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NewTek Ships VT[5]

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of video and 3D animation products,
has announced the shipment of VT[5]
Integrated Production Suite. The VT[5] features live switching and
Web streaming of up to 24 cameras, and now includes LiveSet, NewTek’s
proprietary live virtual set technology that allows users to implement
multi-channel virtual sets in a live environment with unprecedented
realism and video quality.

VT[5] also includes advanced new keying capabilities, integrated SDI
switching support and automated clip playback, with simultaneous output
to video, projector and Web stream. VT[5]’s extensive HD post
production capabilities include sophisticated real-time, non-linear
editing, video painting and a full-featured animated character
generation package. VT[5]’s real-time, uncompressed video processing
with component and SDI output delivers unsurpassed video quality. The
optional Serial Digital switcher adds an additional eight SDI inputs
and SDI routing functionality to the new VT[5] system.

NewTek’s proprietary LiveSet system in VT[5], allows separate
virtual sets to be assigned independently to all switcher inputs,
including all cameras and DDRs. In addition, each input has an
independent LiveMatte matting module that eliminates the need for
expensive hardware for each source connected to the system. Each
virtual set supports virtual cameras with multiple angles and zoom
levels, with support for secondary video sources for on-set virtual
monitors. All effects are rendered with unprecedented photo-realism,
including reflections, refractions, shadows, bump maps, and
sophisticated filtering. Additionally, the advanced new keying
capabilities included in the LiveMatte technology enable refined
previews of mattes for the precise isolation of color, edge and spill
for the sharpest possible results.

The VT[5] system is available through the NewTek Authorized Reseller
channel at an MSRP of US$4,995. Current owners of any previous version
may upgrade their software for US$1,495 and are encouraged to view the NewTek web site for extensive
information on enhancements, features and technical specifications.

Panansonic announces AG-HMC70 Shoulder-Mount Camcorder to AVCHD product line

Panasonic has announced the
expansion of its professional AVCHD product line with the introduction
of the AG-HMC70
AVCHD camcorder
. As the industry’s first shoulder-mount AVCHD
camcorder, the HMC70 records high-quality 1080i images onto readily
available SD/SDHC memory cards.

Since it uses a standard SD or SDHC card, the HMC70’s recording
capacity will increase and media cost decrease as the industry
announces new higher capacity cards.

Joining the small hand-held AG-HSC1U in Panasonic’s AVCHD camcorder
line-up, the HMC70 utilizes the industry standard H.264-based Advanced
Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) video format to deliver crisp HD
images. AVCHD delivers twice the recording efficiency of older MPEG-2
codec technologies like HDV, and it is supported by a growing number of
nonlinear editing packages including Apple’s Final Cut Pro Version
6.0.1 and i-Movie, Grass Valley EDIUS Software Version 4.5, Pinnacle
Studio Plus 11, Nero 7 Premium Reloaded, Ulead Video Studio 11 Plus and
Ulead DVD Movie Factory 6 Plus.

The HMC70 features three native 16:9 progressive ¼” CCDs to record,
or provide a live feed of, widescreen 1440 x 1080 HD resolution images
of weddings, sports, concerts, or other events. It can be used by law
enforcement agencies for training or surveillance, by schools for use
in video production, live staging and documentation, or by broadcasters
and newspapers for web journalism. The camcorder is equipped with a 12X
38.5mm to 462mm* Leica wide-angle zoom lens, one-push auto focus, and
integrated Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) that ensures stable
images, which are most critical when displaying high definition video.
The camera also provides excellent color reproduction and inherits the
exceptional color rendition of Panasonic’s other professional HD

The flexible camcorder provides professionals with continuous record
time for long-form HD video production. With just the touch of a
button, users can choose to shoot in one of the camera’s three
recording modes – 6Mbps, 9Mbps or 13Mbps. Using the new 16GB SDHC
memory card (available in November 2007), the HMC70 can record for up
to 360 minutes at 6Mbps quality and up to 160 minutes at 13Mbps, the
camera’s highest quality mode.

