RSS

Production

cartoon cs4 pixel bender

On Artbeats.com: Cartoonification

Some respect for the much-maligned Cartoon effect.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 15, 2009

After Effects CS4 ships with a Cartoon effect, which can be used to give live-action footage more of a hand-inked look. Intended as a technology demonstration for what could be done with Adobe's new Pixel Bender toolkit, it was pounced upon by many as example of how supposedly weak the AE CS4 upgrade was (with the benefit of experience, we beg to differ). The problem was that most of the early examples of Cartoon showed it at its default (or otherwise somewhat random) settings - and effects rarely look their best at their defaults.To counter the perhaps mistaken conceptions about Cartoon, we wrote a tutorial for Artbeats.com that gives some hints on how to get more out of the Cartoon effect. Unfortunately, after the piece was published, we realized that it might be hard to tell the exact results by looking at the scaled-down and compressed images in the PDF. Therefore, after the "more" link below we're including larger versions of the images with heavily truncated captions. (Be patient; they will take a few seconds to download.) We still suggest you download the file from Artbeats; if you subscribe to their newsletter, you got the main image (see on page 2 of this post) for free, and in a couple of days an AE CS4 project file should also be available to help you experiment with some of the results. Read More

0 Comments

Mark Schubin on “The Fandom of the Opera”

Mark's HPA Tech Retreat preso, and a Toronto SMPTE webcast

By Adam Wilt | March 15, 2009

Mark Schubin discussed the intersection of TV technology and opera, and live broadcasting of the NYC Metropolitan Opera (Mark's Emmy-winning day job), following the 2009 HPA Tech Retreat. By popular acclaim, he has posted his HPA presentation in PDF form (alternate link: http://data.memberclicks.com/site/hopa/2009_TR_Pres_Schubin_MetOpera.pdf), and a link to a SMPTE Toronto Section webcast of his very similar presentation last December.The webcast is a WMV-format linked slideshow and video stream; it works fine in Windows. On Mac it doesn't work at all in Safari 4 beta (at least on my PPC Mac; YMMV), while in Firefox the video opens up in a QuickTime Window (assuming you have the Flip4Mac WMV plugins), unlinked from the slideshow; best to download the HPA preso PDF and flip through it while Mark talks, or manually advance the slides on the website.The webcast is an unedited meeting recording; Mark's talk starts at the 21-minute mark. It's worth the wait; Mark is an entertaining speaker, and the presentation is amusing, informative, and at times terrifying: you'll never feel justified complaining about technical hurdles or short turnarounds on your live broadcasts ever again, after seeing what Mark & Co. go through on a weekly basis. Read More

3 Comments

camera red scarlet

Red Scarlet Footage - WOW!

For sale cheap: 2 Canon XH A1's hardley used...

By Scott Gentry | March 14, 2009

Damn this is some still. For a camera said to cost approximately $2,500, I want one. Think Jim would send one my way if I ask really, really nicely? Test purposes of course...NAB is going to be fun this year. The line for the RED booth just got longer... "That just happened" Read More

5 Comments

apple bug compressor final cut pro fix gamma quicktime video web workaround

The Quicktime Conundrum, Part 2: Solved by our Readers

My readers submit additional tips for flawless H.264 Quicktimes

By Art Adams | March 12, 2009

A couple of great suggestions for creating flawless H.264 Quicktime--and Flash!--movies popped up in the comments section of my last article. They deserve their own article. Read More

27 Comments

apple bug compressor final cut pro fix gamma quicktime video web workaround

The Quicktime Conundrum

How to get around Quicktime's H.264 gamma bug

By Art Adams | March 12, 2009

There's nothing like waking up in the morning and realizing that your chief marketing tool is probably driving away more clients than it's attracting. Read More

10 Comments

animation text type typography

1000 Words is Worth More Than Most Pictures

We admit it - we're suckers for clever type animation.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 11, 2009

This fun animation by Alex Gopher where objects are replaced with words that represent them is what Marc Canter would refer to as an "again" experience: It is worth viewing more than once in order to catch all of the clever references.Please feel free to share links to other examples of clever type animation (such as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights) in the Comments below... Read More

3 Comments

So - what’s up with Apple and Mini DisplayPort?

