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Adobe After Effects: Animating astrology: Part 1 – Stars and Strokes

Chapter: Paint, Draw and Design

Topic: Simulating Nature

If you’ve ever wanted to quickly create a simple starfield in Photoshop , here’s how.† This is part one, creating the source material for the After Effects project that follows in Part 2 (“”Fish Star””).


Adobe Photoshop: Animating astrology: Part 1 – Stars and Strokes

Chapter: Paint, Draw and Design

Topic: Matte Painting

If you’ve ever wanted to quickly create a simple starfield in Photoshop , here’s how.† This is part one, creating the source material for the After Effects project that follows in Part 2 (“”Fish Star””).


Soundtrack Pro cannot save Multitrack projects to Xsan 1.1

In a recent addition to the Knowledge Base, Apple noted that a Soundtrack Pro multitrack project (a .stmp) file could only be saved to a local drive and not saved to an Xsan running 1.1 software. If an attempt is made to save to the Xsan, the error "The document mysoundtrackpromultitrackproject could not be saved" will be reported.

The only solution is to save the file to a local drive. Audio files exported from Soundtrack Pro can be saved to an Xsan volume.

30 GB Holographic card by end 2006

Optware Corp is planning to release a new data card storage format by the end of 2006 called the Holographic Versatile Card. Each credit-card sized card is expected to hold 30 GB and cost US$1 (approx) a card.

Such a card would be perfect storage mechanism for camera-based storage with good capacity and a card that is viable (and affordable) long term storage. Significantly more viable than solid-state storage (P2) in a similar time-frame, except that a reader is expected to debut at US$1800 and a reader/writer approaching US$10,000. However, consider that the first DVD-R recorders debuted at US$16,000 and now, three years later, can be purchased for under US$100.

For the technically inclined, the technology developed by Optware is a collinear holograph, which means that only one lens is used to read and write. Both media and optical head are moved to read and write. The only current unknown is the read/write speed, but you’d hope it was fast if you’re going to write or read 30 GB of data!

Oh, and the size of the card was arbitrarily chosen to be the size of a credit card – the company says it could be made much smaller, down to the size of a memory card for digital cameras, if necessary.

Xsan 1.1 and Xsan Admin 1.1 released

Xsan 1.1 is required for OS 10 10.4 Tiger and delivers overall improved reliability for Xsan (i.e. bug fixes). It supports mixed OS X 10.3.9 and 10.4 environments, but all clients must be running Xsan 1.1. The metadata controller must also be running the same version of Xsan as the clients.

Xsan 1.1 supports file transfers up to two Petabytes.

A new version of Xsan Admin is also available to go with the 1.1 client.

IMPORTANT: Do not upgrade without authority of your Xsan administrator.

Digital Heaven updates three plug-ins

Digital Heaven have updated DH_Boz, DH_Guides and DH_WideSafe to version 1.1 each, to improve compatibility with Final Cut Pro 5. The plug-ins also work in Final Cut Express.

The new version of DH_Box, which makes split screen effects easier, includes a smoothing function to give more control over image quality.

The three filters that have been updated are just part of a range of ten Digital Heaven plug-ins available for individual dowload purchase at US$10 each. Demo versions of DH_Box, DH_Dropout, DH_Subtitle and DH_WhipPan as well as Flash tutorials are available on the Digital Heaven website.

Apple DVD Studio Pro: Apple DVD Studio Pro 4: DVD authoring moves to HD!

Chapter: DVD Authoring

Topic: Authoring Software

Apple’s DVD Studio Pro is, in short, the very best authoring package you can get for the money–or anywhere close to the money. DVD Studio Pro 4 expands on this leading application’s capabilities with the addition of high-definition DVD encoding and authoring , plus even deeper access to the DVD -video specification. On top of it all, encoding in DVD Studio Pro has been radically updated to allow for standards conversions (PAL to NTSC and NTSC to PAL), advanced frame interpolation, Dolby Digital Professional encoding, Qmaster network rendering and more. Recommendation: Must Buy (all versions: upgrade, standalone and Final Cut Studio bundle)


Miraizon updates Cinematize

Miraizon have released two updates to their flagship Cinematize 2, with version 2.04 for Macintosh and 2.01 for Windows. Cinematize, like DVDxDV, is a tool for extracting editable QuickTime movie clips from encoded DVDs.

Cinematize 2.0.4 on Macintosh is now 100% OS X 10.4 Tiger compatible while the Windows 2.01 release includes full Japanese language localizations. Both releases share improved handling of complex and non-standard DVDs along with some user interface improvements.

Cinematize for Mac and Windows is priced at US$59.95 as a download from the company website, or as a boxed product through major resellers for US$69.95 (Windows boxed version available soon). Users of previous versions of Cinematize 2 can download updaters free of charge.

Applications don't open under OS X 10.3.9 or 10.4

A new Apple Knowledge Base Article notes that the Digidesign Core Audio drive, installed as part of a Pro Tools version 6.9 installation or with an Mbox, Digi 002 and HD system, can cause some to fail to open: QuickTime Player, iTunes, iDVD, iMovie, GarageBand and Final Cut Express may be affected. Apple note that other applications may also be affected.

The workaround is to open Audio MIDI Setup in Applications/Utilities and selecting Default Output to Built-in Audio (in the Audio Devices tab). If that fails an Archive and Install of the Operating System is recommended.

Promax Systems announce dvBox

Promax added to their already extensive range of storage solutions for video and graphics applications with the release of the dvBox line of drives. These stylish aluminium-cased drives use the latest Oxford FireWire-to-ATA bridge components and are competitively priced.

The dvBox line has both single and dual drive options in capacities from 160 GB single drive to and 800 GB dual drive RAID. The drives have the option of FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 interfaces for full support of Macintosh or Windows hosts.

Prices start at US$209 and range through to US$499 for a 500 GB dual drive RAID with FireWire 800 interface.