Archives for March, 2009 | Main

March 19, 2009

Wrapup on Moscow Creative Future 2009

Thanks to the team in Moscow, we had a spectacular event, with over 1200 people attending. The crowd was super energized, and I am very much looking forward to coming back in the future!

I usually shoot a lot of video on my travels, but I rarely have enough time to get anything produced before I’m off to the next event. This time, I made the time on the flight back. This edit is VERY rough, and I wanted to insert some of the great photos that were taken into it. This was shot on my HV-30, all handheld (it really shows – sorry for all the shakycam!) and captured into Premiere Pro as a single clip, which I then created a massive amount of subclips from. In CS4, subclips perform just great, plus I added metadata to each of the subclips, so my media can be organized by location, content (buildings, people, etc.)

Here’s the video:

You’ll see Rufus, Paul, and myself, plus Roman and Olga from the local office. Both Roman and Olga took personal time to show us around Moscow, each on different days. Thanks again, Roman & Olga!

The music track used is “As the Rush Comes” by a group called Motorcycle. Copyright by Armada Music, and the track is available for purchase and download here:

March 17, 2009

Cleaning out the green on green screen photos

My friend Rufus Deuchler recently gave me a challenge. I started in video production working with virtual sets and chromakeying over a decade ago. I’ve used many different technologies over the years to remove green screens and blue screens, and found various techniques for preserving the original colors in the remaining video. However, I had never used Photoshop to do it before. It’s actually quite easy using the new Adjustments and Masks panels in Photoshop CS4.

Let’s start with a picture of Rufus, where the green has already been removed. Look at the color of the edge of the hair, and the side of Rufus’s face. It has a green tinge to it.


Start by loading up the ESSENTIALS workspace in Photoshop CS4. This includes the Adjustments Panel, and the Masks Panel is in a tab in the same location.

Go to the Adjustments panel, and add a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Click the check box to colorize. Set the saturation to about 65, and the Lightness to about 60. The Hue used will depend on the type of color spill in the original image. If you picture a color wheel, what we are doing is adding the opposite color to the image. So for blue spill, use a lemon yellow color – something around 60. For Green, use a magenta – something around 270.

Now, let’s mask the color. With the Adjustment Layer still selected, go to the Masks panel, and click the button to Create a Pixel Mask. Click on Color Range, and in the Select drop-down menu, select Green. This will give us the start of our mask.

Now, go back to the Hue/Saturation panel, and play with the saturation and lighting. You want to add enough Magenta to the image to cancel out the green, but not so much that the hair turns purple. There may be areas that are not affected yet – that’s because the mask isn’t perfect. We’ll fix that in the next step. For now, worry about the areas that are being affected, and get the saturation value in the right ballpark.

Select the mask in the Layers panel by clicking on the mask icon in the adjustment layer.

Select the paint brush, and set the brush color to white. Set the opacity to about 10%. Paint over any remaining areas where green is still showing in the hair or skin. For example, in this image of rufus, the right edge of his face is getting a touch of green spill that isn’t currently being affected enough by the adjustment layer. Paint over this area. If you overpaint, and his face turns magenta, switch the brush color to black and repaint. Also, play with the opacity of the brush if necessary.


March 13, 2009

Need more info on 64-bit and Production Premium?

Adobe has just released a white paper on how Adobe is currently supporting 64-bit memory addressing in the video applications. Check it out here:

I’m currently recovering from a ROCKING event here in Moscow, and I’ll be traveling back to California tomorrow to attend the SF Cutters user group and talk more about 64-bit support there. Then, Jason Levine and I will be shooting new episodes of Short & Suite, our AdobeTV show. More blog soon!

March 10, 2009

Red Square in Moscow

I made a startling discovery tonight – the AVI files that my little still camera shoots are NOT readable by the Adobe Media Encoder on the Mac. Solution? Use Photoshop! Using the new Adjustments panel, I also quickly added a Curves preset (increase Contrast) and used a blue filter to lessen the sodium yellow caused by the lamps. Here’s the result:

I stood in the center of Red Square, and shot this video as the Kremlin Clock on Spasskaya Tower struck 8pm. the video starts with Spasskaya Tower, shows the walls of the Kremlin, shows Lenin’s tomb (with Roman waving at the camera,) the Iberian Gate and Chapel (with Slava waving,) the GUM department store all lit up, and then St Basil’s Cathedral.

Thanks for the comments, everyone! Looking forward tot he event Friday!

