Monday, January 29, 2007

LME Light Configurations

LME logoLittle Men Entertainment (LME) had two new products for After Effects, Fantastic Trapcode Lux Light Configurations and Fantastic After Effects Light Configurations. Each contains a new collection of 102 beautiful and surprising animated light configurations include a myriad of variations using 1 to 14 light with innovative positions, shadow and light movements and colors. Use as is or as templates to create totally new designs by going in and moving lights, adding lights, deleting lights, changing intensity, angles, point of interest and other variables.

Check out the galleries for great sample images. Below is a movie sample.







Adobe Debuts Photoshop Lightroom 1.0

Over 500,000 Beta Testers Help Shape New Digital Photography Software

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Jan. 29, 2007 - Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that Adobe Photoshop® LightroomTM 1.0 software is now available for pre-order and is expected to ship in mid-February 2007. Photoshop Lightroom enables professional photographers to import, manage and present large volumes of digital photographs, helping photographers spend more time behind the lens and less time at the computer. With more than 500,000 photographers participating in the public beta program over the last 12 months, Photoshop Lightroom now includes a wealth of innovative features that streamline digital photography workflows. Recognizing the photography community for their efforts, Adobe is offering Photoshop Lightroom at a special introductory price of US $199 through April 30, 2007 at the Adobe Store. Photoshop Lightroom will later sell for an estimated street price of US $299.

"It's an unlikely scenario that professional photographers would moonlight as software developers," said John Loiacono, senior vice president, Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe. "Fortunately for us, they were willing to give it a shot. Everything, from image viewing and evaluation tools to timesaving editing features, was developed with the help of photographers. This was truly a collaborative effort and we extend our thanks to everyone who provided invaluable feedback to help us deliver a powerhouse professional photography tool."

Lightroom Feature Advancements

Photoshop Lightroom includes new functionality added since beta 4.1, with significant changes to the Library and Develop modules complementing improvements to the Slideshow, Print and Web components. While in the Library module, new advanced keywording tools help photographers filter through large collections, and an improved import dialogue with more flexible file handling allows more choice when determining file location. The new Key Metadata Browser provides quick access to key information tags with an improved ranking and rating system that now incorporates color labels and a pick/reject system that sorts and locates photographs faster than ever. New to the Develop module, Virtual Copies and Snapshot tools help present multiple versions of the same image, providing the most choice to clients without the confusion of saving separate physical versions.

Additional tools added include a Hue, Saturation and Luminance targeted adjustment tool for precise and intuitive image edits. Clone and Healing features provide non-destructive edits to eliminate sensor dust across one or many images.

High-Quality Raw Processing

Photoshop Lightroom leverages Adobe Camera Raw technology and supports over 150 native raw file formats, in addition to JPEG and TIFF, bringing raw conversion into a single workflow experience. The latest camera models supported include the Nikon D40 and D80 and the Pentax K10D. This support means that photographers can use Lightroom with even the newest cameras on the market, knowing that the image files will be recognized today and in the future. Upon import, files can be converted to the Digital Negative specification (DNG) or renamed and segmented by folder or date. DNG is an industry-wide initiative to create a universal file format for solving workflow and archiving issues. It aims to eliminate barriers to new camera adoption while giving professional photographers the confidence that their digital body of work is securely archived and will remain accessible as digital imaging technology evolves.

"Photoshop Lightroom gives me the capabilities to get everything out of a raw file. Now I can easily duplicate enhancements and apply them across a range of similar images almost instantly," said Denis Reggie, a nationally renowned celebrity and society wedding photographer. "Lightroom is brilliantly conceived and masterfully executed. I can see my digital workflow moving fully to Lightroom now that it is final."

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom will ship in mid-February 2007 and is available for pre-order in the United States and Canada through the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store for a special introductory price of US $199. The $100 discount is offered to all customers through April 30, 2007 in appreciation of loyal Photoshop users, early supporters of Photoshop Lightroom and beta participants who devoted time, energy and feedback throughout the process. Photoshop Lightroom will later sell for an estimated street price of US $299. Recommended system requirements are Macintosh OSX 10.4.3, 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor or Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2, Intel® Pentium 4® Processor, and 768 MB RAM and a 1024x768 resolution screen. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a Universal Binary application that will run natively on PowerPC and new Intel-based Macintosh systems.

