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October 06, 2011

Table of Contents

Motorz Skills: Producing a Hit DIY TV Show
Snow in Vienna: Adventures in Destination Filmmaking
In the Studio: Using Boris Continuum Complete
Maxell Intros New Quad-Interface Desktop Hard Drive for Postproduction Pros
FCP X 10.0.1 Support in Works for Singular A/V Sync Plug-ins
Apple to Roll Out iCloud on October 12
Adobe Touch Apps Bring Photoshop and Other CS Applications to iPad and Tablet Users

Motorz Skills: Producing a Hit DIY TV Show

MotorzPerusing Chris Duke's automotive portfolio-blogs, online communities, web video offerings, and now a nationally broadcast television show with millions of viewers-leaves you with the impression that his professional engine is firing on all cylinders. When you learn he also has a day job as a software developer, you realize that engine must have the help of some serious aftermarket parts. As it turns out, the source of Duke's added horsepower may just be his enthusiasm for learning new things: new skills, new gadgets, even new industries. The San Diego-based producer and host of the broadcast and web TV show Motorz (pronounced "motors") combines the agility of a technology professional with the enthusiasm of a lifetime, self-taught car buff. The result is an automotive DIY show that can, in Duke's words, "keep how-to installations real for enthusiasts." Increasingly, it does this without giving the impression that there's anything amateur about the decidedly DIY Motorz operation, and looking inside that operation provides a great lesson into what a multitalented and motivated independent producer can accomplish without a studio behind him.

Automotive Autodidact
To understand what's under his show's hood, you need to know something about how Duke got his start in the automotive space. "I've been working with computers for a long time," Duke says. "I'm in my early forties, and I've been geeking out since the Apple }{+." His computer proficiency led him to become an early adopter and developer on the internet. "There was a joke in my family that anything I got into, I created a website about," Duke says. "I got my roots in the automotive area doing online editorial, and that turned into a situation where I attracted the attention of a magazine publisher."

The editorial work in question was Duke's hobbyist website, F-150 World. In high school, Duke "spent most of his evenings and weekends modifying [his] car, mainly through aftermarket accessories." According to Duke, his automotive hijinks included designing and building a subwoofer speaker enclosure "that filled the entire rear hatchback of [his] vehicle."

"I'm self-educated with everything that I do," says Duke, who-case in point-went to work for Microsoft straight out of high school. "That's been my life. No matter what I do, I love to do research and tinker and rip things apart and make them better."

F-150 World was where he started passing that kind of self-acquired knowledge along to automotive enthusiasts who could use it, a pastime that Duke says has become his calling.

Mixed Media
After 2 years, F-150 World had become Ford Truck World and given birth to 17 websites and four newsstand magazines. Duke served as chief technology officer and editor. In the latter role, he continued to produce the DIY automotive content that was becoming his specialty. He also worked as a photographer, even shooting covers. In the process, he "invested a ton of money on a bunch of Canon lenses." This investment would end up impacting an important equipment decision when, years later, Duke began focusing more exclusively on video.

Duke says that shift to video came as the result of a number of factors. He left Ford Truck World "because the business started to become a bit too commercial in catering to advertisers as opposed to the enthusiast," he says. To continue creating content for the latter, he started Truckblog and Muscle Car Blog. Again, DIY articles were a staple of his content, but video also began to play a role.

"I was doing a lot of editorial, and I was just getting tired of writing and putting in these really tiny pictures. We were doing an exhaust installation for Truckblog, and I just said, ‘Since I have this obligation to do this online article, let's try a video format.'"

The video series, originally called Truckblog.TV, wasn't as big a leap as it may, at first, sound. "Since we had some video gear because we were covering car shows, we had the chops to do some decent filming and audio as well as to edit that video," Duke says.

As for the move, as he puts it, "away from the keyboard ... and in front of the camera," Duke did have some anxiety going into those early video shoots. "I was with a friend who was helping me out, and he was behind the camera and I was in front of the camera," he says. "I had no experience and was scared to do it. But it was very well received. We just kinda kept doing it. Six episodes later, I decided to turn it into Motorz and make it its own show and its own business."

Putting Motorz Together By Taking Motors Apart
For the most part, Motorz is a one-man show. "Traditionally, I've done everything myself"—Duke says—"the website, marketing, editing, distribution, everything. But these days I have a lot of help from my associate producer Jason Gillmore, and I've hired a firm to handle sales, marketing, and PR."

The Motorz website (www.motorz.tv)

The show's "from one DIY'er to another" approach affects the shots they capture. Duke explains that traditional automotive programs don't show viewers what they most need to see.

"I didn't really like a lot of the car shows out there," he says. "They didn't really show you how to do things step-by-step, and viewers can't relate to all the expensive tools and equipment they have." (Motorz partnered with Sears beginning with Season 4, and the Sears Blue Tool Crew now provides all the tools Duke uses and reviews on the show.)

For instance, Duke says, imagine an electronics installation episode. Most shows include a scene where the host shows off the uninstalled component in front of whatever panel it will be fitted into, often with the panel disassembled and the wiring exposed.

"But they'd come back from break, and they'd have everything all wired up, close the door, and say, ‘We're done,'" Duke continues. "But that's what I wanted to know how to do! What I really wanted to find out was how to hook up all the right wiring, what tools you need, that kind of thing. With the other shows, the viewer doesn't really get much out of that. Viewers walk away having a high-level view that they can install parts on a truck, but they don't know how to."

In order to ensure that the viewer does know how to install those parts, Duke always includes a tool overview (a shot where he names and points to each of the readily available tools he will use for the job) and, most importantly, plenty of shots from under the hood or under the vehicle. Since most enthusiasts don't own a repair-shop-style auto lift, neither does Duke. Thus, the need for shots from below poses some camera-angle challenges. One need only watch Season 1, Episode 1's exhaust installation followed by Season 4, Episode 12's fluid-changing extravaganza (the most recent episode to air, as of this writing) to see that Duke and his shooter have learned a thing or two about how to get those shots-and with what type of camera.

Screenshots from early (top) and recent (bottom) episodes of Motorz

Camera Curve
From almost the very beginning, Motorz has been shot in HD. "The first episode of Motorz"-then still known as Truckblog.TV-"was filmed with the Canon ZR200," a consumer MiniDV cam, Duke says. "That's the only episode that's standard definition. The camera after that was an HG10."

The HG10 served Duke well for the first two seasons. It was when he had the opportunity to take Motorz on the road that the need for an upgrade became clear.

