Just Talkin'

Thoughts and such...

Elaine Montoya – Adobe Community Professional 2011

The Adobe Community Professionals for 2011 have been announced – and I’m happy to say I’ll be back again for yet another year! The Adobe Community Professionals Program is a community based program made up of Adobe customers who share their product expertise with the world-wide Adobe community. My area of expertise is Adobe Production Premium Creative Suite product integration, with an emphasis on After Effects. I look forward to spending another year with you – creating, and showing you ways to work faster and smarter using Adobe Production... read more

The Age Old Debate:        Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro

I have been a long time Final Cut Pro user starting with Version 1. About a year ago, I made the decision to switch to Adobe Premiere Pro. For many years, video editors have debated the age-old question: which editing software is best. Is one program really better than the other? The answer? There is no answer. What’s right for one person or workflow, may not work for another. What I can share is what I’ve discovered from my experience. Obviously, since I started editing with the very first version of Final Cut – it’s only fair to say that I have been a Final Cut editor for many years. Prior to this, I used Media 100. When I first got Final Cut,  it was fun to play with – and I fell in love with the idea of being able to edit on a Mac. But its features were limited and the application was somewhat buggy. Because of this, I relied more on Media 100. About the time version 3 rolled around, Final Cut Pro started becoming more stable – and feature rich. This was when I made the decision to shift to an all digital workflow, and sold my Media 100 equipment. Now, on the Adobe Premiere side, I must confess that Premiere was the first program I ever used to edit on a Mac. To better understand…a little bit of history of the evolution of these programs is needed. A brief history… Randy Ubillos created the first three versions of Adobe Premiere, the first popular digital video editing application. The first version, Premiere 1, was released in 1991 as a... read more

The future: more 1080p high-definition content online

High-definition 1080p content has been available for quite some time. But why haven’t we seen more content available online? Pirating. Major motion picture studios are worried about pirating. This in turn discourages them from making premium 1080p content available via streaming. But Intel recently announced a solution that will allow studios to be able to provide content, without the concern of pirating. The solution? Insider. Early this month, Intel announced that it was building a hardware security layer in its next-generation Core chips to prevent streaming movies from being copied. The chip feature, called Insider, includes an end-to-end protection layer and management feature to unlock high-definition movies from online streaming services, said Karen Regis, consumer Consumer Client Marketing Manager at Intel. Insider is a part of Intel’s enhanced graphics offerings in its next-generation Core processors, which will were officially released on Jan. 5, just before CES in Las Vegas. Intel has partnered with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, which will make 300 high-definition titles available from its WB Shop or Best Buy’s CinemaNow service. The movies will be able to be played only on systems with the next-generation core processors. Intel is also in the midst of partnering with more studios and announcements will be made in the upcoming... read more

Setting the Stage for Beautiful Video: Flash Player 10.2

Adobe recently posted the beta for Flash Player 10.2 on Adobe Labs. As shown in a sneak peak just last month at Adobe MAX, Flash Player 10.2 beta with Stage Video can deliver brilliant HD video with dramatically little processing power. What does this mean to those of us in the video, motion graphics and animation realm? Adobe states, Using Stage Video, we’ve seen laptops play smooth 1080p HD video with just over 0% CPU usage. That’s pretty darn good if you ask me 😉 Stage Video works across browsers. When the final shipping version of Flash Player 10.2 is released, users will benefit from Stage Video accelerated content with a simple Flash Player update. Tom Nguyen, Product Manager, Flash Platform Runtimes at Adobe states, “We’re also introducing Stage Video across devices. In fact, today Google TV already takes advantage of Stage Video in Flash Player to deliver gorgeous 1080p HD video playback on TVs.” For content providers, Stage Video will work with all of the existing video viewed in Flash Player once they utilize the new API in their video player SWFs. This means their websites will continue to benefit from Flash Player’s advanced streaming for smooth, higher quality playback, DVR-like playback control, content protection, and consistency, with no changes to their encoded videos or infrastructure. Developers can learn more about how to enable their sites to take advantage of Stage Video today, and sites like YouTube have already started adding early support for Stage Video. Other new features include: -users with multiple monitors will be able to watch videos in true full screen on one display while multi-tasking on another... read more

Adobe Ideas: iPad companion for Photoshop and Illustrator

Adobe Ideas is a unique iPad drawing app. What makes it different from most iPad apps is that it is vector based. Vector based graphics are scaleable – allowing you to easily resize or zoom in without loosing image quality. If you’re a CS5 Photoshop or Illustrator user, Adobe Ideas is a great companion. Here’s the best part: – create a sketch in Adobe Ideas and save it as a PDF file – email it from your iPad/iPhone – open this PDF is Illustrator or Photoshop for further editing! For example, you can create a sketch in Adobe Ideas, email it to yourself, then throw it into Illustrator to adjust your Bézier Curves, combine the sketch with other work or layers on your computer, or add some copy. You can even add a background image in Ideas and and create separate layers for drawings (vector) and photos (raster). Adobe Ideas now has a new in-app purchase option, where you can purchase additional layers. Be sure to check it out! features – variable-size brushes using multitouch control – vector eraser – gallery-style organizer to quickly scroll through your ideas and color themes – virtual canvas – automatic creation of harmonized color themes from your photos or images – ability to easily select specific colors from photos or images – separate drawing and photo layers – easy creation of multiple versions of design concepts – 50-level undo/redo – fast sketch saving, avoiding the loss of data when you close the app or you need to answer a phone call – drawings saved to “saved photos” album on iPad and iPhone (no need to create a screenshot)... read more

I can name that movie in…

Are you a movie fanatic? How good are you at recognizing motion picture posters? Here’s your chance to test your skills. empireonline.com recently posted a movie poster quiz online. They give you one letter from the poster – you guess the poster. Give it a... read more

