July 16, 2007
YouTube 4 Media Pros
The idea as I understood it was to build a community where media pros could upload and share videos, audio, images of things of interest to folks in the biz (product demos, tutorials, demo reels, etc...). In addition to sharing videos it would also include "social networking" features like blogging and the ability to build a network of friends.
It sounded like a good idea at the time, so the flyer stimulated me to check it out to see how the community was evolving. As of today it is still light on content. Mostly videos shot at NAB [including a couple of me demoing AE CS3 and PhotoshopCS3 video features - yikes I have a hard time watching myself, so I don't; but my mom loves showing this stuff off to all her friends in Boca who brag about their son's the lawyers and doctors; he may not be rich or famous, but he's on the internet :-)]
The relatively small amount of content is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the idea or the content [although I did find the "booth babe" video to be in poor taste], but to me it highlights 2 key hurdles that characterize the state of "WebTV" today: 1) For a content consumer like myself it's a challenge to find content that is relevant to my interests. The choices can be overwhelming and/or not easy to find, and one-stop places like YouTube require considerable sifting to find content that is of interest and with production values that do not interfere with the viewing experience, 2) For the new Web-based channels like ProMediaTube, the challenge is how does their intended audience find them (or they make their audience aware of them), so they can generate revenue by selling advertising (assuming the business model is based on this) to advertisers targeting this particular audience demographic.
The good news I think is that these challenges can be solved. I don't shop a lot on Amazon, but I am more impressed each time I go there about how well they are mining the data they capture about me and other they think are like me. Another example that impressed me is Pandora,"radio from the music genome project". Whatever they've got under the hood works really well at allowing me to create my own personal radio station. I'd love a Pandora for video.
June 11, 2007
Help us Help you
The Flash file format (swf) is extremely versatile. It is used in a wide range of applications; from broadcast animation, to presentations and games. The folks in our user research group have asked me to share this request with you:
Subject: Adobe’s Customer Research team wants to see your SWF content!
Adobe’s customer research team is collecting an assortment of SWF content. We are looking to get a wide range of content for a variety of purposes so that we can better understand the types of projects people are working on, and better support those projects that are not as always posted on the web. We are especially interested in uses of SWF beyond web sites and advertising – such as (but not limited to) presentations, e-learning, character animation, prototypes, games, rich internet applications, etc. We’d also like to get representation of a variety of skill levels, so feel free to submit your project even if you are not an ActionScript user.
For every 50 submissions we receive, we will select one at random to receive an Amazon.com gift card for $50 (US dollars). You can submit as many projects as you like!
For each submission, please send the following to email@example.com by July 6, 2007:
· Your SWF or a link to your project or a screenshot of the project
· A brief description (3 to 4 sentences) describing the audience and purpose of the project
· Descriptive tags to categorize the project’s content and purpose – Use as many or as few tags as you like, and feel free to make up your own. Some examples tags are included below.
· Percent of all your projects that are SWFs
· Percentage of time you spend writing ActionScript
· Percentage of time you spend using the timeline
· Your name
· Your job title and company
· Your phone number (so a member of the Adobe’s customer research team can contact you for a quick 15 minute phone call if they need more information)
Please feel free to forward this message to others who might be interested or post it on your blog.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Adobe Customer Research Team
Example category tags:
· Banner ad
· Broadcast graphic
· Character animation
· Interactive motion content
· Interactive prototype
· Interactive video
· Mobile content
· Rich internet application
· Software demo or simulation
· Web design
April 20, 2007
What Happens in Vegas...
... doesn't always stay in vegas.
If you couldn't attend NAB, or were there and happened to miss out on the demo of the new Adobe Media Player which was announced on Monday; no worries. We've have posted an on- demand webcast our customer event where we presented the Adobe Media Player. The webcast also has great presentations from Stu Maschwitz from the Orphanage, and Ron Ames and Adam Gerstel from the Basement (profile on Adobe.com). There are also interviews with a few Adobe folks and an Interview with Rob Legato as well.
While a trade show like NAB allows attendees to be able to see products firsthand, speak directly with representatives from manufacturers, and kindle/rekindle old and/or new relationships (I did!), I noticed some changes that make wonder how far off we are from the "virtual" trade show.
