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After Effects 5
Effects 5 is tailored to better address the needs of web design and
multimedia authoring, as well as video compositors and film makers.
As before, there will be two versions of the program - standard, costing
around £500, and a more advanced Production Bundle, costing around
The basic version allows projects to be exported as Macromedia Flash
files for the web. It also allows its two-dimensional layers to be manipulated
in three-dimensional space with adjustable animated lights and depth
of field. Parenting enables relationships to be established between
'Expressions' enables even more relationships to built between layers,
allowing modifications in one layer to affect the behaviour of another.
Masks can now be drawn directly into the composition window. Colours
can be assigned to masks for easy identification, and motion blur can
be added to them, too. New special effects in After Effects 5's toolbox
include Shatter, in which layers are destroyed; Radio Waves, which creates
a rippling effect; and Vegas, to produce tasteless running and flashing
The more expensive Production Bundle also offers Vector Paint tools
and 16-bit-per-channel colour output for film and high definition TV.
Optics Compensation enables lens distortion to be added to projects,
while Inner/Outer Key simplifies the process of making accurate masks
for keying objects. Look out for an early review of both versions.
Pro Mini DV
Following JVC's successful
professional MiniDV camcorder, sister company Panasonic is joining the
fray, with the AG-DVC200, sporting three 1/2in CCDs and changeable lenses.
As with JVC's first pro MiniDV model, the DV500, Panasonic's machine
sports a professional, calibrated lens with standard 1/2in mounts. Unlike
the JVC, however, it will have a working DV-input. Panasonic Broadcast,
0118 902 9210; www.panasonic-broadcast.co.uk
Canopus's budget DV editing card for Windows, EZDV, can now be bought
with Adobe Premiere 6 for an all-in price of £350 inc VAT.
The card itself is essentially a DVRaptor without the benefit of high-quality
hardware overlay. It is, we have found, just as stable, and just as
universally compatible with other hardware as its big brother. This,
coupled with the fact that Premiere on its own costs £480, makes
the package almost unbeatable for anyone taking the plunge and wanting
some pretty sophisticated editing tools.
Reviewed in April's
External FireWire drives
Dazzle Hollywood DV-Bridge
JVC GR DV-2000
In April's news:
Adobe After Effects 5
Panasonic Pro Mini DV
EZDV Grows Up