December 29, 2006

Save online videos with Hey!Watch and others

NewTeeVee reports on more ways to save and convert online videos, including a Techcrunch article on Hey!Watch, a robust web services for collecting online videos.

December 19, 2006

Colorista license works in all apps both Mac and Win

Among the cool things about the new Colorista color correction filter from Stu Maschwitz and Red Giant is that you get to use it on all supported on both Mac and Windows. Very generous.

I still need to check to see if rumored features were included, like minimized luma range transition zones and a control to stop/ramp the "flash" of the blacks to blue when adding blue to shadows (like telecine colorists).

December 14, 2006

Photoshop public beta

General Specialist has a short rundown and a few links. It should be posted in the wee hours tonight at

There's much more coming, so look to PS product manager John Nack to keep you updated on the best resources.

December 12, 2006

New digital photography guides from Adobe

John Nack posted on new digital photography guides from Adobe:
"Adobe has commissioned a number of digital photography guides from industry heavy hitters, covering everything from metadata to color management, digital workflow to black & white conversion."

December 7, 2006

AE script allows background renders

via ProLost...
Over at, Lloyd Alvarez posted BG Renderer, a script "that allows you to render in the background while continuing to work in After Effects 7. If you have a multi-core or -proc machine, you can render multiple frames at once for a substantial speed boost, all without any noticeable impact on your interactive work in the foreground."

December 6, 2006

2007 Visual Music Marathon: call for entries

Visual Music is fine art animation, video or film in which the visual elements are informed by musical processes. There much to be explored at Iota Center, CVM, Visual Music Blog (was Sounding Visual), Tone Color, Rhythmic Light, Chris Musgrave, and (an oldie) Synesthesia, Multimedia & the Caves of Altamira.

The Multimedia Studies and Music Technology programs, in conjunction with the Departments of Music and Visual Arts is pleased to announce a call for work for the 2007 Visual Music Marathon,
to be held on April 28th, 2007 as part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival. The Marathon will include screenings of new and historic works that reflect the theme of the event and a live video component. Approximately thirty minutes of programming will be selected for national cablecast on the Harmony Channel, available to subscribers of digital cable on the Comcast network. The 10-hour event will be held on the campus of Northeastern University in Boston and will be free and open to the public. Call for Submissions Deadline: (postmarked) January 22nd, 2007. Please see for submission details.

November 17, 2006

Plasma energy ball AE tutorial

RhysWorks has a plasma energy ball tutorial up. I might use it, but adjust it (based on the web movie) for my taste--with a bit more complexity and subtlety in the green glow and particles, since they emanating from the same mass.

Camera Interaction In Flash

via Adobe's John Dowdell (who's former mantra was test early, test often, and test on a machine meeting the lowest system requirement): looks at video layer interactions in "Camera Interaction In Flash Goes Public."
Finally, ideas from the demos on QuickTime Developers Discs, including the v 1.0 disc, are finding wider exposure!

November 16, 2006

Adobe Kuler: cool except RIA crosstown traffic

Adobe Kuler is another poor man's Color Theory, but you could have trouble reaching AdobeLabs because of bandwidth issues. In the mean time there are some stories by Nack, PS News, and Real World Illustrator.

This should be part of an integrated Adobe-wide color picker like Discreet has had, and they shoulda bought Color Theory (and Commotion) years well as Stu's HDR Color Picker idea.

November 8, 2006

Dove on Flippant News and AdJab

Flippant News, a blog on editing and movie making, and AdJab, a Weblogs Inc. Network blog on the ad industry, both covered the great short on retouching in ads done by Dove.

The Poor Man's Color Theory

It's no Color Theory, but Color Palette Generator generates a color palette that matches the web image of your choice.

Edit Blog compares Avid and Final Cut

The Edit Blog's Avid and Final Cut comparison series continues...

October 27, 2006

'ZbornToy' for AE 3D Caustics, and Refractions, and Re-lighting

restyling Frischluft (Lenscare, etc) to Taronites, ZbornToy seems to go beyond abilities of obscure nodes in Motion Plug-in Conduit...

from Jonas Hummelstrand's General Specialist...

"Here's a fresh new way to composite externally rendered 3D images in After Effects. The plug-in ZbornToy takes grayscale depth maps and magically let's you continue tweaking and change many parameters from within AE.

In some ways, the technique is similar to Walker Effects' Channel Lighting, but with ZbornToy, not only can you change the lighting afterwards, you can also render with background refractions, cast caustic reflections onto other layers, and much more."

October 26, 2006

ProLost TV

Stu says ProLost has a video Podcast.*

* So far it's just graphics with music but you get good projects and presets.

Adobe back to Mac with Soundbooth

Adobe released a public beta of a new cross-platform audio application today called Soundbooth. Soundbooth "provides the tools video editors, designers, and others who do not specialize in audio need to accomplish their everyday work." Soundbooth is not an Elements product but will replace Audition in future releases of Production Studio. At first glimpse, I'd rather have Audition, but we'll see:

Audition: for audio professionals and experts
Soundbooth: for video professionals and Flash designers who need an easy but powerful audio tool for things like cue integration with Flash, Actionscript, and FLV

Audition: complete audio toolset with editing, mixing, CD burning, etc.
Soundbooth: Single file editor (ala Cool Edit 2000)

Audition: existing code base, Win only
Soundbooth: new code base, Win/MacTel

Audition: DAW-like multi-track features let you package your music as a Soundbooth Score (also available is separate SDK and packaging tool)
Soundbooth: Soundbooth Scores, similar in ways to SonicFire Pro, provide music bed and but things like ambient sound effects tracks.

There's more at Create Digital Music, the Creative COW preview, and product manager Hart Shafer's blog.

Details on saving FLVs and converting them

Here's a detailed tutorial for different browsers and OSes:
How to Copy Files Off YouTube and Convert them for your Video iPod, which mentions MoviePod (Mac/Win), another app that converts movies, with a single Drag & Drop.

