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New MacBreak Studio episode: Creating Neon Lights in Apple Motion!
Posted by Michal
April 29, 2016, at 2:32 AM

The new MacBreak Studio episode is finally here! Mark Spencer and Steve Martin kept us waiting but it was worth it - the latest video tutorial is really awesome and thanks to it you will learn how to create flickering Neon Text in Apple Motion! As you will see the result is absolutely great and what's more you can deconstruct how Mark created this effect - just download the Motion project files (you'll find the links below). In order to create this nice-looking animation you should use the 3D text capabilities of Motion. Of course make sure to choose a nice font that can imitate the look of neon-shaped letters. After this Mark uses 3D text object for the glass tubes, starting with one of the more unusual material presets and adjusting it to get a soft red glow. You'll find all the details in the video:


And here's a bit more from Mark:

"For the wall that the tubes are mounted to, I again turn to 3D text by using a symbol font of a square, making it large enough to fill the screen, and then applying a brick-based material preset. Using a 3D text object for the background rather than an image has the advantage that it will interact with other 3D text objects, which don’t interact with other layer types in Motion.

For the gas inside the tubes, I turn to Motion’s bezier tool to draw curved lines inside each letter. Ok, they look more like filaments than gas, you got me there. This is the only articulated, rather than procedural, part of the process. It is limiting because changing the text means drawing new shapes for each letter, but it does allow me to create what I believe to be a better result than working with a duplicate of the text layer.

Since the “light” being cast by the “neon” doesn’t interact with the wall, I then add a point light to the scene to make it look as if the neon text is lighting the wall behind it."

In order to download the Motion Project files click here. And here you'll find the font that was used in the video.


mRevealer - 50 Multifunctional Revealers Built Exclusively for FCPX
Posted by Szymon Masiak
April 28, 2016, at 11:07 AM

Every editor knows the difficulty of working under the pressure of time. Sometimes we just have little time to polish every aspect of our project, leave alone creating custom openers, logo and typography animations and footage transitions. We have to use third-party plugins and outside sources to make our edit interesting and engaging, but those are often complicated, slow to render and expensive.

At MotionVFX we understand all those things better than anyone else, because we are editors ourselves and we've been creating VFX plugins for years. We put all our experience into creating mRevealer as well. This plugin is an awesome life-saver when it comes to creating and animating revealing animations of all sorts. Whenever a quick bump with typography, logo or video is needed, mRevealer comes in handy with a stylish and modern collection of 50 diversified ready-made animations.

Created to be absolutely universal, mRevealer lets you make a stunning spot with your text, logo or any footage by just drag and drop action - all within seconds. We also made its design very modern and minimalistic to keep all the attention on what is the most important element - your text, logo or video. Creating entertaining interludes, openers, transitions or inset footage views has never been easier than now. Get a copy of mRevealer and make your work faster and more efficient!

Learn More: mRevealer

The World’s First Thunderbolt 3 External RAID Storage - AKiTiO’s Thunder3 Duo Pro.
Posted by Maciej
April 25, 2016, at 1:51 PM

As today’s requirements for faster and more reliable solutions grows, AKiTiO comes to the rescue with Thunder3 Duo Pro, the first hardware RAID and display dock solution with a Thunderbolt 3 port. The Thunder3 Duo Pro offers fast transfer speeds with the added flexibility of a DisplayPort video output in a form factor small enough to fit multiple desktop and mobile workflows and applications.

With two Thunderbolt 3 ports available, the Thunder3 Duo Pro can deliver transfer speeds up to 770 MB/s while simultaneously providing two 4K video streams to connected displays.  To put things into perspective, the latest Thunderbolt 3 technology provides roughly 8x faster speeds than USB 3.1 Gen 1 and it’s 4x faster than USB 3.1 Gen 2.
The Thunder3 Duo Pro comes in as a 2-bay RAID enclosure supporting four RAID modes, including RAID 0 striping, RAID 1 mirroring, SPAN, and Non-RAID. The unit features two Thunderbolt 3 Ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-B) port, and a DisplayPort video output that supports the latest 4K 60HZ displays. The second Thunderbolt 3 port on the Thunder3 Duo Pro operates the same as a Thunderbolt 3 computer port by supporting Thunderbolt 3 (up to 5 daisy chained), USB 3.1 (10Gb/s), and DisplayPort devices.

