Posts in Category "General"

The Traveling Launchpad

You know the old expression “don’t make a big production out of it”? Well that’s one expression I’ve never heard uttered at Adobe. We go all out at our launch events, and the ones I’m currently presenting at in Asia are no exception.


Aah, what a beautiful sight, the brand new CS3 boxes neatly stacked at the entrance to the Raffles Convention Center in downtown Singapore (there’s really not much else in Singapore other than downtown, it’s pretty compact). The next thing you encounter is the registration table.


After a chat with the charming receptionists you’re admitted to the inner sanctum to explore new technologies from Adobe’s partners.


Of course, you can buy any Adobe product you want (normally at a special “event discount” price) from our local resellers. There are also special promotional offers to entice you.


I still don’t really know what to make of that one. “CS3 Musketeers”? Some things are definitely different in this part of the world.

After you’ve mingled, checked out the technology exhibits, and had a tea or coffee, it’s time to enter the ballroom, take one of the 1,000 or so seats, and see some of the great new features in Adobe Creative Suite 3. I’m writing this in the ballroom right now as we are finishing setup before the doors open.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I Hear Voices

There are some new voices in the Adobe blogosphere that you should definitely check out if you’re into Digital Video (and if you’re not, what the heck are you doing reading this blog – – – except if you’re my Mom. Hi Mom!)

First off, the venerable Jason Levine, who without a doubt is the most entertaining presenter at Adobe (if you’ve seen him before you know what I’m talking about). He’s also my partner in crime (a.k.a. co-host) on Total Training for Adobe Production Studio. Check out his blog Jason Levine – Healing People Daily with the Power of Digital Video & Audio.

Next, my colleague Dennis Radeke, one of the sharpest DVA guys out there in the field, offers up tips, tricks, and tutorials on several Adobe products, especially After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop on his blog The Genesis Project.

If you’re a Flash designer or developer (or just want to learn more about Flash) check out Richard Galvan’s blog Galvan on Flash. Richard is the Technical Product Manager for Flash and is also one of the world’s leading experts on Flash authoring.

And finally, Bridge product manager (and my neighbor from up the hill in SF) Gunar Penikis writes about all things Bridge at From Gunar.

Look for some others to spring up in the near future – check the All Adobe Blogs page to see what’s new (the most recently added blogs are at the bottom of the page).

The Video Blogging Experiment

Please forgive me on this one. It is, after all, my 101th post on this blog, and I get to do something indulgent. So here it is. If it works, you’ll get a very unnerving prelude to a very unnerving situation. If you saw it live, you know what I’m talking about. If not, then that’s even better.

If you don’t see anything below this line of text, the experiment failed, and I’ll try some other ways of getting video on my “digital video blog”.

The Show Must Go On

Contrary to what has been reported in some national mainstream media outlets, interference from a cell phone did not cause the problems with the projection system at last week’s Creative Suite 3 Launch Event.


It was caused by problems with the gear you see in the photo above. Or the people running said gear. But it was definitely not a cell phone. Yes, we were cracking jokes onstage that it was a cell phone, but I wasn’t expecting to be taken seriously about it! I guess I need to be more careful next time.

Also, there were speculations in at least one article that I was using one of the yet-to-be-released 8-core Mac Pro systems. I could only wish! In fact, I had a 2x266GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with 10GB RAM. One 7200 RPM SATA drive for the OS & apps, another for the project files & assets. A rocking system, yes, but no 8-core. After Effects, for example, can take advantage of all them processors, so I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those 8-core machines.

I’ll be unleashing a torrent of CS3 new feature info starting later today, so hang on to your hats.

Welcome To Your Future!

It’s 12:06am on Tuesday March 27 here in New York City, and that means that Adobe Creative Suite 3 has officially been announced!

We’re working through the night, putting the final touches on our Creative Suite 3 Launch Event, which you can watch live here today at 3:30pm EDT. Here I am on the stage getting things ready with greg and Ginna, who you’ll be seeing along with me on the live webcast (also available to watch later on if you can’t tune in live).


Not the first sleepless night for me in the recent past, but it’s gonna be worth it. You’ll be seeing lots of new products, features, workflow integrations . . .

I had to blur out the big screen in the photo below (can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet) but this is the view from where I’m standing right now — rehearsals going into the wee hours to make sure we bring you a really good shoo.


I’ll be back in San Francisco on Monday and will be blogging like mad about all the new stuff.

Counting Down

If you’ve been wondering why you haven’t heard much from me lately, this is why. Please join us for the big event on March 27, 3:30pm EDT. You just might see my ugly mug up there showing you some cool new things.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

Where’s Bob?

Well, this picture says it all:


There’s nothing like hanging around Shinjuku at 7 in the morning because you woke up at 4am due to jetlag and couldn’t get back to sleep. Doing a good job at Adobe means you get to repeat it around the globe. Having to go to Tokyo for 1 day to do a press briefing may sound like a suicide mission, but the results in terms of getting the word out about our video products coming Back to the Mac and introducing the former Serious Magic products DV Rack and Ultra to the Japanese market for the first time were definitely worth it. The auto-translator on the aricles in the aboe links are a hoot — my colleague Hideyuki Komura’s name came out as “Old Sonhideyuki”.

Well, thanks to the amazing Komura-san and Shinichiro-san of Adobe Japan (with me in the photo below) we had a great press briefing in Tokyo today.

My goofy smile comes to you courtesy of sleep deprivation due to having crossed 17 time zones the day before.

One of the major highlights of the briefing was all the reporters bum-rushing the stage to get a photo of DV Rack running on my Mac Book Pro in Boot Camp. Mark Randall, if your reading this, I wish you could’ve been there, you would’ve been very proud (to fill the rest of yez in, Mark founded Serious Magic, invented DV Rack, and is now our Chief Strategist at Adobe).

