RED GIANT OFFLOAD By Ko Maruyama It's a media copy application for easily backup and - hey - OFFLOADING your footage from a removable camera media card to somewhere else. Simple enough for almost anyone on set to use. ...Read More »
Vectoraster by LostMinds By Ko Maruyama Vectorizer for the Mac (and iOS) allows you to create fantastic shape based translations of raster artwork or photography with just a few clicks. The great part about this new software is that it is really easy to use. Like any good design software, it?s full of options that will allow you to create unique pieces, even when you?re starting from presets. ...Read More »
Quick Sketching with Ron Husband By Ko Maruyama The first thing you should know about this book is that Ron Husband is not only a great teacher but an amazing animator who has worked on several movies, including Beauty and the Beast, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The great Mouse Detective, The little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King and others you might share on your favorites list too. ...Read More »
Motion Composer By Ko Maruyama MotionComposer is a new way to create and deliver HTML5 or Flash animation. Designed by French company Aquafadas, the software is available in both Mac and PC versions to allow anyone the ability to start animating right away. Although Adobe Flash animations have recently been the subject of scrutiny, there are many advantages to using HTML5. With MotionComposer, you can easily make your content much more engaging. Adobe's Flash content is a very rich experience. There is a wide range of interactive animations that you can create using animation tools that develop for Flash player. However, Flash does require Adobe's Flash player in order to let your audience experience that content. ENTER: HTML5. ...Read More »
iStopMotion for iPad By Ko Maruyama Last year, I wrote about the fun application called iStopMotion by Boinx.com. In returning to iStopMotion on iPad, I'm glad to see that the app has gone through many changes and upgrades. Most recently, Boinx has announced the ability to export up to 200 frames in an animated GIF! It's not only a fun application to have as an animator, but it's a teaching opportunity too. When I teach older animation students, they usually understand the importance of timing and number of frames per second. At home with my kids, iStopMotion for iPad is a fun way to craft stories and express creativity. For both older students and young kids, iStopMotion is an accessible way to start making stop motion animations right away. ...Read More »
Grass Valley EDIUS version 7 By David Hague Rather than adding any drastically radical major new enhancements to version 6.5, version 7 instead provides improvements to existing functionality taking advantage of the newer processors letting you work in real time in not only an editing workflow, but also transcoding between 4K, HD and SD resolutions including aspect ratio changes and frame rates. Improvements have to been made in the handling of large numbers of still image files including JPG, TGA and DPX. ...Read More »
Monsters run Rampant By Ko Maruyama Rampant Design Tools have created a series of images for post production FX in the past. Their newest offering is just in time for the Halloween holiday. MonsterFX Undead provides a series of images that you can use in post for video or still photography. ...Read More »
Sorenson Squeeze 9 By David Hague For as long as I have been shooting and editing video, there has been a version of Sorenson Squeeze available. Quite simply, Squeeze has always been the premiere transcoding utility used by professionals. It is simple to use, effective, fast and covers almost every known codec and format type available. Squeeze 9 is the latest version of this venerable product, and while certainly not an inexpensive package, with pricing ranging from USD$799 to an eye watering $1999 for the server version, if you are a professional in the video game, it is an almost indispensable item to have in your toolbox. ...Read More »
Sony Spectral Layers Pro 2 By Dr. David Smith Digital audio editing software has made amazing signal processing and manipulation possible with the click of a mouse, but until now it has been virtually impossible to take a fully mixed track and un-mix it. Sony's new Spectral Layers Pro allows you to do just that. ...Read More »
Astute Graphics Mirrors Your Moves By Ko Maruyama Astute Graphics makes plugins for Adobe's Illustrator. Great plugins that make your design process not only faster and easier, but plugins that allow you to discover designs that you might not have considered before launching into Illustrator. With the holiday season coming around, it's time to start thinking about winter. Astute Graphics' MIRRORME plugin can help. ...Read More »
Using Prodrenalin To Save Your Video! By David Hague If you are the proud owner of a GoPro (or similar such as the Sony Action Cam or the Kaiser Baas Sports Cam) you'll be all too familiar with a few problems. Not the least of these is the sheer amount of camera shake followed by distorted footage due to the 'rolling shutter' effect of these cameras. Also in the equation is fish eye distortion, and who hasn't missed that the camera wasn't exactly level when shooting? Or you need to flip video 180 degrees as the camera could only be mounted upside down. This is where ProDad Prodrenalin comes in. ...Read More »
The RØDE Podcaster Microphone By David Hague An often overlooked aspect of video is the voice over dialogue. Of course this needs a good mic... While there are many, many 'broadcast' mics available to perform this, for many hobbyists and professionals not creating actual broadcast video, these are overkill and let's face it, probably too expensive. This is where the RØDE Podcaster Mic comes into its own. ...Read More »
Canon's XA20 Professional Camcorder By David Hague Some time back we awarded the Canon XA10 Auscam's Camcorder of the Year. It was a truly ground breaking beast with its professional features such as twin XLRs, superb low light capability, brilliant lens and all crammed into a wonderfully ergonomic but small and light compact form factor. So what has changed in the XA20, and is it better? ...Read More »
