Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cinema 4D available for MacIntels

cinema 4d

If you're one of the lucky people to get one of the new Macs, Maxon's Cinema 4D will work with your new box.

Read the press release


MAXON, January 30, 2006 - Just days after the first new iMacs with Intel Core Duo processors have begun shipping, MAXON is proud to announce the availability of a "universal binary" version of CINEMA 4D, its award-winning 3D animation package. This makes CINEMA 4D not only the first 3D application, but also the first professional graphics application, available in a universal binary version that runs natively on the new Intel-based Macintosh Computers. Once again, MAXON demonstrates its commitment to the rapid support of the latest hardware advances.

Apple itself utilized a universal binary version of CINEBENCH, MAXON's CINEMA 4D-based benchmarking tool, to demonstrate the power and speed users will realize with this new hardware platform. In general, an Intel Core Duo 2.0 GHz iMac renders over twice as fast as an iMac G5 with 2.1 GHz. This makes adding an Intel Core Duo system a very attractive option for CINEMA 4D users. These results were achieved using a final, production-ready version of CINEMA 4D - not a beta version.

MAXON is well known for leading the way in support of new hardware technology. CINEMA 4D was the first professional 3D application available for Mac OS X (7/2001) and Windows 64-bit (5/2005). Multithreading and multiprocessing have been supported since 1996. Further, users of the latest generation dual core CPUs benefit from a speed increase of 80% over a comparable single core CPU.

The universal binary version of CINEMA 4D is available immediately. Owners of CINEMA 4D R9.5x can download a free upgrade to the universal binary version from MAXON's website. Mac OS X version 10.4.4. or higher is required.

About MAXON Computer
MAXON Computer is the developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning products have been used extensively in the film, television, science, architecture, engineering and other industries. MAXON products have been used for and in Polar Express, The Flight of the Phoenix, Hero, Van Helsing, King Arthur, Spiderman, Spiderman 2, Haunted Mansion, Cat in the Hat, Charlie's Angel's-Full Throttle, Star Wars 2-The Attack of the Clones, The Mummy Returns, Gladiator, Tomb Raider, the new Columbia-TriStar Film Logo, the On-Air Packages for Comedy Central, Monday Night Football, Discovery Channel Canada, Lucky, Touching Evil, King of Queens, Def on Demand, Power Puff Girls Music Video, Cher's "Song for the Lonely" Music Video, Inspector Gadget, The Emmys on CBS, TiVO, NBC, DirecTV, CBS NFL, Mad TV, Smart House, J.A.G., The WB, Fox Kids, The Fremont Street Experience and many more. MAXON has offices in Friedrichsdorf (Germany), Newbury Park (CA, USA), Bedford (UK) and Tokyo (JP).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

After Effects 7 Tryouts

Particle Illusion updater

wondertouch has released version 3.0.2 of particleIllusion 3 for OS X.

This is a free update. It includes many bug fixes and also adds pIllusionRender, our standalone renderer that allows you to render output that is larger than your desktop.

Before downloading the update, please check the version that you are currently running. From the particleIllusion menu, select "About particleIllusion" to find the exact version number. If you are running 3.0 (or 3.0.0) you'll need to apply the 3.0.1 update first, then the 3.0.2 update.

Security Patch for Adobe Creative Suite 2

Last week Adobe released a security patch for Creative Suite 2. The brief release notes say that the "update addresses and resolves a security vulnerability that has been detected in Adobe Creative Suite 2, Adobe Photoshop CS2, and Adobe Illustrator CS2 software."

There's also a DNG Converter and Camera Raw 3.3 Update for Photoshop CS2 and Photoshop Elements 3.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

After Effects 7's Retimer

foundry logo

There has been some discussion on the new retimer in After Effects 7. People have been asking me if I know about the programming behind it. Well I do now!

Press Release: The Foundry's Kronos Retimer Selected For Adobe After Effects 7

London, UK. 20 January 2006 - Visual effects developer, The Foundry today announced the licensing of its advance image processing technology to Adobe for integration into Adobe After Effects 7.0, which launched globally on January 17th 2006.

Read full Press ReleaseThe Foundry has been developing plug-in visual effects for Adobe customers for over five years. In addition to a range of After Effects plug-ins available through The Foundry, Adobe has included Keylight, an advanced blue-screen keyer, in After Effects Professional since version 6.0.

"With the release of After Effects 7.0, we incorporated the underlying technology from Kronos because it delivers outstanding advanced retiming effects for our customers," said Steve Kilisky, senior product manager for Adobe After Effects."

Dr Bill Collis, at The Foundry added "We are delighted that Adobe have chosen to incorporate our advanced image processing technology into After Effects. The team at Adobe are always very enthusiastic about the technology that we develop here at The Foundry, we hope to continue to provide innovative solutions for After Effects users for many years to come."