For those of you paying attention to the technical stuff, Japan uses the NTSC standard for TV just like the US, but they use a different setup for their black levels (0 IRE for black, as opposed to 7.5 IRE which is what we use in the States). DV Rack has a menu option to adjust the setup for black to 0 IRE which was an amazing foresight considering the product hasn’t been available in Japan until today.

Getting to the Adobe office in the Osaki section of Tokyo can be an adventure in itself. Like NYC the best way to travel is by Subway, but trying to find your stop on this map can be a bit confusing if you can’t read Japanese.


If you wanna read more about the things you’ll encounter if you visit Japan, read my BizFlyer blog here. You’re also welcome to use this handy cheat-sheet of useful Japanese phrases (bad transliteration courtesy of me).

Watashi no namae wa _______ des.
My name is ________.

Good Morning.
Ohio goziamas.

Good Afternoon.

Good Evening.

Thank you.
Arigato goziamas.

Pleased to meet you.
Hajime mashite.

One beer, please.
Ichi beeru, kudasai.

Coffee, please.
Kohi, kudasai.

Tea, please.
O-cha, kudasai.

Excuse me.

I am sorry.
Gomen nasai.

I like this.
Ski des.

This is good.
Eee des.

May I have the check, please?
O-Kanjo, kudasai.

I don’t speak Japanese.
Nihon-go dekimasen, gomen nasai.

I don’t understand what you’re saying.

Do you understand me?
Wakarimashta ka?

Where is the toilet?
Toire wa doko des ka?

What is it?
Nan des ka?

The Japanese language is actually not that hard as far as pronounciation goes if you’re an English speaker. But, just like in New York, people talk crazy fast in Tokyo so understanding what people are saying can be impossible even if you speak fluent Japanese.


That’s my name & title in Japanese. Unfortunately “Bob” does not fall within the pronunciation guidelines of Japanese, so I can be either “Bobo” or “Bobu” (apparently I’m the latter in this nametag) and my last name winds up being “Donron”.

I’m trying to learn some more Japanese for my next visit. Stay tuned to see how I make out. And also stay tuned for an explanation of what IRE means and why you should care.

In the meantime, I’ll send a limited-edition piece of Adobe swag to the first non-Japanese speaking person who can figure this sign out. I’m completely baffled, but for some reason I can’t help wishing I was the guy on the right.


From the “Where Are They Now” File

A recent posting here having illustrated the irrefutable evidence of my old band The Rake’s Progress‘ descent into dinosaurhood (last seen in the “CD’s By The Pound” bin at your local record store) I was pretty amazed to hear that tickets for our first real show in over 10 years are almost sold out. For those of you with interest in my old music career, the show is Friday February 23 @ Mercury Lounge in NYC. The promoter is trying to add a 2nd show (hopefully Sat Feb 24) or perhaps move the show to a bigger venue, but for now if you’re a Rake’s fan please get tix now, I want youze there, here’s the link.

Guess which one is me ? (promotional photo from 1995)…


Watch me jump around like a dork amongst cows in a field in this 1994 Rakes video that was seen in the Beavis and Butthead episode “Bus Trip”. They mainly talked about the cows and the old guy.

Printed COW

Back when I started in video, Ron Lindeboom was running the WWUG which was at the time, and still remains, one of the great users forums on the web for tools like After Effects. Without that I would’ve never been able to learn my craft as fast as I did.

Not long thereafter, Ron and his wife Kathlyn started Creative COW, which has arguably become one of the most popular users forums in the world. Last year they launched their print magazine (free subscriptions available here) and not only is it great, but they brought on my buddy Tim Wilson (formerly of Avid, Boris, and . . . going way back . . . the WWUG) as the Associate Publisher.


I’ve read every issue cover-to-cover, and this month I’m honored to be part of an article about making a living as an After Effects artist. It starts on page 13. Tim interviewed myself and several other AE pros around the world, on the subject of how we got our first gigs using AE.

Dusting Off the Wings

When I started this blog about a year ago, I didn’t really understand blogging. More importantly, I didn’t realize how many people would read my blog just by virtue of the fact that it’s an Adobe Blog.

Despite the fact that from the get-go I intended to write primarily about the craft & technology of fim & video post production, the timing of starting my blog co-incided with being sent to all corners of the globe to spread the word about the recently-launched Adobe Production Studio. That meant I wound up writing more about my travels than anything else. People seemed to like it, but my lord was it way off-topic.

I wanted to keep the blog relevant to video pros (and beginners) so I decided to steer it pretty much strictly towards news, tutorials, observations, and info related to my craft and Adobe’s technology.

Well, here I am a year later and I find myself once again facing some serious air mileage, stamps in the passport, pens from hotel rooms, and killing countless hours in the business class lounges of the world’s busiest airports. I like writing about that stuff, mainly because I like complaining about it and after all I am a New Yorker and complaining is just in my blood. Living in San Francisco these past 2 years hasn’t softened me that much.

So, perched on my first flight of the year tomorrow (to Seattle to hang with the After Effects team) I introduce my new blog BizFlyer where I’ll rant & rave about all the stuff I encounter getting from point A to point B on my business travels for Adobe. If you’re interested, great. If not, don’t worry because I’ll continue blogging here, with more tutorials, tips, and everything else I can cram in during my copious free time.

I should probably mention that BizFlyer is my own personal blog, is not connected in any way or endorsed by Adobe, and the ideas & opinions contained within are my own and not necessarily those of my employer. Even if they do pay the airfare.