NAB Professional Gear: Wacom By Ko Maruyama For years, Wacom tablets have dominated the professional market; their name synonymous with responsive, accurate results. The new Intuos5 tablet heralds a new definition for what tablets can be. Not only is this pressure sensitive for your designer needs, but it also boasts a touch capability. Now more than ever, you'll find yourself with your Wacom all day long. ...Read More »
Filming the Fantastic By Ko Maruyama "Filming the Fantastic" has been recently released in its second edition. The book by Mark Sawicki is not only a "guide", but a personal discussion about the ebbs and flows of visual effects trends, and stories of universal truths.Sawicki's book is a great read for directors, VFX supervisors, post-production teams, artists, and - naturally - those who gather around the eyepiece. ...Read More »
MAXON CINEMA 4D RELEASE 13 By Ko Maruyama MAXON announced release of its latest version of software, Release 13, which marks a new era for CINEMA 4D.  The current version of the software provides many new features for seasoned users, and several competitive upgrades that will bring in professionals who might use other 3D software packages. ...Read More »
iPad2 GripStand 2 Bundle By Ko Maruyama The Newer Technology company makes a protective back and stand for your iPad 2. The Gripstand and GripBase pairing is a great way to watch your iPad content hands free, or, if you're a teacher, present items on the iPad to students without having to awkwardly holding it. ...Read More »
What if Dropbox offered time tracking, versioning, & more? By John Nack Answer: You'd have something like the just-released GridIron Flow 2.0. It can save your butt, for free. Why would you not start using it immediately? ...Read More »
Dell Precision M6500 mobile workstation By John Virata The big horsepower CPUs and graphics chips form the core of a workstation class notebook computer. A large screen, built in color calibration profiles, RAID capabilities, and a bevy of connectivity options also contribute. The Dell Precision M6500 in here for review combines the latest in mobile workstation graphics, the 1GB NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M, with a Quad Core Intel Core i7 x920 2GHz CPU with 8 processor cores, 4GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM (16GB maximum), 17" Wide Screen WUXGA RGB LED LCD Panel with integrated camera and mic, and a Hitachi 250GB hard disk drive. ...Read More »
Lenovo D20 media workstation By John Virata Lenovo's D20 is the company's top of the line ThinkStation workstation. This particular model shipped with dual Intel E5540 2.53GHz Xeon processors (four processor cores), 12GB RAM, and Windows 7 Professional. Graphics was powered by an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 graphics card. This is your classic media workstation, configured to run the latest creative applications from Adobe Systems, Autodesk, Sony Creative Software, as well as CAD tools such as AutoCAD, Pro Engineer, and others. ...Read More »
HP Z400 workstation By John Virata The Hewlett-Packard HP Z400 is the company's entry level workstation. While it doesn't have the whiz bang design features of the HP Z800 reviewed in March, it still does not disappoint as the benchmark numbers will surprise you. ...Read More »
MAXON CINEMA 4D R11.5 By Ko Maruyama MAXON Computer released their newest version of CINEMA 4D, the 3D application that has quickly become the favorite of broadcast designers and animators. The name of the newest version, R 11.5 gives the illusion that the update is a minor upgrade from previous R11.2 version. However, the multitude of new features in R11.5 makes the upgrade feel like a integer release. ...Read More »
Coremelt Complete V2 By Kevin McAuliffe You can never have enough plug-ins. Trust me, as an editor/graphic designer you always have clients that want something "cool," but have really no idea what they are looking for, so you end up finding yourself going through the plug-ins on your system to try and put something together to really "wow" them, your plug-in collection needs to have three traits. ...Read More »
Toolfarm's Professional After Effects Camera Training By Ko Maruyama The 3D world in After Effects has always been a difficult composition space to navigate. Even if you are familiar with world navigation in a 3D application, working with the camera in After Effects may not behave the way you might expect. Like any application, there is a workflow which will make working with these tools easier to understand. Toolfarm's new training shows you how. ...Read More »
Autodesk's Mudbox 2009 By Kevin McAuliffe The world of 3D design and animation has always had a "what came first, the chicken or the egg" mentality. What I mean by that is when it comes to someone getting into the world of 3D animation, normally (not all the time), they are either strong at the computer/technical aspect, or strong in (classical) animation, and they end up having to bulk up on either one or the other. ...Read More »
e-on`s Vue 7.5 Xstream By Jon Carroll One thing still challenging to 3D animators and visual effects artists is the creation of realistic landscapes and integrating objects created in their animation software into those environments. There have been over time several different pieces of 3D software that were specifically intended for the creation of 3D environments, and they have used various means to incorporate their landscapes into the rendered images. ...Read More »
I'm a Juicer By John Haley Whether you are someone who is running errands all day, or have a business which requires you to be away from the office, or even a student who loves music or a avid gammer - this is for you. Not many of us are stationary long enough to to recharge our all in one mobile computer, or at least that is how some think of their iPhones! ...Read More »
Lenovo ThinkStation S20 workstation By John Virata The Lenovo ThinkStation S20 is the company's mid range workstation that works well in a variety of creative environments, be it video and special effects creation to CAD and animation. Configured with the right graphics card, the unit will fit well in any creative environment. The S20 is larger than most mid-tower cases, and sports ample room inside for user upgrades. ...Read More »
Mercury On-The-Go By Ko Maruyama There are tons of reasons to check out this lightweight drive. The OWC Mercury On-The-Go drive is a little powerhouse in your pocket. If you're going to run out an purchase an external drive for your Mac laptop, you already know what you want in a drive: FW 800, USB 2.0 for those other connections you may need to make, and bus powered (no external power supply). ...Read More »
PHOTOSHOP DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS By Ko Maruyama You probably know Scott Kelby from many publications, especially as the editor of Photoshop User magazine. In his latest book, PHOTOSHOP CS4 DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS, Scott and Corey Barker walk through several of the latest design tricks and trends Photoshop users recognize in so much of the print work available today. ...Read More »
FreeForm AE for Adobe After Effects By Kevin McAuliffe These days, 3D in Adobe's After Effects is a no brainer, and most people don't even give it a second thought. I've been an After Effects user since version 3.5 of the software, and when the 3D feature came along (version 5), it was a huge step forward, except for one problem. ...Read More »
The Archive Titanium Edition from Digimation By Kevin McAuliffe I like being a "one-man-show." I not only edit, but I do motion graphics, sound mixing and a variety of other jobs that give my clients a "one stop shop" for all their post production needs. These days I'm moving more and more into 3D design (using Cinema 4D), as it is another service I can offer my clients. There is one problem though, and that is that I can't model to save my life. ...Read More »
Modbook from a MacBook Pro By Ko Maruyama A few years ago, we saw a company called Axiotron out of El Segundo California come up with a Mac tablet which integrated the Wacom tablet technology (similar to the Cintiq) and the Apple MacBook. This is a great solution for those of us who loved to work with software that really took advantage of the stylus. Before the Pro version ships, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, and Maxon's BodyPaint 3D were among some of the tools I tried out on the current 15-inch ModBook. ...Read More »
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