The Foundry's Kronos forms part of Furnace, a sophisticated collection of advanced image processing tools. Furnace is now deployed by the world's leading post production facilities including Double Negative, Rhythm & Hues, Weta Digital, Pacific Title and Art Studio, Moving Picture Company, Cinesite UK, Framestore CFC, Animal Logic and Gray Matter.

The Foundry products are widely acclaimed across the industry, having recently been used by digital artists on a wide range of projects including; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Batman Begins, King Kong, and Harry Potter.

About The Foundry

The Foundry is a software developer specialising in plug-in visual effects for the film and video markets. The company was set up in 1996 by Bruno Nicoletti after writing custom effects for flame operators at Rushes Postproduction in London. Simon Robinson joined soon afterwards to form the partnership. The Foundry were the first sparks' developer for Discreet Systems Products and now have their Tinder, Furnace, Keylight and Anvil plug-ins on the leading compositing platforms for customers throughout the world. In January 2004 The Foundry launched OpenFX, an open plug-in solution that is setting the new standard for industry plug-in development and support.

GridIron Nucleo updater

Get a critical update for Nucleo v1.04 which adds full support for Adobe After Effects version 7.0 in addition to 6.5, and also includes improved RAM management for Previews, improved error reporting, and a number of other enhancements that dramatically improve performance and system stability.

Toolfarm Forum

We've upgraded our forum and we now have new features. Haven't checked it out yet? Well, it's hoppin'. All of the cool kids are there.

And, a special thank you to Jeremy for his help. Jeremy is a cool kid.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Plug-in Compatibility with After Effects 7.0

Wondering which plug-ins work in After Effects 7.0? I'm compiling a list with notes from developers and information gleaned from resources such as the AE-List.

This list is far from complete and I know that most will probably work without a hitch. If you have tested a plug-in that isn't included on the list, drop me a line and I'll add your information. Thank you!

Steve Kilisky's After Effects Blog

Steve Kilisky, Sr. Product Manager for Adobe After Effects, will share news, views, and tips on the world of motion graphics and visual effects in his new blog.

Cycore FX HD Update & Price Drop!

Cycore FX HD is an important set of over sixty 16-bit professional effects ranging from blurs and color adjustments through distortions and particle generators to lighting and transitions. Cycore has released a new version for After Effects 7, and also a new unlockable demo. This means that you can install the demo, run it, and when you buy it, you'll just need an unlock code. Easy like Sunday morning.

Ko Maruyama has a video with clear instructions at Digital Media Net, Activate-Deactivate CYCORE HD installation. He'll explain how to avoid the Duplicate Plug-in error.

We're now selling Cycore FX HD with incremental pricing - the more licenses you buy, the more you save. For one license, the price has dropped to $299. Need 2-6 licenses? Pay just $199 each. Need more than 7? Get them for $149 a piece.

We're also selling render-only licenses for $79 each, or a site license for $790, which will run on as many machines as you need.

Twixtor & ReelSmart Motion Blur updated for AE 7

RE:Vision Effects releases updates to the After Effects-compatible versions of Twixtor, their popular retiming solution, and ReelSmart Motion Blur, which adds and removes motion blur based on per-pixel calculated motion. The versions updated are compatible with After Effects, combustion, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro.

We've added the information to our Plug-in Finder under the Twixtor and ReelSmart Motion Blur listings in our database.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Greetings from Chicago!

Yesterday was the first day of the Chicago Motion Graphics Festival, and I'll tell you, I haven't had that much fun in a long time. Here's the play-by-play.

I took the Amtrak into Chicago, which is a great way to travel... very comfortable.

First I headed to the Apple Store on N. Michigan Avenue which has a terrific presentation area. Mason Dixon was giving a presentation on Flash at that time. After that, the Ascend Training sponsored another Flash presentation. Mason gave a presentation about Illustrator's integration with After Effects and then I was up.

I did about 45 minutes of After Effects integration with Photoshop and overall it went fairly smoothly. I was very nervous for some reason. There were a lot of people there watching! I am going to give the same presentation at the West Michigan Animation and Effects User Group meeting on January 25th, and we're going to attempt to tape it and podcast it. We'll see how it turns out. Of course, I explained Toolfarm and our Plug-in Finder and Forum.

After the Apple Store training, Mason and I headed over to Bridges Media Group where there was a gallery-style screening of work from winners and local post-houses, such as Bridges and Digital Kitchen. I met Ted Schroder of Big Fat Ted's, Chicago, who was the winner of our Foundry Survey iPod. He's a really cool guy and had this amazing piece showing at Bridges. I met so many nice people. People in the Mid-west are so friendly.

At Bridges, Mason introduced me and I talked about Toolfarm some more, then Mason gave the presentation that everyone was waiting for... a live demo of After Effects 7.

