July 14, 2005

The Common Desk

via: http://www.net.typepad.com and http://www.newstoday.com

Check out the odd little movie, "The Common Desk," by Belief. The other Pollinate session, Chain Reaction, is cool because they explore ideas about working in motion graphics.

Quartz Composer & Core Image Funhouse

Among the new graphics technologies in OSX/Tiger is “Quartz Composer” in the /DeveloperTools/Applications/Graphics Tools folder at the root of your hard drive. There seems to be some amazing stuff brewing that we can adjust and save as screensavers and movies. For support and inspiration, check out the Quartz Composer Programming Guide at Apple, and the Quartz Compositions forum.

Some developers have already leveraged this stuff it seems, like LiveQuartz and iMaginator.

And, via heyblog:
"By the way, the “Core Image Funhouse” also in the Applications>Graphics Tools folder is a neat example application, too. On my Powerbook, most of the Photoshop-like effects it can demo (like Gaussian blurs) are wicked fast."

July 11, 2005

NTSC-PAL conversion improved in Compressor 2

Besides slo-mo, word from Motion trickster Mark Spencer is that Compressor 2 also has improved standards conversion, for NTSC and PAL for example. Rumor has it that results are good if slow. Previously the best solution in FCP was to use the Natress StandardsConversion filter.

Perry Mitchell's AE conversion method is here.

July 8, 2005

AE with 3D Studio Max

Pierre Jasmin of RE:Vision Effects recently posted some advice on working with 3D Studio Max; here's a rewrite:

Some AE users AE has limted support of Discreet's RPF channels in 3D Studio Max renders. AE only supports 8 bits/channel extraction with the provided plug-in set, and supports only RLA (11 of the 16 RPF channels). 3DMax has a Combustion workspace export and RPF support is much better in Combustion 4 than previous versions. But there is another option if you want to stay with AE: the Max2AE plugin from Boomer Labs.

MAX2AE bridges the gap between MAX and After Effects, matching all aspects and parameters of Max cameras, lights, and objects. More from Boomer Labs: "MAX2AE also incorporates the ability to create 'helper planes' in MAX which represent your AE layer or comp. These 'helpers' provide a highly accurate way to envision the AE layer relevant to your MAX scene. These 'helpers' can be animated just like any other MAX object, then used to output keyframe data to AE layers for a perfect match! Even allowing them to be rendered from MAX for the purpose of generating track mattes for object/AE layer occlusion!"

More advice working with 3D apps can be found in Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, Volume 2, by Trish and Chris Meyer (3rd edition released in June 2005).

July 6, 2005

Adobe After Effects 6.5 Studio Techniques

Check out the new book on AE, Adobe After Effects 6.5 Studio Techniques by Mark Christiansen, the only real match for Trish and Chris Meyer's books. It even offering chapters on float and eLin. This book attempts to dispel the often unsubstantial myths about AE and visual effects. A 2004 survey found more than 250 Hollywood features had used AE, including many shots done at ILM and affiliates.

Visual effects pipelines can be demanding and break tools that seem robust, but AE holds up under strains of even IMAX production. It's not that you won't need other apps, like SynthEyes for 3D tracking, but if you're doing a mix of motion graphics and effects it makes sense to stay in AE.

Using Compressor 2 to do Slow-mo

A fledgling site, Pro App Tips, offers short tips about for the Apple Pro apps (Final Cut Pro, Motion, Livetype, Soundtrack, DVD Studio Pro & Compressor). Patrick Sheffield posted an interesting tip there on Compressor 2's optical flow technology to perform a slow-mo.

Hopefully it'll prosper and make an interesting adjunct to the Pro Apps Hub.