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Issue #02 May - June 09 25 AED, 2 KD

Pro Tools 8 Wacom Intuos 4

Audio, Video & Graphic Design

Tutorials Showcases INFORMATION & EDUCATION FROM THE MIDDLE EAST FOR THE MIDDLE EAST


CONTENTS 6 Welcome 8 Contributors 10 News 18 iLife ‘09 Garageband

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22 Review 8 Great Features of Pro Tools 8 28 Review Tc- Helicon Voice Live 2 32 3D Revolution 36 Know Optix Showcase

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Optix Digital Pictures

42 Review iLife’09 iMovie & iPhoto 48 3D Vision Hologram

Projection

Illustrator CS4

50 Review Adobe

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p36 omohyloid depressorlabii inferiors

chops

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orbicularis oculi depressor anguli orisoculi platysma

levator anguli oris buccinator zygomaticus major

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Private property exists within the boundary of the chops. Please respect property owner’s rights; Do not trespass without notable credentials.

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tilt your head to the right

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54 Tutorial 3D Effect in Illustrator 58 Tutorial

Our Cover

62 Review

Wacom Intuos 4

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66 Showcase Khaled Al Hamad 70 Showcase

Talal Obeid

76 Inspiration Shurooq Amin 78 Free Stuff

My Lovely Charts

‫اإلنتاج الموسيقى أصبح‬ ‫أكثر سهولة‬ Garageband ‘09

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‫الثورة ثالتية األبعاد‬

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‫ثالثية األبعاد الرؤية‬

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NOW AVAILABLE Boost Your Creativity with

Apple Ilife was generously provided by:


WELCOME A creative without a platform is like a singer without a stage. Every creative person needs a place of inspiration. A place he can stand out and show who he really is and what he is capable of. A singer, for example, can easily find a platform, a stage, to perform his art and be heard. But what about creatives? What is our stage, what is our platform? We sit and work day and night on designs, on ideas, put a lot of effort in learning new techniques to implement in our

next job. But who really knows us? Or whom do we know? Where can we find new inspiration and information? Media Production is the platform. The stage for all creatives, who want to stand out, who want to see and who want to know. With the May issue we expand our platform and start networking between Kuwait creatives and UAE creatives.

a platform to inspire Kuwaiti creatives like freelancer Talal Obeid, or AUK Student Khaled al Hamad and vice versa. Jason De Wild introduces the new Pro Tools 8 and Olivia Zechner shows you new tools, tips and tricks in Illustrator CS4. So let’s network, get to know each other and inspire each other. Till next issue.

Now UAE creatives like the team of Optix digital pictures have

Media Production

WISE WORDS Dear Passionate Readers, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” So we keep on saying and repeating, but are we truly implementing? Do we practice what we preach? A few weeks ago I wrote on my facebook’s status: “Zeina is back at multi-talking and loving it”. One of my friends sarcastically responded: “So you haven’t heard of the recession?” My response was: “Recession? What recession? Oh, you mean my new challenge?”

So there is a world recession! It is not the first time!!! The world has seen worse, and the world survived and came out of it stronger. No one expects life to go on smoothly, without any bumps and hurdles. So this time the bump is bigger and the hurdles need more effort to get past them, so what? Is our commitment not strong enough? Is our passion not focused enough? Months ago, at an art exhibition, I stood in front of a painting that

captivated me, it immediately spoke to me. It represented what I stand for……An authentic sail boat in the middle of a whirlwind…. And the first words that come to my mind were: In the eye of the hurricane…I keep standing, I keep sailing... Zeina Mokkadam GM PH7 Publishing & Advertising House


EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rya

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By Talal Obeid www.talalobeid.com

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Managers Hamad Al Saab Ali Sultan Content Ali Sultan PR and Client Relations Hamad Al Saab

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Project Manager Sylvia Voss Creative Director Ali Sultan Hamad Al Saab

Publishing and Advertsing ThinkTank Publishing & Creative House FZ-LLC

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IMPZ P.O. Box 485009 Circular Building, First Floor Office No. 105 Dubai, UAE Email: office@thinktank-me.com

Printed at Emirates Printing Press, Dubai Distributed by EPPD, Dubai


NEWS Access Virus TI2 Keyboard

  Access is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the Virus TI2 series. The successor of the acclaimed range of totally integrated synthesizers adds 25% more calculating power and sports a redesigned housing and front panel. We also used new materials to bring down the weight of the keyboard versions. On the software side of things, a major feature update, OS3, will be available by the time you read this. The new operating system adds several new FX such as a Tape Delay, Frequency Shifter and several new Distortion algorithms along with a new feature called Character.   Character allows you to adjust the overall tone of a preset reminiscent of several vintage and well-known synthesizers. In addition, you can emphasis certain aspects of the patch to allow it to cut better through the mix, or fade it into the background with an extra-wide stereo field.   The new distortions were built from scratch and feature an extreme dynamic range along with sophisticated controls to tailor the sound to your specific needs. They can add everything from warm, tubelike overtones to complete sonic deconstruction more reminiscent of circuit-bending. The new algorithms also include a revamped bit and sampling-rate reduction, allowing you to change the quality and cutoff point with precise, continuously variable control.  

The stereo Frequency Shifter and the new Ring Modulator are state-of-the art algorithms modelled with old ‘70s stomp boxes in mind.   The Tape Delay goes way beyond the possibilities of the real Tape Delays in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It smoothly syncs to tempo, lets you decide if a Doppler effect takes place when changing the tempo, and even switching the delay time between presets is all smooth, making it perfect for performers. Last but not least, a modification to the main “VCA” algorithm enables OS3 users to design gating FX known from electro and minimal influenced music.   Virus Control has received a completely redesigned user-interface thanks to various improvement requests over the last years. The plug-in now features a side chain input allowing you to mangle audio from a sequencer track with the FX and sound engine of the hardware Virus (for selected hosts only). The best news, however, is that OS3 is compatible with all legacy Virus TIs and the Virus TI Snow, thus enabling Access’ vast user base to update their existing instruments with all the new software features totally free of charge.   OS3 will be available immediately. The Virus TI2, which comes in the following flavours will also be available shortly after NAMM 2009.

Akai MPK-25 USB / MIDI Performance Keyboard   Portable performance and production. The Akai MPK-25 is a portable keyboard controller with MPC production controls. Based closely on the MPK49, the first keyboard ever to feature MPC pads, the Akai MPK-25 scales down the keyboard by 24 keys and retains the utility, capability, and flexibility that makes the MPK49 one of the world>s hottest keyboards. Its smaller, more portable size makes the Akai MPK25 the perfect travel companion. Its small footprint can fit in your lap on the couch or on a plane, enabling you to create tracks whenever inspiration strikes. All you need is your laptop and the Akai MPK-25. www.akaipro.com

Native Instruments Maschine

  Native Instruments Maschine combines the flexibility of computer-based music production with the ease of a groove box into one powerful creative tool. Utilizing onboard samples or your own audio files, Native Instruments Maschine’s symbiosis of hardware and software not only ensures a fast and fun workflow, but lets you easily turn your ideas into professional productions.