The new interface improvements are stellar. It seems that I'm always fighting with the floating palettes. This redesign will change the speed and efficiency in working with AE. You can change the entire workspace with a pulldown menu. If you're working with masks, put it in mask mode. If you're working with type or paint, put it in type or paint mode.

There are loads of templates included with AE 7 to really help you get your projects kicked off in a hurry. These remind me of Apple Motion a bit. There are all sorts of new presets too and I know I'll be wasting a lot of time playing with them when I get my copy of AE 7.

The graph editor is the big thing that people are getting excited about. It will take me a while to really wrap my brain around how to really manipulate this graph editor, but Wow! It is very powerful. There's new Open GL accelleration in AE 7 too.

Mason also demo'd Premiere Pro and Audition, and both have some really great improvements. Adobe has really integrated the programs even more than before.

One of the coolest things at Bridges, though, was this video rug. It was a very thin screen taped to the floor with a camera and projector mounted to the ceiling. When you waved your arms over the video on the floor, ripples of water would form. Freakin' amazing. I want one.

So, I'm back to the Apple Store this morning for more training classes. Tonight there's another gallery-style showing tonight at Optimus. Stop by if you're in the area.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New Adobe Releases!

AE 7 ProThe industry standard for motion graphics and visual effects

Oh, it's a big day for Adobe! These are the products you've been waiting for... I've been waiting for!

Adobe After Effects 7.0

Animate your ideas. Adobe® After Effects® 7.0 software delivers the flexibility and power you need to bring a new dimension to your film, video, DVD, and Macromedia® Flash® productions. Bring infinite variety to your work with 2D and 3D compositing and hundreds of effects and Animation Presets. Work in real time with new OpenGL acceleration, a redesigned interface, and tighter integration with key Adobe applications. And take control with professional color-correction tools and a new Graph Editor that help you achieve unprecedented precision.

Adobe Video Bundle

Adobe Video Bundle

The Adobe Video Bundle offers the powerful, Windows based production toolset of Adobe Production Studio Premium with Macromedia Flash Professional 8 software, the industry's choice for authoring rich interactive content for the web. Now with one value-priced package, you can design, develop, and produce professional results for film, video, and DVD, plus easily incorporate video into interactive content for the web using the Macromedia Flash format.

I'll be adding the info for the Adobe Production Studio Premium shortly and I'll add it to this news post

Chicago Premiere of After Effects 7 and the Adobe Video Bundle

Adobe Video BundleI will be presenting this with Mason Dixon, of the Chicago Motion Graphics Festival. He's been to Adobe this week for a major Production Studio cram session.

I'm also currently updating our store and I'll post links to the new items as soon as they're ready.


CHICAGO, IL, The Chicago Motion Graphics Festival will host the Chicago premier of the Adobe® Production Studio release including the long anticipated After Effects 7. The event will take place at the festivals opening night screening at Bridges Media Group from 6 to 8pm.

Adobe today unveiled Adobe Production Studio which combines full new versions of Adobe's world class video applications - Adobe After Effects 7.0, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, Adobe Audition 2.0, Adobe Encore DVD 2.0 and the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Illustrator CS2, with the innovative and timesaving new Dynamic Link feature that eliminates the need for intermediate rendering of After Effects compositions used in Premiere Pro and Adobe Encore DVD. It's a fully-integrated post-production software environment that gives film, video and web professionals the creative control to deliver their best work.

We invite you today to be amongst the first to see this impressive product line-up. One attendee will win a copy of Adobe Production Studio valued at $1699.

The Chicago Motion Graphics Festival consists two days of free tutorials and presentations at the Apple Store, three nights of festival screenings at top downtown post-houses, and Master's Class at School of the Art Institute Chicago.

There will also be a very special Online Event on Saturday from 6-10pm.

All the details are on the website

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sorenson Media Squeeze updated to 4.3

Sorenson Squeeze is one of those must-have programs for me. It compresses video so amazingly. You get small file size and great quality.

Sorenson Media Squeeze Compression Suite and Squeeze for Flash MX have both been updated to 4.3. This is a free upgrade to owners of Squeeze 4.0 or later.

This release provides users with a new, freely distributable cross-platform FLV player for easy playback and preview of FLV files. In addition, this version offers alpha channel support for blue-screen type special effects as well as embedded cue points and global metadata options. Other new features include: plug-in support for On2 Technology's VP6 Pro video codec and a new group of Flash player templates.

Cool Keyboard Shortcuts

I have a student in my After Effects class (Hi Jorge) who could probably teach it! He gave me a couple of great keyboard shortcuts that I've never used.

