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August 05, 2005

Table of Contents

ADS Tech Announces New NAS Drive Kit
Red Giant Software Releases Primatte Keyer 3 and Key Correct Pro
Boris Continuum Complete AVX Version 4.0 Now Available
Oak Tree Press Publishes Marketing with Digital Video by VideoUniversity.com's Hal Landen
Audible Chooses Sonic AuthorScript as CD Burn Solution for Leading Online Spoken Audio Service
Samsung Announces 16X WriteMaster SE-W164C
Luxology Announces modo 201
Memory-Tech and Ulead Form Strategic Alliances for HD DVD Authoring Tool Development
NaturalMotion Announces endorphin 2.5

ADS Tech Announces New NAS Drive Kit

ADS Tech has announced a new Network Attached Storage (NAS) Drive Kit. The kit is a 5.25-Inch drive enclosure that converts the user's own 3.5" Ultra ATA hard drive into a NAS device for sharing data, photos, audio, and video across a home or office network.

The $119 kit can be used as an instant network server, an FTP or Web server, or a data back-up server, according to ADS Technologies. It also supports the BitTorrent protocol for peer-to-peer file transfers. With the kit, consumers and small businesses can choose the drive size that meets their requirements and can add it to a wired Ethernet or Wireless 802.11 G network without opening the PC. No user configuration or knowledge of IP addresses is required, ADS reports. An auto-discovery feature automatically adds the NAS device to all attached clients upon connection to the network. LEDs display status such as Power, Network Activity, and Drive Activity.

The NAS Drive Kit enables schools to provide faculty and students with their own server space for personal Web sites. In some instances, students can even use the NAS Drive Kit server to turn in materials. Consumers, schools, and small businesses can also use the Web server to access their files when they're away from home or the office. When used as an FTP server, the NAS device provides consumers with an easy way to share photos and home videos; schools can share research and students can obtain course materials online.

With support for the BitTorrent P2P file-sharing system, NAS Drive Kit users can take full advantage of the faster downloads available with this protocol for large data, audio and video files. Measuring 5.24"(H) x 8.75"(L) x 2.375"(D), the compact kit fits easily on a desktop.

Available from video dealers, e-tailers and distributors with an MSRP of $119, ADS Tech's new NAS Drive Kit supports Windows 98, ME, XP (Home or Professional edition) systems, a Win2000 Server, or a Windows 2003 Server. The complete kit includes the NAS Drive Kit enclosure (HDD not included), a Power Adapter (12V/3A), a drive mounting screw pack, a 6-ft. Ethernet cable, an installation CD, and a manual as well as a user guide.

www.adstechnologies.com

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Red Giant Software Releases Primatte Keyer 3 and Key Correct Pro

Red Giant Software, publisher of a line of professional desktop tools including Magic Bullet, has announced the availability of Primatte Keyer 3 and Key Correct Pro. Primatte Keyer's enhanced versatility adds increased functionality to the production pipeline of independent filmmakers and visual effects artists, according to Red Giant. Key Correct Pro is a set of 15 tools to help motion graphic and visual effects artists achieve more realistic composites.

Primatte Keyer, published under exclusive agreement with Photron USA, designed for use with After Effects, Discreet combustion, and Avid AVX, enables artists to extract keys from any color background for compositing, Red Giant reports. The software is intented to overcome matte extraction challenges including uneven lighting, subtle shadows, and edge light contamination (spill) prior to compositing. New features include the following:

  • New Deartifacting input correction for all formats including DV and HDV
  • New library and accuracy inline with other Primatte versions for Discreet, Shake, etc.
  • An updated UI and new split screen View modes for more efficient keying
  • Alpha channel adjustment integrated into the keyer
  • Integrated secondary spill removal, simple and accurate Color Matching, and Light wrap built in to the keying interface

Key Correct Pro is a set of 15 plug-ins designed to help AE users create better composites with built-in keying tools. The plug-ins can be in used in combination with any keyer to better enhance the final result. Features include the following:

  • Accurate matte feather tools
  • Color Matching plug-in with automatic matching and color balance adjustment
  • Alpha cleaner plug-in for fixing noise and filing holes in mattes
  • Complete support for 8 and 16 bit operations for all plug-ins

Pricing for Primatte Keyer 3 for Adobe After Effects is $695 Updates to Discreet combustion and Avid AVX versions will be available in Q4 2005. Key Correct Pro has an MSRP of $395. Composite Wizard customers can upgrade to Key Correct Pro for $149 USD.

www.redgiantsoftware.com

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Boris Continuum Complete AVX Version 4.0 Now Available

Boris FX, a developer of integrated effects technology for video and film production, has announced that version 4.0 of Continuum Complete AVX (BCC AVX) is now available. Version 4.0 runs on the new AVX 2.0 architecture. Avid Visual Extensions (AVX) is a plug-in architecture that dynamically extends the effects supported by Avid systems.

BCC AVX is a comprehensive suite of native plug-in filters and transitions designed to streamline workflow for Avid editors. BCC AVX filters are animated directly in the Avid Effect Editor window. More than 170 filters include Corner Pin, Optical Stabilizer, Lens Flare, Glint, Glare, DeGrain, Match Grain, DeNoise, DeInterlace, Optical Flow, Motion Blur, Glow, Wire Remover, and Witness Protection. A subset of the filters preview in real time on Avid systems with supported hardware.

BCC AVX is bundled with all Avid Media Composer Adrenaline systems. Version 4.0 improvements include the following:

  • Access to Avid's Advanced Keyframing model.
  • The filters offer 16-bit color processing.
  • Improved Motion Tracker provides increased accuracy.
  • The unique PixelChooser lets you create animatable vector masks with bézier handles.
  • Motion key technology removes moving foreground objects based on motion estimation.
  • New filters include Color Match, Halftone, Median, Corner Pin Tracker, Optical Stabilizer and an OpenGL-based 3D Extruded Image Shatter. - Hundreds of new presets have been added.

Settings remain fully compatible with the Version 3.0 release. AVX 1.5 effects are easily promoted to AVX 2.0, according to BorisFX.

Since the AVX 2.0 architecture will initially support only Windows systems, version 4.0 is a Windows-only release for this architecture. A future version will add AVX 2.0 support for Macintosh systems once it becomes available. Continuum Complete AVX offers integration features including built-in motion tracking, the ability to apply multiple filters to keyed elements or titles without affecting the background. Hundreds of presets and integrated online help provide fast and precise effects creation with a minimal learning curve. When paired with multi-processor and OpenGL acceleration, Continuum Complete AVX 4.0 provides a powerful, complimentary feature set for Avid editing systems.

BCC AVX is bundled with all Avid Media Composer Adrenaline systems. Avid Adrenaline customers can upgrade from previous versions for $599. Continuum Complete AVX is available through the BorisFX worldwide reseller channel and direct through BorisFX for $795 for Avid Xpress DV and Xpress Pro users. Avid Xpress DV and Avid Xpress Pro users can upgrade from previous versions for $249.

www.borisfx.com

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Oak Tree Press Publishes Marketing with Digital Video by VideoUniversity.com's Hal Landen

Veteran award-winning cameraman, producer, and creator of VideoUniversity.com Hal Landen's latest book, Marketing with Digital Video: How to Create a Winning Video for Your Small Business or Non-Profit, shows how small-budget businesses can take advantage of today's affordable digital video technology to produce effective business videos.

Like his previous book, Marketing with Video, Landen's new book demonstrates his gift for making the technical world of video production accessible to less technically minded readers. Whether you aspire to be a hands-on videoographer, or an executive producer who doesn't want to get overly technical, Marketing with Digital Video tells you what you need to know before, during, and after filming.

