June 28, 2006

The Philter's Video Site Comparison Chart

from DV Guru:

"Google Video, YouTube, Sharkle? With everyone jumping on to the video-hosting bandwagon one might need a little help in deciphering which service(s) to use. Or maybe you just want to find more places to share your masterpiece. Whatever the reason, Phil Harvey from Light Reading has put together a quick and dirty cheat sheet laying out the basic details of each site."

June 27, 2006

Slow Windows XP emulation

via the AE-List:

Mac OS X Hints has a submission on how to fix slowness of Parallels Desktop running Windows XP on a MacBook. EvidentlyVM paging occurs even with 2GB of RAM because of caching and flushing memory routines. The reader developed a fix called PD Tweaker, a tiny plugin for Unsanity's Application Enhancer that loads only in Parallels Desktop.

June 23, 2006

12 Tips for Photoshop Text

John Nack from Adobe posted 12 Tips for Photoshop Text. It's a good way to get up to speed if you've become complacent in this area.

Premiere and FCP should steal from Liquid

I saw an Avid Liquid demo and was impressed. It's pretty cool, but with an unattractive UI and perhaps some bugs that the demo guy tried to hide. It's an all-in-one deal developed by Fast then Pinnacle and recently Avid, so it doesn't understand Avid metadata or have an XML export function to get to other systems, like Final Cut's connect to Discreet finishing systems. But they can export a QuickTime alias from the regular Avid products and play it as regular media.

These are my favorite aspects of Liquid mostly not found in Premiere or Final Cut (or Avid):

1. The feature I liked the most was background rendering, which is really impressive -- and scaleable with hardware support. What's cool is that even complex processes previewed fine quarter screen even before finishing in the background. And you have control over how to delete old render files from the cache. You don't have to render nested sequences!

Hyperthreading allows you to switch to text or e-mail to check on client reviews while playback continues. I think all NLEs should have backround rendering, and hope After Effects will in order to stay abreast of the Combustion and Motion rendering model.

2. Liquid uses native codecs of a file without rendering or conforming, unless there's scaling or other things.

3. In Liquid you can change project properties like frame size anytime, and assign rendering to any appropriate codec.

4. You can add transitions to a selection of multiple clips.

5. View keyboard shortcut layouts in context with a virtual keyboard.

6. Correct or effect a source file, so further instances have the same correction.

7. Color correct by direct manipulation of vectorscope or histogram.

8. Actual 3D effects, like an explosion (think AE Shatter) that can be manipulated in the program monitor. I like the that crop, which includes a nice rounded corner feature, seems to be in the Motion area of Effect controls. Effects can be turn on or off via a timeline context menu.

9. You can have multiple clip bins, and have them open at the same time. When PPro has a patch that adds that feature, I'd be happy to use it.

10. Bins of various types can be shared apart from the project. Effect aliases can be in any bin.

11. There a Liquid desktop, like a master application shell window can hold open bins and individaul clips. Any part of the Liquid desktop can serve as a storyboard space and clips can be edited and previewed individually or as a sequence apart from any timeline.

12. There's a simple backup project function.

13. There's a dynamic timewarp with bezier controls.

14. Audio tracks can be stereo or disbanded quickly to mono in a context menu.

15. In DVD mode both menu and timeline plays out to NTSC (tho that might not work with just Firewire out). This is what I hope for in the next version of Encore.

June 21, 2006

African music blog and music blog aggregator

Benn loxo du taccu, that's Wolof for "one hand can't clap" is Matt Yanchyshyn's 'African music for the masses.' See also Naijajams, a musicblog from a group of "like-minded Nigerians who share a common interest in Nigerian music," SoundRoots World Music & mp3 Blog, and free fair trade world music from Calabash Music.

You can find updates of music blogs at The Hype Machine, an audio blog aggregator that lets users sample the latest from "the finest mp3 music blogs."

Update: here's consolation for the end of the Benn loxo du taccu.

Death by DMCA

by Fred von Lohmann and Wendy Seltzer

"A flood of legislation released by the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act threatens to drown whole classes of consumer electronics"

Video Comments, a WordPress Plugin

via Frank Capria, a really interesting beginning to all sorts of uses:

Video Comments allows you to post video in your blog and allows comments to be made on it in-time. A popup window displays the video and commenting area; as a video is viewed the comments associated with a current video time will be displayed, viewers can also see all comments and jump to a specific point in time.

June 20, 2006

Shake $499, end of life or rebirth?

Apple announced version of 4.1 of Shake, reducing the price from $2999 to $499. It runs on both Intel- and PowerPC-Based Macs.

Maintenance customers have been told that "Apple will no longer be selling maintenance for Shake and no further software updates are planned as we begin work on the next generation of Shake compositing software."

