Category Archives: After Effects

Adobe CS6 Film & Video Road Show

Adobe’s doing a series of free demo events around the US throughout June, as well as offering in-depth training (paid), all showcasing the new power in Premiere Pro, After Effects, Speed Grade, and the other CS6 video/audio apps:

  • June 5 – New York, NY
  • June 7 – Orlando, FL
  • June 11 – Washington, D.C.
  • June 14 – Atlanta, GA
  • June 19 – Dallas, TX
  • June 21 – Chicago, IL
  • June 26 – San Francisco, CA
  • June 30 – Los Angeles, CA

"Rear Window," Remixed

“I dissected all of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and stiched it back together in After Effects,” writes Jeff Desom. “I stabilized all the shots with camera movement in them. Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. The order of events stays true to the movie’s plot.”

[Via Felix Baum]

Virgin ad drawn, animated (!) all in Photoshop

Every so often I think, well, we pretty much know the limits of what people can do in Photoshop. And then something like this happens:

Check out the making-of story from the team at Three Legged Legs. Amazing work, guys! [Via Stéphane Baril]
To defuse a possible criticism: I can imagine someone saying, “Whoa, see, Photoshop is trying to be everything to everyone, and now it’s a poor man’s After Effects.” That’s not the case & was never our intention. Rather, video layers & onion skinning enable using Photoshop’s unique paint tools frame by frame. PS complements, rather than competes with, AE’s motion graphics chops.

Adobe TV: Samurais, photo library management, & more

Adobe TV is hosting some new Lightroom- and Photoshop-related content:

  • The Russell Brown Show – Samurai Poster (Part 1)

    In part 1 of this 2-part episode, Russell Brown shows us his personal tips and techniques on how to extract an image from a green screen background using Adobe Photoshop CS4

  • Lightroom for Digital Photographers – Synchronizing Folders

    In this episode we’ll show you how to import and organize your images from multiple sources into one logical place.

  • The Complete Picture with Julieanne Kost – Selective Focus

    In this episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne Kost shows us how to get great results with the Lens Blur Filter in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

  • Photoshop With Matt – Color Balancing Multiple Parts of a Photo

    Color balancing one part of a photo often makes another part look worse. It can be difficult to perfect all parts of a photo. Luckily the Adjustment Brush, a new tool in Photoshop CS4 Camera Raw, lets us achieve good color in multiple parts of a photo.

  • Short and Suite – Building Animated Lower Thirds in Photoshop

    In this episode of Short and Suite, Jason Levine teaches us how to animate Lower Thirds in Adobe Photoshop and then use that PSD in Premiere Pro and After Effects CS4.

  • The creators of Photoshop, After Effects, and Flash speak

    Did you know that Photoshop might have been marketed as a file-format conversion utility, or that Flash started life as a drawing tool for tablet computers of the early 90’s?
    By coincidence, the following interviews with the creators of Photoshop, After Effects, and Flash have popped up in the last week:

    1. First, Robert Scoble traveled to Industrial Light and Magic to chat with visual effects supervisor John Knoll–who, with his brother Thomas, created Photoshop:
      [Via]
    2. At a meeting of SFMOGRAPH, two of the original CoSA After Effects team members, David Simons and Dan Wilk, sat down with current AE engineering manager Chris Prosser to chat about the past, present, and future:
    3. In How Flash Brought The Internet To Life, NPR interviewed Flash creator Jonathan Gay about that technology’s incredible metamorphoses.

    See how Photoshop & Adobe apps helped make Avatar

    “Literally the first piece of software we went out and purchased was Photoshop…”
    Check out this 2-minute overview of how PS, Lightroom, After Effects, and other Adobe tools were used in the production of Avatar:

    Adobe’s Mike Kanfer won an Academy Award working with James Cameron on Titanic & has been a great conduit of information during the making of Avatar. Too bad I never did manage to twist his arm & get behind the scenes during shooting…
    Ah well: this morning the Photoshop team is off to see Avatar–a welcome little break from the whole march to Cocoa. I justified it to my wife, saying, “Well, they used Photoshop to make the movie.” Raising a dubious, I-know-you’re-all-cutting-class eyebrow, she asked, “Don’t they use Photoshop to make every movie?” Hush, woman!!
    [Update: Evidently Photoshop co-creator John Knoll was the Avatar visual effects supervisor at ILM.]
    Semi-related bonus fun thing: Slate talks about Cameron nearly dying while making The Abyss, punching & then firing a rescue diver.

