Saturday, April 29, 2006

Chicago Training Event with Kevin Monahan!

SF Cutters logoDon't miss a chance to get in on expert training in the Chicago area, taught by SFCutters founder, master trainer and author, Kevin Monahan. I had the pleasure of meeting him Monday night at the Peppermill in Las Vegas. Very nice guy.

FCP FX - The class is an intensive 2 day workshop featuring advanced workflow and effects creation using Final Cut Pro. This popular workshop is based on his book, Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro". The FCP FX seminar emphasizes advanced workflow and effects creation using Final Cut Pro. This workshop will take place on May 5-6. This class is for advanced beginner to intermediate level FCP editors. A familiarity with the interface and basic editing skills are required.

Motion FX: This is an all-new 1 day workshop featuring effects creation using Apple Motion. This workshop will prepare you for creating solid bumpers, flying titles and custom video effects. The Motion FX seminar will take place on May 7. This class is for beginning students in Motion. Experience in other motion graphics programs is helpful, but not required.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Apple OS X 10.4.6 update may break RE:Vision Effects plug-ins

I'm a little delayed on getting this one up here:

From the RE:Vision Effects site: "Some of our users are having a problem after updating to Mac OS 10.4.6 when running our plugins. The error message will say something like "Can't load plugin, veclib missing", or "error in code fragment." The message varies depending on which host application you are running.

Turns out that there is a problem with the Mac OS 10.4.6 updater that removes a particular system file we rely on (the veclib.framework).

If you have updated to Mac OS X 10.4.6 and are seeing this problem with our plugins, then simply download and install the Mac OS X 10.4.6 Combo installer (not the simple updater), found here: Mac OS 10.4.6 Combo installer."

What to do if you are running FCP and after running the combo MacOS 10.4.6 installer you can successfully load RE:Vision Effects' plugins, but you get no parameter settings and black output frames.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Awesome Boris NAB Specials

borisSave a bundle on a bundle! Prices are good through May 4, 2006

Interested in other specials? Check out our Current Specials.

Knoll Light Factory Training DVDs

leftnobThe Knoll Light Factory Pro & Editors Training DVD covers one of the world's most chosen motion graphics tools, used by 1000's to create light effects called flares. Flares simulate reflections from a very bright light source as seen in a camera lens. In the digital graphics world, they are most often used to simulate the sun or other light sources, enhance text or logos, or intensify special effects shots like explosions.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

GenArts Releases Sapphire plug-ins 2.0 for Avid products

sapphire pluginsI got private demo at NAB of the latest release of Sapphire for Avid AVX. Impressive stuff.

-- Available immediately, version 2 features many new effects and improved functionality --

Cambridge, MA. April 4, 2006 - GenArts Inc., a leading provider of visual effects plug-ins for the film, broadcast and video industries, today announced the immediate availability of Sapphire Plug-ins version 2 for Avid® editing systems. With 46 new effects and a wide array of new features, Sapphire 2 delivers the next evolution of industry-standard visual effects for Avid users. This release includes a variety of enhancements for users, such as single click application of effects to a title or key, background and mask inputs, 2D moves built into the plug-ins, and a versatile new FilmDamage effect.

Curtis Nichols, Senior Editor at PCS Production Co., a full service media communications company, commented "Great upgrade! I love all the new parameters. Apply to Title/Key and Crop/Transform are important new features, and the grouping of effects is magnificent."

Version 2 contains all of the visual effects and features that have established Sapphire Plug-ins as an indispensable part of the digital artist's toolkit - plus many new effects, additional functionality, and overall usability enhancements. "Sapphire 2 includes some great improvements on an already excellent product," noted Gus Comegys of Chainsaw, a post production facility in Santa Monica. "The new FilmDamage effect gives lovely organic results and the ability to easily add effects to titles is a big time saver. At Chainsaw, we have already used many of these new plug-ins on some of our biggest shows."