And via DVGuru, a quite comprehensive Amazing YouTube Tools Collection from Quick Online Tips.

Update 10-26-06:
There's even a YouTube movie that explains how to get things off YouTube.

October 23, 2006

Windows Vista shell:revealed

With the avalanche of Adobe updates coming next year it'll be tough keeping track of both OSX and Windows, and who knows if Apple's emulation of Windows will improve, but Microsoft actually has an appealing subsite on Windows Vista (sorta) called shell:revealed, plus the start of a team blog and tips & tricks.

October 20, 2006

Light graffiti in AE

I first saw "light graffiti" posted by PIPS:lab as a Shockwave site. After graf experiments flowered further Wired did an article, and now Apple has a cool iPod commercial.

Andrew Kramer shows you a similar technique in AE with Trapcode Particular at Creative Cow.

Update: newer posts on these topics can be found under the tags graffiti, and light.

October 19, 2006

Easy bones in Anime Studio

A famous techie artist recommended Anime Studio (previously known as Moho), which has bone rigging that allows you to easily create a skeleton that can be manipulated to animate characters, simple drawings, or objects. The same company also offers MagicalSketch, a sketching program for kids and new 3D users that I think I'll get a nephew.

October 17, 2006

Indies Can't Charge for their Work, part2

Google and Apple don't really let independent media-makers to upload content to its for-sale services, but others do and CinemaTech has a list. While the biggies are waiting for Hollywood there's a bunch of people moving into building their delivery systems just in my little world.

CinemaTech also ponders NetFlix download services, which I get confused with CustomFlix (Movie Cleaner heritage), now an Amazon company.

October 11, 2006

YouTube & copyright, webisode viewers, and movie download problems

Scott Kirsner of CinemaTech is gaining traction with more interesting web video articles, moving from The Hollywood Reporter to Variety.

KROMAG, a free French-English motion graphic magazine

Kromotion, a French motion graphics blog, has a free PDF of the 1st issue of KROMAG, a French-English motion graphic magazine.

Blend Modes on Collapsed Layers

from Motionworks:
"Have you ever been annoyed by not being able to apply a blend mode to a collapsed layer? ...[Here's a workaround:]

Apply an effect to the collapsed precomp (this can be something like EFFECTS > EXPRESSION CONTROLS > ANGLE CONTROL that does nothing) and the blend mode popup will become active again."

October 8, 2006

Celtx, open source pre-production software

YouMakeMedia reviews Celtx, open source pre-production software for film, video, theatre, and animation that includes client and collaboration features (intro movies here). I'm not sure if free is better than paying for Gorilla.

For background see The Filmmaking Paper Trail and the Gorilla Course.

FLVTool2: Flash video and meta data manipulation

Some compression apps don't support Flash Cue Points, so this might help:
FLVTool2 "can calculate a lot of meta data and insert a onMetaData tag. It can cut FLV files and add cue Points (onCuePoint). A debug command lets you see inside our FLV and the print command gives you meta data information in XML or YAML format."

And here's where I'm storing my link to Perian (requires OS 10.4) a plug-in for Quicktime that allows play of files encoded with a non-standard codecs like FLV, XviD, or 3ivX. And if I forget Flash Developer Center.

October 6, 2006

Render Policies for AE Plug-ins

I missed this not-too dated Toolfarm list of usage policies for filters on separate render node machines.

After Effects 7 and Flash 8 Integration has new training on After Effects 7 and Flash 8 Integration with Lee Brimelow, including the use of Dr. Woohoo's tools. You can get access to Lynda QT tutorials for just $25 per month.

Fonts and DVD resources, from DV Guru

...a decent starting resource list from DV Guru, by Russell Heimlich:

Movie Fonts Sample

September 30, 2006

Orphans Ponder the Future of Entertainment

Cinematech features The Complete Conversation of Hollywood Reporter's Future of Entertainment with Orphanage Co-Founders Jonathan Rothbart and Stu Maschwitz.

September 28, 2006

Video Everywhere from Jim Feeley

I was going to summarize trends in web video and sharing but Jim Feeley, a former editor of DV Magazine, wrote a great article called Video Everywhere not too long ago for PC World.

Ning Jumpcuts over Yahoo

While SONY bought Grouper for $65 million and Yahoo just bought Jumpcut -- not Motionbox (pretty) or Eyespot -- you can roll your own YouTube according to Om Malik and

Actually, Ning, funded so far by Marc Andreessen (creator of Mosaic and Netscape), lets you make your own YouTube, Flickr, and MySpace!

Com+Option+Arrow=switch tabs in Firefox

Command+Option+Arrow (Mac) navigates to the next tabs in Firefox. I really like that one, in addition to Command-clicking on a link to open a new tab, and Shift-clicking a link to open in a new window.

September 27, 2006

ffmpegX for 640x480 h.264 in updated 5G iPods

ffmpegX 0.0.9x was released, adding an "iPod H.264 w640" preset to support new high-resolution 640x480 h.264 in updated 5G iPods.

Encoding Flash Video

Flash 8 Video Encoder's settings are explained in FLV Data Rate and Bandwidth... Demysitifed" at Community MX -- and republished as Encoding Flash Video by Adobe Design Center.

Word on the Adobe street is that FlixPro handily beats Squeeze with about a 4x compression time and good quality in default 2-pass VBR settings. We can do 1-pass just fine with the Adobe Exporter!

September 19, 2006

Yur Fuhnny

hard to believe, considering Zune's wireless DRM system, from EFF:

"Microsoft's Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or "rented" from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. That's right -- the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn't even play on Microsoft's own device. Buried in footnote 4 of its press release, Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264" -- protected WMA and WMV (not to mention iTunes DRMed AAC) are conspicuously absent."

September 16, 2006

Convert FLV Flash files to movies

If a friend needs to convert Flash videos files (.flv) to QuickTime, iSquint (Mac OSX) is very easy and has some advanced controls. A companion product VisualHub expands options further, but iSquint did a great job getting 'Gangsters' by The Specials to iPod format.