More than any other year, I never saw so many individuals representing the media, user groups, and professional associations creating audio and video podcasts covering the show. Combine this with countless blog postings from the media and individuals attending the show, and it makes me wonder if we will reach a day when we won't need to abuse our feet from walking miles on hard concrete (although I must say if there was an award for booth with the best carpet padding, the Adobe booth would be the winner in my opinion) trade show floors. While this might be a far-fetched fantasy, today people who can't come to NAB can get a pretty good feel for what's happening on the show floor.
April 16, 2007
Public Preview of After Effects and Premiere Pro
Short post in the midst of day 1 at NAB. If you want to test drive After Effects CS3 or Premiere Pro CS3, we've posted public pre-release version on Adobe Labs. Beta user forum for AE can be found here. More on the show later tonight.
UPDATE: Pushed send too soon. Two additional pieces of related info:
1) from the technical editor of our user guid and help: You can now read and comment on After Effects CS3 Help on the web. Please add comments to the Help pages. Add tips and tricks. Criticize the pages (in detail, please) so that we know what to fix. Add links to specific tutorials or articles that are directly relevant to a Help page. Heck, you can even praise the Help pages that you think are good. Notice the URL at the bottom of each page, which you can use to link directly to a Help page. You can use these URLs to point people directly to a specific Help page.
2) We've just posted a more detailed What's New pdf covering the top new features added in AE CS3.
April 2, 2007
First off, I realized that I hit the publish button a bit too fast on my last post, and didn't make my point (which was not that you can buy tutorials). I'll come back to it later, I promise.
The AE CS3 demo seemed to go well, and my dry deadpan humor only got me into trouble with only one attendee so far. It was great meeting people who've I only know virtually and also good to meet some new users as well. The highlight for me was watching Andrew Kramer's presentation prior to mine. He showed some amazing visual fx techniques using AE and was scary fast using the pen tool to create masks. If what he showed was representative of his seriousfx product I can highly recommend it. Andrew knows his stuff and has a wealth of not obvious timesaving tricks to accomplish the most demanding fx shots in AE.
I was also fortunate to meet Jim Geduldick from Little Airplane Productions. Very cool kids oriented animation and effects. You can check out an interview with Jim at Toolfarm. BTW Toolfarm has also added a nice Inspiration section their web site.
While I was on the Toolfarm Web site, I noticed they had a Zoho survey about plans to upgrade to AE CS3 and I thought maybe I try a similar survey here; so here goes my first attempt to add something other than text to my blog:
<iframe frameborder='0' src='http://polls.zoho.com/external/skilisky/upgrading-to-after-effects-cs3' width='260' height='210'></iframe>
Hope this works. As much as I like using Contribute I haven't figured out how to preview my entire post before publishing.
Update: Hmmm not working. Anyone care to help me figure out what I'm doing wrong?
March 8, 2007
What is Dynamic Media
What exactly is Dynamic Media. Good question. Well as a starter, to me it is the opposite of Static Media or as I like to joke with some of the folks that work on print products here, "if it don't move its dead."
Seriously though, Dynamic Media is a reference to the shift that is occuring as a result of the way we consume our media (and as a result create it). We have gone from "lean back" experiences associated with watching television in our living rooms, to "lean forward" experience of interacting with content on our computer screens, to "hunch forward" (borrowed from Mark Randall) consuming content on handheld devices.
As one comment to a previous post mentioned, the term Dynamic Media has been applied to creating interactive PDFs and this certainly falls into the realm of a lean forward interactive experience, but when I think about dynamic media, I think of video, audio, animation, and interactivity all blending together to create a "rich media experience".
Dynamic Media also refers to the business unit that I am a part of here at Adobe which includes all the digital video and audio products, Flash authoring, Flash Media Server, and a few other things.
This is the second time around for Dynamic Media as a phrase at Adobe. Back in the late 90's we branded our first video suite as the "Dynamic Media Collection". I was one of the advocates for that name which was met with quite a bit of resistance. Many people thought it was a bad name because it didn't "test well". Few customers knew what it meant. My argument was that not knowing what it meant was ok, as it gave us the opportunity to define it, and we needed to be patient until the term began to take root.
