Author Archive: Marcus Lynch

The Acrobat Brothers

While I was in Vienna at IFRA last week, a colleague from Moscow (Roman Menyakin) showed me an ad campaign they had run for Acrobat 9 Pro. Rather cute, but also rather bizarre! Check out episode 5 below.

I know it’s in Russian, but can anyone understand what is going on? Answers on a postcard…

The rest of the series are available to watch on YouTube. Click here to see them all, in glorious HD!

The Future is 64bit

The following important announcement was posted today:

Adobe today confirmed that after three full versions of simultaneous support for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 and Adobe After Effects CS4 are the last versions to support 32-bit operating systems. Future versions will be native 64-bit applications which will run only on 64-bit operating systems.

Adobe first introduced 64-bit support with Premiere Pro CS2 and After Effects CS2, and has further optimized and architected for 64-bit with each successive release. Most modern PCs are 64-bit capable: virtually all Intel based Macintosh systems support 64-bit applications directly, and Windows users may select a 64-bit version of Windows to take advantage of the hardware capabilities. By focusing future Premiere Pro and After Effects development exclusively on 64-bit, Adobe will be able to deliver video professionals the best available performance, including increased editing speed, rapid switching among tools, and faster rendering–all of which give users more time to be creative.

Customers are being notified to provide fair notice of any changes regarding the operating systems and hardware supported by Adobe solutions. By announcing these changes now, Adobe customers will have time to plan their migration strategy accordingly. To assist in these efforts, Adobe has provided a free whitepaper on the benefits of running Adobe software on a 64-bit operating system today and in the future:
http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/production/pdfs/cs4_production_premium_64bit_wp.pdf.

There is no change to Adobe’s other Creative Suite applications. Those who own Creative Suite 3 and Creative Suite 4 will still be able to use the software on 32-bit operating systems and Adobe does not plan to make any changes to support programs currently in place.

Please visit http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/creativesuite/production/faq/ for more details.

Inspired Media – Oct 22nd

Those that are regular watchers of this page will know my love of animation. This Thursday at Inspired media, Matt West will be talking about (and showing) his work. The following is the description from the Inspired Media site:

Matt West is a lead animator and production manager at Cartoon Network. He trained in traditional animation at Central Saint Martin’s, and has since worked extensively in Flash, animating on series for the BBC (Monkeydust, Charlie and Lola), Channel 4 (The Blue Dragon), Nickelodeon (Terrible Tim) and most recently Cartoon Network, where he was lead animator on Skatoony, a hit show mixing animation with live action. He won the BBC New Animation Award in 2002, and is the author of Making an Animated Film: A Practical Guide. Matt will be talking about the different ways Flash is used to make TV animation, and how it can be combined with Illustrator and After FX to produce different results.

Looks like a good evening. I hope to be showing a couple of features from Flash CS4 as well, but don’t worry, it won’t turn into a corporate demo or anything!

Register here, and if you have work you would like to show, bring along a CD/DVD/memory stick and we’ll play it to the audience through my Mac. See you there…

IFRA Vienna – Day 2

A much busier day today, though Agfa still had their portable crowd on show.

Agfa_crowd.jpg

No, that isn’t me with the hat on!

I found a fabulous display of the worlds best designed newspapers hiding at the back of Hall 2. Missed be nearly everyone I would think, it shows designs from all around the world, chosen by the Society of News Design. Other winners can be seen here. Some of favorites below.

Nice_Type.jpg

L0_Social.jpg

Grace.jpg

IFRA Vienna – Day 1

A quiet day… but the first day always is. I was presenting to very small audiences today. Never mind… I had a chance to get to see some of the other stands. I shall upload some pictures later.
May product favorite so far has to be the Flipick. Produced by Mediawide (formally Sansui Software), the flipick allows a user to create a catalogue of products from the Amazon database. Using a combination of InDesign Server and Flex, once logged on you pick the products you want, and a book is built using InDesign templates. This is exported as a SWF file and displayed in the browser. Each product has a link that populates an Amazon shopping basket, and clicking on the ‘make it mine’ button takes you directly to the Amazon site to purchase. Really rather neat.

My Christmas list! Click on the Go Big button to display in a new browser window. Log on to Flipick here to create your own book.
I can see this getting a lot of traction with online businesses. Personalised catalogues for all customers! Cool.

