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Product Reviews
Lightworks from Editshare By David Hague Over the last few years, we have been literally bombarded with video editing packages (NLEs) from all sides. The stalwarts that have been around seemingly for ever such as Adobe's Premiere Pro, Grass Valley EDIUS, AVID products, Final Cut from Apple and Vegas Pro are in that mix and classified as "pro" products, while offerings from Corel, Pinnacle, MAGIX and others have been more aimed at the consumer market. Among all of these, a program that has somewhat been bypassed is Lightworks - now up to version 14 and in its 25th year! ...Read More »
MAXON'S NEWEST By Ko Maruyama Once you learn a piece of 3D software, it?s hard to switch into another piece of software. The language of good 3D design and animation doesn?t change, but the interface and toolset does change when you switch between software packages. However, switching between something your comfortable with and CINEMA4D is even easier now. So making the transition between what you?re using now and R16 doesn?t have to be an On/Off operation. ...Read More »
Pinnacle Studio 18 By Ko Maruyama Pinnacle has been around for a long time, and, as the version number implies, Pinnacle Studio has undergone several changes since it was first launched. Pinnacle Studio 18 is a robust consumer editoral system for anyone who is interested in getting into video editing. Moreover, it contains other tools to help create and publish your editorial content. ...Read More »
Vectoraster by LostMinds By Ko Maruyama Vectorizer for the Mac (and iOS) allows you to create fantastic shape based translations of raster artwork or photography with just a few clicks. The great part about this new software is that it is really easy to use. Like any good design software, it?s full of options that will allow you to create unique pieces, even when you?re starting from presets. ...Read More »
Motion Composer By Ko Maruyama MotionComposer is a new way to create and deliver HTML5 or Flash animation. Designed by French company Aquafadas, the software is available in both Mac and PC versions to allow anyone the ability to start animating right away. Although Adobe Flash animations have recently been the subject of scrutiny, there are many advantages to using HTML5. With MotionComposer, you can easily make your content much more engaging. Adobe's Flash content is a very rich experience. There is a wide range of interactive animations that you can create using animation tools that develop for Flash player. However, Flash does require Adobe's Flash player in order to let your audience experience that content. ENTER: HTML5. ...Read More »
iStopMotion for iPad By Ko Maruyama Last year, I wrote about the fun application called iStopMotion by Boinx.com. In returning to iStopMotion on iPad, I'm glad to see that the app has gone through many changes and upgrades. Most recently, Boinx has announced the ability to export up to 200 frames in an animated GIF! It's not only a fun application to have as an animator, but it's a teaching opportunity too. When I teach older animation students, they usually understand the importance of timing and number of frames per second. At home with my kids, iStopMotion for iPad is a fun way to craft stories and express creativity. For both older students and young kids, iStopMotion is an accessible way to start making stop motion animations right away. ...Read More »
Monsters run Rampant By Ko Maruyama Rampant Design Tools have created a series of images for post production FX in the past. Their newest offering is just in time for the Halloween holiday. MonsterFX Undead provides a series of images that you can use in post for video or still photography. ...Read More »
Sorenson Squeeze 9 By David Hague For as long as I have been shooting and editing video, there has been a version of Sorenson Squeeze available. Quite simply, Squeeze has always been the premiere transcoding utility used by professionals. It is simple to use, effective, fast and covers almost every known codec and format type available. Squeeze 9 is the latest version of this venerable product, and while certainly not an inexpensive package, with pricing ranging from USD$799 to an eye watering $1999 for the server version, if you are a professional in the video game, it is an almost indispensable item to have in your toolbox. ...Read More »
Using Prodrenalin To Save Your Video! By David Hague If you are the proud owner of a GoPro (or similar such as the Sony Action Cam or the Kaiser Baas Sports Cam) you'll be all too familiar with a few problems. Not the least of these is the sheer amount of camera shake followed by distorted footage due to the 'rolling shutter' effect of these cameras. Also in the equation is fish eye distortion, and who hasn't missed that the camera wasn't exactly level when shooting? Or you need to flip video 180 degrees as the camera could only be mounted upside down. This is where ProDad Prodrenalin comes in. ...Read More »