Lexicon I-Onix U-22 USB Interface   You care intensely about your music. It’s more than a pastime - it’s a passion. Lexicon understands your passion and it inspires us to innovate. Brilliantly designed, the Lexicon I-Onix U-22 Desktop Recording Series fits where it makes the most sense, between your keyboard and monitor. With all the level meters and gain controls at your fingertips, when using your DAW, you’ll wonder why no one ever thought of it before. Featuring newly designed dbx 60V high-voltage, ultralow noise mic preamps on both channels, the Lexicon I-Onix U-22 is more than equipped to provide professional recordings that keep your music sounding its best. The preamps run on a high-voltage supply to guarantee stability and provide you with a superior recording across a wide dynamic range. Performance driven A/D - D/A converters ensure pristine 24-bit/96kHz audio to capture every subtle detail of your performance. The Lexicon I-Onix U-22 can record two tracks at once and includes 2 combi-jack mic/line inputs

 

with +48V phantom power, 2 TRS balanced line outputs, a hi-Z instrument input, a 1/4” high power headphone output, and MIDI I/O. Dedicated knobs and meters offer easy access to input and output levels and locking combi-jacks make sure that a connection is not lost in the middle of a performance. The Lexicon name is synonymous with “the world’s best reverb.” The Pantheon™ II VST/ AU reverb plug-in features 6 reverb types with 16 adjustable parameters, and 35 factory presets that range from Vocal to Live Sound and Special Effects. It’s easy to complete your mix and make your music sound its best with the exquisitely rich, full reverbs that made Lexicon famous. No compromise performance - ergonomic brilliance. www.lecixon.com

Native Instruments Guitar Rig Mobile

  Native Instruments Guitar Rig Mobile brings together an ultra-portable, bus-powered 24bit / 192 kHz audio interface with the powerful selection of amps, cabinets and effects from the GUITAR RIG 3 LE modelling software. The result: perfect custom tone anytime and anywhere you want.

The Lexicon I-Onix U-22 Key Features:   • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

USB 2.0 Desktop Recording Studio 44.1kHz to 96kHz sample rates, 24-bit resolution Pantheon II VST/AU reverb plug-in with 6 legendary Lexicon reverbs dbx® 60V high-voltage, ultra-low noise microphone preamps Superior sonic performance 2 analog combi-jacks for mic/line inputs 2 analog 1/4» TRS balanced outputs Zero latency monitoring Low latency ASIO drivers Streamlined monitor form factor puts all recording controls at your fingertips Separate level meters and gain control per channel 1 side panel 1/4» instrument input 1 side panel headphone output with dedicated volume adjustment MIDI in and out

Focusrite Plug-In Suite The Focusrite Plug-In Suite provides a collection of EQ, Compression, Reverb and Gating VST/AU plug-ins from one of the most prestigious names in pro audio. The Compressor and Gate have been modeled on Focusrite>s hardware devices, using the measurement of Focusrite>s custom optos to achieve a vintage optical sound. The EQ module delivers a similar signature to the original Focusrite ISA EQ curves, and the reverb is based on classic studio designs and has been developed to allow users to get the right reverb sound with the minimum effort.

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NEWS Motu BPM Sound libraries these days are awash with loops. And what is a loop, exactly? Someone else’s beat. Isn’t it time to take back creative ownership over your grooves?

Shure PG-27

  Designed with a flat frequency response for natural reproduction, the Shure PG-27 side-address cardioid condenser microphone features a large diaphragm and a high SPL threshold that handles a wide variety of acoustic, amplified and vocal sound sources - with professional clarity and guaranteed Shure quality in every application. The Shure PG-27 includes a Stand Adapter and Zippered Pouch.  

The Shure PG-27 Key Features:   • • • • • • •

Cardioid Condenser Side-address microphone for instrument and vocal recording applications Features large diaphragm capsule provides wider dynamic range for clear highs and strong lows Flat, neutral frequency response for natural reproduction of sound sources High SPL handling of acoustic, amplified and vocal sound sources -20dB switchable attenuator for additional SPL versatility

Isn’t it time to once again release your own unique, inspired beats on the world? If only you had a rhythm production instrument that let you program beats as fast as your mind can “hear” them. There just hasn’t been anything even close...until now.

music styles. Sample your own drum sounds directly into BPM’s drum pads, or simply drag and drop clips from your computer desktop, to add infinite possibilities to your own, unique sound. Add further punch with BPM’s Drum Synthesizer. Combine unlimited sample layers per pad with programmable layer switching. Now add guitar, bass and other multi-sample instrument sounds from BPM’s included library, MachFive or any other MOTU or UVI sample instrument library. www.motu.com

Experience the ultimate Beat Production Machine BPM unites drum machine-style operation with advanced virtual instrument technology to give you the ultimate rhythm programming experience. Combine drum kits, sequenced patterns, sliced loops and instrument sounds to realize your rhythmic vision, mixing and matching any playing style with any drum kit. Or plug in your pad controller or MIDI keyboard to capture your live, groovequantized performance directly in BPM.

Explore a universe of new sounds Browse BPM’s vast 15 GB sound library of expertly recorded and mastered 24-bit 96 kHz rhythmic material for urban, R&B, hip hop, techno, electro, house, pop, rock and other

SM Pro Audio V-Rack

  Based around the recently developed Powered by VFX hardware platform, VST and VSTi plug-ins can be loaded directly into SM Pro Audio V-Rack. The SM Pro Audio V-Rack is a powerful and unique product designed to provide musicians, engineers, producers and guitarists performance products they can rely on. The SM Pro Audio V-Rack offers VST/VSTi plug-in compatibility in a standalone hardware unit, without the need for a standard PC/Mac computer!


Alesis Master Control Firewire Recording System and DAW Controller

 

Control Room Management Alesis MasterControl’s built-in speaker switching enables you to easily switch between multiple sets of monitor loudspeakers for ease of mix-accuracy checks. An internal talkback microphone enables easy communication with musicians while tracking. The dedicated talkback microphone can be engaged from the control surface or using an optional footswitch.  

Audio Processing

Alesis MasterControl features 114 dB, 24-bit, 192 kHz multi-channel digital-to-analog converters. Alesis MasterControl’s uncompromising DAC system begins with digital de-emphasis, ATAPI channel mixing, digital-interpolation filtering, and an oversampled delta-sigma modulator. Audio is fed to the differential analog outputs through a multi-element switched-capacitor stage with low-latency IIR lowpass filtering.  

System Compatibility

Alesis MasterControl is an HUI+ control surface, meaning that it is uniquely programmable with HUI and Mackie Control compatibility for use with all popular DAWs, virtual instruments, and other audio software on Mac and PC. www.alesis.com   The Alesis MasterControl eliminates your need for individual analog and digital audio interfaces, speaker switching and routing units, mixing and transport-control surfaces, hardware volume controls, and more. The only piece of gear you need to input all of your sources into your DAW; the only piece of gear you need to control recording and editing; and the only piece of gear you need to run professional tracking and mixing sessions is Alesis MasterControl. We even throw in two powerful recording and production programs: Steinberg Cubase LE 4 and Ableton Live Lite 7.  

Master Audio Interface

Alesis MasterControl is a 24-bit, 192kHz, high-resolution, low-latency audio interface. It is capable of nearly any input type and quantity, with a flexible and generous output section. It features low-latency FireWire computer connectivity for Mac and PC. The single cable carries all audio and control data from MasterControl to your DAW. Alesis MasterControl contains eight analog inputs. Inputs one and two offer XLR connection, high-definition, discrete-design preamplifiers, 48V phantom power, and

channel inserts. Inputs three through eight contain 1/4” TRS, line jacks. MasterControl’s input section can be expanded handle up to 26 simultaneous inputs, including dual ADAT Lightpipe, coaxial, and optical S/PDIF. Six analog outputs and 16-channel MIDI I/O further extend MasterControl’s impressive I/O capabilities.  

Extensive Control Surface

Alesis MasterControl contains hands-on controls for confidently running tracking and editing sessions. Multiple banks of assignable controllers enable access over 50 software parameters in real time. Nine touch-sensitive, 100mm, motorized, capacitive Alps faders deliver the hands-on mixing experience that mixing in software with a mouse simply cannot rival. Alesis MasterControl has eight assignable knobs that access three control banks each and two banks of eight assignable buttons that access two control banks each. A large, dedicated display provides real-time visual feedback of all actions, and preview button allows safe audition of controls prior to sending commands to the DAW.

