Friday, May 29, 2009

Maxon R9/Spring Bail Out Upgrade Promo Extended

Maxon R9/Spring Bail Out Upgrade Promo has been extended thru June 15, 2009. Don't miss out!

New compatibilities added to Premiere Pro with 4.1 update

The 4.1 update for Premiere Pro CS4, announced at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in April, has been released. Aside from bug fixes and performance improvements, the 4.1 release gives Premiere Pro greater support for projects authored in Avid Media Composer, and files in the MXF-wrapped IMX format. With the 4.1 update, Premiere Pro can import files in the VOB format used in DVD publishing. Also, the 4.1 release gives greater support to the REDCODE plugin, used for importing files from RED cameras into Premiere Pro.

Get all the details here

After Effects 9.0.2 update: RED (R3D) support and a lot of bug fixes

Todd Kopriva posted the details and links to his blog here: After Effects CS4 (9.0.2) update available.

Digital Juice Motion Designer's Toolkit- Save $375 for a Limited Time!

DJ images
Motion Designer's Toolkit is the ultimate customizable animated element library. Ready to use pre-rendered animations, the original After Effects projects, and the original Illustrator vector images.

33 Gigabytes on 8 DVDs

Eight jam-packed discs filled with animations, project files, and vector graphics.

25 Unique Categories

The hottest, freshest, newest looks and styles are all here.

1755 Quicktime Files

Ready-to-use high resolution (2000x2000) pre-rendered animations.

1755 After Effects Projects

Want to change or tweak the animations? No problem, all the original project files are included.

1755 Illustrator Vector Images

Every animation first starts as a beautiful high-quality vector image. Perfect for print and web too!

Special Introductory Pricing- Retails for $599.95, Purchase Now for Only $224.95! Visit our Store

SmartSound SonicFire Pro Plug-in for Final Cut Pro- Download a Free Trial!

sonicfireMark It, Score It, Send It - Instant Music, No Hassle

SmartSound SonicFire Pro provides Final Cut Pro users with thousands of music selections that can be automatically edited to fit any length of media and dropped into your Final Cut Pro timeline in THREE simple and easy steps.

Learn More/Purchase in our Store | Download a Free Trial

Roundtrip Editing that Works!
Projects can evolve over time. That is why Sonicfire Pro 5 offers advanced editing and fine-tuning controls that allow you to reopen your SmartSound music directly from your Final Cut Pro timeline for quick and easy edits, from readjusting the length of the music track to adding a cymbal crash for an added effect.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Final Cut Studio 3 Real-Time Editing?

Fresh gossip about Final Cut Studio 3. Final Cut Pro Studio 3 to allow realtime editing of 1080P H.264 video? It will be released in the next couple of weeks at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), taking place June 8-12 in San Francisco. See Mac Soda for more info.

Confirmed features:

  • Native RED and XDCAM support
  • Major UI overhaul in Color
  • New Motion/Shake

What else have you heard? Fill us in!

onOne Software Announces Free Version of PhotoTools 2

PhotoTools 2 Lite, a free, fully-functional version of PhotoTools 2, includes 14 effects to give digital photos the professional look

(Portland, Oregon--May 26, 2009) onOne Software, Inc., a leading developer of time-saving software solutions for professional and advanced amateur photographers, today announced a free, Lite version of PhotoTools 2 Standard Edition. PhotoTools 2 Standard Edition is a flexible, yet powerful, plug-in for Adobe" Photoshop" CS2, CS3 and CS4 that utilizes the power of Photoshop Actions to provide a range of imaging tools, including effects, corrections and production automation, in a full-featured interface.

Based on the exact same feature set as PhotoTools 2 Standard Edition, PhotoTools 2 Lite includes 14 of the most popular effects found in both PhotoTools 2 Standard Edition and PhotoTools 2 Professional Edition. The 14 effects available in PhotoTools 2 Lite range from reproducing classic photographic effects like Bleach Bypass and Cross Process, to reproducing film stock such as Kodachrome" and Velvia", to modern effects, including automatic skin smoothing.

"We are excited to offer this free version of PhotoTools 2 as a way for new users to experience the product's elegant workflow and effects," said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. "PhotoTools 2 Lite is a way for onOne to give back to the photographic community and allow everyone to easily add a professional look to their photographs."

Availability and Pricing
PhotoTools 2 Lite is offered at no cost and is only available as an electronic download direct from onOne Software. To receive the product, users should visit and request a free download with a valid email address. For users who wish to access the full database of effects that come with the Standard or Professional Editions of PhotoTools 2, they will need to purchase a copy of the Standard or Professional Edition. PhotoTools 2 Professional and Standard editions are available for $259.95 and $159.95, respectively, and may be ordered immediately from onOne Software at Toolfarm's Store.

About onOne Software
onOne Software, Inc., is a leading developer of time-saving software solutions for professional and advanced amateur photographers. Our products allow photographers to spend more time behind the camera and less time behind the computer screen. They include a wide range of easy-to-use plug-in enhancements for Adobe" Photoshop", Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom", Apple Aperture, and now the iPhone. Founded in 2005, onOne Software, Inc., is a privately held company located in Portland, Oregon.

Tutorial: Maxon Cinema 4D: CS Tools - Daylight

Nick Campbell of has a new video tutorial up for Cinema 4D: CS Tools - Daylight. CS Tools was created by Chris Smith, one of our Toolfarm Forum Expert.

Download the Daylight Scene Files here

Cinema 4D: CS Tools - Daylight from Nick Campbell on Vimeo.

Major Updates for Adobe CS4: After Effects, Premiere Pro and Media Encoder

Dave Helmly, North American DMO Technical Sales Manager at Adobe, emailed us about the new Adobe CS4 video updates: After Effects 9.02, Premiere Pro 4.1, Media Encoder 4.1

The new CS4 video updates will be available late tonight/Friday morning and contain several new updates and several critical fixes for After Effects.

Some of the new features are:

  • Major Speed improvements for Media Encoder (new support for RED)
  • New RED R3D workflow & Raw setting panel
  • Avid Import & Export (We are currently testing FCP Export)
  • DVD/VOB support (edit directly off the DVD !)
  • Faster/smooth AVCHD playback
  • Faster project loading
  • New Frame Export
  • And more......

Adobe also showed several things at NAB 2009 that they have cooking in the Adobe Labs and are planning to beta test a few of these new features this summer. The plan is to make these available on the Adobe Labs site.

  • AVCIntra
  • XDCAM Export
  • Finalcut Pro Export

CycoreFX HD 1.6.5 New Update


This update features 2 new plug-ins, Rainfall and Snowfall, extending the HD package to a total of 73 plug-ins with 16 bpc support. Upgrading from the bundled CycoreFX version means an additional 12 plug-ins. Also included in this update are 15 plug-ins with 32 bpc (float) support.

Rainfall and Snowfall allows to easily and quickly create 'real-looking' rain and snow when there is no time to get into a complex particle generator. Create anything from gentle summer rain to raging snow blizzards. A scene depth control provides an excellent depth feeling and you can add realistic reflections/lighting requiring nothing but your footage. There are a number of controls to customize motion and to set a specific range of randomness to individual drops for increased realism. When used on footage with a panning camera you can offset the entire 'rainfall' or 'snowfall' volume to match the motion of the footage.

