Reviews
AFTER EFFECTS APPRENTICE By Ko Maruyama Trish and Chris Meyer have been writing books for Adobe After Effects users for several years. Their After Effects Apprentice book is currently in its third edition, which covers Adobe's current version of After Effects, CS6. This also offers lessons for those who may be using earlier versions of the software. The book is not only for the "Aspiring" motion graphics artist, but for anyone who wants to improve their all-around skills in the popular animation software. ...Read More »
AKITIO ENCLOSURE By Ko Maruyama The Akitio Neutrino U3+ enclosure is for everyone, and more specifically for some than others. Like many other enclosures of its kind, it supports a nice array of connection standards. The function is what you'd expect from an external hard drive enclosure. The Neutrino U3+ has the added benefit of being designed beautifully, and fits as a companion to your other Mac hardware. ...Read More »
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 »
What's New in Photoshop CS6 Public Beta By Jeremiah Hall When your software goes from being a proper name to a verb, as in "I Photoshopped that building out of the picture", new versions are a big deal. The public beta of Photoshop CS6 Extended is available for download now. What's changed? There are alsover 64 changes PS6 users have asked Adobe for, called the "JDI"s by the Photoshop team. "JDI" stands for "Just DIt," small changes and improvements asked for by the end-users. Here's a sample from the list Adobe provided DMN. ...Read More »
OWC 16GB RAM and 240GB SSD Drive Upgrade for 2011 Mac mini By Heath McKnight Other World Computing (OWC, www.macsales.com) sells some the best and most affordable upgrades for Mac users, such as RAM, hard drives and more. I've heard stories of just how fast a solid state drive (SSD) is compared to a standard drive found in a Mac, and I wanted to see for myself. More RAM and a faster hard drive is always great for video editors to work faster and more efficiently. Plus, can my new 2011 Mac mini really accept 16GB of RAM? Read on to find out. ...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 »
Adobe CS5 Web Premium Part One: Illustrator and Photoshop By Kevin Schmitt Adobe CS5 is finally shipping, so over the next few weeks we'll looking at the major programs which comprise the Web Premium package, starting off with the old stalwarts of the group. Now, it's somewhat hard to believe that 2010 marks Photoshop's 20th anniversary, with Illustrator having been around for a few years even before that, but here we are. Both products have certainly seen a lot of design trends and operating systems come and go in their time, but lest I take a long, nostalgic detour down software memory lane, let's simply get to the latest and greatest. ...Read More »
Apple's 2.8Ghz dual Intel Xeon Quad-Core Mac Pro By Heath McKnight Apple's 2.8Ghz dual Intel Xeon Quad-Core (8-cores total!) Mac Pro is one of Apple's fastest computers yet. With the capability to run with 32GB RAM, an excellent graphics card (or two), and terabytes of storage, no job is too big for this beast to handle. ...Read More »
EazyDraw By Ko Maruyama EazyDraw software upped the ante with its new version of its vector drawing application for the Mac platform. Showing off its wares at MacWorld, EazyDraw boasts new transformation tools, including shears, skew, stretch and rotate. Despite all of these new features, and a set of interesting elements and tools, the software comes with limited finite definition or any brush control. ...Read More »
Adobe Production Studio Workflow By Stephen Schleicher A 40 pound package arrived at the front steps of the Digital Media Net Central Division offices the other day. Inside was the latest release of the Adobe Production Studio, which contains everything you need to create a wicked cool multimedia presentation, music video, independent film, Web video -- the list goes on and on. When I was asked to create a new news open for a local channel, I decided to take this new bundle out for spin. ...Read More »
The Adobe Illustrator WOW! Book By Don Lee Every time a new version of a program is released, I have a feeling of dread because I know I will have to learn some of the new techniques being offered in the program. The real problem is teaching myself these new techniques before the next new version is released. ...Read More »
Adobe Creative Suite 2: Classroom in a Book By David James Rockingham III Adobe Creative Suite 2 introduced a number of new features across the number of products. If you dont keep up to date on the latest releases of these products, you may find yourself falling quickly behind the times. Thats why Adobe Press published Adobe Creative Suite 2: Classroom in a Book. ...Read More »
