LINEUP: Pixel Corps Presents / PBS Kids case study / Digital Anarchy ReSizer & Data Animator / LME Trapcode Presets / door prizes
October's meeting started off with a few notes during the Question and Answer period. Trish and Chris had news from the Rocky Mountain VidExpo, where Dan Warvi introduced them to new compression software called Episode Pro that allows users on Mac or Windows to create evenly compressed movies from QuickTime for all of the major types of cell phone media. Ko Maruyama had several announcements about upcoming events, most notably the Cut And Paste Tournament in Hollywood.
There were special offers that went out via email to all of the MGLA membership. If you are not part of the mailing group, or have recently fallen off the list due to frequent bouncing, use the email links at http://www.mgla.org/joinmgla.html.
Alex Lindsay started out the presentation lineup with an overview of the Pixel Corps' latest project. "Europa" a film created with a small ensemble of actors was shot in its first stages as a trailer, to examine different procedures and techniques that might be required for the completion of the entire film.
Teams of designers, animators and code writers from the Pixel Corps have worked on the film from locations all over the world (in over 20 countries). Some members were not professional film makers, or connected to the production of film before joining the Pixel Corps, but are now thriving in the atmosphere provided by the group. Alex talked about the workflow challenges that face a large group of people working on the same project (or scene).
Jim Tierney of Digital Anarchy showed off a little bit of his plugins called ReSizer, which deinterlaces and scales NTSC footage into HD resolution. He also showed off Data Animator 1.1. Data Animator for After Effects or Final Cut Pro) generates animated charts/graphs by importing data from a spreadsheet or text file. It allows you to create graphics for news shows, simulated displays, and corporate communication projects.
Jim announced that there are several plans for different upgrades for Data Animator. Jim also let members know that a new version of Data Animator which, unlike the precision tools in Data Animator, will afford users access to a limited set of tools in order to easily generate "data screen" and "computer monitor" style animations for use in composites.
People who don't create charts regularly may be interested in the in-development Data Animator Lite. The set comes with five chart plug-ins. These charts provide 2D and 2.5D charts with a variety of options that make animating your data a very simple process. You can either use your own data or have the charts randomly generate data for use as a background element, eye candy, or other use where specific data is not needed.
There are multiple download codes that were sent out to MGLA members in the email for specials from Digital Anarchy.
Sergio Cardenas and his team of animators from Johnson & Murphy Advertising came to talk about about a recent animation completed for PBS KIDS. The project which airs on the channel as well as online focuses on characters animated in Moho (now Anime Studio) and Adobe After Effects. The project included ten separate animations featuring a family who operates a small diner.
Using Anime Studio, Matt Mary demonstrated the use of bones and IK animation to simplify the animation techniques which made the process on time and within the budget. Matt showed several rigs including moveable hierarchies that allowed for easy swapping of target objects. Matt also pointed out some tricks to "boning" the 2D imagery in order to prevent pinching or collapsing animation.
Sergio used CINEMA 4D to create the 3D elements in the animations which were later tracked and composited to the Anime Studio animations in Adobe After Effects.
E•Frontier donated a copy of Anime Studio STANDARD to the monthly raffle. The response by the MGLA membership could have been forecast when the 2nd winner of the raffle picked Anime Studio as their prize (2nd of 20). The good people of E•Frontier not only upgraded the prize to Anime Studio PRO, but after several emails from those in attendance poured in, extended a special offer for Anime Studio Pro to all MGLA members.
Little Men Entertainment have created sets of presets for Trapcode's highly useful After Effects plug-ins Particular, Echospace, 3D Stroke, and Starglow. Each collection includes 100 presets or comps and matching After Effects projects.
MGLA co-host Ko Maruyama gave us an overview of the presets, including how to navigate to them using Adobe Bridge. Fellow plug-in developer Jim Tierney also had some comments afterwards, encouraging users to invest the time to learn their tools.
Next month's meeting will be held downtown at the Los Angeles Convention Center immediately following the DV Expo on Wednesday, November 15. You can get a free pass to the exhibit hall (and entry to the MGLA meeting) by clicking here.
We look forward to seeing you downtown. We will be back in Hollywood's Barnsdall Art Park on December 19th.
Below is the list of prizes we gave away at the October meeting. The total value added up to between $4800 and $5300, depending on what options the winners chose.