The announcement of Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 signifies the official conclusion of the groundbreaking Lightroom beta program. Users of Lightroom beta will have access to the program until its expiration on February 28, 2007.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chicago Motion Graphics Festival

Tomorrow I'm teaching the After Effects Master's class at the Chicago Motion Graphics Festival. If you were able to get a seat, see you in the morning. If not, sorry! I am planning to reformat some of my training seminar and put it online at Toolfarm.

Friday evening is also the Motion Graphics Interactive Mixer and Studio Tour in Chicago. I went last year and it was a truly great time. I met so many nice people and talented artists and Bridges is a neat place. It's 8pm - 12am, Bridges Media Group, 100 W Kinzie St. $20 presales, $25 at the door. It's catered with an open bar, and several interactive motion graphics installations.

On Sunday, I'm on the panel of the CMGF07 Educational Conference. It's from 10am - 6pm, SAIC Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Drive (the rear entrance to the the Art Institute on Michigan Ave). It's $39 presales, $49 at the door, (free with CMGF07 Festival Badge). Panel discussions, short workshops and lecture topics include: how to be a successful freelancer, After Effects studio techniques, hacking motion graphics, how the web is changing film & video, more.

I'll be the one in the Toolfarm t-shirt.

arrowView full Festival Schedule

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Updates: Boris Continuum Complete AVX

Boris Continuum Complete AVX Mac updates are available to customers who purchased BCC AVX for an Avid Media Composer or Xpress Pro system:
  • BCC AVX v4.2 (Mac): for BCC AVX 4.1 users
  • BCC AVX v3.2 (Mac): for BCC AVX 3.0 users

These updates provide the ability to use BCC AVX with Avid Media Composer v2.5.x and later and Xpress Pro v5.5.x and later on PowerPC Mac systems.

arrow Download Updates

Avid Media Composer customers who own BCC AVX 3.x may upgrade to BCC AVX 4.2 for $599. BCC AVX 4.2 takes advantage of Avid's AVX 2.0 architecture. The unique advantages of AVX 2.0 include access to Avid's advanced keyframing model, 16-bit color processing, and easy promotion of existing AVX 1.5 effects. Learn more about BCC AVX 4.2 or upgrade now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

RE:Vision Effects founders to receive Academy Award

revision effects logoLeading visual effects developer RE:Vision Effects, Inc. is delighted to announce that the company founders, Peter Litwinowicz and Pierre Jasmin, will be honored with a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences©. The formal awards ceremony and presentation will take place on February 10, 2007 in Los Angeles. The award is being given for the design and development of the RE: Vision Effects family of optical flow-based image manipulation software tools. The A.M.P.A.S. reviewing committee recognized RE:Vision Effects' products for their unique user interface and affordable cost that led to the company's success in making the technology ubiquitous.

Optical flow, or motion estimation, is a class of techniques that tracks every pixel between successive frames of a moving picture sequence. RE:Vision Effects released their first product in 1999, Video Gogh, which tracks and moves painted brush strokes from frame-to-frame to create animated painting sequences. The underlying technology for Video Gogh is similar to the software that the founders created for use in making What Dreams May Come, which won the 1998 Academy Award© for Best Visual Effects. Subsequent products have followed that use the optical flow technology: ReelSmart Motion Blur, the first product on the market to add motion blur using optical flow; Twixtor, the first optical flow-based retiming product on the Macintosh; RE:Flex, the first and only warping and morphing tool to use optical flow to help the user align objects; and FieldsKit, a product that deinterlaces using optical flow techniques.

