>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.
Photo by @Paul
>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.
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
>Here’s a cheap and easy way to get around one of the most asked for After Effects features: per-vertex masking. PV Feather is only $70, works in 32bpc and supports everything from version 6.5 to CS3.
The only downside I can see is that as an effect I presume there’s no shortcuts, which is essential for big rotoscoping jobs. Also, hardcore roto artists will note that it uses Bezièr curves (just like regular AE masks) rather than B-splines.
>It’s so sad when a great promise turns out to be totally worthless. I’ve worked for almost 14 hours straight to try to get Antics3D to work. After over 40 crashes, and adrenaline flowing out of my ears, it’s pretty clear that I will never buy this software…
>I guess I’m the only one stuck at home. Thankfully, everyone who’s at NAB 2007 is reporting so here’s a few of the podcats and sites I check everyday during the event.
Please add a comment if you have any tips for other good sources!
fxguide Excellent podcast and daily reporting with in-depth knowledge
This Week in Media At bit Apple-fanboyish, and what happened to the “daily NAB reports?”
Digital Production Buzz The veteran of podcasting and daily NAB reports.
FreshDV Ambitious video coverage (16 videos to date)
Studio Daily news
Photo by Tiffany Babylon
>This brings tears to my eyes; a free plugin that will let you import, rearrange and use all the available channels in OpenEXR files into After Effects CS3 float projects. Brendan Bolles has kindly provided the world with a beta version of a set of four 32 bpc-aware plugins, complete with a sample project and a 49-channel OpenEXR image.
As always; read the installation instructions, you need to disable AE’s own format plugin, and then drop the four new ones into the same folder.
On OS X you need to rename the default OpenEXR plugin so it has this character in the beginning of the file name: ¬
The path to the plugins folder on OS X is:
/Applications/Adobe After Effects CS3/Plug-ins/Format/
On Windows XP and Windows Vista, the path to the correct folder is:
%PROGRAM_FILES%\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS3\Support Files\Plug-ins\Format\
where you rename the OpenEXR.aex file to (OpenEXR.aex)
Make sure you send a Brendan a thank-you-email (and bug reports) to the address included in the readme file!
Update: Sadly, many 3D packages can’t render multichannel OpenEXRs, at least not without modification. It isn’t possible in Cinema4D R10.102, which will output every channel as a separate file. If you want this feature to be added, let the developers know: Cinema 4D Feature Request form
Houdini, Blender, Lightwave and 3ds max (both via mental ray and the standalone renderer Brazil r/s) can render to multi-channel OpenEXRs. With some mr wrangling they can apparently be produced with mental ray from Maya and XSI, as well.
>This might not seem as sexy as some of the other new features of Adobe’s CS3 suite, but the entire help files for all the new applications are now accessible on the web. But the coolest part isn’t a continually updated and refined manual that is searchable, it is that you can add your own comments, links and tricks into the help file so that the community can extend the support documents way beyond what the technical writers at Adobe could ever dream of. Every section even has a fixed URL so it’s easy to link to specific info, which is great.
Here’s an example of the ever-frank Mylenium arguing with Adobe’s technical writer Todd Kopriva over a formulation, which seems to be setting a standard as to Adobe’s level of openness to criticism:
Another feature is that you can sign up to get an email as soon as a specific page is updated, but even better: there’s also a RSS feed (but the link to the feed only seems to show up once there’s a comment on the page.) Also, I’d really like to see an “Updated pages” feed per application.
Online help for the CS3 products (use the drop-down menu to the left to access the different applictions)
The normally bundled third-party effects (Keylight, Cycore Effects, and Color Finesse) are not included in the preview. Also, a very important note (apart from that this is still beta software that might cause you do loose work and files) is that as usual the project files saved in the CS3 version will not open in After Effects 7.0.1 or any prior versions.
Please note that Adobe recommends that you uninstall the Photoshop CS3 Beta and Soundbooth Beta 1 and Beta 2 prior to installing the After Effects CS3 beta. Uninstalling After Effects CS3 Professional Preview will disable the Adobe Photoshop CS3 Beta, uninstall Adobe Bridge, and disable Adobe Device Central. Running the Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta installer in repair mode will fix these problems.
You must request a new serial number by entering a valid and legitimate serial number for After Effects 7.0 Standard or Professional (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Production Studio Standard and Premium (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Video Bundle (full, upgrade, and education) or Adobe Web Bundle (full, upgrade, and education).
The Premiere Pro CS3 public beta version doesn’t require a previous serial number, but it has some limitations in functionality, such as lack of HDV capture and editing (which will be included in the final version, of course.)
The list of new features for Premiere Pro CS3 isn’t too long this time, since most of the focus has been on releasing a brand new Mac Intel version (the system requirements for OS X is a multi-core or multiple-CPU Intel Mac, so older PPC hardware is not supported.)
There’s a forum for the Premiere Pro CS3 version as well.
>If you only give yourself one thing this year, here’s my advice: sign up for the new term of fxphd, the highest-level graphics training available online. Term 4 is just about to start (even though you can sign up later) with a bunch of interesting classes lined up. Not only do you get great classes, you also get real-world footage to work with (like 1080P motion control passes of miniatures shot by the DoP of “Superman Returns”) that you can use on your showreel.
I’ve been a member since term 1, and even though I haven’t been able to follow all the classes (the day only has 24 hours) my collection of classes is safely backup up on several drives, as I plan on keeping them for reference for a long time. I’ve even put them all on my iPod so I can learn something new every day.
Trust me, this is the best $300 you’ll ever spend!
- AFX221 – After Effects Design and More
- BKD204 – Background Fundamentals
- DRW201 – Character Drawing and Development
- FCP211 – Intermediate Final Cut Pro II
- FLM101 – Introduction to Flame
- FLM201 – Introduction to Expressions
- MAX101 – 3DS Max for Compositors
- MAX201 – Advanced Rendering and Mental Ray
- MYA203 – Intermediate Maya III
- PNT201 – Matte Painting Production Techniques
- PSD203 – Photoshop CS3
- SHK101 – Introduction to Shake
- SHK201 – Intermediate Shake I
- RTO201 – Rotoscoping Techniques
- TOX101 – Introduction to Toxik I
- TOX102 – Introduction to Toxik II
When you sign up, please enter “humlan” in your sign-up form under “Referring Member,” which will give me access to an extra class (hmm, should I take the “Silhouette Roto” class or the “Matte Painting” class?)