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OWC adds800 GB Mercury Elite-AL Pro model

The Mercury Elite drive range from Other World Computing now includes an 800 GB RAID with FireWire 800 interface and 16 MB buffer. MSRP is US$750. Pro RAID solutions from 160 GB to 800 GB are available from OWC.

All Mercury Elite-AL Pro models, the Pro 800 RAID is covered by a two-year warranty and comes with Dantz/EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech Hard Disk SpeedTools and connecting cables.

Digidesign releases Pro Tools LE 6.9.2

Pro Tools LE 6.9.2 is an incremental update to Pro Tools LE for users of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

This update is for Pro Tools LE systems only and is a free download for existing Pro Tools LE users. Updater CDs will be available through the online store at Digidesign for US$4.95 plus shipping.

Note: Pro Tools LE 6.9.2 software is for Pro Tools LE systems only. The previously released Pro Tools® TDM 6.9.2 software supports Pro Tools|HD® systems on Mac OS X 10.4.1. A future software release will support Pro Tools M-Powered™ systems on Mac OS X 10.4.1.

TechSmith releases Camtasia Studio 3

TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio 3 is a screen capture and recording solution for individuals creating on-demand demonstrations, presentations or screencasts of Windows computer screens. This latest release allows users to include a video of a presenter as a PIP window in the presentation.

Camtasia Studio is the defactor screen recording solution for Windows PCs. (On OS X Snapz Pro X is the defacto standard, although not yet as sophisticated as Camtasia Studio.)

Camtasia Studio automatically records exactly what a user sees on a computer screen, what they say, and how they interact with any application or Web site on a Windows desktop. Users can then edit and share the demonstrations online or via fixed media in all popular streaming media formats, including Flash (SWF).

A full list of What’s New in addition to the Live Video capture is available on the website, but highlights include

  • Automated publishing using production wizards;
  • Quizzing tools to assess learning with multiple-choice quizzes with answers reported back to SCORM-compliant Learning Management Systems;
  • Interactive Callouts for interactive navigation.

Camtasia Studio 3 requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP with DirectX 9 or later. It’s available now for US$299. A 30 day trial is available.

Subtitler 1.7.2 released

Belle Nuit Montage’s Subtitler is a program to spot, edit and render subtitles for video editing, DVD authoring and digital cinema. Translators can spot directly with a QuickTime movie and translate precisely. The subtitles can then be imported to Avid Media Composer, Avid Xpress, Avid DS and Final Cut Pro for editing. The same subtitles can be sent also to DVD Studio Pro, Sonic Producer and Sonic Scenarist for authoring. Belle Nuit Subtitler frees the video editors from repetitive work and from typo errors. Subtitler is currently the fastest solution working with nonlinear editors and does not need any specific hardware.

The newest version adds a full screen tool for soft subtitling, has improved exporting and importing with STL Text, PAC files and EBU files for Arte and bug fixes, including a problem that prevented the use of Avid Title Tool in Windows.

Subtitler is US$120 per platform and the current update is free for OS X and Windows clients. Site licenses are available. A detailed list of new features and bug fixes can be found here.

Creative Manager Pro updates to version 7.9

Creative Manager Pro, designed for Project Management Groupware for Ad Agencies, Creative and Design firms, has released version 7.9. This free upgrade includes support for OS X 10.4.1 Tiger and focuses on new features in the free extranet client.

The free client extranet lets clients upload digital assets direct to the Agency or Design firm, expanding the reach of the Digital Asset Manager. A full list of upgrade features is on the Creative Pro website.

Microsoft and Toshiba agree on HD DVD

Business Week are reporting that Microsoft and Toshiba have entered into an expanded alliance to promote HD DVD over Blu-ray for the next generation of optical disc and to cooperate in designing new models of mobile personal computers.

This heats up the format war considerably as it means that an HD DVD drive is likely to go into a future release of Xbox 360 (the first generation ships with a standard CD/DVD drive), although the front-runner Playstation 3 will have the competing Blu-ray. The agreement does provide Hitachi with a powerful ally in the battle and makes the likelihood of a unified format less likely.

Although Blu-ray has more capacity and is designed as a record format from the outset, HD DVD is most like current DVDs for production, which may sway some replicators. Ultimately, however, if the solution presented to consumers is not clear, they may skip both Blu-ray and HD DVD completely, opting for High Definition video on current DVDs using H.264 or Windows Media 9 (VC-1) or wait until one of the holographic formats is established.

The two companies, Microsoft and Toshiba, will also work together on Tablet PCs, smaller mobile PCs (using Longhorn, so they are not close to release).

Adobe Photoshop: Photoshop CS2 for Animation and Rotoscoping:: Part 1 – Importing and exporting 8-bit movies

Chapter: Compositing Tools and Techniques

Topic: Masking or Rotoscoping

With the release of Photoshop CS2, Adobe brought long-anticipated animation capabilities to the world’s most popular professional image editing tool. And with these new capabilities, the company has also introduced a problem. Now that people know Photoshop can do animation , they want to take it further and use the program for rotoscoping–in other words, import movies into Photoshop , then take them back out into their editing or motion graphics tools for finishing.

TAGS: remove, clean, background

Adobe Illustrator: Live Paint in Adobe Illustrator CS2: Part 2 – Multi-path intersections, stroking regions and additional fill options

Chapter: Paint, Draw and Design

Topic: Tips and Techniques

In our last tour through Live Paint in Illustrator CS2, we took a look at a simple method for generating multiple vector objects with a single path. But Live Paint can also be used to slice and dice existing objects using additional objects or paths. So in Part 2 of our series, we’ll take a look at this more complex functionality, plus methods for stroking individual Live Paint path segments and additional methods for filling regions.


Apple Final Cut Pro: The New Boris Calligraphy Titling Tools in Final Cut Pro 5

Chapter: Titling

Topic: Titling Animation

There is a great new set of video generators included with Final Cut Pro 5 called Boris Calligraphy 2. The company Boris FX is well known for its full featured titling and effects products like Boris Red and Boris Continuum, and has supported Final Cut in the past with Boris Calligraphy 1. Final Cut’s built in text generators are okay for basic titling, but if you need more, and you don’t want to go to another application then you should check these out.


Adobe After Effects: Simple Track Mattes Making mattes with layers in After Effects

Chapter: Compositing Tools and Techniques

Topic: Track or Travel Matte

Often I’ve seen a question that can be easily solved with the implementation of a track matte.† Often it isn’t the creative limitations of the user, it’s just that people don’t know it exists.† Although it’s been featured in several tutorials in the AE Channels here on DMN, a simple review might clarify its use.