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General Specialist



Tips, tricks and tutorials for visual effects, broadcast design, motion graphics, animation and my other tinkerings in both 2D and 3D. Since I work mainly in Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, 3ds max, Maya and Cinema 4D, that's what I write abo



Last Build Date: Fri, 07 May 2010 19:55:10 +0000

 



See What I Find at NAB 2010

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 23:40:00 +0000

(image)


I'm at the NAB 2010 show all week, and want to share what I find. Head over to http://generalspecialist.posterous.com/ where I'll post everything that's worth seeing!

PS. If you're at NAB, give me a call at +46-733-970000 or check my Twitter feeds at @hummelstrand and @CasparCG

- Jonas



Just Released: Free and Open Source Broadcast Graphics Server

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 23:33:00 +0000

(image) We’ve finally released the new version 1.8.0b4 of the CasparCG system, a broadcast graphics system that plays QuickTime and Flash out to SDI, HD-SDI, HDMI and DVI.
Download installers, source code and tools from http://casparcg.com/




Great stroll down After Effects' memory lane

Tue, 19 Jan 2010 23:08:00 +0000

Thanks to Matt Silverman for posting this great video with an informal talk by three of the engineers of Adobe After Effects.

(object) (embed)

SFMOGRAPH - After Effects Team from Matt Silverman on Vimeo.



- Jonas



Patches for After Effects CS4 and Premiere Pro CS4

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 09:58:00 +0000

Don't miss the updates!After Effects 9.0.1 patch for Mac OS XAfter Effects 9.0.1 patch for WindowsRead me file (PDF)Premiere Pro 4.0.1 patch for Mac OS XPremiere Pro 4.0.1 patch for WindowsRead me file (PDF)Here's the goodies from the read me files:Notable fixes in the Adobe After Effects CS4 9.0.1 patch:Miscellaneous performance improvements with MediaCore video formats.General improvements to Dynamic Link workflows.Mocha AE doesn’t read v210 QuickTime files correctly. (49015)On some systems, the application may suspend rendering when the display turns off dueto power management or screen saver settings. (49146)All Render Queue items are removed when opening or importing a saved project in which the first item has no comment, but other Render Queue items have comments. (49186)Crash using “Open Layer” when multiple layers are selected if one of the selected layers does not have a source or has a collapsed transformation. (49207)Auto-save is marking a project as saved; user can close project without being prompted to save changes, and multiprocessing can return old frames. (49209)(Windows only) Custom eyedroppers in keying effects pick up wrong colors when clicked in custom thumbnail. (49248)Exposure effect: negative offset values render garbage/underflow in 8bpc and 16bpc. (49294)Puppet Tool: For a 3D layer, results are being clipped to layer bounds. (49267)Importing a still sequence via Recent Footage imports only a single still instead of a sequence. (49265)For some OpenGL effects in 32bpc projects, overbright colors are getting clipped.(1893997)When the “Write XMP IDs to Files on Import” option is selected, MediaCore playback can make some files appear out of sync. (1880742)Application may appear to hang for several minutes “Reading XMP markers from footage” (status message) with files that contain deeply nested metadata. (1874477)New in the Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.0.1 patch:OMF exportFinal Cut Pro importEdit in Audition (Windows only)Surcode supportAAF import and exportHigh quality motionThird-party supportNotable fixes in the Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.0.1 patch:Attempting to trim locked tracks results in a crash (#1888355)Crash on Win and error on Mac when using Numpad-Asterisk keys to generate marker whenplaying in Program Pane when Effect Controls pane is closed (#1890626)Crash when the Metadata panel is brought into focus when a DVCPro HD clip is selected(#1884633)When a filter/search is applied in the Metadata Panel and then a different asset is selected, thefilter does not update (#1876954)Custom schema causes Adobe Premiere Pro to crash performing many basic operations,starting with New Project (#1888938)Render of transition in imported EDL-based sequence fails; on Mac, causes application to hangindefinitely, user must be force-quit application (#1873434)After ASND is saved, an effect is always ON if it turns OFF while playing (#1864978)Crash when attempting to load a project that contains a composition if headless AdobePremiere Pro is serving Adobe After Effects (#1871578)Exporting video as MPEG 4 will create a video file that imports at the incorrect length(#1851063)Trimming both ends of a clip, then moving the clip will cause looped playback to be silent, oronly playback portions of the clip (#1868409)When exporting a timeline containing cuepoints, deleting a cue point via AME Batch-> ExportSettings, the cue point is still present in the output file (#1866690)Playing an audio-only file in the source monitor will cause the application to lock up (#1887330)Exporting any MT session as 24bit WAV leads to garbled audio – Mac only (#1881684)Adobe Premiere Pro allocates too much memory and reads too much data from disk whenloading project files on the Mac (#1890579)With camera connected, opening clip from Timeline into Source and selecting File  Debugresults in a serious error (#1889197)Export to tape is active from DVCPRO HD sequences (#1863718)Application intermittently crashes when exporting a movie (#1868405)Re[...]



