2003 Archive

APRIL 13, 2004
TrendWatch Fast Fact: Top Investments at NAB
What are studios/facilities most likely looking for at NAB?
Jim Whittington
In this weekly quick feature, TrendWatch founding partner Jim Whittington offers you interesting factoids based on market research from the broadcast and graphics industries. This week, see what studio and facility buyers are looking for at this year's NAB 2004.
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APRIL 12, 2004
Weekly Download: Photoshop Brushes, Series 17
20 textured, dynamic brushes
Dave Nagel
We return this week to Adobe Photoshop with our 17th collection of free brushes. This time around, we have a variety of textured brushes—20 in all—ranging in size from 47 pixels up to more than 300 pixels with textures ranging from simple canvas patterns to large weaves to abstract textures that can be applied to resemble stone, earth or other rough materials. The brushes are available for Mac OS X and Windows.
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APRIL 05, 2004
Weekly Download: Custom Shapes for Adobe Photoshop, Series 6
25 resolution-independent, decorative geometric objects
David Nagel
It's actually been more than six months since our last collection of custom shapes for Adobe Photoshop, which, hopefully, was about enough time to build up your appetite for more. As with most of our past collections, our Series 6 custom shapes library includes decorative, geometric (Spirograph-like) elements designed to be used as backgrounds, borders or other types of elements in your composition. The collection supports Photoshop 7 and CS on Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows.
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MARCH 30, 2004
Ten Programs I Can't Live Without (This Week, Anyway)
The latest list of free/cheap Mac OS X apps that make life a lot easier
Kevin Schmitt
It's been a while since I wrote any kind of what's-on-my-desktop article, and while the whole exercise may seem like an ego-driven one, it's actually offered as a means to shine the spotlight on some of the smaller developers out there who are really doing some top-notch work in the hopes that they can keep doing it. So, without further ado, here is the 2004 version (in no particular order, despite the numbering) of 10 programs I can't live without.
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MARCH 22, 2004
Weekly Download: Photoshop Brushes, Series 16
25 brushes for creating dust and trail effects
David Nagel
For our free download this week, we offer our 16th collection of brushes for Adobe Photoshop. This time around, we move into a new area of functionality: brushes designed to create trail effects, such as twinkling stars, fairy dust, multi-colored confetti and the like. Our collection this week includes 25 such brushes, all designed to fade out using pressure from a Wacom tablet, though they can also be adjusted for use without a tablet. Read on for examples and download and installation instructions.
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MARCH 16, 2004
Weekly Download: Effects for Adobe Illustrator, Series 3
10 more resolution-independent bevel effects
David Nagel
Last time around in our series of effects for Adobe Illustrator, we presented 10 filter effects for producing soft bevels on text and objects. This week we have 10 additional bevel filters utilizing a different lighting style and a mixture of soft and hard chisel effects. Like the first installment in this effects series, the latest collection can be used on live text, as well as objects, for producing bevel styles from a variety of lighting positions. Read on for examples and download and installation instructions.
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MARCH 08, 2004
Weekly Download: Studio Artist Paint Patches, Series 11
30 flowing and spattering liquid brushes
by David Nagel
One of the striking features of Studio Artist's Paint Synthesizer is its liquid paint capabilities. Liquid brushes can flow, spread and splatter themselves over the canvas, or they can be used to liquefy the canvas or a source image to produce watery effects. This week in our series of free software, we present a collection of 30 such brushes--or Paint Patches--for Studio Artist 3.0 covering a range of liquid styles. Read on for examples and download and installation instructions.
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MARCH 01, 2004
DMN Interview: Media 100 in Crisis
Out of the woods yet?
DMN Interview by Charlie White
After editing system manufacturer Media 100 announced it was on the verge of ceasing operations last week, the company revealed today that Israel-based Optibase was interested in buying the Marlboro, Massachusetts corporation, and had signed a term sheet outlining the conditions of the sale. Digital Media Net’s Charlie White talked with Media 100’s CEO John Molinari about the company’s current crisis and what it means for users of Media 100 products.
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MARCH 01, 2004
Weekly Download: Effects for Adobe Illustrator, Series 2
10 resolution-independent soft bevel filters
David Nagel
I get asked all the time how to create bevels in Adobe Illustrator. There are two answers for this: use the 3D filter, in which case you're limited to flat surfaces, or fudge it by combining multiple instances of your graphic, in which case you're stuck spending too much time on a simple effect that's not easily repeatable. So I've decided to dip into my shallow reservoir of programming knowledge to present you with a few preset bevel filters that will hopefully get you through some simple tasks that require resolution-independent, Photoshop-style bevels.
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FEBRUARY 23, 2004
Weekly Download: Studio Artist Paint Patches, Series 10
15 erasers for Studio Artist 3.0
by David Nagel
Studio Artist 3.0 is out. You have our review and recommendation, so I assume that, if you don't already own it, you ordered it via ground delivery and are simply waiting for it to arrive. In either case, you'll be happy to know that we have a whole slew of free addons planned for this software, from our continuing series of brushes all the way up to full-fledged effects filters. But to start things off, I wanted to get you some simple, utilitarian presets, in this case some erasers that are designed to be a bit more flexible than the ones included with the program, ones that will hopefully suit any conceivable project you might be working on. Read on for download and installation instructions.
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FEBRUARY 16, 2004
Weekly Download: Photoshop Brushes, Series 15
15 brushes for generating textured or distressed surfaces
by David Nagel
It's been a little more than two months since our last installment of brushes for Photoshop, so I thought it was about time to rectify that. Our free collection this week includes 15 medium- to large-scale brushes for Photoshop designed to create textured effects for backgrounds, ranging from canvas-like materials to rough stone. They can also be used to produce distress or texture effects over images. Read on for download and installation instructions.
