LINEUP: book signing for charity / Pixel Corps Presents: Matchmoving / BDA Presents: Belief / silhouette+roto / Automatic Duck Pro Import AE 3.0 / demo reels
We kicked off the new year as we settle into our new home - the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre (BGT) - and our new schedule, with regular presentations from the Pixel Corps and the BDA. For more information on the upgrade we performed to this theatre, click here.
Starting us the evening was a charity book sale and signing for co-host Trish and Chris Meyer's latest book, the second edition of their tutorial and case study book, After Effects in Production (AEP). This book has been updated for version 6.5, integrating new tools such as Text and Paint into its tutorials. It now comes with a DVD-ROM which includes over 2 gigs of full-size royalty-free NTSC and PAL stock footage from Artbeats and 12 Inch Design, as well as reels and project videos from most of the case study guest studios (including Belief, one of our guests this night). More details may be found here.
Thanks to the generousity of CMP Books, who donated the books, we raised $500, which was split evening between the following charities: Save the Children's Asia Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund, and closer to home, the LA office of Free Arts for Abused Children.
We shared some of plans for the year, including the news that thanks to sponsorship from Discreet, the adjacent Municipal Art Gallery will be open during MGLA meetings starting next month (this will be the case for 8 meetings during 2005, as some months they will be between exhibits).
The Pixel Corps - the training arm of Alex Lindsay's dvGarage (and significant sponsors of MGLA) - will be presenting a concentrated half-hour session of advanced techniques at MGLA meetings throughout 2005.
This month, Alex Lindsay from the Pixel Corps walked through the basics of 3D Matchmoving for visual effects. We saw how camera moves are reversed engineered to provide 3D artists the information they need to fit their 3D animations to video footage. Software covered included Matchmover Pro and Boujou Bullet.
As usual, Alex also donated a basket full 'o prizes to give away (details further down this page).
silhouette+fx is a brand new company formed by the union of well known software designers Paul Miller and Perry Kivolowitz from Profound Effects, visual effects industry veterans Peter Moyer and Marco Paolini from Digital Film Tools, and Mark Coleran of Layerlab Limited. Their first - and highly-anticipated - product is silhouette+roto, an animated masking and roto tool for $495 that can function as a stand-alone application, or as a plug-in for Final Cut Pro, After Effects, and After Effects-compatible applications. Its features include:
* Unlimited number of animated B-Spline or Bezier shapes
* Integrated Motion Tracker that can apply motion data to points or shapes
* Shape assisted motion tracking
* Move, scale, rotate, shear, and corner pin shapes
* Point-by-Point variable edge softness
* Realistic motion blur
* Animation changes for points and shapes across all keyframes or a selection of keyframes
* Independent shape viewing
* User-definable names for each shape
* Preview shape animation over image
* Composite Preview
* Multi-processor support
* OpenGL accelerated animation engine
* Mask interchange with Adobe After Effects
* Import Elastic Reality and Pinnacle Commotion Shapes
* Export Apple Shake as well as Discreet Combustion, Flint, Flame, Inferno, Smoke and Fire GMask shapes
Marco Paolini will be down putting silhouette+roto through its paces, and answering questions. He is also bringing a copy to give away as a door prize (thanks!).
A chance to stretch, return messages, and check on those renders. The theatre has a snack bar which offers a variety of snacks and beverages at moderate prices. We should also have our customary complimentary Red Bull (courtesy of Discreet and Red Bull).
BDA - the Broadcast Designers Association (who arranged the great State of the Industry panel discussion we had a DV Expo) - will present a case study from one of their members at each of our meetings in 2005. Kicking us off will be Belief - a design studio that is no stranger to MGLA members. Mike Goedecke from Belief will be walking a recent project that Belief has executed.
Below are a pair of still images from the some of Belief's recent work for the Indian station Zoom. Click here to download a QuickTime movie (4.8 Meg) of one of the IDs.
This plug-in suite - which allows users to import timelines from Avid and Final Cut Pro into After Effects - has been a major time-saving lifeline for many users. The latest version contains a host of intriguing new features, including:
* Motion Import: Start a project in Motion and finish it in After Effects
* Filters: 3rd Party filters applied in FCP or Motion are applied in After Effects
* FCP Time Remapping: Time Remapping from FCP now translates into After Effects
* Text and Titles: Turn your Avid Title or FCP Text Generator into an AE text layer
* Drag and Drop: Import into After Effects even faster by dropping files on the project window
* FCP XML: Pro Import AE now imports from FCP via XML for richer metadata
* Avid DV50 media: Pro Import AE 3.0 adds support for Avid DV 50 media
* European file names: Support added for extended characters in file names
* and more...
Visit the Pro Import AE web page for more details on what is supported in each of these features. The price is $495. Wes Plate of Automatic Duck will be down showing off his new release and answering questions. Automatic Duck is an MGLA site sponsor, and will be giving away a copy of Pro Import AE as a door prize!
After a long break, we were happy to bring back the demo reel segment of our meetings, where members get to show off their latest job or overall reel. Of course, we are always interested in having presentations on a recent project, or a new trick or technique you've learned. Contact our artists hosts Tony Romain and Warren Heaton.
And again, thanks to Adobe's sponsorship of MGLA this year, admission is free!
Chris, Trish, Lucky, Tony, and Warren
Your MGLA co-hosts
* the dvGarage Power Pak Bundle of most of their software and textureware ($1100 value)
* the copy of the just-released Film Clutter 2 royalty-free stock footage library from Artbeats ($499 value)
(by the way, buy any Artbeats library worth $229 or more this month and get 2 more libraries - Studio Concepts and Time & Money - together for only $199)
* a copy of Automatic Duck's Pro Import AE (Mac or Windows version; $495 value)
* silhouette+roto for After Effects, FCP, and others, courtesy of silhouette+fx ($495 value)
* ProductionBlox Unit 05 stock footage library, courtesy 12 Inch Design ($249 value)
* a copy of dvGarage's Surface Suite ($249 value)
* Volume 1 of the AE Pro Series stock footage and projects courtesy of new MGLA sponsor broadcastGEMs ($229 value)
* What's New in Adobe After Effects 6.5, courtesy of Total Training ($169 value)
* a 10 CD set of motion graphics project lessons for Photoshop and After Effects from The Anvel ($150 value)
* a Pixel Corps 3-Month Membership ($135 value each)
* DTMS Inside Adobe Premiere Pro training DVD, courtesy of Magnet Media ($99 value)
* Producing Independent 2D Character Animation: Making & Selling A Short Film by Mark Simon, courtesy of Focal Press ($50 value)
* Adobe Photoshop Tips & Tricks training CD-ROM, courtesy of Total Training ($49 value)
* Make Your Own Music Video by Ed Gaskell, courtesy of CMP Books ($45 value)
* Designing DVD Menus by Michael Burns & George Cairns, courtesy of CMP Books ($45 value)
* Adobe Encore DVD: In the Studio by Douglas Dixon, courtesy of O'Reilly Media ($40 value)
* Final Cut Pro 4 On The Spot by Richard Harrington & Abba Shapiro, courtesy of CMP Books ($28 value)
* Visual Effects for Film and Television by Mitch Mitchell, courtesy of Focal Press ($25 value)
* Instant Boris Effects by Chris Vadnais, courtesy of CMP Books ($25 value)
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and Art Park is a facility of the
City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department