Bluff Titler By David Hague Creating titles is something of an art and why there is a separate team usually making them. If you look at the credits of a TV show or film, you'll quite often see a completely different company credited for titles. Yes, there are businesses that JUST make titles and opening/closing sequences. Most video editing packages can do titles do some degree or other. Some are exceptionally good, and some are nauseatingly bad. Thankfully Bluff Titler exists to fill in the gaps. ...Read More »
Luxury Protection For The Nexus 10 By Lou Wallace The Alano is a custom design tablet case made from South American leather for the Nexus 10, with a camera hole, magnetic on/off latch and an added internal wooden protective frame. It has an elastic strap you can use to keep it closed. There are eight optional designs you can choose from. ...Read More »
Flame Painter 2.0 By David Hague The premise of Flame Painter is that brushes simulate streaks of colored light - flames - and using this method, some amazing images can be created from scratch, or existing photos and images can be over painted. Version 2.0 extends the capability of Flame Painter in a large number of areas, some minor, but others notable indeed. ...Read More »
Artbeats Driving Plates By Stephen Schleicher Problem: Your project has a scene where two characters are driving in a car and having a discussion. You don't have the budget to tow a car around town, and you certainly don't want to risk damaging your camera by attaching it to a moving vehicle and driving on a busy street. Solution? Artbeats Driving Video! ...Read More »
Camera Tripods By David Hague We are often asked when a tripod should be used, and the generic answer is "whenever you have one with you". Unless you purposely want that jerky, jumpy video look that was a trademark of some TV shows for a period, there is nothing worse than a video that is not rock steady. There is a reason that TV camera operators routinely use them no matter the circumstances. Trust me, you wouldn't lug one of those dirty big TV camera tripods around everywhere with you by choice! But not all tripods are created equal. The one you can buy for $15 in Big W has nothing in common with any of the tripods you'll see in this story other than it has three legs and a screw to mount a camera! ...Read More »
Forget Using Smartphone Cams! By David Hague Lately, users have shied away from using lower priced camcorders in favor of shooting video with their smartphones and this is a bit sad in my opinion. The quality of footage from a phone can never replicate that of even the least expensive of genuine camcorders due to a number of factors, not the least being the lens. The physical design is also a factor; camcorders are built the way they are for a reason, primarily the ergonomics with everything at your fingertips. And of course, the camcorder is always the right way up, shooting proper 16:9 high definition footage (PROPER high def) in landscape mode and not portrait as smartphones do. So which are the best low cost camcorders on the market? With a budget of $500, we wondered just what you could get... ...Read More »
The JVC GC-PX100 Camcorder By David Hague Every once in a while, a piece of equipment comes out from a vendor that grabs you by the throat and gives you a shake as it yells, "Look at me!". The new JVC GC-PX100 is such a beast. In terms of camcorders, the GC-PX100 is quite different; the shape is different, access to controls is different and even some functionality is different. ...Read More »
The Panasonic AG-HPX255 Camera and BT-LH1850 Monitor By Jeremiah Hall The AG-HPX255 is a hand-held 1/3 2.2 megapixel 3-MOS camera. It uses P2 cards. It records full 1920x1080, 10-bit 4:2:2. It is also capable of being used in a studio environment, thanks to a remote terminal compatible with Panasonic's AG-EC4 Paint Box remote control. Not bad for a camera that lists at $6,995.00. The BT-LH1850 is 18.5" monitor. It has a resolution of 1366 x 768. It's big enough for multiple people to look at, while being small enough to carry around to shoots. It has a built-in vectorscope, as well as a waveform monitor for RGB signals. ...Read More »
Replay XD: "A POV Camera Designed for Professionals?" By Douglas Spotted Eagle In the earliest days of sport POV production, photographers were excited about the advent of the "lipstick camera" for its small form factor and ease of use. The camera(s) could be mounted on a wing, helmet, or other foundation, cabled to a recorder, and used for new angles in production. These bullet wonders helped create the sense of "being there." They were also horribly expensive and fragile. In modern times, we've seen the camera shrink in size, and dramatically improve in image quality. In many cases, this size-shrink inspires kludgy form factors, and this is where the Replay XD camera shines. ...Read More »
The Panasonic HC-V520M Camcorder By David Hague If you are into sports video, you know that it almost a given that you need a decent zoom to get the action (and it goes without saying, a tripod as well). In still photography terms, my experiences in motor sport suggest a 200mm is the minimum and probably a 400mm the optimal. Of course you need to allow factors such as low light and depth of field to get the best of them. Panasonic has obviously realized this in terms of the video world and released the HC-V520M, a single CMOS hi-def camcorder that will sit easily in the palm of your hand, but sports a genuine 50x optical zoom and an "intelligent" 80x ...Read More »
Artbeats Starfields 2 HD By Stephen Schleicher If you are going to do any kind of sci-fi related project, chances are you are going to have at least one shot that shows off the vastness of space. For those on a budget, spending the time rendering a high resolution space scene may be out of reach. Fortunately, Artbeats returns to outer space with a whole new collection of clips that you can use. ...Read More »