RED Finally Cuts in Adobe Apps

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 23:10:00 +0000

(image)
While RED has published a picture of the Premiere Pro 1.0 box on their RED Adobe CS4 Installer (beta) page, you'll actually need the newly released version 4.0.1 of Premiere Pro CS4 and version 9.0.1 of After Effects CS4.

The system requirements aren't exactly designed for the famed "soccer mom's" of this world; you'll need to have a 3.0 GHz quad-core system, at least 8 GB of RAM and a 64-bit OS such as OS X or Vista 64 if you want to work comfortably, but using lower resolutions with lesser machines will work as well.

Dave Helmly has posted a video workflow (but could someone please help the guy with the design?)

- Jonas



RED's Latest Line-up

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 12:04:00 +0000

(image) The December 3rd updates to RED's earlier announcements seem to be moving in the right direction. However, I can't really figure out if we will be able to get a 2/3-inch Cinema Scarlet sensor with interchangeable lens mounts.
If we can mount 3rd-party lenses to it, with a REDhandle, a viewfinder (BombEVF?) and a recording module the price would presumably be in the vicinity of the $3,750 of the 2/3-inch 8X Fixed Zoom complete kit.

- Jonas



Why the RED cameras won't be seen at pool parties

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 23:47:00 +0000

(image) If RED was aiming their new Scarlet to be a "DSLR killer," they missed the mark, unfortunately.

I love what RED is doing to the dinosaurs of the camera business, but I was hoping that a Scarlet would replace my prosumer gear and give me new possibilities. Unless the Scarlet with the fixed lens is dirt-cheap I don't see me getting it.

Instead RED's proposed system may well be a revolution for motion camera design principles with the sensor being decoupled from the rest of the gear, but this current design won't mean anything for me based on these factors:
  1. Stills resolution
    For still images the 2/3" Scarlet's resolution is just 4.9 mega-pixels where at least 8 MP or more was needed to become a usable alternative to any cheap DSLR. You need to go up to the S35 sensor to get 13.8 MP.
  2. Movie resolution
    No doubt this is where all RED systems excel, and the 2/3" sensor's 3K sounds like a sweet spot where the data rate is still manageable while you will still have the ability to crop or down-sample to HD / 2K. However, I'm pretty happy to get 1080p out of my cheap rig or from a Nikon D90 or a Canon EOS 5D Mark II (which are just the first versions of what will surely become standard features of traditional DSLRs.)
  3. Frame rate
    The great 120 fps frame rate available in the 2/3" sensor drops down to a mere 30 fps in the other Scarlet sensors (unless you crop in on the sensor and loose resolution and DOF,) which is a bit of a disappointment. Being able to over-crank to get beautiful slow-mo has always been a dream of mine...
  4. Lenses
    You also need to go up to the S35-sized sensor to be able to attach readily available still camera lenses from Nikon and Canon, which suddenly brings us to the next point:
  5. Price
    Just the S35 sensor and mount for still lenses bring the price up to $7,000, without a viewfinder or any accessories. That's a far cry from something that a prosumer could justify spending on a camera body, considering Canon's and Nikon's bodies which go for under $2,500. If you get the 2/3" sensor you need to get new lenses with special mounts.
  6. Shallow depth-of-field
    The 2/3" sensor is so small (see Stu Maschwitz's sensor cheat sheet) that you won't get the cinematic shallow depth-of-field and bokeh that we all love, without putting a DOF adaptor and additional lenses in front of the 2/3" Scarlet. A super-16-sized sensor is way better most current video cameras (many features have been shot on super-16,) but it's not comparable with the size and look of a DSLR, even those with APS-C-sized sensors like the Canon 30D.
I was hoping for "3K for $3K": a camera body that would do 2K or more at at least 75 fps with a still camera lens mount and shallow depth-of-field-look, and at least same stills resolution that my old Canon 30D had. I guess I'll have to wait another couple of years...