On Windows, there's the freeware apps Videora Converter. swf2avi and Riva FLV Encoder. I didn't try them, but there's a ton of pay products for Windows like ones by Wildform and On2.

At some point I wanted to find out what the fps rate of an FLV and can across FLV Knife, a handy Windows tool to view or cut flvs, and inject metadata. BTW, the Video LAN player VLC (Mac/Win) seems to play anything especially the Windows version.

Track Mash

Web 2.0 developments are really hard to track, even with sites like Mashable, a blog focused exclusively on social networks like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Multiply, hi5, Tagworld, Windows Live Spaces, Piczo and Bebo, video-sharing sites like YouTube, news sites like Digg and photo-sharing sites like Photobucket and Fotolog.

But Engadget and DV Guru are still fun.

Motionographer reviews Splice

Motionographer, the motion graphics inspiration site, gives us a short review of Splice, a website with a Creative Commons-based online sequencer and forums that allows "you to mix and match user-uploaded loops and audio files to create your own music."

Kilisky broadcasts Flash

Steve Kilisky is back with various tidbits, including news on the collision of broadcast motion graphics and Flash animation:

"Cold, Hard Flash, a web site dedicated to providing daily news about Flash being used in TV production. Lots of excellent stories and inspiration that will appeal to animators no matter what tools they use in their craft."

September 11, 2006

VJ image processing & Quartz

Create Digital Motion is a webzine and community site for VJs and other producers of moving images, with articles even for those thinking of plunging into learning image processing.

They even started a blog on Apple's Quartz Composer, Quartz Composer Journal, and link to a Quartz Composer Wiki that I missed.

Illustrator Techniques

Illustrator Techniques, from the Layers Magazine folks, is a website and newsletter with tutorials, tips and user forums to help you master Illustrator.

Flash Filter Lab

FlashFilterLab extends the possibilities of Flash by presenting a new environment to enable Flash developers to build, tune, share and reuse Flash filter-based movies.

For beginning as well as advanced Flash users!

Deja Stu

If you missed it in January, check out Stu Maschwitz's post on something done easier in AE than in Fusion or Shake:

"I considered the creation of this shot to be a triumph of AE's flexibility, 3D capabilities (including depth-of-field), and expressions."

September 8, 2006

The Well-Tuned Piano available again

I got a chance to re-listen to La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano, a just-intonation harmonic cloud send-up (with occasional circle of wolves) of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier. The 5 CD box came out in 1988 but I sold mine in a fit in the early 90's.

You can get this rare record and others at Classical Connection, but skip dominatrix Diamanda's deathtrip -- flip the script and instead try Sussan Deihim (or Laswell's remix).

If you like this sort of thing, UbuWeb covers a big historical slice of NYC media arts.

Update: this set remains out-of-print and hard to find, though lower res copies can be found,

free AE filter 'AlphaPlugins FirTree'

Maxim Chernousov, a developer of filters for Photoshop and After Effects (mostly through Panopticum), is offering a new free plug-in AlphaPlugins FirTree. I haven't tried it yet but apparently it allows you to create animated fir tree branches (bulb-free).

Ah! Sorry, Windows only.

PPro 3-Way Color Corrector comes into AE

Missing the pretty UI color wheels, but I hadn't done this -- Jonas at General Specialist explains, and gives you a preset (Windows only).

September 5, 2006

new AE filter: FreeFrame Host

Alex May just released a new After Effects plugin that allows AE to load the 300+ available FreeFrame video effects. It's only available for Windows at the moment and supports AE 6.5+.

You can find out more about it at

September 4, 2006

Particpate in Your Own Manipulation (by the Artists You Love)

If you missed EBN (EMERGENCY BROADCAST NETWORK), which shares a cofounder with the AE team, you can connect through Greg Decampo and Josh Pearson. Decampo's opening QT clip starts with the part just before the nightmare thought control tape from Brainstorm.

Pearson offers several EBN videos in iPod format; they both have my favorite (I got the album) "Electronic Behavior Control System."

Who says YouTube videos are terrible? If you think it (say, Len Lye or Spike Kee's new doc on Katrina) it's probably there.

August 30, 2006

AE List is down, wah

The Media-Motion Server is down due to a server crash.

August 24, 2006

General Specialist: Render in the Background

If you lost track of how to render in AE in the background, for Mac or Win, see Jonas Hummelstrand's General Specialist.

August 18, 2006

Apple Mac Pro reviews

AnandTech has a 20 page review of Apple's Mac Pro -- "A True PowerMac Successor."

See also the slightly older Ars Technica's review and HD For Indies' meta review blog on Mac Pro.

August 17, 2006

Web movie helpers

Two web movie helpers for Mac OS X:

PodTube encodes any YouTube video for iPod. Also it simply and quickly
downloads, encodes for iPod and adds to your iTunes library any YouTube
video you browse with Safari in a single click

iGetMovies gets save-disabled QuickTime files.
And when you play QuickTime and Flash movies or audio files (that you cannot save on your hard drive) in Safari or movie trailers on the iTunes Music Store, wait for them to be completly loaded, and iGetMovies will copy them to your Desktop. Ah, fight, fight, fight -- you get the idea, ah.

also for Mac and WINDOWS:

VideoDownloader Firefox Extension for many movie types even QT
VideoDownloader Firefox Extension add a small icon on the status bar at the bottom of your firefox window, and a toolbar button. Click a button and you get a pop-window for an easy downlad. For Flash movies you'll need a player like VideoLAN.

Photoshop for Video

Richard Harrington has opened a Photoshop for Video website, which may fill in any missing pieces of PS knowledge. And don't forget John Nack's "12 Tips for Photoshop Text".

August 10, 2006

Neat Video, a noise reduction plugin

Neat Video has a noise reduction plugin for After Effects, Premiere, VirtualDub that provides "the most accurate video noise reduction currently available" using device noise profiles to reduce sensor noise, as well as reducing visible grain and compression artifacts.

Sounds good, though I haven't tried it or compared it to the built-in version of Grain Surgery in AE Pro.