    Vintage Mograph: After Effects 1.1 demo reel

    In 1993, my freshman year in college, I attended a meeting of the Notre Dame MadMacs user group. I can’t tell you a single other thing about that evening, but I remember that they played a video (on a computer! no way!!) from a company I’d never heard of. On screen an animation depicted a hand opening up to reveal (as I remember) an eye on its palm. “Imagine what you can create,” read an arcing line of text above the hand. And below, “Create what you can imagine. Adobe.” Whoever these guys are, I thought, I have to know more.
    I don’t know whether that piece was done in After Effects*, but there’s a good chance it was. Now Todd Kopriva from the AE team has posted an AE 1.1 demo reel from ’93:

    You’ve come a long way, baby. [Via]
    * AE became an Adobe product the following year

    Assorted Pixar Awesomeness

    Flash for AE, and AE for Flash

    For years and years I’ve wanted the After Effects team to promote AE as the next logical step for Flash animators wanting to go to the next level. (Once you’re freed from having to render everything on the fly on who-knows-what machine, the sky’s the limit.) That’s why I’ve been so excited by steps like XFL export from AE CS4.

    Now authors Richard Harrington and Marcus Geduld have created Flash for After Effects and After Effects for Flash. You can check out a couple of chapters online for free:

    Happy keyframing & expression-slinging & precomping and all that.

    Roll your own After Effects plug-ins, sans coding

    I’m always intrigued by visual tools that let non-coders assemble their own filter effects.

    If this sort of thing is up your alley & if you use After Effects, check out Effect Builder AE. It’s “a development kit for building Adobe After Effects plug-ins from Quartz Compositions on Mac OS X. With Effect Builder AE and Quartz Composer, you can quickly create your own effects like generators, filters, and transitions without programming knowledge.” [Via]

    Previously:

    • Filter Forge is a Photoshop plug-in used for creating your own filters.

    Le Sens Propre: A new short film shot with RED + CS4

    Working on a commission from Adobe, Brazilian director Cisma* recently created “Le Sens Propre,” rather surreal story about “a dream-like voyage in the universe of a little girl.” Cisma & team used a RED camera followed by an exclusive Adobe CS4 Production Premium workflow (no non-Adobe products touched the film–no 3D software, etc.).

    Adobe’s Scott Morris writes,

    Several high-profile artists have been commissioned by Adobe to do work using the various CS4 toolsets, to really show off what the products can do. Le Sens Proper now joins work from other artists and graphic designers including John Kelly, Nando Costa, Genevieve Gauckler, and Erik Natzke.

    Check out their work on the new AdobeArtists.com. For a Q&A with the director plus production stills, check out this piece from Motionographer.

    * According to the Adobe Artists site, “Cisma” (aka Denis Kamioka) took his name from the Portuguese word for “strong and irrational conviction.” My kind of guy.

    Recent motion goodness, part 1

    • Honda Insight Let it Shine turns hundreds of cars into a giant LED-style display. [Via] The making-of piece is just as interesting, as is the excellent browser integration on the Vimeo site. (Man, years ago I used to dream about doing stuff like this in a browser. Glad to see it in action.)
    • “Carousel” for Philips Cinema is pretty amazing on every level. The short film works as an endless loop, and as Coloribus writes in its behind-the-scenes coverage, “Visitors to the microsite therefore have the option to ‘spin’ through the film’s single take shot repeatedly, to stop on a specific frame, or to watch it at the preordained speed. The film also contains embedded hotspots, which, when triggered, transport the viewer seamlessly from the heavily posted film to a behind-the-scenes version of the same shot.” [Via Colin Macdonald]
    • Jonathan Jarvis’s The Crisis of Credit Visualized uses Illustrator & After Effects to great effect, explaining the chain reactions that inflated–then crippled–the world economy. [Via David Macy]
    • No CGI, no wires needed: Danny MacAskill does some of the most incredible stunts (which just happen to involve a bike) I’ve ever seen. Great musical choice, too. [Via everyone ever]

    "Star Wars, nothing but Staaar Waaars…"

    Now that Flash CS4 offers “postcards in space”-style 3D transformations, you can do all sorts of simple, interesting things. On CreativePro.com Jeremy Schultz has posted a tutorial on creating a Star Wars-style text crawl using the new app.