So - what’s up with Apple and Mini DisplayPort?

some notes on Mini DisplayPort and its possible uses

By Mike Curtis | March 10, 2009

I didn't pay a whole lot of attention when Apple introduced the new Macbook Pros with a Mini DisplayPort connector. Now that they are also in use ALL the new Macs introduced the other week (Mac Pro towers, iMacs, and Mac Minis), I figured it was time to do a little digging and find out what it is all about. Read on after the jump. Read More

2 Comments

Using Motion for VFX on a Hollywood Feature

Billy Fox on MacBreak Studio

By Mark Spencer | March 10, 2009

Veteran Hollywood film editor Billy Fox shows us how he uses Motion to create a VFX shot for the international thriller Traitor. Read More

0 Comments

Toast 10 Titanium Pro package: a great upgrade

Toast 10 Titanium Pro package: a great upgrade

Roxio is offering excellent value in its new Pro bundle

By Allan Tépper | March 08, 2009

With version 10, Roxio (now a division of Sonic Solutions) offers a Pro bundle of Toast, which includes a total of 12 applications, most of which are multilingual. As many veteran Mac users know, the Toast application was born way before MacOS X (10.0). Back then, Toast was necessary to do something as simple as burning a CD, since before 10.0, the MacOS didn't include onboard CD burning. Although CD and DVD burning capability is now part of the MacOS X (with much less depth than with Toast), the Toast application has grown quite a bit to cover many other tasks. Without even going into the bundled applications yet, you may know that Toast 10 can now burn data CDs, data DVDs, and data Blu-rays, and span data over more than one disk. Toast 10 can also do simple authoring of video DVDs and Blu-rays, as well as create "AVCHD disks", which is HD material burned on a standard single or dual-layer DVD, and is playable on some Blu-ray players, and on the Sony PS3. But I'm only beginning to describe what the base Toast 10 application can do! Read More

5 Comments

effects exterior f35 lighting night sony spot visual

Anatomy of a Porsche Spec Spot

We push the F35 as far as it can go--and then some!

By Art Adams | March 06, 2009

When the economy goes south, I go into fifth gear. I recently seized the opportunity to shoot a couple of spec spots with director Ian McCamey, formerly of The Orphanage, and our first project together was a spot for the Porsche Cayman. A Cayman pulls up in front of a club and, like a magnet, drags three people onto it--and one ends up in the passenger seat in the last shot. Read More

1 Comments

benjamin button digital domain facial capture motion capture ted talks

Ted Talks - How Benjamin Button got his face

Ed Ulbrich explains the innovative VFX tech behind "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 05, 2009

In this video from TED, Digital Domain effects guru Ed Ulbrich presents on the Oscar-winning technology they built for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Watch below... Read More

0 Comments

This video says goodbye to Firewire 400

Yes it's silly but it will remind you about a lot of stuff

By Scott Simmons | March 05, 2009

I remember big, boxy Firewire 400 drive from some unknown company so many years ago that I can't even remember when it was. When I showed it to my SCSI-loving editor/engineer he thought it was nuts and I wouldn't use it for more than one job. Well we see where SCSI went. And I ended up with a lot of Firewire 400 drives after that. And I still have a lot of them. With the new Apple updates this week Firewire 400 is going. It's 800 only now. TUAW has a post with this video embeded and it really reminded me just how many Firewire 400 drives, interfaces and appliances there are out there with Firewire 400. So get your 400 to 800 adapter and keep on working! Read More

0 Comments

glint motion text

Animating Text Highlights in Motion

Quick Animated Glints

By Mark Spencer | March 03, 2009

A short video tutorial that shows a quick and dirty way to create nice animated "glints" for your text. Read More

0 Comments

Roll Your Own Font

Roll Your Own Font

Terrible Handwriting? Excellent!

By Mark Spencer | March 02, 2009

Type is a critical part of most motion graphics projects. To make your project look truly unique, consider creating your own font. I always shied away from this task as it seemed quite complicated, but there's a site that makes it unbelievably simple to make your own hand-drawn font - and it's completely free! Read More

0 Comments

CELTX 2.0 Announced!

CELTX 2.0 Announced!