"In 2009, I was approached by eBay Motors," Duke recalls. "They had this great opportunity at the Ford booth at SEMA [a major automotive trade show] to do live installations on a brand-new Ford Mustang and a brand-new F-150. They invited me to go there and bring all my tools and install stuff on those vehicles over the course of three days. We did nine installs, three a day. That was a big opportunity: involvement with eBay Motors and Ford Motor Company. It was me and my crew being there in a large industry event filming episodes live."

Filming episodes live in front of industry giants-that was the problem. "Leading up to that event, I was like, ‘We can't show up with these tiny consumer camcorders and start filming this. We're going to look like idiots,'" Duke says.

The decision about what kind of camera investment to make went in stages. With his photography background, Duke was keen to go to DSLR. "I had actually purchased a Canon 5D Mark II when it first came out, because I had seen some work that Vincent Laforet had done using that camera, and I was just blown away," Duke says. "Trying to be on the bleeding edge, I said, ‘This is something I need to check out.' This was at the end of 2008. I got the camera and started playing around with it, since I already had a bunch of Canon lenses. But there was no way to monitor the audio with headphones, or adjust it. I was trying to get this TV show off the ground and wanted to get the production value up, but my shooter wasn't going to know if there were pops. I actually returned the 5D Mark II and started doing some research on the best semi-professional camera."

Duke decided on a tape-based solution, the Canon XH-A1s. Accustomed to an all-digital workflow, he also purchased a Sony HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit to write to a 16GB CompactFlash card while shooting.

As for the live event he was scheduled to shoot, it turned out that perhaps a certain amount of the embarrassment Duke was looking to sidestep was unavoidable for the boldly self-taught.

"The problem there-and those episodes show it-is that it's very evident that we just got that camera three weeks before the event," he says. "My shooter just kept it on Auto. The quality of the lighting isn't very good. It took us a while to dial that in. I think our lighting problems were more amplified with the XH-A1s because it's just a better camera. We were still learning. We did have a better camera, but the quality of the video didn't reflect it. We looked better at the show, but you gotta read the manual. You gotta experiment with the technology. So we got bit by that; that was a learning experience."

Despite the technical difficulties, SEMA Show 2009 was a breakthrough event for Duke and his remote crew. It ended up being the break that took Motorz from a variable-length video series distributed via a YouTube Partner Program account to a fixed-length TV show available in millions of homes.

"We were at that SEMA show on the floor doing installs. During a break someone asked me if my show was on TV and then asked if I'd like it to be," Duke says. "I said, ‘Yes, but I don't come from a broadcast background. I'm totally winging everything I do.' The fact that this guy walked in and got me going was incredible. It was only a couple million homes. The things I learned along the way turned it into 70 million."

Back to the DSLR
While Duke and Gillmore's facility with their new camera improved, their tape-based days were nevertheless numbered. "Slowly over time we got better with the XH-A1s, but I started seeing more and more stuff going on with the DSLRs," he says. "These cameras started increasing in features and support for what people were starting to do with video. I did some research and learned that all the things I wanted to do prior to getting the XH-A1s were now possible."

Jason Gillmore shooting Motorz on DSLR

"But a lot of my questions weren't answered," Duke continues. "There wasn't a whole lot of information out there about production companies that were doing this."

After a lot of time spent reading online forums and talking with knowledgeable people, he characteristically decided simply to learn by doing. "I had all these lenses," he says. "The investment wasn't really that high. I just tried it out."

Duke was originally interested in the Canon 7D and 60D. Once again, it was sound concerns that made the difference. The 7D employs auto-gain control and lacks manual audio adjustment. By this time, Motorz was expanding its audience to television, so Duke could hardly afford to take a hit in sound quality. That need effectively made the decision for him.

"I'm a one-man show; the last thing I wanted to do was have audio on a separate recording device," Duke says. "That's why the 60D became my camera of choice, because it had the ability to control the audio levels on the camera."

When Duke finally got the camera, he wasn't sorry he'd made the investment. "I spent $1,000, hooked up my lens to it, started playing around and, within a couple of hours, all of the hesitations that I had in moving forward were resolved. At that point I put the XH-A1s in the box and started going hog wild on all the different products that you can now get for the DSLR to help you shoot and focus," he says. See the sidebar, "The Motorz Production Gear Box," for more on Duke's gear.

Duke was especially grateful for the 60D's articulating LCD screen, perfect for "all those strange angles" under the vehicle. Of course, the size of the new camera (5.69" x 4.17" x 3.09") compared to the XH-A1s (6.4" x 7.6" x 15.5") also helps with getting difficult shots. Plus, Duke says the extra light through those Canon lenses has added vibrancy to the show's colors. He'll also never have to worry about his broadcaster sending back an episode because it has an interlaced scene, because the 60D shoots in 1080p.

Duke summarizes the end result of his purchase like this: "We saved a lot of money, improved our workflow, and have flexible camera rigs. And if a camera dies on us, it's easily replaced by a trip to Best Buy!"


Chris Duke (executive producer, host)
Jason Gillmore (associate producer, camera, technical director)
Dillon Adams (production assistant)
Andrea Gillmore (production assistant)
Krissy Duke (CFO)

S01E01 (first episode): Canon ZR200
S01–S02: Canon HG10
S02–S03: Canon HG10, Canon XHA1S
S04: Canon XHA1S, Canon 60D
S05: Canon 60D

Sennheiser EW100 ENG (set up for two, in case there’s a guest on the show)

Lenses Used
Camera A: Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Camera B: Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Other Special-Use Lenses
Canon Macro 100mm f/2.8
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye

Duke notes: “We started using a Canon L-lens (16-35mm f/2.8) but found the limitation of f/3.5 actually helped us maintain the depth of field we needed on a regular basis, so it’s rarely used now. We opted for the cheaper 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 lens on our A-camera due to the wider range and having IS on both A and B cameras helps when we’re off a tripod/dolly.”
Camera Rigs
Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly (motorized 6' slider)
Kessler Pocket Dolly (gets used the most)
DIY Skater Dolly (for getting 360-degree shots, short movements)

Camera A (Canon 60D Body)
Manfrotto 504HD fluid head
Manfrotto 546B tripod
Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
Redrock microMatteBox
Redrock Follow Focus (used for zoom)
Zoom H4n (used only to monitor audio—not record it)
Small HD DP6 Field Monitor (relied on to pull focus)
Redrock 15mm carbon fiber rails
Sennheiser EW100 ENG receivers (dual XLR inputs into Zoom H4n)
Monster/Beats Studio noise-cancelling headphones

Duke notes: “Camera A lives on the tripod with all the gear attached and never leaves it.”