What goes around comes around. Welcome to my world of Dynamic Media. I don't know exactly where I'll be going with this blog, but I do know where I won't be going. I won't be writing about Static Media.
January 15, 2007
Ask Me About My Monkey
It was a busy week at Macworld. Lots of gawking/worshipping of the iPhone encased in glass. Lots of iPod accessories. Premiere Pro and Photoshop CS3 won "Best of Show" Awards. I didn't know the right people to get invited to any of the cool parties, but I did enjoy good food, ambience, and company at Farmer Browns, Bong Su, South Park Cafe, and Chez Papa.
As far as other exhibitors go, here are three that caught my attention:
KB Covers had a cool keyboard cover with AE shortcuts on it.
Ex-Cinder was showing Morph Age the most interesting morphing software I've seen since Elastic Reality. They also have a tracking product called Magnet but it wasn't clear to me what it offered that wasn't already available in After Effects and other compositing apps.
Other than that it was a light show for pro video related software and hardware.
January 4, 2007
An Active Day for Mac Users
It's been an active day in terms of discussion, analysis, and commentary about our announcement to bring the Adobe Production Studio to the Mac. Over on MacRumors.com the score as of this writing is 85 positive and 25 negative ratings. Many folks would characterize this as a good reception to the announcement, and I would tend to agree that overall the response has been extremely positive. But I have perfectionist tendencies (a strength and a weakness. TIP: perfectionism is a great answer to job interview questions probing into weaknesses, certainly better than saying, "I'm unorganized and have trouble prioritizing my work"). As a result I am not satisfied with anything less than stellar results.
So despite the overall strong positive reaction, I find myself focused on understanding the reactions that fall into the negative camp. After scouring the Web reading as many media and user comments as I could find, the naysayers seem to fall into 3 main categories:
1) there are those who seem to be down on Adobe in general or maybe just like to "stir the pot" and will be negative no matter what we do. Thankfully this is a relatively small number, as it is hard for me to have a productive dialog with these types of individuals.
2) There are those who still have a less than great memories from their experience with the old Premiere 5.0a/b/c (sorry we deleted your files), and 6.x. To these people all I can say is "Premiere Pro is not the Premiere your father knew" (it is a completely new code base from the old Premiere, not just the old Premiere with 'Pro' added) and hopefully you'll be willing to re-evaluate it. If you don't, I can understand it; I still flinch anytime someone mentions Jack Daniels to me (hopefully that analogy makes sense).
3) There are those who use Final Cut Pro (or Avid) and don't foresee a reason to switch based on their investment and/or satisfaction with their current NLE. Fair enough. A comment I received on my "Back to Mac" blog entry characterizes this sentiment well; "I would have been one of those 4 years ago to ask for PP on the Mac. The problem is a little program called Final Cut Pro that we switched to. While still interested in seeing what the PP team turns out, you are going to have to make something VERY special to convince us to switch back. Bummer when you turn your back on your customers once."
If you fall into category number 1, I'm not sure there is anything we can say or do that would change your perspective, but for those who fall into categories 2 or 3, we have our work cut out for ourselves to earn your business and we will do our best to do that.
That said, while I personally feel Premiere can stand toe-to-toe with other NLEs, I believe that the Production Studio is today for Windows users and will be later this year for Mac users an attractive offering no matter what NLE you feel best meets your needs. After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator are all mainstays in most post production environments and assuming it makes economic sense, Production Studio will be a good investment. And if you place sufficient value on the integration/workflow between those apps with your NLE, DVD Authoring and tools (plus Soundbooth as well), then Premiere Pro, and Encore deserve an evaluation because if you use AE on a regular basis, then overall Premiere Pro and Encore work better with AE than any other NLE or DVE authoring app.