The RE:Vision Effects optical flow-based tools have been used on many high profile movies including Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Mission: Impossible III, Hellboy, Superman Returns, Aeon Flux,Sin City, Star Wars: Episode III, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Van Helsing, Blade II, Nutty Professor II, the Klumps, and Magnificent Desolation (an IMAX film).

RE:Vision Effects optical flow technology is also being used in the Diamant film restoration software to aid the processes of noise reduction and artifact removal. RE:Vision Effects was also instrumental in the making of the miniseries Dreamkeeper, which won the 2004 Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. This project entailed developing a novel optical flow technique that extracted depth from stereo imagery for special effects' use.

In the effort to reduce workflow overhead, the tools are designed to work within many host applications including Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Shake, Avid systems, Autodesk Systems that support Sparks, Autodesk Combustion, SoftImage|XSI, Quantel generationQ, eyeon Fusion, among others.

RE:Vision Effects, Inc. would like to congratulate Mr. Litwinowicz and Mr. Jasmin on their recognition by the A.M.P.A.S.

ABOUT A.M.P.A.S. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a professional honorary organization of over 6,000 motion picture professionals, was founded to advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures; foster cooperation among creative leaders for cultural, educational and technological progress; recognize outstanding achievements; cooperate on technical research and improvement of methods and equipment; provide a common forum and meeting ground for various branches and crafts; represent the viewpoint of actual creators of the motion picture; and foster educational activities between the professional community and the public-at-large.

ABOUT RE:VISION EFFECTS, Inc. RE:Vision Effects is a leading software manufacturing company providing software tools for the film and video industries. Among the products are the acclaimed Twixtor, ReelSmart Motion Blur and RE:Flex products. RE:Vision Effects was founded in 1998 by Peter Litwinowicz and Pierre Jasmin.

Visit RE:Vision Effects' website http://www.revisionfx.com for more information on features, demo versions, pricing and compatibility of products.

RE:Vision Effects, Twixtor, ReelSmart, RE:Flex and FieldsKit are the trademarks of RE:Vision Effects Inc. "ACADEMY AWARD" and A.M.P.A.S are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Other trademarks are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Free FxFactory Plug-in

Noise IndustriesNoise Industries very first FxFactory Freebie has been released. This plug-in is free of charge for all users. Users have to install FxFactory to run it, but do not have to purchase anything.

Instructions

  1. Download FxFactory
  2. Download our first first freebie a photo montage theme called Mondrianesque

More information on this free plug-in.

FxFactory is FxPlug and Mac Universal.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Studio Artist Animated Indie Feature "Year of the Fish" to Premiere at 2007 Sundance Film Festival

Animated/Live-Action Film Sets Cinderella in a Chinatown Massage Parlor

Synthetik

HONOLULU HI, January 18 -- Year of the Fish, a contemporary re-telling of Cinderella set in a Chinatown massage parlor, will premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival on January 24th, 2007. This low-budget independent feature film was shot with live actors entirely in Chinatown, New York on low cost video, and then animated in post-production on Apple computers utilizing Studio Artist to create the final high resolution feature film.

Enhanced Intelligent Animation Capabilities

Year Of The Fish uses Studio Artist's unique intelligent auto painting capabilities to give the film a flowing organic look, best described as “a painting brought to life” that stylistically sets itself apart from previous rotoscoped movies. Using Studio Artist also allowed the animators to accomplish with 3 people what would normally employ 40 full-time artists. The low-budget production was created on four Apple G5 computers using Studio Artist at a tiny fraction of the cost of the typical animated feature length film.

Writer/Director David Kaplan was able to sample the color palettes from artists such as Van Gogh and Cezanne using Studio Artist's auto-color palette capabilities and then apply these color schemes to the Studio Artist auto-rotoscoping paint process. "This gives the film a richness and depth unusual to animated fare," notes Kaplan, who is making his feature film debut. Kaplan also used Studio Artist's Supersizer Interpolator and Warping capabilities to up-size paint animated digital footage to a final high resolution frame size and aspect ratio for the final high resolution cinematic feature film.