Several others plug-ins have added functionality, e.g, option to align textured discs to motion path in Particle World, duotone and pentone mappings in Toner and a new rotate fading option in Radial Blur. The update is free for all current CycoreFX HD owners.

Press Release

Cycore Systems today announced CycoreFX HD 1.6.5 update. Includes two brand new plug-ins, added functionality and is available for After Effects CS4 - 5.5 on Mac and Windows.

Cycore Systems, the creators of Final Effects and Cult Effects, today releases new and improved CycoreFX HD 1.6.5. The update contains two brand new plug-ins and 15 plug-ins that support 32 bpc (float) and is available for After Effects CS4, CS3 and 7.0 on Mac (Universal Binaries) and Windows.

This update features 2 new plug-ins, Rainfall and Snowfall, extending the HD package to a total of 73 plug-ins with 16 bpc support. Upgrading from the bundled CycoreFX version means an additional 12 plug-ins. Also included in this update are 15 plug-ins with 32 bpc (float) support.

Several others plug-ins have added functionality, e.g, option to align textured discs to motion path in Particle World, duotone and pentone mappings in Toner and a new rotate fading option in Radial Blur. "The CycoreFX team is proud to release this new version which contains two brand new plug-ins," said Jonatan Andersson, Director of Operations at Cycore Systems. "Our engineers work hard to make sure these 70+ effects are always kept up to date with the market technology and have now also expanded the functionality of this already dynamic effect package."

CC Rainfall
Rainfall allows to easily and quickly create "real-looking" rain when there is no time to get into a complex particle generator. Create anything from gentle summer rain to a torrential downpour. A scene depth control provides an excellent rain-depth feeling and you can add realistic reflections to rain drops requiring nothing but your footage. There are a number of controls to customize motion and to set a specific range of randomness to individual drops for increased realism. When used on footage with a panning camera you can offset the entire "rainfall" volume to match the motion of the footage.

CC Snowfall
Snowfall allows to easily and quickly create "real-looking" snow when there is no time to get into a complex particle generator. Create anything from a raging blizzard to gently swirling snowflakes. A scene depth control provides an excellent snow-depth feeling and you can add realistic lighting to snow flakes requiring nothing but your footage. A number of controls are available to design turbulence to have snow flakes wiggle and turn like real snow while falling. Many controls have a separate variation control to set a specific range of randomness to individual snow flakes for increased realism. When used on footage with a panning camera you can offset the entire "snowfall" volume to match the motion of the footage.

Pricing and Availability
CycoreFX HD is available now. The update is free for all current CycoreFX HD owners and a single user license costs $299. For more information about volume discounts, site licenses and educational licenses please visit: Cycore FX

About Cycore Systems
Cycore Systems AB is a graphics software company headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden. Founded in 2005 by former Cycore employees, the company develops special effects software for the film and video industries and is one of the largest providers of third party plug-ins for Adobe After Effects.

Preorder Gridiron Flow at Toolfarm

Be totally organized without organizing anything.

GridIron Flow
is digital content management software for creative professionals working on graphic design, web, and video projects. Flow automatically tracks the design process from idea to end result and manages assets and applications for the most complex workflows.

gridiron flow

Flow is the world's first Visual Workflow Manager, built from the ground up to keep creative professionals streamlined and informed. Flow gives you a total understanding of your project, visually and intuitively.

In one simple interface, you'll see all your project files, how they're related to each other, and where they're located- on a local drive, on a network volume, even on a DVD you burned a few months ago.

This new birds-eye-view of your project gives you instant access to any file you need- and any version of that file, even if you've overwritten it while making changes. Flow even alerts you if you try to modify or delete a file that you shouldn't. Bottom line: no more lost files, no more accidents, and no more all-nighters. You'll find yourself delivering everything right the first time- without doing anything different.

John Nack, Principal Product Manager for Adobe Photoshop, calls Flow "one of the slickest, most potentially transformative applications I've seen in years." Could it transform the way you work? Check out Flow's features to find out.

Learn More About Gridiron Flow

SmartSound SonicFire Pro Plug-in for Final Cut Pro Now at Toolfarm

sonicfireMark It, Score It, Send It - Instant Music, No Hassle

SmartSound SonicFire Pro provides Final Cut Pro users with thousands of music selections that can be automatically edited to fit any length of media and dropped into your Final Cut Pro timeline in THREE simple and easy steps.

Step 1. Mark It- Using our new Final Cut Pro Plug-In, Sonicfire Pro 5 automatically reads your Final Cut Pro markers and in/out points and calculates the exact amount of music needed to compliment your visual media.

Step 2. Score It- Quickly search through thousands of tracks using keywords, categories, Sensory Searching ("More Like This, Faster, Slower, More Intense, Less Intense"), or our Tap Tempo feature, which searches using the tempo created by clicking your mouse. Once you find the music track you like, Sonicfire Pro automatically scores it to fit within your Final Cut Pro markers, while preserving the orginal beginning and ending of each music track so your SmartSound selections sound like they were uniquely composed for your project.

Step 3. Send It- Once you have customized your music track in Sonicfire Pro, simply click the "Send To" button and your music selection is added directly to your Final Cut Pro project.

Roundtrip Editing that Works!
We know projects can evolve over time. That is why Sonicfire Pro 5 offers advanced editing and fine-tuning controls that allow you to reopen your SmartSound music directly from your Final Cut Pro timeline for quick and easy edits, from readjusting the lenght of the music track to adding a cymbal crash for an added effect.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tutorial: BCC 6 FxPlug's Extruded Text Filter

Peter McAuley of Boris FX shows you how to use Boris Continuum Complete 6 FxPlug's Extruded Text Filter. Don't have BCC 6 FxPlug yet? Download a Free, Fully-functioning Trial Version. If you're looking for an upgrade, click here.

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Note: If you own BCC6 but didn't get the latest update, it includes the Extruded EPS filter. You don't want to miss that! Boris Continuum Complete 6.0.1 AE is now available as a free update for BCC 6 AE customers! Free BCC 6.0.1 AE Update for BCC 6 Users
Please uninstall BCC 6 AE before installing BCC 6.0.1 AE.

Mocha Import Tutorial and Script for After Effects

Mathias Mohl created this fantastic tutorial and script that is a Mocha Import tool.

Mathias says: "In this tutorial I explain how to use my free After Effects script MochaImport which simplifies the usage of MochaAE with After Effects.

With the script the following tasks can be done as one click operations:

  • create corner pin
  • create CC power pin
  • create AE trackpoints from Mocha track
  • stabilize footage
  • move layers according to track
  • create a precomp in which the footage is stabilized while maintaining the movement in the original composition.

FREE DOWNLOAD of the script:

Download a free trial of Imagineer Mocha for After Effects | Buy Mocha for After Effects v2 here

MochaImport Tutorial for After Effects from Mathias Möhl on Vimeo.

Digistor Self-Powered Blu-ray Writer USB 2.0 (Slot Load) and Adobe Bundle

adobe bluray bundleNew to our store is the Digistor Self-Powered Blu-ray Writer USB 2.0 (Slot Load), which was eMedia Editor's Choice 2009 Digistor Self-Powered Blu-ray Writer.

