September 30, 2006

Orphans Ponder the Future of Entertainment

Cinematech features The Complete Conversation of Hollywood Reporter's Future of Entertainment with Orphanage Co-Founders Jonathan Rothbart and Stu Maschwitz.

September 28, 2006

Video Everywhere from Jim Feeley

I was going to summarize trends in web video and sharing but Jim Feeley, a former editor of DV Magazine, wrote a great article called Video Everywhere not too long ago for PC World.

Ning Jumpcuts over Yahoo

While SONY bought Grouper for $65 million and Yahoo just bought Jumpcut -- not Motionbox (pretty) or Eyespot -- you can roll your own YouTube according to Om Malik and

Actually, Ning, funded so far by Marc Andreessen (creator of Mosaic and Netscape), lets you make your own YouTube, Flickr, and MySpace!

Com+Option+Arrow=switch tabs in Firefox

Command+Option+Arrow (Mac) navigates to the next tabs in Firefox. I really like that one, in addition to Command-clicking on a link to open a new tab, and Shift-clicking a link to open in a new window.

September 27, 2006

ffmpegX for 640x480 h.264 in updated 5G iPods

ffmpegX 0.0.9x was released, adding an "iPod H.264 w640" preset to support new high-resolution 640x480 h.264 in updated 5G iPods.

Encoding Flash Video

Flash 8 Video Encoder's settings are explained in FLV Data Rate and Bandwidth... Demysitifed" at Community MX -- and republished as Encoding Flash Video by Adobe Design Center.

Word on the Adobe street is that FlixPro handily beats Squeeze with about a 4x compression time and good quality in default 2-pass VBR settings. We can do 1-pass just fine with the Adobe Exporter!

September 19, 2006

Yur Fuhnny

hard to believe, considering Zune's wireless DRM system, from EFF:

"Microsoft's Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or "rented" from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. That's right -- the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn't even play on Microsoft's own device. Buried in footnote 4 of its press release, Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264" -- protected WMA and WMV (not to mention iTunes DRMed AAC) are conspicuously absent."

September 16, 2006

Convert FLV Flash files to movies

If a friend needs to convert Flash videos files (.flv) to QuickTime, iSquint (Mac OSX) is very easy and has some advanced controls. A companion product VisualHub expands options further, but iSquint did a great job getting 'Gangsters' by The Specials to iPod format.

On Windows, there's the freeware apps Videora Converter. swf2avi and Riva FLV Encoder. I didn't try them, but there's a ton of pay products for Windows like ones by Wildform and On2.

At some point I wanted to find out what the fps rate of an FLV and can across FLV Knife, a handy Windows tool to view or cut flvs, and inject metadata. BTW, the Video LAN player VLC (Mac/Win) seems to play anything especially the Windows version.

Track Mash

Web 2.0 developments are really hard to track, even with sites like Mashable, a blog focused exclusively on social networks like MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Multiply, hi5, Tagworld, Windows Live Spaces, Piczo and Bebo, video-sharing sites like YouTube, news sites like Digg and photo-sharing sites like Photobucket and Fotolog.

But Engadget and DV Guru are still fun.

Motionographer reviews Splice

Motionographer, the motion graphics inspiration site, gives us a short review of Splice, a website with a Creative Commons-based online sequencer and forums that allows "you to mix and match user-uploaded loops and audio files to create your own music."

Kilisky broadcasts Flash

Steve Kilisky is back with various tidbits, including news on the collision of broadcast motion graphics and Flash animation:

"Cold, Hard Flash, a web site dedicated to providing daily news about Flash being used in TV production. Lots of excellent stories and inspiration that will appeal to animators no matter what tools they use in their craft."

September 11, 2006

VJ image processing & Quartz

Create Digital Motion is a webzine and community site for VJs and other producers of moving images, with articles even for those thinking of plunging into learning image processing.

They even started a blog on Apple's Quartz Composer, Quartz Composer Journal, and link to a Quartz Composer Wiki that I missed.

Illustrator Techniques

Illustrator Techniques, from the Layers Magazine folks, is a website and newsletter with tutorials, tips and user forums to help you master Illustrator.

Flash Filter Lab

FlashFilterLab extends the possibilities of Flash by presenting a new environment to enable Flash developers to build, tune, share and reuse Flash filter-based movies.

For beginning as well as advanced Flash users!

Deja Stu

If you missed it in January, check out Stu Maschwitz's post on something done easier in AE than in Fusion or Shake:

"I considered the creation of this shot to be a triumph of AE's flexibility, 3D capabilities (including depth-of-field), and expressions."

September 8, 2006

The Well-Tuned Piano available again

I got a chance to re-listen to La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano, a just-intonation harmonic cloud send-up (with occasional circle of wolves) of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier. The 5 CD box came out in 1988 but I sold mine in a fit in the early 90's.

You can get this rare record and others at Classical Connection, but skip dominatrix Diamanda's deathtrip -- flip the script and instead try Sussan Deihim (or Laswell's remix).

If you like this sort of thing, UbuWeb covers a big historical slice of NYC media arts.

Update: this set remains out-of-print and hard to find, though lower res copies can be found,

free AE filter 'AlphaPlugins FirTree'

Maxim Chernousov, a developer of filters for Photoshop and After Effects (mostly through Panopticum), is offering a new free plug-in AlphaPlugins FirTree. I haven't tried it yet but apparently it allows you to create animated fir tree branches (bulb-free).

Ah! Sorry, Windows only.

PPro 3-Way Color Corrector comes into AE

Missing the pretty UI color wheels, but I hadn't done this -- Jonas at General Specialist explains, and gives you a preset (Windows only).

September 5, 2006

new AE filter: FreeFrame Host

Alex May just released a new After Effects plugin that allows AE to load the 300+ available FreeFrame video effects. It's only available for Windows at the moment and supports AE 6.5+.

You can find out more about it at

September 4, 2006

Particpate in Your Own Manipulation (by the Artists You Love)

If you missed EBN (EMERGENCY BROADCAST NETWORK), which shares a cofounder with the AE team, you can connect through Greg Decampo and Josh Pearson. Decampo's opening QT clip starts with the part just before the nightmare thought control tape from Brainstorm.

Pearson offers several EBN videos in iPod format; they both have my favorite (I got the album) "Electronic Behavior Control System."

Who says YouTube videos are terrible? If you think it (say, Len Lye or Spike Kee's new doc on Katrina) it's probably there.