Sapphire Plug-ins 2 leverages the AVX2TM feature set, enabling Avid editors to be even more productive with onscreen widgets, improved keyframing and many new temporal effects. "Third-party developers play a very important role in the Avid community by offering tools that enrich the editing experience, fuel creativity and further expand the functionality of our products. Over the years, many of our customers have come to rely on GenArts' Sapphire Plug-ins for their visual effects work," said Matt Allard, Senior Product Manager, Avid Technology, Inc. "The release of Sapphire Plug-ins 2 demonstrates GenArts' continued success in taking full advantage of the AVX development architecture as well as their commitment to serving Avid's users."

"We are thrilled with this new version of Sapphire Plug-ins for Avid. This release further improves the Avid user's workflow and adds to their already impressive creative capabilities," explained Karl Sims, President of GenArts, Inc.

Key new features of Sapphire Plug-ins version 2 for Avid products:

  • 46 new effects
  • Single click application of effects to a title or key
  • New crop and 2D transform parameters
  • Optional background and mask inputs
  • Support for AVX2 keyframe model
  • On-screen widgets for visual adjustment of many parameters
  • Plug-ins are grouped in 9 menus for easier access
  • Support for 16-bit images
  • Improved rendering speed
  • FilmDamage simulates aged film by adding scratches, dust, stains, grain, shake, flicker, etc.
  • Temporal effects such as FieldRemove, FlickerRemove, FeedBack, RandomEdits, TimeSlice, MotionDetect and TimeWarpRGB
  • New transition effects such as WipeRings, WipeTiles, SwishPan, DissolveGlow and DissolveFilm
  • New stylize effects such as Cartoon, Posterize, HalfToneRings, BleachBypass and Vignette

Availability and Pricing

Sapphire Plug-ins version 2 for Avid can be purchased directly from GenArts or through their worldwide channel of Avid Authorized resellers. Pricing for Sapphire 2 is: $1800 for Avid Xpress® Pro; $2800 for SymphonyTM Nitris, Media Composer® AdrenalineTM, Xpress or Newscutter® and $4800 for Avid DS Nitris. Existing version 1 customers qualify for special upgrade pricing of $600, $900 and $1600, respectively. A free trial of the software is available online at

GenArts will be giving demonstrations of Sapphire Plug-ins version 2 at NAB in booths SL5138J and SL1513.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Software and plug-ins that are updated as Mac Universal for Intel-based Macs

Mac universal binary for intel based macsSome people just love to make lists. I consider it an art. I've started a list of software and plug-ins that are updated to Mac Universal Binary so that they run natively on Intel-based Macs.

If you know of any that I've missed, drop me an email.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Boris FX Solutions to Support Intel-Based Macintosh Systems

continuumLots of news from Boris today, eh.

New versions of award-winning 3D Compositing, Titling and Effects plug-ins support Apple hardware advancements

Read the press release

Boris FX will show for the first time Boris native plug-ins running on the Intel-based Macintosh at NAB 2006. Visitors to the Boris FX stand SL2596 can see first-hand the popular Boris Continuum Complete filter package integrated with the latest release of Apple's Final Cut Pro (version 5.1), running on the Intel-based Macintosh. Boris Continuum for Intel-based Macintosh will be released later this year.

"As a developer of integrated Mac OS solutions for more than 10 years, we are proud to support the next generation of Apple computers," said Boris FX founder and president, Boris Yamnitsky. "We're excited about the potential performance enhancements that this will provide to our loyal Macintosh users."

The first Boris FX product to support the Intel architecture was Boris Calligraphy, a set of four Generators that is included with the Intel-based version of Final Cut Pro. While appearing as native generators, these plugins add valuable titling features, including vector text, auto-animated rolls and crawls, type-on effects, jitter, randomization and Z-space animation including tumble and spin.

