Tuesday, May 30, 2006

RE:Vision Effects' Video Gogh 2.8

Video Gogh, the RE:Vision Effects plug-in for After Effects which turns your pictures and videos into painted works of art, is up to version 2.8.

Providing an easy and intuitive interface, Video Gogh employs the powerful technology used in "What Dreams May Come," 1998 Academy Award Winner for Best Visual Effects. Just open a movie with Video Gogh, set some parameters and Gogh! Out comes a painted animation.

So, what's new? The significantly better tracking of Twixtor 4.5 has been incorporated into Video Gogh. Added Intel support for Final Cut Pro, too.

On the Macintosh, for all applications except Final Cut Pro you need to delete the previous Video Gogh plugin in your plugins folder, because the name of the plugin files have been changed

On the Macintosh users of After Effects 7.0 or later will see a significant improvement on G5 CPUs running Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger).

Friday, May 26, 2006

Final Cut Pro Update for 5.5.1

Final Cut Pro 5.1.1 fixes critical bugs and optimizes application performance on specific hardware. Just run your Software Update.

For more detailed information, please visit Apple Support

RE:Vision Effects announces major updates for Macintosh versions of their plugins

revisionUpdate includes Intel support for Final Cut Pro 5.1 and speedups for After Effects 7.0
(May 25, 2006)
RE:Vision Effects announces upgrades for it's Macintosh After Effects-compatible plugins. Notably, all of their plugins that work within Final Cut Pro (that is, all of their products except RE:Flex) now run in FCP 5.1 on Intel Macs. The latest updates also run significantly faster within Adobe® After Effects® 7.0 on G5 CPU Macintoshes running Tiger (OS 10.4).

Upgrades are free if the main version number of a product is the same as the main version number of the license purchased.

RE:Vision Effects updated plugins are

  • ReelSmart Motion Blur Pro automatically tracks every pixel in a sequence and blurs based on calculated motion.
  • Twixtor Pro intelligently slows down, speeds up and frame rate converts image sequences!
  • RE:Flex creates visually stunning morphs and warps with an easy-to-use interface (runs in After Effects and combustion)
  • FieldsKit is a 3 plugin set that provides smarter deinterlacing and more workflow options for interlacing and pulldown.
  • SmoothKit provides the ultimate toolset to smooth your imagery by combining user-directed controls and feature-sensitive methods.
  • Shade/Shape turns 2D elements into 3D rendered artwork!
  • RE:Fill mends holes in images by intelligently filling user-specified regions.
  • RE:Map provides professional quality mapping and distortion tools.
  • Video Gogh turns pictures and videos into painted works of art!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Luxology Delivers modo 201

Features Advanced Modeling, Painting and Rendering; Delivers Uniquely Productive 3D Content Creation Environment
Press Release: May 25, 2006 Source: Studio Daily
modoLuxology, LLC today announced the immediate availability of modo 201, its innovative 3D modeling, painting and rendering software built on the ultra clean modo code base. modo 201 combines significant modeling advancements with cutting-edge 3D painting and rendering technologies in a modern workflow customized to enhance productivity for 3D artists working in game development, film visual effects, video production, graphic arts and design visualization. modo 201 is available for immediate download from Luxology at modo3d.com or can be purchased from selected resellers.

modo was developed to provide a fused workflow so that artists can spend less time focusing on the mechanics of 3D content creation and more time on realizing their artistic vision," said Brad Peebler, president of Luxology. "modo 201 provides an enhanced 3D creation experience by combining modeling, painting and rendering technologies in a truly unique and complementary way."

Designed to fit easily into existing tool pipelines and work smoothly in conjunction with other leading 2D and 3D software applications, modo 201 accelerates the creation of world-class models, associated color and normal maps, and ultra high-quality renderings, all while providing a comfortable and intuitive working environment.

3D Artists Applaud modo 201
"I use modo 201 for 99% of all my modeling," said Roger Borelli, Walt Disney Feature Animation. "We have a Maya-based pipeline and modo 201"s new FBX support makes it very easy to go from Maya to modo back to Maya. I love modeling in modo!"