- Jonas



Learn VFX from the Masters of the Universe

Thu, 09 Oct 2008 07:11:00 +0000

The world's best supervisors including John Knoll, Scott Squires, John Dykstra, Pablo Helman, Dennis Murren, Mike Fink, Ken Ralson and Kim Libreri are part of a course in the new term at fxphd.com. Imagine learning stuff from the people behind such milestones as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars I to VI, Wargames, Back to the Future, The Abyss, Indiana Jones, Terminator 2 & 3, The Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more of the films that have shaped the last decades.You already know how much I can recommend fxphd, and the new term is even better than the last one. Make sure you look at the overview movie.Here's a complete list of available courses. The term starts on October 13 2008, but you can join later and have access to all the classes you've signed up for.I've been swamped with work, so I still have a couple of courses left from the last term to watch (a tip: convert the classes so you can watch them on a portable media player of your choice; I watch classes in bed while waiting for the kids to fall asleep.)This new term I'll be taking the DIT course, the new RED course and either Mark Christiansen's AE course or Tim Clapham's AE+C4D course. I wish I had time to dig into the Fusion course as well, but we'll see how it goes.Oh, if you enter humlan in the Referring Member field on the signup page, I'll get an extra class, which would be really nice. Thanks in advance!- Jonas_________ From http://generalspecialist.com/ _________[...]



Watch and Embed YouTube Clips in High Quality

Wed, 08 Oct 2008 08:00:00 +0000

The term "High Quality" has to be taken with a bucket of salt when we're talking about YouTube, but there's an easy way to at least lessen the compression artifacts, which is especially useful for full-screen viewing. Even a lot of clips that don't have the "Watch in High Quality" link on the page actually exists in a less compressed version.

If you are watching the clip at YouTube.com, just add &fmt=18 at the end of the URL. The easiest way to do this is the create a bookmark in your browser's toolbar. Just bookmark any site and then replace the URL of the bookmark's Location with this simple JavaScript: javascript:window.location+="&fmt=18";
Every time you're at YouTube you can just click the bookmark to see the clip with less compression (if it's available, otherwise the standard clip will play.)

See the difference for yourself:


If you embed videos, you can do the same thing and even embed a larger version, but you have to append &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 to both URL's in the code, plus change the sizes in both places to 480 by 360.

(object) (embed)

(object) (embed)

You can also watch YouTube videos with QuickTime embedded player if you'd like, and easily download the clips (if you have QuickTime Player Pro.)


- Jonas

Tip of the hat to My Digital Life and Tobias Lind.



ProRes 422 Codec Finally Cross-platform (Sorta...)

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 19:26:00 +0000

(image) Before you get all excited about the Apple ProRes QuickTime Decoder 1.0 for Windows, let's remember that you can only render to ProRes 422 if you're on a Mac and have Final Cut Studio 2 installed. If you don't you'll be in the same boat as the Windows users and will need to install the Apple ProRes QuickTime Decoder 1.0 for Mac.

So, for true cross-platform goodness you'll still be better off with the free (and in size and quality similar or better) Avid DNxHD codec that also supports an alpha channel.

ProRes 422 White Paper

- Jonas



After Effects CS4 Will Not Work on PPC Macs

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 19:54:00 +0000

(image) The next version of After Effects (CS4) is dropping support for PPC Macs. While this may upset some people, I think it's better to spend development effort on new features and an improved software rather than supporting legacy hardware.

A cheap PC or Mac that will run AE just as fast or faster than an old top-of-the-line PPC Mac costs under $600. If you don't want to upgrade your hardware you'll need to stay on After Effects CS3 (but remember it won't be sold anymore once CS4 is shipping.)

Read more about the reasoning behind focusing on the newer platforms on Product Manager Michael Coleman's blog.