The Thunder3 Duo Pro can also accommodate 2.5” SSD/HDD and 3.5”HDDs up to 16TB as the drives can be easily installed or uninstalled. Additionally, Thunder3 Duo Pro can run fanless when needed, making it the perfect choice for professional audio recording when SSDs are installed on board. The best part is that Thunder3 Duo Pro gives creative professionals the ability to edit and playback multiple streams of HD and/or 4K content with enough headroom to daisy chain multiple 4K displays simultaneously.
The Thunder2 Duo Pro retail price starts at $389 for the enclosure only. The AKiTiO’s RAID enclosure can be already purchased at the global authorized resellers. You can also take a look at the other AKiTiO’s Thunderbolt 3 storage solutions by visiting the AKiTiO’s official website.

Source: 4KShooters


Panasonic Expands Its Line of Midrange 4K Cameras with New UX Series.
Posted by Maciej
April 24, 2016, at 4:27 PM

As expected, new some new cameras were just announced at NAB. Panasonic introduced a new UX series of professional 4K camcorders at NAB 2016. The new 4K camcorders are the UX Premium model AG-UX180, with a 1-inch MOS sensor, 20x optical zoom and UHD/60p recording capability; and the UX Standard model AG-UX90, featuring a 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor, a fixed LEICA lens with 15x optical zoom and UHD/30p recording. These follow last year’s DVX-200 4K pro camcorder with a 4/3 large sensor announced at NAB 2015 and  this year’s in February release of Varicam LT, the more compact, but still very capable “light version” of the Varicam 35.


Panasonic seems to be fully embracing 4K, to remain competitive with Sony, who has been putting out 1-inch prosumer and handheld camcorders very regularly. Canon still seems to be a little behind; it is probably high time they jumped into the game as well. Here’s some more info on the new UX180 and UX90:

Panasonic AG-UX180 and AG-UX90 Features
4K (4096 x 2160) in 24p
UHD (3840 x 2160) up to 60p (AG-UX180 only, UX90 limited to 30p in UHD)
Records onto SD Memory Cards
Dual Codec Recording (UHD and Full HD) – AG-UX180 only
IR recording in low light – AG-UX180 only
3G-SDI/HDMI 2.0 output
Variable Frame Rate recording functionality (2-60 fps) is planned in Full HD mode.

“With an increasing demand for 4K video content, Panasonic is introducing the UX series to make 4K acquisition even more accessible to video professionals,” said Steven Cooperman, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic System Communication Company of North America. “UX camcorders will provide high-mobility shooting and workflow equivalent to our existing professional integrated-lens handhelds.”

The suggested list price of the AG-UX180 is expected to be under $4,000, and the SLP of the AG-UX90 under $3,000. The cameras are to ship later in the year.

Source: 4K Shooters

Introducing Skywand VR - Planning Aerial Shots in VR Made Possible.
Posted by Maciej
April 24, 2016, at 2:33 PM

Skywand VR is a new software tool utilizing virtual reality to bring pre-vis (and pre-planning) capabilities to aerial cinematography.
There is a lot of buzz at this year’s NAB, on how virtual reality can potentially be a major tool for directors and DP's in pre-production, essentially allowing them to step into the locations they will film before actually getting there. Skywand VR's new system allows you to manually walk through your location (in the sky) to set keyframes for a drone to follow. Essentially you plot these points using GPS on maps taken from Google Earth, but what's really special is that you can also give the camera commands to zoom, focus, tilt, pitch, roll, etc., within those keyframes.

Currently the product is only compatible with DJI drones (including the new M600), but it is more than likely that once it passes through beta testing next month, more drone manufacturers will be looking to partner.
Skywand is an advanced motion control system for aerial cinematography that combines ease of use, repeatability, and precision. Harnessing cutting edge technologies in virtual/augment reality (VR/AR), animation, and drone flight, Skywand allows users to create precise aerial filming plans by intuitively placing key frames in the 3D virtual world that meet all cinematographic needs, and the drone follows the path precisely in the actual world and captures epic, smooth and high precision aerial shots. Filming, not flying. Skywand removes technical barriers to achieving expert drone cinematography by automating the flight process, giving imaginative filmmakers a powerful partner in the sky.

The makers of Skywand boast that the technology behind Skywand is the most advanced robotics control algorithm and state-of-the-art virtual reality interface. The sophisticated algorithm guarantees that the drone captures epic, smooth, repetable and high precision aerial shots every time. The company claims their virtual reality interface is the most intuitive way for filmmaker to transport their framing idea into the real production. The interface and robotics technology of Skywand is currently patent pending.

Skywand is just one of the examples of VR potential in cinematography. What are your thoughts on using VR in filming? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Sources: NOfilmschool and