October 31, 2008

Where to watch free horror movies online

If Sarah's not scary enough, Yahoo Tech collected a list of where to watch free horror movies online.

The Internet Archive also has some MP4 and MPEG2 that can be downloaded, like Night of the Living Dead.

October 30, 2008

Spatial View Stereo 3D plug-in for After Effects

Spatial View has a new 3D plug-in (in late beta) that allows "easy" creation of 3D clips for glasses-free stereoscopic 3D displays: SVI Stereo 3D Editing 2.0 for After Effects. There's also plug-ins for Flash and 3D apps like Cinema 4D.

This is different than the built-in 3D Glasses effect (for making anaglyph images), which has been discussed at the
Creative Cow and Adobe forums at times. The Spatial View install has a pdf manual with details.

Free FxFactory Pan and Zoom plug-in (Mac)

FxFactory is offering a complimentary Ken Burns-style Pan & Zoom plug-in that requires no keyframing. Pan and Zoom is available immediately for Final Cut Pro 6, Motion 3, Final Cut Express 4, Adobe After Effects CS3 and CS4 running on Mac OS X. The Pan and Zoom plug-ins require the latest free FxFactory engine for Leopard.

October 28, 2008

More help on color management

Todd Koprivia, the After Effects Helper, posted more on color management and image state adjustments in After Effects CS4 and Photoshop CS4. This follows up on the previous color management whitepapers for AE CS4.

Update: Todd has posted that After Effects CS4 Help is live in several more languages.

'Replace with AE Composition' in Premiere CS4

Studio Daily has a short video from AlphaDogs Editors' Lounge, where Jacob Rosenberg demonstrated "how to use the 'Replace with After Effects Compostion' tool from Premiere to jump back and forth from Premiere to After Effects timelines." The same stuff can be since in the Premiere CS4 feature tour starting around 2:20:

October 26, 2008

Mocha for After Effects +Corner Pin thread

Mocha for After Effects, a standalone motion tracking tool based on Imagineer’s 2.5 D planar tracking system, is included in CS4.

Getting things done in Mocha is a bit different than using the tracker in AE. Besides UI, workflow, and file format support differences, masks themselves are not exported. And data is exported from Mocha -- so you have to make sure start frames are aligned and frame rates and CS4 aspect ratios match. Jeff Foster details his experience in his recent post Tips for Motion Tracking with Mocha for After Effects CS4. (Update: later Jeff added a summary, 3-minute Podcast: Mocha for After Effects CS4 Workflow)

Mylenium adds another caveat, "Now the only unresolved matter is finding a corner pin effect that supports motion blur and provides some more features, for which you can use Revision FX’ RE:Map Planar or the Corner Pin effect included in the soon to be released Red Giant Warp from Red Giant Software." Back in May 2008, Chris & Trish Meyer noted how to use animation presets and expressions to simplify the use of CC Power Pin (instead of Corner Pin filter) with Mocha AE; see mocha AE to CC Power Pin (you get the preset too). Basically Chris automates a tip from Forest Maready and Ross Shain to replace the filter label to CC Power Pin in the AE keyframe data.

(Update: A thread on the AE-List provides additional answers to corner pin problems; see posts by Chris Zwar, David Torno (update), Phil Spitler, and Jim Curtis.)

Here's a few video tutorials for exploring MochaAE; no doubt more are on their way:

If you're in the NYC area, you can checkout these upcoming events:
12-Nov-2008: Free Imagineer training clinic in New York City
28-Oct-2008: Imagineer and Adobe at AENY in October

October 24, 2008

Top 10 AE & Premiere features

Update: Motionworks' New Features in After Effects CS4 video tour is up to part 3.

Dennis Radeke of Adobe broke from his regular beginners format to present movies outlining his Top 10 After Effects features and his Top 10 Premiere features; again these movies have better controls on Adobe TV.

October 23, 2008

Animating precisely with Separate Dimensions

Mark Christiansen has a new video on the CS4 feature of independent keyframing of x, y, z values. It's better on Adobe TV: Animating precisely with Separate Dimensions.

