program that allows an evolving project between an Avid video workstation and soundtrack on Pro Tools to be easily updated and conformed thanks to the VK conform engine." Pro Audio Review November 2006

About Virtual Katy Development Limited
Virtual Katy Development Limited is a New Zealand based software developer focused on delivering innovative solutions for the postproduction world. Their flagship product, VK, is a battle hardened program designed for audio professionals.

Virtual Katy, the Virtual Katy logo and VK are registered trademarks or trademarks of Virtual Katy Development Limited. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Knoll Lens/Particular, Knoll Light Factory Presets

Knoll IconToolfarm and Digital Media Net's Ko Maruyama and team, are partnering to bring you a series of presets for Red Giant's Knoll Light Factory.

Check out the tutorial by Steve Komaya, Using Knoll Light Fatory as particles in Trapcode Particular. It's magical, and great to know just as the glut of the holiday commercials you're working on come through your shop.

Learn more about Knoll Light Factory and Trapcode Particular.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Boris Graffiti 5.0 Now Available

Boris Graffiti

Delivering advanced image treatment tools and enhanced core processing for professional title creation

Marlborough, MA - November 14, 2006 - Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film production, today announced the release of Boris Graffiti 5.0. Boris Graffiti 5.0 is a 2D and 3D vector title animation plug-in solution that seamlessly integrates with industry standard non-linear editing systems. Boris Graffiti 5.0 is based on the new Boris Red 4.0 release offering a slick new user environment, exceptional compositing and effects creation tools, and industrial strength processing. "Scalability is the philosophy behind the Boris FX product line. Core items such as the Boris UI and effects creation methodologies are fundamentals throughout the Boris FX products enabling Graffiti 5.0 users to easily interchange and master all Boris products. Further, presets can be carried across the product line making it quite easy to transport favorite title treatments and effects," said Boris Yamnitsky, founder and president, Boris FX.

Boris Graffiti 5.0 Highlights Include

  • New User Interface - new UI incorporates NLE look and feel for smooth user interaction. A mini timeline in the composite window with keyframe animation controls and popular "Sticky" and "Magnetic" windows create an interactive design environment.
  • EPS Import and Extrusion - scalable vector art can now be imported directly into Graffiti. Users can add, delete or modify the original spline points and the result can be extruded and animated in 3D space
  • Over 40 Title Treatment filters - the most popular Continuum and Final Effects filters as well as new filters are now included with Graffiti 5
  • New Library Browser Templates - the new Graffiti release ships with power user Steve Oakley's favorite templates for fast title creation
  • Generator Support for Sony Vegas - Sony Vegas 7 editors can use Boris Graffiti 5.0 as a static title generator; less rendering and faster title generation
  • Additional NLE Hosts - support for new hosts include Avid models, Canopus Edius 4 and Sony Vegas 7
  • Intel Mac Support - Graffiti users have a choice of using Apple's power PC or the new Intel-based Macs (shipping Dec 2006 - free update for Graffiti 5.0 customers).
  • 16-bit Color - lends greater control over color correction and manipulation with expanded color depth

Boris Graffiti 5.0 is available today through the Boris FX web site and Boris FX worldwide reseller channel for an MSRP of $299.00 USD. Existing Boris Graffiti users can upgrade for an MSRP of $199.00 USD.

Special Promotion: Boris FX and Graffiti Bundle

boris fx and graffiti bundleSpecial promotions include the new Boris Graffiti and Boris FX releases bundled for an MSRP $499.00 USD or bundled upgrades for an MSRP $299.00 USD.

Boris FX Releases Boris FX 9.0

boris fx

Boris FX version 9.0 hits the streets with a fresh new look and 100 plus new effects creation tools

Marlborough, MA - November 14, 2006 - Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film production, today announced that Boris FX 9.0 is now available. Boris FX is a 2D and 3D compositing and effects plug-in that seamlessly integrates with industry standard non-linear editing systems. The new version 9 release incorporates an ultra-modern UI design and over 50 new filters! "This release marks a truly exceptional time in our company's history. Fifteen years ago we rolled into MacWorld Boston with the Boris FX plug-in. Back then, it was designed specifically for Media 100 users to do simple 2D and 3D effects," said Boris Yamnitsky, founder and president, Boris FX. "Today we support every major NLE with an extensive, scalable product line that enables 60,000 plus editors and motion graphic artists to realize stunning broadcast effects and titles. The entire team is incredibly proud to be a part of this success and we our grateful for the continued support and enthusiasm from the Boris customers."