Take multiple snapshots in After Effects:

  • To take the snapshots, press Shift + F5, F6, F7, or F8.
  • To view the snapshots, hold down F5, F6, F7, or F8.
  • To purge a snapshot, Mac: Cmd+Shift F5, F6, F7 or F8. Windows: Ctrl+Shift F5, F6, F7 or F8.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Plug-in Finder updates

If you're curious, you can view the pages that have been recently added and updated in our Plug-in Finder.

Developers: Got a new plug-in coming out? Email Michele with the details.

Users: If you've come across a plug-in that we don't have listed, please email Michele a link. We pride ourselves on listing every single After Effects plug-in out there, even if we don't sell it.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

zMatte 2.0 is out!

zMatteFor those of you who are interested, Digital Film Tools has released our zMatte Keyer for After Effects, Avid, Photoshop and Shake. The official press release is below.

Digital Film Tools releases zMatte 2.0, a full featured blue and green screen keyer for Apple Shake, Adobe After Effects and After Effects compatible programs, Apple's Final Cut Pro, Avid Editing Systems and Adobe Photoshop.

Read the full press releasezMatte is a full-featured keyer that is the result of Digital Film Tools experience in creating hundreds of successful blue and green screen composites. Using proprietary matte extraction techniques, zMatte quickly and simply creates mattes with minimal parameters even if you are dealing with fine hair detail, smoke, or reflections. It is easy to use, yet provides the needed tools when faced with good, bad, or ugly shots - tools such as multiple matte creation, automatic spill suppression, sophisticated matte and edge manipulation, and color correction.

zMatte includes a complete set of keying plug-ins which include: Deartifact to clean up compression artifacts in DV and HD footage; Edge tools to color correct, blur or mix only the edge of the key; Holdout to matte the usually problematic smoke, fire and explosions; the zMatte Keyer to handle the heavy keying tasks; Light Wrap to bring background color into the foreground element; a Matte Generator used to key images not meant to be keyed; and Matte Repair to fix common matte problems.

Created for the rigorous demands of motion picture production by digital artists for digital artists, zMatte is available for download or purchase at Toolfarm: Apple Shake: $470; Avid, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Combustion, Digital Fusion - $375;Upgrade pricing is available for existing customers

Digital Film Tools is an offshoot of a Los Angeles based full-service visual effects facility specializing in feature film and television special effects.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

GridIron Nucleo 1.0.3 updater

NucleoA critical update has been made available for GridIron Nucleo. Version 1.0.3 fixes several issues that improve performance and ensure proper image quality as well as overall system stability.

Several issues were found with previous versions of Nucleo that could cause incorrect frame quality and overall system instability. Steve from GridIron urges all users of GridIron Nucleo to download 1.0.3 at their earliest convenience.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Motion Graphics Chicago: EYE CANDY EDUCATION

Chicago Motion Graphics Festival

Press Release from Motion Graphics Chicago

The Third Annual Chicago Motion Graphics Festival is hosting an intimate tour of the world of motion graphics and special effects. Occurring JANUARY 18-21 the festival will include screenings, tours and classes.

Works of international design excellence will be featured in a gallery-style format on Wednesday,Thursday and Friday evenings at leading downtown post-production companies. Two days of free classes will be held at the Apple Store on North Michigan Avenue and the School of the Art Institute will host two "Master's Classes" in popular motion graphics and special effects software.

Opening night will be held January 18th at Bridges Media Group. The evening will begin with Adobe Software raffling off over $1700.00 worth of software and they will also make a product announcement that will "change the meaning of post-production productivity."

The following day, "After Work Thursday" at the Apple Store will include a presentation of Xsan, Apple's fiber-optic file management system for professional post-production companies. Later Optimus, a company known for memorable industry events, will open its doors to a showcase of motion graphics artistry.

Friday night the screenings continue at Daily Planet and S2, both located in the NBC tower. There will be two floors of interactive art installations and flat-screen viewing stations. Commercials, music videos, and video art from over 30 global cities including Istanbul, Zurich and Stockholm, will be on display.

During the day on Friday the School of the Art Institute will host a class in "Broadcast Readiness" by Chicago's premier Apple pro-video integrator, Matt Geller. On Saturday, "After Effects Studio Techniques" will be presented by Richard Harrington, local celebrity and author of over 25 books on motion graphics.

Saturday night, the festival will conclude with CMGF's first-ever online event. An international audience will be able to participate in the 4-hour broadcast and live chat. The show will feature a festival recap and will be streaming from Mac Specialist in Glen Ellen.

Mason Dixon, founder of CMGF, comments, "We love what other festivals are doing around the world and that has definitely challenged CMGF to be different. This year will be a unique opportunity for creators and consumers to closely observe the most imaginative work being produced."

CMGF is the annual event of Design After Next and the Chicago Motion Graphics Users Group, which holds free monthly meetings at the North Michigan Apple Store. The all-volunteer group presents technologies to professionals creating imagery for video, film, DVD, and the Web. For more information and RSVP go to mgchicago.com.