     

    Photoshop CS4 offers a couple of interesting new ways to do something similar. First, because Smart Objects in CS4 now support perspective transformations, you can create some text, then transform it non-destructively while keeping everything editable. Here’s a quick recipe:

     

     

    1. Create your text. I suggest clicking & dragging out a rectangle using the text tool, then pasting in your text.
    2. Choose Layers->Smart Object->Convert to Smart Object.
    3. Hit Cmd-T/Ctrl-T to enter Free Transform mode.
    4. While hovering over one corner of the transform rectangle, hold Cmd-Opt-Shift/Ctrl-Alt-Shift, then start dragging. Hit Enter/Return when done.
    5. To change the perspective effect applied to the Smart Object, just hit Cmd-T/Ctrl-T again and you’ll be right back where you were. To edit the text, double click the SO layer to edit the original content in its own window.

     

     

    Photoshop CS4 Extended offers another cool option as well: turning the layer into a 3D postcard. Try this:

     

    1. Create the initial text layer as described above.
    2. Choose 3D->New 3D Postcard From Layer.
    3. Hit K on the keyboard to select the 3D Rotate Tool.
    4. Click and drag on the layer to rotate it in 3D space. Try holding Shift, then clicking and dragging vertically.
    5. Alternatively, use the on-canvas 3D manipulation widget and/or the other object/camera manipulation tools to rotate the 3D postcard layer.
    6. To edit the text, double click the name of the text layer listed in the Layers panel beneath Textures-Diffuse.

     

     

    Is one method better than the other? Not necessarily. Going the Smart Object route, you can use regular Photoshop transformation options & directly apply filters non-destructively. (Plus, of course, you’re not required to own Photoshop Extended.) The 3D postcard method offers much richer ways to manipulate the object using real 3D effects–for example, changing the focal length of the camera that’s viewing the text. It also lets you apply 3D lights, etc.
    One other thing: After Effects has supported postcards in space for many years, and the Adobe Exchange features a downloadable template for AE that makes the Star Wars effect easy.

    Thanks to Bill Murray for the title inspiration.

    Motion Graphics: Gorillas & Guerrillas

    Killer animations o' the day

    • Despite finding it some time ago, I’ve been avoiding blog The Art of the Title Sequence, knowing that it would likely take over my life.  Sure enough, it’s loaded with good stuff.  Check out the beautiful titles for El Don, whipped up by Santiago artists Smog.  I saw motion graphics pioneer Kyle Cooper (SE7EN, etc.) speak years ago and remember him saying that every frame should hold up on its own as graphic design.  This piece aces that test.  (For unrelated goodness, see Smog’s “monkey-headed dancing guy” (or whatever “un mono bailarín” is).)
    • Motion artist PES creates incredible stop-motion films using found objects.  KaBoom and Western Spaghetti are particularly great (c’mon, Candy Corn as flames?).  Check out his work before People for the Ethical Treatment of Upholstery shut him down. [Via John Peterson & Maria Brenny, “Because (re: KaBoom) I know what you do in the desert”]
    • My Drive Thru is a new stop-motion video for Converse, produced by the team at Psyop.  Behind the scenes, Pharrell Williams talks about rescuing Chuck Taylors from the taint of Punky Brewster, and Glossy interviews the Psyop crew while posting some high-res stills. [Via]
    • Superfad has kicked out a trio of stylish ads for Sprint.  The Hurricane Katrina spot is particularly worth a look.  

    Recent motion graphics goodness

     

    • Roi Sabarov’s Typeflow animation is poetry in motion.  ("That is awesome.  That goes on the blog."  –Margot, Licensed Nackwife.)
    • Fatal Farm makes some super, ah, unique remixes of 80’s TV themes.  Knight Rider is brilliant, though be warned that you won’t be getting the song out of your head. The rest are of mixed taste, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    • Mato Atom’s "Champions" probably won’t change any hearts and minds about Bush, Blair, & Co., but it’s impeccably executed. [Via Sebastian Meyer]
    • I like the lo-fi stylings of these animated videos for Welsh band Los Campesinos!, created by Simon Ampel & Chris Seimasko.
    • The Whitest Boy Alive is all about optical illusions. [Via]

     

    By the way, if you’re going to be in NYC in a couple of weeks & are interested in After Effects, you might want to check out the next AENY meeting.  Jim Geduldick writes to say that the June 26th meeting will feature some cool speakers:

     

    • Visual Designer Marc Coleran, whose work has been seen in films like  The Bourne Ultimatum, Domino, Alien vs. Predator, The Bourne Identity, Blade II, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The World Is Not Enough – just to name a few.
    • Visual effects artist John Montgomery, co-founder of the online visual effects news site fxguide, as well as the training site fxphd. His Clients and Credits include Super Bowl commercials for McDonald’s, Disney as well as work for Budweiser, Miller, Hallmark, Sears, Moen, Gatorade, Morgan Stanley, and the ESPN and CBS television networks.