Alesis GuitarLink Record your guitar direct   Alesis GuitarLink makes it easy to direct-connect nearly any guitar, bass, or other line-level audio source to USB for mono recording. The AudioLink Series USB-audio cable outputs studio quality 16-bit, 44.1 kHz digital audio thanks to its internal analog-to-digital conversion system. GuitarLink connects plug-and-play to your Mac or PC for an all-in-one USB audio solution. www.alesis.com 

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NEWS Realtime Pitchshifting PlugIn for ProTools Korg microKorg XL Synthesizer and Vocoder   Meet the new Korg microKorg XL. For years, the microKorg has been the world’s top-selling synthesizer. Now, the Korg microKorg XL is ready to join the Korg line-up. Based on the same winning combination of a small footprint, mini-keys, battery-powered portability and huge Korg sound, the Korg microKorg XL is ready to expand your musical vocabulary. The fun factor is huge, too. A gooseneck microphone is included for instant vocoding excitement, right out of the box! www.korg.com

zplane development, a leading research based company in audio announces a new commercial product, the Elastique Pitch Plug-In for Real Time Pitch Shifting. With a plug-in interface designed to allow quick and intuitive interaction with all parameters, elastique is designed to be the optimal plug-in for pitch correction in film and video conversion applications, for sound design and for adjusting pitch in recording and rehearsal sessions.

it is integrated in various host applications. By releasing this plug-in, we ensure that the well-known quality of our engine is now accessible by many more professionals”, said Alexander Lerch, CEO of zplane.

“Our elastique pitch shifting engine is already used by millions of users around the globe, as

www.zplane.de

AKG Perception 820 Tube   The brand-new AKG Perception 820 Tube delivers real tube sound quality. It is not only the new flagship model of the Perception Series, but also raises the bar in its class of affordable tube microphones. In contrast to many other affordable tube microphones, the AKG Perception 820 Tube delivers real tube sound quality, thanks to the dual

one-inch large diaphragm capsule and the sophisticated ECC 83 dual-triode circuitry. The elegant remote control unit allows selection of 9 different pickup patterns and controls the switchable bass-cut filter and the attenuation pad. Moreover, a ground lift switch prevents unwanted hum if necessary. It comes complete with a spider-type shock mount and a metal carrying case. AKG’s industry-leading Perception Series of condenser microphones are recognized for their outstanding quality and versatile capabilities at an affordable price. The AKG Perception 820 Tube raises the bar in its class - It shows real tube sound, the highest dynamic range, the most comprehensive features and comes complete with useful accessories at an unbeatable price. www.akg.com


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NEWS

NIKON D5000 DIGITAL SLR CAMERA Nikon’s D5000 digital SLR camera expands possibilities for photo and hd video creativity with d-movie mode, vari-angle lcd monitor and 19 automatic scene modes Nikon introduced the new D5000, a digital SLR camera with a host of features and capabilities that deliver superior performance and image quality along with amazing versatility for photo enthusiasts and those new to digital slr photography. Leveraging Nikon’s expertise and innovative technologies found in its pro-level d-slrs, the 12.3-Megapixel D5000 enables users to capture exceptionally stunning images and high definition video with remarkable ease. Whether consumers are progressing from a point-and-shoot digital camera, or looking to upgrade their current digital slr and elevate their photographic expression, the D5000 serves as an ideal solution. First time D-SLR photographers will appreciate logical and easy-to-use controls, while creative enthusiasts will appreciate the D5000’s robust combination of features, technologies

All-Around Assistants For iPhone When you want to save your pennies or simply dislike bouncing around from app to app, consider the Swiss Army Knife photo helpers. My favorite in this category is Photo Buddy ($1.99). It’s a terrific app with a well-designed interface, that includes sunrise and sunset times; exposure calculations based on scenes; an interactive depth-of-field and hyperfocal calculatorflash exposure calculations; a grayscale ramp to help set white balance in your photos; and more. If I could only have one of all the apps mentioned in this article, Photo Buddy would be my choice.

and performance. The D5000 boasts a versatile 2.7-Inch vari-angle lcd monitor that encourages shooting with a fresh perspective, Nikon’s revolutionary d-movie mode and expanded automatic scene modes, delivering superior Nikon innovation in a compact, user-friendly design. “The Nikon D5000 represents a cornerstone in Nikon’s D-SLR line, marrying simplicity and instructive features with superior technology and hd video, allowing the user’s ability and creativity to grow—with the camera,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for marketing, slr system products at Nikon inc. “While its easy-to-use design will attract first-time d-slr photographers, the D5000’s rich feature set and high performance will also appeal immediately to more experienced enthusiasts. The D5000 is sure to inspire creativity and originality.”

www.Nikon.com

New Canon EOS 50D Firmware Update now Available to Download Canon released a firmware update for the EOS 50D Digital SLR. This update, firmware version 1.0.6 adds support for the AF assist beam feature of the new Speedlite 270 EX flash, changes the error indications that are displayed on the camera, and addresses the vertical banding noise phenomenon.

Firmware Version 1.0.6 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.0.5. If the camera>s firmware is already Version 1.0.6, it is not necessary to update the firmware. http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/firm-e/ eos50d/firmware.html


Corel Painter 11 Corel® Painter™ is the world’s most powerful Natural-Media® software. Expand your creativity with Painter 11, the most inventive digital painting software on the market. By adding Painter to your workflow, you gain a full art studio that gives you the tools to create unprecedented artwork. Digital art tools let you experiment with colour theory, composition and brush strokes, without the toxins, mess and expenses associated with traditional art. Support for the entire Wacom® product line, including industry-leadingCintiq® interactive pen displays and Intuos® drawing tablets, gives you the most responsive digital painting experience so your hand and brush work fluidly as one. Customizable paper textures give your art added artistic undertones, plus a level of texture and detail that no other digital painting or photo-painting tools can produce. Painter is changing what’s possible in art. Now it’s your turn.

Enhance the Creative Process • • •

Enhanced Artistic Media reproduce the texture of their real-life counterparts and intensify colour with each stroke Pen and drawing tablet (recommended), combined with Painter’s RealBristle™ brushes, recreate the natural interaction between hand and canvas New Hard Media Controls let you create your own hard media variants, or choose from new hard media variants in the Brush Library

Go Beyond the Digital Darkroom

Shuttle X 5000TA Compact PC with Touch Screen The X 5000TA merges energy-efficient technologies with innovative operation. A touch screen of 15.6 inch in size and an Intel dual-core Atom 330 processor (2x 1.6 GHz) as its heart characterize this 3.6cm thin innovation. With a webcam, wifi, microphone and speakers already built in, the X 5000TA can even be mounted to walls or monitor arms using a VESA mounting set. For immediate use out-of-the-box Windows Vista Home Basic is pre-installed. A wellthought-out concept - the all-in-one PC from Shuttle. www.shuttle.eu

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Improved colour recognition for files imported from Adobe® Photoshop®, and individual colour profiles per document, make your colors more precise Photo-painting tools with SmartStroke™ technology let you creatively transform reality Customizable surface texturing gives your art a level of fantasy and detail that other photo and painting software can’t deliver

Learn from Unlimited Experimentation • • •

Digital art tools let you experiment with colour theory, composition and brush strokes without the toxins, mess and expenses associated with traditional art New Hard Media controls give you the flexibility to play around to find the exact look you desire Smart composition tools, such as Divine Proportion and the Rule of Thirds and Fifths, help you visually arrange your canvas to create perfect compositions

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Music

Production on the Road With iLife09, Apple introduces the new Garageband 09, an easy to use audio editing and recording software.