Flash on the iPhone revisited

Think iPhone users have forgotten about Flash on their iPhones? Think again. Early November, Skyfire Labs released an iOS browser that promised to play Flash content, it seemed they had a hit on their hands. But no one imagined how quickly this would happen. According to Skyfire Labs, its $3 Skyfire Web Browser app became the top grossing app in the App Store within five hours – far exceeding the company’s initial projections and forcing it to temporarily stop selling the app to reduce strain on its servers. How does it work? To play a Flash video on a Website, Skyfire uploads the video to its servers, converts it to the iOS-friendly HTML5 format, and streams it back to the device. It’s a server-intensive process that is vulnerable to server overloads if the demand gets too high. Skyfire Labs says is working to increase its server capacity and will be accepting new purchases from the App Store as soon as their servers can support... read more

join me at motion 2010

I’d like to take this opportunity to personally invite you to attend motion 2010.

motion is an annual two-day event that I co-produce with Becky Padilla. motion is known for bringing together the brightest and most creative minds in the motion graphics, visual effects {VFX}, and animation industries. Hundreds of brilliant minds come together every October to discuss trends, address relevant industry issues, and share their skills, work, and creative insights.

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CS5 is Here! For real!

The wait is over! As of 9pm PST tonight, April 29 – Adobe Creative Suite CS5 is officially shipping! Here’s your chance to check out some of the amazing new features first hand – simply download the free 30 day trial. As a motion graphics designer, I’m partial to Production Premium. So let’s take a quick look at some of the new features you’ll get to play with: • speed: Native 64-bit support in After Effects Thanks to native 64-bit operating system support in After Effects, you can easily work with complex high-resolution projects and see longer RAM previews. • more speed: Faster Dynamic Link Dynamic Link’s faster performance allowing you the means to easily refine compositions and sequences by jumping between After Effects CS5 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Additionally, the new memory settings make running multiple Production Premium components more efficient. • toys: After Effects Roto Brush One of my favs! You’ve got to check out the new Roto Brush tool – it’s the fastest (and easiest) way to rotoscope. A great new tool to add to the compositor’s toolbox. • even more speed: Mercury Playback Engine Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro is dramatically faster! Check out the Mercury Playback Engine, and get ready for amazing speed – even at 4K resolution! • more toys: Improved 3D Integration using Photoshop It’s easy to create 3D artwork by extruding objects and text layers in Photoshop CS5 Extended. And while you’re playing in Photoshop, be sure and check out the new brush tools including textured brushes, and some cool new ways to blend colors. • more toys: Illustrator –... read more

Flash Video: A Primer

Flash video . . . it’s everywhere. How can you be a part of the Flash video craze? In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s involved in creating Flash video and getting it online. Flash: The Online Video Producers Choice Sure – there are other video format options, but there’s a really good reason to use Flash: it’s most ubiquitous format on the web. 98% of Internet-enabled desktops worldwide have the Flash player installed . . . not to mention hundreds of millions of other devices. As a video content producer, this means your video is accessible by just about everyone. And that’s good news. From a technical standpoint, Flash also rules. Flash supports H.264 – the next-generation video compression technology in the MPEG-4 standard. H.264 can match the best possible MPEG-2 quality at up to half the data rate. H.264 also delivers excellent video quality across the entire bandwidth spectrum –  from 3G to HD and everything in between (from 40 Kbps to upwards of 10 Mbps). H.264 is commonly used worldwide for both video recording and delivery. While the format may be the same, until you transcode your  video, it cannot be streamed by Flash. This is because Flash uses advanced streaming methods as well as variable bit-rate control. You know the lag time you experience when uploading your video to YouTube to when you can actually view it? Behind the scenes, transcoding is taking place. The Process Flash can be streamed on-demand from a file that lives on the server or as a real-time stream. Either way, the process is similar. Here’s an overview:... read more

Pros pick NM as Third Best place in North America for Filmmaking

Variety recently conducted an online poll among several hundred location managers, unit production managers, cinematographers, directors and assistant directors asking them to rate their favorite locations according to visual appeal, incentives, film-office support, production resources, and ability to substitute for another location. The results? New Mexico (ABQ and surrounding areas) was selected number three! Read the full article on Variety... read more

Outside Magazine names ABQ #6 America's Best Cities

ABQ was named number 6 in Outside‘s list of the top best cities in America. A few cities in the Southwest enjoy their own versions of Albuquerque’s main attractions: a surplus of sunshine, mild weather, and easy access to trails, rivers, and mountains – like the 10,678-foot granite escarpment above town. But what sets the Duke City apart these days is stability. Read the full article on Outside... read more

join me at motion 2009

I’d like to take this opportunity to personally invite you to attend motion 2009. motion is an annual two-day event that I co-produce with Becky Padilla. motion is known for bringing together the brightest and most creative minds in the motion graphics, visual effects {VFX}, and animation industries. Hundreds of brilliant minds come together every October to discuss trends, address relevant industry issues, and share their skills, work, and creative insight. Over the years I’ve seen that all too often, creative energy is zapped by the demands of the industry. motion provides a unique venue that revitalizes creativity and provides a renewed sense of being. On numerous occasions, previous attendees have told me that prior to attending motion, they were seriously considering whether of not they wanted to continue working in the industry – and that after attending motion, they were reminded why they got into the field to begin with. Whether you are new in the industry, eager to be inspired by the rock stars of motion graphics, animation, and vfx – or a veteran needing to be revitalized, I’d like to personally invite you to be a part of motion. Like so many past attendees, you’ll come away saying ‘there’s nothing like it!’ You can find out all of the details on our website. See you in... read more