* High Voltage Scenarios stock footage library, courtesy Artbeats ($599 value)
(Note that Artbeats has a special for the month of October where if you buy any collection worth $399 or higher, you can also get Lightning Arcs for $299 or Lightning Arcs HD for $399, which is a $3-400 savings.)
* Data Animator plug-in set for After Effects, courtesy Digital Anarchy ($495 value)
* Automatic Duck's Pro Import AE plug-in set for importing NLE and Motion projects into After Effects, courtesy of Automatic Duck ($495 value)
* GridIron Nucleo Pro render acceleration plug-in for After Effects, courtesy GridIron Software ($495 value)
* Lynda.com Online Training Library 1-year Premium Subscription, courtesy Lynda.com ($375 value)
* a 6 month Pixel Corp membership, courtesy of the Pixel Corps ($350 value)
* a 12 CD subscription for After Effects and Photoshop training, courtesy of The Anvel ($299 value)
* a copy of Conduit for Motion, courtesy dvGarage ($269 value)
* ThemeBlox Unit 04: Business & Money stock footage library, courtesy 12 Inch Design ($249 value)
* a copy of FrameCycler Professional 3.5 film resolution playback and color channel viewing software, courtesy IRIDAS ($249 value)
* broadcastGEMs Volume01 AE Pro Series stock footage library with After Effects projects, courtesy broadcastGEMs ($229 value)
* a copy of SpeedGrade OnSet "look management" (color correction, etc.) software, courtesy IRIDAS ($199 value)
* dvMatte Pro AE keying plug-in for After Effects, courtesy dvGarage ($199 value)
* coupon worth 50% off virtually any Moviola class (ACSR and bundles excepted), courtesy Moviola ($197-$647 value)
* ReSizer 2.0 plug-in for After Effects, courtesy Digital Anarchy ($149 value)
* LME Collections set of 100 animation presets & comps for Trapcode Starglow and After Effects, from new MGLA sponsor Little Men Entertainment ($99 value).
* Creating Motion Graphics Volume 2: Advanced Techniques book by MGLA co-hosts Trish & Chris Meyer, courtesy Focal Press ($60 value)
* Apple Pro Training Series Shake 4 book by Marco Paolini, courtesy Apple Computer ($55 value)
* Animating with Flash 8 book by Alex Michael, courtesy Focal Press ($50 value)
* a copy of Anime Studio standard version, courtesy E*Frontier ($50 value)
* After Effects @ Work book by multiple authors, including MGLA co-hosts Trish & Chris Meyer, courtesy CMP Books/Focal Press ($45 value)
If you're not already on our email list, click on the Join MGLA button to the left and get on it now, so you can get first word of what's going to happen.
And again, thanks to Maxon's sponsorship of MGLA this year, admission is free!
Chris, Trish, Tony, Warren, and Ko
Your MGLA co-hosts
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and Art Park is a facility of the
City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department
The Gallery Theatre at Barnsdall Art Park
4800 Hollywood Boulevard
(between Vermont and Normandie)
Hollywood, CA 90027
* coming South/East on the 101: exit Hollywood, head East
* coming North/West on the 101: exit Vermont, head North, turn left (going West) onto Hollywood
* coming from the 5: exit Los Feliz, head West, turn left (going South) onto Vermont, turn right (going West) on Prospect, Prospect becomes Hollywood
Enter through the gate on the South side of Hollywood Blvd. just East of the light at Edgemont, or West of the light at New Hampshire (which is just West of where Prospect and Hollywood come together). The theatre is at the top of the hill, adjacent to the art gallery (they have separate entrances).
Parking is free. There is parking at the bottom of the hill, but first try to find a space around the perimeter of the park at the top. Please park closely together, at an angle (regardless of how the parking spaces are painted!) to allow more cars to park. Click here for a PDF map (300k) of the grounds that points out the parking areas and includes other helpful hints.
Wheelchair access (or if you are carrying a lot of gear): Park in the lot next to the Hollyhock house (you will see a handicap parking sign - there are also spaces for loading etc.), come into the theatre entrance, and take the elevator down. There will be space in the front of the theatre for wheelchairs.
Click here for a MapQuest interactive map, including the ability to get directions from your location to this address. There is also a Metro Red Line station at Vermont and Sunset, about a block and a half from the park's entrance.
Before or after the meeting, there is a fine restaurant row on Vermont between Hollywood and Franklin (just around the corner from the park). There are also a number of funky ethic eateries along Hollywood.