Get the Latest BuZZ Each Week

Avid Media Composer: Blurring a Title in Avid Media Composer

Chapter: Titling

Topic: Glows, Blurs, Rays or Streaks

The Avid Media Composer includes a powerful, yet easy-to-use, title tool.  Taking your titles to the next level is important to give it that professional look. Usually, applying an effect to a title will manipulate not only the title, but also the background video.  However, if you nest the effect, it’s easy to add the blur — or most any other effect — without simultaneously affecting the background video.


CalDigit Shipping the HDPro 8 bay RAID Tower

With capacities from 2.0TB up to 8.0TB, the HDPro is a high
performance storage solution at under $2 per gigabyte including host
interface card and all the accessories. The HDPro is deisnged for those
who need large mounts of protected storage for  large media files,
database, photos, images. The  HDPro can be configured as RAID 0,
1, 5, or 6 and the package is warranted for 3 years by CalDigit Inc.

start at US$3999 for a 2TB system which includes a CalDigit Controller

Each HDPro sytem holds  up to 8 drive modules in a rack mount
enclosure or tower. The swappable functionality of the HDPro allows
users to upgrade the drive capacity as needed. There is no capacity
limitation to any single chassis. The CalDigit HDPro features SATA
3Gb/s and up to 16MB cache drives for the speed to meet the demands of
the most up-to-date video & content editing software. Each 7200-RPM
SATA hard drive connects to a dedicated SATA channel to eliminate
bottlenecks and maximize the 3Gb/s native SATA connection. With up to
20Gb interface to the host, the HDPro offers 2.5 times faster bandwidth
of 4Gb fibre-channel. As you add drives, HDPro scales in both capacity
and performance up to 400MB/s PEAK in RAID 5.

When configured in RAID 6 mode, fault tolerance is maintained by
the  RAID engine, ensuring that the parity information for any
given block of data is placed on TWO drives separate from those used to
store the data itself. Such double protection is to protect your
valuable data even if two drives fail.

The CalDigit HDPro is designed for nonstop operation, with
uninterrupted access to your critical data. All components are modular
in design & can be replaced quickly with a minimum amount of
downtime and give you protection and replacement options to continue to
work without losing data or interrupting your project.

The HDPro will be featured at the CalDigit’s booth # 7.129 at IBC in
Amsterdam in September 7-11th of 2007. CalDigit will also be the
exclusive storage provider for Matrox at their booth # 7.228 at the IBC
show and CalDigit products will also be in several other locations at
the show. More information, including demo video files, can be on the website.

RE:Vision Effects releases DE:Noise 1.0

handles spurious frame-to-frame defects ranging from fine digital and
electronic noise to blotchy spots (e.g. dirt on the film). DE:Noise
combines proprietary motion estimation (optical flow) techniques with
feature-sensitive, edge-preserving spatial filtering methods to reduce
the visual impact of various problems such as: noisy video (that can
happen with low-light capture), excessive film grain, CG renders
affected by ray-tracing sampling artifacts, fingerprints and dust
captured during film scan/transfer and printing, snow, drop-outs and
many other defects.

Features of DE:Noise:

  • Pre-processing contrast controls to help enhance the noise for
    easier elimination.
  • Smart spatial filtering controls that allow for the spatial
    smoothing of noise without smoothing over important features in the
    image sequence.
  • 8 different temporal filtering methods that uses motion
    estimation (via optical flow) to correlate images over time in order to
    reduce noise and other artifacts.
  • Post-processing to help punch up the result or to undo the
    preprocessing contrast enhancement.
  • Post sharpening option for when the denoising process makes the
    result softer than desired.
  • 8 bits per channel (bpc) support within Premiere Pro, up to 16bpc
    support in Autodesk Combustion and Eyeon Fusion, and unclamped floating
    point support in After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro and Apple Motion.

DE:Noise is available as an After Effects-compatible plug-in for
Adobe After Effects 5 and up, Adobe Premiere Pro 2 and up, Autodesk
Combustion 3 and up and eyeon Digital Fusion/DFX+ 4.04e and eyeon
Fusion/Vision 5 and up. DE:Noise is also available as an FxPlug plug-in
for Final Cut Pro 6 and up, or Motion 3 and up.

Full versions are priced at US$149.95 but there is an introductory
price of US$99 running until September 30, 2007. Render only licenses
cost US$29.99. There is bundle pricing if you’re interested in several
of the RE:Vision Effects’ products.