- Jonas
Photo by Dan Dickinson



Importing RED (.r3d) Files Into After Effects CS3 and Premiere Pro CS3

Tue, 12 Aug 2008 22:47:00 +0000

(image) (image) UPDATE 2: It's been a long wait, but it now looks like the plugins will be released on Nov 20th 2008.

UPDATE: Here's a sneak peak from Adobe with RED including workflow videos.

According to Jim Jannard of RED, they will soon release a plug-in that will let users of Adobe After Effects CS3 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 import the raw files from the RED camera(s).

- Jonas



Building a Pro Camera Crane / Jib, part 1

Mon, 04 Aug 2008 19:02:00 +0000

I was once told that my favorite interest seemed to be collecting hobbies. That may be truer than I'd like to admit, and for the last six months I've added yet a new project to all my previous (unfinished) tinkerings.I have a Basic Stamp micro-controller and USB programming board left over from another project that I never finished. One day I realized that a fun use for it would be to build a joystick-controlled pan/tilt camera head that could be placed on the end of a camera crane.After 30 minutes with a search engine I realized that buying a ready-made crane was out of the question, as the ones I found cost several thousand dollars. Working at a TV broadcaster I have first-hand access to professional jibs and saw that they weren't as mechanically complicated as I had initially thought. I imagined the hard part would be controlling the camera head with a joystick. As the build have progressed I have come to understand that I had seriously underestimated the amount of mechanical work required.My initial plan was to built a jib with a total length of 3 meter, based on that I found two light and sturdy metallic pipes (25 mm in diameter) in a local hardware store. These would be used as a parallelogram so that the camera head would always be vertical no matter how the jib was raised or lowered. With an arm of that length it would also be easy to fit the jib inside a car.As the project has progressed I've abandoned these pipes for two reasons. Firstly I've found it hard to fasten the six ball-bearings to these pipes, since they aren't very sturdy and I wouldn't be able to make holes in them without weakening them too much. And secondly, I got megalomania and realized I wanted a longer arm that could still be stuffed into a car, so I decided to abandon the cheap pipes and go with two 3 meter long pieces of rectangular aluminum tube that could be assembled into a 5 meter crane. An added bonus is that the length of the arm can be shortened if necessary.Using a single arm means that I need to use two pulleys with a wire between them. One pulley will be fastened to the camera head and the other to the tripod mount.Without a sturdy tripod as a base, the jib would become wobbly and unstable. Luckily I found a great Manfrotto tripod with a fluid video head and detachable dolly wheels on Swedish ebay. You can't complain about the price: $200 including shipping!To attach the arm to the tripod I've bought a heavy construction bracket used for securing wooden beams. All I had to do was to chop off the protruding flanges and drill a hole for the tripod mounting screw. I'll even be able to use the pre-drilled holes to fasten the axle!The controller is housed in the clear acrylic case from an iPod Shuffle and is made up of a 9V battery, a Basic Stamp BS2p24 and a Pololu DC Motor Controller. Power to the motors come from an external 6V lead-acid battery that will be used as part of the counter-weight on the arm. The joystick is from a Sony PlayStation 2 and I'm using three potentiometers that will be used as separate pan and tilt speed adjustments plus a zero-point sensitivity adjustment. The code is still pretty rough, but I've added a routine that sets the zero-point of the joystick at boot time. I'll publish the source-code when everything is working, if anyone's interested.As a camera I'm using my Canon HV-20 with a RedRock Micro M2 lens adapter with a used follow-focus (thanks to ebay again!) Unfortunately the HV-20 doesn't have a LANC port so I'm using a 5 meter long optical fiber to send the IR remote signal from the back of the jib. A bit of a hack, but this is a rebel-style jib after all!Yes, I know that with only one joystick I don't yet have focus control, but based on previous experience I've chosen to comp[...]



Even More Great VFX Courses

Tue, 22 Jul 2008 14:20:00 +0000

(image) I've been on a long vacation, so I haven't had a chance to write about the new term. I won't bore regular readers who already know how much I can recommend fxphd.

Here's a complete list of available courses. The term started on July 14 2008, but you can join later and have access to all the classes you've signed up for.

If you want to know more about fxphd, take a look at the fxphd Tour Movie. There's also a great FAQ.