F

or the ones who are not familiar with the Garageband application, here are some information. Garageband is a multi- track audio and midi production software, that ships with the iLife package. Apple users seem to underestimate Garageband, specially when they are used to professional software such as Logic and Pro Tools. I don’t want to compare these applications with Garageband, but some projects simply don’t need a full studio to be done. I’m thinking of podcasts, demo recordings, simple audio editing or simply productions for singer-songwriters. With Garageband’s user-friendly interface, a pool of tools and a library of hundreds of sounds, like pianos, keyboards, drums, strings, guitar, synthesizer, pad sounds and


REVIEW Garageband 09

This feature is also found in other known professional applications such as Ableton Live and the Dr.Rex device in Reason. This is one of the many very strong features in Garageband. Of course you can record audio with Garageband as well, which rounds up all the basic features. I don’t want to talk about what Garageband can’t do, but what Garageband can do. With every release, Apple focuses on a different aspect of music production. Garageband 09 focuses in this version on realistic guitar sounds. Apple computers always had a head start when it comes to low latency and performance. Now that the processors are much faster, it was the only right direction to target real-time sound processing. much more, you basically have all you need for producing your own music. Garageband’s sounds are organized in a sound library in sections and are available either as audio loops or midi loops. The midi loops are obviously synced to the song tempo, with the option of changing the sound. That means you can take a midi sample from the guitar section, place it on a track and simply change the track instrument to a piano and you have a piano playing the guitar melody. The audio samples and loops obviously don’t have the option of changing the sound, but they can be synced to the song tempo.

The biggest new feature is the new Guitar Amp Interface. This is not a very new feature actually, but with new sounds, effects and the new user interface, Apple gives guitarists everything they need to record nice, natural electric guitar tracks. The Guitar Amp interface comes with 37 guitar combo presets. Each one can be customized according to the user’s needs and taste. Each preset includes an Amp and up to 5 stamp boxes connected in serial. Editing the preset is as easy as intuitive. To change the amp click on the arrows located

All new features like Guitar Tracks and Learn to Play can be accessed from the template window.

to the left and the right of the amp. This gives you a choice between the 5 different amps models, modeled after Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Vox, Fender Combo and Tweed amps. To adjust the amps you can also adjust Gain, Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence, Master, Output, Reverb, Tremolo Rate, and Tremolo Depth. None of theses features I would expect from a free software. Normally you would record a guitar and apply amp simulations and effects in the mixing process. Garageband lets you play these amp models live. Now you can play and record your favorite guitar sound as if you own the actual amps.

TIP

To add a stamp box, drag and drop the desired stamp box from the library onto an empty spot. To replace one drag a stamp box from the librabry and drop it onto an existing one.

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REVIEW Garageband 09

GarageBand ’09 includes the first basic guitar and piano lessons. You can obtain eight additional free lessons

The only down point is, that non of the guitar knobs can be controlled by a midi controller, which means that you have to use the mouse every time you want to adjust something on your amp, or your stamp box. But this shouldn’t be much of a problem, since we are getting all these sounds basically for free.

Musical Education I think one of the main reasons why Garageband is not so widely used, is that in order to use it, you need some basic musical education or at least the capability to play an instrument. Apple realized that and included the feature “Learn to Play”. GarageBand ’09 includes the first basic guitar and piano lessons. You can obtain

eight additional free lessons for each instrument, by choosing the Lesson Store entry in the New Project window, selecting the “Basic Lessons” tab, and then clicking the “Download” button next to the lessons you want to download from the Internet. Artist lessons are obtained similarly, but cost $5 each. Unfortunately, these lessons work only on Intel Macs with a dual-core processor, though the rest of GarageBand ’09 works with PowerPC-based Macs. I actually like that Apple introduces users to making music. For me the lessons are too basic, since I studied music, but my business partner who was with me when I first started Garageband, was amazed and was keen on starting the lessons right away.

Conclusion Garageband is an easy to use audio and midi production tool. With high-quality sounds and effects, it is a valuable piece of software that comes on every new mac, for free. I advice every musician, blogger and even filmmaker who want easy, fast and foremost high quality audio sound for their productions to give Garageband 09 a shot. The straight forward and intuitive interface gives less experienced users a quick start and experienced users a new toy to play with. Staff Writer

For more information visit www.apple.com


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8 Great Features of Pro Tools 8 With Pro Tools 8, Digidesign have taken a huge leap forward. Not since the introduction of surround sound into Pro Tools, has there been such an overhaul of the system. There are no less than 150 pages of new features. We look at 8 “wow� features to see how it all stacks up.


REVIEW Pro Tools 8

With Pro Tools 8, Digidesign are back, with the majority of new features aimed squarely at the music production market.

The New Look Pro Tools

ro Tools in recent years has had increased competition – especially in the music production market. People were beginning to move away from Pro Tools, in favour of programs such as Apple Logic Pro 8. Logic Pro 8 came with all the great features that historically you had to pay extra for in Pro Tools – great software instruments, samplers, drum machines, loops and effects, and that was appealing to those who wanted an “all singing, all dancing” music production workstation. But with Pro Tools 8, Digidesign are back, with the majority of new features aimed squarely at the music production market.

Pro Tools has had a major facelift, and the whole GUI has been “modernised”. The Mix Window is a much darker grey, with a new look to the meters, faders, pan, inserts, and buttons. “Stunning” is the word I would use. However, if dark grey is not your thing, you can customise the colour of each channel strip in the Mix Window. For example make all of your drum tracks blue, your vocal tracks green, and so on, so that it is easy to see which tracks in your session belong together.  The Edit Window also looks different. Buttons all have a smoother, rounded finish that is very pleasing. It now also includes a Universe View, and allows you to quickly and easily navigate your way around the session. The framed area shows where you are in the Edit window, and by clicking the Universe View it updates the Edit window at the same time. The Edit Window gives you customisation of the Toolbar, so that you can determine where and what is displayed. So you can have your transport to the left, the Tools in the middle and your locators to the right of the Toolbar. The choice is yours.

New Instruments Finally, straight out of the box, Pro Tools 8 ships with no less than 6 Instruments to get your creative compositional juices flowing. This is a major thing for this version, and it really has been long overdue. Of particular note is the Mini Grand. This has seven selectable piano models with an astounding 8 velocity layers per key!!! We are talking some seriously great piano sounds here. 

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Finally, straight out of the box, Pro Tools 8 ships with no less than 6 Instruments to get your creative compositional juices flowing. Effects – Lots Of Them Up until now, I’ve always been a little disappointed with the included Pro Tools effects. But with Version 8, there is a mammoth array. There’s a new bunch of EQs and reverbs courtesy of the Creative Collection set of plug ins. Reverbs include a Spring Reverb and even a Non Linear Reverb for those big, gated 80’s reverbs that seem to be coming back into fashion again. There’s a whole set of new delay-based effects too. The coolest is the Dynamic Delay, a ducked echo effect that stays out of the way when a signal is present, then fades in. This works great on vocal tracks for those “last word repeats… repeats… repeats…”.

You want drums? You got them!!! Pro Tools 8 includes Boom – a pattern based drum machine similar to what you see on classic drum machines. With 10 drum kits and significant sound shaping capability, you will be thumping along in no time (or in time, actually).  As part of Pro Tools 8, there is Xpand!2. This is a synth that comes packed with 1.5 Gigbytes of content, giving you instant access to keyboards, orchestral sounds, guitars, basses and loops. Other instruments included with Pro Tools 8 are DB-33 – a tonewheel organ, Structure Free – a sample player, and Vacuum – an analog synth.

But there’s more. Distortions, Wahs, a Talkbox effect, an Enhancer and Stereo Width Effect – all part of the new version. There’s also a bunch of effects that previously you had to pay extra for. Maxim, Sci-Fi, Lo-Fi, Recti-fi and Vari-fi are all part of Pro Tools 8. You even get Sansamp and Eleven Free (guitar amp simulators).

LE Gets More Tracks Pro Tools LE was always a bit restrictive in that you could only have 32 tracks going at once. With Pro Tools LE version 8, you get 48 tracks in full stereo. That’s a total of 96 voices. If that wasn’t enough, you also have the ability to have WAV, AIFF and SDII (Mac only) all co-existing in the one session, without the need to convert them. The only


REVIEW Pro Tools 8

restriction is that they must all be the same sample rate and bit depth. The other good bit of news for LE users is that it supports 96 KHz sampling rate. That means you can more easily switch between HD and LE systems for a project.