DE:Noise and the rest of RE:Vision Effects product line will be on
display at SIGGRAPH, booth 321, August 7 through 9, 2007 in San Diego.

GridIron ships Nucleo Pro 2

GridIron Software has announced the availability of Nucleo Pro 2, an upgrade to the productivity enhancement tool that optimizes the workflow for visual effects artists using Adobe After Effects. With workflow enhancements like Spec Preview, Spec Render, Commit to Disk, and Background Render, Nucleo Pro allows creative professional users to harness the full power of their multi-processor or multi-core computer.

With Nucleo Pro 2, motion graphics artists can manage After Effects and 3D renders from one convenient spot. Simply drag projects for any of the supported applications into the Background Render Queue. Then specify the appropriate render settings and allow Nucleo Pro to initiate and manage the render in the background. Support is available for most popular 3D rendering applications, including: Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Maxon Cinema 4D, Newtek LightWave, Softimage XSI, and Apple Shake.

After Effects allows compositions in a timeline to be represented by pre-rendered frames to improve preview performance. This is known as proxying. Nucleo Pro 2’s Pre-Composition Proxy feature makes proxying extremely simple by allowing the addition of a proxy with a single keystroke. If a proxied composition is changed, Nucleo Pro 2 re-renders only the modified frames in the background, then updates the composition’s proxy automatically. After Effects users now have an easy way to proxy without ever having to worry about a proxy getting out of date, or ever having to manually render and import the proxy frames.

Nucleo Pro 2 (US$395) supports all versions of Adobe After Effects version 7.0 and the new After Effects CS3 Professional on both Windows and Mac OS X. Nucleo Pro 1 customers may upgrade to Nucleo Pro 2 for US$99. Nucleo customers may upgrade to Nucleo Pro 2 for US$350.

Matrox RT.X2 3.0 Now Shipping

Matrox Video Products Group has announced
that software release 3.0 for the Matrox RT.X2
realtime editing platform is now available. The Matrox RT.X2 3.0
release provides support for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium
and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 software as well as support for additional
HD and SD cameras and editing resolutions including the Panasonic P2
MXF 720p format.

New features in the Matrox RT.X2 3.0 release include:

  • Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium support
  • Native editing of Panasonic P2 MXF 720p and SD files
  • Panasonic VariCam 720p support
  • New progressive SD editing resolutions
  • Sony HDV 1080p support (HVR-V1 cameras)
  • Canon 24f and 30f mode support
  • Realtime color correction using RGB curves
  • Realtime Adobe garbage masks
  • Realtime sphere effect
  • Realtime timecode filter

Key features of Matrox RT.X2

  • Realtime, mixed-format, multi-layer workflows that combine HD and
    SD material from analog and digital sources
  • Realtime Matrox Flex CPU effects – color correction, speed
    changes, chroma/luma keying and many more
  • Realtime and accelerated Matrox Flex GPU effects – 2D/3D DVE,
    blur/glow/soft focus, shine and many more
  • Extensive camera support including many new models from Canon,
    JVC, Panasonic, and Sony
  • Native HDV 1080i, HDV 1080p, HDV 720p (JVC ProHD), Panasonic P2
    MXF 720p, and MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame HD editing
  • Native DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, Panasonic P2 MXF SD, and MPEG-2 4:2:2
    I-frame SD editing
  • Realtime playback of 32-bit MPEG-2 I-frame AVI files with alpha
    in HD and SD
  • Realtime mixed-format multi-cam
  • Realtime high-quality hardware downscaling for SD output from an
    HD timeline
  • Accelerated export to DVD, multimedia formats including Flash
    Video, and Adobe Clip Notes
  • WYSIWYG for Adobe After Effects, Bridge, and Photoshop, Autodesk
    Combustion and 3ds Max, eyeon Fusion, NewTek LightWave 3D, and Windows
    Media Player with dynamic Alt+Tab switching
  • Composite, Y/C, HD/SD analog component input and output
  • Full-resolution HD monitoring on an inexpensive flat panel
    display via independent DVI output

Priced at US$1,495 US in North America (Euro,250, UK Pound 830) plus
applicable local taxes, the Matrox RT.X2 hardware is available from
authorized dealers worldwide. The Matrox RT.X2 3.0 software release is
available for download from the Matrox website free of charge to all
registered Matrox RT.X2 users. Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production
Premium or Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 software is required in order to use
the RT.X2 3.0 release.