The Popular Screenwriting and Pre-Production Software Gets a Face Lift

By Kendal Miller | March 02, 2009

Celtx 2.0 was announced recently and is currently available for download. For those of you who don't know, Celtx is a popular open source screenwriting, and pre-production application. The new version of Celtx is exciting on several fronts on of which is the new "Studio" system for more integrated collaboration on projects. Secondly the new toolbox feature enabling user built plugins to be built and installed enabling even more features for an already great software package. The software remains free although Celtx developers have added a $50/ annual fee to make use of the online services. All in all it looks like a well rounded upgrade that will allow for future expansion. I'm particularly interested in some users adding toolboxes for automatic page counts, and further expanding the pre-production toolset. Listed below is the full set of new features and changes: Read More

0 Comments

after effects character font kern kerning paragraph smart quotes text typeset typesetting

After Effects Apprentice Video Tutorial #3

An introduction to typsetting in After Effects.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 01, 2009

We've recently released After Effects Apprentice (2nd Edition). The DVD-ROM that comes with the book includes an hour and a half of video tutorials that provide gentle introductions to major features inside After Effects, such as text and expressions. In this third video, we show the different ways to create and style type, including tips on areas such as kerning that will help your text look more professional. Click on the Play Video link below, and enjoy!(Note: For those who are hearing-impaired, lynda.com has added Closed Captioning to these tutorials. They are available here. We are also in the process of creating video training for all of the After Effects Apprentice lessons; they will also appear on lynda.com. If you do not have a lynda.com subscription, click here for a free 7-day pass.)After Effects Apprentice was designed for students looking to learn After Effects from scratch, as well as those who do not use AE full time (such as editors or web designers). It starts gently with an introduction to keyframing, and progresses through the important features (such as masks, mattes, effects, text, audio, 3D space, shape layers, expressions, parenting, and building advanced hierarchies of compositions) until you end up keying, stabilizing, and compositing a shot in high def. The second edition has been fully revamped for After Effects CS4, and includes integration with Photoshop CS4 Extended and Flash Professional CS4.The content contained in After Effects Apprentice - as well as the CMG Blogs and CMG Keyframes posts on ProVideoCoalition - are copyright Crish Design, except where otherwise attributed. Read More

0 Comments

Greenscreen Primer Part 1

Greenscreen Primer Part 1

With Greenscreen, 80 percent of your post budget is lost on the set...learn how to get it back!

By Alex Lindsay | March 01, 2009

I pulled my first Greenscreen in 1996 working on "Star Wars: Episode 1" pre-viz. The footage was rough (pre-vis handycam footage) and the After Effects Color Difference Key was a complete mystery. Now, the Pixel Corps, we shoot an average of two hours of greenscreen footage a day, mostly 4:4:4 uncompressed. While the tools have progressed significantly, the process itself, and the rules, have changed surprisingly little.In this article, I'll cover the major issues you need to solve when shooting greenscreen footage. There will be future installments to discuss theory and keying technique. I will argue about 90% of the professionals out there do not use most of the information I will lay out here... and it makes their process much more difficult. I will say, everything we do in the Pixel Corps is designed to lower costs and accelerate delivery speed while constantly improving quality. We're not particular to be particular. We do everything because it shaves time or improves quality. Read More

17 Comments

Animating Text in Apple’s Motion

Animating Text in Apple’s Motion

A primer for After Effects artists.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | March 01, 2009

If you're familiar with animating text in After Effects, you might glance at Apple's Motion and think that it offers many of the same features for flying text around. While that is true, if you look a little closer you'll find that Motion can create some really great looks that you just can't get with After Effects. In this article, I'll review the text capabilites of both programs, and lead you through in detail how to typeset and animate text in Motion. At the end, I'll discuss some additional details that separate the two programs. (Note: This article compares Motion 3 and After Effects CS4. Motion 4 has added some new text capabilities.) Read More

7 Comments

FxFactory Pro and MOTYPE Review

FxFactory Pro and MOTYPE Review

Effects plugins for FCP, Motion, After Effects and Avid

By Steve Hullfish | March 01, 2009

Most people I know in this industry love new gear. And in the world of desktop video applications and editing, new gear is now less and less about the physical stuff with buttons and knobs and more about "the code."If you want access to a lot of new stuff, the easiest way to get high quality stuff to play with is to load FxFactory for Final Cut Pro, or FxFactory Pro with its 142 plug-ins already included. These plug-ins can be used in FCP, Motion, and After Effects. A similar product - Factory Tools - is available for Avid. Read More

0 Comments

See the Beat: Video-driven composing

See the Beat: Video-driven composing

A Review of Abaltat Muse

By Mark Spencer | March 01, 2009

First things first. I'm not a musician. I don't play one on TV. I'd like to be - I did just start playing acoustic guitar. But if you heard me, you'd agree - I'm no musician. But I am a video producer/editor. And a motion graphics designer. And I frequently need music for my work.Which makes me an ideal candidate for Abaltat's Muse. Read More

2 Comments