Comping Performances Creating “perfect” performances is now easier than ever with the new track comping features. This allows you to record multiple takes of a performance and then be able to view them as separate Playlists in the Edit Window. You can then select which parts of which take you liked, and copy them up to the main track.  This feature is a drastic improvement on previous versions, but there still could be some room for improvement here. It’s a little clunky and switching between takes is cumbersome. I would have like to see some way of previewing your comped track before committing it to the main track.

MIDI Editing Takes a Giant Leap Pro Tools and MIDI have not always been the best of friends, and there has been criticism in the past with the way that Pro Tools handled MIDI. Times have changed!  Firstly, you get a whole new MIDI Editor Window. An outstanding feature is that you can view notes across different tracks at the same time, as the notes are superimposed on one another. Each track appears as a different colour. This is fantastic for comparing and editing the notes across multiple tracks. You can more easily spot timing problems, note clashes, doubled notes and so on.

Pro Tools and MIDI have not always been the best of friends, and there has been criticism in the past with the way that Pro Tools handled MIDI. Times have changed!

You can also view velocity and any other MIDI controller data as separate “lanes” at the bottom of the MIDI Editor. You can add as many lanes as you want, enabling you to have a great overview of all your controller messages.

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REVIEW Pro Tools 8

Mixing In The Fast Lane For mixing, Pro Tools 8 lets you view your automation in separate “lanes” underneath the main audio. Previously, you could only view one automation parameter at a time, but now they can be viewed all together. Just create a new “lane” on your Edit window and select the automation you want to view. There’s also 10 insert slots available per channel, so there is plenty of space to insert effect after effect for some truly unheard of sonic possibilities.

Score There is now a whole new Score Editor. This displays your MIDI/ Instrument tracks as musical notation, with a variety of layout options. You can do all of your MIDI editing on this window, print out the score, and even export it to Sibelius music notation software for further refinement.  The new version of Pro Tools is amazing. It is still by far the best audio editing software around, and with its new music production features, it is taking a big bite of the apple. Jason de Wilde is a freelance music producer and engineer based in Australia. He has also lectured extensively on audio engineering and Pro Tools.

Jason de Wilde is a senior management professional with Australian and international experience in managing Audio and Creative Media educational facilities. Starting out in 1989 as a part time audio lecturer, Jason has progressed to become General Manager of SAE Sydney, SAE Singapore and most recently SAE Dubai, as well as a variety of senior lecturing roles in the SAE Institute network. Jason was also the Managing Director of Studios 301 during the transitional phase when SAE first took over the studio, and during the construction phase of the new facility. SAE Institute Dubai was the first Creative Media College in the Middle East and Jason was responsible for establishing and growing the college into an internationally recognised training institute. Throughout his entire career, Jason has been a freelance music producer/engineer and has a wealth of studio experience. Jason de Wilde

Jason commenced working for the Australian Institute of Music in 2009 and is currently involved in establishing a new degree program

www.jasondewilde.com

to be offered in 2010.


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Harmony Will Set You Free Tc Helicon Introduced At The Musikmesse 2009 In Frankfurt Its New Wonder Weapon For Singers; Voice Live 2.

V

oice Live 2 was designed to support vocalists and solo performers on stage to provide them with amazing features such as compressor, de-esser, gate, harmonizer and equalizer, to give more room for experimenting with vocals, live. Looking at it from a keyboarder point of view I would say: �nothing special, heard about it before�. Well, this is just the keyboarder point of view. Giving it some thought and seeing a demonstration of Voice Live 2, I realized that this is not a keyboard playing but a guitar. And what amazed me even more, that the harmony effect processed on the lead vocal follows the cord played by the guitar, thanks to the new Neutral Play Harmony effect, perfectly. This made me take a closer look at the TC Helicon Voice Live 2.


REVIEW TC- Helicon Voice Live 2

Voice Live 2 was designed to support vocalists and solo performers on stage, to give more room for experimenting with vocals, live.

performer needs to be connected and deliver technically a high-quality signal. The MIDI trio is used to connect a MIDI keyboard to control the vocal harmonizer. The USB interface is used for backup and audio streaming. But let’s have a closer look at the effect quality and workflow of the Voice Live 2 device. On the top left you find the Tone, Pitch and Guitar FX buttons.

Let’s start with a quick overview of the key features: The extruded aluminum and steel chassis gives the device a high quality feel and look. All buttons to control are located on the front the device plus a 192 x 64 Blue STN LCD, white back light display. On the back, you find balanced analogue inputs such as: Mic.: XLR, Line: 1/4” phone jack, Guitar: 1/4” phone jack, Aux: 1/8” stereo mini jack with an A/D conversion of 24 bit, 128 x oversampling bitstream. With this conversion you can be sure that no digital noise is heard on your vocal track. I will explain the functions of these inputs further down in the article.

The tone button triggers the adaptive compressor, EQ, de-esser and the auto gate. The focus here is on the words “adaptive” and “auto”. For audio engineers it is common sense that you set the compressor’s threshold, ratio and gain, tweak the EQ a bit, set your gate and de-esser and you are good to go. The question now is what does “adaptive” and “auto” mean? It basically means, your level of compression, EQ and gate is constantly adjusted to the given sound surrounding.

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TC HELICON VOICELIVE 2 FLOOR BASED VOCAL PROCESSOR FEATURES TC HELICON VOICELIVE 2 FLOOR BASED VOCAL PROCESSOR FEATURES • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Make amazing, realistic harmonies right on stage Stomp box access to six effect blocks One button access to global tone, pitch and guitar effects Control harmonies with guitar, MIDI or MP3 input Up to eight voices with MIDI keyboard control or 4 doubled harmonies Global effects including tone, pitch correction, and guitar effects Adaptive gate reduces mic input when you’re not singing Mic or Line input with digital controlled mic gain Guitar input with auto-mix, guitar effects as well as transparent pass-thru Stereo XLR,1/4-inch and Headphone outputs MIDI in, out and thru Expression pedal input USB for updates, back-up and audio streaming Extruded aluminum and steel chassis

As analogue output you find balanced XLR and 1/4” phone jack and a D/A conversion of XLR and 1/4” phone jack. Furthermore you find a coax digital I/O, a pedal connector, a MIDI trio and an USB connection. So basically everything a live

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REVIEW TC- Helicon Voice Live 2

Steps creates sub settings in a preset. Simply press on the step button, make your settings, press on steps again and you created a new step in a preset. The steps are available instantly and can be used for your performance. performance. This is a very useful feature and adds lots of value to the work flow with this machine. Now that we have all technical information together, there is only one thing we need to know. HOW DOES IT SOUND? First, let me say that processed harmonies never sound like real harmonies. Why?, because harmonizers use only one voice to create harmonies, which is like an overdub recording. The timing of the harmonies is the same as the key signal used to trigger them as well. These are factors which can’t be changed and give the whole effect a rather static feel.

This ensures that you have no bleed coming from the band into the microphone and changing your sound. The pitch button activates the pitch correction effect. To be honest, I am not a big fan of pitch correction, because I think it takes away the natural feel from the performance, but Voice Live 2 offers different levels of pitch correction from subtile correction all the way to very heavy pitch correction, which gives you the famous “Cher” voice effect. The Guitar FX button activates guitar effects which are separated from the voice effects. In my opinion, this is a very useful feature for solo performers, who might not have a sound engineer on board and who want or simply need to control their vocal and guitar sound themselves.

