Vectoraster by LostMinds By Ko Maruyama Vectorizer for the Mac (and iOS) allows you to create fantastic shape based translations of raster artwork or photography with just a few clicks. The great part about this new software is that it is really easy to use. Like any good design software, it?s full of options that will allow you to create unique pieces, even when you?re starting from presets. ...Read More »
Quick Sketching with Ron Husband By Ko Maruyama The first thing you should know about this book is that Ron Husband is not only a great teacher but an amazing animator who has worked on several movies, including Beauty and the Beast, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The great Mouse Detective, The little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King and others you might share on your favorites list too. ...Read More »
Grabbing motion with iPiSoft By Ko Maruyama This weekend, I jumped into putting together a motion capture PC. It?s nothing big, but the right amount of gear to get the motion capture portion of the workflow done. I?ll be using Microsoft Kinect cameras in conjunction with iPiSoft?s software to capture the data ? from there, anything is possible. ...Read More »
MAXON's CINEMA 4D R14 By Ko Maruyama In Los Angeles and New York, motion graphics animators have seen year over year dominance and adoption of MAXON's flagship software CINEMA 4D. Their newest release offers users improved feature sets and new tools to create 3D models and animation even easier than before. ...Read More »
Wacom's Bamboo Pocket Stylus By Ko Maruyama Today, Wacom introduced a brand new way to be creative on the go. The Bamboo Pocket Stylus is small enough to take with you everywhere, but has enough volume to feel like your professional stylus. The Bamboo Pocket Stylus fits your creativity wherever you are. ...Read More »
Simple steps for better design By Ko Maruyama "Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans" is an abbreviated list of graphic design do's and don'ts, published by Peachpit Press / Pearson. As I sit and skim through the compendium of rules set out in this book, I realize that I am breaking article three hundred and eighteen, but only immediately, as I smile, smirk, laugh out loud, and nod in agreement with the words on the pages. ...Read More »
Adobe CS5 Web Premium Part Two: The Flash Platform By Kevin Schmitt Honesty time, dear readers: I don't think this is going to be an actual review. As Velveeta is to real cheese, there may be some review-like qualities to what follows, but considering the current all-out assault on Flash and everything it stands for, it may be beneficial to take a larger view of what Adobe has done in Web Premium CS5, namely the inclusion of not one, not two, but three separate tools for creating Flash content. ...Read More »
Screentime mProjector 4 for Mac and Windows By Kevin Schmitt Flash wrappers, as I tend to call the genre of software Screentime's mProjector belongs to, have been around almost as long as Flash itself. Whatever the reason for their rise (the decline of Director, needing offline access to online content, etc.), there are still several options out there for turning your Flash content into desktop applications. And while Adobe's own AIR technology seems to get all the press, there is no reason why mProjector shouldn't be considered one of the top dogs in cross-platform Flash desktop app creation. ...Read More »
Sony Sound Forge 10 By Jeffrey P. Fisher Sony Creative Software has reached a major milestone with its September 2009 release of Sound Forge 10. Few applications survive all the way to high version numbers. But not only has the latest version of Sony's audio recording and editing program survived, it continues to thrive with a bevy of new features that keep you wondering how you ever worked without them. ...Read More »
Autodesk's Mudbox 2009 By Kevin McAuliffe The world of 3D design and animation has always had a "what came first, the chicken or the egg" mentality. What I mean by that is when it comes to someone getting into the world of 3D animation, normally (not all the time), they are either strong at the computer/technical aspect, or strong in (classical) animation, and they end up having to bulk up on either one or the other. ...Read More »
e-on`s Vue 7.5 Xstream By Jon Carroll One thing still challenging to 3D animators and visual effects artists is the creation of realistic landscapes and integrating objects created in their animation software into those environments. There have been over time several different pieces of 3D software that were specifically intended for the creation of 3D environments, and they have used various means to incorporate their landscapes into the rendered images. ...Read More »
PHOTOSHOP DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS By Ko Maruyama You probably know Scott Kelby from many publications, especially as the editor of Photoshop User magazine. In his latest book, PHOTOSHOP CS4 DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS, Scott and Corey Barker walk through several of the latest design tricks and trends Photoshop users recognize in so much of the print work available today. ...Read More »
The Archive Titanium Edition from Digimation By Kevin McAuliffe I like being a "one-man-show." I not only edit, but I do motion graphics, sound mixing and a variety of other jobs that give my clients a "one stop shop" for all their post production needs. These days I'm moving more and more into 3D design (using Cinema 4D), as it is another service I can offer my clients. There is one problem though, and that is that I can't model to save my life. ...Read More »
Sonopedia: The Encyclopedia of Sound Effects By Kevin McAuliffe A while back, I took a look at Sound Ideas Ultimate SFX Collection on Hard Drive, and I liked it. On the heels of that review, I was contacted by a representative at Blastwave FX who had read my review, and they let me know that they have their own sound effects collection called Sonopedia (The Encyclopedia of Sound Effects) on hard drive, and wanted to know if I was interested in taking a look. I said "absolutely", and in no time flat, I was powering it up to give it a spin. Let's see how things went. ...Read More »
Adobe Soundbooth CS4 By Joshua Virata With the release of Soundbooth CS4, Adobe has grounded its digital audio application with more features that pros and prosumers have desired. In this new edition of Soundbooth, Adobe has cleaned up the interface a bit and offered more advanced features in some of its tools. Soundbooth is targeted at people who don't have any experience with any other audio tools or applications. ...Read More »
Adobe Director 11 By Kevin Schmitt In the spirit of the four year hiatus between versions (and accompanying uncertainty as to the dead/not dead status of the product), it's only fitting I let almost a year roll by between the announcement/release of Director 11 and finally getting around to reviewing it. In any event, Director is back from its long slumber, so let's take a look at what the eleventh release of the former king of the multimedia hill brings to the table. ...Read More »
more SPORE iPhone gaming By John Haley Electronic Arts is a big name in gaming, they create Action, Fantasy, Sports, and Strategy. They hit a huge variety of the gaming market, and this year they brought it to the iPhone. What better way to have people love your game even more is a combination of a fun game and the iPhone / iPod Touchs Accelerometer, they way they work makes your feel like you are more apart of the game. ...Read More »
Adobe Flash CS4 Professional By Kevin Schmitt I have bad news for those out there who were expecting Flash CS4 to, well, suck: It doesn't. Far from it. Adobe certainly seems to have responded to the pressure of having viable Flash competition by delivering a polished upgrade that is chock full of thoughtful improvements and useful new features. So despite the fact that I've spoiled the ending, I hope you'll come along as we explore the latest and greatest in the most recent release of the Flash authoring tool. ...Read More »
Lenovo ThinkPad W700 mobile workstation By John Virata It's not very often that a notebook computer has the potential to be a game changer in the market. The routine of the notebook manufacturers are fairly predictable. Intel releases a newer, faster and lower power CPU, and the manufacturers build yet a new notebook around it and call it the next best thing. Lenovo has taken a slightly different, yet radical tact to notebooks by building a Wacom Tablet right into the wrist rests of its ThinkPad W700 workstation class notebook computer ...Read More »
Bang Up Job By Ko Maruyama This week, FXhome announced the release of a new plugin for gun muzzle flashes. This plugin gives all of those compositors access to those flicks of light and flares of fire that issue from the barrel of a gun (even if it's an alien Ray Gun). ...Read More »
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