"modo 201 makes it easy for me to model and render all in one application," said Chris Szetela, Ford Motor Company. "I can create and not worry about the mechanics."

"modo is the foundation in my 3D toolset and my all-time favorite modeling application," said James Edwards, Digital Extremes. "This program is absolutely addictive, and I often go out of my way just to be able to include it in my creative process. Thanks Luxology!"

"modo 201 is definitely the fastest way for me to create my models," said Seneca Menard, id Software. "Its new subD edge weighting, custom work planes, UV unwrap tool, custom action centers and fully customizable UI and hotkey system along with the macro/script system allow me to work much faster than I ever could before."

New Features in modo 201
modo 201 is a high-performance software platform that uniquely integrates best-of-breed subdivision surface modeling tools with powerful new painting and rendering technologies.

Advanced Modeling Technology - Core modeling enhancements to modo's hybrid subdivision surface/polygon modeler include a new Solid Sketch tool for rapid creation of branched base meshes, efficient mesh instancing for large scene management, rounded beveling controls for corners, faster sculpting and a new Mesh Paint tool for easy placement of geometric details like whiskers or hairs on existing surfaces. modo now provides simplified UV map creation (Click. Drag. Done.) plus a comprehensive UV unwrap editor.

Integrated Painting Tools - New 3D painting inside modo enriches the modeling experience. Artists can directly refine the surface appearance of models using brushes that apply effects like real-time bump mapping. The full featured paint system provides a full range of brushes plus line, fill and gradient tools. Masking and blending capabilities are provided, as is support for pressure sensitive input devices. modo's new paint tools work in 3D or UV views and flow through the flexible modo "toolpipe" which allows for hot swappable brushes, inks, nozzles and falloffs.

Accelerated Rendering/Baking Technology - modo's new rendering engine is built from the ground up for massive scalability and super efficient hardware utilization. Modeling and painting changes can be seen almost immediately in a progressively rendered viewport and final renderings are achieved at a new pinnacle of speed and quality. The renderer supports a wide range of global illumination and physically-based shading techniques to deliver advanced optical effects including natural lighting, subsurface scattering, anisotropic blurry reflections, and micropolygon displacement. Lens distortion, motion blur and depth of field are supported, and the render engine can readily bake various results (like normal vectors or ambient occlusion) into image maps.

Workflow Accelerators - modo 201 sports a new integrated learning system with over 4GB of video tutorials and an expanded library of sample content. High-speed OpenGL navigation immerses the artist in the creative experience with incredibly realistic views that feature per pixel shading, multi-texturing and real-time bump mapping. Mouse and keyboard remapping options provide modo artists with common 3D navigation controls and hotkeys found in companion 3D applications for compatible workflows. Materials for rendering are built up in an intuitive layered Shader Tree environment that is familiar to Adobe Photoshop artists.

Pricing and Availability
modo 201 is available now for the price of USD $895. Current modo users can upgrade to modo 201 for USD $395. modo 201 is available through Luxology and its worldwide reseller partners on both the Windows and Mac OSX platforms. To learn more about modo 201 or see a gallery of images, please visit www.modo3d.com

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects in Rosetta

Dave Nagel at Digital Media Net tests a 13-Inch MacBook's Benchmarks for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects in Rosetta.

Congratulations Jerome Olivier

Missing Pages PosterYou might remember the interview that I did with Jerome Olivier a couple of months ago about his film, Missing Pages, which has now won 3 awards! The Cosmos International Film & Video Game Festival for Best Cultural Film, The Chicago Horror Film Festival for Best Cinematography, and The Santa Cruz Film Festival for Best Experimental Film. Although currently based in Tokyo, Jerome is headed to LA next week, so expect big things from him in the future.

Missing Pages was also reviewed in SciFi Weekly. Check out Toolfarm's Interview with Jerome to get the scoop on his technique and see the trailer.

Digital Anarchy Announces Knoll Spark Pack 3.0

New Version Supports 64-Bit SGI/Linux Systems and Improves Flare Editing and Animation Capabilities
(May 24, 2006)

Knoll Sparks PackDigital Anarchy, a leading provider of cost-effective special effects software for Adobe, Apple and AutoDesk products, today announced version 3.0 of the acclaimed Knoll Spark Pack. The new features in this package gives increased control over the look of hundreds of lighting effects, and furthers the creative abilities of broadcast designers and visual effects artists to deliver innovative effects in 2D composites.