Adobe After Effects: Radio Detection and Ranging

Chapter: Visual and Creative Effects

Topic: Simulation

In this video tutorial, Jerzy Drozda Jr (aka Maltaannon) demonstrates how to create a radar that really works! You’ll draw the radar, animate the target over it, and watch how the radar detects the object by itself, marks it on the grid and even makes a beeping sound. This tutorial is no different from the others. It’s not really about creating a certain effect. Oh no. It’s about solving common and uncommon problems, and about finding solutions to situations that might occur in the future. All to help you work more efficiently by saving huge amounts of time. It’s not about the final visual result, but the way to get there. This is the link for the Project Files.


Adobe After Effects: Creating a Carpet of Clouds with Trapcode Particular

Chapter: Visual and Creative Effects

Topic: Simulating Nature

A lot of people ask me how I did the first shot of the film Polar (an opening trailer for the French film festival “”Polar dans la ville””) and I must say it is quite easy with Trapcode Particular.


Trapcode Particular: Creating a Carpet of Clouds with Trapcode Particular

Chapter: Visual and Creative Effects

Topic: Simulating Nature

A lot of people ask me how I did the first shot of the film Polar (an opening trailer for the French film festival “”Polar dans la ville””) and I must say it is quite easy with Trapcode Particular.


NewTek Ships TriCaster STUDIO

NewTek, Inc. has announced the shipment of TriCaster STUDIO,
a turnkey portable, live production and virtual set system which
provides a whole new level of capability to video and live event
producers. The combination of portability and ease of set-up with the
extensive live production capabilities of TriCaster STUDIO allows video
producers to broadcast and web stream events and content at levels
previously considered prohibitive.

TriCaster STUDIO provides all of the capabilities of a live remote
production truck including: component video, balanced audio, 6 video
inputs and advanced switching features, live virtual sets, multiple
upstream effects, dual virtual VCR’s and more in a 16lb, low impact
footprint. TriCaster STUDIO makes it possible to cover live events and
broadcast or stream from locations where the use of remote truck
facilities are not feasible.

The proprietary virtual set system in TriCaster STUDIO, LiveSet,
allows separate virtual sets to be assigned independently to all 6
camera inputs and the dual integrated VCR’s. In addition, each input
has an independent LiveMatte module eliminating the need for expensive
hardware for each source to be connected to the system. Each virtual
set supports virtual cameras with multiple angles and zoom levels with
support for secondary video sources such as reflections, refractions
and bump maps.

TriCaster STUDIO in NTSC is available in North America for US$9,995.
TriCaster STUDIO is available in dual standard internationally for

Apple Knowledge Base Articles July 29

Final Cut Pro 6.0.1: H.264 playback in
Viewer results in “General Error”

In Final Cut Pro 6.0.1, if you attempt to load an H.264 clip into
the Viewer, the clip might not be shown and a “General Error” message
may appear. Download and install QuickTime 7.2 or later. If your Final
Cut Pro system is connected to the Internet, you can update QuickTime
by choosing Software Update from the Apple menu.

Final Cut Pro 6: Rendered items may require
re-rendering after opening project

In some cases, rendered items may become unrendered after quitting
and then re-opening a project in Final Cut Pro 6. In these cases, the
render bar will indicate that the items are rendered, but if you
attempt to play the video, you will see “Unrendered” in the Canvas.

This can happen if you duplicate a sequence with rendered items,
then quit, then re-open Final Cut Pro. The duplicated sequence will
remain rendered, but the original sequence may require re-rendering. If
you are creating the duplicate sequence as a safety point from which to
make further changes, you can avoid this issue to some practical extent
by working with the duplicated sequence, not the original.

If you’re creating the duplicate sequence as a branching point from
which to make variations, it may be necessary to re-render the original
sequence. After the original sequence has been been re-rendered, it
will stay rendered after you quit Final Cut Pro and re-open the project.

Xsan: Don’t copy multimedia files between
Xsan volumes with cvcp command

The Xsan command line tool cvcp does not copy file’s extended
attributes. Since some multimedia applications rely on media file’s
extended attributes for proper functionality, you should not use cvcp
to transfer media files between Xsan volumes.

Copy media files in one of these ways:

  • Use the Finder (drag and drop).
  • Use the command line command cp (run man cp to learn more).