We're also bundling this great Blu-ray writer with Adobe Production Premium CS4, known as the Adobe Blu-ray Media Creation Bundle.

Tutorial: Noise Industries FxFactory Volumetrix

Zak Peric of Embryo has this cool new tutorial on his site that uses Noise Industries FxFactory / Volumetrix in Apple Motion. He explains how to create a gradient and edit a gradient and messing with transparency in a gradient in Motion. He then goes into Volumetrix, which is a gorgeous plug-in for Motion, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Studio and After Effects.

Check out Embryo here | Download a free demo of Volumetrix | Buy Volumetrix here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tutorial: 2 New Tutorials from Mark Christiansen for Digieffects FreeForm AE

Mark Christiansen shows you how to create a couple of simple but incredibly useful effects using the new plug-in from Digieffects called FreeForm AE. Download a free demo of FreeForm AE here or buy FreeForm AE and save 5% with Toolfarm's everyday discount!

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

RED One and Magic Bullet Looks

Red One and Magic Bullet LooksOliver Peters has a really good blog post on RED One and Magic Bullet Looks.

Aside from its power, Looks relies on a well-designed custom user interface to edit and apply effects. Maschwitz's breakthrough was to redesign the Looks GUI based on common tools that are part of steps in the production and post chain. Effects can be applied to these stages and in this order: Subject, Matte, Lens, Camera and Post. Some effects, like Fill Light can only be applied to a single stage, like Subject. Others, such as Film-like Curves, may be applied to difference stages in the chain, plus can be applied to more than one stage within the same effect chain. A single "look" is made up of a series of filters chained in sequence. For example, the Mexicali preset look consists of Curves + Exposure + Lift/Gain/Gamma + Curves + Auto Shoulder.

I highly recommend downloading a free trial of Magic Bullet Looks.

Looks is the unofficial #1 plug-in on my Top 10 Must-Have Plug-ins for Adobe After Effects list. Do you think Looks or another plug-in is the most flexible and user-friendly plug-in out there? Let us know! We're running a Plug-ins Survey and if you fill it out, you will be entered to win a Drobo! Click Here to take survey.

Buy Magic Bullet Looks here. Toolfarm has an everyday 5% discount on pretty much all of the software in our store, so buy it at Toolfarm, mmmmkay.

Boris Continuum Complete 6 FxPlug Now Available

New 3D Objects, Real-Time Effects Browser Window, Real-Time Chroma Key, Film Look, and Transition Effects

Boris Continuum Complete 6 FxPlug
brings over 200 filters to Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, and Apple Final Cut Express. In addition to new features included with the recently-released Boris Continuum Complete 6 AE for Adobe- such as Extruded Text, Extruded EPS, Extruded Splines, and Extruded Shapes- BCC 6 FxPlug takes advantage of Apple FxPlug's real-time architecture for simultaneous live previews of dozens of preset transitions, glows, and color and film look effects in a newly-designed effects browser window.

bcc 6

Download a Free 14-day Trial Version

BCC 6 FxPlug is Available Now!

Upgrade from Previous Versions of BCC FxPlug for $295!

Note: All customers who purchased FxPlug v5 since Feb 5th, 2009 are eligible for a free upgrade. Contact for more information.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Review: Digieffects FreeForm AE

freeformDigital Arts Magazine reviews Digieffects FreeForm AE and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Excellent, high quality 3D mesh warp tool, displacement map support for advanced mesh creation and animation.

Buy FreeForm AE | Try FreeForm AE

Here's an example of FreeForm created by Alicia from Toolfarm. It goes with the tutorial Getting Started with Digieffects FreeForm AE.

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Final Cut Pro Cropping Tip from The Final Cut Pro

Guest contributor Anthony Bosco talks about Cropping in Final Cut Pro.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Video Copilot Real Clouds Timelapse Sky Footage

New Video Copilot Real Clouds Timelapse Sky Footage: 24 Time-Lapse Cloud Videos, Ready for Motion Graphics or Compositing, NTSC & PAL Version Available, Royalty-Free Video Files.

Compatible with:
After Effects, Premiere, Combustion, Final Cut, Motion, Shake, Vegas, Fusion, and Avid QuickTime-Based Programs

New Astralax Magic Particles v1.6

magic particles
Make Hollywood-like particle effects

Astralax Magic Particles
is a special standalone editor that helps to create visual effects based on particle systems quickly and visually. Evanescent text, flying comets, autumn leaves dancing in gusts of wind, snowstorms, multicolored fog, wriggly tentacles of outlandish creatures, fantastic silhouettes of plants: all these (and many more!) images can not only be created in the program but added to your photos and videos.

Magic Particles is only $59.99 ($57.00 Toolfarm Price) and has been added to our Plug-ins and Software Under $99 Pages!

magic particles

The program will be useful both for nonprofessionals to decorate private photos and for designers alike. The program is so simple and easy-to-use that anyone can create top-class special effects in just in a couple of minutes and with few mouse clicks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NewBlueFX Introduces "Video Essentials II" Effects Plugins

new blue fx

May 18, 2009 - LA JOLLA, CA - Following its acclaimed release of the original Video Essentials effects plugin collection, NewBlue, Inc. is back with NewBlue Video Essentials II. Featuring an indispensable toolbox of 10 distinct video effects plugins, NewBlue Video Essentials II aids video professionals and enthusiasts in restoring, refining and enhancing their video.

With features such as chromakey, picture-in-picture, noise reducer and rack focus, NewBlue Video Essentials II joins the company's highly-regarded product line of 18 exclusive video effects plugins collections. The product is available for all major video editing software platforms, including Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Final Cut Express, Avid Media Composer, Avid NewsCutter, Avid Symphony, Avid Xpress, Avid Liquid, Corel (formerly Ulead) VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio, Sony Vegas, Sony Vegas Movie Studio and Thomson Grass Valley EDIUS. The collection is value-priced at $79.95.

"We created NewBlue Video Essentials II in response to the incredible feedback we received regarding our original Video Essentials collection," explains Chief Technology Officer, Todor J. Fay. "This collection represents the best-of-the-best of these ideas and suggestions."

Included in NewBlue Video Essentials II are:

Chroma Key, which mixes two shots together by converting a selected color in the source shot into transparency.

Color EQ, which adjusts the color characteristics of a selected color range in the scene.

Color Swap, which replaces a selected color range in the scene with a different color.

Lens Correction, which both corrects camera distortion to improve image quality and introduces distortion for an aesthetic effect.

Letterbox, which translates film shot in a different aspect ratio by stretching the source material back to its original shape and filling in the borders appropriately.

Noise Reducer, which removes noise in the image, particularly useful with old analog video or scenes shot in low light.

Picture-In-Picture, which provides a very thorough picture in picture effect that includes full 3D geometry, border, shadow, and reflection features.

Rack Focus, which creates an artificial focus blur that mimics camera depth of field.

Shadows and Highlights, which helps correct lighting problems, providing a software fill light for underexposed areas and a dampener for overexposed highlights.

Users can purchase NewBlue Video Essentials directly from the company's website at A fully-functional trial version is available for download, as well.

About NewBlue, Inc.