SF Cutters Oct 23 @ Adobe

SF Cutters is meeting Oct 23 at Adobe in San Francisco. This will be the last formal monthly meeting until Feb 2009. The agenda includes:

* Gridiron Flow (pictured)
* Mark Spencer, Apple Motion tips
* David Roemer and Campus MovieFest
* Giles Baker, Senior Project Manager of Premiere Pro on Premiere, Encore, Blu Ray, & workflow

Also, New York and Dallas are having AE meetings tonight.

October 20, 2008

Additional Scripts for After Effects CS4

Jeff Almasol posted Additional Scripts for After Effects CS4 on Adobe Exchange, which includes:

"scripts for editing keyboard shortcuts (KeyEd Up), launching scripts (Launch Pad), create project folder hierarchies (Folder Setup), converting Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ase) files (Swatch You Want, kuler Shapes), and modifying a comp's motion blur settings interactively (Active Shutter) in Adobe After Effects CS4. These scripts include minor updates to the ones originally provided for After Effects CS3, such as support for new keyboard shortcuts and improved Mac support in Folder Setup."

VisualHub reborn as open source FilmRedux

VisualHub, a simple but smart video encoding tool for Mac OS X might have a future in the open source community. Details, such as they are, can be found at APC's VisualHub gets reborn as FilmRedux, goes open source. The old Techspansion site also refers to TranscoderRedux an open source transcoder project for OS X.

October 19, 2008

CS4 online Seminars

Another resource for checking out CS4 features are live eSeminars and pre-recorded OnDemand Seminars. Of course, CS4 is shipping now, and trial versions of CS4 will be available to download sometime in mid-November. You can be notified by e-mail on the Creative Suite 4 product notification page.

October 17, 2008

Trish & Chris Meyer book excerpts

Todd Koprivia, the After Effects Help czar, helped get Focal Press to post excerpts from Trish & Chris Meyer's AE books; see Trish and Chris Meyer's books: excellence and excerpts. Look for the Focal Press sign-up alert for the release of the chapter on CS4.

Don't go nook-ya-ler, more posts on politics are coming -- I'm still working on the correct pronunciation of W.

Update: Todd has more book excerpts to share in Trish and Chris Meyer's books: excellence and excerpts (take 2).

October 16, 2008

Fxguide.tv talks to ILM's John Knoll

The premiere of Fxguide's Masters of the Craft video series with fx supervisors was last week, adding to it's already good array of interviews and podcasts. This week, fxguidetv #040 features ILM effects supervisor John Knoll on some of his "side" projects, like Photoshop, Knoll Light Factory, and his Apollo documentary project. Also, there's a look at the new term at fxphd.

There's also some good interviews at AWNtv including ones with Paul Debevec, Dennis Muren, Phil Tippitt, and Ray Harryhausen.

October 15, 2008

CS3 fonts not in CS4

Thomas Phinney, Adobe's Product Manager for Fonts & Global Typography, listed fonts included in CS4 and noted that some CS3 fonts are not in CS4. While this only effects new installs, it could still bite people expecting to see certain fonts in any circumstance. He says:

"Typefaces you might have seen in CS3 that aren't in CS4: Arno Pro, Bickham Script Pro, Garamond Premier Pro. Further typefaces bundled with InDesign CS3 but not InDesign CS4: Bernhard Modern Std, Caflisch Script Pro."

Care might be warranted in some cases; for example Garamond Premier Pro is now selling for $199.

Batman vs. The Penguin: The Debate

Update: Who told McCain to blink so much (3000 times... video) during his debate?! Blinking is healthy, and who wants a robotic stare, but too much has consequences according to the International Journal of Psychophysiology:

"For eight U.S. presidential elections during the period 1960–2004, the rapid blinker during debates received fewer overall votes than his opponent. In seven of these eight elections, the rapid blinker also lost the electoral vote and was defeated at the polls. Furthermore, in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, seven out of ten presidential aspirants have shown elevated EBRs (over 50 blinks per minute) and have been defeated in their candidacies." (via Zack)

Adobe Inspire on Ironman’s HUD

The Adobe XD (Experience Design) team has launched INSPIRE, a new "blog" where team members share thoughts on design and UI, gather feedback, and test Adobe technology. The topics in this experiment overlap a bit with the EDGE newsletter and Adobe Design Center.