6 ALZO 600 Cool Lite

Other Hardware
MXL VO: 1-A for and Sound Studio (Mac software) for voiceover work
iPad teleprompter
Bombing Brain’s Teleprompt+ (works with a Bluetooth foot pedal)
AirTurn BT-105 and footswitches

Duke notes: “With this setup, I can author a script using Google Docs, sync it with Teleprompt+, then use my iPad (v1) and the ProPrompter HDi Pro2 to display it. The speed is controlled via the Teleprompt+ iPad App, and I can use a single Bluetooth footswitch to pause/resume while I’m reading from the script. As a result, I’m able to shoot my entire Partz product segment by myself, fully scripted, without a camera operator and without a teleprompter operator.

Postproduction, Posthaste
Duke does all his own editing and, until recently, his NLE was Final Cut Pro 7. When Apple released the wildly controversial FCP X-which most editors have agreed is less of an upgrade than a v1.0 (or v0.9) NLE-he paid his money and took his chances.

"I have to admit I was one of the very first that day to buy it, only to be completely pissed off beyond belief at Apple," Duke says. "Everybody had high expectations, and it was a huge letdown on a lot of fronts. The biggest letdown was that it wanted to import an iMovie project instead of an FCP 7 project."
Duke describes a number of other frustrations, including the changes to the timeline and the digital delivery formats. He also laments the "really obvious bugs. With FCP X, I'm still using beta software," says Duke (a software developer himself, recall).

However, he decided to look at the situation from what he calls the "innovation standpoint."

"Apple did something incredible with the iPhone and revolutionized cell phones," he says. "I thought, ‘Maybe they're trying to do it again with NLEs, taking one and making it a completely new way of editing video.'"

With this hypothesis in mind, Duke made a slight adjustment to his solo, dive-right-in approach. Coinciding with the product's release was the release of Ripple Training's FCP X tutorials, available on iTunes for $39.99 (more info at www.rippletraining.com).

After running into his brick wall of bafflement in his first attempts to use the software, Duke decided, "I'm not going to touch this product again until I've gone through the training series, and I'm going to learn the way to use this product,'" Duke says. "Every technique that I'd learned previously I had to just throw out the door and learn a new way of doing it. That's what that training series did for me-not just watching the videos, but interacting with them. By the end of that, I was blown away. I couldn't believe how much easier everything was. Yes, it was a frustrating initial experience, but it is a brand-new product."

Motorz in FCP X
A Motorz episode in the FCP X Storyline

Among Duke's favorite new features is the ease of handling clips in FCP X. "We shoot a lot of short clips, a lot of cuts," Duke says. "One of the limitations to the DSLR is that you can put in only 12 minutes at a time. Maybe the longest clip is 3-5 minutes long. Most of them are one-minute or even 10-second clips: ‘Grab this tool. Do this with it.' So I've got all this raw footage. I need to mark in and mark out. I bring all these clips into the project, and I just go in one by one and sort by date and time. For the most part we shoot in chronological order, especially for the main installation. I click on one, mark in and mark out. I use hotkeys I-O-E and keep pulling up the next clip."

Other helpful capabilities, according to Duke, include adjusting audio levels ("Being able to add a music bed and lower the audio for a portion of it while I'm talking is so much easier"), tagging with keywords ("really nice and really easy"), and linking effects such as white balance from one clip to another ("more intuitive in X").

On the whole, these improvements map well onto the set of major needs in Duke's workflow. "That's the bulk of my time: marking in, marking out, adding to timeline, organizing timeline, adding transitions, adding a music bed, and dealing with volume," Duke says.

Of course, Duke has several seasons' worth of episodes stored as FCP 7 projects-which FCP X can't import-and, like many FCP 7 users, he's concerned about legacy support for FCP 7 in future versions of the Mac OS. Thus, he took advantage of Adobe's recent deep "switcher" discount and purchased Adobe Premiere Pro, which can open them ("I need insurance," he says). But for episodes present and future, he is happy with FCP X.

Motorz in FCP X
Chris Duke editing a Motorz episode in FCP X

"I'd be more annoyed by going back to the old-school way of doing it," Duke says. "It's a better workflow, it's faster, and it's easier to edit. I'm definitely sold on it. It's the future of Motorz as far as postproduction goes. My advice to anyone who's still frustrated is to learn how to use it. Don't try to use it based on your experience with another NLE, because it's not another NLE. Educate yourself. If you don't educate yourself on it, it's going to be a frustration."

Educate yourself: unsurprising advice from a self-described autodidact who has taken his own advice throughout the development of a show now poised for its fifth season and, Duke hopes, even wider distribution. Perhaps that's why he is so able, as Motorz viewer Ronald Surber recently put it, to "relate to the everyday backyard mechanic."

"We don't profess to be experts," Duke says. "I don't want to be. I learn on the show as I'm showing people how to do it. For me, that's an exciting thing."

Kyle Oliver (kyle.matthew.oliver at gmail.com), a freelance writer and editor and former EventDV staff editor, will complete his M.Div. at Virginia Theological Seminary inb May 2012.

Back to Contents...

Snow in Vienna: Adventures in Destination Filmmaking

Ever After Video ProductionsAt a certain point in your event filmmaking career, usually after watching a fellow filmmaker's online clip, you start dreaming of your own destination shoot. Although we have filmed a few destination weddings before, our "dream client" turned out to be a young couple from Singapore. They contacted us in September 2010. The couple was planning an engagement holiday through Europe and wanted an engagement film to show on their wedding day. It got better from there: We were asked to suggest the best city location in Europe for this December shoot. Although Paris gets more attention, if you're after a romantic European destination in December, there is really just one choice: Vienna, Austria.

Be Well-Prepared
An engagement shoot of this caliber requires something a bit more elaborate than taking a couple into a park to shoot some eye candy. After several emails and a few phone calls, it soon became clear that our customers had an artistic eye and would demand nothing less than a masterpiece. In our 9-year existence as an event film company based in the U.K., we had never come across a client who knew all about the EventDV 25, could casually name-drop some WEVA CEA-winning companies, and could discuss style, shot choices, scripts, and color grading without blinking.

Their movie preferences and limited dialogue requirement soon inspired a dreamlike sequence for which we knew Vienna would be perfect. The abundance of quaint Christmas markets, the gorgeous city architecture, and Schönbrunn Palace would be the perfect backdrop!