NewBlue, Inc. develops innovative audio, video and multimedia technologies for leading companies throughout the world. Founded in early 2002, NewBlue creates and licenses a range of proprietary technologies - including a series of NewBlueFX video technologies, the NewBlue Audio Engine and Audiomatrix technology platform-- that meet the varied multimedia needs of mid-and large-sized companies. Experienced developers, musicians, artists, and software professionals with a unique and commanding set of skills, experience and talent comprise the NewBlue team.

The company unveiled its NewBlueFX ( product line in 2006 to meet the needs of digital video editing enthusiasts. The NewBlueFX collection of software plug-ins includes special audio and video effects, such as audio filters, noise reduction, equalization, compression and dozens of sophisticated graphic filters and transitions. To date, the NewBlueFX line includes 5 audio-oriented plug-in collections and 13 video-oriented effects and transitions collections for the Adobe Premiere, Avid Liquid, Avid Media Composer, Avid Xpress Pro, Pinnacle Studio and Sony Vegas desktop video product lines, as well as AVCHD UpShift, an AVCHD conversion utility created in conjunction with VASST.

For further information on NewBlueFX, please see

Sorenson Squeeze 5.1 Available- Free Update for Existing Squeeze 5 Customers

sorenson squeezeSorenson Squeeze 5.1 is the latest version of Sorenson Media 's award-winning compression and encoding software. In only three quick steps users can select, pre-process, and compress video for output in a variety of formats and publish directly to websites or burn to DVD. Offering best in class workflows, the highest quality audio & video codecs, simultaneous multi-file encoding, and optimized filter presets, along with an unmatched level of automation. Squeeze requires no in-depth knowledge of compression formats and allows users to work faster without compromising quality.

Learn More/Purchase | Upgrade Options | Free Update/Free Trial

Squeeze 5.1 Enhancements
  • Improved H.264 Encoding Quality & Speed
  • Enhanced Deinterlacing
  • Integrated Sorenson 360 Workflow
Video encoding as easy as 1, 2, 3. Import your file, apply intelligent presets and Squeeze It!

Sorenson Squeeze 5 Pro Versions include Sorenson Video 3 Pro, Sorenson Spark Pro, Sorenson MPEG-4 Pro and Sorenson H.264 Pro video codecs.

Utilize all your computer's cores. Encode up to 1.5 files on each core simultaneously.

Maximize your time. Let the Squeeze 5 batch encoding options set you free. Squeeze offers powerful encoding filters and presets.

You are the boss. Squeeze 5 gives you all the control to fine-tune your video and audio settings.

Publish to 360, FTP and local networks. Use watch folders or even burn a DVD. Squeeze 5 will increase your productivity.

From High Definition down to the smallest web video, Squeeze gives you the biggest bang for your bit.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.1 Coming Soon

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.1 offers further RED camera compatibility, Avid interoperability and improved performance

premiereAdobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 provides a host of updated compatibility that advances Adobe's leadership in enabling open, flexible post-production workflows, including improved interoperability with RED camera and Avid software workflows and broader support for leading post-production hardware such as AJA, Blackmagic and Matrox video cards. This new, faster version of Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 will be available in late May 2009 via the Adobe updater and from at no charge for customers of Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, CS4 Production Premium, and CS4 Master Collection software. Learn more here.

Open Effects Association Formed At NAB 2009

Promoting Open Standards for Visual Effects

openfxSeven companies joined forces at NAB last month to launch The Open Effects Association. This non-profit, UK-based company aims to develop and promote open standards across the visual effects community. Founding members are Assimilate, Autodesk®, Digieffects, FilmLight, The Foundry, GenArts® and RE:Vision Effects. These companies have helped artists create ground-breaking VFX shots on just about everything that hits cinema screens.

The Association's initial focus is to improve the OFX image processing plug-in standard launched by The Foundry in 2004. The goal for the OpenFX API is to reduce the level of development and support required for plug-ins across different compositing and editing host platforms. The OpenFX API has, to date, been adopted by:

  • Assimilate® SCRATCH®
  • Autodesk® ToxikTM software
  • FilmLight's Baselight
  • GenArts® Sapphire® plug-ins
  • The Foundry's Nuke compositor and Tinder, Keylight and Furnace plug-ins
  • RE:Vision Effects' ReelSmartTM Motion Blur and DE:Noise plug-ins
  • Digital Vision's FilmMaster
  • Grass Valley's Bones
  • Eyeon Fusion
  • Avid DS
  • Photron's Primatte Keyer

The Association hopes that as a new, independent organization, it will encourage increasingly open communication and collaboration between hosts and plug-in developers and establish a uniform specification to benefit everyone involved, starting with the artists.

Bruno Nicoletti, Chief Technical Officer at The Foundry and main creator of the original OpenFX API comments: "It was always The Foundry's aim to make life easier for everyone. I'm reinvigorated by the formation of this new independent body, delighted to have been appointed to the board and am looking forward to collaborating with the other members and encouraging uptake of OpenFX API as a standard."

Gary Oberbrunner, Chief Scientist, Vice President of Engineering at GenArts and newly appointed Director of the OFX Association adds, "GenArts Sapphire has a well-earned reputation for supporting a wide range of host platforms. We've been supportive of the OpenFX premise since its inception, and Sapphire runs on all major OpenFX hosts. We at GenArts are excited about the OFX Association, and we believe this new approach will enable the industry to advance our common goals more quickly."

If you are interested in learning more or joining the OFX Association, please contact Bruno Nicoletti,

Controlling Final Cut with your iPhone

Use the Snatch App that is $5.99 in the iTunes store to control FCP with your iPhone. Cool idea, but how useful is it really? I mean, if you're right in front of your computer anyway, why not just use your computer?

If you could do a quick rough cut on your phone while you were standing in line at the post office, that would be the bomb. Maybe I am not understanding what this tool actually does. What are the benefits of doing this? I'm very curious... and intrigued.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tutorial: Graphic Novel Look in FCP

Douglas Toltzman of Oak Street Software just uploaded a new tutorial to MyToolfarm that uses Final Cut Pro, EdgeTool, and VKey2 plug-ins to create a graphic novel look. To try VKey2, go to our demos page and look under Final Cut Pro plug-ins.

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Particular 2 Deal - Save $100 if you Buy v1.5 Now

The price of Trapcode Particular 2.0 is going up! Order Particular 1.5 now and get a free upgrade to Particular v2, and save $100. This is on NEW licenses only, not upgrades. Buy Now.

Trapcode Particular v2

Trapcode Particular goes way, way beyond the basics of particle generation. Get fast interactive previews, bouncing particles, 3D camera integration, particles that emit particles, custom shapes, air resistance, gravity and turbulence controls, depth of field, and more! It's the best way to generate your own star fields, asteroid belts, or meteor showers. With Particular 2, you no longer need your favorite 3D modeling/animation program to create virtual 3D textures or adjust lighting as text or objects tumble in 3D space. Particular 2 lets you do it all right inside After Effects.

There are over 30 new features and updates in version 2. Here are just a few:

Shaded Particles, Beautifully Lit
All particle types can be shaded from multiple lights in After Effects. Spot, Point and Ambient lights are all supported with natural light falloff available for spot and point lights. This feature is exclusive to Particular and found in no other After Effects particle plug-in.

