Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NAB 2010

Wow.  The stuff showing up at NAB this year is just stunning...  I'll do some brief coverage of some of the elements that are essential to what we do here at B-Scene.

Adobe CS5

One of the big items to get announced is Adobe's CS5 suite.  Before I get into AE, I want to point out a technology in Photoshop that looks just amazing.  It's called Content Aware.  Check out this preview from Adobe Labs:



Some folks are saying that GIMP has had this ability for a while now.  I tried GIMP a long time ago and found that I preferred the UI in Photoshop.  Now I have to go back and have another look at GIMP and see how it compares to the new Photoshop...

After Effects new big feature is Roto Brush.  If you have ever done rotoscoping, you know the challenges that this can represent and the tedium associated with it.  If you look at the first shot in our Post Production reel (HERE) you can see where we had to roto out a tripod leg from the bottom of the shot.  This kind of thing is particularly challenging when the element to be removed starts out of frame.  It will be interesting to see how well RotoBrush can deal with this kind of situation.  You can see some of Mark Christiansen's tutorial on RotoBrush HERE.

Premiere Pro's updates are pretty big as well.  The addition of the new Mercury rendering engine is pretty huge.  The offloading of image rendering to the GPU is a major paradigm shift for an NLE like this.  The addition of Script-to-Screen is also interesting.  Not sure how useful this will be but we will have to give it a try.  You can see a discussion of that HERE as well.  The integration with Adobe Story is an interesting direction.  Adobe Story is a cloud based app for screenwriting that is clearly aimed at products like Final Draft.

Oh - And ALL of the CS5 apps are now 64 bit.  ONLY.  That's right, if you are still running a 32 bit OS, you will NOT be able to run CS5 until you upgrade.  So, what does 64 bit buy you?  It's huge, I tell you, HUGE!

64 bits means faster.  And, at the end of the day, faster is what it's all about.  I have always said that the fastest computer in the world is too slow.  And I meant it.  With 64 bit applications, the application can move elements around in memory twice as fast as 32 bit.  Oh, and it means the apps will be able to use more memory.  With 32 bits, the upper limit of physical memory was 4GB.  With 64 bits it is (in theory), 16.3 billion gigabytes, 16.3 million terabytes, or 16 exabytes  of RAM.  I say in theory because some CPU manufacturers limit this...

Not that anyone is going to max that out anytime soon (famous last words, I know...).

Redrock Micro Remote

As owner/operators of a Steadicam rig, the new Redrock Micro Remote is HUGE.  The integration of an iPod Touch or iPhone to the remote to run Redrock's focus application is just genius.  This is a real game changer for folks like us.  Rather than blather on endlessly about this device, I'll let FreshDV's NAB video coverage do the talking for us:

freshdv_nab10_REDROCKMICRO_FOCUS REMOTE

That's all for now, I will post some comments on the AMAZING new cameras that were released so far at NAB.  Some of which answer the question that my friends and I have been asking for two years: Why can't they take the big imagers from the still cameras and make a pro HD or 2K camera at low cost?

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