Adobe Illustrator CS2: Classroom in a Book By Don Lee For those that are learning the latest version of Adobe Illustrator, you may want to pick up ?Adobe Illustrator CS2 Classroom in a Book. The 454-page book covers the basics of Illustrator CS2 to the more advanced techniques used by the pros. The book is broken down into 15 lessons. ...Read More »
First Look: Adobe Illustrator CS2 By Dave Nagel Adobe has announced the new Creative Suite 2, and with it, major new versions of each of the core applications in the suite, including Illustrator CS2. The new version of Illustrator includes a wide variety of improvements and new features on the creative side and in the workflow--from live tracing of raster objects to expanded support for Flash export. ...Read More »
Shinycore Path Styler Pro By Dave Nagel As a plugin for Adobe Illustrator, Path Styler Pro addresses a long-standing need for a robust method for creating bevels. But it's not just a simple bevel effect; it's a deep, comprehensive solution that offers multiple layers of bevels, material options, texture and image mapping, reflections, light maps and more. As a Photoshop plugin, it does not address any gaps in the market for bevel effects, but, like its Illustrator counterpart, it does provide significant depth lacking in most other solutions. ...Read More »
Apple 30-Inch Cinema HD Display By Dave Nagel Dear Santa: I'd like to speak seriously with you for a few moments, so let's dispense with the pleasantries and get straight to the point. California law requires you to roll over year-end merit points and apply them to the holder's Naughty/Nice account (1225K) for subsequent years. If you will examine your ledgers from 1968 to the present, you will notice that I have approximately 500 such accumulated points.* Taking into account amortization over 36 years, that translates roughly to the cost of an Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display. Shall I expect delivery this Christmas? Please advise. From, David N. ...Read More »
What Color Is It? By Charlie White ColorVisions Spyder2Pro Studio ($299, Mac or PC) helps you calibrate your flat panel or CRT display so that it shows you the right colors every time. It's a scientific instrument that can see colors so precisely, by comparison were all color-blind. I dangled the Spyder2 Colorimeter in front of all sorts of monitors, and noticed that while some needed very little adjustment, others needed a compete overhaul. In fact, we put this sophisticated combination of hardware and software in front of every monitor we could find, and we liked what we saw. Here's a review. ...Read More »
Wacom Intuos3 Graphics Tablet By Dave Nagel There are few tools out there that can be said to be applicable to everybody in the visual arts. But a graphics tablet is surely one of them. Whether you're in 2D or 3D, whether you design still or motion graphics, whether you're just retouching images or creating works of art from scratch, a graphics tablet will improve your workflow and productivity and present you with creative options not available with a mouse or other input device. It's not even a question of whether you should have one, but which one you should have. For most, the answer is probably the new Intuos3 from Wacom. ...Read More »
CValley Xtream Path By Dave Nagel I review an awful lot of plugins for graphics applications, and almost universally they fall into the category of effects filters or menu-based functionality enhancements. Never before have I encountered a plugin that could actually replace the primary tools of its host application. Yet this is just what Xtream Path from CValley does to Adobe Illustrator. While not literally replacing Illustrator's tools, it provides alternatives that are just so much more efficient for path creation and manipulation that I rarely even touch Illustrator's default path tools anymore. ...Read More »
Adobe Illustrator CS By Dave Nagel Adobe Illustrator is such a mature product and has been so fixed in its ways for so long that I never expected Adobe to take it any further than it's already been. The last time I reviewed a major upgrade of the software (version 10), I explicitly told you that the most you could expect out of future updates would be improvements under the hood--tweaks to the workflow, improvements to existing features, etc. But I was wrong, and Illustrator CS has shown me just how much a mature application can still grow. ...Read More »
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