One of the video stories on Inspire is Ironman’s HUD: A Behind the Scenes Story by Ethan Eismann, an experience designer for Thermo and AIR at Adobe. Eismann has a number of stories on Ironman on his blog. An Fxguide interview on the same topic was mentioned earlier in Behind the HUD of Ironman.

CS4 is shipping & training is ready

Adobe is shipping CS4 today, as well as Flash Player 10. Adobe TV has new training, with new movies for AE by Chad Perkins and Mark Christiansen. Adobe Support has also been updated and renamed as After Effects Help and Support.

Other training is now available at Lynda.com, Total Training, and elsewhere. Additional resources on CS4 were listed in previous posts.

Update: Motionworks posted a new movie, New Features in After Effects CS4: Part 1. And later New Features in After Effects CS4: Part 2.

Update 2: Chris & Trish Meyer have some reminders and links on the upgrade in After Effects CS4 is Shipping.

October 14, 2008

The Food Issue for the Farmer in Chief

As huge quantities of methane escape the unfrozen permafrost of Arctic landmasses in an ecological meltdown, the New York Times Magazine prints Michael Pollan's open letter on the food issue to President-Elect, the Farmer in Chief:

"...with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention."

Blu-Ray Live at Pixar, October 15

The Producers Guild of America, San Francisco, invites you to an "interactive" panel discussion, hosted by Pixar Animation Studios on Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

The topic is "Blu-ray™ Gets Connected: Creative Possibilities for BD-Live." The panel will discuss the interactive possibilities of Blu-Ray players (including the PS3) connecting to the Internet for dynamic content updates. Background can be seen at BD-Live at SONY, and press responses like Crave's BD-Live falls short again with 'Iron Man.'

Panelists include:
  • Sven Davison, 20th Century Fox
  • David Jessen, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • Ole Lutjens, MX Productions
  • Bill Sheppard, Sun Microsystems
  • Zane Vella, Related Content Database
  • Moderator: John Gilles, Vice President, Media & Entertainment, Method, Inc.
RSVP is required. To secure your admittance to this event, email sfpgaevent@yahoo.com. Please write your name and your guests' names in the subject line. Here's the location and time:

Pixar Animation Studios
1200 Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608
Promptly 7pm-9pm

FYI - There will be goody bags for PGA members who attend, so bring a PGA membership card. And, all non-member attendees who apply to the PGA within 30 days of this event, will have their $35 PGA application fee waived.

October 11, 2008

New Doc Chronicles Threat to South Central L.A. Garden

Via Pruned and Good, Scott Hamilton Kennedy's The Garden is a new documentary that chronicles the threat to the South Central L.A. Garden from real estate speculation.

Zorro AE script: cross platform update

Zorro-The Layer Tagger, the embeddable After Effects panel script for selection and isolation sets, has an important cross platform update due to differences in character sets across platforms. Lloyd has a movie explaining how to fix the problem in current projects:

Zorro-Tag Change Tutorial from Lloyd on Vimeo.

October 8, 2008

Adobe Configurator: Legos for Photoshop

John Nack announced Adobe Configurator, which enables easy creation of custom panels for Photoshop CS4. He's got an SD-sized QuickTime movie that's better than this YouTube one (which is missing the last minute):

Converting 4:3 Footage to 16:9 in AE

FreshDV is hosting an HD version of Paul Del Vecchio's video tutorial covering one method for Converting 4:3 Footage to 16:9 in After Effects. Here's a smaller version for a glimpse:

Aspect Ratio Tutorial from Paul Del Vecchio on Vimeo.