Woohoo Flashes AE

via John Nack:

Dr. Woohoo has added Flash 2 After Effects-Transform Properties to his AE<->Flash utility belt, and now goes both ways! Metaphorically of course. This new extension can convert both Flash keyframes and ActionScript animation into AE keyframes.

Photoshop SlipkNot

A picture on the website was Photoshopped to make Howard Dean look a bit like Hitler, according to bloggers. Click on the 3rd pict from the top of Interesting Times to see the hastily reposted version versus the one in cache.

If Govinda dances when mice appear, what makes the Repulicans shake? RATS?

July 18, 2006

Nudge rotation in AE 1%

from around the net:

What's the shortcut to nudge rotation in AE 1%?

You might think a modifyer key and the old shortcut numpad +/- would work. Oddly, you won't get the result you want that way, but you don't have to resort to null layers and expression decimal mulipliers. AE's own DaveS has the clarification..."for any property click on the hot-text value (underlined) in the Timeline or Effect Controls panel, then hit:

Up/down arrow to increment/decrement by 1
cmd-up/down arrow to go by 0.1
shift-up/down arrow to go by 10

On windows, use ctrl instead of cmd.

For some effect properties with limited ranges, the default nudge increment may be different than 1, but adding cmd or shift will always decrease or increase the increment by a factor of 10. For nudging Clone Time on clone strokes, default is one frame, adding shift is one second."

July 14, 2006

QuickTime full screen script

from MacWorld:

QuickTime in full screen without the Pro version? Windows users still have recourse to iTunes and VideoLAN.

"Launch Script Editor and enter this:

Save the script as an application. Now open the movie you want to view in full screen in QuickTime Player. Double-click the AppleScript application you just created and your movie will play at full screen."

Here's the script text:

tell application "QuickTime Player"
present front movie scale screen
end tell

Be sure to have a movie when you launch your app. As in the Player, Command+1 views at 100%, Command+2 doubles, Command+3 is fullscreen, and Command+0 plays at 50%.

July 12, 2006

Type of the signs

Eugene Pak on the AE-list posted a link to funny type-oriented movie shorts:

Chesshire Dave's Etched in stone, required viewing in my case, and one on the misused Cooper Black.

July 11, 2006

Lightroom podcast and Adobe Design Center content

John Nack links new (and old) content at the Adobe Design Center, but the coolest is his July 8 post on Adobe Lightroom podcast #8 that Stu Maschwitz praised.

More at Photoshop News.

July 5, 2006

Preventing Movie Piracy

Technology Review at MIT covers this briefly:

Preventing Movie Piracy
Researchers are developing tools to thwart the copying of films in theaters.

July 2, 2006

Broadcast Flag flies again

via Stop Me Before I Vote Again...

Broadcast Flag flies again:
'And to no-one's surprise, "The audio flag provision, written by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), has the full support of the Recording Industry Association of America."...

By a startling coincidence, [media] cartel support for Boxer is rising. This year she's so far received a massive $750,660 from the movie, music and tv industries, says In the 2004 cycle, she clocked up $740,260, and in 2002, $485,340.'

more at Ars Technica and EFF...

SyncVue and Xprove: more client review

Other tools helpful in client review, in addition to previously mentioned QT Movie NoteTaker for Win/Mac and WordPress plugin Video Comments, are SyncVue and Xprove. Both solve the problem of the limits of e-mailing large files to clients, and provide some of the benefits of Adobe ClipNotes from PremierePro 2.

SyncVue (Windows version due soon) allows for collaborative reviews via a Skype peer-to-peer connection, while Xprove provides storage, alerts clients material is ready, and passes their comments to you.

Frank Capria (the president of Xprove) elaborates on the AE-List:
"The easiest thing if you want the media on your own server would be to setup a Wordpress blog for each client using the video comments plug-in mentioned below. It's all PHP/MySQL, so you can get under the hood and modify as you see fit.

Here's how it might work.

-- Each client gets a blog like
-- You can password protect the subdomain to keep prying eyes out.
-- Each client can subscribe to the RSS feed of their blog. Thus they get instant notification when you post something.
-- Using the Video Comment plug-in linked to below, they can comment on your clips.
-- Set up every user at the client site as an approved author, so comments don't have to be moderated.

It's a few more steps than Xprove, but if having everything on your own server is important to you, it would work. It all comes down to how much time you want to put into this. Both SyncVue and Xprove are pretty inexpensive and the infrastructure is someone else's problem."

June 28, 2006

The Philter's Video Site Comparison Chart

from DV Guru:

"Google Video, YouTube, Sharkle? With everyone jumping on to the video-hosting bandwagon one might need a little help in deciphering which service(s) to use. Or maybe you just want to find more places to share your masterpiece. Whatever the reason, Phil Harvey from Light Reading has put together a quick and dirty cheat sheet laying out the basic details of each site."

June 27, 2006

Slow Windows XP emulation

via the AE-List:

Mac OS X Hints has a submission on how to fix slowness of Parallels Desktop running Windows XP on a MacBook. EvidentlyVM paging occurs even with 2GB of RAM because of caching and flushing memory routines. The reader developed a fix called PD Tweaker, a tiny plugin for Unsanity's Application Enhancer that loads only in Parallels Desktop.

June 23, 2006

12 Tips for Photoshop Text

John Nack from Adobe posted 12 Tips for Photoshop Text. It's a good way to get up to speed if you've become complacent in this area.

Premiere and FCP should steal from Liquid

I saw an Avid Liquid demo and was impressed. It's pretty cool, but with an unattractive UI and perhaps some bugs that the demo guy tried to hide. It's an all-in-one deal developed by Fast then Pinnacle and recently Avid, so it doesn't understand Avid metadata or have an XML export function to get to other systems, like Final Cut's connect to Discreet finishing systems. But they can export a QuickTime alias from the regular Avid products and play it as regular media.