For those of you who expressed support for this announcement, thank you. We appreciate it. For those Mac users not familiar with the Production Studio and happen to be within traveling distance of San Francisco, I encourage you to stop by and see a demo and talk to us at MacWorld (booth S901). If MacWorld isn't an option we'll also be showing the Mac Production Studio at Video Forum in Feb. in London. Alternatively, here are several OnDemand seminars of the Windows version of the products that you can watch at your leisure: Overview of Production Studio hosted by our own worldwide evangelista extraordinaire, Jason Levine, Commercial/Motion Picture Production and DynamicLink, hosted by Rob Legato and Adam Gerstel, or High Definition for Independent Filmmakers, hosted by Jacob Rosenberg. Last but not least check out more info about the Mac Production Studio on our web site which includes a FAQ and will hopefully very shortly have a form to sign up to be kept up to-date on news regarding the next release of Production Studio and other live events where it will be shown.
January 3, 2007
Back to the Mac
It's been kinda lonely at Adobe with After Effects being the only digital video/audio app on the Mac. Well I won't have to go alone any longer on press briefings to the Mac publications now that we've announced that the next version of the Adobe Production Studio will be cross-platform.
It was a very difficult business decision to go Windows only when we decided to start with a clean sheet of paper to develop Premiere Pro 1.0. We also believed that if we were successful in developing a strong integrated workflow around After Effects, Premiere, Encore, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more recently Flash, that customers on both Mac & Win no matter which NLE they chose to use would hopefully see the value in the Adobe post production solution and we could make a strong business decision to return to being cross-platform.
For me the defining moment was the launch event for the current version of the Adobe Production Studio at MGLA last year. I remember 3 or 4 years ago when we presented Premiere 6.5 (or maybe it was Premiere Pro 1.0) and After Effects at MGLA it was strongly suggested we demo AE after Premiere in order to ensure people wouldn't skip out on Premiere and leave after the AE demo. The next time, we showed Premiere Pro 1.5 and we actually had a handful of customers ask for a Mac version. Good sign...
Fast Forward to Jan of last year and with the maturity of Premiere Pro 2.0 and Encore 2.0 combined with Adobe DynamicLink, I was pleasantly surprised when roughly half of the audience raised their hands to indicate they wanted to see Production Studio be cross-platform. Very good sign...
With the upcoming new release of Production Studio later this year, our goal is to continue to set the standard in terms of delivering the strongest integrated post production workflow. I'll get off my soapbox now, I'm just so glad to be able to share this news and happy to welcome my brethren products to the Mac. I'm also hoping that this will put to rest once and for all the conspiracy theories that AE was going to abandon the Mac as well! Now what about Linux...
December 22, 2006
OT: Giving Thanks
NOTE: This post has nothing to do with After Effects directly. Feel free to ignore if uninterested in my personal history.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you wonder how you got where you are and how things would be different if certain events hadn't occurred. For me my life is more of a series of controlled coincidences than pure serendipity.
As I sit here in my office on the last work day before Adobe's holiday shutdown, that is what's running though my mind. I'm not sure what made me decide to share these thoughts here, other than my blog editing software was open when the thought hit me (maybe it's therapeutic, or maybe I need to network socially), but hopefully I've earned permission to take liberties with my blog once in a while.
Anyhow here are the people who I give thanks to for somehow influencing the career path I have traveled:
Thanks to Bruce Chernak teaching me how to make killer Bloody Mary's and Ramos Fizzes at Perry's.
Thanks to Hana Anki at Perry's for telling me it was time to leave (although not very nicely) the bar business.
Thank you to KRCB in Rohnert Park for not hiring me, but allowing me to meet someone who exposed me to The Telecommunications Technology Program at Napa Valley College where not only did I learn the frequency of subcarrier to 5 decimal places (3.579545), but also began to develop a taste and appreciation for wine.
Thanks to Gary Vann (back row, far right) for teaching me to thread a 2" Ampex VTR, tweak and encoder, shoot with one of the first Sony Betacam camcorders, "smile and nod", and to see something in me that I didn't see in myself.
Thanks to Jeff Jerome, for opening the door (figuratively) for me at Varitel Video in S.F., Ed Granlund for hiring me and Tim Mundorf for keeping me sane and explaining why people pronounce my last name "Kilinsky" (Tim was a Linguistics major).
Thanks to Stuart Loberg for quitting Cubicomp and getting me an interview there, and thanks to Kelvin Wright for hiring me even though I had I no idea what a config.sys file was.