Next to support the new architecture will be Boris Red version 4.0. Designed specifically for editors, Red integrates with more than 20 supported NLEs, including Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Avid systems. Boris Red is a powerful and versatile application that integrates advanced 2D and 3D compositing, industry-leading software DVE technology, robust 3D extrusion and animation, native vector titling, motion tracking, vector paint, rotoscoping, Adobe Illustrator file animation and extrusion and more, all in a single plug-in. Version 4.0 introduces dozens of new features, including new filters, 16-bit color support and a sophisticated new paint engine. Boris Red version 4.0 is expected to ship in Q3 2006. This release will be quickly followed by Intel-compliant versions of Boris FX and Graffiti.

Boris FX Unveils Red Version 4.0

boris red

And you better believe I'll be checking it out at NAB!

New version of 3D Compositing, Titling and Effects plug-in

April 21, 2006 - Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film production, today announced that it will unveil the next generation of its award-wining Boris Red at NAB 2006. Boris Red is an integrated 3D compositing, titling, and effects solution that provides integrated broadcast-quality features directly inside nonlinear editing systems. Version 4.0 introduces hundreds of new features, including more than 40 new filters, 16-bit color support, and a sophisticated new paint engine.

Designed specifically for editors, Red integrates with more than 20 NLEs, including Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Avid systems. In addition to an unprecedented range of integrated features, the Red Engine provides standalone rendering. Red is a powerful and versatile application that integrates advanced 2D and 3D compositing, industry-leading software DVE technology, robust 3D modeling and animation, native vector titling, motion tracking, vector paint, rotoscoping, Adobe Illustrator file animation and extrusion and more, all in a single plug-in.

Significant new features in version 4.0 include:

  • 16-bit per color channel image processing
  • New procedural paint brushes create ribbon and roller brush paint effects
  • New raster paint engine with sophisticated clone paint brushes
  • Convert bitmap files to vectors that can be extruded and animated
  • Support for Wacom tablet with multiple paint input channels
  • More than 40 new filters include a new Motion Key filter that removes moving foreground objects from a clip and a new Motion Path filter animates objects on a spline path
  • Import EBU subtitle files to generate standard subtitles for multiple languages and DVDs
  • Improved integration with Avid NLEs, including support for the AVX 2.0 architecture
  • Support for PPC and Intel processors on Macintosh systems
  • A new Type On Container automatically creates type on title effects

Boris Red version 4.0 will be shown at NAB 2006 at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 24-27 in booth SL2596. Boris FX will also showcase other solutions including Boris Blue and Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) at NAB 2006. A new BCC training DVD will also debut. This DVD helps both novice and experienced editors to integrate BCC into the Adobe environment. The DVD is hosted by James Rankin, author of “Adobe After Effects 6.5 Magic.” Boris Red version 4.0 is expected to ship in Q3 2006.

Boris solutions are also included as part of the third annual NAB Post|Production World Conference. For details, visit

About Boris FX
Founded in 1995 in Boston MA, Boris FX is the leading developer of integrated graphics and effects technology, delivering 3D compositing and vector graphic products for the broadcast, post production, film and multi-media industries. Since the company's inception, Boris products have grown to serve over 125,000 artists worldwide. A great part of its success lies in the ability to tightly integrate and leverage technologies through strong partnerships with industry-leading manufacturers including Adobe®, Apple®, Autodesk®, Avid®, Canopus®, Discreet®, Eyeon®, in-sync®, Incite®, Leitch®, Matrox®, Media 100®, Sony Pictures Digital®, and Ulead®. For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Free Trapcode Presets

Harry Frank is friend of Toolfarm and frequent forum contributor (and a friend from junior high... it's true! Harry and I went to Hills and Dales together and sat next to each other in English!) Harry is a super-talented motion graphic artist based in the Michigan. He has created the Trapcode Presets #9 for Creative Mac. Well played, Harry. Well played.

I don't want to give too much away, but Toolfarm is geared up for a big site remodel and we're relaunching our forum with awesome expert contributors, including Mr. Frank. The experts are already contributing to the forum in a big way, so check it out now. Right now.

