September 23, 2010

Zaxwerks on CS5 updates

Zax Dow shared some background and a tentative release schedule of Zaxwerks plug-ins for CS5 in Where’s The Danged CS5 Software? on the Zaxwerks blog. Their filters can have feature-heavy custom interfaces that take you well beyond the 3D features built into After Effects. Here's some excerpts:

"The biggest problem with our CS5 conversion has been that it caught us while we were already in the middle of adding features. In order to add the new features and take Invigorator / ProAnimator to the next level we also had to rewrite the entire user interface. 4-view windows, movable panels, built-in vector drawing, better text handling, how the whole program flows and works as a unit, none of these could have been done with the old way the program was written, so we had to rewrite.

We were well into the middle of this project when Adobe let us know there would be no support for 32 bit plug-ins in CS5. That was a bombshell. [AEP: additional background] We had to convert to 64 bit, but you can’t rewrite your code, add new features and do a conversion all at the same time. There wasn’t anything we could do except to finish the new features before we could start the conversion. This means we’ve been sitting on new software with new features for months, but couldn’t release it because it’s not compatible with CS5. Talk about frustrating! [...]

So is there any good news? Fortunately there is. The Windows conversion has gone very well. There are actually two parts to the conversion, one is converting to 64 bit and the other is converting old Carbon calls on the Mac to the new Cocoa calls. Windows doesn’t have the Carbon/Cocoa issue so its conversion is nearing completion. The Mac conversion however involves thousands of changes which will still take a few more months to finish. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start releasing CS5 compatible plug-ins as they are completed. So here’s the projected release sequence. As usual I need to give you a disclaimer that plans can change and no matter how likely it seems that things are on track schedules can shift in dramatic ways, but with that in mind here’s what we project as our likely release schedule."

Read the rest at Zaxwerks...

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