Thanks to Doug Harrison, the first product manager I ever met and for making me realize that a) marketing is more fun than technical support, and b) think that if he was a product manager, I certainly could be as well (after all, all we do is travel, but people food and drinks and fill out expense reports...).
Thanks again to Kelvin Wright, for turning down the job at Abekas to work at Digital F/X (anyone remember the Composium or Hitchcock?) and getting me the interview at Abekas.
Thanks to Jim Peterson for hiring me at Abekas even though I knew nothing about Digital Disk Recorders or CCIR-601, and to Ed Breault and Rob Carroll for teaching me everything I know about Disk Recorders and CCIR-601.
Thanks to Lance Kelson for encouraging me to get into marketing, to Paul Hansil for giving me my first product management job, to Pete Mountanos for making me a product manager, and to Andy Sheldon, Stuart English, George Uibel, and Steve Lose, for all the memories.
Thanks to Dan Wright and Phil Bennett for not seeing the future of video was in software, and thanks to Tim Myers and Randy Ubillos for finding me at Abekas and for some crazy reason wanting to make Adobe Premiere talk to and Abekas DDR.
Thanks again to Tim Myers for quitting Adobe to work at Macromedia and then KuB
A big thanks to Joyce Chung for hiring me at Adobe even though I didn't know the difference between an ISA and an EISA, and thanks to Bryan Lamkin for giving me the opportunity to join the After Effects team, (and thanks to my wife for giving up sunny CA for moist and gray WA).
And last but not least thanks to the AE team for being such a great team to be a part of, to Adobe for being such a great company to work at, and to all of our users whose passion keeps me energized and in awe of how y'all use After Effects.
Wishing everyone in my past, present, and future a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year.
I'll be back in 2007.
December 9, 2006
7.0.1 Update Now Available
Quck post today. I just wanted to get the word out that an After Effects 7.0.1 Mac or Win update is now available from the Adobe Web site. The download page contains a list of the most signficant changes. I'm glad we were finally able to get to the bottom of the "hiding app bug" on the Mac and fix it.
Also, the title doesn't list English, but it works with all languages. I've put a request in to add "English" to the title. Apologies for the confusion.
November 4, 2006
Out of the Dark Ages
A little off-topic, but I've had a major software nirvana experience.
Not to make excuses for not blogging more often (Thanks Steve Wolkoff for the link), but one of the main deterrents for me was the awful Moveable Type interface for creating entries. I thought nothing could have been worse for me than trying to learn/use WordStar in the mid 80's, but I was wrong.
But then I discovered the recently released Adobe Contribute 4. It's changed my blogging life (gratuitous use of formatting). While Contribute is much more than for blog editing, if you are a blogger; it was a snap to connect to my blog server, create and format entries in a WYSIWYG interface and add links. It even has spell checking (although I was amused that 'blog' was not in the dictionary)!
I've just begun to explore the features, but it looks like styles, images, video, and more are easy to add as well. Maybe I'll add a table next time just for grins. Now if I knew what this trackback feature was (off to the help file).
Does this mean, I'll be blogging more frequently? Not necessarily, as my family has limited my time on the computer at home (I got an all-day pass today as its my birthday), but at least it won't be cursing MT while I'm writing any longer.
October 18, 2006
Let's Get Serious
While all of the products are pretty cool, if you are an AE user, the Ultra Keyer is especially noteworthy. The thing that stands out most for me about Ultra is that it gets great results in less than ideal lighting situations and you don't have to fiddle with a lot of knobs and sliders to get acceptable results.
May 2, 2006
We'd like to see your work!
At NAB several customers asked how they could submit their work to be included on our customer reel ,or how they could get a copy of the reel. Perfect timing. We're getting ready to put together our 2006 customer reel and would love to see showcase your work using After Effects.
Visit the Reel Submission page on adobe.com to learn more. The reel is shown at tradeshows, user events, and some Adobe office lobbies. Deadline for submission is June 30th.
While we do not have rights to distribute the reel, a 5 minute sample from the 2005 reel is posted online for your viewing pleasure.