Maxon's new Cinema 4D Module out in May.

maxon mographMAXON, April 18, 2006 - MAXON is proud to announce MoGraph, an exciting new module for its flagship 3D animation tool CINEMA 4D. Offering endless possibilities for creating spectacular effects using simple primitives, logos and text, MoGraph is the ideal solution for motion graphics artists ready to step into the third dimension.

Read full Press Release

CINEMA 4D is fast becoming the 3D tool of choice for motion graphics artists everywhere, in part due to its smooth connectivity to popular 2D motion graphics and compositing tools. MoGraph adds yet another dimension to CINEMA 4D's creative palette, by offering endless combinations and variations that are ideal for creating broadcast graphics, bumpers, movie titles and trailers, or logo animations. Multipass layers and 3D elements can then be rendered and imported directly into Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Combustion, Apple Motion, Final Cut Pro, Shake and eyeon Fusion for the ultimate in post-processing control.

With MoGraph's easy to use toolset, objects can be cloned instantly and arranged linearly, radially, in a grid or onto existing geometry. Effectors are then used to set these clones in motion randomly or by applying audio, textures, formulas, or many other elements for unlimited effects. Virtually every aspect is animatable and can be controlled through expressions. Comprehensive libraries containing shader-based materials and backgrounds, transitions, countdowns and 350MB of royalty-free audio and video clips are included, featuring a selection of videos from the popular Artbeats collection.

"CINEMA 4D is already widely regarded as the easiest to use professional 3D modeling, rendering and animation application," said Paul Babb, CEO of MAXON. "MoGraph's toolset makes it even easier for motion graphics artists to take advantage of CINEMA 4D's powerful animation tools and incorporate 3D into their workflow."

Coupled with the release of MoGraph is a free incremental update for CINEMA 4D. Release 9.6 includes additional enhancements for motion graphics artists. One of the most noteworthy improvements was made to OpenGL on the Macintosh platform resulting in display speed increases of up to 150%. Several new compositing functions and connectivity to eyeon Fusion have been added, as well as support for H264 and MPEG1, MPEG2 and MPEG4 codecs for QuickTime.

MAXON will demonstrate the amazing power and ease of use of MoGraph at the upcoming NAB 2006 show in Las Vegas, April 22-27, Booth #SL5567 & #SL5138M .

As is the case with all MAXON products, MoGraph will be available for Windows (32-bit or 64-bit) and Macintosh systems (incl. Universal Binary). MoGraph will ship in May, and requires CINEMA 4D R9.6 or higher. The module is available individually for US dollar 395, pound 259 or euro 327 , or bundled with CINEMA 4D for a special introductory price of only US dollar 995, pound 699 or euro 862.

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).

Monday, April 17, 2006

RE:Vision Effects releases RE:Map!

RE:Vision Effects RE:MapRE:Vision Effects announces the release of RE:Map, the ultimate kit of mapping and distortion tools. RE:Vision Effects will be at NAB, booth SL5138 (the plug-in pavilion) to demo the newly released RE:Map and the rest of their products.

RE:Map is a set of 4 plugins:

  • RE:Map UV takes a UV Map, probably rendered from a 3D system, and renders an image using this mapping. Easily clean up texture maps and remap in post without having to go back to your 3D system for re-rendering. In addition, this plugin allows you you to come up with cool 2D and 3D animated texture map templates and reuse them over again with different image sequences.
  • RE:Map Distort takes a color image and automatically distorts the image based on the features for a caricature-like effect.
  • RE:Map Displace warps an image with a user-supplied displacement map. This plugin includes many more options and advanced filtering controls than most other displacement map filters.
  • RE:Map Planar maps or inverse maps a perspective plane defined by 4 points (also known as corner-pinning and inverse-corner-pinning).

