IBC – Day 1 – Adobe Production Premium CS4

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 After my original writeup from the tradeshow, Creative Cow was told to pull their writeup by Adobe.  I then took mine down.  Creative Cow now has theirs back up, so, I guess I’ll repost my take on CS4.

CS4 is going to be cool.  At first, as I watched the demo, I wasn’t quite sure, but I realized they were building up to the real summit of what is going to be great in CS4.  

1) Broadened use of “Dyanamic Link” – ie, now you can move back and forth between Premiere and After Effects as well as After Effects and FLASH!!!!!

2)  AE and Flash – – this is going to be sick . . . AE layers can be pulled directly into Flash for animation (wow)

3) Speech Transcription  – – Premiere will automatically transcribe spoken works and make video libraries, as well as frames within the videos searchable according to the resultant text!

4) New Effects for AE?  A decent cartoon effect.  With a few clicks, it was actually fairly impressive.

So, there you go.  When I was at IBC, this was one of the things I made sure I attended at Adobe.  This was just a “sneak peak”.  I imagine there will be much more fun behind the new release (not to mention some of the stuff one can find on YouTube surrounding Photoshop CS4).






Greenscreen, After Effects, Creative Cow

My spare time is often spent working on multimedia : photography, video, and composite.  This past weekend was all three.

I am a major fan of Adobe’s line of products, especially Photoshop and After Effects.  The best tutorials out there on the subjects come from Video Copilot.net and Creative Cow (which has an excellent After Effects podcast).  Recently, I was watching episodes on color key and that got me into this need to experiment with green a screen I bought off ebay a while ago.  My brother and I decided to do something fun with our hands.  Make them run around a la “Thing” in the Adam’s Family.  In ensuing “hey wouldn’t it be cool if” discussions, we came up with a brief script and storyboard for a “PSA” which we hope to wrap up shortly.  We spent most of the weekend testing our technical ideas and getting the green screen material shot.

In the rig above, we’re using our Canon XL2 and Kino Diva kit.  The nasty green sock on Adam’s arm came from the neighborhood discount retailer.  To pull the key, we’re using the KeyLight filter with CS3.  Adam is on top of the kitchen island which gave us some decent height to work within.

If you’re looking for a great tutorial, I think Andrew Kramer’s is one of the best on KeyLight.

Hopefully, next week, I’ll have a complete clip to post.



My Miniature RenderFarm

Last weekend, I finally got around to a project I’d been intending to do: hoeing out one of the rather unused rooms in my apartment.  Until now, it housed a bunch of derelict computers, paper-shredders, monitors, printers, cds, and who knows what left behind by previous tenants.  On top of all this was a fairly fine layer of cat hair and grime (not mine).  Over the course of the morning, I trashed, recycled, scrubbed and vacuumed.  In the end, I had a pretty decent space.

What I ended up doing was setting up my file server and next to it, my new render box (a quad core phenom), which I intended to use to offload rendering from my laptop when I’m authoring in After Effects.  I decided not to stop there and started networking in another machine I had to do distributed processing.  I then pulled out another chassis a friend had given me with a mobo/cpu combo he’d never gotten working.  A little tinkering revealed that all along it was a bad powersupply.  In the end, I ended up with 3 machines to do network rendering.  If we include my laptop, then I have 9 cores to jointly put out frames for After Effects.  Sure, it isn’t Pixar, but Im kinda proud of it and it’s rather impressive what the simple act of distribution can do.


Obviously, heat has been a bit of an issue being that this section of my apartment has no A/C at the moment.  Hence, the fan venting out the window.  For now, it’s holding things in check, but a window-box A/C unit would be ideal:)


EDIT : A few hot days motivated me.  AC unit installed makes all the difference in the world.  When you close the doors to this smalls space, it stays icey.


Reach out and make a friend