We wrote quite an elaborate script, including opportunities to showcase bride Elizabeth's wonderful singing voice, and gave the couple a few options depending on the budget. A few weeks later everything was agreed on, and we started planning the shoot. My wife, Sylvia Broeckx, and I know Vienna quite well and could easily visualize our shots with the help of some photographs we took there before. We contacted all the places where we would likely need shooting permission (luckily, I speak enough German to easily sort this out) and decided we would need a bag carrier (or, to use EventDV 25 All-Star Meghan Simone's terminology, a gear Sherpa) as some shots would require quite a bit of kit. We also knew that shots in public places could do with someone keeping the public out of our shot. We hired a friend whose wife is also a great photographer and figured we could get some free "behind-the-scenes" pictures and maybe even some video footage.

In December 2010, 10 days before the shoot, we couldn't have been more excited. We'd selected and packed our gear, we'd double-checked airline luggage rules (which seem to change every few months), and we'd found a local makeup artist who seemed to speak some English. We even heard that there was a bit of snow in Vienna, making the city a more idyllic setting. This was destined to our best shoot yet.

A few days later (just before we set off), that "bit of snow" turned into a snow blanket that enveloped the whole of Europe, the likes of which had not been seen for decades! All across Europe, airports were closed, roads were blocked, and travelers were stranded. We kept a close eye on the weather and airport reports and thought we would be fine. At 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18-a mere 14 hours before our flight-just as we are about to leave our Sheffield studio and head for our overnight stay at a London Heathrow airport hotel, one email from British Airways changed everything: All flights were canceled; London airport would be closing and would not reopen for at least several days.

Crisis Management

Our profession is a strange one in that we all seem to care more about our customers than we do about ourselves. At no point did it cross our minds that we would just apologize and use our insurance to reimburse the client due to the freak weather. Seconds after seeing the message from British Airlines we began researching alternative ways to get there. It soon became clear that flying out of England was a no-go: Everyone was trying to reroute their flights and all the airports were closing, one after the other. Trains were out, as the German railroads (which we'd need to pass) were closed due to the weather there, and driving wasn't an option either, as most of the French and German roads were blocked.

A look at the weather maps revealed that the closest not-yet-affected area was Belgium. A trip to our birth country without flying requires a 4-hour drive, followed by a 2-hour ferry to France, and then another 2-hour drive to get into Belgium. Sylvia managed to book us two tickets on a Vienna-bound flight leaving Brussels 24 hours later. We called our gear Sherpa (who was leaving on a different flight that had not yet been canceled) and set off.

The snowstorms became worse; instead of boarding the midnight ferry, we got stuck in the snow and traffic (there were few cars, but they were not going anywhere). We boarded our ferry at 4:00 a.m. and arrived at Sylvia's parents' house just before 10:00 a.m. Exhausted and sleep deprived, we crashed for an hour. At 1:00 p.m. Sylvia's sister dropped us off at the airport. No sooner did we exit the vehicle than it started snowing again! Belgium is not a country that deals well with snow-in fact, during most winters the largest part of the country sees no snow at all. We checked in, stared at the noticeboard, and saw flight after flight being canceled. It didn't take long for our flight to be there as well. I rushed to a desk and managed to get a later flight. Delay after delay followed, but eventually, at 9:00 p.m., our flight was called for boarding. All this time, I had to stay in touch with our prebooked taxi and accommodation. The latter was an apartment that we rented rather than a hotel room. Getting the keys was going to be challenging, as there was no 24-hour reception. Luckily, there was a late-hour bar around the corner that the owner frequented, so he promised to leave the key there.

We boarded our plane. All the key camera gear was in our carry-on luggage, and I was too tired to even think about our checked bags. Worst-case scenario: We would buy some clothes and a tripod in Vienna. No sooner had the airplane doors closed than there came a captain's announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, before we can take off the plane needs to be de-iced. This airport has only one de-icer. We are currently 10th in the queue and hope to take off in about 2 hours." Great, we thought, that's 2 hours in which either the Brussels or the Vienna airport can close due to new snowfall. But luck was on our side: The flight took off around 11:00 p.m., and by 1:00 a.m. the next morning-the day before the shoot-we collapsed in our apartment. Meanwhile, our gear Sherpas were stranded in England. We were on our own, exhausted, and we had 1 day to scout all our locations in a snowed-under Vienna.

Our Clients' Story
During all this mayhem, I was texting and emailing our clients. I decided it would be unwise to worry them and didn't tell them about our troubles trying to get there; I just rescheduled our preshoot meeting. Little did I know what they were enduring. Our couple was stressing out too and wondering if they were going to make it. The whole of Europe was dealing with the snow, and it obviously affected their travel plans too. They got robbed in Paris; Elizabeth's wedding dress (which she had brought along for the photo shoot) got lost in transit; and she fell ill on her birthday (the day before our shoot) due to all the stress.

But all's well that ends well: We all got there (minus the gear Sherpas). Surely things would look up from here.

The Day Before the Shoot
On Monday we went on a scouting mission through Vienna. We'd visited a few years before and knew the city pretty well, but as we were relying on public transport we needed to make sure of the most efficient route. That day was absolutely beautiful: clear blue skies and glistening snow all around Vienna (somehow, they can manage snow in Austria).

We met with our clients in the evening. We realized that they both were feeling under the weather and that their engagement holiday had so far consisted of two photo shoots in cities they didn't get to see properly and waiting in airports. So we decided to change the schedule and script to make sure they had a great time first and a good film afterward.

The Day of the Shoot
On Tuesday we woke up, opened the curtains, and saw ... nothing. Vienna was covered in fog, mist, and more fog. This was going to be fun! We picked up our couple and went to our first location: the Imperial Palace of Schönbrunn. As we entered the park, Sylvia said, "You'll soon see this amazing palace." Well, they didn't-not until they got really close to it-which made it a nice surprise. But we had to revise our schedule as we had planned to do shoots at certain locations in the park that required a view of the palace.

Ever After Video Productions

Another location was now out of reach (a walk up a hill that was closed off due to safety reasons). And without anyone else to help carry our gear, our time schedule was slipping: Everything was taking a lot longer than we expected. We also found that we could seldom shoot with two cameras at once (as planned), as one of us needed to fill the role of our absent help. The carefully planned script was now just a piece of paper. We were thinking on our feet and changing the storyline as we tried to find new shots. The highlight was no doubt the snowball fight. Our couple had almost never seen snow before they came on this trip and knew only that it made travel a nightmare. We explained the concept of a snowball fight: "Make a ball of snow and throw it at each other. Why? It's fun; trust me." They did trust us and were soon playing in the snow like little kids, which meant one thing to us: great shots!

