General Specialist

2007-06-24

Censorship at CreativeCow.net

Update: A few hours after I posted this, CC closed my account via this email:

You have been unsubscribed from the Creative Cow newsletter. We're sorry to see you go.
Please note that any associated accounts at CreativeCOW.net have also been closed.

Update 2: Even more sites have been found to be blocked.

Update 3: It seems that they have IP-filtered out our entire IP range, so now they have effectively blocked 2,500 people in the broadcasting business from participating in their forums. Guess who's loosing on that deal... :)

Original post:
One of the biggest online forums for media creators, creativecow.net, is automatically censoring posts that contain the names of (what they perceive as) competitive sites and forums. If you post anything that contains any of the words (sometimes even without the top domain):
...you'll get an error message indicating that there is a technical malfunction. I find it dishonest to have this type of filtering, and especially dislike the fact the user is shown an error message that hides the fact that the administrators are trying to stop users from finding out about other sites.

CreativeCow makes money from ads, and their revenue is directly generated by the users that in their free time and without payment add content to the forums.

Sure, they can block anything they want. What is so appalling is doing it so it appears to be a technical error, and then closing accounts and IP-blocking people for discussing their practices.

I seldom visit their forums myself, as they are too slow, and the fact that you can't subscribe to forums and threads via email is a killer for me (just like the forums at pixelcorps and fxphd, unfortunately.)

So, skip the Cow, they're yesterday's forum, and visit any of the ones above instead.

Thanks to Mel Matsuoka for the tip.

- Jonas

Labels:

2007-06-21

How to Remove Speckles and Dust in Scanned Images using Photoshop

Here's a quick tip I discovered today while cleaning up a lot of scanned images. It's a 30 second video tutorial on how to find dirt, dust and scratches that's hard to find when you're trying to remove the background.

How to Remove Speckles and Dust in Scanned Images using Photoshop (opens in a new window)

- Jonas

Labels: , ,

2007-06-13

Best Reel Ever

Designer/Slash/Model makes all other reel wrappers look pretty mediocre.

- Jonas

Labels:

Intel Macs are Still Limiting RAM Usage to 2 GB under Windows XP

I'm running Windows XP on my Mac Pro, but a really annoying limitation is that XP can only see 2 GB of my 5 GB of installed RAM. When I researched this a couple of months ago, I found out that this is a firmware/software limitation that can only be fixed by Apple and Intel. Until they make sure that Windows XP can see all installed RAM, using a Mac Pro for Windows production is severely limited.

There's a widely spread misunderstanding that this problem can be fixed by using the /3GB switch in Windows' boot.ini file, but this technique can only be used to make certain applications use a bit more memory, as I showed in Using more than 2GB of RAM in After Effects, but it doesn't solve this problem at all.

So what are the options? One is using Windows XP x64 or even Vista64 (for the adventurous) that will let you see and use all your installed RAM. You don't even need Apple's Bootcamp at all (not even for the regular XP.) Instead, add an extra hard drive and install Windows on the new drive (insert the installation DVD/CD, restart and hold down the C key to boot from it.) You can download the nVidia/ATI graphics drivers from the web, as well as the audio drivers from Realtek. The Apple keyboard works without drivers, and you just hold down the Alt / Option key when booting to choose which OS to boot from.

Since you can't directly buy or upgrade to XP x64, I haven't tested this. I just hope that this info becomes more widespread, so that Apple/Intel fix this big limitation.

- Jonas

Photo by @Paul

2007-06-12

Search and Place 3D models into Photoshop CS3 Extended

Here's a cool, free beta plugin that will let you search, preview and download 3D models from Google's 3D Warehouse, directly from within Photoshop CS3 Extended.

I haven't tried it yet, but I see this being really useful for quick news graphics.

Sorry for not having a screenshot to publish, but I haven't had time to install the released build of Photoshop CS3 Extended yet. The irony of sitting on the bottom floor of the Adobe headquarters (notice the overhead roadsign for bonus geek points) waiting to listen to Photoshop Product Manager John Nack, with only CS2 installed, isn't lost on me.

- Jonas

3D model by jw_n_mo
Thanks to Rich at AE Portal News for the tip.

Labels: ,

2007-06-04

Move After Effects' Camera Data to Cinema 4D

Finally there's a way to move camera data and animation plus nulls from After Effects to Cinema 4D. Since you can already export the same data from C4D to AE, the loop seems to be closed.

I'm a bit skeptic, since all the solutions I've seen so far create brand new scenes upon import, with no way of only updating modified parameters. What I really want is a seamless way to go back-and-forth between After Effects and the 3D software, tweaking the animations on either end and have the changes updated in the other.

I've been so busy I haven't had time to test either the previous version, or the newly released version 1.3 of Paul Tuersley's script, but it seems quite a feat to pull off!

Update: Paul has confirmed that the keyframes are in fact "baked," so you won't be able to go back and forth; tweaking the camera animation in either app and have that change updated in the other app. You have to create the camera animation in either AE or C4D and then never touch it again without re-doing the export.

However, Boomer Lab's recently informed me that their MAX2AE plugin can actually update the things that have changed on either side, which is très useful.

Update 2: Eric Henry has posted a different method

- Jonas

Labels: , ,