October 6, 2008

Conduit for Flash Pixel Bender

Lacquer has extended their Conduit compositing plug-in for After Effects and Photoshop to Pixel Bender (via). Conduit for Flash Pixel Bender is in beta but you can buy in now; see the samples. Training movies and more about Conduit can be found at DV Garage; previous notes on Pixel Bender are here.

Update: This version probably will only export .PBJ (Pixel Bender Bytecode) files for Flash, not .PBK (Pixel Bender Kernels) and .PBG (Pixel Bender Graphs, networks of kernels), which are supposed to be the only formats supported in After Effects CS4 and the forthcoming Photoshop Pixel Bender filter extension.

Update 2: There are similar products that work with FxPlug technology on Mac OS X and allow modifciation and filter export of work done in the node-based Apple Quartz Composer. For example, FxFactory Pro allows you to create visual effects plug-ins starting from Quartz compositions. Previous notes here also mentioned Effect Builder AE from Pixlock and QC Integration FX.

Update 3: a Pixel Bender filter based on the ‘Droste effect’ (via) might be fun. There's actual animations available at Leiden University's Escher and the Droste effect; see the frames below from an animation from A logarithmic image transformation by Jos Leys.

Update 4: and of course a Pixel Bender did come 6 weeks later; see free 'Droste Effect' Pixel Bender filter.

Adobe Premiere Pro Training

Stephen Muratore, Todd Kopriva's counterpart on the Premiere team, also has a blog, Adobe Premiere Pro Training. So far he's posted on CS4 Help, community matters, and Premiere Pro CS4 Top 10 New Features.

Dimensions explored

You can explore dimensions visualized with a film and web site called Dimensions by Jos Leys and friends. Here's the 2nd part of the movie, which can be downloaded in parts or seen online along with a detailed guide:

Pixxy: audio visualizer for AE

Update: Pixxy now works in CS6!

Fractallonomy Pixxy is a set of plug-ins for After Effects that can convert music into visual effects directly with no keyframing (via). It comes with 2D and 3D plug-ins that can use chaos, mathematics, and audio input, and over 100 tutorials and examples. According to the developer, "Some of these have already appeared in some form within DigiEffect's last product, 'Fantazm', just in case you have seen the name Pixxy before. However, the plugs have been heavily modified since then."

Someday iTunes visualizers like Trapcode Klangfarbe and AlphaOmega could also be ported to AE.

Technology & Filmmaking in Berkeley, Oct 17-18

Beet.TV has an interview with Scott Kirsner CinemaTech, one of the hosts of a conference called "The Conversation" October 17-18 in Berkeley. NewTeeVee is offering a discount. There's talking heads too.

Smoke, Flame, Nuke > AE +Apple

If you're interested in following up the Prolost post on merging After Effects & Premiere with feature requests for Adobe CS5, some of features available in Flame and Smoke can be seen in Autodesk Inferno Services & Support (via), which has several explanatory movies in their Self-Paced Training areas.

Nuke is also worth exploring if you haven't. Final Cut User posted a note a few months back on FXPHD’s Compositor’s Guide to Nuke is Now Online -- the 1st movie makes the free 8-part 4-hour orientation download worth grabbing. FxguideTV has more on a variety of new relatively advanced stuff shown at IBC and SIGGRAPH.

Update: Scott Simmons at Studio Daily has his own feature requests for restructuring the Apple Pro apps.

October 3, 2008

Color management whitepapers for AE CS4

Adobe has 2 new whitepapers on color management in AE CS4:

The big one, Color management workflow in Adobe After Effects CS4, helps you achieve accurate and consistent color reproduction.

Image state adjustment in After Effects CS4 color workflows gives examples and answers why Adobe provides ICC profiles.

October 1, 2008

Utility filter: exrdisplay for AE +ProEXR

fnord exrdisplay for After Effects is a free utility filter to replicate color operations in some viewers and programs.

Brendan also adds extra notes on the really big shew in ProEXR ships with After Effects CS4.

Update: (Feb 2009) see the long discussion of this file format on an Adobe forum on Photoshop. Brendan recaps: "OpenEXR files use premultiplied images, while Photoshop long ago chose to use straight."