Ever After Video Productions

Filming in Snow
Filming in snow—a lot of snow—is tricky. I have the utmost respect for anyone who deals with this on a regular basis. It soon became clear to me that I lack
the skills to make this a nonissue. I decided to film the snowball fight on a Glidecam to accentuate the energy. Check out the engagement film below to see this shot. I'd love to say the strong camera movement is deliberate and fits the sequence perfectly. I still think it works well, but the reality is that I was desperately trying to not fall over and hurt myself. What you don't see in the clip is how I planted my body in the snow while falling over at the end of that shot. Luckily, snow makes for a soft landing.

Things I did worry about turned out fine: Although it was extremely cold, the batteries in our Panasonic GH2 cameras lasted longer than feared in that weather. Likewise, the temperature difference between inside and outside shots did not fog up the camera or lenses. Using our DP Slider was interesting: I put it down to get a shot and saw it disappear into 12" of snow.

It soon became clear there would be no way to fit everything we needed into 1 day of shooting. So we had to take the couple out the next morning too. It was a very tiring day. We took them to all the most important sites in Vienna. In the meantime, we also served as their tour guides for the day. Sylvia has been obsessed with Austrian history since she was a little girl and studied art history. And with me being a musicologist who's able to talk about all things Mozart, we could babble on about Vienna for ages.

Ever After Video Productions

Luckily, this turned out to be something our couple really appreciated. Even though they'd traveled to Paris and Prague earlier in the trip, they didn't manage to see much of the cities. Our shoot was designed to help them make the most out of their short stay in Vienna. When we heard Elizabeth say, "I like Vienna better than Paris," we knew we'd accomplished our mission.

The Engagement Film
We had a few extra days in Vienna, which we enjoyed and used for some b-roll. The less I'm reminded about our journey back, the better. Rather than being home for Christmas Eve as planned, suffice it to say we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning stuck in airports without food or drink. We finally had our Christmas Eve dinner on Dec. 27.

Meanwhile, we created a save-the-date trailer for our clients, and it was a success. Likewise they enjoyed their full engagement film, which premiered at their wedding. To quote our groom (who hired a more local company, EventDV 25 studio Mayad, for their wedding in Bali), "We even showed it to Mayad before the shooting, so they're challenged to deliver the final product even better." To me, that's one happy client.

Ever After Video Productions

Would we do it all again? Of course! This shoot was challenging beyond our imagination (which, if you know us, is quite a statement). The process was interesting, the little film we created is something we're proud of, and our clients love their engagement film and think back on their Vienna time as the highlight of their trip.

For us there was an unexpected bonus as well. A few days before I wrote this article, Sylvia noticed that the Vienna Tourist Board Facebook page had announced a competition: Tell us a romantic story of something you did in Vienna and you can win a three-course gourmet meal in the Swarovski cabin of the Riesenrad (this is the 19th-century Ferris wheel that you can see in the clip embedded above).

It was 10:00 p.m. the day before the competition closed when she saw the announcement. I sent them an email with our story and a link to our little engagement film. The next day I received an email informing me that we won. We'll have to find our own way to Vienna, but after filming that Ferris wheel from the outside in the freezing cold, while Sylvia was trying to get her shots inside, I can't wait to be the couple that gets to enjoy this magical experience.

Niels Puttemans (niels at everafter videos.co.uk) runs Ever After Video Productions of Sheffield, U.K., with his wife, Sylvia Broeckx. 2009 EventDV 25 Finalists and winners of IOV Ltd. (Institute of Videography) and WEVA CEA awards for their wedding-day films, Niels and Sylvia were presenters at WEVA Expo 2010.

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In the Studio: Using Boris Continuum Complete

BorisFX Continuum CompleteWhen most of us started as editors, we likely substituted cheesy video effects for content and creativity. Some of us may have even chosen our NLE based on the number of included video effects. As we mature as editors (and shooters), we come to realize that effects need to be used ever so sparingly-such as when adding salt to any dish. That's why I'm always hesitant to gush over any effects package: As many as I have installed, tried, uninstalled, or kept, I invariably wind up using only a few of any of these filters on any regular basis. I do use a few of the built-in Sony filters and some third-party plug-ins such as Ultimate S Pro from VASST, but it's rare for me to find an effects package that really serves my needs with much of what it offers. The Continuum Complete package from Boris FX is unlike any other FX package I've seen. It combines video filters, transitions, motion tracking, a titler, a particle generator, greenscreen utilities-more than 150 effects in all. Moreover, each of these comes with actual usable presets right out of the box. You can see the gushing coming down Interstate 45 with the doors wide open: "If you buy only one plug-in this year ..."

In this article, I'll show you how I use Boris Continuum Complete 7 (BCC) from within Sony Vegas Pro 10, but there are a number of other host NLEs you can use, including Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and others, and the functionality is very similar. I'm going to discuss just a few of the components in this package and where they can be useful. You can find more information and training on
all the plug-ins offered by Boris FX at www.borisfx.com.

Load 'Em Up
Once you've installed BCC, you can add any of the BCC effects to a single event, to a track, or to a complete piece of media, just like you can any other video filter or effect. BCC runs entirely from within the host application (in this case, Sony Vegas Pro). I noticed there is some lag in loading the BCC dialog boxes when you add or remove an effect. It's a little annoying, but it's not too bad. Everything ran stable for me, even when I was trying out dozens of effects.

There are lots of color-enhancing and film-style filters. The Film Process filter has presets (and, of course, controls for creating your own) that remind me a lot of Red Giant Software's Magic Bullet Looks. What's unique to this is that BCC integrates a motion tracker with this filter so you can apply the effect to only a portion of the video, and it can be tracked and adjusted across time. This motion tracker is available in many of the filters as a set of adjustable parameters.

BorisFX Continuum Complete
Choosing BCC FX from within Sony Vegas Pro

One nice thing about the BCC documentation is that each filter or effect has its own PDF file that you can browse offline but that is also used as the in-program help. Many of these include usage tips; the Film Process PDF suggests complementary filters to use and in what order to apply them—nice.

The Film Damage plug-in has presets that look better for this kind of effect—if you need it-than any other I've seen. It synthesizes damage to the film, to the projector, and, apparently, even to the room where you're showing the film. It's convincing.