The Effects The harmonizer offers a set of 8 harmony voices, which can be controlled by using

a MIDI keyboard. If you are using an audio input as a key for your harmonizer, Voice live 2 gives you 4 harmony voices, which can be unoson doubled to achieve the 8 harmony voices. When I say audio input I don’t mean the guitar signal only. Voice Live 2 offers a aux input that can be used for any kind of sound source. Wether it’s an mp3 player, CD player or any device with an unbalanced aux output, Voice Live 2 detects the played cords and creates always the right harmonies for your performance.

Customizing Presets To give the vocal performance more variety Voice Live 2 incorporates a feature called steps. for example, Steps creates sub settings in a preset, so you don’t have to sing an entire song with background vocals. Simply press on the step button, make your settings, press on steps again and you created a new step in a preset. The steps are available instantly and can be used for your

On the other hand, the quality of the harmonies is not questionable. Voice Live 2 sounds extremely professional, the harmonies sound very human, not pitchy at all, the effect quality is typical TC Helicon, super high-quality.

Conclusion Voice Live 2 is a very straight forward and easy to use effect device, which is a true enhancement for solo performers, who are looking for an all-in-one solution for professional sound and live effects. With the list price of 880 Euros, it is a very reasonable solution as well. I advice every singer, singer-songwriter, or solo performer to take a closer look at the TC Helicon Voice Live 2 and try it for themselves. Once you play with it I am sure you want to own it. Staff writer

For more information please visit: www.tc-helicon.com


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3D

Revolution Even before the golden era of 3D film began (when the first colour stereoscopic feature was released in 1952!!) and audiences donned pairs of cardboard glasses, researchers were trying to find new ways of presenting images in 3D space.

A

lthough stereoscopic projection brought 3D to the masses, it is holography that has promised for so long to create the holodeck of our dreams and new technology is now emerging that is finally making holography possible and, more importantly, accessible. The new screen based systems offer exciting opportunities for both companies and designers, and the UAE has become a hub for the emerging technology with a number of high profile events incorporating it for various applications.

Auto-Stereoscopy Auto-Stereoscopy is a process where 3D images can be viewed without the user needing any special glasses or headgear. So how exactly can the effect of depth perception be achieved by a flat surface?

You may think the approach would be very complicated but the technique is just an advance on the principles of the stereoscope, which was invented almost 200 years ago! The screen projects multiple stereo images (See Figure 1), which are received by the users left and right eyes, and the subtle differences between the images trick the brain into constructing a 3D image. Auto-stereoscopic 3D displays such as the Philips WOWvx range are now available to buy and produce a stunning and convincing 3D effect. Let’s take a look at what you have to do to produce content for the Philips WOWvx range.

2D-Plus-Depth The format used by the WOWvx screens is called 2D-Plus-Depth and consists of a 2D image and an associated depth map (Grey

Value image) (see figure 2). The Grey Value image is essentially a set of instructions that tells the screen where each pixel of the image should be displayed on the Z-axis (How far it should jump out of the screen). When viewing a true 3D hologram, a viewer perceives different sections of the background depending on the angle of the viewpoint. To achieve a “look around effect” Philips employs an approach, which they call Declipse. The system projects multiple background images for different viewpoints, which enables a viewer to see more or less of what is behind a 3D object which results in a convincing effect (see figure 3).


KNOW HOW 3D Revolution

Auto-Stereoscopy is a process where 3D images can be viewed without the user needing any special glasses or headgear. 32 33


Figure 2

Philips offers plug-ins for 3DS Max and Maya which enable 3D content to be exported in the 2D-PlusDepth format

Figure 1

The approach to producing content for the WOWvx range differs immensely and depends on what content you want to produce. 

Video

Computer Graphics

Philips offers a hardware/software solution called BlueBox (see figure 4), which allows the conversion of 2D video footage into the proprietary 2D-plus-Depth format. A Separate background image is always needed in such a scenario in order for the 3D effect to be achieved and filming subjects or objects in front of a green screen is the way to do this, which can be costly if you don’t own your own film studio.  This is a commercial based service solution and does not come cheap, a $16000 set up and installation fee and a monthly charge for video conversion but do not dismay - if you predominately work with computer animated content you don’t even need the BlueBox!!

Philips offers plug-ins for 3DS Max and Maya which enable 3D content to be exported in the 2D-Plus-Depth format, and this means that there is not much of a learning curve for those already working with such platforms. It is also possible to work with other programs, say Photoshop for example, and then use software such as Virtual Dub to compile a 2D image and a Grey Value image into the correct format. Philips also offers producers the ability to create complex layered 3D content by using their WowVx Compositor software (see Figure 5), which allows the combination of multiple Depth effects into one depth composition and exports the results in 2D-plus-Depth. Once content has been converted into the correct format the Philips WOWvx player (which is available as a

Figure 3

Figure 4

Background Foreground

Viewpoint shifts to the left

Central viewpoint

Viewpoint shifts to the right

The screen projects multiple stereo images, which

To achieve a “look around effect” Philips employs an approach, which they

Philips offers a hardware/software solution

are received by the users left and right eyes, and

call Declipse. The system projects multiple background images for different

called BlueBox, which allows the conversion of

the subtle differences between the images trick

viewpoints, which enables a viewer to see more or less of what is behind a 3D

2D video footage into the proprietary 2D-plus-

the brain into constructing a 3D image.

object which results in a convincing effect.

Depth format.


KNOW HOW 3D Revolution

free download) is then used to play it on the system (see Figure 6). There are a number of problems to consider when adopting such technology. Such screens have multiple viewing “sweetspots” which means that a user must be in certain positions to view the effect, or artifacts and distortion of the image occurs. The other unfortunate side effects of such screens are that they induce eyestrain, which in turn can lead to headaches after prolonged exposure. Never the less, the price of such systems ($8000+) means that companies such as Philips are aiming the technology towards retail, exhibition, museum and corporate use rather than for the general public, which means viewing times would be relatively Figure 5

short. The technology is also not presently scalable with Philips currently offering only two screen sizes of 42” and 132” (although customers working on large scale projects can contact Philips and request a number of other sizes). Nevertheless, 132” is a very big screen and all of us at Media Production are looking forward to seeing it in use across the Middle East.

Philips are aiming the technology towards retail, exhibition, museum and corporate

At the time of writing, there were only two content producers in the whole of the UAE (Real Vision Homes and the 3D company), which means that now is a good time to get involved in the technology as demand in region is only going to increase.

For more information please visit: www.business-sites.philips.com www.wowvx.com/create/SoftwareTools.aspx www.virtualdub.org Figure 6

Education: MA in Design for Interactive Media

Projects www.ipasdc.com/shuffle http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZemzxxlCvcg

Ryan Stokes New Media editor

Skills

Philips also offers producers the ability to create

Once content has been converted into the correct

on Media Production

Interactive Media Developer - specializes in de-

complex layered 3D content by using their WowVx

format the Philips WOWvx player (which is

Magazine

signing tangible and touch screen user interfaces.

Compositor software.

available as a free download) is then used to play it on the system.

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KNOW WHO KNOW WHO YUSUF ISLAM Optix Digital Pictures

KNOW

optix

Optix Digital Pictures originated in 1996 and has been operational in Dubai since September 2007. Optix is a full service post-production facility equipped with high-end equipment featuring Telecine Spirit HD, Flame, Smoke, Avid, and CGI/Animation. Staffed by some of the best talent in the region with multinational backgrounds.

Editing

Talent: Stephan Wever (Netherlands), Andrew Durning (New Zealand) An editor can set, with the use of music and cuts, the mood, style and feel of a film. Editing can elevate actors’ performances just by cutting on the right expression, it can create story lines that were never intended to be there; extra dimensions if you like. The best edits are often the ones that don’t get noticed, that flow from scene to scene. An editor’s job is to stay as invisible as possible or sometimes as obvious as possible. Some people proclaim just by knowing the software that they are editors. But part of the job is being able to perform under the pressure of time and having the presence

of clients (directors, producers, creatives, agency, etc…) in your edit suite. This results in a market overflowing with what we like to call “Button Pushers”, people that just operate a machine but are slow and have no creative input. Some clients in the Middle East are often used to “Button Pushers” and not true editors that they don’t realize the potential value and creative input a true editor can add to a project. We do think there are some very talented editors around in the ME and we hope by working together and building a community we can uplift the quality of editing here and get clients educated and convinced of the added value of a good editor. Stephan Wever, Editor Andrew Durning, Editor

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Color Grading Talent: Daniel Mitre (Romania)

the mood of the story/film.