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FEBRUARY 10, 2004
1080i Revisited
The faster that images can be sequentially projected, the higher the quality
By Ron Johnson
There seems to be a growing bandwagon for progressive scan high definition video production. Much of the decision-making appears to come from our filmmaker associates who have a long history of 24p acquisition that has produced a “look” that has become associated with high-end films, commercials and documentary work. These filmmakers are heavily invested in this “look”, and the equipment needed to achieve it. Curiously, the 24 fps speed was originally derived as being the minimum speed that film could travel over an optical reader head in the camera and produce adequate audio for recording and playback. Yes, in fact this 24fps speed is a throwback to the days of the first “talkies”, and even with the advent of synchronized magnetic tracks the 24fps speed has remained unchanged.
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FEBRUARY 01, 2004
Affordable High-Definition Video
No longer an oxymoron, this concept could soon catch up to its hype
Robert Harris
High-definition video is finally on the verge of high-volume acceptance. The latest industry numbers indicate that 2.4 million HDTV sets were sold in 2003, increasing the total number of U.S. households with HD viewing capabilities to approximately 9 million. By the time broadcast stations adhere to the FCC digital broadcast guidelines, experts predict that more than 30 million HDTVs will be in operation. The consumer’s desire for these wide-screen, HD-compatible displays, combined with the gradual decrease in their cost, is moving these products off the showroom floor and into their homes and workplaces.
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FEBRUARY 06, 2004
Weekly Download: Papers for Corel Painter, Series 1
15 rough and ragged custom textures
by David Nagel
This is our second series of addons for Corel Painter 8. The previous collection of brushes went well, so I thought we might expand our offerings into other areas as well, this time with papers, which are used primarily to provide texture to the various paint brushes, crayons and other tools in Painter. Our collection includes 15 base papers, textured to behave like rough and ragged canvas and other surfaces. Read on for download and installation instructions.
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JANUARY 30, 2004
Weekly Download: Photoshop Patterns, Series 3
25 tiling paper and fiber textures
by David Nagel
This week we present our third--and hopefully best--collection of patterns for Adobe Photoshop, with support for versions 7 and CS. This time around, the patterns are designed to produce texture effects over images, to help create the illusion of fibrous backgrounds, wrinkled paper and canvas textures. All of the patterns are 200 x 200 pixels and designed for seamless tiling to be used either as Pattern Overlays or Pattern Fill Layers. Read on for samples and download and installation instructions.
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JANUARY 23, 2004
Weekly Download: Painter Brushes, Series 1
25 wet and gooey brushes for Corel Painter 8
by David Nagel
In our never-ending quest to cram you hard drives full of free software, we expand our efforts this week into the realm of addons for Corel Painter 8. Our first library in the series includes custom brushes for Painter, a collection of thick and creamy strokes designed to create impasto effects, as well as a few other types of brushes. There are 25 brushes total in our first collection. Read on for samples and download and installation instructions.
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JANUARY 19, 2004
Web standards: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
And why designers should ultimately care
by Kevin Schmitt
In retrospect, I really have to thank both Microsoft and Netscape for their little pissing contest known as the "browser wars." Because of their antics, I may have never gotten fed up with Web design as a primary vocation and, consequently, might never have embraced motion graphics, compositing, 3D animation and the various other disciplines I'm fortunate enough to make a living doing today. And while I never abandoned Web design entirely, it's been a pretty small part of my professional existence for almost six years now. So when I recently started to think about redesigning my own Web site (having made the decision to not do a Flash-only site this time), my desire to avoid the HTML hell of the past led me to the brave new (to me, anyway) world of Web standards.
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JANUARY 16, 2004
Weekly Download: Studio Artist Paint Patches, Series 9
20 particle brushes for Studio Artist 3.0
by David Nagel
As you probably know, Synthetik Software released Studio Artist 3.0 last week. And wouldn't you know it? We just happen to have a set of new brushes all ready to go, ones that exploit some of the just introduced particle characteristics available in the new version. They range from abstract particle forms to brushes that behave like thick, flowing liquid. Enjoy our first free download of the new year!
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JANUARY 12, 2004
Roundup: Macworld Expo 2004
A look at news and events from this year's big Mac show
by David Nagel
Macworld San Francisco is one of the few great expos left to technology enthusiasts, a show packed--especially this year--with throngs of enthusiastic attendees just thrilled to be there, let alone afforded the opportunity to meet and shake hands with their favorite developers, to unload some cash on new technologies and to get a glimpse of The Man Himself as he delivers his annual opening benediction. But I travel to the Macworld convention every year with pretty low expectations because the company around which the show revolves--Apple--invariably fails to deliver on expectations leading up to the event, especially for the professional creative market, which is, after all, not just the core but the bulk of the Mac user base. This year was no exception. However, once again, it was third-party developers to the rescue with just a vast amount of wildly significant and sometimes surprising announcements for professionals and semi-professionals alike.
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JANUARY 05, 2004
PageMaker to InDesign
An overview of Adobe's transition and a first look at InDesign CS PageMaker Edition
by David Nagel
Adobe today announced that it was halting development of PageMaker, the page-layout application the company acquired when it merged with Aldus Corp. about a decade ago. Adobe says it will continue to support users of PageMaker, but the focus of development has shifted over to InDesign, where the company is introducing a new add-on bundle to ease the transition to InDesign for PageMaker users. We'll take a first look today at the tools Adobe is providing for PageMaker users in the form of the InDesign CS PageMaker Edition and PageMaker Plug-in Pack.
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