MGLA January 4, 2001 Meeting Summary
Lineup: Adobe Premiere 6/ The Consolidator for Premiere / ProMax Dual-Head G4 Display Card / RE:Vision FX plug-ins for AE / Rich Hevley of Access Hollywood
We opened our first meeting of 2001 with our standard aisle seating, technical issues masterfully fixed by our projectionist Shannon, and question-answer-rumor-story session. Apple had yet to announce their new desktop machines and new G4 Powerbook and everyone was guessing what was up. No one guessed titanium, but everyone was pretty close on what the new G4s would be like.
Co-host Chris Meyer fielded some Firewire questions and talked about his experiences moving from removable hard drives to Firewire drives as Cybermotion's preferred method of moving large projects from machine to machine.
** ADOBE PREMIERE 6**
Our first presenter of the evening was Tina James of Adobe who came down to show us Premiere 6.0, the just-released version of Adobe's video editing software. The first thing Tina pointed out was the native DV support. Now you can use Firewire or any OHCI card to connect a camera for capture and playback. There are also batch capturing options and various other DV-related settings allowing you to use your DV camera as a video deck.
Premiere's Project Window has changed a bit by adding bins and other familiar methods of managing data. You can also customize the list view and there are now additional "find" features. A new storyboarding feature makes it very easy to sequence clips by clicking and dragging. Now you can automatically take a bin or selected clips and place them all on the time line with a user-definable transition. Tina showed us how you can put down real-time markers over a music track and later drop clips onto the markers. It will even stretch clips if needed.
Other new features allow you to slip the footage in the time line, import Adobe Photoshop layered files while retaining transparency, and have Premier automatically update changed source footage and files.
Premier now ships with 25 After Effects plug-ins, and it appears that 3rd party plug ins will work as well. Just like with After Effects, you can stack effects and re-order them.
On the audio side of things Tina showed us how you can set up a link in a marker so the movie can take you to a web page. So as the movie is playing, it can trigger different pages on a website. You can now save to a variety of new formats. One is "save to web" where you can pick from various formats and go into a free custom version of Media Cleaner from Terran.
Our audience then asked numerous question about RealTime Premiere. Tina explained that Premiere is Premiere, and that realtime playback is a function of the particular video board you are using.
Premier 6.0 is a $149 upgrade and $549 if you're purchasing it for the first time.
** THE CONSOLIDATOR**
Our next presenter was Fred Greissing who came down to show his Consolidator software for Adobe Premiere. Consolidator provides a method for quickly translating your Premiere temp files into actual clips. This makes importing into Adobe After Effects a much quicker process. Consolidator also helps in creating/saving sequential versions of projects as a new Premier project is created each time you save via Consolidator.
Consolidator is currently only available for Windows but a Mac version is expected soon. Price is $79.00 for a limited time.
More information can be found at http://www.premieretools.com.
**PROMAX VIDEO CARD**
Next up was Charles McConathy of ProMax who brought along their new VHMax AGP card for Mac G4s. This card provides for dual monitor support from a single card. There is also an option for s-video output from one of the channels. Charles also brought down their DA-Max video/audio conversion box he had shown previously at MGLA. Specs and prices for both products can be found at http://www.promax.com.
Moving to After Effects-related stuff Pete Litwinowicz from RE:Vision Effects took the stage to show us some very creative AE plug ins.
First up was Video Gogh a plug in developed from the technology Pete used to created the painterly effects seen in the film What Dreams May Come. The effect get its unique quality by following pixels as the move. Shade Shape is a 3D effect filter similar to AE's Bevel Alpha, however it take it much further by allowing you to add bumps, reflections and other 3D effects. Real Smart Motion Blur is an incredibly useful plug in for adding motion blur to footage or 3D renders. It also gives you the ability to un-blur certain types of footage. Lastly, Twixtor is another very useful plug in that intelligently "tweens" frames allowing you so create slow motion effects that look very impressive. Pete slowed down some footage by a factor of 10 and the results were fantastic. Video Gogh, Shade Shape and Real Smart Motion Blur sell individually for $90.00. Twixtor is $330.00
**RICH HELVEY of ACCESS HOLLYWOOD**
Our last presenter and artist for the evening was Rich Helvey from who is the 3D animator for the show Access Hollywood. He started his career on a Hal system but hit after "hitting every limitation," sold the system and built a LightWave renderfarm. He explained that he'll work on projects that will range from a deadline of a few weeks to a few hours. He likes LightWave for it's ability to allow him to create and modify projects to meet this quick deadlines. He explained that his team consists of him, one designer, and other designer/animator who handles elements specific to the daily broadcast.
Rich then walked us through the process of taking a logo created by his designer and quickly turning it into an exciting 3D bumper. A profile on Rich can be found on the Lightewave 6 web site.
With such a full agenda we had to put demo reels on hold, but we did have a very full raffle, which included a ProMax video card, Adobe Premiere 6.0, Intelligent Media's AE Companion, and two CDs for Digital Vision's Autograph series. Let's hope the rest of 2001 proves to be as bountiful for everyone!
Lucky, Chris, Trish, and Dan
your MGLA Hosts
door prizes for this meeting contributed by: