12 September 2017

Final goodbye to Final Cut and Flash

Not a surprise to anyone, but Adobe is pulling the plug on Flash, the animation turned practically independent OS application originally developed by Macromedia. I have along history with Flash, and loved using it under Macromedia. When Adobe bought Macromedia, it was almost exclusively for obtaining Flash which it saw as the future standard of the internet and aggressively pushed it way beyond it's limits and original functions into a space no one asked for. They also pretty much abandoned all the other great Macromedia products, including Dreamweaver which had become the best WYSIWYG html editor around.

At first, mostly because of the advantages for flash video, the newer version caught on but quickly the hack-ability and lack of stability became apparent to anyone opening a Flash file. Steve Jobs notoriously banned the format from Apple's mobile devices and the long, slow death knell began to sound. HTML 5 and other new internet advances soon took over most of the functions only Flash could offer and to be frank, I haven't opened the program in about 5 years.

Sadder for me is the knowledge that the next Mac OS update will kill Final Cut Studio for once for all. I actually used it just last week to export a video in a format for Amazon Video Direct that Final Cut X can not do... for reasons I'll never understand and Amazon refuses to explain. The Final Cut debacle is well known and hate for the Final Cut Studio replacement isn't unfounded, or wasn't unfounded at the time. The application has changed a lot, bringing back old functionality and new better workflow over a slow development period but without demanding an upgrade fee in all that time. I still use some of the suite as well. While programs like the DVD creator and Colour have been obsolete for a long time now, Sound track Pro still has been very useful to me time to time. I have the new Motion X and it's a slight improvement over the studio version (why won't Apple give that software some real love?) but I haven't bought the new Compressor which exports to different formats... and I might have now that the old Final Cut will be no more. Adobe's premier Pro has become what Final Cut likely would have been in some respects but it's also stuck in older ideas about editing and part of the heinous Adobe Creative Cloud ripoff, so I won't be using that and keeping Final Cut X at the top of my video editing list for now.

05 September 2017

Recent photography work

I was recently in Colorado taking photos and the photo above shows the massive difference working in RAW can have on a final photo. The amount of detail that was extracted turned a nothing, dark boring image not something much more interesting.

One of the feature in Affinity Photo is the de-hazing filter and it's pretty amazing. Since I was running around taking photos of distant vistas, haze can be an asset but also a problem. This show the difference that filter can make. There is a lot of control over the strength  and look of it so it's up to you as to how much or little haze you want to get rid of.

I was also, with my brother's advice, able to finally crack the problems I was having with night shots. I was WAY overthinking what I needed to do and he had a simple solution for my most vexing problem - focusing at infinity and keeping it there when you can't see a thing because... well, because it's dark outside.

12 August 2017

The Oval Portrait

My first attempt at Edgar Allen Poe. This was challenging on several levels, mostly getting it done in a much quicker pace than I normally would so it could be presented to the "Another Hole in the Head" film festival before I leave for a photo voyage soon.

The original story is short and pretty basic, perfect for animation but it was pretty flowery in prose as a lot of Poe is so some of that had to be cut down and worked into something where the text isn't competing with the visuals to the point of being distracting.

This marks the 5th gothic horror animated short in a row that I've done and unless I can somehow start getting paid for them, I would like to switch to something more cartoon-y next as a break. I have plenty of other horror stories lined up so I doubt this will be the last but it's good to shake things up a bit!

08 August 2017

Boston Icons

One more for practice. These are sort of fun to do so expect more in future. 

03 August 2017

Some progress on my next animation - The Oval Portrait - based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe. I rendered the wife with an alpha channel and the painted in Affinity and Photoshop layers of the painting in progress, almost to completion. This will be projected on to the canvas as the artist works to give the impression time is passing.

01 August 2017

Iconic Montreal & Provincetown designs

Again, more practice in Affinity Designer and trying to keep my skills up until business picks up again!