Shadowlets, Enhanced Depth
Along with shaded particles, you also get particle volume self-shadowing. This feature creates a shadow from light sources to create a much greater sense of depth in a scene. This exclusive feature is found in no other After Effects particle plug-in.

New Particle: Streaklet
This new particle type is perfect for long exposure-style light effects as seen in the Apple iPod and Sprint commercials. This a Particular-exclusive feature found in no other After Effects particle plug-in.

Trapcode Particular v2

Highest Quality 32-bpc Rendering
Floating point rendering (32 bits per channel) allows super-bright (luminant) particles. When motion blur is enabled, it will render with optically correct, extra bright results.

Backward Compatibility
Particular 2 can load projects made with Particular version 1.5. The new version will create nearly identical results, while giving you access to enhanced features. You can buy now with full confidence that your settings will work in the new version.

Be sure to check out Episode 19 of Red Giant TV on how to create your own Star Trek transporter effect with Trapcode Particular. Visit: Red Giant TV.

Tutorial: Horizon replacement with Mocha for AE v2

Mocha tutorial

Carl Larsen created this amazing tutorial for a horizon replacement in Imagineer mocha for After Effects v2. I am blown away by how convincing his video looks! He is replacing a regular sky with an alpine scene, with realistic paralax shifting. Above is the before and after. Impressive, eh. Here's the tutorial.

Don't own Mocha for AE v2? Try it here for free.

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Sony Creative Software Includes ShuttlePRO and ShuttleXpress Settings with Vegas Pro 9

vegas proNew Settings for Professional Video, Audio, and Blu-ray Disc Creation

Windham NH May 19, 2009 - Contour Design, a market leader in audio/video editing devices, today announced that updated ShuttlePRO V.2, ShuttlePRO, and ShuttleXpress settings are included with Sony Creative Software's Vegas Pro 9 release.

The new settings give Vegas Pro 9 editors the ability to:

  • Move left and right through the timeline by marker or by grid
  • Enter or Exit Event Edge Mode
  • Select Left and Right Event Edges
  • Deselect All
  • Preview Edit
  • Mark In and Out points
  • Control Play/Pause and Play/Stop
  • Zoom in and out of the timeline

ShuttlePRO V.2, ShuttlePRO, and ShuttleXpress settings are also available for ACID Pro, ACID Music Studio, Sound Forge, Sound Forge Audio Studio, Cinescore, and CD Architect.

The Perfect Tool for Every Application
ShuttlePRO V.2 is designed for ergonomic integrity and maximum productivity, allowing one-handed access to 15 fully-programmable buttons, a jog knob, and a spring loaded shuttle wheel. At the head of the ShuttlePRO are nine programmable buttons complete with crystal clear removable keycaps for intuitive labeling and ease of reference. The inner ring or ’jog knob’ at the center of the ShuttlePRO rotates a full 360° to provide precise frame-by-frame control while the outer black ring or rubberized 'shuttle wheel' facilitates fast forward and rewind. In addition, the jog and shuttle can also be configured for many other purposes including scrolling, volume control, and sequencing.

Modeled after the award-winning ShuttlePRO, the ShuttleXpress offers a professional multimedia controller at an attractive price. Packed with five oversized buttons, a jog knob, and a shuttle wheel, the ShuttleXpress is a full multimedia control surface in a compact design. Use it alone or simultaneously with a ShuttlePRO for enhanced cooperative control.

The new Sony Vegas Pro 9 settings are included with all packaged and download purchases of Sony Vegas Pro 9.

About Contour Design

Contour Design Inc., based in Windham, New Hampshire, is a manufacturer of innovative add-on products for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX workstations, specializing in the iPod/iPhone accessories, audio/video input devices, and ergonomic markets.

Monday, May 18, 2009

LME 135 Photo/Video Art Frames JPEG Graphic Collection

Check out LME 135 Photo/Video Art Frames JPEG Graphic Collection, for any type of motion graphics project. Large enough for high resolution 1920x1080 and everything smaller. They come in a horizontal position, but can be rotated and rescaled in all directions without loosing quality, to accommodate your art.

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Friday, May 15, 2009

Plug-in Magazine needs your input!

plugin magazine

Plug-in Magazine is a news aggregator for all things visual effects, motion graphics, editing, audio, etc. and it's about ready to officially launch. We still have a lot of space! What would you like to see on a site like this? We would like it to be a huge time saver for you - a place you can visit for 10 minutes, glance the headlines and get all of the news you need, and get back to more important things like work and family and relaxing (not necessarily in that order, right?!)

If you have some sites you don't see there, please let me know: Please have a look around first, because your suggested site may already be up there!

See Michele Yamazaki at KAFI - Kalamazoo Animation Festival International

I will be presenting on Sunday, May 17 at KAFI at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College (room CNM 175) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, about... you guessed it.... greenscreen. I'll be on from 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM. For more information, go to the KAFI website

greenscreen made easyAlso, a very nice review from Robert Grant at Sci-Fi-London:
Written with the indie filmmaker in mind 'Greenscreen Made Easy' follows a beautifully logical path through the entire process of pre-production, production and post-production from buying or building your greenscreen (or blue, and it explains that as well) through shooting your backgrounds, lighting for greenscreen, positioning your actors, techniques for clean keys, prepping for post-production, getting rid of artifacts, different plug-ins, blending, colouring, making it believable and using CGI backgrounds.
Read the review here and get Greenscreen Made Easy here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free CrumplePop Effects for Final Cut Pro- Freemeo and Photo

CrumplePop Freemeo lets you create HD text elements and lower thirds in the style of a popular video-sharing service....and by that we mean Vimeo. Freemeo is a set of HD elements you can drop directly onto the FCP timeline.

crumplepop freebie

CrumplePop Photo is a set of high quality HD effects that let you create Polaroid-style photos directly in the FCP timeline.

crumplepop freebie

Download CrumplePop Photo and Freemeo for Final Cut Pro 6+ for FREE!

Topaz Clean 2 is released for Intel Mac and Windows

topaz cleanTopaz Clean v2 is a new Photoshop plug-in from Topaz Labs that combines feature-preserving smoothing, edge smoothing, and texture control into one filter designed to provide refinable artistic image manipulation.

A longtime well-respected member of the DPReview Retouching forum, artist Kent Christiansen finds the texture and edge accentuation features in Topaz Clean particularly interesting:

Image Name

The first image depicts the original photo taken by photographer vidal. The second image was created by Kent using the SkinEven preset in Clean 2. Notice that while the distracting blemishes are completely removed, the minute skin detail is well-preserved. The third image was stylized using Kent's own AnimeSim preset. In his words, "Clean 2 has a variety of effects. The 'skineven' preset can be used as a one click fix but the sliders allow maximum flexibility from the original look to 'high fashion' and everything in between."

Like most other Topaz filters, Topaz Clean 2 is applicable in a variety of creative ways.

Topaz Clean 2 is a free update for Topaz Vivacity customers who purchased before May 6, 2009. We encourage you to try out the software for yourself and download the 30-day unlimited free trial!