BorisFX Continuum Complete
Using the controls in the BCC Film Process dialog

Type-On Text
BCC includes a titler FX called Type-On Text that's a blast to work with. Unlike Sony's ProType Titler introduced in Vegas Pro 8, the BCC Type-On Text is intuitive with lots of presets to get you started. Starting from the FX dialog box, click on Launch Text Window. Here, you enter your text, select the font and font attributes, and click Apply.

BorisFX Continuum Complete
Type-On Text in the BCC titler

In the main dialog box, choose from the multitude of presets to get you started. Here, you can alter 3D extrusions, camera position, the number and types of light on the text, and other parameters. Note that you cannot do 3D text extrusions in either of the built-in Vegas Pro 10 titlers.

BorisFX Continuum Complete

Transitions and Special FX
At first I thought, "I don't think we need a new Linear Wipe transition in Vegas." But BCC's Linear Wipe is different. It's an adjustable wipe filter in which I was able to find something useful in about 10 seconds simply by clicking through presets. You can do the same kind of track composite work in Vegas natively, but it requires the use of track motion, masking, and time.

BorisFX Continuum Complete
BCC Linear Wipe before (top) and after (bottom)

The BCC Optical Flow filter allows for slow- and fast-motion effects using estimated and generated frames, unlike the velocity filter found in Vegas. In layman's terms, the slow motion looks really good. I haven't compared this with what you get from Twixtor, but I like it. Of course, you can do slow motion directly in Vegas, but BCC uses a different method to yield a smoother, higher-quality end product.

This brings up a good point: There are some filters in BCC (not many) that perform similar functions to those found natively in Vegas. In all that I've looked at so far, the BCC version either gives you more control or just simply looks better than using the methods native to Vegas. I won't suggest that if you need a quick blur filter for something that you will always turn to a tool outside of the NLE. But the more time you spend with BCC, the more you will get out of it. The Gaussian Blur filter, for instance, has 12 basic controls and settings. The version that comes with Vegas—though comparable to what you'd find in other NLEs—has two.

The particle generator will get you rain, snow, lightning, clouds, comets, sparks, fog-you get the idea-all of which are animated with lots of parameter control. Is this useful for a wedding? Probably not. Nor will the cartoon plug-ins win you favor with brides. But if you've ever wanted to replicate the cartoon effect from the Charles Schwab commercials, there's a preset for that.

If you need to blur a logo, a face, a license plate, etc., that you didn't have permission to use, it's completely doable with Vegas' built-in tools. But it's a pain because you have to set keyframes for every bit of motion in the frame. BCC includes a Witness Protection filter that has motion tracking built-in so that once you've identified what you want to blur-or highlight (such as an athlete on the field during a game)-it tracks the motion of that blurred element throughout the clip.

BorisFX Continuum Complete

BCC has tools for chromakey (greenscreen) too. If you want to key video that wasn't shot on greenscreen, maybe to put a different background for your foreground subject, BCC includes a unique take on this with the Two Way Key. With this, you can select a color to key out, and you can select a color to keep. For each of these there is a Similarity slider that allows you to dial out a range of colors to key and keep.

BorisFX Continuum Complete
This image was pulled off a Google image search and keyed out in about a minute using two instances of the Two-Way filter. The original image is on top; the image after keying is on the bottom.

By the way, keying isn't the only way to get rid of a background or portion of a frame or image; you can also create garbage mattes to do this, and BCC includes some tools for that as well. There's a Wire Removal tool, which isn't only for Mission: Impossible-type special effects. In the image with the child on the swing, I've used it to remove the chains of the swing. I used one instance of the filter for each chain. I set an end point at each end of the chain and adjusted the width of the chain. And remember, this tracks the motion as the child is swinging.

BorisFX Continuum Complete
Swing chains removed

And, of course, there's more. There's even a filter in BCC for fixing dead pixels for DSLR shooters.

BorisFX Continuum Complete
Here's a fully composited image with two instances of the Two-Way key and two instances of the Wire Remover (one for each chain). It took longer to type this caption than it did to create the effect.

Rendering, Output, and Final Thoughts

Many of the render and encode types in Vegas take full advantage of the multiple cores of today's modern processors, and the more cores you have, the faster your renders will be. This is always dependent on what filters and effects have been applied to the clip. According to the Add Video FX dialog box, all of the BCC filters are multiprocessor-aware, although they do not support 32-bit floating-point processing. In addition, many of the filters are OpenGL-accelerated, and you'll want to have a decent video card to manipulate the 3D elements such as extruded text. Something like a GeForce GTX 460 should do nicely; it costs about $200, maybe less. Check Borisfx.com for supported video cards, and make sure you have the latest drivers.

I've touched on only a very few of the filters and effects included in Boris Continuum Complete 7. There's so much more, and it's a very extensive collection of filters and effects. It's a real bargain at $595 for Sony Vegas Pro users (check Borisfx.com to confirm pricing for the versions for other NLEs; it varies by host application).

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, so many of the FX packages on the market leave me thinking, "What would I ever use this for?" The key to choosing a plug-in FX collection that will work for you is to really know the plug-in and treat it like the tool it is so that you will know how to use it creatively—and correctly—at the right time. Boris Continuum Complete is a high-end package with a mid-level price. It is definitely a step up in quality from some of the other plug-ins on the market. We've started using it regularly in our studio, and I recommend that you download the trial and take it for a test-drive. It's good stuff.

David McKnight (david at mcknightvideo.com) is half of McKnight Video of Houston. He is vice president of the Houston Professional Videographers Association (HPVA), has Sony Vegas and HDV certification, is the technical editor of the Vegas Pro 9 Editing Workshop (Focal Press), and is a contributor to the Full HD Book (VASST). He and his wife, Christie, are winners of multiple HPVA awards.

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Maxell Intros New Quad-Interface Desktop Hard Drive for Postproduction Pros

Maxell Corporation of America expands its line of maxdata quads with the introduction of a 3TB external desktop hard disk drive (HDD). The 3.5-inch HDD has a quad interface specifically designed to address the large files associated with HD environments, including audio/video editing, digital photography and animation files.

A key addition to the company’s recently introduced line of maxdata quad hard drives, Maxell Professional Media’s 3TB maxdata quad HDD combines essential elements to meet varying performance, and transfer speed and technologies. It provides video, broadcast, and post-production professionals with the capacity, durability and overall performance necessary to easily and cost-efficiently archive and back up HD files.

Supporting USB 2.0, eSATA, Firewire 400, and Firewire 800, all maxdata quad HDDs have a hot plug and play function for simple connection. The 3TB drive spins at 7,200 RPM and has up to 16MB of cache. It supports Windows 2000 and above, as well as MAC 9.0+ and OS X.

“Professional archiving needs are growing as quickly as technical advances will allow them,” said Patricia Byrne, senior marketing manager for Maxell. “Broadcast media professionals are in need of portable, cost-efficient, flexible options to archive and back up HD footage, graphics, animation and other large files. Our new 3TB maxdata quad HDD provides the highest quality storage solution available today.”

The maxdata quad HDDs have a durable aluminum housing and feature excellent shock resistance, making them rugged enough to withstand professional environments. Their wide temperature range of -20° C to 60° C meets automotive and industrial standards, and the HDDs are environmentally friendly. Measuring 5.61 x 1.38 x 8.52 (inches), the maxdata quad HDDs can be positioned vertically or horizontally, so they can fit into tight configurations.

List price for the 3TB maxdata quad HDD is $504.64, and it is available now for shipment. The 1TB and 2TB versions are currently available.

About Maxell
Maxell Corporation of America, a technology and marketing leader, is a full-line manufacturer of digital media products for professional, data storage and consumer markets. Maxell has been recognized for over 40 years for delivering a comprehensive line of digital tape and disc-based recording media products. The company offers a full line of disk- and tape-based media storage products, P2 Cards, SD Cards, Flash Memory and iVDR Technology products.

For more information, visit http://www.maxellpromedia.com

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FCP X 10.0.1 Support in Works for Singular A/V Sync Plug-ins

Singular Software™, developer of workflow automation applications for video production, has announced that it is updating its award-winning line of audio and video synchronization tools, to add support for the recently released Apple® Final Cut Pro® X version 10.0.1.

"Singular Software is known for providing a wide range of video editors with valuable workflow automation tools, to efficiently manage any type of multi-camera, multi-take, and dual-system audio production. It is a priority for us to offer the latest compatibility options, while continuing to optimize our product line for current hosts," says Bruce Sharpe, CEO of Singular Software. "With the 10.0.1 release, we now have the necessary infrastructure for our applications to integrate with Final Cut Pro X. We look forward to offering our customers this compatibility soon."

Existing Singular Software Presto™ and PluralEyes® for Final Cut Pro customers will receive a free update when support for Final Cut Pro X becomes available. Customers will be notified of the Final Cut Pro X support update availability via the Singular Software Newsletter. Please visit http://www.singularsoftware.com/newsletters.html to subscribe to the mailing list.

For more information about Singular Software, please visit http://www.singularsoftware.com.

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Apple to Roll Out iCloud on October 12

Apple® today announced that iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free cloud services, including iTunes® in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that work seamlessly with your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices, will be available on October 12.

iCloud stores your music, photos, apps, contacts, calendars, documents and more, keeping them up to date across all your devices. When content changes on one device, all your other devices are updated automatically and wirelessly.

“iCloud is the easiest way to manage your content, because iCloud does it all for you and goes far beyond anything available today,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “You don't have to think about syncing your devices, because it happens automatically, and it is free.”

iTunes in the Cloud lets you automatically download new music purchases to all your devices, so you can buy a song on your iPad and find it waiting for you on your iPhone?no syncing required. iTunes in the Cloud also lets you download your previously purchased iTunes content, including music and TV shows to your devices at no additional cost.* Since iCloud stores your previously purchased iTunes history, you can see what you’ve bought no matter which device you bought it on, and since you already own the content, you can play it on your devices or simply tap the iCloud icon to download it to store and play later.

In addition, iTunes Match? scans the songs in your music library, including music not purchased on iTunes, and matches them to the more than 20 million songs available on the iTunes Store®, offering them in high-quality, DRM-free 256 kbps AAC encoding. Any unmatched songs are uploaded to iCloud so you can play songs, albums or playlists from your music library on your devices.

iCloud’s innovative Photo Stream service lets you take a photo on one device and have it automatically appear on your other devices. A photo you take on your iPhone is sent to iCloud and automatically pushed to your iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. You can even view your Photo Stream album on your Apple TV®. iCloud also automatically pushes a copy of the photos you’ve imported from your digital camera over Wi-Fi or Ethernet, so you can view them on your other devices. iCloud manages your Photo Stream efficiently, showing your last 1000 photos so you don’t run out of storage space.

iCloud’s Documents in the Cloud keeps your documents up to date across all your devices, automatically, so you don't have to. For example, if you create a document using Pages® on your iPad, that document is automatically sent to iCloud. When you use Pages on another iOS device, you can open the same document with your latest changes and pick up editing or reading right where you left off. Apple’s iWork® apps for iOS, Pages, Numbers® and Keynote® will take advantage of iCloud storage, and Apple is also offering developers the APIs they need to enable their apps to work seamlessly with Documents in the Cloud.

iCloud lets you see your App Store™ and iBookstore? purchase history and download those apps and books to any of your devices at any time. Purchased apps and books can be automatically downloaded to your devices, not just the device they were purchased on. Simply tap the iCloud icon and download your purchased apps and books to any of your iOS devices at no additional cost.

iCloud Backup automatically and securely backs up your most important information to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi whenever your iOS device is connected to a power source. Once you plug it in, everything is backed up quickly and efficiently. iCloud already stores your purchased music, TV shows, apps, books and Photo Stream; iCloud Backup takes care of everything else, backing up your photos and video in the Camera Roll, device settings, app data, home screen and app organization, messages and ringtones. iCloud Backup can even help you set up a new iOS device or restore the information on one you already own.**

iCloud works seamlessly with your Contacts, Calendar and Mail, so you can share calendars with friends and family, and your ad-free Mail account is hosted at me.com. Your inboxes and folders are kept up to date across your iOS devices and computers, and with icloud.com you have easy web access to your Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Find My iPhone and iWork documents.

The Find My iPhone app can help you if one of your devices is missing. Just use the free Find My iPhone app on another device, or sign in at icloud.com from a computer to see your missing iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on a map, display a message, and remotely lock or wipe your missing device. Find My iPhone now lets you locate a missing Mac running OS X Lion.