Unlike entry-level cameras, the HMC70 offers professional audio
capabilities including two XLR Mic/Line switchable inputs with
attenuation, +48V Phantom Power, and both Auto & Manual level with
Rec level dials. This allows flexible, high quality audio recording
using a wide range of wired and wireless microphones and mixers.

Professionals can instantly transfer content from the HMC70
camcorder to Mac or PC computers with an SD/SDHC card reader or by
connecting the camcorder directly via its USB 2.0 interface. Other
connectors that provide even greater flexibility include HD/SD
component and composite (BNCs), HDMI and RCA audio jacks.

The HMC70 will be available in April 2008. Options will include a
VW-VBG6 5,800-mAH Battery, VW-W4307H Wide Conversion Lens, and
VW-T4314H Tele Conversion Lens. No pricing has been provided.

Telestream releases Episode/Episode Pro 4.4

Telestream has released version 4.4 of Episode and Episode Pro with
improved speed,  higher quality and new features including support
for their new Pipeline network encoder.

Episode 4.4 features include:

  • Improved H.264, WMV & VC-1 encoding for faster and higher
  • Ability to encode Real Media files on Intel-based Macs
  • Alpha Channel support in Flash 8
  • Cable Labs compatible MPEG-2 transport stream encoding
  • Flexible tape ingest from SDI to DV, IMX & MPEG with our new
    Pipeline network encoder

Existing customers can update by opening Episode or Episode Pro and
going to Preferences. In Preferences select “Update” and click “Check
Now”. The latest version of Episode/Episode Pro will be downloaded to
your computer. If your Mac is not connected to the internet, go to a
computer that is and download the latest version of Episode from

Genarts Releases Sapphire Plug-Ins Version 2 For After Effects And Compatible Products

GenArts, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of Sapphire Plug-ins
version 2 for After Effects
and compatible products including Adobe
Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Autodesk Combustion, and Eyeon
Fusion. The new release features over 30 new effects, plus many new
parameters and improvements to existing effects in the package.

Version 2 contains all of the visual effects and features of the
earlier version and introduces more than 30 new and innovative effects.
FilmDamage, ZDefocus, Cartoon, BleachBypass, GradientMulti, SwishPan,
Light3D, Deband, and TextureNeurons are a few of the new plug-ins in
the collection of over 200 image processing and synthesis effects.
Enhancements to existing effects in the package include a revamped
RackDefocus, 4 new Glares and 14 new LensFlares.

Sapphire 2 includes support for the latest versions of all After
Effects and compatible host applications including Adobe CS3 and the
“Smart FX” API which provides more efficient processing and support for
32bit image formats. All platforms running v2 will have improved
rendering speed.

Adobe’s “Smart FX” API is supported for AE7 and CS3 with more
efficient processing and reading of 32bit image formats. Windows Vista
and Mac OS X Leopard are supported.

Sapphire Plug-ins version 2 for After Effects and compatible
products can be purchased directly from GenArts or through their
worldwide channel of authorized resellers. Pricing for Sapphire 2 is
US$1699 for the entire package or US$599 for one of four individual box
sets. Special upgrade pricing for existing v1 customers is offered for
US$599 and US$199, respectively. A free trial of the software is available online.

Application and Driver compatibility with Leopard

HighPoint Technologies
have announced that the HighPoint RocketRAID series of SATA
RAID controllers have been updated to support Mac OS X 10.5
Leopard.  The new RocketRAID drivers to support Leopard are
available for download from HighPoint’s sister site dedicated to
external storage.