DV Magazine gives Innobits Purifier "Award of Excellence", Save $200 for a Limited Time!

video purifierVideo signals are contaminated by noise in many different ways even if they are completely digital. Sources of noise are for example storage media, image acquisition equipments (e.g. cameras, digitizers etc.), transmission channels (e.g. broadcasting, satellite links, cable networks, statistical multiplexers) and receiving and recording equipment. Innobits Video Purifier removes these contaminations, for example dithering artifacts, unwanted video noise and unpleasant signatures from earlier processing. Only noise that shouldn't be in the video is removed, which means that animated noise is not touched.

Innobits Video Purifier has recently earned the "Award Of Excellence" in DV magazine. Read All About It!

Limited Time Introductory Price: Regularly $396.00 now $196.00! Since seeing is believing, try out a free demo to use with your own footage!

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Innobits Video Purifier is a standalone NLE software for you to use as an additional tool of the trade. The powerful algorithm used in Innobits Video Purifier is "heavy-duty" signal processing even if it is light weighted in respect to CPU time. The limitation in hardware, is the memory bandwidth, not the number of CPU's / cores or other hardware installed. In this NLE software there is a totally new thinking in the Graphical User Interface, making it really easy to learn and use the product.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

idustrial revolution ParticleMetrix sneak peek

Peter Wiggins had the idustrial revolution ParticleMetrix on his NAB Promo Reel. The plug-in is in the last stage of beta at the moment and will be available soon. idustrial revolution plug-ins use the Noise Industries effects engine and work in After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Motion (FxPlug). Looks VERY cool.

ParticleMetrix NAB 2009 Promo Reel from Idustrial Revolution on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alien Skin Snap Art 2 Now Available

Snap Art

Alien Skin Snap Art 2 s a Photoshop plug-in that turns your photography into beautiful works of art with a single click. Forget about buying a pen tablet and taking classes to learn how to use complicated painting software. Snap Art does all the hard work of rendering thousands brush strokes to gives results that are indistinguishable from handmade art.

Class on Demand Electronic Download of Basic Training for Final Cut Studio

class on demand

Get Class on Demand's Basic Training for Final Cut Studio 2 now as an electronic download!

If you're outside of North America you will save a small fortune in shipping costs, plus much less greenhouse gasses are produced because it doesn't need to be shipped. Save money, help the earth.

We'll be adding more electronic downloads from Class on Demand this week. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the minute updates.

New Video Copilot Action Essentials 2 Coming Soon!

video copilot action essentialsProduct Features:

  • Over 250 HD elements
  • Many elements shot in slow motion
  • Diverse camera angles
  • Wide and close shots
  • Pre-Keyed & Pre-Matted
  • 95% Live action footage
  • Includes tutorials and bonus content

It will be available in 2 versions: 720p HD (1280x720) and 2k Film-res (2048x1152). Sounds incredible! It will be out in June 2009. Follow Toolfarm on Twitter for notification as soon as it's released!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Take our AE Plug-in Survey; Enter to Win a Drobo!

plugin awards

Please take a minute to rate our top selling plug-ins in the order that you prefer them. We're looking for the most flexible, user-friendly plug-ins out there... the workhorses.

We'll be drawing one survey respondents email to win a Drobo - 4 Bay FW800 & USB 2.0 Storage Array at the end of the survey!

Please pass the survey link on to all your AE-using friends and co-workers.

Sony Vegas Pro 9 and Sony Vegas Collections Now Available

vegas pro

Sony Vegas Pro 9 integrates two powerful applications that work seamlessly together to provide an efficient and intuitive environment for video and broadcast professionals. This comprehensive suite offers the most robust and progressive platform available for content creation and production. With broad format support, superior effects processing, unparalleled audio support, and a full complement of editorial tools, the Vegas Pro 9 collection streamlines your workflow. From acquisition to delivery, from camera to Blu-ray Disc, the Vegas Pro 9 collection delivers exactly what you need to produce outstanding results.
  • Sony Vegas Pro 9: Edit SD or HD video with drag-and-drop functionality, natively supports the newest professional camcorder formats including XDCAM EX and RED.
  • Sony Vegas Pro 9 Production Assistant: Automates many frequent tasks and processes to save hours of tedious editing work.
  • Sony Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro Pack: Has everything that Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Edition software has and more; Sound Forge Audio Studio 9, Pro Pack Cinescore themes, and more!
  • Sony Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition: Studio Platinum software provides added features and advanced editing tools; HD video editing: HDV and Sony AVCHD, 5.1 surround sound mixing and encoding, and more!
  • Sony Movie Studio 9: Video editing, audio production, and DVD authoring come together in a single, powerful solution.

Friday, May 08, 2009

New Zaxwerks 3D Serpentine Now Available- Try it for FREE

Create 3D paths in After Effects and let Zaxwerks 3D Serpentine bring the paths to life!

Zaxwerks 3D Serpentine brings big-time 3D effects to Motion Graphics and Video artists. Creating 3D noodles, also called path extrusions, is no longer difficult nor time consuming. Now you can do them live, right inside of Adobe After Effects CS3 and CS4.

serpentineIf you know how to make a 3D path in After Effects you can create fanciful 3D noodles with the 3D Serpentine plug-in.

Create cool 3D effects like moving film strips, shooting stars, animated marquee signs, swirling tubes, winding helixes, twisting extruded text, arrow pointers and self-tying ribbons.

Download a free demo and try it out for yourself!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Free EPS Extrusion Filter for Boris Continuum Complete 6 AE Customers

Boris Continuum Complete 6.0.1 AE is now available as a free update for BCC 6 AE customers!

bcc 6

New features include:

Extruded EPS Filter
. This new filter provides an easy way to import and extrude Adobe Illustrator layered vector logos and graphics in Adobe After Effects. The filter includes full integration with the After Effects 3D camera and lighting system and incorporates the same 3D material presets and free-form deformation properties of other BCC 6 AE 3D Objects filters. The filter is capable of tracking an EPS file using a Watch Folder, making the EPS file live should it be edited in Adobe Illustrator. A handy Keep EPS Color feature lets you preserve the original fill colors for each element as a diffuse color option of the material.

New Video Tutorial:

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New Smooth Edge Anti-aliasing Option for BCC 3D Objects Filters. This new option lets you refine the edge smoothness of any BCC 3D Objects filter for more natural compositing against high-contrast backgrounds.

Free BCC 6.0.1 AE Update for BCC 6 Users
Please uninstall BCC 6 AE before installing BCC 6.0.1 AE

Don't have BCC 6 AE yet? Download a Free, Fully-functioning Trial Version

CoreMelt Academic Software Now Available at Toolfarm

Students now have the opportunity to save half off retail pricing for the entire line of CoreMelt Products for After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Motion.
View CoreMelt Academic Products. You must be a full time student or a faculty member teaching filmmaking or digital video related courses.

coremelt180 GPU accelerated plugins for motion graphics artists and video editors using Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, Apple Motion and After Effects CS3/CS4.

Running on the Second Generation vTwin FX Engine which provides enhanced features such as all new intuitive user interface elements, organic color correction curves, and global preferences that allow you to spend less time meddling with settings, and more time creating phat video effects!!