Find My Friends is a new app available as a free download from the App Store that lets you easily share your location with people who are important to you. Friends and family appear on a map so you can quickly see where they are. Find My Friends also lets you temporarily share your location with a group of friends, whether it's for a couple of hours for a dinner or a couple of days on a camping trip; when the time is up, the sharing ends. With Find My Friends, you get a notification every time you get a new friend request and if you give them permission, they can see your location. With a simple tap you can hide your location. Parental controls help you manage how your child uses Find My Friends.

iCloud will be available concurrently with iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, which includes over 200 new features including Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage™, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS 5 users; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

Pricing & Availability
iCloud will be available on October 12 as a free download to iPhone, iPad or iPod touch users running iOS 5 or a Mac running OS X Lion with a valid Apple ID. iCloud includes 5GB of free cloud storage for Mail, Document Storage and Backup. Purchased music, TV shows, apps, books and Photo Stream do not count against the storage limit. iTunes Match will be available starting in the US later this month for $24.99 a year. Using iCloud with a PC requires Windows Vista or Windows 7; Outlook 2010 or 2007 is recommended for accessing contacts and calendars. Additional iCloud storage upgrades are available to purchase starting at $20 a year for 10GB, $40 a year for 20GB and $100 a year for 50GB.

iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod touch (third and fourth generation) customers, allowing them to experience the amazing new features.

*iCloud is available worldwide. iTunes in the Cloud varies by country. iTunes Match and TV shows are US-only. iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match may be used on up to 10 devices with the same Apple ID.

**Backup of purchased music is not available in all countries. Backup of purchased TV shows is US only. A purchased item may be unavailable to be restored if it is no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store or iBookstore.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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Adobe Touch Apps Bring Photoshop and Other CS Applications to iPad and Tablet Users

At its MAX 2011 technology conference, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Touch Apps, a family of six, intuitive touch screen applications, designed for Android tablets and Apple iPad that enable anyone to explore ideas and present their creativity anytime, anywhere. Inspired by Adobe Creative Suite® software, these stunning new apps bring professional-level creativity to millions of tablet users.

The apps address multiple areas of the creative process: image editing; ideation; sketching; mood boards; website and mobile app prototyping; and presenting finished work. They are headlined by Adobe Photoshop® Touch, a groundbreaking app that brings the legendary creative and image-editing power of Photoshop to tablet devices for the first time.

“With Adobe imaging magic coming to tablet devices, new apps like Photoshop Touch will open your mind about the potential of the touch interface for creativity and demonstrate that tablets are an essential part of anyone’s creative arsenal.”
Available soon as standalone apps, Adobe Touch Apps are essential components of Adobe Creative Cloud, a major new company initiative also announced today (see separate release). Adobe Creative Cloud will become a worldwide hub for creativity, where millions can access desktop and tablet applications, find essential creative services, and share their best work. Files created via Adobe Touch Apps can be shared, viewed across devices or transferred into Adobe Creative Suite software for further refinement – key features of Adobe’s vision for the Creative Cloud. With stylus capabilities expected to become a key feature on some next generation tablets, Adobe Touch Apps are designed to work with both finger and stylus input.

“Adobe Touch Apps deliver high-impact creative expression to anyone who has a tablet,” said Kevin Lynch, chief technology officer, Adobe. “With Adobe imaging magic coming to tablet devices, new apps like Photoshop Touch will open your mind about the potential of the touch interface for creativity and demonstrate that tablets are an essential part of anyone’s creative arsenal.”

Adobe Touch Apps Redefine Creative Software

Anticipating the way people are integrating tablets into their everyday lives, the new family of Adobe Touch Apps empowers users to create on tablet devices (see below for supported devices) freeing them from the desktop or laptop computer. The new Adobe Touch Apps include:

  • Adobe Photoshop Touch lets users transform images with core Photoshop features in an app custom-built for tablets. With simple finger gestures, users can combine multiple photos into layered images, make popular edits and apply professional effects. The tablet-exclusive Scribble Selection Tool allows users to easily extract objects in an image by simply scribbling on what to keep and then what to remove. With Refine Edge technology from Adobe Photoshop, even hard-to-select areas with soft edges, such as hair, are easily captured when making selections. Additionally, the app helps users quickly find images, share creations, and view comments through integration with Facebook and Google Search. Using the syncing capabilities that are a component of Adobe Creative Cloud, files can be opened in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Adobe Collage helps creatives capture and refine ideas and concepts by allowing them to combine inspirational images, drawings, text and Creative Suite files into modern, conceptual mood boards. Features include importing of images, four customizable pen types for drawing, adding text, and applying color themes. A virtually unconstrained canvas grows as needed to accommodate more assets. Files can be shared or transferred for access in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Adobe Debut allows users to present designs to clients and stakeholders virtually anywhere. Adobe Debut quickly opens tablet-compatible versions of Creative Suite files for convenient and beautiful viewing on the tablet, including Photoshop layers and Illustrator® art boards. Feedback is gathered using a markup pen tool to add notes and drawings on top of the work.
  • Adobe Ideas is an easy-to-master, vector-based tool for drawing. By using a stylus or finger, strokes appear smooth at any zoom level. Starting with a blank canvas, users can choose color themes, and pull in tablet-compatible image files that can be controlled as separate layers. Finished results are easily accessed in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
  • Adobe Kuler makes it easy to generate color themes that can inspire any design project. Color can be explored and discovered, with hundreds of thousands of Kuler themes already available via the creative community. Social engagement in the community is enhanced by rating and commenting on themes, which can be exported as color swatches for Adobe Creative Suite projects.
  • Adobe Proto enables the development of interactive wireframes and prototypes for websites and mobile apps on a tablet. Ideas are communicated and shared with teams and clients using a touch-based interface. Gestures quickly express a design concept, explain website structure or demonstrate interactivity. The wireframe or prototype then can be exported as industry standard HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and shared in popular browsers for immediate review and approval.

Adobe Touch Apps build on the launch of Adobe Carousel, the only photography solution that gives access to your entire photo library across your tablets, smartphones and desktops — no storage issues, no manual syncing hassles. Enjoy all your photos anywhere you are, and make them look terrific using the same powerful photo-processing technology as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® software.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe Touch Apps will be available for Android devices in November 2011. Adobe expects to make an announcement regarding iOS availability in early 2012. Adobe Ideas is already available for the iPad. Introductory pricing is US$9.99 for each app. Access to the file viewing, sharing and transfer functionality of Adobe Creative Cloud is included in the price of each Adobe Touch App. Details regarding pricing of the Adobe Creative Cloud and its expanded capabilities around applications, services and community will be announced in November 2011.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit http://www.adobe.com.

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