I think I'll choose AFX302 - After Effects Masters, C4D202 - Cinema4D and After Effects in Production and DRK301 - VFX and Indie Films.

(image) Oh, if you enter humlan in the Referring Member field on the signup page, I'll get an extra class, which would be really nice. Thanks in advance!

- Jonas



Phun and Typography 2.0

Sun, 11 May 2008 21:18:00 +0000

Not enough distractions? Here's a couple of ways to seriously kill your productivity:

(image)
Phun: Real-time Physics Sandbox



(image)
FontStruct: Online Typography Editor


And when you're done, make sure you watch Animator vs. Animation part 1
and Animator vs. Animation part 2.
- Jonas



What happens in Vegas doesn't stay there

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 21:05:00 +0000

Stuck at home? Me too...Here's how to keep tabs on NAB. I'll keep on updating the links as we go...Basically, if you want the latest as it happens, get a Twitter.com account and follow the people below!Mike Seymour of fxphd.com is twittering and posting images...as are his colleagues John Montgomery and Jeff Heuser (blog + tweets)fxguide.com's redcentre podcast #3 discusses RED's NAB announcementsfxguidetv and fxpodcast has episodes from every NAB dayFresHDV's NAB videos (please de-interlace, dude!)DigitalContentProducer is hosting a BlogLive and a Virtual Press ConferenceDigital Production Buzz had videos and podcasts from NAB last year, not sure what they will have now...Mike Curtis' HD for Indies is blogging from the floorStudioDaily (I guess their News section might be a better place to look, we'll see...)Stu Maschwitz is tweeting on Twitter.com...as is Alex Lindsey from the PixelCorps...and Ron Brinkmann...and Carey Dissmore...and Mel Matsuoka...and DorkmanScottList of all the parties at NAB as well as a Twitter feed.The IMUG mailing list has a NAB08 Twitter feedCarolina FCP Users Group is twitteringLostRemote seems to be blogging, twittering, shooting video and imagesDigital Media NetBroadcast NewsRoom's NAB pageVideoMaker.com had an NAB blog last yearFlickr images tagged with NABNAB's own blog (right now showing three RED videos)DV.com's home page has up-to-date news itemsIf you are actually at NAB, the nice people at fxguide.com has written an fxguided Tour: Getting the Most Out of NABOh, if someone could please record this key-note, I'd be a happy camper.What sites did I miss? Write a comment and I'll add them...- Jonas (also on Twitter since today)Image by Clinton Steeds_________ From http://generalspecialist.com/ _________[...]



Don't Miss the New Term at fxphd.com

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:06:00 +0000

(image) Regular readers know I'm a big fan of fxphd.com and that you can't get any more current and professional training even for ten times the price. I've been a member from the start, and the things I've picked up from the past seven terms come in useful every day in my work.

I'm hoping to shoot a documentary in the fall, and can with confidence say "I really think we should rent a Red One for this shoot" based on that I know I have both fxphd's training and forum discussions to lean on for figuring out the workflow. Priceless...

Last term Tim Clapham held a great course on motion graphics in After Effects, and this term he's in charge of a Cinema 4D course. And the creator of 250 HD effects shots in 5 months holds an After Effects course.

I really enjoyed the Photography for VFX course last term which is repeated this term, and I am happy to see a SynthEyes course that I will definitely take.

Here's a complete list of available courses. The term starts on April 14 2008, but you can join later and have access to all the classes you've signed up for.

If you want to know more about fxphd, take a look at the fxphd Tour Movie. There's also a great FAQ and the Orientation Week movie (torrent link) that covers all the upcoming classes.

(image) Oh, if you enter humlan in the Referring Member field on the signup page, I'll get an extra class, which would be really nice. Thanks in advance!

- Jonas



Photoshop CS4 Will Be 64-bit on Windows Only

Thu, 03 Apr 2008 08:08:00 +0000

What does this mean for you as a Photoshop user? That working with large images on Windows Vista64 machines will be a lot faster. Don't expect everything to be faster in 64-bit, though, as Photoshop architect Scott Byers wrote in 2006.