February 27, 2006
Appearing Together for the First Time...
I've been on the road the last week in Atlanta, Orlando, and West Palm Beach helping out at launch events, and I've fallen behind in my blog. This week, I'll be spending quite a bit of time at Flash Forward.
The Flash Forward Conference in Seattle gets into full swing tomorrow. In addition to the main program, there is a dedicated Adobe Technology Track. Besides the traditional product demos, the Adobe room will have several Birds of a Feather sessions with the After Effects, Audition, and Flash development teams, plus if you want to talk cross-product integration; Tuesday from 5:15-6:30pm, the product managers for After Effects (myself), Flash (Mike Downey), Photoshop (John Nack), and Illustrator (Phil Guindi) will be appearing together to lead a discussion about cross-product workflows.
While we have our own ideas on how we can improve how these products all work together, and have started to take the first steps in that direction, the session is a great opportunity influence how we improve workflows and help us understand why your requests are important to you.
hope to see you there and report back on these sessions as well as what I learn during the main conference.
February 1, 2006
Mactel & After Effects
Given the timing of the release of AE7 and the impending release of the first Mactel machines from Apple, I've seen quite a bit of discussion and speculation about what this means for After Effects users.
While I encourage our Macintosh customers to read the FAQ, to summarize the key points for After Effects users:
1. We plan to release a Universal version of After Effects.
2. We are not planning to release a Mactel version of After Effects 7.0
3. The transition requires a major development effort, not just for us, but our 3rd party partners (plug-ins as an example).
4. We are not aware of any known issues running After Effects 7.0 using Rosetta, however in most cases user will not see any performance improvements and are likely to see performance degradation.
While it would be nice to see the performance of a Universal version of After Effects on an iMac or MacBook when they ship, for most of our users the real benefits won't be realized until Apple releases their desktop line of products and the entire ecosystem of tools our users rely on is available on Mactel.
While not exactly the same thing, anyone else feel like it is deja vu all over again (OS9 to OS X transition or for Windows customers going from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95)?
January 31, 2006
Adobe Production Studio Roadshow
Next week, we will be kicking off a worldwide roadshow for the Adobe Production Studio. If you want to see the products up close and in person, visit the events page on adobe.com for details on dates and locations
You can also sign-up to be notified if a future roadshow is scheduled for the vicinity where you live.
We'll be visiting: SF, LA, NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, London, Stockholm, Rome, Hamburg, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Vienna, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo plus at least 10 additional cities.
I'll be participating in Chicago, Atlanta, and Orlando; so if you happen to attend one of these events, please introduce yourself. If you have a reel of your AE work, I'd love a copy to share with the team back in Seattle.
January 26, 2006
Templates, The Sequel
Another source of templates worth evaluating are broadcastGEMS.
The After Effects series, ships with AE 6.5 project files, which provides more customization options than simply buying animated background QuickTime movies.
January 22, 2006
After Effects 7.0 Pro Tryouts Available
I was just notified that the AE tryouts are now available. It looks like the ftp site hasn't been wired up to the tryout link off the AE product page, but I expect that to happen tomorrow.
The tryouts are fully functional for 30 days after installation.
January 19, 2006
Welcome to my Blog
Greetings. This is my first blog post and I'm excited to be able to establish a dialog with other people interested in After Effects as well as the general topics of motion graphics and visual effects. I thought I'd kick things off with a brief bio and my goals for this blog.
Bio: I've been in video and computer graphics for a while (anyone remember the Cubicomp Picturemaker?). After Cubicomp, I worked on DDR's and character generators at Abekas. It's hard to believe today that $60K in 1989 got you a DDR that could record 25 seconds (30 in PAL) of uncompressed video. I joined Adobe in 1995 and am the product manager for Adobe After Effects.
I have always been amazed by the strong sense of community among After Effects users going all the way back to the AOL COSA forum, and want to use this blog as a way to contribute to the community.
I plan to share my views on news related to After Effects and motion graphics and visual effects, plus share info about resources to learn more about AE. I'll also pass along info about cool sites our users create to showcase their work or share their knowledge.
I welcome feedback on things you like about this blog and suggestions on how to improve it.