RE:Map is an After Effects-compatible plugin set, and is available for Autodesk combustion, eyeon software's Fusion, Adobe After Effects and Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Motion, and other applications that support After Effects-compatible plugins. RE:Map Distort and RE:Map Planar work in all the listed applications. RE:Map Displace and RE:Map UV are recommended for use only within applications that support 16 bits-per-channel projects, such combustion, Fusion as the professional version of After Effects.

Floating point support for After Effects 7.0 is planned. Users who purchase RE:Map now will receive the upgrade with floating point support for free when released.

Demo material, examples and software are available at

RE:Map is a trademark of RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Other trademarks are owned by their respective owners. Features, pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Adobe Production Studio Premium Review

adobe production studio premiumRead an excellent review of Adobe Production Studio Premium by Jeremy Hanke and crew at MicroFilmmaker Magazine. This is an indepth review that touches on everything you want to know about Adobe's megabundle.

Imagineer Systems Releases monet v2, mokey v4

Major productivity enhancements through toolset upgrades and new user interface


(11th April 2006) Imagineer Systems, the UK-based developer of the innovative mokey, monet and mofex visual effects tools, announced today the immediate availability of monet v2 and mokey v4. monet is a unique tracking and compositing toolset for commercial, film and corporate video post production work such as virtual product placement and visual effects work. mokey offers an essential toolset for removing wires, rigs, logos, scratches and other undesired elements in commercial, film and corporate video post production work. Both products will be on display in Las Vegas at NAB 2006 booth number SL5564.

monet v2 further enhances the original feature-set, adding a host of new tools and optimisations that increase its already impressive performance. New features include: a stabilize tool, a mesh warper, improved rotoscoping tools, support for exporting projects to Shake via the mofex plug-ins, enhanced file I/O performance and optimised processing, persistent caching and a streamlined user interface.

mokey v4 represents a major upgrade in terms of feature set, workflow and user interface. Improvements to the rotoscoping toolset have resulted in better handling of edges when removing objects in multi-layered scenes and new tools like Patch give users more flexibility when dealing with complex shots. Performance improvements and a new hierarchical workflow approach have improved the usability of the tool significantly.

"We have worked long and hard on implementing feedback from a rapidly expanding user base," comments Allan Jaenicke, CEO, Imagineer Systems. "The comments from beta users have been excellent and we are very excited about the new releases. We are continuing to innovate and deliver high quality solutions that give artists ever more creative freedom."

Boris Blue is Now Available!

Boris BlueBoris Blue is a real-time 3D compositing and motion graphics solution. A standalone application, Blue provides unprecedented 3D creativity with real-time performance to accelerate your workflow.

Create stunning 3D text and shapes with innovative pixel shaders including bump maps, noise patterns, natural materials as well as reflections and 3D shadows. Distort and warp 3D objects with a simple one-parameter action. Bend and twist corners or wrap extruded text around curves.

Get Boris Blue!

Want to try Boris Blue?

Boris Blue Demo

Final Cut Studio updated to 5.1

final cut studioFinal Cut Studio is now available as a Universal application. This version runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. Take advantage of up to 2x the performance when you run Final Cut Studio 5.1 Universal on the MacBook Pro, featuring the Intel Core Duo processor.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Free Presets from Ko Maruyama

Ko Maruyama has created some very cool free presets for use with Trapcode Particular among others. Don't miss 'em. Ko says he'll be adding new presets every couple of weeks. (The link on the DMN page to download the presets is currently not working, but I got them from Ko.)

Hot Tip: These presets are a great way to learn After Effects. Did you know that you can reverse engineer them to learn some valuable methods of animating in After Effects. This goes for Dean Valez's great stuff at The Anvel, too!

Silhouette updates

silhouettefxSilhouette FX has announce the availability of Silhouette Roto and Paint v2.2 and the Silhouette Shake Render plug-in v2.2.1. This is a free upgrade to existing customers.

This upgrade does not require a new license, however Mac users of Nodelocked Version 2.0 or 1.x will require a new license.
Please send your original system-key from your installed version and then install the new version and also send that system-key to requesting the license upgrade.

See release notes.