These are my favorite aspects of Liquid mostly not found in Premiere or Final Cut (or Avid):

1. The feature I liked the most was background rendering, which is really impressive -- and scaleable with hardware support. What's cool is that even complex processes previewed fine quarter screen even before finishing in the background. And you have control over how to delete old render files from the cache. You don't have to render nested sequences!

Hyperthreading allows you to switch to text or e-mail to check on client reviews while playback continues. I think all NLEs should have backround rendering, and hope After Effects will in order to stay abreast of the Combustion and Motion rendering model.

2. Liquid uses native codecs of a file without rendering or conforming, unless there's scaling or other things.

3. In Liquid you can change project properties like frame size anytime, and assign rendering to any appropriate codec.

4. You can add transitions to a selection of multiple clips.

5. View keyboard shortcut layouts in context with a virtual keyboard.

6. Correct or effect a source file, so further instances have the same correction.

7. Color correct by direct manipulation of vectorscope or histogram.

8. Actual 3D effects, like an explosion (think AE Shatter) that can be manipulated in the program monitor. I like the that crop, which includes a nice rounded corner feature, seems to be in the Motion area of Effect controls. Effects can be turn on or off via a timeline context menu.

9. You can have multiple clip bins, and have them open at the same time. When PPro has a patch that adds that feature, I'd be happy to use it.

10. Bins of various types can be shared apart from the project. Effect aliases can be in any bin.

11. There a Liquid desktop, like a master application shell window can hold open bins and individaul clips. Any part of the Liquid desktop can serve as a storyboard space and clips can be edited and previewed individually or as a sequence apart from any timeline.

12. There's a simple backup project function.

13. There's a dynamic timewarp with bezier controls.

14. Audio tracks can be stereo or disbanded quickly to mono in a context menu.

15. In DVD mode both menu and timeline plays out to NTSC (tho that might not work with just Firewire out). This is what I hope for in the next version of Encore.

June 21, 2006

African music blog and music blog aggregator

Benn loxo du taccu, that's Wolof for "one hand can't clap" is Matt Yanchyshyn's 'African music for the masses.' See also Naijajams, a musicblog from a group of "like-minded Nigerians who share a common interest in Nigerian music," SoundRoots World Music & mp3 Blog, and free fair trade world music from Calabash Music.

You can find updates of music blogs at The Hype Machine, an audio blog aggregator that lets users sample the latest from "the finest mp3 music blogs."

Update: here's consolation for the end of the Benn loxo du taccu.

Death by DMCA

by Fred von Lohmann and Wendy Seltzer

"A flood of legislation released by the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act threatens to drown whole classes of consumer electronics"

Video Comments, a WordPress Plugin

via Frank Capria, a really interesting beginning to all sorts of uses:

Video Comments allows you to post video in your blog and allows comments to be made on it in-time. A popup window displays the video and commenting area; as a video is viewed the comments associated with a current video time will be displayed, viewers can also see all comments and jump to a specific point in time.

June 20, 2006

Shake $499, end of life or rebirth?

Apple announced version of 4.1 of Shake, reducing the price from $2999 to $499. It runs on both Intel- and PowerPC-Based Macs.

Maintenance customers have been told that "Apple will no longer be selling maintenance for Shake and no further software updates are planned as we begin work on the next generation of Shake compositing software."

Rumor patrol:
- ...probably means, in part, they can get rid of the legal entanglements of having to release it for Linux.
- Tremor vs. Inferno
- Nowadays it's more about pipeline integration, collaboration, real-time 2D/3D, scalability, asset management, that kind of stuff. Shake isn't any closer to being a real-time app than AE, and with their long view of the hardware future, Apple must have seen a prime moment for a revamp. They are obviously in a much better position than smaller companies, even Autodesk, to knock 80% off their price and sit out the market for a couple of years.
- new Shake will appear in 2008.

June 16, 2006

The iPod's Incredible Journey

The iPod's Incredible Journey, excerpts:

Although it is one of America's most prestigious brands, nearly all Apple computers and iPods are made abroad, predominantly in China. As you might expect, the workers who assemble them see little of the profit...

"The job here is so-so," Zang Lan says. "We have to work too hard and I am always tired. It's like being in the army. They make us stand still for hours. If we move, we are punished by being made to stand still for longer. The boys are made to do push-ups."

"Apple are only one of thousands of companies manufacturing their products in the same places and in the same conditions," he said. "It's the nature of big business today to exploit any opportunity that comes their way."

Sketchup and Blender free 3D Mac combo

from DV Guru and HardMac...
Now that SketchUp is on the in Sketchup, finish in Blender.

Trying to warm up to Motion

Motion Smarts is a relatively new website on Apple's Motion software; see the cool text ghosting effect using particles. Note to self: look also at ProAppTips and Apple Motion Info.

HD For Indies news

check out recent HD For Indies news, with bits and links on hi-end Digital Cinematography, SATA, HDMI, Windows on an Apple MacBook, baseline for looks, Blu-ray, and more...

AE Freemart brand reappears

A new AE Freemart rose again. I'm not sure, but seems like an AE-specific subsite to Toolfarm so other tool users won't get confused.

Comments or questions on the After Effects ACE program?

Kilisky is open to comments or questions on the After Effects ACE program. ACE stands for Adobe Certified Expert.

June 13, 2006

They want you to transfer YouTube videos to DVD

What to tell friends that want you to transfer YouTube videos to DVD: "try it."

Use the Firefox browser and install the Firefox extension "VideoDownloader." You can find cool FF extensions in Firefox in Tools>Extensions>Get More Extensions.

Then load the YouTube movie click on the VideoDownloader icon and right click to save link as, but rename the link to xxx.flv (it's really Flash). If you know how the play Flash movies, great; others need something like Wimpy Standalone FLV Player. Then use your laptop's video out to play back on a TV.

Otherwise download iSquint/Mac and convert the Flash file to QuickTime. You can use your laptop's video out to play back on a TV. If you want a DVD, get iSquint's $23 sibling VisualHub, which lets you easily convert to many formats. An alternative would be Roxio Popcorn, which also shrinks oversized DVDs down to single layer size. Then use iDVD or another app to finish the job.