Bluff Titler By David Hague Creating titles is something of an art and why there is a separate team usually making them. If you look at the credits of a TV show or film, you'll quite often see a completely different company credited for titles. Yes, there are businesses that JUST make titles and opening/closing sequences. Most video editing packages can do titles do some degree or other. Some are exceptionally good, and some are nauseatingly bad. Thankfully Bluff Titler exists to fill in the gaps. ...Read More »
Flame Painter 2.0 By David Hague The premise of Flame Painter is that brushes simulate streaks of colored light - flames - and using this method, some amazing images can be created from scratch, or existing photos and images can be over painted. Version 2.0 extends the capability of Flame Painter in a large number of areas, some minor, but others notable indeed. ...Read More »
Artbeats Starfields 2 HD By Stephen Schleicher If you are going to do any kind of sci-fi related project, chances are you are going to have at least one shot that shows off the vastness of space. For those on a budget, spending the time rendering a high resolution space scene may be out of reach. Fortunately, Artbeats returns to outer space with a whole new collection of clips that you can use. ...Read More »
Motion Composer By Ko Maruyama MotionComposer is a new way to create and deliver HTML5 or Flash animation. Designed by French company Aquafadas, the software is available in both Mac and PC versions to allow anyone the ability to start animating right away. Although Adobe Flash animations have recently been the subject of scrutiny, there are many advantages to using HTML5. With MotionComposer, you can easily make your content much more engaging. ...Read More »
Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS6 By Ko Maruyama A new year; a new chance to expand your skillset. This weekend, I looked at "Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Imaging Professionals". It's a long title, and there are three differently treated fonts in the title treatment - don't let that dissuade you from peeking inside. This is Photoshop we're talking about. You've heard about it. You've purchased the latest version. And now, you want to jump in and figure out how to work it like a pro. Richard Harrington has just the book for y ...Read More »
AFTER EFFECTS APPRENTICE By Ko Maruyama Trish and Chris Meyer have been writing books for Adobe After Effects users for several years. Their After Effects Apprentice book is currently in its third edition, which covers Adobe's current version of After Effects, CS6. This also offers lessons for those who may be using earlier versions of the software. The book is not only for the "Aspiring" motion graphics artist, but for anyone who wants to improve their all-around skills in the popular animation software. ...Read More »
MAXON's CINEMA 4D R14 By Ko Maruyama In Los Angeles and New York, motion graphics animators have seen year over year dominance and adoption of MAXON's flagship software CINEMA 4D. Their newest release offers users improved feature sets and new tools to create 3D models and animation even easier than before. ...Read More »
Pogo Connect By Ko Maruyama The Pogo Connect is the first stylus that allows its user to use pressure sensitivity with a touch screen device. Previously code-named Blue Tiger, the pen promises to change the way artists interact with their portable devices. ...Read More »
Wacom's Bamboo Pocket Stylus By Ko Maruyama Today, Wacom introduced a brand new way to be creative on the go. The Bamboo Pocket Stylus is small enough to take with you everywhere, but has enough volume to feel like your professional stylus. The Bamboo Pocket Stylus fits your creativity wherever you are. ...Read More »
Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers By Ko Maruyama It may have taken only one Evening to write it, but it will take you several months to ingest all of the lessons within the pages of Martin Evening's latest, "Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers". The book is a massive 800 pages long, and filled with all kinds of instruction, tips, tricks and necessary information for photographers who are looking to really refine their images. ...Read More »
Twixtor: 30p to 24p in After Effects By Jeremiah Hall Twixtor, from Re:Vision Effects, Inc., has been around for a while. It works with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro (X and 7), Autodesk combustion, flame, Maya Composite, Avid, Foundry Nuke, Sony Vegas Pro, and several others. It changes speed, timing, and frame rates of footage (frame rate conversion is currently only available with After Effects or Combustion). Twixtor does this by warping and interpolating new frames from the original footage using RE:Vision's proprietary tracking technology to calculate every individual pixel's motion in a sequence. ...Read More »
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