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MAX 2009 talk – New Experimental Work from Joshua Davis

I missed this talk from Joshua Davis at MAX last year and I regret it. Very inspiring and I really like the way he walks you through his process and embraces failure and experimentation.

MAX 2009 Design – New Experimental Work from Joshua Davis | Adobe TV

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Fudgegraphics – Graphic Design Inspiration
combines tutorials, portfolios and free downloads together. A great source for graphic designers or other visualists. As a side note, it is also a great promotional site for its creator Franz Jeitz as it is also a showcase for his skills and knowledge. For designers looking to promote their work beyond the standard portfolio site, there are some great ideas here.

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NBC does something stupid, maybe U.S.
NBC Universal, General Electric Co.s entertainment division, began selling television shows for download at Inc., days after ending a similar agreement with Apple Inc.

Is it about the content or is it about the technology? Is it about the content creator or the content consumer? Amazon is really good at on-line retail, but their download strategy is as stupid as Apple’s strategy is smart.

Will Heroes be strong enough to drive people from iTunes to Amazon, right after the Google TV debacle? Not me, ’cause Amazon’s DRM is extremely lame. But maybe most people don’t care?

I guess we’ll see?

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The HD format war heats up

A friend was recently asking if they should invest in a HD DVD or Blu-ray player. My answer was that there was no clear winner: wait if you can, or don’t invest too much if you can’t. I think a lot of people are feeling this way, “Why wade into a new format war?”

In an attempt to get people to get-off-the-couch-and-over-to-the-store-to-buy-some-HD-content, the proponents of the formats are opening their wallets and firing off the press releases:

First, Target and Blockbuster go Blu-ray only (after getting some promotional consideration by Sony?)
Now, Paramount and Dreamworks go HD DVD exclusively (after getting some promotional consideration by the HD DVD consortium?)

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Apple NAB announcement summary


My favorite live blogging is always from Engadget.

My summary:

  • New Final Cut Digital Asset Management/Transcoding Server: $999/10 users or $1999 for unlimited users (available summer)
  • Final Cut Studio 2
    • Final Cut Pro 6
      • ProRes 422: compression for HD (1TB -> 170GB “at same quality”)
      • Support for Sony’s new HDCAM SR 1080p60, Silicon Imaging’s Red Camera
      • Aja-built IO-HD input box for encoding ProRes 422 in real-time on external box ($3495)
      • Open-format timeline: mix formats, resolutions, framerates
      • Smooth-cam camera shake elimination (from Shake)
      • Better Motion integration
    • Motion3
      • Match-moving
      • more 3D
      • Paint
      • Audio-driven animation
    • SoundtrackPro2
      • Better 5.1 support
      • 5.1 and stereo in same project
      • frequency spectrum editing (ripped off from Audition/Soundbooth)
      • Video HUD for better synching
      • “conform” feature (not sure what that is yet)
    • Compressor3
      • Faster
      • More codecs
      • Preview overlays and watermarks with a before and after slider
      • Integrated chapter markers
      • Better multi-threading
    • $499 upgrade, $1299 new, $699 to upgrade from FCP
    • Available May
  • Color (new application)
    • Color grading
    • looks like this what at least part of the Shake team is doing now (my guess)
    • Same UI for 3-way color correction with
      • RGB and luma curves
      • lift
      • gamma
      • gain
      • visualization of color in 3D space
    • Mattes from chroma, luma, saturation, custom vignettes, hue and saturation curves
    • Color effects — string them together with a node tree
    • Geometry
    • included in Final Cut Studio 2

Wow, so FCS 2 was expected, but a lot more was also expected in this announcement given that Apple announced the 8-core MacPro a couple weeks ago with crummy video cards and no new iLife for ’07 and lappys and iPod designs getting a little stale. Wonder what else would have been announced today if Apple hadn’t announced the delay of Leopard earlier this week?

I just realized that there was no update to DVD Studio Pro. Hrm, wonder why…

[added links to the apple website and comment about DVD Studio later at 3:51 pm]

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some more thoughts on web 2.0 DIY business

This article about moms growing their own businesses as photographers thanks to the new generation of inexpensive high-end digital SLRs got me thinking again about the opportunities. Not just the ones for the moms, but also the businesses mentioned in the article, BluDomain and BigBlackBag who are small start-ups catering to the DIY-folks and have their own interesting (and inexpensive to start) business models.

Finally, this article on advertainment (also from NYT) reminded me how the driving force financially behind most creative businesses is the advertising agency. This is a bit of a tougher market to get into for individuals, but little studios can get attention for themselves, starting small, and get into this business eventually.

Then again, why do work for hire if you don’t have to?

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major music software news

content.png Ableton and Cycling 74 are going to be collaborating on new products. This is pretty major. Ableton is well established at creating software that is musical and easy to use. Cycling 74 know how to create really powerful, configurable stuff. Both companies claim that their work together will create new products and that their current product lines will continue. This is very exciting, hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long to find out what they will be producing.

Here is Cycling ’74’s take on the agreement
Here is the release from Ableton

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Mayangs Free Texture Library

Mayangs Free Texture Library
unfinished_pipes_3141248jpg.jpg water_drops_on_metal_3020602jpg.jpg paint_230082jpg.jpg

Just stumbled across this site. Some pretty decent stuff, some not so great. Texture Library is a bit off though, not a lot that would work for 3D, but a lot of stuff that is generally well done and useful for many kinds of projects. The thing that I liked was their license model:


textures are
Copyright © Mayang Murni Adnin, 2001-2006. They have all been
taken by our own cameras or created by ourselves.


They are free to use for all
uses, whether commercial or non-commercial you may incorporate
them into your derived work with no requirement to pay us any licensing fee
etc. Your derived work must involve significant modification to the textures. It would be nice if you could credit us.


You may not sell any of these textures in an unmodified form, or any derived works where the product you are selling is still a texture and is likely to compete with this website.


may redistribute
give/send to somebody else/display on a web site up to 30 of these
textures together, but no more. You must credit this website as the
original source tell them about us.


CNET tours ILM and posts the videos

Digital effects in Pirates of the Caribbean III | CNET

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truly innovative approach to music/social networking…

Amie Street

These guys are doing something really smart. All songs are free to start with, and increase in price as they increase in popularity. This is insanely smart for musicians and for music fans. It makes trying out a new band nearly painless. It is also DRM-free, which I have to admit I like as a music fan (but am a bit more dubious about as a content creator).

If these guys can get some traction, this would be a great site for new bands to build an audience. My one complaint is that actually finding music on the site wasn’t as easy as I’d like it to be. I had to search for a band before I could find charts, but even then, I wouldn’t mind some sort of flat list of bands by genre or something so that I could really explore. That is a major nit for this kind of site, but is easily fixed.

One other thing I like about these guys from their for-artists page:
# Amie Street takes no ownership of your music, nor do we ask that you sell exclusively on Amie Street. There is no digital rights management software (DRM) on Amie Street.
# Amie Street does not charge a monthly fee or a sign up fee.

Something that is very cool about all these new web 2.0 music sites is that they are blazing the trail for the indie film sites of tomorrow. Pandora or could just as easily be customized video channels. Amie Street could sell video downloads just as simply…

Courtesy of TechCrunch

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