     

    Check out the AENY site for more details.

    Technology sneak: Photoshop, AE, Flash

    Last Thursday Adobe held a day-long event at which the execs briefed members of the financial community.  A couple of us spear carriers (Steve Heintz, Karl Soule, and I) were recruited to help show off some new technology that’s baking "in the labs" (i.e. none of this stuff is promised for a future version, your mileage my vary, void where prohibited, professional driver on a closed course, etc.).

    Check out the Connect webcast to see the goods in action.  (Scrub ahead to 18 minutes or so–about one third of the way through–to catch the demos.)  I show off some new performance tuning in Photoshop by playing with a 650 megapixel image on a Mac Pro.  It’s too bad that the low frame rate of recording hides the fluidity of panning, zooming, and rotating via OpenGL hardware acceleration.  I also demonstrate automated merging of images to extend depth of field, as well as a 360-degree panorama mapped onto an interactive 3D sphere on which I can paint directly.  (Painting directly onto 3D models–mmm, yes.)  Steve demos Adobe’s new "Thermo" RIA design tool while Karl shows off inverse kinematics in Flash and more.

    You can check out the rest of the executive presentations & their slides here.

    Winners of the $20,000 Adobe design challenge announced

    Congratulations to TJ Sochor of 3 Wagons Deep on winning the grand prize in Adobe’s "See What’s Possible" motion graphics contest:

    <script src="http://flash.revver.com/player/1.0/player.js?mediaId:758469;affiliate:0;width:480;height:392" type="text/javascript"

    TJ writes,

    The entire animation was done completely with Photoshop and After Effects (with a touch of Illustrator for logo preparation). No 3rd party plug-ins, programs, animation, videos were used; just the tools that ship standard with Adobe software. All photos are original – taken with my Nikon D80 (organized in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom). The music is also original. No 3rd party stuff, well, except for my cheap Yamaha guitar.

    Finalists

    Participation

    • More than 348 Submissions from over 31 countries with over 1/3 in the last day before the deadline
    • More than half the submissions came from outside the U.S.
    • More than 5,800 registered users who contributed submissions, comments, and votes
    • More than 120,000 unique visitors from over 156 countries around the world

    Then, of course, there were a few that remind you that "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

    Thanks to everyone for the great entries! If you see any that strike you as particularly cool, funny, bizarre, etc., please pass ’em along via the comments.

    Skaters in slow-mo, with explosions

    Decks & Bombs & Rock n’ Roll: Peep the amazing intro to Lakai’s Fully Flared skateboarding video.  (Okay, no rock here, but the grandiose score & slow motion really do it for me.)  I’d love to see a higher-res version of this clip, but for that apparently you need to buy the DVD. [Via]

    In other animation/motion graphics news:

    • Yannick Puig’s I Lived On the Moon is just unreasonably great-looking, loaded with memorable character designs in a melancholy palette.  His site contains a good deal of behind-the-scenes info on how he created storyboards, then used Photoshop, After Effects, and 3ds Max to realize the vision. [Via]  A few of the visuals recall Jamie Caliri’s similarly wonderful Dragon ad for United.
    • On the other end of the tech spectrum is Fantoche, a rather nightmarish stop-motion sequence crawling across a bathroom wall.  [Via Frederick Johnson]  I can’t find much in the way of credits, but I imagine it’s connected to the animation festival of the same name.
    • Hamburg-based Sehsucht has created a hypnotic & painterly animation for the 20 Jahre Auto Trophy. [Via]
    • Toolfarm features an interview with Jim Geduldick of Wonder Pets, discussing his work on that AE-powered show.

    Wicked cool: Building a 3D model from video

    Here’s something pretty well guaranteed to put a smile on your face, I think: the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies has developed VideoTrace, "a system for interactively generating realistic 3D models of objects from video."  A user sketches a few surfaces, after which the system works to generate 3D data.  The short video demonstration is a little ho-hum until near the middle, which is where the uncontested smiling begins. 😉 [Via]

    This demo makes me think of Strata’s Foto 3D, a tool for generating 3D models from within Photoshop, using just a series of photographs.  By placing an object onto a specially printed piece of paper, then shooting it from a variety of angles, you give the software enough info to generate a 3D model that can then live as a 3D layer in Photoshop CS3 Extended.

