Posts in Category "Adobe Production Studio"

My Ears is Ringing

That’s Bronxese, for those of you non-native English speakers. That’s not correct English, and The Bronx is no place to be if you’re concerned with speaking correct English. That’s where I grew up, and by the virtue of the fact that my Dad is an English teacher I managed to come out of that place not sounding like Gilbert Gottfried. My building was beside an interstate highway and across the street from a fire house. Add to that the normal din of New York City noise and I was lulled to sleep each night by cars & dogs, shouts & shots. When I try and fall asleep someplace completely quiet, my ears ring and it kind of makes me crazy.

So for me, ambient noise on a piece of audio is normal. I even miss it if it’s not there sometimes. But for most of the world, the air conditioner or refrigerator or camera motor that wound up on your audio is not desirable. In fact, it can be downright irritating. Of course I think youse guys is crazy, but if you insist, I’ll show you how to get rid of such noise from your audio.

First, let’s assume you’re starting with audio that’s in your Premiere Pro edit (if it’s not, you can just import it directly into Audition). Right-mouse click on the audio clip in your timeline and select Edit in Adobe Audition.

aud_nr_1.jpg

The audio will load into Audition and the waveform will display. Now you want to find a section of the audio that contains only the noise — at the very beginning is usually a good place to look, but you may have to play through the clip to find a spot where there’s only the ambient noise (also referred to as “room tone”, which is always a good idea to record at the beginning of each scene). Then, click-and-drag across the “room tone” on the waveform to select it. In the Effects panel, double-click Restoration to expand it, then double-click Capture Noise Reduction Profile.

aud_nr_2.jpg

What this does is analyze the frequencies present in the room tone and create a profile of those frequencies. Next, in the Effects Panel double-click on Noise Reduction (process). The Noise Reduction dialog appears. First, click the Select Entire File button (which will remove the frequencies in the profile from the entire clip) then click OK.

aud_nr_3.jpg

The noise is removed from the audio clip — go ahead and have a listen. In some cases, the noise removal can cause unwanted side-effects (I’m sounding like a pharmaceutical ad here), so if you’re not happy with the results, Ctrl+Z to undo, then go back to Noise Reduction and use the Noise Reduction Level slider to reduce the amount of the filtering. You can always find a happy medium (mine usually being more towards the green side of that slider, for reasons I’ve already made clear).

At A Theater Near You

We’d been getting jealous of all the summer blockbuster movie hype, so clearly it was time for us to rent out some movie theaters around the country and bring our own show to your town (provided that your town is San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, or Minneapolis — the rest of you will have to wait ’til September). The “Discover the Adobe Production Studio Tour” kicks off tomorrow here in SF at the Kabuki theater in Japantown, and you can sign up for free, and get the lowdown on the entire tour right here.

I’ll be giving part of the presentation tomorrow, and also in Minneapolis next week.

reseller_tour_06.jpg
Stalker or CEO? You be the judge.

Come see what kinds of tricks we’ve got up our sleeves, and if you’re in SF you can go to the convyor-belt sushi place upstairs afterwards (which is acutally pretty good). I have no idea what to eat in Minneapolis, the last time I was there was when I played with Freedy Johnston, opening for Cheryl Crow on her summer tour in ’96, and all I can remember about that night was a place called Nye’s that featured “The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band,” which was entirely made up of octegenarians. Now that’s a summer blockbuster worth seeing.

The Cat Un-Bagged

For those of you that follow this blog, you may remember some posts awhile back in which I referred to a “secret project” that I was in NYC for. Well, after months of having to keep my big trap shut, the proverbial cat is finally out of the bag:

tt_boxshot.jpg

That’s right, the first Total Training series ever to be hosted by two bass players. Not that it necessarliy has any bearing on quality (or wait, maybe it does — you do know what they say about bass players . ..)

Jason & I managed to each make a trip back East after NAB, as we figured it’d be a good time to fly under the radar since everyone was still hung over. The fruits of our labor are this 17 hour (!) training series, spanning 3 DVDs, that shows you how to take a project from capture to delivery using Adobe Production Studio Premiium.

