Annual Madness Part 1

I’m certainly not going to turn this into a marketing board for anyone, but of course even I can’t evade the usual nonsense entirely and thus dutifully report some news from NAB – at least the ones I consider relevant. So what do we have here?

First some more free plug-ins from Red Giant Software to add to your arsenal and those being Colorista Free and LUT Buddy. Free is always good, but whether sticking to the Magic Bullet branding is, is another question.

On other ends, Adobe try to make an impression with new versions of their tools, this time wrapped into a "the glass is half full (or empty?)" inbetween release called CS5.5. As one would expect, there is lots of new stuff as there is just as much still wrong, but I won’t bore you with details. You can read all that on the Adobe site or Pro Video Coalition. So far public reaction has been mixed, but that’s nothing new, either. At least I can now look forward to the expression editing being fixed, something which massively scratches on my balls the more I have to use it in CS5. It really is a nightmare seeing your code explode with extra line breaks being inserted where you least need them….

In related news, and I really don’t know whether to file this in the "stupid trend-whore-ism" or "could be cool, after all" categories, Adobe also have released some touch apps to go hand in hand with Photoshop. Here’s the thing: I’ve always felt compassion for the poor saps on Star Trek with all those glossy touch surfaces and it’s no wonder they lose one battle after another to Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, the Dominion or the Borg – that’s what happens if you have to control a hard turn with a klunky finger swipe. By the time you say "We’ve been shot to hell!" you probably already really are. If you get my meaning: If you are struggling with stiction from sweaty fingers or those annoying sensory side effects like even the smoothest surfaces feeling like cheap cardboard after a while, then this would be more annoying than enjoyable, not to speak of even the slimmest tablet feeling heavy after a while. On the other hand, if there ever was a decent level of integration, computerized tablets could be the Wacom tablets of the next decade. By that I’m not referring to stupid finger painting apps or color mixers so crude, they make pushing sliders in 8bit values look like subtle brain surgery by comparison, but imagine if there was a true two-way connection that would make your canvas respond to your iPad‘s orientation, allow you to use use it as a host for Bridge to browse your collections, act as a store for brushes and presets etc.. That’s where things could get interesting, but we’re not there yet for any number of reasons.

And now see what you made me do! I wanted to write about NAB and went on pondering about Photoshop. So I guess we’ll have to try again later this week?! Should be interesting, now that rumours about Apple showing their new professional tools are getting firm as nipples do on ice cubes…

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