The CoreMelt V2 product range includes the following new features:

  • Second Generation V Twin FX Engine, get more grunt...
  • Improved Curves based Color CorrectionwithOnscreen Curves Controls
  • Easily change parameters across all plugins with Global Preferences
  • Vector Masks and Frames are rasterised at project resolution
  • Users can add their own masks and frames
  • Graphical Multi-sliders gives enhanced effect controls
  • Transition Effects are Available as filters in Motion and After Effects
  • VeeYou now reads the audio from files in all hosts

Flip4Mac WMV - Update

Flip4Mac WMV- import, export, play .wma & .wmv in QuickTime.

With the Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac, you can play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) in QuickTime Player and view Windows Media content on the Internet using a web browser.

The Windows Media Components for QuickTime have been highly optimized and support playback of Windows Media HD.

What's new in this version:
Support Garbage Collection under Leopard.

More Information/Download the free update.

Training Review: Professional Keying with Keylight

Reprinted with permission from Microfilmmaker Magazine

keylight trainingPublisher: Toolfarm
Host: Angie Mistretta
Format: Downloadable Tutorial (Flash)
Topic: After Effects Plug-in Training

MSRP: $42
Expected Release: Available Now
Review Date: May 1, 2009
Reviewed By: Tom Stern, Microfilmmaker Magazine.

award of superiorityIf you have Keylight and want to do keying work, then you need to know what this tutorial provides.

There are a lot of After Effects tutorials available. And many of them describe green screen keying.

professional keying

Figure 1. Training Layout for the Toolfarm Expert Training Series.

I've watched well over 120 tutorials on AE and at least a dozen of those covered various aspects of keying. So why would anyone create another tutorial specifically on keying with The Foundry's Keylight in After Effects?

Because Professional Keying with Keylight (with Angie Mistretta), brought to you by the Expert Training Series at Toolfarm, is different. It teaches how to use the features in Keylight to do professional quality keying. And most importantly, it teaches you how to think about keying.

This is not one of those "tour of the interface" tutorials. You know the ones I'm talking about: "The brightness slider is used to control the brightness. Moving the slider changes the brightness." No way.

And this is not one of those "single method" tutorials that shows a technique that works well with the sample footage but falls apart when you try it on your own footage.

This training shows you how to recognize keying problems, and how to use the tools in Keylight to solve those problems.


Figure 2. The Green Screen Clip

The tutorial starts with a typical green screen clip. It was shot on an HVX in 720p24n mode. I saw this clip and I said to myself "This looks like something I would shoot. Pretty good." Then the tutorial tears apart the image as the host explains what she sees in it. There are a half-dozen problems with the clip ranging from poor exposure to green light spilling on the actor's skin to a dark line and halo artifact caused by HD compression. The host teaches you how to see differently.

Step-by-step she walks through building a multiple-key mask using a dazzling array of tricks in Keylight. As she does this, she points out the problem, tries a solution, and analyzes the results. I was surprised to hear "No, that didn't work. Let's see why." And then she shows the limitations of one technique after another and what to do next. It's not one technique, rather it's a systematic way to break down the quality issues in a key and fix them.

This really is Professional Keying with Keylight.


The material is easy to understand because the host shows you exactly what she is looking at and explains the problem she sees in it. Then she shows you how to use a technique. Most importantly, she shows you what she is doing. Most tutorials that I've watched on keying include shortcuts. The host might say "For this setting I think we need to use 28". And I'm left wondering where in the world this number came from and what "28" does in that setting. I didn't experience this kind of omission even once in the whole training.

Of course, at times, the multiple attempts to solve a problem can be confusing. I recalled after one section that the host had shown me three approaches to solve a particular problem. I appreciated that I now knew about all these techniques, but I couldn't remember which of the three had worked in the example. On the balance, I prefer to know the limits of the approaches and what alternatives are available. Without this information it's possible to reach "the end of the road" and not know what to do next. On the other hand, I appreciate that some people want a straight-through tutorial that just explains simple direct steps.


Figure 3. Full-feature Training Interface.

Depth of Information

The information is pretty deep. However, it is structured in a way that makes it really more like a succession of tutorials than a single training.

  • Getting Started
  • Creating a Nested GMatte
  • The Core Matte
  • Edge Mattes: Hair
  • Stacking the Key Using Masks
  • Edge Mattes: Adding the Rest of the Hair to the Key
  • Testing the Key on the Background Plate
  • Edge Mattes: Dealing with Black Lines in Footage
  • The Final Key! Working More with Replace
  • Creating a Master Alpha Matte
  • Finishing it Off: Color Correction and Edge Treatment

Figure Figure 4. Detailed work.

While the coverage is deep, it lacks some critical elements.

As with most green screen training, the tutorial omits advice on how to acquire the footage. There is no guidance on what kind of material to use for a green screen, how to light it, how big it needs to be, the distance of the actor from the screen, camera settings - and the whole set of problems that comes with acquiring decent footage to key.

This training demonstrates footage shot in the Panasonic HVX DVCPRO-HD format. While it is true that most filmmakers will buy, beg, or borrow this camera to shoot green screen footage, it is also true that many microfilmmakers will be working in SD (NTSC) or in HDV or AVCHD rather than DVCPRO-HD. And in case you didn't know, that makes a big difference. Because DVCRPO-HD records in 4:2:2 color, twice the color resolution of SD (4:1:1) or HDV (4:2:0). And its been my experience that these more common formats are A LOT harder to key. So although the techniques demonstrated are still valid, the use of a single high quality demonstration is kind of like cheating. It makes compositing look easier than it really is when you have footage shot in these other formats.

Another issue is that the training covers keying one clip to the nth degree of quality. The example never changes. This is a mixed blessing. It's good because in each chapter the host develops a deeper analysis of the image. However, the training isn't tailored to a specific case. If my goal is to composite people being knocked down by an explosion, then I'm going to have to absorb the knowledge from the example and adapt it to the specific case. There may be more detailed advice for these cases. And there may be shortcuts that the pros use in specific cases. And these aren't covered.

Finally, the training doesn't address workflow efficiency. It teaches how to get quality, not how to get speed.

Interest Level

When I started watching the tutorial, I intended to go only through the "Getting Started" section in my first sitting. I actually ended up having to pull myself away after the fifth section, because I didn't want to be late to an appointment. A few times I had to hit pause and think through what had just been presented, because I heard it and I was following it, but I needed a little extra time to absorb what I had learned before moving on to the next topic.

To help catch everything, I really appreciated the Full Screen mode. By expanding the tutorial to fill my screen it was like someone was showing me how to do the composite in my own application. It's a different experience when the tutorial uses the whole screen than when it appears in a small window.


This training has three uses. The first time through, I was entertained and I was learning to think differently about keying and to view the shot differently. The second time through, I used it as a tutorial and I would watch a section, pause it, and try the technique on my own footage. The third time it is a valuable reference. There are so many techniques covered it is hard to remember them all. And being able to go back to the chapters and then move the cursor on the timeline to the section of interest makes it a valuable job aid.

Value vs. Cost

In my opinion, this training is absolutely worth the cost. I would (and have) paid this much for reference books. But having the host show me and tell me, rather than reading, allows me to learn much faster. And the way this training is organized and presented it is a useful resource later as well.

With that said, to recap my comments earlier, there are four weak elements of the training:

  1. Acquiring green screen footage, or at least being able to explain to someone what constitutes good green screen footage.
  2. Compositing in a low-color space such as SD or HDV.
  3. Advice relevant to specific common uses. (Explosion, Falling, and so forth).
  4. Method to streamline work flow for production efficiency; tradeoffs of quality for speed.