Flash apps on the iPhone

Strange but true.

Yesterday at MAX Adobe announced that designers and developers will be able to use Adobe Flash Professional CS5 to create rich, interactive applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This announcement means that Flash designers and developers can use Flash Professional CS5 and ActionScript 3 to build native applications that can be distributed and downloaded via the Apple App Store. How cool is that?

For more information, check out the labs page here. There are even some games available for downloading already. As I don’t yet have an iPhone, I have not tested them, and can only advise that they download to my son’s iPod Touch, which will have to do for now.

Flash CS5 beta will soon be available on labs, so do sign up to be emailed when the beta starts.

Adobe Story

Another new addition to Adobe Labs is Adobe Story. Designed for creative professionals, producers, and writers working on or with scripts and screenplays, the preview version will let customers try out a few of the scriptwriting tools that will be part of the overall features in the final version of Story.

Story will be the new starting point in the pre-production phase of a planning-to-playback workflow thanks to tight integration with future versions of Adobe’s production toolset. Script information in Story will be transformed into relevant metadata that will flow through the production process to automate the creation of shooting scripts, shot lists, rough-cuts, and more.

So in addition to being a screenwriting tool, Story’s future integration with Adobe’s production toolset will help creative professionals deliver more engaging experiences, while also enabling huge efficiencies in pre-production, production, and post-production. The scriptwriting features in the preview version of Adobe Story are just the beginning!

To access the preview, go to: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/story/
To see a demo of Adobe Story, go to: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-presentations-2009/a-deeper-look-at-adobe-story-/

FOTB09

This week I have mostly, well entirely so far, been at Flash On The Beach in Brighton. For those of you not in the know, Flash On The Beach is an annual event for the Flash user community, with speakers galore, ‘Inspired Sessions’, workshops… and parties!
Previous years have been dominated by the developer community, but this year there have been a much higher attendance by designers. Which is a good thing. This has probably been fueled by the introduction of Flash Catalyst to the community. Mark Anders gave and introduction to FC in his session. Basically, Flash Catalyst is for building interactive applications and content… without coding. You are able to import Photoshop, Illustrator or FXG files directly, and start converting the layers and elements into Flash components. Try it by downloading the beta version, along with tutorial files here.
Being stuck on the Adobe stand most of the time, I didn’t manage to see nearly enough of the sessions, but one I did get to was by, Laura Jordan Bambach, Executive Creative Director at LBi. Her talk was titled ‘The Death of the Creative Director’. The theme was really around how traditional creativity has been superseded by the innovative use of technology for audience generation. Some really cool examples like the Axion Banner Concerts show how tying together simple and cheap ideas with technology can produce award winning campaigns. Examples on YouTube here. Fantastic stuff.
I spoke to some of the delegates about what they were getting out of the conference:

Don’t forget to keep and eye on the FOTB website, and sign up for next years event!

Inspired Media – September

September 17th was the first day back for Inspired Media after the summer break. And what a come back!
Stuart Warren-Hill from Hexstatic was this months speaker. Stuart talked about the evolution of the Audio Visual genre over the last decade, illustrated with cuts of his work with the likes of Coldplay, David Byrne and some of his promotional work for the BBC and MTV. There are loads of cool examples of his work on YouTube and Vimeo. One of the earliest, and still my favorite is Timber.

Don’t forget to register for next months event. Details can be found here.

Job Ticketing

Last week I attended a meeting of the Digital Ad Lab. A forum for folk working with digital workflows in the advertising industry. The main chatter this time, was around job ticketing. Boring I hear you cry, and yes, as a subject I would probably agree. But, not half as boring as having to rebuild ads that are out of spec because of bad information. We’ve all been there… you get an order for an ad, you get the ‘latest’ spec for the publication, build it, get it approved, submit it… only to have it returned because your spec was out of date. How irritating is that?
The concept that was being talked about, was a service where all specs would be stored online, and downloadable as XML/XMP data. The trouble is, what are all the fields that are needed? Some really good info on this at the GWG website.
One company that has a tool in place to help is Specle. They produce a plug-in for InDesign (I haven’t tried it yet, but you can get a trial version from their site), that sets all the type, trim bleed etc specs in one click. Just imagine only having to do a job once. You could spend more time actually designing! Fab.