Being a colorist, you need to have technical and creative skills. But one of the most important parts of a colorist’s job is communication. You need to be able to understand and communicate with clients from different cultures and places and work together to bring out the best picture to fit

A good approach is to flirt with the colors and look of the picture as much as possible in the beginning of the session with the client to help set the mood of the film. This will create a comfort zone and rhythm throughout the rest of the grade. You can really manipulate the look of a picture, but the most important thing is to find a light that reflects the best qualities of an image. Colour Grading is one of the most essential parts of making a film. It allows the filmmaker to set the mood and feel of the story. I’ve worked in different places before coming to Dubai, and this place is definitely the most interesting because there is so much diversity in culture and creativity. Daniel Mitre, Colorist

Compositing Talent: Michael Welz (Germany)

Colour Grading is one of the most essential parts of making a film. It allows the filmmaker to set the mood and feel of the story.

Compositing is a combination of Art and Science. Being a Flame artist, you always have the pressure to deliver high end work in a short time frame. Our job is to find solutions to every visual challenge. Getting involved in the pre-production step always ensures a smoother workflow; especially in compositing or VFX heavy projects. Sometimes attending the shoot and working together with the DOP and Director is necessary to achieve the best results. Other times when the communication is poor, you end up with a challenging situation that can take more time to fix and the result can be affected.

Daniel Mitre, Colorist

The best composites are the ones that go unnoticed in a film. You have the power to creatively create an illusion to the viewer that what they see on screen is real. For me, it doesn’t matter if it is a small retouching or a complex composite, I’m addicted to delivering the best possible picture time and technology can handle. Michael Welz, Flame Artist


KNOW WHO Optix Digital Pictures

The best composites are the ones that go unnoticed in a film. You have the power to creatively create an illusion to the viewer that what they see on screen is real.

Final Composite

Michael Welz, Flame Artist Original (as it was shot)

New Background

Man in Front of New Background

Windows Removed

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KNOW WHO Optix Digital Pictures

CGI/Animation

Talent: Firas Ershead (Palestine), Amin Faramarzeyan (Iran), Geoffrey Dela Cruz (Philippines), Nicholas King (USA)

We like to be involved at the early stages of a job. We are always providing visual references, mood boards, drafting concept character designs, doing R&D tests, and pre-visualizations to help the client envision the look and feel of the film. When we receive a story board, we try to improve it by recommending/including shots that may not be possible with a live action shoot. Sometimes we receive very rough boards which allow us to have a lot of creative freedom to develop it and other times we receive very detailed boards which limit our input and allows us to focus on execution. The best clients to work with are the ones that understand that creative ideas come from all sources and it’s a team effort. Being involved from the early stages usually dictates a very efficient workflow and in most cases produces the highest quality outcome. Optix CGI Team

The best clients to work with are the ones that understand that creative ideas come from all sources and it’s a team effort. Optix CGI Team


10 11


Review for the Visual Dude iMovie & iPhoto

E

very annual intake at the SAE Institute Dubai throws me into panic mode, not because I have new names to learn and adapt my teaching skills but because there’s a new iMovie that I must wrap my head around. This fear took its toll a year ago when my beloved iMovie HD was challenged by it’s evil twin iMovie ‘08. I say twin because any user could operate both versions on their machines. All that finally changed when the fresh batch of students walked in with their slick new Mac Book Pro’s already installed with the near-fabulous iLife ‘09, the new features of which I will discuss right after a quick recap. iLife is often a mystery not just amongst Windows users (iLife is a mac only package) but also amongst Mac Converts that are too


REVIEW iLife 09

afraid to explore the funky jing-bang that toddles along with the machine. Google defines iLife best, as “a suite of multimedia software applications created by Apple Inc. designed for the Mac OS X. The Suite consists of iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, Garageband and iWeb, which are for organizing, viewing and publishing digital content which may be pictures, movies, music and webpages” (Google & Wikipedia, 2009). In short, iLife is to Apple Macs what Movie Maker, Paint and Image/Fax Viewer is to Windows, except, if I may add, much better as far as user friendliness and results are concerned. The very first version was launched in 2003 followed by an annual release with my last favourite in 2006. With iLife ‘08 came a significant upgrade that completely revamped the suite. Existing users will know that while it offered an efficient organization and publishing system for media on your library, some of the cooler features of the 2006 version of iMovie were stripped away hence my turmoil last year. These included speed changes, colour looks effects and timeline based editing. I now have a new favourite. iLife ‘09 has not only brought back some of my preferred

I now have a new favourite. iLife ‘09 has not only brought back some of my preferred features, it has also added some hip new ones, and this is not just applicable to iMovie. I am now quite excited about using iPhoto more frequently features, it has also added some hip new ones, and this is not just applicable to iMovie. I am now quite excited about using iPhoto more frequently compared to the limited use I made of these. Let’s start with iMovie, shall we. The most significant and prominent new upgrade is the image stabilization feature which l was not too hopeful about. Firstly, because technically speaking, not everything can be stabilized, contrary to what an average consumer can be lead to believe. Secondly, as a Final Cut Pro’ smooth cam, Motion’s Optical Flow and After Effects’ Tracker Controls fan, I was aware that there would be little that iMovie could offer. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised when I played around with the speed changes. I learnt that slowing down the clip a tiny

42 43


bit, paired with stabilization produced acceptable results on footage that is mildly shaky. I also sensed that speed modifications in ‘09 are far superior to the ones in iMovie HD. Stabilization comes particularly handy when reducing speed causes a strobing effect despite non-shaky footage. Activate smooth clip motion in the inspector and the result is a beautiful slow motion, very adequate for memorabilia videos.

The much missed aged film effect is back along with other one click video effects that include dream, day to night (very cool!), sci-fi, bleach bypass (super cool!) and many more.

In the same inspector tab, you will find a video effect section that opens up a grid of various looks possibilities. The much missed aged film effect is back along with other one click video effects that include dream, day to night (very cool!), sci-fi, bleach bypass (super cool!) and many more. The happy part is that the grid provides you with a mini preview of each look and hovering your mouse over the thumbnails also updates a preview on your viewer. A feature that took me by surprise was the precision editor. Please note that for you to

take advantage of most of the new features, you must activate “Show Advanced Tools” in the General Preferences. The precision editor is what is better known to Final Cut Editors as the Roll tool. Very simply put, it allows you to adjust the end point of one clip while modifying the start point of the following clip - this maintains the duration of the over all movie. I love that you can offset the clip in the precision editor without affecting the edit point nor the duration. Speaking of Final Cut similarities, you can now avail drag and drop editing, either inserting before/after or replacing the current clip. Similarly, you may enhance your edit by adding beat markers to the audio track in the clip trimmer. With snap to beats active, you may then precision edit your clips to recreate a music video-ish feel. It may be worthwhile to mention that there are new titles (32 in all!) and transitions in


REVIEW iLife 09

Stabilization comes particularly handy when reducing speed causes a strobing effect despite non-shaky footage.

With snap to beats active, you may then precision edit your clips to recreate a music video-ish feel.

place but this is expected of any update. It’s really the pre-installed world maps that Ifind fascinating. These maps, like the titles and transitions, may simply be dragged and dropped where desired. Next adjusting “departure” and “destination” locations results in an animated map, airplane and all, just like the kind you see on an aircraft’s info screen. Additionally, the earlier discussed video effects may be applied to these. Speed up or slow the maps by adjusting duration. They would look great as a holiday video introduction, flying from Dubai to Paris, to Rome to...right you get the drift.

introductions and conclusions to your video projects. These may be applied before, during or after editing. If you decide to change a theme, any text added into the previous one will be carried forward to the next one.