If the above elements are important to you, then you may still find this training to be valuable and informative. You will just have to find other resources to fill in the gaps.

Overall Comment

Professional Keying with Keylight is a full training resource for keying. It not only teaches the interface and techniques, but presents these in a practical context of problems solving. And knowing when to apply a technique with Keylight is at least as important as knowing how to do it. It is a solid general resource for keying with Keylight in AE.


About the reviewer: Tom Stern is a writer, producer, and director. His company, FILMdyne LLC, specializes in Digital Cinematography. Their motto says it all: "Shot on video - looks like film." Visit them online at Tom is the author of the Redrockmicro M2 Cinema Lens Adapter manual. Tom is a frequent contributor to the online forums at, under his nome de plume Andy Starbuck.Tom is also one of the founding members of JustUs League Films. A production troupe in Lexington, Kentucky.

Digieffects Launches FreeForm AE

3D Mesh Warping Plugin Brings High-End Functionality to After Effects

freeformWilmington, NC - May 5, 2009 - Digieffects, a developer of popular visual effects software plugins, today announced that FreeForm AE is available for purchase. FreeForm AE, a plugin for Adobe After Effects, is an intuitive and robust warping tool that allows users to manipulate a flat object into almost any shape using a mesh in 3D space. This new product takes After Effects 3D compositing to the next level.

Features and Benefits

  • 3D Functionality: The same power and control of 3D applications right inside After Effects.
  • Control: All controls for manipulation are right inside the After Effects comp window.
  • Speed: Powered by a proprietary, full 3D rendering engine to provide beautiful, high-quality renders fast.
  • Never leave After Effects: Makes it easy to create 3D effects which previously required a dedicated 3D program or high-end workstation.
  • Depth, Dimensions, and Displacement: True 3D displacement mapping.
  • Picks up where After Effects ends: Bend, twist, distort, shape layers right in the After Effects comp window.
  • Presets: Ships with dozens of presets to save time.

According to Robert Sharp, president of Digieffects,FreeForm AE was originally developed by Chris Bobotis of Mettle in Montreal, Canada. Chris was frustrated that 3D mesh warping was only available in expensive, high-end systems like Autodesk Flame. He felt it was time somebody made this available in After Effects.

According to Mark Christiansen, author of After Effects CS4 Visual Effects & Compositing Studio Techniques, "FreeForm AE offers After Effects a huge feature that used to push artists to other systems; no longer must a job go to Flame for what Autodesk calls 'extended bicubics'. The result is fully integrated with After Effects own 3D camera and lighting system. How cool is that, integrating curved 3D planes into After Effects?"

Pricing and Availability

FreeForm AE, affordably priced at $299, is available directly from Digieffects as well as its distributor and reseller partners. FreeForm AE is compatible with Adobe After Effects CS3 and CS4 and runs on Mac PPC, Mac Intel, and Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.

About Digieffects

Digieffects is a developer of popular software visual effects plug-ins for Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro and Autodesk Combustion. The company has been in the business since the beginning of the 'plugin revolution' which dates back to 1996. Over the years, Digieffects has had great success with software products like Cinelook and Delirium and is proud to call thousands of film and video producers all around the world its customers and friends.

Red Giant Software: Episode 18: Compositing Tips from 'Greenscreen Made Easy' Episode 18: Compositing Tips from 'Greenscreen Made Easy'

In this Episode, the Toolfarm's Michele Yamazaki shares a ton of great compositing tips from her new book, Greenscreen Made Easy.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Toolfarm :60 Ep.02: Digieffects and Ep.03: Wondertouch

Toolfarm :60 Ep.02: Digieffects Robert Sharp, President of Digieffects, talks about new products Natural Forces and FreeForm AE, at NAB 2009.

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Toolfarm :60 Ep.03: Wondertouch Alan Lorence of Wondertouch is at NAB talking about the new After Effects plug-in pIllusion, a particle generator that works much like particleIllusion, and even shares libraries!

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Noise Industries SUGARfx HUD FxPack

Noise Industries SUGARfx HUD FxPack comes in a nice package of three different filters to add some interesting eye candy to your graphics. Noise Industries SUGARfx HUD is compatible with Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express and After Effects.

Use the Binoculars plug-in to simulate interesting and unusual binocular viewfinders.

UseTarget the filter that was made to promote the focus of your message to the next level.

Or the OSD [On Screen Display] filter to simulate a familiar video or still camera viewfinder right on your canvas.

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

All these effects achieved with the sweet touch of SUGARfx filters, with expandable capabilities that go far beyond the usual masks or still image overlays we see all the time on TV.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Austin, TX Motion Graphics Festival 2009 May 11-22


The next stop of the Motion Graphics Festival is Austin, TX. I wish I could make it but I won't be there. If you go, let me know all about it!

Motion Graphics Festival 2009
New Motion + New Sound + New Code
Austin, Texas :: May 11-22

Austin is known for supporting Indy Artists and Alternative Cultures throughout the year, but specifically, this month the Austin Motion Graphics Festival brings independent culture creators to the big screen. From filmmakers to musicians, MGFest unites artists across the divides of genre and medium to celebrate the weird, imaginative and other-worldly visions that use the technology of sequential images and the illusion of motion.

The studies of motion design, sound design and interactivity, are featured during the weeks of May 11th through 22nd. The apex of festival activity takes place during May 14 through 17 with entertainment events across the city, including: an art showcase with the Austin Museum Of Digital Art (AMODA), studio tours at top Austin design companies, screenings of local and international motion artists, a full-day educational conference, an open collaboration summit, and two weeks of industry workshops on creative software by Microsoft, Maxon, Adobe, Ableton and the local innovative Livid Instruments.

This year's Austin Motion Graphics Festival begins May 11th, 2009 featuring internationally recognized artists including: Shepard Fairey, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Kanye West, Addictive TV, Digital Kitchen, The Mill, Passion Pictures, Animal Logic, Post Panic, Dvein, David Lobser, Ken Adams, Yoshi Sodeoka, Larry Carlson, Jen Stark, Bob Sabiston, Sandy Stone, Paul Baker, Gift Culture, Artificial Life Preserver and more.

This festival in the fast moving field of design technology has opened it's Art & Entertainment events for only $7. Rather than charging the typical $500-$1500 conference fee, the Motion Graphics Festival encourages participants to stop complaining about the economy, and spend their money on something that will upgrade their tools, technique and aesthetics. Software, DVDs and music will be available at a discount rate throughout the festival week.

Austin MGFest presented by Microsoft Expression Studio 2.

Additional MGFest Sponsors include: Maxon, Austin Museum of Digital Art, IdN, Livid Instruments, Lumenbrite Training, Lumen Eclipse, SXSW Interactive, Stash DVD Magazine, Create Digital Motion, All City Technology, Future Media Concepts, DigiEffects, VidVox, Sterling Ledet, Boris FX, Resolume, Toolfarm, UnScene, GarageCUBE, Lift Motion Design, RE:Vision Effects, Ableton, Wondertouch & Clif Bar.

Silent Auction for over $30,000 in software, DVDs and training materials.

.: MGFest Schedule + Registration ::