The Knoll Spark Pack was originally written by John Knoll to create the Photon Torpedos in Star Trek First Contact. The pack contains three filters. The centerpiece is Knoll Lens Flare Pro, which is designed to create lens flares and other lighting effects, including lasers, explosions, and suns. The other two filters are Knoll Unmult, used for matte generation, and Knoll Min/Max, used for matte adjustments.

With Knoll Lens Flare Pro, a user can choose from 19 different flare elements, then layer those elements to create the desired light effect. Almost any real life camera lens can be matched, or the spark can generate completely original settings, and save out a preset for later use. Powerful functions include the ability to obscure the light with a grayscale matte; attaching flares to multiple points in your footage; and tracking/moving with those points.

The other two Knoll sparks are invaluable for cleanly extracting elements from black backgrounds and removing matte fringing. Knoll Spark Pack 3.0 provides special effects artists with an unprecedented level of precision and control over lighting effects and lens flares.

Some of the exciting features in Knoll Spark Pack 3.0 include:

  • 64-bit SGI and 32/64-bit Linux support: The sparks have been updated to take advantage of AutoDesk's newest systems.
  • 12 and 16-bit Color Support: The flares now render out to higher bit depths. This makes for less banding and better looking flares.
  • Built-in Flare Editor: The Flare Editor is now available from within the normal interface, and no longer requires a separate application. The workflow is more efficient, integrated, and stable.
  • Animatable Flare Elements: The individual elements that make up a complete flare can now be animated. This allows more flexibility and will lead to more interesting animations.
  • Undo Functionality: This improved workflow makes designing flares even easier.

Pricing and Availability

Knoll Spark Pack 3.0 is priced at $1,295 USD, the same price as version 2.0. Upgrades from version 2.0 are $249.00 and from version 1.0 are $449.00 USD. Knoll Spark Pack works on Inferno, Flame, Flint, Fire, and Smoke. Demo filters and samples are available at www.digitalanarchy.com.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Corkscrew Fade: Freebie of the week!

Corkscrew FadeJohn Dickinson has offered up this week's Freebie of the Week, a dynamic ProAnimator Object Animation where letters rotate as they fly on screen creating a corkscrew-like shape, then randomly fade out.

Free Demos from Zaxwerks and Conoa

Try out Zaxwerks ProAnimator (standalone and After Effects plug-in) and all the goods in the Conoa SuperPak, including Conoa 3D, Conoa EasyShapes and Conoa EasyFX.

Don't stop there! Tryout plug-ins from Trapcode, The Foundry, Boris, Silhouette FX and more. How about Maxon Cinema 4D? Sounds like fun. Did I mention they're all FREE to try.

Go to the demos page, now!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Apple Releases Final Cut Express HD 3.5

Final Cut Express HD 3.5Apple announced Final Cut Express HD 3.5, a Universal suite of video editing applications that includes Final Cut Express HD 3.5, LiveType 2, and Soundtrack 1.5. Final Cut Express HD is a powerful DV and HDV video editing solution for home, education, and small business. It features full keyframe control over effects and motion parameters, plus Dynamic RT for real-time playback. Also included are Soundtrack 1.5, with an improved user interface and broader format support, and LiveType 2, with DV and HDV templates, vector-based animated LiveFonts, over 60 new effects, and over 10GB of animated graphics.

Get Final Cut Express HD 3.5 for $295 and the FCE HD 3.5 upgrade for just $99.

Universal Upgrade Delivers Powerful New Features & More Real-Time Effects

May 18, 2006 Press Release Source: Studio Daily
Apple today released Final Cut® Express HD 3.5, a significant upgrade to its award-winning software solution for video enthusiasts, schools and small businesses that runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. New in Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is Dynamic RT for real-time playback of multi-stream effects, Soundtrack® 1.5 with a complete suite of professional level audio production tools and LiveType 2.1 with even more exciting animated text and titles.

“Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is the total movie making package with many of the same tools the pros use at a price designed to appeal to aspiring pros,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing. “Whether it’s multiple streams of video, professional audio tools or animated text and titles, Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is ideal for anyone who is passionate about the movies they make and delivers incredible performance on Apple’s new Intel-based Macs.”

Final Cut Express HD 3.5 provides a complete set of advanced editing tools for DV and HDV video formats with support for multiple video layers, real-time special effects and transitions, and powerful color correction and matting filters for professional-looking results. New Dynamic RT enables users to view even multi-layered HDV video in real- time which dramatically speeds up the editing process by eliminating the need to render and re-render clips. In addition, all effects, transitions and motion parameters can now be keyframed, providing complete creative control over special effects that can be saved as favorites for use in other projects.

Complementing Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is a new version of Soundtrack with over 4,000 professional-quality, royalty-free instrument loops and sound effects that can be mixed and matched to instantly create a custom score precisely timed to each project. New features in Soundtrack 1.5 include improved multitrack audio editing and recording tools with tracks, busses, outputs and real-time effects processing just like a professional recording studio. Improved single and multiple take recording provides a way to record, audition and edit dialog or other recorded performances with expert precision.

Also included in Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is a new version of LiveType that lets users add high-impact excitement to movies with dynamic animated text and hundreds of royalty-free backgrounds and animated textures—all customizable to match the look and feel of projects. New features in LiveType 2.1 include a host of exciting new animated graphics, including 70 new animated objects, 15 new textures and 60 new customizable preset effects for animated text and titles. With new vector-based LiveFont technology, animated text styles like Tremor, Script, Ribbon, Cool and Blueprint can be scaled to any resolution including HD with blazing rendering performance, especially on the new generation of Intel-based Macs.

Pricing & Availability
Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is available now through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299 (US). Owners of previous versions of Final Cut Express can upgrade to Final Cut Express HD 3.5 for just $99 (US). Full details and further information are available at http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/

A Peek inside the Mograph Module

Check out this video peek at the interface of Mograph from DMN. Mograph is a new module for Cinema 4D and it's making quite a buzz in the industry.

mograph moduleMoGraph is a CINEMA 4D module for Release 9.6 and greater that includes a suite of tools for motion graphics creation.

With the drag and drop functionality that CINEMA 4D is known for, MoGraph has the ability to create complex scenes and animations quickly and easily.

With the MoGraph Tools you can clone numerous objects including parametric or polygonal as well as extruded text with just a few simple clicks. You add up to 11 effectors, each having multiple parameters and options to further enhance your scenes for unlimited animation possibilities.

With the MoGraph Effectors, you can easily animate your cloned objects along splines, parametric or polygonal surfaces, and can even be based on audio frequencies as well as inherit motion from other objects or randomize in a number of ways.

Because it is integrated with CINEMA 4D you can still expect to see fast rendering times and tight integration with After Effects, Motion, Combustion, Shake and now Digital Fusion.

Cinema 4D R9.6 IS REQUIRED to run Mograph. R9.5 users may download R9.6 FREE.

Simple Tips for Cinema 4D from After Effects

I have Maxon Cinema 4D and think it's a very cool 3D program, however, I'll be the first to admit that I really haven't even begun to use the program.

Ko Maruyama has some good tips for those After Effects users who are just beginning to use Cinema 4D. You'll be up and running in no time.

The updater for Cinema 4D came out a few days ago that will take you to R9.6.

Also, if you're new at it and have questions, check out our Expert Forums. Our 3D Forum has been open for mere days, but our experts are ready and willing to take on your tough questions. If you feel like it's a dumb question, you don't even have to use your real name! Ko Maruyama stops in from time to time to answer questions. I know I'll be asking questions. Lots of dumb questions. ;-)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Conoa EasyFX v1.0 Released

Conoa EasyFX - 5 unique plug-ins for adding great new looks to your video. Apply any layer as an alpha channel, create a toon look, make a glob, and smooth and tint your video! It's been added to our Plug-in Finder, too.

Gil Irrizary showed me the goods at NAB last month and Conoa EFX Globs is so cool. It's worth the price of the plug-in right there! Have you ever tried to do that? Very difficult without a plug-in.