AJA Video have announced
they will offer support for OS X 10.5 Leopard for its Intel-based
professional Mac Pro and MacBook Pro computers but not quite yet! New
drivers for the just-released IoHD (native ProRes 422 capture and
output) and the KONA 3, LHe and LSe are coming, but not available yet.
If you use AJA hardware, do not upgrade to OS X 10.5 Leopard

CalDigit, the new leader in
RAID storage solutions is pleased to announce that all of its products
with Apple’s new Leopard OS X operation system.  Starting with the
FireWireVR (Triple Interface RAID, our FASTA-2e 2-port eSATA card, our
FASTA-4e and FASTA-4X 4 port Superlane eSATA cards, FASTA-1ex
ExpressCard34, to our HDPro and RAID SHIELD Management utility, all
CalDigit products are ready to go with Leopard.

Softron Media Services is
pleased to that of all of its applications are compatible with Apple’s
new Leopard OS X operation system, including their playout solution,
OnTheAir, used by Final Cut Pro
Editors to ingest video and edit the video while still recording, SMS
assured that its products are compatible with and can take advantage of
Apple’s Leopard.

Blackmagic Design have already
announced that the latest version of their drivers are ready for OS
X Leopard with Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro CS3.

Microsoft Expression Encoder: Using Microsoft Expression Encoder

Chapter: Distribution

Topic: Encoding for Web or ROM

It does not matter where you look, video is dominating the Internet. Microsoft wants to make it easier for you to deliver video. It is clear with web sites such as YouTube that there is an insatiable desire for us to put our own video and shows on our Web sites. The Expression Encoder allows you to do exactly that.


Adobe After Effects: Happy Dia de los Muertos Tutorial

Chapter: Compositing Tools and Techniques

Topic: Character Animation

Happy Dia de los Muertos Tutorial

TAGS: puppet

Telestream Unveils Episode Podcast

Software adds format support for Apple’s Leopard Server Podcast
Producer, providing student access to educational and training content
on any platform or personal device

Telestream have introduced Episode
, a product developed specifically for seamless integration
with one of Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard Server features, Podcast
Producer. Telestream’s Episode Podcast is a server-based application
that provides easy integration with Podcast Producer. It enables
educators to reach out to a broader audience, including PC and Mac
users, as well as video and audio access on MP3 players, a broad range
of multi-media enabled mobile phones, Sony PSP and other personal media

Episode Podcast allows Podcast Producer to accept any leading input
format and repurpose media to all the popular distribution formats,
including Windows Media, Flash 8, MP3, 3GPP, VC-1, H.264 and much more.
This means that a teacher authoring content in Windows Media can submit
content to Podcast Producer without modifying the workflow, thus
ensuring consistency throughout the podcast production process. Plus,
multiformat content from legacy systems and archives can easily be
imported into the podcast production workflow.

Episode Podcast provides scalability from a single server to a
fully-automated, multi-node server cluster running on the same Apple
Xgrid hardware as Podcast Producer – allowing distributed processing
across multiple servers for large-scale, time-critical podcast

Priced from US$2450, Episode Podcast is available for immediate
purchase from Telestream’s worldwide sales channels. In Europe, Episode
Podcast is available from Apple direct sales and resellers as well as
Online Apple Stores for each country.

Adobe Final Cut Pro: Using Trapcode 3D Stroke, Shine and Star Glow inside Final Cut Pro

Chapter: Editing

Topic: Effects

this tutorial demonstrates how to use Final Cut Pro to create the motion graphics animation shown at the start of the movie, using Trapcode products combined with various Final Cut Pro settings. Yes, it was a little strange creating this in Final Cut Pro but overall I’d say it was a good experience. Even if you don’t use FCP you might find it useful. Have fun


Maxon Cinema 4D: PUMPKIN MATERIAL: Creating a pumpkin with Cinema 4D: PART 2

Chapter: 3D Modelling and Animation

Topic: Textures and Image Maps

To complete this tutorial, you should have a fairly good grasp of the material attributes in Cinema 4D.  Because I cannot create a QuickTime for this project currently, I will limit the steps.  Please check the archives for the basics of handling materials.  Basically, the principles of materials haven’t changed since my v.7 tutorial on the same.