August 30, 2005

NASA World Wind 3D terrain mapping

Sounds like fun, but requires DirectX for Managed Code, part of the DirectX August 2005 SDK from Microsoft:

World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there. Virtually visit any place in the world. Look across the Andes, into the Grand Canyon, over the Alps, or along the African Sahara.

August 29, 2005

August 28, 2005

Realtime 3D lighting from Pixar

Lpics is a realtime relighting engine developed by people at Pixar. See the video and paper from SIGGRAPH 2005. I especially like the way shadows are drawn during pauses.

Tracker format conversion website

Here's a website that does conversion of tracking data between Discreet, Digital Fusion, Shake, AE and Illusion, with Lightwave and Commotion too be added soon: 2D Track to Track Converter

August 26, 2005

Erotic images can turn you blind

Researchers have finally found evidence for what good Catholic boys have known all along – erotic images make you go blind. The effect is temporary and lasts just a moment, but the research has added to road-safety campaigners’ calls to ban sexy billboard-advertising near busy roads, in the hope of preventing accidents.

The new study by US psychologists found that people shown erotic or gory images frequently fail to process images they see immediately afterwards. And the researchers say some personality types appear to be affected more than others by the phenomenon, known as “emotion-induced blindness”.

August 25, 2005

Language Log on the language evolution debate

On August 19, 2005, the journal Cognition posted on line a 19,000-word article by Tecumseh Fitch, Marc Hauser and Noam Chomsky, entitled "The evolution of the language faculty: Clarifications and implications" (free version here), referencing an additional 6,000-word appendix "The Minimalist Program". This is the third turn in a (so far) four-turn, three-year debate with Steve Pinker and Ray Jackendoff.

Language Log (old) gives you the overview -- and where else can you get articles on remedial edcucation for Pat Robertson or the bizarre phrasing of the Arabic in the claim of responsibility for the London bombings!

Linear color workflow stuff

The saga continues at the blog of Stu Maschwitz...

iDive: "iPhoto/Adobe Bridge for digital video"


A friend at work yesterday told me about iDive. He gave me a tour of it at lunch and I downloaded the trial and captured a few tapes.

What I was blown away by was how good it is at logging a tape based on scene detection. It will also create thumbnails (at specified intervals) or capture the video to the DV codec or an RT codec. It has keywording. And most importantly it exports FCP XML so you can very easily add clips to FCP. For 69 dollars, I think it's pretty it's sweet. It's essentially iPhoto/Adobe Bridge for digital video.

--John Skidgel

Fit to comp AE script

Question on list:
Is there a way to do Cmd-opt-F (fit to comp) in a script? People like to work at 720x540 square pixels, but need to final output D1 aspect ratio 720x486.

Lloyd Alvarez's brainchild script was a real collaborative effort, and is now detailed at There's also a new version of the script that puts in a user-definable effect (like Broadcast Colors or Broadcast Spec, but it could be any Effect).


August 16, 2005

Planar perspective tracking

Take a look at planar perspective tracking and easy compositing with shadows and highlights offered by Imagineer Systems' products. Mokey has tutorials and the other products have demos movies.

Monet is an expensive but cool solution for virtual product placement, package replacement, inserting screens and so forth.


August 15, 2005

Core Image in Avid filters and Edo compositing app

Core Image apps are gaining traction. The latest version of Edo apparently has support for playback of Quartz Compositions as clips.

Also, Noise Industries' Reactor plug-ins are based on Core Image. Factory Floor lets you make your own AVX plug-ins based on any Core Image Unit in just a few clicks. Reactor plug-ins can also be based on Quartz Compositions.

Toolfarm Filter Finder

Toolfarm has developed a "plug-in locator" to search filters by use, developer, plug-in name and keyword. So far searches, samples, tutorials, and reviews are limited, but it's a nice start on a more ambitious project we had kicked around.

Search AE books from the Net

Google Print is still in beta, and scans have been suspended, but it's still cool.

If you look up "After Effects" you get access, at least partially if they've been restricted, to several nice AE books. If you click on the cover picture of a book, you can click through the pages, click "More results from this book," or use "Search within this book."