So, you can get some deailed info right here. This is my first one of these (I’ve written books & magazine articles, but never something like this) so I’m really interested in any & all feedback (shouts of “hey Bob, you suck!” echo through my head already). I’ve been using Total Training’s products since Brian Maffitt did the first “Total AE” series back in ’97 or so. I’ve always been a big fan, and consider it a major honor to be in such good company.

Down Under

This “secret project” I keep writing about is almost over. Tomorrow we do some effects shots, and that reminded me of a story that my colleague Mike Kanfer told me about the making of the film The Aviator. For the shots of the Spruce Goose flying over a crowd of people, shot from the perspective of the crowd, they used a radio-controlled model plane built at a small scale of the original. It flew at something like 4 feet above peoples’ heads while the low-angle camera captured it as if it were the real deal. When you think about all the things we do in CG to simulate this kind of stuff, it’s interesting to see how really simple, basic stuff can be more convincing than anything that could possibly be done in post.

legato.jpg
Rob Legato rocking the camera on the set of The Aviator

The effects shot I’m talking about was done by Rob Legato & the crew from The Basement, a visual effects house that does their work using Production Studio. You can get more details about their work right here.

Anne-Lise gets here tomorrow, and not a moment too soon.

Take It To The Bridge

One of the more interesting workflows I’ve been showcasing on the various roadshow seminars & tradeshows is the workflow that lets you process an entire video clip with the Live Trace feature of Adobe Illustrator CS2. This feature converts a standard raster image, such as a photo, to vector artwork. Since Live Trace was designed with single images in mind, we created a workflow using the scripting capabilities within Adobe Bridge. You need to start with your video already in an After Effects composition, and then render the video as a series of Photoshop files (thereby putting each frame of video in its own Photoshop file). From the Composition, select Composition > Add To Render Queue. Then, from the Render Queue, select Output Module.

output_mod_psd.jpg

Make sure you select Photoshop Sequence from the Format pulldown menu (above). Once rendering is finished, select File > Browse, which launches Bridge. Use the navigation tools at the top or left of the Bridge UI to drive to the folder where your Photoshop files were rendered to.

The next thing you need to do is create a Live Trace preset. Right-mouse click on one of the images and select Open With > Adobe Illustrator CS2. Once the image has opened, click on it and the Live Trace button will appear at the top. Click the small triangle to the right of the Live Trace button to reveal the Preset pulldown menu, and select the last item, Tracing Options . . .

livetrace_options.jpg

The Tracing Options dialog (above) opens. Click the Preview checkbox to see the results of your changes as you make them. Start by changing Mode from B&W to Color, experiment with Max Colors, etc. Once you’re happy, click the Save Preset button, give your preset a name, then click the Trace button to close the dialog. Close the document and don’t save.

Back in Bridge, select the files you want to run through Live Trace, the go to the Tools menu and select Illustrator > Live Trace. A dialog appears allowing you to select your preset and an output destination. Set ‘em up and go!

To compile your images back into a video clip, go back to AE, select File > Import, select all the Illustrator images you just created, and make sure to check Illustrator/EPS Sequence at the bottom of the File Import dialog. If AE asks you, make sure to select import as Footage, not Composition.

Into the Darkness

If you use previous versions of Adobe’s Video & Audio products, you’ve definitely noticed the darker User Interface in the new releases. Many of us at Adobe prefer the darker UI, but this is not the default setting — when you first install you’ll get the standard Adobe UI brightness.

The last version of After Effects had the capability to adjust the UI brightness, and now we’ve added that capability to all the Production Studio apps. You need to select Edit > Preferences and then go to User Interface Colors.

ui_brightness.jpg
The User Interface Prefs in After Effects 7.0

The slider widget adjusts the brightness of the entire UI. Personally, I find the darker setting easier on the eyes, and its also easier to focus on the artwork without the interface getting in the way.

Off to the Brazilian consulate now to pick up my visa. Flying to Sao Paulo tomorrow for a Production Studio Launch Seminar there on Tuesday, as well as some press briefings and customer visits. Obrigado.