Kaplan’s screenplay is based on a 9th Century Chinese variant of Cinderella - the oldest known version of the story. The movie stars Tsai Chin (Memoirs of a Geisha), Ken Leung (X-Men: The Last Stand), Randall Duk Kim (The Matrix: Reloaded) and newcomer An Nguyen. It was produced by Janet Yang (The Joy Luck Club) and Rocco Caruso (Judy Berlin). Mr. Kaplan is a New York based filmmaker who has made several award-winning short films, most notably Little Red Riding Hood, starring Christina Ricci.

I posted a still and more information in our Inspirations section. Take a look.

Adobe Workshops at Bowling Green State University

If you're near Bowling Green, Ohio, and need some more training on Adobe After Effects, Illustrator or Photoshop, check out these workshops from the National Institute for the Study of Digital Media. The classes are over a month away, but it can't hurt to register early.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Toolfarm to Manage Red Giant Software Forums

New Toolfarm Web Site Launched

red giantToolfarm, Inc., the leading third-party distributor of After Effects plug-ins and visual effects tools today announced that it is now managing the forums for Red Giant Software, including Trapcode plug-ins, and just launched a new web site.

Quick Links to Red Giant Software Forums

Users can log onto these forums to get help from the Red Giant Support Team, Toolfarm, and some of the top motion graphics artists, including: Dean Velez—awarded two Emmy's for animation and has been nominated seven times for various graphics projects and Matt Silverman—Creative Director at Phoenix Edit, Effects, and Design in San Francisco.

Check out the Toolfarm site for other forums, including Adobe applications such as After Effects, Premiere Pro and Photoshop, and Apple Final Cut Studio, including Final Cut Pro and Motion.

The new Toolfarm web site provides a streamlined look and feel, plus offers a cleaner navigation. There is also a brand new database of tutorials at Toolfarm, which allows visitors to search by categories and see what is new or popular. The tutorial pages have been redesigned for better retention and new tutorials have been added. The free demos area has been re-programmed with stronger security features and updated with new demos. Plus, The Inspirations section is now broken into categories for easier reading. Harry Frank, of Gray Machine, has joined the Inspirations team to post the most interesting, creative and technical videos on the web.

About Toolfarm Inc.

Toolfarm.com, based in San Francisco since 1999, is the leading third-party reseller of After Effects Plug-ins and visual effects tools. Known also for distribution, publishing, service and training, it has become the de facto standard as the one-stop shop for Adobe After Effects Plug-ins as well as motion graphics tools. It also hosts a Plug-in Finder, an online database and search engine of all plug-ins for Adobe After Effects, Premiere, and Apple Final Cut Pro.

Boris FX 9.1 and Graffiti 5.1 Updated for Intel

boris fx and graffitiBoris FX 9.1 and Graffiti 5.1 are now available as Universal Binary plug-ins for Apple Final Cut Pro. Both plug-in applications take full advantage of the improved OpenGL graphics hardware available in the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro models, setting a new standard in performance and features.

mac universalBoris FX 9 and Graffiti 5 customers who are moving to the Intel Mac platform can download free updates from the Boris FX web site.

Customers who own older versions of Boris FX or Graffiti can upgrade to Boris FX 9.1 or Graffiti 5.1 for $199 each:

The upgrades are available together for $299.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Review: GridIron Nucleo Pro

nucleo proAndy Yardy of MicroFilmmaker Magazine has a terrific review of GridIron's Nucleo Pro. He gives it a total score of 9.5 out of 10.

Read the review of Nucleo Pro

By the way, you probably noticed our new site design. Have you seen the new and improved reviews section?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Congratulations to Re:Vision Effects!