    It also reminds me of Extended’s ability to set 3D planes on a photograph using its Vanishing Point plug-in, then export the results as 3D data for use in After Effects and other tools.  With it you can export an image like this as 3D data, then set camera movement in AE and create an animation like this.

    Welcoming a new year with animation & photos

    Hey everyone–happy 2008!  May the new year bring you much peace, joy, success, and hilarity.

    The madcap, After Effects-wielding Spiridellis brothers at JibJab have created a great animation to ring out ’07.  The look on Steve Jobs’s face is particularly excellent. 🙂

    The NYT features a gallery of New Years photos from around the world.  I really like the shot of a sparkler-loving child in Moscow, as well as a slightly surreal shot of the Popemobile at night.

    Welcoming a new year with animation & photos

    Hey everyone–happy 2008!  May the new year bring you much peace, joy, success, and hilarity.

    The madcap, After Effects-wielding Spiridellis brothers at JibJab have created a great animation to ring out ’07.  The look on Steve Jobs’s face is particularly excellent. 🙂

    The NYT features a gallery of New Years photos from around the world.  I really like the shot of a sparkler-loving child in Moscow, as well as a slightly surreal shot of the Popemobile at night.

    Recent motion graphics goodness

    • The first four minutes of “The Kingdom” fly through “the history of U.S. involvement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”  You could call this treatment fast food history, but the concluding image is the most indelible rendering of a bar chart I’ve seen.  [Via]
    • For their latest ad Guinness commissioned a huge set of dominoes in an Argentinian mountain village, culminating in cars hitting one another.  Here’s the vid.
    • Post-It’s drop f-bombs in this trailer for Douglas Coupland’s The Gum Thief.  (Books have trailers now?)
    • Things blow up real good in this spot for the Nissan Note.  In a world full of CGI, what look to be good old-fashioned FX can feel pretty refreshing.
    • Adobe’s Dennis Radeke runs The Genesis Project, a blog devoted to sharing examples, info, and tips to get you started in After Effects and other Adobe tools.
    • Microsoft’s Zune Arts project features all kinds of interesting, often incomprehensible animation and design.  Peep “Masks” for a good example. [Via]
    • Here’s a simple but interesting time lapse showing the growth of the NYC subway system. [Via]  If that’s up your alley, see also Transit Maps of the World.
    • The Mac Video Pro hosts an interview with After Effects PM Michael Coleman (blog) discussing his thoughts for the future.  By the way, I’m told that the AE update for Leopard is due extremely soon–maybe by the time you read this.

    AE+Scripting: Loveliness

    After Effects is known for its crazy-powerful timeline, but lurking below the surface is a great deal of power that’s accessible via scripting.  Manny Tan has taken a break from his usual Flash-based work in order to create a really lovely example of what can be done by driving animation programmatically. [Via Matthew Richmond]

    If the prospect of driving AE via code is up your alley, check out AEnhancers.com, a community of people creating expressions, sharing tutorials and presets, and more.  [Via Dennis Radeke, who points out a number of free AE plug-ins]

    Use AE+Flash to create interactive video

    News about After Effects always proves popular with the Flash crowd that stops by here, so I thought I’d pass along AE Product Manager Michael Coleman’s tips on Creating Interactive Video with After Effects and Flash.  The 40-minute presentation talks about using AE’s motion tracker to generate cue points that tell the SWF what to do, among other things.

    Writing this in 2007, I still can’t quite believe that AE’s chocolate is getting into Flash’s peanut butter, so to speak.  Back in 1999, during my previous gig, I started browbeating people at Adobe & Macromedia to make these tools work together, and with CS3 it’s finally happening.  I think this is just the beginning of what AE & Flash will be able to do in tandem.

    For more tutorial content on AE, Premiere Pro, Flash, and other timeline-related things, check out Dennis Radeke’s Genesis Project.

    Going to MAX? Let's talk Photoshop, AE, Flash…

    Greetings from O’Hare, where I find myself en route to this coming week’s Adobe MAX conference in Chicago.  If you plan to attend the show and are interested in talking about the future of Photoshop & how all this stuff fits together, please drop me a line.  In particular, Michael Coleman & the After Effects guys are looking for customers who use AE & Flash together (or who would like to do so).  Drop him a line if you’re interested in that, and hope to see you at the show.