Boris FX 9.0 Highlights Include

  • New User Interface - new UI incorporates NLE look and feel for smooth user interaction. A mini timeline in the composite window with keyframe animation controls and popular "Sticky" and "Magnetic" windows create an interactive design environment
  • Over 100 Compositing and Effects filters - the most popular Continuum and Final Effects filters as well as new filters are now included with Boris FX 9
  • New Library Browser Templates - the new Boris FX release ships with power user Steve Oakley's favorite templates for fast effects creation
  • Additional NLE Hosts - support for new hosts include all Avid models, Canopus Edius 4, and Sony Vegas 7
  • Intel Mac Support - Boris FX 9.0 users have a choice of using Apple's power PC or the new Intel-based Macs (shipping Dec 2006 - free update for FX 9.0 customers).
  • 16-bit Color - lends greater control over color correction and manipulation with expanded color depth

The new Boris FX 9.0 is available today through the Toolfarm.com for an MSRP of $299.00 USD. Existing Boris FX users can upgrade for an MSRP of $199.00 USD.

Special promotions include the new Boris FX and Boris Graffiti releases bundled for an MSRP $499.00 USD or bundled upgrades for an MSRP $299.00 MSRP.

Monday, November 13, 2006

RE:Vision Effects releases FieldsKit 2.0.

revision logoRE:Vision Effects announces the release of FieldsKit 2.0, the acclaimed set of plug-ins providing smarter deinterlacing and better workflow options for interlacing and pulldown. FieldsKit 2 now includes the powerful motion estimation found in Twixtor and ReelSmart Motion Blur.

New to FieldsKit 2.0:

  • A Deinterlacer mode that uses motion estimation in order to deinterlace.
  • A Reinterlacer mode that uses motion estimation to create interlaced material from progressive material.
  • Floating point image support for After Effects 7.0.
  • Fixed other small bugs with the Reinterlacer and Pulldown plugins that sometimes necessitated workarounds.
  • Added a render-only licensing option.

Availability and pricing:

FieldsKit 2.0 is priced at $89.95. Upgrades from version 1 are priced at $29.97.

Render-only licenses are priced at $17.99. Render only licenses are for use with After Effects' and combustion's render-only programs (aerender and backburner, respectively) and the render-only version of Fusion. Note that the render-only licenses only work on projects written with a full license (so you must have at least one full license for the render-only licenses to be valid).

Users who purchased FieldsKit after August 1, 2006 can upgrade for free (this includes the bundles that include FieldsKit, such as our Effections packages).

Volume discounts available. Contact sales@toolfarm.com.

Compatible with Adobe's After Effects 5.0 and later, Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0 or later, Apple's Final Cut Pro 4.0 or later, Autodesk’s combustion 2.1 or later, eyeon’s Fusion 4.04e or later, 5.02 or later, and Quantel’s generationQ product line. See website for exact compatibility requirements.

Come see FieldsKit 2.0 and the rest of RE:Vision Effects product line at DV Expo, booth 819, November 15 through 17, 2006 in Los Angeles. For more information visit the DV Expo website, http://www.dvexpo.com/ .

Demo material, examples and software are available at http://www.revisionfx.com .

FieldsKit, Twixtor and ReelSmart are trademarks of RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Other trademarks are owned by their respective owners. Features, pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.

Modo Power of 2 Promo: Attention Maya, Max, LightWave and XSI users!

modo logoAttention users of Maya, Max, LightWave or XSI Cross-grade to Modo 202. Save $200! This price is for a limited time only.

Model in your program of choice and render with Modo! Modo has an amazing renderer and will increase your speed and quality of renders. Don't miss this great chance to save!