So why won't the OS X version of Photoshop CS4 be 64-bit when the recently posted Lightroom 2.0 beta is 64-bit? All "older" Mac applications such as Photoshop, After Effects and even Apple's Final Cut Pro and iTunes are developed on the Carbon framework. Last year Apple canceled the 64-bit roadmap for Carbon so only applications built on the newer Cocoa framework will be able to be 64-bit-enabled, even though Steve Jobs in 2006 said "You can have fully native 64-bit UI Carbon or Cocoa applications."

For more in-depth explanations (and conspiracy comments) please see Adobe Product Manager John Nack's blog. There's also an FAQ: Plans for 64-bit processing support in Photoshop (PDF.)

It's still unclear if Photoshop CS4 will run on Windows XPx64 or if Vista64 (oh, the horror!) will be required.

- Jonas



Locking After Effects' Layers So They Can't Be Moved

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 01:57:00 +0000

UPDATE:You can lock the position with a script put together by Jalea. If you want to lock more properties, Jeff Almasol (scripter extraordinaire) pointed out that Nab has a script that locks/unlocks all properties. Also, check out his plug-in experiments and scripting experiments. Truly amazing!**********************************When you lock a layer in After Effects, you don't just lock the position; you can't do anything with it at all. This is particularly frustrating when you have Adjustment layers, Solids and Mattes where you want to tweak effects but you definitely don't want the layer to be nudged (which is easily done just by selecting it.)This is often a problem in complex compositions where you can spend hours figuring out what went wrong when you accidentally moved a layer. Users of node-based compositing program (i.e. almost all others, like Shake, Fusion, and Nuke) find this extra irritating since this never happens when you work with nodes.Here's how to make sure your layers can't be moved:Select the layer you want to save from accidental moves.Hit P on your keyboard to reveal the Position property.Hold down the Alt or Option key and click the stopwatch to create an expression on the Position property.Look at the current position values for the layer, and enter the same values like this, depending on if it is a 2D or 3D layer:Click outside the layer, or hit the Enter key on your numerical keypad.If you animate masks and rotoscoping, this is almost a must-use tip, since AE is so sensitive to where you click on mask handles.- Jonas_________ From http://generalspecialist.com/ _________[...]



QuickTime 7.4.1 Fixes Rendering Bug

Thu, 07 Feb 2008 08:42:00 +0000

(image) Those who were too fast to upgrade to QuickTime 7.4 were bitten by rendering problems, not only in After Effects, but also in RED and even Final Cut Pro. Apple just posted a patch that is designed specifically to fix these issues:
However, I'll still stay on QuickTime 7.3 (I even have a machine on 7.1.3.) I mean; who wants to find out what other surprises Apple has in store for us?

Also, don't miss John Montgomery's article Pro Living in a Consumer QuickTime World.