    [PS: There will be Birds of a Feather sessions featuring the Photoshop team Monday night. Photoshop is 7:30-8:30.
    Suites teams (Design and Web) are 8:30-9:30.  I’m not yet sure about the location(s).]

    Make Fireworks in After Effects, Ditch Quark, & more on Design Center

    The Adobe Design Center shimmies into some new content:

    * New Dialog Box:

    * New Tutorials:

    * New White Papers:

    Also, check out some of the 970+ Adobe links on del.icio.us.  Info on how to contribute links is here.  [Via]

    Make Fireworks in After Effects, Ditch Quark, & more on Design Center

    The Adobe Design Center shimmies into some new content:

    * New Dialog Box:

    * New Tutorials:

    * New White Papers:

    Also, check out some of the 970+ Adobe links on del.icio.us.  Info on how to contribute links is here.  [Via]

    Stop motion, painting with light, & more

    *Tangentially related: Last week we had a great visit with the Pixar folks, discussing how they use Photoshop today & how they’d like to see it evolve.  In talking about creating the lifelike rat movements in Ratatouille, they said, "Yeah, it was really tough gluing tiny ping pong balls onto those guys for the motion capture!  We tried marshmallows, but they kept eating ’em…"

    Stop motion, painting with light, & more

    *Tangentially related: Last week we had a great visit with the Pixar folks, discussing how they use Photoshop today & how they’d like to see it evolve.  In talking about creating the lifelike rat movements in Ratatouille, they said, "Yeah, it was really tough gluing tiny ping pong balls onto those guys for the motion capture!  We tried marshmallows, but they kept eating ’em…"

    Photoshop, AE go to war in "300"

    I’ve got movies on the brain, having just returned from a couple days spent with the amazing folks at Disney Feature Animation.  (Seriously, I throw around “great” and “amazing” as much as the next guy, but these artists are laughably talented.  It’s the sort of place where you’ll hear a guy saying, “Well, I’m not a painter…” as you look around and see his lovingly painted artwork on every wall.  I had to interrupt, saying, “Man, maybe you’re not officially ‘that guy’ here, but trust me, you’re *That Guy* everywhere else!”)  I took notes furiously, and maybe at some point I’ll be able to share bits here.  (I just want to make sure that I don’t inadvertently “give up the gag,” as the Disney folks would say.)

    In the spirit of peeking behind the scenes, I enjoyed learning on Adobe.com how Photoshop and After Effects were used in the making of 300.  From roughing out storyboards to painting backdrops in Photoshop, “crushing” the colors, adding dust in AE, and compositing layers in HDR, Adobe apps are used throughout the filmmaking process.

    The article reminds me of a previous Adobe.com profile, one discussing how Photoshop and AE were used in the making of The Aviator.  Favorite insight:

    Scorsese wanted The Aviator’s color palette to reflect the look of movies from the period being portrayed onscreen. Hence, when the action is set in the years 1927-1937, the film emulates Technicolor’s two-color dye transfer; for the period 1937-1947, the film’s look changes to Technicolor’s three-color dye transfer system…

    After consulting with one of the oldest color timing experts at Technicolor, Legato was able to “previz” the palettes by scanning black-and-white stills and using Photoshop to digitally overlay cyan, magenta, and yellow filters, digitally emulating historic Technicolor color processes.

    Adobe’s own Mike Kanfer won an Oscar for his work on Titanic and is helping keep the ideas flowing back and forth.  We’ll try to gather more info to share soon.

    PS–One other cinematic mention: New Yorker/Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty recommends Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies. Author/architect/curator
    James Sanders gives Photoshop a shout-out for its role in the interactive & documentary efforts.

    Photoshop, AE go to war in "300"

    I’ve got movies on the brain, having just returned from a couple days spent with the amazing folks at Disney Feature Animation.  (Seriously, I throw around “great” and “amazing” as much as the next guy, but these artists are laughably talented.  It’s the sort of place where you’ll hear a guy saying, “Well, I’m not a painter…” as you look around and see his lovingly painted artwork on every wall.  I had to interrupt, saying, “Man, maybe you’re not officially ‘that guy’ here, but trust me, you’re *That Guy* everywhere else!”)  I took notes furiously, and maybe at some point I’ll be able to share bits here.  (I just want to make sure that I don’t inadvertently “give up the gag,” as the Disney folks would say.)

