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December 30, 2008

Premiere Pro CS4 Classroom in a Book

I just got my copy of the Premiere Pro CS4 Classroom in a Book, and I’d recommend it to any Premiere Pro user. The CS4 release is so loaded with new features and improvements that this manual is a must have to get the benefit of the new workflow. For example, the New Features list is 3 pages long, with new features that touch on just about every aspect of the editorial process. And, it comes with a DVD-ROM (Windows AND Mac) with sample clips to test out. Whether you’re just switching over to Premiere Pro, or have been using it since the first release, you’ll see some benefit from this book.

December 23, 2008

Update for Serious Magic users…

The Self Activation tool has completed testing, but won’t officially make it up to the Adobe support site until after the holidays. If anyone is crunching on production work over the holidays, and needs it sooner, please LEAVE A COMMENT, and I’ll send it to you. Just make sure your email address can accept a ZIP file.

For more information on how to use the tool, or why you might need it, read this post:

UPDATE: The Serious Magic Activation Tool is available here:

December 18, 2008

What’s Wrong with the Blu-Ray Market Today? Part 1: Duplication vs. Replication, and AACS

Adobe Encore has had Blu-Ray authoring since the CS3 release, and it works amazingly well for authoring Hi-Def content. However, there are still some “gotchas” in the professional world that warrant discussion. These gotchas aren’t problems with Encore, but rather how licensing works for a couple of different technologies.

For this article, I’m going to focus on the differences between Blu-Ray Duplication and professional Replication, and how AACS is currently licensed. If you are interested in authoring that feature film to Blu-Ray and putting copies in every Best Buy, you need to know about this.


December 15, 2008

Fun with the Singapore Team

One of the things I love about working with all the local teams around the world is how we all have fun at each other’s expense. Recently, on the CS4 launch tour, my coworker Paul Burnett made jokes about presenting in Singapore wearing a pink tutu. Mongchee, who organizes the events in the Singapore / Malaysia region, was only happy to oblige:

Click here to download the picture.

Well, we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to get even, seeing how we had the opportunity to present in Singapore that same week…


December 13, 2008

Staying up-to-date on CS4

We live in exciting times in the world of Production Premium. CS4 just shipped, and there’s already a free update that adds exciting new features to both Premiere Pro and After Effects. If your system isn’t connected to the internet, you’ll miss out on these exciting updates, so here’s how to get them.


December 12, 2008

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: 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:

August 18, 2008

RED camera support for Production Premium!

So, RED recently announced a plug-in for Premiere Pro and After Effects CS3 that will enable NATIVE R3D support in these applications. This plug-in is just a “first step” towards a full native R3D workflow, but it’s pretty exciting.

My friend and coworker, Dave Helmly, has a wonderful write-up on this initial (beta) release of the RED plug-in here:

June 11, 2008

The Adobe Ones Got Me!

Recently, I was visited in my office by a disembodied floating camera. If you haven’t seen the AdobeTV show “Ask the Adobe Ones” yet, go check it out. Kush Amerisinghe, asks me some questions regarding the AVCHD format.

Ask The Adobe Ones


May 27, 2008

Soundbooth Beta now up on Labs!

Today, a new Beta version of the next edition of Soundbooth was put up on for anyone to download and try out. Two of the hot new features are:

* MULTITRACKING!!! Yep, Soundbooth will support multitracking in this beta, with an exciting new way to save out multitrack projects.

* Auto Volume Leveling. Now, with a simple click, volume levels in multiple clips can be automatically adjusted to sound like the same level. This is different from just normalizing, because it also affects the noise shelf to help smooth out the sound of each of the clips.

The beta will run for 2 days for anyone, and those of you who have a license for Soundbooth CS3 can run the beta indefinitely. Go check it out!

April 6, 2008

More on Cineform

I recently had the opportunity to spend time with the team from Cineform. Many of you probably know Cineform for their high-quality intermediary codec, and their HDV workflow add on for Premiere Pro.

At HD Expo this past month, I got to meet David Newman and some of the other Cineform people, and I got to see Prospect 4K in action for the first time, and it completely blew me away.

Before I can go through and explain exactly what Prospect 4K is, I first need to explain a little bit about the concept of RAW. It’s been in the digital photography space for quite a while, but this is the first example I’ve seen of a video RAW workflow on a desktop editing platform.


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