- Jonas



After Effects 8.0.2 Update Available Now

Thu, 17 Jan 2008 09:35:00 +0000

The update just went live via Adobe Updater (choose Update... from within a CS3 application) or via the web (8.0.2 for OS X and 8.0.2 for Windows) but before you do, please note that you should avoid QuickTime 7.4 at all cost, since the iTunes DRM causes rendering errors in all versions of After Effects.Important installation note: Quit all web browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera etcetera) before running the updater, and stop yourself from starting any web browsers while the update is running. This is because the browsers lock certain Flash components that must be updated.If you have created your own interpretation rules (by editing the interpretation rules.txt file) you need to copy and paste those into a new file, as detailed in this article: Custom interpretation rules don't work after the After Effects 8.0.2 update is applied.If you have been having gamma shift issues (QuickTime renderings appearing darker or lighter compared to inside AE,) the 8.0.2 patch tries to circumvent these QuickTime issues by not following Apple's guidelines so strictly and instead applying different meta tags depending on what QT codec is use (matching the quirks in Apple's own products that don't follow the standard.) More about these gamma issues.New features in 8.0.2:Work with Panasonic P2 videoHere's the goodies from the Read Me file:Noteable fixes in After Effects 8.0.2:On Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard), Dynamic Link didn't work correctly in Premiere Pro when switching between UI and non-UI versions of After Effects. Fixed. (5482671/W1610284)On Mac OS, clicking a folder alias in an import or replace file dialog box in All Acceptable Files or All Footage Files mode displayed a “Can’t import file” error. Fixed. (45378)On Mac OS, OpenGL and hardware acceleration used all VRAM on the GPU until the driver failed, causing display corruption of the OS and After Effects, or possible crash. Fixed. (44855)On Mac OS X v10.5 on PowerPC with OpenGL enabled, received an error "composition too complex..." on NVIDIA GeForce 6800 graphics card. Fixed. (45295)On Mac OS with OpenGL enabled and project in 32bpc mode, colors were dropped. Fixed. (45475)PSD layers didn't import properly from PSD files with layer groups. Fixed. (45320)Crash when saving a project with a custom output simulation when output profile is the project's working color space. Fixed. (45404)On Mac OS with OpenGL enabled, better memory management on low memory cards. (45492)Fixed support for AJA's QuickTime codec suite. (45351)On Mac OS X v10.5: After Effects dock icon was not updated while RAM previewing: the progress bar appeared on the AE icon after RAM preview starts and it stayed on. Fixed. (45791)When Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously was enabled, there was a significant pause >12 sec, on an 8 core, 16gb Mac between when RAM preview finished building and when it started playback. Fixed. (45181)When you import a PSD file with vector masks inside layer groups using the import Composition - Cropped Layers/Layer size option; the PS vector masks are no longer offset from their original location. (45319)If you import a PSD file with Photoshop shape layers into After Effects 7, save the project, and then open that project in After Effects CS3, the masks created from the Photoshop vector masks are no longer scaled up to fill the composition. (45341)Linear light footage setting is now preserved cross-platform. (45653)When animating type to drift slowly, the tops of the type (when moving vertically) and side (when moving horizontally[...]



30 Courses to Die For

Fri, 11 Jan 2008 07:59:00 +0000

(image) I've been meaning to post about great training resources for my beloved After Effects, but here's something even better; training for the entire video / animation / graphics / broadcasting / film business.

Regular readers know how I'm a big fan of fxphd.com and that you can't get any more current and professional training even for ten times the price of one term. I've been a member from the start, and believe me; you won't get as much value for your money anywhere else!

You have 30 courses to choose from, ranging from motion graphics in AE with Tim Clapham and typography with Frank Jonen, to RED production and 3D tracking.

Here's a complete list of available courses. The term starts on January 14, 2008, but you can join later and have access to all the classes you've signed up for.

If you want to know more about fxphd, take a look at the fxphd Tour Movie and the Orientation Week movie (torrent link) that covers all the upcoming classes. There's also a great FAQ.

(image) Oh, if you enter humlan in the Referring Member field on the signup page, I'll get an extra class, which would be really nice. Thanks in advance!

- Jonas



Avoid QuickTime 7.4 for Now

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 22:59:00 +0000

(image) UPDATE: QuickTime 7.4.1 Fixes Rendering Bug

*******************

Just like with QuickTime 7.2, the newly updated QuickTime 7.4 seems to be creating problems when rendering, not only from After Effects but even from FinalCut Pro. People report getting a errors like:
After Effects error: opening movie - you do not have permission to open this file (-54)
There are some suggestions that this is the movie rental DRM in iTunes that tries to verify the copy-protection in all open QuickTime movies every 10 minutes.

The work-around is to render to a file sequence, such as TIFF, and then either assemble that into a QuickTime movie in QuickTime Player Pro or by importing the sequence into AE and rendering out a movie from that sequence.

Apple's discussion board: QuickTime
Thread about AE and QT 7.4

- Jonas



Better Corner Pinning with Mocha

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 12:40:00 +0000

When you import tracking data from Mocha, you get the four corners applied to the Corner Pin effect. To get better edges, use the same data but apply it to the CC PowerPin effect instead, which has better edge anti-aliasing and also supports expanding the layer outside the actual tracking points.
Just line up the corners of the two effects on the first frame and copy the keyframes from the Corner Pin effect and paste it into a CC PowerPin effect, or link each point with an expression.

- Jonas

Tip by Danny Princz on AE-list



Choosing a Professional Mic

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 09:30:00 +0000

I'm no audio guy, but I am a geek fanboy, so I just couldn't resist the temptation to link this thorough review on how to choose a mic. It even has has sound samples and cool looking graphs for all the tested mics. Respect!

(image)

- Jonas