« Thanks Rufus! | Main | Staying up-to-date on CS4 »

Help for ULTRA 1 and 2 customers is coming.

Hello out there to all the Serious Magic customers who own ULTRA 1 and 2.

Starting in 2003, Serious Magic began offering the ULTRA software for sale, and it was a huge hit with our customers. There was always one point of concern with Ultra, however, and that revolved around our activation system. What would happen if we went out of business, or got purchased by a larger company?

At the time, we sent out assurances that, if one of those scenarios played out, we would make sure and take care of our customers somehow, either by releasing a patch to unlock, or issuing a self-activation tool.

I’m deeply sorry to say that we dropped the ball on this one. A self-activation tool is in the works, but it took longer than planned, and the web team shut down the activation servers a few weeks ago. I just want to express my apology again to all former Serious Magic customers that this played out in this way. We never meant for this situation to unfold like this, and we will live up to our promise that you’ll be able to continue to use what you purchased for years to come.

The good news is that the self-activation tool is in testing now, and should be available very soon. For certain versions of the software, you will need to update to the latest 1.x or 2.x version first, BEFORE using the activation tool. Those updates are available here: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/ Make sure this is done first, and the process should go very smoothly.

Going forward, it’ll be a good idea to put the activation tool and the 1.x or 2.x update file onto a CD, so you’ll have it for any future re-installations/activations. With this new activation tool, you’ll be able to reactivate an unlimited amount of times, and never need to call into support to add more activations.

I also want to reiterate that the ULTRA technology is NOT DEAD. The vector keying is alive inside of Premiere Elements 7 and Visual Communicator 3, and there’s still development going on for the professional CS tools. (It just didn’t make it for CS4.) As a public company, there are legal reasons why I can’t share all the details, but there are good things coming.

UPDATE: The Serious Magic Activation Tool is available here:



    Thanks Karl,
    We’ll all be watching for it.


    Do you have any indication from Adobe when the activation fix will be available for Ultra 2?

    Hi Karl,

    My website runs on Ultra 2 with all the virtual sets I bought. Would appreciate trying out the trial activation solution to test until ready for release.

    Ultra stopped working for me about a week ago, not sure as I was away for awhile then it would not start.

    Best success with new products with Ultra in them, though I need the Virtual Set Use asap.

    Merry Christmas,

    Dave Hamilton

    Hello Karl,

    I have a few quick yet important questions regarding Adobe Ultra, that have never been addressed:

    1) will you guys ever release HD versions of your virtual sets? They were all rendered in 720×576 which is way to small to today’s standards. At least a 720p version is mandatory. It shouldn’t be tough to re-render them in whatever 3D software you guys have used to create them.

    1) The virtual Set system used in Ultra CS3 and earlier versions needs to be re-thought out in order to make HD sets feasible. Ultra CS3 came with about 12 sets, and in SD that took up almost 4GB worth of space. If you purchased all of the add-on sets (again, only in SD) they ate up something like 20GB. HD Sets would not be double in size – more like 4 times the size of SD sets. There’s some thoughts how we could address this. On option would be to use a different style engine – one that would load the 3d model of the set rather than pre-rendered paths. However, this option will take some time.

    2) if Ultra ends up one days being integrated in Premiere or AE, will it still handle the Virtual Sets 3D tracking? This is really what keeps Ultra apart from competition, it’d be a waste to drop this feature.

    2) We need to solve the above problem with the sets to really address the tracking. There’s some thought on where we might go with it, but nothing’s set in stone just yet. The GPU vector keyer by itself is a pretty powerful tool to get integrated into Pr and AE. Imagine having the multiple tracks of the Pr timeline, each keying in real time with HD clips? And, not using the CPU for the keying?

    3) Will Ultra ever allow changing alpha channel contents within a timeline? Right now, it’s totally static and requires to cut scenes over and over. If integrated to Premiere, will it allow a timeline change of content of the alpha channels?

    3) One of the reasons we are considering integrating the keyer into Premiere Pro and After Effects is exactly for this reason. AE and Pr provide a more complete editorial workflow than the tools in Ultra ever did alone. It makes more sense to integrate the technology into these rich set of tools.

    4) I hope your Premiere/AE future Ultra plugin will finally have an UNDO feature! How annoying it is!… Not being able to undo/redo is beyond my understanding. The rest button is not sufficient!

    4) I fully agree with you! There is the ability in Ultra CS3 to take “snapshots” or presets of the different panels, but it’s nowhere as simple to use as an Undo button. Believe me, Adobe is all about the ‘undo’, and I’m sure any future use of the Ultra technology will access the already-rich undo features of Pr and AE.

    Besides all this, I love Ultra CS3, especially the use of Virtual Sets.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Copyright © 2018 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy and Cookies (Updated)