The Canon HF G25 Camcorder By David Hague And still they keep coming. Today we received a new Canon HF G25 for testing, and true to recent form for most of the latest camcorder releases, the features and functions are truly staggering. This camera is designed to be fully automatic or as manual as you like. Things such as Auto Gain can be adjusted as can focus preset and a manual focus assist. Zebra patterning is there as are white balance presets for daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten and by colour temperature. ...Read More »
The Sony PMW-200 Camcorder By David Hague The power of a motor vehicle is usually measured in kilowatts (although still more easily identified by most in the "old currency" of brake horse power). Sadly this is not always an accurate measure of grunt as other factors should also be brought into the equation such as power-to-weight ratios and so on. Similarly, most non-professionals (and advertising blurb and salespeople) tend to measure how good a camcorder is by its zoom factor, number of megapixels or even its internal storage capacity. While all of these are a small part in the total power factor they are by no means anywhere near the be-all and end-all. ...Read More »
Upload By Lou Wallace In what may be a prophetic view of our future, Upload focuses on a time where cyberspace and virtual reality have converged, showcasing both the promising potential and the dark underside of these new technological wonders. ...Read More »
Motion Composer By Ko Maruyama MotionComposer is a new way to create and deliver HTML5 or Flash animation. Designed by French company Aquafadas, the software is available in both Mac and PC versions to allow anyone the ability to start animating right away. Although Adobe Flash animations have recently been the subject of scrutiny, there are many advantages to using HTML5. With MotionComposer, you can easily make your content much more engaging. ...Read More »
ArtRage 4.0 By Ko Maruyama In time for use with your brand new Wacom tablet, Ambient Design offers a new version of their ArtRage software. Version 4.0 is packed with a ton of new tools that will help you work better, easier, and give you the ability to extend your creative works for an affordable price. You may also be using ArtRage 3 on both devices (iPad and computer), but if you haven't you might not know about the ability to move between iPad to desktop version and out to other software (like Photoshop's .psd format). ...Read More »
Filmmaking with the iPad and iPhone By Ko Maruyama Chances are, you've adopted a smart phone and maybe a tablet into your daily life. And if you've chosen the Apple iPhone or iPad as your weapon of choice in your production pipeline there's a lot more that you can be doing with it to help you out during your filmmaking process. Hand Held Hollywood's Taz Goldstein has written the ultimate app guide for every moviemaker with mobile devices. (It's not just about shooting with your device!) ...Read More »
Hands On with the Nexus 10 By Lou Wallace Right before Christmas my tablet, an Iconia A500 died (just a couple weeks after the warranty ran out of course) and I was faced with the task of choosing its replacement. The timing was great because the latest iPad was out,several new Android tabs were being released and Microsoft was just about to start shipping the Surface. All have some very compelling aspects and I like all three platforms, but as I already have had several android tablets and a lot of apps for that system, my focus and ultimate decision was towards the Nexus 10 from Google. Since there were plenty of 'First Looks', 'Quick Peeks' and such being written already, I wanted to spend some more time with it before actually evaluating it. This review is really my perspective on using the tablet, what that experience has been like and finally was it worth the money. ...Read More »
Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS6 By Ko Maruyama A new year; a new chance to expand your skillset. This weekend, I looked at "Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Imaging Professionals". It's a long title, and there are three differently treated fonts in the title treatment - don't let that dissuade you from peeking inside. This is Photoshop we're talking about. You've heard about it. You've purchased the latest version. And now, you want to jump in and figure out how to work it like a pro. Richard Harrington has just the book for y ...Read More »
AFTER EFFECTS APPRENTICE By Ko Maruyama Trish and Chris Meyer have been writing books for Adobe After Effects users for several years. Their After Effects Apprentice book is currently in its third edition, which covers Adobe's current version of After Effects, CS6. This also offers lessons for those who may be using earlier versions of the software. The book is not only for the "Aspiring" motion graphics artist, but for anyone who wants to improve their all-around skills in the popular animation software. ...Read More »
EYES IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD..... By Douglas Spotted Eagle With the new Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon, syncrhonized video with two channels/angles in a single stream is quick and easy. This camera is unique in that it features dual lenses, shooting two views to a single stream that may be displayed either side by side or over/under. This allows not only for POV, but reactions to the POV. The large button allows even the most thick mitten or glove to turn on/off the camera. Powering up the camera also starts record mode. ...Read More »
Best POV Action Camera Shootout By Douglas Spotted Eagle We set out with 6 of the most popular models of action cameras in an all-out camera review. Our desire was to uncover the answer to the question "What is the best POV camera on the market?", and at the same time determine the strengths and weaknesses of the cameras being reviewed. The overall performance results were a little surprising to us... Could the GoPro be dethroned? ...Read More »
MAXON's CINEMA 4D R14 By Ko Maruyama In Los Angeles and New York, motion graphics animators have seen year over year dominance and adoption of MAXON's flagship software CINEMA 4D. Their newest release offers users improved feature sets and new tools to create 3D models and animation even easier than before. ...Read More »
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