June 7, 2006

Visual Hub video converter

Visual Hub, from the maker of iSquint the iPod video conversion app for Mac OS X, is a one stop shop for all kinds of digital video conversions -- even Flash and PSP.

June 6, 2006

Surprising details in DRM/DVD War Against Consumers

mentioned by Philip Hodgetts at the SF meeting, and via

excerpt from Business Week's "The DVD War Against Consumers":

"The real battle isn't between Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) and their chosen formats, it's between the manufacturers and us -- the consumers, the ones who ultimately pay for it all. And the battle is over Digital Rights Management (DRM), because in addition to increased storage, these new disks are packed full of copy-protection functions, some of which impair our ability to use the content we pay for, the way we like and are legally entitled to."

Prolost knows when to log ’em

Stu expounds on colorspace workflows, and links to good FXGuide series on HDR:

"The key to effective image manipulation is to use the correct color space for the particular thing you're doing, and that might mean bouncing back and forth between lin, log and vid within one project, regardless of where your source material came from or what format you're outputting to."

2 more AE-related blogs

from the AE list...

General Specialist - Tinkering, Tips & Tricks
Basics of Digital Video, HDR in Photshop and After Effects and sundry items...

Alan Shisko: Motion Graphics 'n Such
insights and overviews of personal and work projects...

June 3, 2006

HDV +Premiere Pro 2

Charlie White of Digital Media Net got hands on with HDV, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, and an OpenHD spec Dell workstation, and Mike at HD for Indies has comments.

I be surprised if plain Premiere was robust enough without Cineform, or much better than FCP. A word to the unwary: Mr. White announced the death of the Mac often enough that his opinions may be warped by a platform distortion field or other publishing pressures. Renders of short sequences might not reveal some difficulties.

HD for Indies also notes "First-hand HDV" which covers a bit of history about the HDV and gets into what's it like to shoot with HDV camcorders.

May 31, 2006

May 30, 2006

Helpful AE 7 Graph Editor tutorials

"Mylenium" did a video tutorial on the timeline and the graph editor in After Effects 7 for Creative Cow.

Trish and Chris Meyer's column "Camera Control, Part 2," from DV Magazine May 2006 and now online, uses parenting, expressions, and the new After Effects 7.0 Graph Editor to control a 3D camera.

May 27, 2006

iRiver gives customers the choice of switching off DRM

Boing Boing:

"iRiver gives customers the choice of switching off DRM...This is an object lesson in how DRM fails in the marketplace..."

May 26, 2006

Edit to the Maxx - sorta

via FreshDV...

Edit to the Maxx - The Art of the Digital Cut

Steve Mullen has started a series on shooting and editing to run every other Wednesday at CamcorderInfo. Using Avid's FreeDV, the only NLE that runs on both XP and OS X, the course will cover basic and intermediate editing, but might be a good way to slowly add Avid knowledge.

May 24, 2006

Windows Media Encoder screen capture

The free MS app Windows Media Encoder can do screen capture -- just don't use VBR encoding. Black recordings mean you have to turn off DirectX overlays. In Windows Media Player, go to options >Performance >Video Acceleration>Restore Defaults.

The situation is similar in Real Player, in case you want to delay viewing of Harold Pinter's 2005 Nobel Lecture.

If you want to capture action going through Direct X or other Video Acceleration, you can record from the video out port of your graphics card or use Fraps, ACA Capture Pro, or similar utilities.

Google AdWords adds video

John Dowdell, longtime multimedia guru at Macromedia, comments on the news that Google AdWords adds video ads.

May 23, 2006

Flash vs. Windows: Can Adobe break Microsoft?

backgrounder on the middleware battle of the Flash-Flex-Spry-Apollo widgets and Microsoft Expressions-Vista:

"...the new Adobe/Macromedia is trying to break Windows, using Flash. Most people in the tech community are viewing this as a battle over web graphics, but it's really about next-generation applications in general, which cuts to the heart of the Windows franchise. Adobe's plan is extremely ambitions, and I think it might even work."

more at Mobile Opportunity...and during Adobe Developer Week starting June 12.

Nokia and Adobe team up to offer video editing pack


"Nokia has teamed up with Adobe to prepare a new standard sales pack that comprises the former firms’ Nokia N93 mobile phone device and Adobe’s Premiere Elements 2.0 software for Windows XP."

AE7 out of memory problems

on the AE-list, Michael Natkin's advice on AE7 out of memory problems:

'You can generally help these problems by going to Preferences > Memory and Cache and *lowering* the value of Maximum RAM Cache Size. You are probably running into a situation where memory is fragmented, just like can happen to your hard drive. Try knocking it down 5-10% at a time til the problem goes away. (And yes, we are aware this is not really good :).'

Proxy and Adobe Edge

John Nack reports on 2 Adobe projects featuring tips and clarifications, but not exactly how Flash-Flex-Apollo beat Microsoft Expressions:

"Now ready for download: Volume II, No. 2 of Proxy, the quarterly design magazine from Adobe. This issue features a talk with John Maeda of MIT's Media Lab; type geekery with Robert Slimbach; vectorizing in Illustrator; top 10 keyboard shorcuts in Creative Suite 2; enhancements to Adobe Stock Photos, and more."

"The May 22 Adobe Edge newsletter is also live. Featured in this installment: Driving the Jaguar Experience Online | Edge Interview with Tim O'Reilly | Flex 2: What's in It for Flash Developers? | Merging Two Sites: The New | Get More from Your Ajax Applications | Tips for Rookie Video Producers | Tapping into the Adobe Developer Community."

Exploring Videoblogs

Authors of Secrets of Videoblogging wrote an 8-page overview of the subject for CreativeMac:

"Exploring Videoblogs: Videoblogs are easy to explore, but you’ll need a way to keep track of all the good stuff you find"

May 22, 2006

Flash experiments and tutorials

via has many interesting Flash experiments and downloads, some even ported from AE. has tutorial movies that use explain some of his stuff. The movies are by Lee Brimelow who also writes

May 20, 2006

Transcribe with QT Movie NoteTaker

via DV Guru...

