Archive for August, 2009

Getting Adobe support back on track

Sometimes you just don’t get it right. It’s true for individuals, but it’s also true of large organizations. If you needed support from Adobe recently, you may have been feeling like we failed you. Rightly so. We haven’t been doing as well as we should. It wouldn’t be visible from the outside, but we’ve been working behind the scenes to put Adobe on a better path. Today, Adobe would like to formally apologize and promise to do better.

Lambert Walsh, VP, Technical Services speaks for Adobe on this subject: “Adobe is committed to providing the most advanced, innovative products and services in the world. Recently, however, our customers have experienced a level of service that is inconsistent with what they expect and deserve. This is unacceptable and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. We are working diligently to resolve these issues.”

The whole letter (PDF, 424 K) can be found on the Adobe support site.

Have a fireside chat with the After Effects team

Every Friday at 4 pm, the After Effects development team has a casual gathering in our video studio to close out the week. It’s all about unwinding from a busy week, viewing customer demo reels, or chit-chatting about the future of After Effects. Of course, it almost always involves a couple bottles of wine. These Friday “wine downs” (as they’ve become known) are one of our team’s oldest traditions.

This week we’re going to try something different. I’m going to publish a phone number that will let you call into our Friday wine down.

Continue reading…

After Effects and Snow Leopard

I know many people are looking forward to upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6, also known as Snow Leopard. There’s been a lot of buzz about application compatibility. There are some recent blog posts about Photoshop and Flash Professional and some general Adobe information. In addition, I thought I’d shed some light on how it’s working with After Effects.

We have tested After Effects CS4 with Snow Leopard and there only a couple known issues. Some 3rd party plug-ins are not compatible with Adobe After Effects CS4 running on Snow Leopard. As of now, this only applies to plug-ins that use Quartz Composer. Customers are encouraged to check plug-in compatibility before upgrading. Also, on Snow Leopard, QuickTime files with a Quartz Composer track are not compatible with After Effects CS4.

After Effects CS3 has also been tested with Snow Leopard and has the same issues as CS4. Please be aware that CS3 preceded Snow Leopard by a few years and Adobe no longer issues updates for After Effects CS3. Therefore, there may be issues that we do not know about and for which there is no resolution. Rest assured, Adobe still offers support options for CS3 products, but there may be issues beyond our control. It’s probably best to do some research when upgrading critical systems.

We are working closely with Apple and our 3rd party plug-in developers to solve these issues as soon as possible. I’ll update this blog post when more information becomes available.

[ Update — Aug 31, 2009 — It is also very important to install the latest update for After Effects CS4 (version 9.0.2) You can update After Effects from another Adobe CS4 application (Bridge, Premiere Pro, etc) or download an update installer from the Adobe support web site.]

Compose storyboards on your iPhone

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Anyone who has an iPhone has to be amazed at the variety of tip calculators and social networking apps to choose from. Among the more than 60,000 apps on the store, there’s been very few apps for those of us interested in the process of storytelling with video and film. It’s ironic, since the device is essentially a miniature version of a laptop with a camera pointing the right direction.

Entrepreneur Jonathan Houser from Cinemek took a look at his little mobile computer with camera and invented something quite cool.

Continue reading…

I love a good video hoax

I don’t know how this happened (OK, maybe it’s not a stretch), but it seems that my non-techie friends have come to consider me their source for debunking internet video hoaxes. They’re always sending me the latest one and asking for my opinion.

I have to admit I love these things. Yes, they’re usually pimping a product through viral marketing, but they’re just funny and many of them are well executed. Having created and seen my share of visual effects over the years, I can appreciate the care and creativity that goes into them.

My favorite one of late is the MEGAWOOSH Bruno Kammerl jumps video. I’d bet that After Effects was involved in this somehow. If you were involved in the production of this one, send me a note…Your secrets are safe with me. Honestly. One observer has thoughtfully posted a detailed breakdown of how this shot could be done.

Here’s another new one. I think this is how computer viruses are transmitted.

Do me a favor and send comment with a link to your favorite video hoax!

Nucleo Pro 2 now available for After Effects CS4

One of the most common challenges in production environments today is squeezing more productivity into a day’s work. If this sounds like one of your challenges, GridIron has some help for you: Nucleo Pro 2, which is now available for After Effects CS4. This has to be one of the most useful plug-ins ever made for After Effects. It adds several useful workflow improvements including the ability to render in the background and easily create pre-rendered proxies of nested compositions. The result is that you’ll get back a little time in your day so you can be more creative and get a bit more done.

GenArts Introduces Rental Program

A couple weeks ago, GenArts introduced a great new way to make the Sapphire line of After Effects plug-in effects part of your tool kit. The high-end effects usually retail for $1699, and are definitely worth it if you have the budget.

Now you can get all the goodies in the Sapphire set for $169 per month under a new rental program. Software rental isn’t new, but among After Effects plug-ins, I think this is a first. It’s a great way to to put some high-end visual effects into your AE projects without putting all the money up front.

If you change your mind and decide you’d like to own them, you can apply some of your rental fees toward the purchase price.