July 6, 2007
Mike & Ryan's Excellent Adventure
I can still remember the first time I stepped inside a mobile sports truck. I had gotten a freelance gig as a "runner" for a Golden Gater Productions shoot of the1983 SF Comedy Competition. I was amazed that a TV control room could fit inside a trailer. I even had fantasies about building mobile trucks for a while. Fast forward to the mid nineties after I joined Adobe. Once a year I would suggest we rent a Winnebago, pimp it out into a post-production suite and take it on the road to college campuses to evangelize the democratization of television production and post-production. Noone took me seriously. Well I am ecstatic (and jealous) that Mike Downey and Ryan Stewart are about to embark on their onAIR bus tour of "Cross Country Coding".
AIR (the app formerly code name Apollo) is one of the most exciting new technologies I've seen in a while. check out some of the cool applications being created using AIR here. Even if you're not a developer, stop by one of their stops and grab a beer, Red Bull, or coffee and get a glimpse into the future of software applications. Tell'm Steve sent you.
June 8, 2007
Animation and Motion Graphics Conference
I'm always on the lookout for events that facilitate the cross-pollination of motion graphics disciplines (typically characterized in terms of tools by After Effects and Flash).
The Best in the Southwest conference in Albuquerque this Oct. is looking like it could an excellent springboard for exchanging ideas, learning about new tools, meeting new people, and being a source of inspiration. As a disclaimer, I haven't been to this conference before, so I can't attest to the quality of the sessions, but after perusing the speaker line-up looks like an all-star group of presenters. If you are interested in presenting, its not too late. The deadline for speaking submissions is June 30th.
As an added bonus, the conference takes place during the Albuquerque balloon festival which is on my list of events to see before I get too old to travel!
March 8, 2007
A Word From Our Sponsor
Software development is usually such a furtive process. We work under a shroud of secrecy and NDAs until one day we open the proverbial kimono and tell the world what we've been up to.
For the first time that I can remember in my stint here at Adobe, we are shaking things up a bit and giving advance notice on when we will telling the world about all the cool things that we've been up to. Here is the official word:
"Adobe Creative Suite 3 will be announced March 27th 2007. Adobe is celebrating the launch at an event in New York City that will be webcast live at 3:30 pm ET on that date. On March 27th Adobe will reveal in detail the features and suite configurations that make this the largest software release in Adobe's 25 year history. Please check the Live Webcast link for details on how to view the event from the comfort of your computer on March 27."
September 14, 2006
Its good to be back in the "blogosphere" after a 9 week vacation to clear the mind. Amazing how much I forgot (passwords, url for blog entries, a few AE keyboard shortcuts).
I just got back from Austin, TX where I was attending/speaking at FlashForward. Trish & Chris Meyer did an all day intensive session of AE (talk about making your head spin if you've never seen AE in action before). I was intrigued to see how many Flash users are using AE or in the process of figuring out what it can do and how it will fit into the interactive work they are creating today; which in many cases is very motion graphics intensive. From a design, layering and animation perspective, there is very little difference between an AE user and a Flash user (other than an as Trish, Chris and I lamented; motion blur, subpixel positioning, and a few other things an AE user couldn't imagine not having in their arsenal).
In any event, I digress. The worlds of "broadcast motion graphics" and "Flash animation" are coming closer together. It makes me wonder are more Flash users adopting AE or AE user adopting Flash. Given what is happening in the Web space (advertising $'s shifting there, video sharing sites popping up all over the place, proliferation of FlashVideo, and the Stephen Colbert Green Screen Challenge) ;-), the cross-pollination/merging of these communities is inevitable (from my vantage point).
Two of the highlights of the FlashForward conference for me (besides Texas BBQ), were seeing Silvia Pompei's documentary short Flash Goes to Hollywood about the use of Flash for character animation; and being turned on to coldhardflash, a web site dedicated to providing daily news about Flash being used in TV production. Lots of excellent stories and inspiration that will appeal to animators no matter what tools they use in their craft.
Last but not least, if you are a more film/video centric person and want to dip your toes into the world of Flash, you might want to look into spending a day or two at FITC, Hollywood,10/5-10/7.
May 2, 2006
What I learned at NAB - Part 1
The Plug-in pavillion which was next to our booth had some of the coolest new things on the show floor. In no particular order:
Peder also told me about the launch of Trapcode People, a site intended to promote the "free exchange of creativity". Lots of cool files for exchange there.
If you own an Autodesk stone+wire disk array, and have been frustrated about not being able to use it with After Effects (or Premiere Pro for that matter) then Creative Technology C>me might be just the solution you were looking for.
More NAB discoveries to come...
April 11, 2006
Who is Theodore Levitt? Not a name that is tossed around in motion graphics circles at cocktail parties. Levitt is a professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School, and the author of the classic business article on Marketing Myopia.
OK, great, so what does this have to do with After Effects? I'll attempt to make the connection with a quick synospis. Levitt speculates why the railroad companies fell from prominence. Why aren't we flying on Reading or B&O airlines instead of United or Delta? The reason according to Levitt was that the railroad companies thought they were in the train business and not in the transportation business, and as a result when trucks, and eventually airplanes arrived they missed critical business opportunities that eventually led to their demise.
How do you define your business? If you define your business or job as broadcast design, or interactive design (or a variation of either of these), you might be missing opportunities. What if you defined your business as "time-based design" or even more more broadly as information design? Don't let your talents and competencies be defined by the medium used to deliver your design and creativity.
If you are broadcast designer, I encourage you to go to a Flash conference. Not only may many of the sessions be relevant and hopefully inspirational, but once you start talking with Flash designers, you might discover you have more in common than you might have thought. At least this has been my experience over the last 9 months as I've has an opportunity to attend several Flash conferences.
Coming up in a few weeks is Flash in the Can (4/21- 4/23 in Toronto). FITC is billed as a design and technology festival. I'll be presenting 2 sessions on After Effects which I hope people find useful, but I'm especially looking forward to being inspired and educated by "real" designers (I just play one on TV).
Hope to see you there.
April 4, 2006
Viva Las Vegas
NAB is just around the corner. Out booth is creeping closer to the "war zone" where Apple and Avid see who can outblast each other (does that amp go to 12?).
If you happen to be in the booth on Tuesday between 9am-1:30pm or especially Thurs 12:30-4:00pm (I'd much rather talk with customers than demo to our competitors) I'll be manning one of the AE demo stations. If you want an aide to help recognize me, there is a picture of me here, although I'm proud to say that I've shed 50 pounds (and my facial hair now that I have less face to break up). Hope to see/meet you there.
If you have a reel of your work, I'd love a copy if you have it on DVD (VHS is too bulky to carry).