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Review n n n n R3D file compatibility and native AVC-Intra files from the popular Panasonic P2 cards. Probably the most robust new feature in After Effects CS5 is the new Roto Brush tool. Tis tool works similarly to the Quick Selec- tion tool in Photoshop, and can considerably help the process of cutting out foreground objects. In many ways, Roto Brush makes ro- toscoping a lot easier, and opens up rotoscop- ing to a much broader audience. For special effects artists, Adobe has bun- dled the DigiEffects FreeForm 3D warp- ing tool with After Effects CS5. Tis tool is similar to the 2D Meshwarp tool that was already part of After Effects, but with an add- ed dimension. Images and elements can be warped and stretched not only in 2D screen space, but also along a Z-axis to push things toward and away from the camera. Tis can help significantly when integrating flat, 2D content into a live-action 3D scene. Premiere Pro Premiere Pro CS5 probably experiences the greatest speed increase of the bunch, and most of the improvements are under the hood. Not only is the software full 64 bit, which gives it the requisite speed boost, but Premiere Pro also contains a new way to speed things up— and it is called the Mercury Playback Engine. Tis is a software mechanism that uses the GPU of a qualified graphics card to speed up playback by a significant amount. Tis tech- nology is built upon Nvidia’s CUDA paral- lel processing architecture and works with Nvidia’s Quadro cards as well as some of the higher-end GeForce cards. Te speed increase over CS4 is very no- ticeable and is most apparent when using multiple tracks and layers within Premiere Pro. Usually multiple layers would need to be rendered, but the hardware acceleration turns Premiere Pro into a real-time editing and effects system. Te higher-end Nvidia cards can support multiple HD streams with effects. Adding to the HD workflow are sup- port for new HD formats, such as R3D, as well as support for most of the HD files used in popular DSLR cameras. In terms of new features, Premiere Pro CS5 offers some nice enhancements. Prob- ably the most cutting-edge is the ability to Windows-32 /Windows-64 / OSX-32 /OS X-64 natively edit 3D stereoscopic content. Tis is done using the Cineform Neo3D plug-in, which offers features not found in any major nonlinear editing application. For those who do compositing in Premiere Pro, the new Ul- tra Keyer will help considerably with chro- ma-keying greenscreen shots and types of footage. Another nice workflow feature with Premiere Pro CS5 is the enhanced ability to exchange files with other popular video-edit- ing software, such as Avid systems and Apple’s Final Cut. Tis is nice because this version of Premiere actually takes quite a leap forward in speed and reliability, and even surpassing other nonlinear editors in raw power. Overall, the CS5 suite is a very good up- grade. Tose who skipped CS4 will appreci- ate the added speed and stability of CS5. Te new features also offer another incentive to upgrade. Adobe has stabilized and enhanced CS5 in all the right places. n George Maestri is a contributing editor for Computer Graphics World and president/CEO of RubberBug animation studio. He also teaches Maya for He can be reached at 32-bitonly $399 High Performance CameraTracking Use SynthEyes for animated critter insertion, fixing shaky shots, virtual set extensions, making 3Dmovies, architectural previews, accident reconstruction,virtual product placement, face and body capture, andmore. Includes Stereoscopic features used in AVATAR August/September 2010 47

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