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Adobe Production Suite: December 2008 Archives

photoshop-3d-video-teaser.pngPhotoshop CS4 introduces a ton of new 3D capability, which, alongside its surprisingly decent video capabilities, positions it as a useful tool for 3D.  It goes beyond the Final Cut Studio's capabilities, but it's still worlds easier to use than most more ordinary 3D modeling software.  The main tradeoffs are extra render time, zero ability to actually create complex 3D models, and limited control over your finished scene.

PS CS4 provides two main advantages to video folks: it allows you to easily place simple 3D objects inside your video, and it allows you to map video to 3D primitives other than planes.  As an introduction to these features, today's tutorial will cover the basic process of mapping a video to a 3D shape within Photoshop.
I'm still going back and forth with some programmer friends on just how reckless I should be in
my approach to "simplifying" FLVs in iWeb, so I'm afraid I'll have to string you on for a bit longer on that article.  But rest assured -- I've not forgotten, and the Frame Controls article is coming up relatively soon as well.

In the meantime, here's a piece that's hopefully more useful than most "filler" -- the technical story behind Portable Network Graphics, or PNGs.  Read on for what they are, where they came from, and (most importantly) when they're a good idea in the video production workflow.
supercharging-compressor.pngYou can find more compression settings articles in our Supercharging Compressor series index.

You can be plenty good at video work if you only know that bigger bitrates are usually better -- but if you're going to be a guru when it comes to the quality of your video output, it's worth taking a closer look at the concept from the ground up.

Luckily, it's a fairly simple concept.  Let's take NTSC video as our example: 30 frames per second, each 720 pixels wide and about 480 high.  Each broadcast-safe pixel, in RGB space, could take up 235 values for each color (red green and blue), so it needs 24 bits of information to describe it.  If we were to try to store a second of NTSC-type video completely uncompressed using this bitmap scheme, we would need

30 * 720 * 480 * 24 = 248,832,000 bits, or about 30MB -- per second!

Try slapping THAT on YouTube -- or a DVD, for that matter.
letterimage.pngIn the old days of digital video, choosing text for titles and other supers was easy: Arial, Times, or Comic Sans - will "size 48" work?  But as the lines have blurred between all types of creative software, we video types are constantly getting more control over our text.  And that's a good thing: a professional approach to typography improves most video, and in some cases, makes or breaks the deal.

So here's a quick glossary of font-related terms, along with a handful of best practices.
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This page is a archive of entries in the Adobe Production Suite category from December 2008.

Adobe Production Suite: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Adobe Production Suite: January 2009 is the next archive.

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