Re:vision LogoThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are honoring "Peter Litwinowicz and Pierre Jasmin for the design and development of the RE: Vision Effects family of software tools for optical flow-based image manipulation." This is in the Technical Achievement Awards category. They add "A unique user interface and relatively low cost have made these tools ubiquitous in the visual effects community."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Adobe Production Studio To Be Available for Both Mac and Windows

Adobe's Complete Video Post-Production Suite Goes Cross-Platform

adobe production studio

By BusinessWire

SAN JOSE, Calif., BUSINESS WIRE -- Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that the next version of Adobe(R) Production Studio, the integrated video and audio post-production tool set that is part of the Creative Suite family, will be available for both the Macintosh and Windows(R) platforms. Film, video and web professionals currently using Adobe After Effects(R), Adobe Photoshop(R) and Adobe Illustrator(R) on the Mac will soon be able to harness the power of completely new Macintosh releases of Adobe Premiere(R) Pro, Adobe Encore(R) DVD and Adobe Soundbooth(TM) -- all key components of an upcoming milestone revision to Adobe Production Studio. The software will have its first public demonstration during the Macworld 2007 Conference and Exhibition at The Moscone Center in San Francisco, January 9 - 12 (Booth 901). The next release of Adobe Production Studio is expected to ship in mid-2007.

"Our customers wanted all the components in Adobe Production Studio to be available on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms," said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe. "We listened and believe that an innovative new cross-platform video suite, anchored by powerhouse releases of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects, will really shake up the industry."

Adobe Production Studio creates an efficient post-production workflow enabling creative professionals to move smoothly between the full range of post-production tasks while remaining focused on their creative vision. The product combines Adobe's award-winning applications, including Adobe After Effects for compositing, effects and animation, Adobe Premiere Pro for non-linear editing, Adobe Encore DVD for DVD authoring, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, as well as the time-saving workflow enhancements offered by Adobe Dynamic Link. Dynamic Link eliminates the need for rendering when moving motion graphics and visual effects from Adobe After Effects to the real-time HD, SD and DV editing environment in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Encore DVD.

Adobe Soundbooth is designed to enable creative professionals to produce high-quality audio. Offering the ability to quickly record, edit, and customize audio and music for web and video production, Adobe Soundbooth makes the delivery of pristine sound tracks fast and efficient. Adobe Soundbooth will take the place of Adobe Audition in the next version of Adobe Production Studio. Adobe Audition will continue to be developed for audio professionals as a stand-alone product for Windows.

"At Turner Studios Post, we are constantly modifying our workflows to gain the greatest efficiency while maintaining the highest quality and most creative end results for our clients," said Ken Brady, director of technical operations at Turner Broadcasting Atlanta. "Supporting all of the Turner Entertainment Networks means we have to remain flexible and, most importantly, productive. Adobe Production Studio coming to the Apple platform moves us one step closer toward realizing an internal goal of having just one workstation per editing suite, with all of the creative tools available that our operators need. The tight integration of the components in Production Studio is a model that our editors really enjoy."

Adobe video technologies -- including Adobe Production Studio, Flash Media Server for streaming interactive media applications and Flash Video for easy video playback across the Internet -- are having a profound impact on how broadcast and video content is being distributed. Today, thanks to Adobe's Emmy-award winning Flash Video software, television shows such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and Friday Night Lights are being delivered online, while the technology also powers the video capabilities of social networking sites like YouTube and MySpace.

Pricing and Availability

The next version of Adobe Production Studio for Macintosh and Windows is expected to be available in mid-2007. Adobe Production Studio as well as Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore DVD, and Adobe Soundbooth will be available for Intel-based Macintosh computers; the next releases of Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator will be offered as Universal Binaries for the Macintosh. Adobe Production Studio and all its components will continue to be available for the Windows platform.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.

Boris Red 4.1 Supports Apple Final Cut Pro on Intel-based Macintosh Systems

boris redMac UniversalBoris Red 4.1 is one of the few effects/graphics applications to run natively on the new Intel-based Macintosh systems. Red takes full advantage of the improved OpenGL graphics hardware available in the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro models. Combining OpenGL acceleration and the power of the Intel processor, Boris Red sets a new standard in performance and features. Boris Red 4.1 includes a Universal Binary plug-in for Apple Final Cut Pro as well as a Universal Binary standalone Render Engine application.

Free Update for Boris Red 4 Users

Buy Boris Red