Speaking of Conoa, Conoa SuperPak has been updated to 2.0 and now includes EasyFX!

Tutorial: High Impact Music for Motion Graphics with Sonicfire Pro 4

sonicfireChris Meyer of CyberMotion (and those great Creating Motion Graphics books, co-written with his spouse, Trish Meyer) has a terrific series of tutorials for Sonicfire Pro 4. SonicFire Pro was shown at NAB and has a very cool feature called Mood Mapping, in which you define your emotional and structural requirements for a scene as a Mood Map along the timeline in Sonicfire Pro. With this technology, any SmartSound "Multi-Layer" Music track will fit the length from beginning to end and it will arrange your music to best match the changes in your video.

Basically, it's an audio program made for visual artists. Even if you're not in the market for any audio production software, it's worth viewing the tutorials just to educate yourself on the options that are out there.

Adobe Photoshop 9.01 Update

PhotoshopThis Photoshop Update for 9.01 (otherwise known as CS2.01?) fixes many issues, including:

  • Photoshop no longer hangs for several seconds when using painting tools with quick strokes.
  • A runtime error that could appear when mousing over a high-res document with the Brush tool has been fixed.
  • Documents containing a large number of text layers now open more quickly.
  • Problems related to palettes (slow redraw, palettes go white, possible crash) have been addressed.

... and that's just the beginning of the list.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Digital Film Tools ACADEMIC versions now available

digital film tools logoAre you a poor college student looking to score some great prices on awesome tools? Check out our Academic section of our site.

We've just added Digital Film Tools to our academic section at 30% off of the regular retail price. You must be a student or otherwise qualified to purchase academic versions.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Freebie of the Week: Glow-on Text

Freebie of the Week - Glow on TextRoland Kahlenberg of broadcastGEMs gives you this weeks Freebie of the Week. This is a project file called Glow-on Text, is just what it sounds like, text that glows on. It's a fully customizable, flexible effect.

You may remember Roland from way back in the day at AE FreeMart. He's moved on to other bigger things, like his broadcastGEMs series.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Need training in After Effects?

If you don't have time to go to training classes or college classes, you have options. Many, many options.

Toolfarm has a Training Section in our store, filled with downright dynamite instructional products.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Check our Training Section for all of your options.

Trapcode Particular 1.5 is here!

Trapcode Particular is one of my favorite plug-ins. I saw Peder Norrby of Trapcode demoing Particular 1.5 at NAB and it looks awesome. The best part is that it's a free upgrade to Particular 1.0 users. Just download and install.trapcode

New Features in Trapcode Particular 1.5:

  • Depth of Field
  • Motion Path (ability to precisely control the path particles take after being emitted)
  • Particle Count in Info window

Peder has put up more info on new features and a tutorial of the new features.

Haven't tried Particular? Get a FREE demo of all of the awesome Trapcode Plug-ins.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Freebie of the Week: Particular Tunnel

Particular TunnelIt's been a long time since we've had a Freebie of the Week, hasn't it.

Download the Particular Tunnel, a trippy venture through a vacuum cleaner hose or worm hole, or wherever your imagination takes you. This project uses Trapcode Particular, but don't worry if you don't own it. We've got a FREE DEMO of the entire Trapcode Suite with your name on it.

Thanks to Harry Frank, a very active member of the Toolfarm Expert Forums, for creating this groovy project. By the way, I did some work on the forum over the weekend. What do you think? Post some questions!

Plug-in Finder Expands! Premiere Plug-ins Added!

Premiere ProPremiere plug-ins are now included in a list in our Plug-in Finder. We will be adding other plug-ins in the future, as well as other host applications, such as Final Cut Pro, Shake and Motion.

Friday, May 05, 2006

2006 Adobe digital video and audio customer reel

Adobe LogoSubmit your work by June 30, 2006 for possible inclusion in the 2006 Adobe Digital Video and Audio Customer Reel. This is a chance to showcase the work you produce using Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore DVD, Adobe Audition, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and other Adobe products.

I submitted something to the reel circa 1998 and my work was included. It was very exciting for me. People really do win with Adobe products!