March 10, 2009

1st time in Moscow

It’s a balmy 32 degrees F (0C) here in Moscow. It actually feels warmer. I was braced for really cold conditions, but this feels warmer than some days in the Sierras skiing back home. Moscow has a reputation for incredibly cold conditions in the winter, and most of the locals are commenting on how this almost feels like an “early spring.”

The ground is covered in what’s called “Moscow Cocktail,” which is a gray slushy mixture of snow, ice, water, and road salts. It’s EVERYWHERE. You can’t avoid it when walking down the streets. I step carefully.

In the Adobe office, I’m sitting next to a map of the entire Russian federation. This is the first time I’ve seen a Russia-centric map. Globes and world maps don’t do justice to the size of this country. It just amazes me. Slava, the sole Sales guy here, says it takes 8 hours to get from Moscow to the Eastern shores. That’s 2 weeks by train. In the US, I’ve driven Coast-to-coast in under 52 hours before (not recommended, but it’s possible.)

Today is a prep day for me, along with the possibility of meeting with a high-end broadcaster here. Tomorrow, Rufus and Paul will be joining me here to brief our partners on CS4, and Friday is the Creative Futures event. The early attendance numbers for the event on Friday are astounding – 3,000 people have registered! This is the first time for an event like this in Moscow, so that’s a HUGE number! If you’re reading this in the Moscow area, come on out and say hi.

March 9, 2009

MAX 2009 Planning – Make your voice heard!

At last year’s MAX, I had a wonderful time teaching video labs to people outside of the video world, showing them the basics of the video tools, and how to encode for the web. The session was so popular, we added a 4th lab day just to accommodate everyone.

MAX 2009 is in full planning mode right now, and there’s an open call for sessions over here. If you have an idea for a session or a lab at this year’s MAX, submit it now.

Right now, the number of technical session ideas far outweigh the number of creative sessions. If you are a creative professional, and would like to see more sessions at MAX that appeal to you, the time to act is RIGHT NOW. Ideas for sessions can only be submitted until April 15th. If you’d like to see more about the video tools, and how they relate to creating web content, now is the time to request it. Any creative session ideas would be appreciated. I’d love to see MAX stay as a place where the coders and the creatives can come together and mingle. 🙂

Post a Session or Session idea
Post a Lab or Lab idea

March 9, 2009

Hands-on with Core i7 and 64-bit Vista

My co-conspirators, Jason Levine & Rufus Deuchler, had the opportunity at CeBit to play with CS4 on some smoking-fast new systems.

Read about it all here:

I’m running out the door to catch a flight to Moscow! See you later in the week!

March 8, 2009

What kind of performance boost does 64bit get you?

If you haven’t seen this yet, Jan Ozer at EventDV posted an article with some personal tests he did comparing CS4 Production Premium running both under 32-bit Windows and 64-bit Windows. The difference was astonishing.

“After correcting for the 18% difference in processor speed, the 64-bit system was 67% faster on my standard DV test file, up to 63% faster on HDV-related tests, up to 50% faster on AVCHD tests, and up to 227% faster on tests using footage from the RED camera.”

Read the whole article here:

March 7, 2009

Layer Tennis comes to a close….

What is Layer Tennis? Imagine a competition between designers, where 2 design teams square off against each other, each taking turns with the same file. One side makes changes, and “serves” it over to the other side, who makes changes, and then “volleys” it back to the original team. Each side gets to continue the story in a new way. Repeat this process 10 times, and see where it takes you.

The Motion Graphics part of Layer Tennis just finished on Friday – you can check out the results here: Start with the intro page, and click through the numbers in the upper right to see each of the rounds. Congrats to both DK Chicago and Werk Stockholm for an awesome competition!

Headed to see Watchmen today at the local IMAX, and off to Moscow tomorrow for a week-long adventure, meeting customers, teaching classes, and showing off Adobe Production Premium to everyone who will listen! 🙂 Do Svydanya!

March 5, 2009

Another great article on Adobe’s 64-bit-ready apps

Dennis Radeke just posted another great article on how the Adobe Production Premium applications can take great advantage of using a 64-bit operating system today. Here’s the link:

As I said a few weeks ago, it’s the perfect time for Windows users to start migrating over to 64-bit. Hardware makers have really started to embrace making drivers for 64-bit, and with up to 128GB of RAM available, the benefits far outweigh the limits.

For Mac users, you can see all the benefits today just by adding RAM to your system. 🙂

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