Post Magazine

December 2014

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Page 47 of 51 46 POST DECEMBER 2014 CONTINUED FROM PG 30 OUTLOOK: AUDIO CONTINUED FROM PG 44 renderer. The addition of Python scripting in Max and a new point cloud object helps reverse this trend. It's just a shame that the point cloud object only supports Autodesk's Recap format and not Agisoft Photoscan. MUDBOX & MOTIONBUILDER Reality capture-based features spearhead this latest iteration of Motion- Builder. Highlights include direct support for motion capture via Microsoft's Kinect, and fl exible marker assignment for mapping motion capture onto characters that diff er from their real-world counterparts. The addition of a hundred stock animation moves and advanced camera options further develops MotionBuilder as a previs tool. Meanwhile Mudbox continues to build on the retopology tools added in last year's version, with new symmetry options, and gains workfl ow en- hancements with a new caliper tool and layer groups to organize complex sculpt and paint work. CONCLUSION This is one last time to have new versions of 3DS Max, Maya and Softimage together and fully leverage their interoperability. Combine that with a $1,570 price reduction for the suite, and this Ultimate package is certainly a worthwhile purchase for studios. REVIEW: AUTODESK ENTERTAINMENT CREATION SUITE ULTIMATE 2015 "Create New Search Bin From Query" icon, a standalone bin is placed into the project panel. The Search Bin contains an alias to the original fi le and no duplication of assets occurs. The Search Bin automatically updates if new assets are imported and any changes are refl ected in realtime throughout all Search Bins in your project. This is an intuitive way to utilize the power of metadata within the structured, organizational layout that editors have become so comfortable with. Additionally, eight new colored and movable markers give editors the ability to highlight moments in both the source panel and timeline with visual distinction and ease, and are now movable so they follow your edit in the timeline as you make adjustments. The Marker Panel is one of the most powerful organizational tools in the new release. It's the cornerstone of my logging process. Once I dump sequential raw footage into a timeline, I drop markers on the fi rst shot of every scene and label that marker with the scene number. Since the Marker Panel is searchable, if I want to go to a certain scene, I simply type the scene number into the search fi eld and the Marker Panel shows me just that scene. I click on the Marker thumbnail and it takes me to that section of the timeline. Simple, easy and fast. This version of Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 (8.1) has proven itself to be the best solution to my technical and creative challenges as a fi lmmaker. It is hands down the best nonlinear editor I've ever used. REVIEW: ADOBE PREMIERE PRO CC 2014 (8.1 CARAVAN) CONTINUED FROM PG 45 WEAKNESSES: "Our company is unique in that we service two diff erent sides of the audio business: short-format commercials and long-format fi lms and TV programs. A weakness that is ongoing with commercials and the advertising industry in general is that mix budgets and timelines have been getting tighter and more challenging, but expectations have remained the same. "Another weakness that's spawned by tighter timelines is the reduction of time for mentoring. Historically, mentoring has helped to breed an understanding of the art, power and importance of sound to clarify and communicate a message. If there's no time for mentoring, however, and no one learns this message, we run the risk of becoming an industry of individuals who won't be able to appreciate the diff erence between just-good-enough audio and a great use of audio." OPPORTUNITIES: "The sheer amount of new content being produced presents op- portunities not just for broadcast, but for all media platforms. The number of digital video viewers is still hugely increasing. One study showed that paid advertising on YouTube converts more customers than any other online platform. We're always looking to partner with the people creating that content, whether it's advertising or other types of programming and, in some instances, to create content of our own. "As home-theater platforms develop and people are watching more digi- tal content on their TVs (i.e. via Apple TV and Roku), and with the continuing increase in the quality of Internet streaming, there's an opportunity to raise the bar for what audio should be across the board (not just for broadcast). What was once deemed acceptable for a mix for digital content or looked at as, 'It's just for the Web,' won't be good enough anymore, and we see an opportunity for great audio to once again be appreciated and sought after. "Another opportunity is in the rise of personalized streaming radio usage (the number of listeners is projected to double from 2014 to 2015). Since this increase allows for a greater reach to varied, more targeted markets, more radio commer- cials are being created. We've also realized that diversifying our service off erings has created more audio-post opportunities. We started a production company (Mister:-|Face) and added an on-camera arm (Sidecar Casting) to our casting division and, through these outlets, more projects are created that are in need of sound. Technology has also allowed us to be more global, which has enabled us to expand our for- eign language casting capabilities and other projects." THREATS: "In the advertising industry, where we do much of our work, the biggest threat to an independent studio like ours is the in-house studio. As agencies put in their own facilities, a certain amount of work is immediately taken out of the regular marketplace. "And, unfortunately, while advancing technology presents opportunities, it also presents some threats. With technology now being cheaper and more accessible, more people can open a shop in our industry, despite the fact that these people may not always be as trained, artistic, creative, and discerning as it takes to be a really great sound designer or mixer." OUTLOOK FOR 2015: "In addition to the opportunities mentioned earlier, we're excited by the new mixing platforms that are developing, like Auro-3D and the newly scalable Dolby Atmos system, which is primarily for movie theaters at the moment, but is already showing up in home-theater technology. "Of course, in 2015, we expect the consumption of content on mobile devices to continue its consistent rise. Whether someone is watching videos, playing games, or just listening to music, with earphones in, they're all still listening to sound. We're ex- cited to explore new ways to mix for this market, particularly as the idea of 3D audio is further developed. "As we enter 2015, we also see more thought going into the pairing of audio and branding. Audio branding is something more and more companies seem to be seeking out. There are so many diff erent platforms now being utilized to enhance a brand experience, wherein audio branding can be eff ective, so it's becoming a more in-demand approach." CONTINUED FROM PG 37 OUTLOOK: VFX, ANIMATION & GRAPHICS have blown out for us. There's a more positive attitude now, and budgets are starting to re-infl ate a bit. There's also a proliferation of design work in broadcast. It ebbs and fl ows: I've seen it ramp up aggressively at least four times in the last 12 years. It's on the upswing again."

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