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'Useful Tools for Editors' a selection by Pro Video Coalition
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
July 16, 2014, at 3:01 PM

As an editor you probably use plenty of third party software – your NLE simply isn’t enough, and the market of 'tools for tools' is growing. A new article at provideocoalition.com takes a closer look at some of them with the selection called ‘Useful Tools for Editors’. Most of the time, they are developed by small companies, which use their experience to improve the workflow:

The tools in this Useful Tools for Editors edition all come from small developers who seem to have one thing in common. They are users of real post-production tools and they’ve developed these apps to help their own workflow and solve their own problems. They are now sharing these tools with the community. It’s great to see so many of these small, narrow focused tools available and easily distributed. Keep up the good work developers!!

'Useful Tools for Editors' includes various software for FCPX, Premiere Pro or Resolve. The descriptions were taken from developers’ websites – you’ll find links in the software names:

Corporate Avoidance is a free program we designed to unshackle you from your workstation by taking advantage of the necessary evils of life as a post production professional. It works by loading screenshots and animated gifs to make your computer look like it’s busy rendering

Conform Studio is a set of plugins that help you automate and manage your vfx workflow: precompose, batch rename, trim, extract, and replace comps with rendered files.

EditReady allows you to view and edit all of the metadata contained within your file - this may include location data, camera settings, and diagnostic information. You can even use metadata to automatically rename files.

EDL Spy is an application that lets you extract file names from an Edit Decision List, Final Cut XML or any other kind of footage text list (e.g. an Avid Media Summary). It can then search your harddrives for the corresponding files and copy all of them to a new location. EDL Spy also includes tools to index folder contents and to quickly copy or create complex directory structures.

Resolve Collect copies source files used in a DaVinci Resolve project (Media Pool or Timeline) to a single destination using a DaVinci Resolve Project (.drp) file from V9, V10 and V11. When you work with large DaVinci Resolve projects with sources on a lot of different drives you might want to collect them to one destination. Resolve Collect will copy just the files you need, either before you start grading to get them on a fast RAID or after you are done to Backup the project.

Foolcat generates nice camera reports of any folder full of RED, MXF or QuickTime clips in HTML and PDF format. foolcat will summarize total clip count, duration, drop frames, disk space and shows extensive metadatas for each clip along with 3 thumbnails : clip name, date shot, time shot, camera network name, format, pixel size, aspect ratio, camera frame guide, project framerate, clip framerate (varispeed) ... (and much more)

Final Cut Library Manager instantly displays all of the Final Cut Pro X 10.1 libraries that it finds on your Spotlight-indexed drives. You can also add other sources : including disks, Xsan volumes or folders, including those not indexed by spotlight.

trackFinger for After Effects allows you to record the movements of the fingers (up to ten) on the screen of the iPad or the iPhone and then send the tracking data as keyframes to Adobe After Effects to animate the contents of the screen.

For more info, please visit the article at provideocoalition.com or follow the above links for a specific app.

 

Apple's Photos app for OS X to replace Aperture - prosumer market still important!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 16, 2014, at 12:10 AM

At WWDC 2014 Apple introduced OS X Yosemite, but the company also revealed that Aperture, its professional photo-editing software application, will no longer be developed, mainly due to the fact that the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library. The new Photos app will not only replace Aperture, but also iPhoto, however it makes sense, because the Cupertino company wants you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere. No need to panic though as it seems that Photos will not be a simple casual app, but will replace Aperture and offer many professional options, so the prosumer market is still important to Apple. Why do we think Photos will be something more than just another photo browser?



First of all Macrumors reports that the company is looking for retail employees that are "passionate photography enthusiasts":

"We are seeking a technical and passionate photography enthusiast to join our Quality Assurance team working on Photos for OS X. You will be part of a fast moving team of specialists tasked with delivering the next generation of photography tools for Apple."

But what matters much more is that Photos will feature many professional-grade features, such as effects, and support for third-party extensions. We can expect that Apple will be constantly updating Photos with new options - just like in the case of Final Cut Pro X and Photos might become a strong Photoshop competitor.

Source: http://www.macrumors.com

The Foundry presents COLORWAY, a new tool for 3D designers
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
July 15, 2014, at 9:02 AM

The Foundy announced that they’re expanding the range of their offer for 3D designers with the latest software called ‘COLORWAY’. The official webpage describes the program as:

an application that aids creativity and focuses the decision making process, recognizing that a team of people involved in making design decisions have different goals and expertise. COLORWAY significantly streamlines the iterative design workflow bringing clarity and efficiency through fast, non-destructive material and lighting changes.