As important as technology is today, the heart of this book is not just about technology but rather about how to make an effective video on a shoestring budget. Even if you don't plan to produce your own business video, you'll learn how to hire the right people to do the job for you, pitfalls to avoid, and tricks of the trade gleaned from Landen's years of on-the-job experience.

Readers interested in the art of making videos will benefit from Landen's chapters on the Art of Editing and Sound Editing, which explore the mechanics of these complex subjects. Landen includes anecdotes and asides throughout the book to give it a personal feel. Dpig defines such terms as Dolly Shot and Dramatic Axis, explains how to set up a budget, how to hire a cameraman, and where to find music. He also addresses potential legal issues in an extensive appendix with sample release forms.

The book is available for $19.95 at www.videouniversity.com.

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Audible Chooses Sonic AuthorScript as CD Burn Solution for Leading Online Spoken Audio Service

Sonic Solutions and Audible have announced that Audible has licensed Sonic AuthorScript Music, a version of Sonic's burning engine for audio-centric application developers, as the exclusive CD burn solution for its online collection of approximately 70,000 hours of spoken audio content. AuthorScript Music is provided as a complete software development kit that is ready for rapid integration into applications supporting audio content.

Based on the same technology that has made Sonic a leading supplier of CD and DVD authoring and burning systems for both consumers and professionals, AuthorScript Music provides compatible and virtually error-free download and burn support for all major digital media types, the companies report.

www.sonic.com

www.audible.com

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Samsung Announces 16X WriteMaster SE-W164C

Samsung Electronics Ltd. has introduced its first external DVD recordable/rewritable disc drive, the 16X WriteMaster SE-W164C. This portable DVD drive is designed for use with laptop computers or desktop PCs, allowing users to install and enjoy the benefits of a high-speed DVD burner without the hassle and expense associated with internal units.

The new drive is capable of reading and writing in both the DVD+ and DVD- formats with 5X DL support, and can store up to 8.5GB on one DL disc. The SE-W164C is currently shipping with an estimated street price of $199. The SE-W164C offers users connection to laptops and PCs via USB 2.0.

The SE-W164C sports a large air vent on the back of the drive for maximum air circulation to prevent overheating when the drive is running at high speeds. The drive also incorporates a groove on the side of the front door and the back of the bezel, which is intended to reduce noise and prevents dust from entering the unit. The SE-W164C provides a 16X DVD+R and DVD-R write speed, and can write DVD+RW at 8X, and DVD-RW at 6X on a DVD-RW.

The SE-W164C uses many proprietary technologies to ensure fast and reliable performance and top-notch quality:

  • Speed Adjustment Technology (SAT), which automatically optimizes the speed according to the disc quality
  • Tilt Actuator Compensation (TAC), which gives the disc a tilt with the objective lens for the most reliable writing condition
  • Double Optimum Power Control (OPC), which strengthens the writing performance by controlling the laser power in the inner and outer sides of the disc.

The drive also includes a power save function and technology to prevent Buffer Under Run Error. The SE-W164C is also lead-free.

www.samsung.com

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Luxology Announces modo 201

Luxology, LLC, an independent technology company developing high-end 3D content creation tools, has unveiled modo 201, the new version of its flagship modeling product. Slated for general availability in Q4 2005, modo 201 is designed to improve the speed and integration of 3D design. modo 201 backs integrated modeling, painting and rendering technologies, with a new toolset, advanced software ergonomics, and a streamlined learning path, according to Luxology.

modo is the fastest, most advanced subdivision surface modeling environment available, Luxology claims. It's specifically designed to help 3D artists working on games, films, TV, print, architecture and Web productions to accomplish more in less time. New features in modo 201 include the following:

  • Advanced Modeling Technology - Simplify and optimize complex meshes with true mesh instancing: click, drag, done. UV map creation with UV Unwrap and Solid Sketch allows rapid creation of base SDS meshes and Mesh Paint for painting geometric details on existing mesh surfaces.
  • Integrated Painting Tools - Intuitive tool pipe painting tools allow hot swappable brushes, inks, nozzles and falloffs. Parametric ink, real-time bump map painting and new masking methods for precise control over texture application.
  • Accelerated Rendering Technology - Incredibly optimized global illumination, physically-based shading options for energy conservation, fresnel effect, anisotropy and subsurface scattering; true micropolygon displacements and gigapoly rendering.
  • Workflow boosts - Fluid interactive experience extended via dramatic OpenGL acceleration and advanced OpenGL light and shading including per pixel shading, multi-texturing and real time bump mapping, as well as extended user control over input with complete mouse and keyboard remapping.

modo 201 is scheduled for general availability during Q4 2005. Users can purchase modo now at an introductory price of $695, and receive a free modo 201 upgrade upon the product's shipment. Current modo users can pre-order the modo 201 upgrade for the introductory price of $295. modo 201 will be available through Luxology and its worldwide partners and ships on a single disc supporting both Mac OS X and Windows platforms.

www.modo3d.com

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Memory-Tech and Ulead Form Strategic Alliances for HD DVD Authoring Tool Development

Ulead Systems, Inc. has announced that Memory-Tech, Japan's largest independent disc replicator, has licensed Ulead HD DVD technology for the development of Memory-Tech's advanced HD DVD authoring tools for high definition video.

Memory-Tech will develop an HD DVD authoring solution integrating Ulead software for HD DVD software production services the company offers to clients ranging from mid-sized Japanese companies to major Hollywood studios. Commercial HD DVD titles are scheduled to be available for Christmas 2005. Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, New Line Home Entertainment and HBO Home Video have announced official support of the HD DVD format.

www.ulead.com
www.memory-tech.co.jp

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NaturalMotion Announces endorphin 2.5

NaturalMotion Ltd., the developer of 3D animation technology based on Dynamic Motion Synthesis (DMS), has announced the forthcoming release of endorphin 2.5, the newest version of the company's 3D character animation software. endorphin 2.5's new transitioning, blending, and behavior features, combined with enhancements to asset repurposing tools and improved FBX support, allow animators to create realistic, fully interactive 3D character animation faster and easier than traditional keyframe or motion capture techniques, according to NatrualMotion. "

New and improved features in endorphin 2.5 include the following:

  • New Transition Event - Enables seamless blending from simulation back into existing animations such as run cycles. Users can create entire animation sequences within endorphin.
  • Active Animation Event - Animation data can drive the muscles of a character. Used in conjunction with endorphin's new Transition Event, this allows users to create much more dynamic blends than with traditional kinematic blending.
  • New Behaviors - New static balancing lets a character stay on its two feet autonomously.
  • Enhanced Rig Event - More flexible character rigs for simultaneously mixing animation and simulation, and for advanced dynamic retargeting. Users can choose which degrees of freedom they wish to retarget, and endorphin's dynamic solver will resolve the rest of the motion.
  • Enhanced Collision Mode - Crisper, high-velocity collisions.
  • Enhanced Character Edit Mode - Faster custom character and rig set-up.
  • Improved FBX Support - Optimized support for the FBX file format for increased integration with today's leading character animation software packages.

endorphin uses DMS, a technology based on artificial intelligence controllers that imitate the human nervous system. Unlike conventional animation techniques such as keyframing or motion capture, endorphin's DMS technology uses the CPU to simulate the brain and body of 3D characters, which allows animators to synthesize human movements in real time. This approach produces directed and fully-interactive 3D characters that essentially animate themselves with real-life movements that are unique every time, NaturalMotion claims, thus dramatically reducing animation asset production time.

endorphin 2.5 will be available in October 2005 for $12,795. NaturalMotion also gives customers an opportunity to rent endorphin on a monthly basis for USD $1,595. endorphin ships with a range of animation data files, including motion capture data from AudioMotion, UK, www.audiomotion.com.

www.naturalmotion.com

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