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Adobe After Effects: Set Extensions

Chapter: Paint, Draw and Design

Topic: Matte Painting

In this video tutorial, Creative Cow leader Andrew Kramer demonstrates how to extend a virtual set with custom Matte Painting. He also shows how to link several Motion Trackers into one null object.


Adobe After Effects: Adobe After Effects: Understanding Memory Usage

Chapter: Compositing Tools and Techniques

Topic: Interface

Adobe After Effects is a very complex program that needs a fair amount of memory (RAM) if you a going to perform complex compositions. Trying to preview and render your work can become very time consuming on large compositions and you should have a understanding of what is going on in that complex comp. Memory requirements for viewing and rendering increase with the resolution of the composition frame, the memory requirement of the most memory-intensive layer in the composition, and the size of the project file.


Adobe Encore DVD: Adobe Encore and Previewing your Project

Chapter: DVD Authoring

Topic: DVD Production Workflow

One of the great many features of Adobe encore is your ability to preview your DVD before you publish.


Creating Video content for the iPhone

Chapter: Distribution

Topic: Encoding for iPod, iPhone and Apple TV

No matter which method you use to deliver video content to the iPhone there are some basic caveats you need to be aware of. The most important is to remember that the iPhone is the best iPod. If the video will play back in iPod mode then the video can be delivered to the iPhone. This is due largely to the way in which Apple has cleverly allowed their core applications on the iPhone to communicate freely back and for with each other.


Time running out for After Effects CS3 Free Upgrades

Thanks to Toolfarm
for the reminder that those people who qualified for a free upgrade to
After Effects CS3 because they purchased After Effects 7 in the period
between CS3’s announcement and shipping time, must claim the upgrade by
September 12.

You’ll need to provide dated proof of purchase and serial number for
Adobe After Effects 7.0 Professional. Contact Adobe Customer Service at
1-800-833-6687 and select option #1 by September 12, 2007 to request
your upgrade. Shipping charges will apply.

Matrox Announces release 3.0 for Matrox Axio systems

Matrox Video Products Group has announced that software release 3.0
for the Matrox
Axio editing systems will add support for realtime 10-bit
uncompressed HD editing to Axio LE.  In addition, the Matrox Axio
3.0 release will support the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium
and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 software (only), additional HD and SD
cameras and editing resolutions, and new realtime effects. 

New features in the Matrox Axio 3.0 release include:

  • Realtime 10-bit uncompressed HD editing support on Axio LE;
  • Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium support;
  • New progressive SD editing resolutions – 486p@29.97 fps and
    576p@25 fps;
  • Sony HDV 1080p support (HVR-V1 cameras);
  • Canon 24f and 30f mode support;
  • Sony XDCAM HD 1080p@29.97 fps and XDCAM HD export support;
  • Realtime color correction using RGB curves;
  • Realtime Adobe garbage masks;
  • Realtime sphere effect; and
  • Realtime time code filter.

The Matrox Axio 3.0 release will be available for download from the
Matrox website free of charge to all registered Matrox Axio users in
late September 2007. It will support all three platforms in the Axio
family – Axio LE, Axio HD, and Axio SD.  Current Axio customers
must obtain an upgrade to the new Adobe software from Adobe in order to
use the Axio 3.0 release.

The new features of Matrox Axio will be demonstrated at IBC 2007 on
stand 7.228.

CineForm Intermediate HD and 2K QuickTime Codecs Ship for Intel-Based Macs

CineForm, Inc. has announced that QuickTime versions of its HD and 2K CineForm
codecs are shipping in production for Intel-based
Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.4 or later. CineForm QuickTime
movie files are now compatible on both Windows and Mac OS X computers.
CineForm QuickTime files eliminate the need for massively large DPX
files as a common exchange format between platforms, thus enabling the
industry’s first practical cross-platform and cross-application
post-production workflow.

Mac OS X software applications supported with the first production
release include Adobe’s CS3 Production Premium, Apple’s Final Cut Pro,
Motion, and QuickTime Player, Media 100, and Pomfort Silverstack.
CineForm is also offering a free decoder for Intel-based Macs called
Neo Player Mac.

CineForm’s QuickTime codec supports digital workflows from standard
definition all the way to 2048×2048, including the 12-bit CineForm 444
format suitable for film scanning, animation, and high-end compositing.
CineForm’s free Neo Player for Mac allows all users of Intel-based Macs
to play CineForm QuickTime files within most Mac video applications,
including Adobe CS3, Apple Final Cut Pro, and QuickTime player,
regardless of whether the files were created on Windows or Mac.

NEO HD/2K and Prospect HD/2K, which include the CineForm QuickTime
codec for Mac OS X, are available for immediate purchase with a
starting price of US$599. Certain free upgrades and special pricing is
available to existing CineForm customers. Neo Player for Mac is
available as a free download from CineForm’s website. Visit CineForm’s
website for more details. Purchases may be made from
CineForm’s website or from CineForm’s network of resellers. The codecs
for Mac are installed with the free NEO

Fnord Software ships ProEXR plug-ins for Photoshop and After Effects

Fnord Software has
shipped ProEXR, a set
of 6 plug-ins to provide complete support for the
OpenEXR file format in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects.  Both
Adobe applications include basic support for OpenEXR, but ProEXR
provides access to important features of the format including multiple
image layers, preservation of color space information, and choice
between all compression options available in the latest OpenEXR
libraries. The ProEXR Photoshop plug-in sells for US$95 while the After
Effects plug-ins are free and open source.

With ProEXR, artists working in Photoshop CS3 Extended can work with
layered EXR files and save projects as EXR without collapsing
layers.  This one file can then be opened in digital compositing
applications such as After Effects, Shake, Nuke, and Fusion.  In
many cases, OpenEXR is the only layered format the application supports.

In After Effects, the 5 free plug-ins included with ProEXR take care
everything from OpenEXR file I/O, to extraction of channels into a
composition, to automated project set-up from a layered file. 
They are open source to ensure that production facilities have
unlimited ability to integrate After Effects with their OpenEXR-based

Other features unique to ProEXR include the retention of OpenEXR
space information, support for both 32-bit and 16-bit floating point
pixels, and full control over alpha channel processing in Photoshop.

ProEXR for Photoshop is available for Mac OS X and Windows as a
trial version which can
be permanently unlocked by purchasing a serial
number.  The included After Effects plug-ins are free and do not
require a serial number.  All Mac plug-ins have been compiled as
Universal Binary to take advantage of the Intel processors found in new
Apple hardware.

Apple Final Cut Pro: Cut, Copy and Paste (Pt 2)

Chapter: Editing

Topic: Basic Skills

By default, if you do a Paste or Paste Insert, the clipboard contents will be pasted to exactly the same tracks, so for example a clip originally on V4 will paste to V4. It’s the same deal when cutting or copying multiple clips to the clipboard. Most of the time that’s just what you want but there are also times where it would be handy to be able to target which track(s) the clip(s) get pasted to. The good news: It’s possible. The bad news: It can be confusing.


Your Own Business, Part 1: Are You Ready?

Chapter: Business

Topic: Management Issues

This is Part 1 of a 4 Part series on Starting and Running your own business in the creative industry. We start out this week by asking, Are You Ready? Are you really ready to step out on your own and become your own boss? Before you say yes, consider these thoughts.