The video provided by The Foundry offers a simple presentation of what's the tool useful for:

Here are the key features, according to thefoundry.com:

  • Iterative workflow - Make almost limitless changes to your 3D scene's colors, textures, decals and even lighting set-ups.
  • Realtime, GPU powered updates - Make instant changes without the need to re-render. Changes to renderings are stored independently of the source image.
  • Virtual lookbook - Save multiple image variations and ‘looks’, enabling clear downstream communication and design review.
  • Share ideas - Send desired configurations to the free COLORWAY Presenter app.
  • Finalize the image - COLORWAY Presenter lets clients iterate on images choosing from options defined in the full COLORWAY app.

If you visit COLORWAY page via this link, you’ll find links to tutorials for COLORWAY/MODO and COLORWAY presenter as well as all other info that is currently available. For now COLORWAY remains free to download and use, until a commercial version is released. If you’re interested, you might also want to have a look at an early review at fxguide.com via this link.

Source: http://www.thefoundry.co.uk

Video tutorial - create a dynamic split-screen reveal effect in After Effects!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 15, 2014, at 3:19 AM

Evan Abrams of Premiumbeat.com posted an easy to follow, but also in-depth tutorial that shows in detail how to set up a split screen reveal montage in Adobe After Effects. What's really cool about this video though is that you'll need to use very basic tools and features to get similar results - such as shape modifications and alpha channels options. So in general if you follow similar steps, you should be able to create the same effect in other suites, such as Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Sony Vegas and Final Cut Pro. The whole process is very simple, but of course if you perform all the actions in After Effects the process will be even easier because you will be able to use the same keyboard shortcuts and to perform exactly the same tasks.



"Montage has come a long way since the times of Sergei Eisenstein. Instead of montage being limited to full frames, it’s quite simple to create unique montages in After Effects, using only portions of the frame with multiple videos playing at once."

The tutorial covers:

  • Precomposing
  • Working with shapes
  • Keyboard shortcuts for improved workflow
  • Using alpha channels

Source: http://www.premiumbeat.com

Mamba FX - powerful node-based The Foundry's Nuke rival updated to version 2.0!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
July 14, 2014, at 4:27 PM

If you want to create motion graphics, visual effects or animations, there's After Effects, or The Foundry's Nuke and last but not least there was Apple Shake (RIP). But the choice is much wider. In fact, there's a great low-cost rival for some of these suites - SGO's Mamba FX which is a powerful and awesome compositing tool offering a node-based interface, unlimited layers and effects, keying, tracking, painting and restoration and it also can run other feature options including SGO’s stereo 3D toolset for shot by shot-based stereoscopic 3D corrections. Mamba FX got released last year and now the team behind this superb tool updated it to version 2.0. It is a significant development upgrade and now the suite is even more powerful. What's more the update is available free of charge for current Mamba FX users. The software is available for a wide variety of Windows, Linux, and Mac configurations and below you'll find some info on the new features, but SGO also made the decision to run a webinar on Wednesday 16th July - make sure to register if you want to find out more about the latest improvements (you can register here). SGO will run two sessions, so you'll be able to choose the one you prefer and a recorded version for download will also be available at a later date, so if you can’t make it to the live events there's no need to worry.


 
And now a bit on the new and updated features (via SGO):

  • Layer Route Effect - provides support and associated functions for working with multi-layer EXR files. (...) Mamba FX 2.0 includes features to split and route the multiple layers, allowing Mamba FX’s other compositing tools to act on individual elements during the compositing phase.

  • Spatial Isolation Keyer - interfaces with metadata that can be passed from CGI software via the EXR files.

  • "Point cloud” shape tracker - enables compositors to track 2D roto-shapes to shots very quickly. Multiple shapes can be tracked and combined using Boolean operations to rapidly create moving matte shapes.
     


 

If you would like to find out more on the update and on the suite, visit the official forums (here).

Mamba FX can be purchased directly from the SGO Mamba FX Shop for an introductory price starting from €239. If you would like to buy a license, follow this link. A free evaluation version is also available and you can download it here.

Source: http://www.sgo.es



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