Rumor patrol:
- ...probably means, in part, they can get rid of the legal entanglements of having to release it for Linux.
- Tremor vs. Inferno
- Nowadays it's more about pipeline integration, collaboration, real-time 2D/3D, scalability, asset management, that kind of stuff. Shake isn't any closer to being a real-time app than AE, and with their long view of the hardware future, Apple must have seen a prime moment for a revamp. They are obviously in a much better position than smaller companies, even Autodesk, to knock 80% off their price and sit out the market for a couple of years.
- new Shake will appear in 2008.

June 16, 2006

The iPod's Incredible Journey

The iPod's Incredible Journey, excerpts:

Although it is one of America's most prestigious brands, nearly all Apple computers and iPods are made abroad, predominantly in China. As you might expect, the workers who assemble them see little of the profit...

"The job here is so-so," Zang Lan says. "We have to work too hard and I am always tired. It's like being in the army. They make us stand still for hours. If we move, we are punished by being made to stand still for longer. The boys are made to do push-ups."

"Apple are only one of thousands of companies manufacturing their products in the same places and in the same conditions," he said. "It's the nature of big business today to exploit any opportunity that comes their way."

Sketchup and Blender free 3D Mac combo

from DV Guru and HardMac...
Now that SketchUp is on the Mac...design in Sketchup, finish in Blender.

Trying to warm up to Motion

Motion Smarts is a relatively new website on Apple's Motion software; see the cool text ghosting effect using particles. Note to self: look also at ProAppTips and Apple Motion Info.

HD For Indies news

check out recent HD For Indies news, with bits and links on hi-end Digital Cinematography, SATA, HDMI, Windows on an Apple MacBook, baseline for looks, Blu-ray, and more...

AE Freemart brand reappears

A new AE Freemart rose again. I'm not sure, but seems like an AE-specific subsite to Toolfarm so other tool users won't get confused.

Comments or questions on the After Effects ACE program?

Kilisky is open to comments or questions on the After Effects ACE program. ACE stands for Adobe Certified Expert.

June 13, 2006

They want you to transfer YouTube videos to DVD

What to tell friends that want you to transfer YouTube videos to DVD: "try it."

Use the Firefox browser and install the Firefox extension "VideoDownloader." You can find cool FF extensions in Firefox in Tools>Extensions>Get More Extensions.

Then load the YouTube movie click on the VideoDownloader icon and right click to save link as, but rename the link to xxx.flv (it's really Flash). If you know how the play Flash movies, great; others need something like Wimpy Standalone FLV Player. Then use your laptop's video out to play back on a TV.

Otherwise download iSquint/Mac and convert the Flash file to QuickTime. You can use your laptop's video out to play back on a TV. If you want a DVD, get iSquint's $23 sibling VisualHub, which lets you easily convert to many formats. An alternative would be Roxio Popcorn, which also shrinks oversized DVDs down to single layer size. Then use iDVD or another app to finish the job.

June 7, 2006

Visual Hub video converter

Visual Hub, from the maker of iSquint the iPod video conversion app for Mac OS X, is a one stop shop for all kinds of digital video conversions -- even Flash and PSP.

June 6, 2006

Surprising details in DRM/DVD War Against Consumers

mentioned by Philip Hodgetts at the SF Cutters.org meeting, and via DefectiveByDesign.org:

excerpt from Business Week's "The DVD War Against Consumers":

"The real battle isn't between Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) and their chosen formats, it's between the manufacturers and us -- the consumers, the ones who ultimately pay for it all. And the battle is over Digital Rights Management (DRM), because in addition to increased storage, these new disks are packed full of copy-protection functions, some of which impair our ability to use the content we pay for, the way we like and are legally entitled to."

Prolost knows when to log ’em

Stu expounds on colorspace workflows, and links to good FXGuide series on HDR:

"The key to effective image manipulation is to use the correct color space for the particular thing you're doing, and that might mean bouncing back and forth between lin, log and vid within one project, regardless of where your source material came from or what format you're outputting to."

2 more AE-related blogs

from the AE list...

General Specialist - Tinkering, Tips & Tricks
Basics of Digital Video, HDR in Photshop and After Effects and sundry items...

Alan Shisko: Motion Graphics 'n Such
insights and overviews of personal and work projects...

June 3, 2006

HDV +Premiere Pro 2

Charlie White of Digital Media Net got hands on with HDV, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, and an OpenHD spec Dell workstation, and Mike at HD for Indies has comments.

I be surprised if plain Premiere was robust enough without Cineform, or much better than FCP. A word to the unwary: Mr. White announced the death of the Mac often enough that his opinions may be warped by a platform distortion field or other publishing pressures. Renders of short sequences might not reveal some difficulties.

HD for Indies also notes "First-hand HDV" which covers a bit of history about the HDV and gets into what's it like to shoot with HDV camcorders.