QT Movie NoteTaker, a Mac app, seems like it might do eventually do what Clip Notes does in Premiere -- and more.

A free download, it lets you "watch a series of video clips and take notes, or if you need to get dailies or raw footage to clients or collaborators for comments, you know what a huge hassle it can be- doing window burns, waiting hours for renders, making DVDs, spending hours encoding, and then there’s the hassle of the review process- having to continually hit pause on a DVD remote and write down the timecode you see on the screen.

Peek inside Mograph

via Toolfarm...

MoGraph is a CINEMA 4D module that includes a suite of tools for motion graphics creation. Ko Maruyama has put together an alternative video review of the software, integrating it into his C4D-FOR-AE series for DMN.

May 18, 2006

More on Conduit at dvGarage

More on Conduit, including a movie, at dvGarage...

from Mel Matsuoka on FCP-L:

"As a Shake user, it's pretty amazing how much performance I get out of Conduit running in the lowly Apple Motion. It's lacking some important nodes, such as a blur node and a matte-choker/dilate node. Kind of a bummer, but I'm sure they'll add that in the near future. But being able to color-correct with real-time, and with all the added power and flexibility of a node-based workflow just rocks my casbah! ...If Apple can somehow integrate the the same realtime FXplug architecture that Motion has into Shake, it would be a most amazing product."

May 10, 2006

Conduit: Shake in Motion

found at MGLA

Next Meeting, Tuesday, May 16
Pixel Corps Presents: Conduit for Motion

"Alex Lindsay will be showing off dvGarage's latest software marvel: Conduit. Conduit is the new plug-in for Apple Motion 2 from Pixel Corps and dvGarage that gives you the basic nodal compositing functionality of Shake, but at a fraction of the price. Like dvMatte Blast, Conduit takes advantage of Motion 2's processing capabilities, meaning that it real time."


It appears Conduit, heir apparent to Edo, was already previewed on G4's cable show Call For Help and discussed among VJs.

Trapcode Particular 1.5 released

Trapcode Particular 1.5 , currently the premier particle system for After Effects, is out as a free upgrade. Check out the posted movies on new (and old features) which include Depth of Field, Motion Path (ability to precisely control the path particles take after being emitted), and Particle Count in Info window.

"The Forest in Winter"

Interesting little Japanese movies, and history docs, at YouTube: "The Forest in Winter" and "Rolling Bomber Special." Don't eat the swine!

Plus there's videos by DJ Krush with Japanese traditional instrumentals and with rock guitarists.

May 9, 2006

Open source algorithm for denoising, interpolation and resizing

Hey, where's the free AE version?

GREYCstoration is an open source algorithm for image denoising, interpolation and resizing, using state-of-the-art image processing techniques. The original GREYCstoration algorithm is distributed as a command line program. There are some variants done by other people, including a Windows stand-alone GUI and a GiMP plug-in:

The Anvel offers free AE projects

The Anvel, producer AE tutorial CDs, has launched a new site and as enticement to visit posted the AEPs that were used for the NAB Post Production World classes presented by Dean Velez. There's even preview movies that you can flip through to see if there's something you want to deconstruct.

May 8, 2006

Direct X 10 might be Vista-only

A wrinkle for both Mac and XP users: the switch...

"...unconfirmed, that the next version of Microsoft's graphic routines and APIs will not be portable to Windows XP or other Microsoft users. Buy it all, or none, if this report is correct."

from John Dowdell, via Internet Nexus, via [H]Enthusiast

Apple towers, new Intel chips, WWDC delay

Insight from HD For Indies on upcoming MacIntel towers...and it looks like the MacBooks and MacMinis do NOT support Final Cut Studio! And it's not yet clear that they support Final Cut Express HD 3.5.

Clarity on Zaxwerks plug-ins

If you were wondering what the differences are between Zaxwerks ProAnimator for After Effects and Zaxwerks’ 3D Invigorator plug-ins, John Dickinson posted a PDF comparison which should make things clearer.

Premiere plug-ins listed at Toolfarm

Premiere plug-ins are now included in our Toolfarm's Plug-in Finder.

They plan to add other plug-ins and other host applications, such as Final Cut Pro, Shake and Motion.

May 5, 2006

Ultraviolet DV

via FresHDV...

Oculus Photonics offers the UVCorder, which consists of a standard Sony DV Camcorder with a Sony Intelligent Accessory Shoe upon which is mounted a near-ultraviolet camera.

Google SketchUp

Awhile back Google bought SketchUp, 3D modeling program, and has now released Google SketchUp for free download along with hooks for insertions into Google Earth.

SketchUp is simple but powerful -- enough so that a UI guru at Adobe called it his favorite tool. There are several video tutorials available to get started quickly with SketchUp, or SketchUp 4 and 5 for commercial work.

May 4, 2006

Ten video sharing services compared

from DV Guru:

"The number of video-sharing sites has shot through the roof recently, as dozens of companies try to become the Flickr of the online video world. To this end, many video services have started offering new features like editing and remixability in an attempt to snatch a piece of the ever-expanding online video pie. But for the average user--who just wants to post a video on the 'net and share it with some friends--there are already too many options out there. All one really wants to know is, which site is going to work, with the least amount of hassle?

I took 10 of these sites out for a test drive, and picked some winners. If you want to post, watch, share, or edit video online, this post's for you."

Video CoPilot tutorials

Video CoPilot is a resource for visual effects and digital post production offering free tutorials -- in association with Creative Cow -- as well as inexpensive for-sale tutorials, AE presets, and stock footage.

Video CoPilot joins LayerLab in offering presets and projects: one set, "Film Magic Pro," offers film look coloring.