    In the spirit of peeking behind the scenes, I enjoyed learning on Adobe.com how Photoshop and After Effects were used in the making of 300.  From roughing out storyboards to painting backdrops in Photoshop, “crushing” the colors, adding dust in AE, and compositing layers in HDR, Adobe apps are used throughout the filmmaking process.

    The article reminds me of a previous Adobe.com profile, one discussing how Photoshop and AE were used in the making of The Aviator.  Favorite insight:

    Scorsese wanted The Aviator’s color palette to reflect the look of movies from the period being portrayed onscreen. Hence, when the action is set in the years 1927-1937, the film emulates Technicolor’s two-color dye transfer; for the period 1937-1947, the film’s look changes to Technicolor’s three-color dye transfer system…

    After consulting with one of the oldest color timing experts at Technicolor, Legato was able to “previz” the palettes by scanning black-and-white stills and using Photoshop to digitally overlay cyan, magenta, and yellow filters, digitally emulating historic Technicolor color processes.

    Adobe’s own Mike Kanfer won an Oscar for his work on Titanic and is helping keep the ideas flowing back and forth.  We’ll try to gather more info to share soon.

    PS–One other cinematic mention: New Yorker/Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty recommends Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies. Author/architect/curator
    James Sanders gives Photoshop a shout-out for its role in the interactive & documentary efforts.

    After Effects CS3 roars on 8-core Mac

    "As you know," writes Rob Morgan of benchmarking site Bare Feats, "we’ve been fishing for an application that, by itself, can justify the purchase of an 8-core Mac Pro. I think we have found it: Adobe After Effects CS3."

    According to the site, AECS3’s ability to spawn multiple processes & render multiple frames at once is "like creating a ‘render farm’ within a single Mac" and produces some great results: e.g. doing in 35 seconds on an 8-core Mac what a quad-core G5 needed 155 seconds to accomplish.  Bitchin’.  I think that longtime AE interface designer/newly minted AE Product Manager Michael Coleman may have more details to share on his blog soon. Also note that AECS3 is available for download as a public beta via Adobe Labs. [Via Fergus Hammond]

    Adobe video apps: Back to the Mac

    Excellent news: Last fall’s debut of the cross-platform Adobe Soundbooth beta was a sign of good things to come, and the company has just announced that the next version of the Adobe Production Studio will be available on both Macintosh & Windows. Specifics of features, pricing, and schedule aren’t being discussed right now; rather, this announcement is a heads-up that signals the direction for this tightly integrated suite of products, including a greatly increased commitment to the Mac platform.

    After Effects PM Steve Kilisky has posted some background on the history & evolution of platform support in DV apps.  The short story: Adobe Premiere needed a rewrite from the ground up, so the team had to focus its efforts on a single platform, with the hope and intention of returning to the Mac after building momentum on Windows.  That’s exactly what they’re now doing, alongside Encore DVD and Soundbooth.

    I know that there’s plenty of really emotional history here, and I’m posting the news just to help spread the word.  I expect that Steve, along with DV PMs Bob Donlon & Hart Shafer, will have more to say via their blogs in the weeks and months ahead.  So, I’ll leave comments open on this post, but it would probably be most useful to channel feedback to those guys directly.

    [Update: Macworld has posted news and analysis of this development. I’m really pleased to see all the positive and supportive reader comments. Elsewhere, Orphanage founder Stu Maschwitz posted some brief positive notes about switching from FCP to Premiere. I love the “Voltron” comparison. :-)]

    Sweet Flash+After Effects example

    The crew at WDDG has declared "Technological & Creative Warfare" on lame online portforlios, kicking out the retro jams with their new company site.  Besides being a great Flash showcase, it represents a great integration of Flash & After Effects.  Company founder James Baker says he was inspired by seeing Dr. Woohoo’s AE->Flash tools, which he then used to link the apps.  He writes, "The jitter is motion-captured from some old footage and looped throughout the site.  I threw a 2-pixel blur on it and a loop of crap over the top, and suddenly crappy JPEGs looked like newsreel footage." And of course the site makes heavy use of color-treated & modified film stock, exported as Flash video (FLV).  Killer all around. [Update: Drew has interviewed James & shares more info about the project.]

    (Oh, and don’t forget to take a look behind the scenes at their advanced design process.)