May 2, 2006

Expression Driven Pie Charts & more

Harry J Frank composed these helpful movie tutorials:

>> "Creating a Camera Shake Using Motion Tile and Expressions"
>> "Using the 'Set Matte' filter with the AE Type tool"
>> "Expression Driven Pie Charts"

May 1, 2006

ABC shows use Flash is testing a Flash Player 8-based video player for streaming primetime TV shows for free, see Mike Downeys' blog for comments and links to a Flash Insider story.

JD adds "... congrats to Schematic and Robert Reinhardt for their UI/Flash role in this..." and notes the role Flash plays in YouTube, Google Video, and other services.

Moving Between Final Cut Pro And After Effects: The Scripting Option

from AE Enhancers:

Dale Bradshaw of posted a tutorial on moving elements between Final Cut Pro and After Effects using FCP-XML and JSON.

April 28, 2006

Photoshop podcasts

from John Nack's Adobe Blog:
  • The NAPP's Matt Kloskowski has introduced Photoshop Killer Tips (Web/iTunes), described by its creator as "short and sweet--just a quick 60-90 second video tip each day (Monday through Friday)." It's been running ('casting?) for three weeks, so the site already features a number of tips.
  • InDesign Secrets (Web/iTunes) is a new resource from authors David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, covering all aspects of page layout and production in Adobe InDesign.
These new programs join the growing ranks of design-oriented podcasts, alongside The Russell Brown Show (Web/iTunes), and Photoshop TV (Web/iTunes)."

April 27, 2006


In the Netscape days I typed just "about:" accidently and was treated to a message from The Book of Mozilla, including the threat "Their tags shall blink until the end of days."

Now in Firefox if you type about:mozilla in the URL location, there's a different message from The Book of Mozilla.

Wikipedia has the rundown, of course.

Nucleo Pro

Mentioned by Chris Meyer on the AE list as his favorite software at NAB...

Nucleo Pro is a background render queue for AE, for release in July 2006:

"It's simple - add something to your After Effects render queue, and then tell Nucleo Pro to render it in the background. Not only will your CPU's power be maximized, but you'll also notice absolutely no impact on your computer's performance when working in other applications."

April 24, 2006

AE->Flash Part II: Audio Amplitude

John Nack, Senior Product Manager for Photoshop, notes that Dr. Woohoo is back leveraging AE for Flash users:

"introducing After Effects 2 Flash: Audio Amplitude. This new ExtendScript exports the audio analysis data from AE 7.0 as an XML file and uses a component to map it to the Rotation and Scale Matrix transformations in Flash 8. 'In other words,' he writes, 'it makes objects in Flash dance to the music.' "

April 23, 2006

Free AE palette for moving CTI

Jeff Almasol, of and sometime AE team member, posted a free palette for moving the CTI a customizable number of frames.

"rd: Movement" is a script that "displays a palette with controls for jumping to different times in the composition. There are buttons for jumping a specific number of frames forward or back from the current time, as well as 7 favorite buttons for capturing different times (set from the current time) and jumping to them easily."

Be sure to check other recent scripts posted, as well the handy links to other AE scripting resources.

April 20, 2006

GIMPShop -- GIMP Photoshopped

For those who don’t already know, GIMP is a powerful, open source image editing application. GIMPshop is essentially the same program with some cosmetic changes to make it look like Photoshop. And it's free!

After Effects 2 Flash keyframe converter

via Steve Kilisky's After Effects Blog and John Nack on Adobe

Drew Trujillo (dr. woohoo) has an After Effects 2 Flash transform keyframe converter he developed:

"The solution exists in two parts: 1) an After Effects script used to export the Transform Property keyframe data; and 2) After Effects 2 Flash-Transform Properties, which is a Flash Extension that allows you to easily import/parse/map keyframe data from the After Effects Transform Properties (Anchor Point, Position, Scale, Rotation and Opacity) to the properties of a MovieClip(s). You can download the After Effects script for free here, however, I strongly recommend purchasing After Effects 2 Flash-Transform Properties, here, strictly based on the amount of time, energy and money it would take you to create it on your own."

I'm the 'decider'...

April 17, 2006

New AE filters

ObviousFX released the Mac version of "Copy Image," a free filter that copies the comp window render to your clipboard.

RE:Vision Effects released "RE:Map" a set that provides professional quality mapping and distortion tools.

March 29, 2006

new HDR book

High Dynamic Range Imaging, First Edition : Acquisition, Display, and Image-Based Lighting

If you want to dig deep, this book is a landmark from the pioneers of HDRI; but you've have to think like an imaging scientist, FX wizard, or Photoshop engineer!

February 5, 2006

The Plausible Impossible AE 3D lighting

Normality from The Plausible Impossible is a plug-in that lets you light your 3D objects directly in AE in real-time. They have 2 more filters coming...

January 17, 2006

MacNN: uninstaller for Mac OS X records every change made

Yank 1.0 records every change made the the computer in the install and lets you uninstall in Mac OS X. Yank uses Matterform's Sonar technology to remove hidden files that search tools cannot locate.

A Windows uninstaller, Total Uninstall 3, looks interesting (version 2 was freeware).

January 11, 2006

I stumbled across what you didn't hear from Apple

Found text:

"Here's a bit of what you didn't hear from Apple regarding their new Intel-based iMac and MacBook computers.

Applications compiled for the PowerPC processor will run 5-10 times slower on a MacTel computer. Performance of many useful programs on a MacTel will approximate the performance obtained on a 300MHz Blueberry iBook (average eBay price, $300). If you want to run heavier duty apps on your new MacTel system, you'll probably want to install windows XP and purchase the Windows XP versions.

Large applications not built using Apple's compiler will require a large engineering effort in order to run natively on a MacTel system [especially difficult is Assembly code]. If it were easy, important apps would have already been native MacTel software."
This most likely was the development hardware not the Intel Core Duo "Yonah" chips. From Job's demo it looks a bit faster. Maybe Adobe will have surprises for NAB, but Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen commented to in August 2005: "If you look at our product cycles for products like Photoshop and Creative Suite, they tend to be in the 18- to 24-month cycle, which means that you're talking about either Q4 of '06 or Q1 of '07."