Finally, for the lazy buggers, video themes are a great way of generating animated

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REVIEW iLife 09

expressions in all recognized photos - so you have to be either just happy, or just sloshed, or just angry. Might be worth a try to organize your photos according to your moods. Hmm. What I do know is it did not recognize Basti, my cat. Speaking of new eras, some digital cameras shoot pictures with GPS data embedded in them, making a note of wherever you might be over the break. This data can be read by iPhoto and organize your photos by location. I think this is pretty cool except, when purchasing cameras, my concern is often with the lenses, not so much the GPS system.

iLife ‘09 is really an advanced toy for the consumer and/or prosumer market, and that’s really where its focus should be.

Themes are very much a creative feature in iPhoto as well especially for generating slideshows that now have Z-space animation within them. Though the books, calender and cards’ option was available in the previous version of iPhoto, it now comes with predesigned “keepsakes” that you may edit to your advantage without having to go through the creative brainstorm process - again something the lazy ones will fancy. Hardcover books now include a photowrap cover (the one you always take off from you favourite hardback when reading comfortably) as well as a dust jacket. My humble opinion is that this makes for a beautiful heartwarming present or even a stylish coffee table book.

Explore new possibilities

Once you’ve labelled a person’s face in an image (similar to tagging on facebook), iPhoto will scan your entire library (of imported photos) and make suggestions of images with the labelled person in them.

The much talked about faces and places in feature is like a step into a new era of photo management. Once you’ve labelled a person’s face in an image (similar to tagging on facebook), iPhoto will scan your entire library (of imported photos) and make suggestions of images with the labelled person in them. This is based on face recognition. This automatically sorts your library not just by Events (usually date of import), but also by names of people, enabling you to search and organize more effectively. While the face recognition works fairly well, the subjects have to have similar

My assumption is that this GPS thing will only take off in the near future by which time there will be more iPhoto updates. Hence at this point, this isn’t a life altering feature. All in all, iLife ‘09 has tried really hard and successfully too, to break the disappointment barriers that iLife ‘08 had set. The 2009 release is much more user-friendly and interactive. iMovie ‘09 is not iMovie HD (2006) but it is certainly a big improvement over 2008. As much as I miss the timeline based editing, I’m happy to conduct that in FCP and let the non editors in my family feel like nothing’s missing, use themes, maps and effects and just have fun. I hope to decorate the coffee table in my bedroom/post-production room with hardcover books of my own experimental photography. Having said that, many ‘06 fans have still been left with something to be desired but my take is: Why complicate things for the consumer? If you require professional features, then invest in professional options. iLife ‘09 is really an advanced toy for the consumer and/or prosumer market, and that’s really where it’s focus should be. Areeba Hanif Film Lecturer, SAE Institute Dubai Apple Certified Trainer


CREATIVE

YES

WE ARE

FOR MORE INFORMATION EXPECT A VISIT FROM US! 10 11


T

he potential market for such a scalable technology across the Middle East for events, communications and large-scale signage is immense and a UAE based company called Event Works has come up with a unique approach to achieving a 3D holographic experience that can be delivered to large audiences.

3D

VISION

3D holographic effects are now achievable thanks to the advent of Auto- Stereoscopic displays but screen sizes currently only go up to 132” and the technology is not presently scalable, which means that delivering such effects (without glasses) to larger audiences is not yet possible.

The 3D eyeliner system has been used in a number of prestigious events across the world and in particular the UAE, where, most notably, a hologram of Prince Philip of the British Royal Family delivered a speech to an audience at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. In this case it was a prerecording of the prince, but the system has subsequently been used to deliver live presentations – a process called TelePresence, which allows real-time holograms and audio to be remotely transmitted across the world.

Origins The 3D eyeliner system was designed by EventWorks Director Uwe Mass, who took inspiration from an old (1860’s!!) theatre illusion called Peppers Ghost. Professor John Henry Pepper and an Engineer named Henry Dicks used special lighting along with semi reflective glass to create the illusion of a ghost appearing on stage. The eyeliner system has taken the reflective approach of


KNOW HOW 3D Vision

Peppers Ghost and developed it into a 21st century High Definition 3D holographic experience that has been wowing crowds across the world.

Technical A thin, semi-reflective plastic foil is stretched at a 45” angle in front of the stage. An image is beamed by a projector towards a reflective surface below, which causes a mirror image to appear on the foil in front of the stage (see Figure 3). The set up can be configured in almost any setting and more importantly is completely scalable thanks to the nature of the lightweight foil and the simplicity and affordability of the technology involved. It is the attention to the stage setting (which the image is projected into) that really helps trick the mind of the viewer into believing they are seeing a hologram. Meticulous attention to detail must be taken in order for the illusion to be convincing. The amount and direction of light in the production process must be carefully recreated on stage in order to avoid visual anomalies and create a realistic experience. Video content is recorded in front of Green Screens in order to eliminate the background. Lighting direction, colour and intensity is all carefully documented in order to recreate the same conditions on stage. Producing computer animation for the 3D Eyeliner is a much easier and more flexible affair due to the extensive control of lighting and camera angles that software such as Maya affords.

Virtual and Physical Its not just the scalability, or other points mentioned, that make the 3D eyeliner so inspiring – projecting the image in front of the stage also offers many opportunities over the Auto-Stereoscopic approach to 3D display. It allows the virtual and the physical to merge in a kind of augmented reality, which has resulted in many interesting applications such as when Lewis Hamilton appeared and conversed with a hologram of his self on stage at a Reebok promotional event last summer.

From a design perspective, this ability to mix Digital and Physical opens up new avenues and possibilities for experimenting with different mediums and physical space – Recorded content, 3D animation, people and physical objects all can become part of the same show – Anyone else wondering if we might see a remake of Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the stage?

Education: MA in Design for Interactive Media

Projects www.ipasdc.com/shuffle http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZemzxxlCvcg

Ryan Stokes New Media editor

Skills

on Media Production

Interactive Media Developer - specializes in de-

Magazine

signing tangible and touch screen user interfaces.

48 49


Do we really need another version of Illustrator?

Oh yes we do!


REVIEW Adobe Illustrator CS4

In Illustrator CS4 you can create up to 100 artboards of varying sizes. They can overlap each other, appear side-by-side, or be stacked on top of each other. Enriched Workspace tools Artboards

t’s funny how I always think I’m going to skip the next upgrade of Adobe’s Creative Suite because there really can’t be many new features and improvements that I can’t live (or work) without. And every time again, I see something where I go: “…ah, exactly this is it! This has always annoyed me in previous versions! I need to have it!” Well, Adobe has done it once again.

One thing that has frustrated me about Illustrator was its inability to work on multiple pages. Every time I had to design a double-sided business card I couldn’t help but gritting my teeth, just slightly. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows that I love efficiency, and there simply was no optimal way to do a double-sided document in Illustrator. I’m not a big fan of the crop tool when it comes to print file preparation and my other option of creating two separate files, I always found very awkward. Especially if you have clients who realize 5 minutes before everything is due to go to print that they gave you the wrong phone number to put on and you end up having to open two files again. For this exact reason, I gave up on Illustrator several years ago and started using InDesign for projects with multiple pages. But guess what? Illustrator finally fixed it and the solution is called multiple artboards!

you can place multiple Illustrator documents into applications such as Photoshop, InDesign and Flash, save and export them in several formats and print artboards together as well as independently, which can be an enormous time saver.

In Illustrator CS4 you can create up to 100 artboards of varying sizes. They can overlap each other, appear side-by-side, or be stacked on top of each other. Furthermore,

Tabbed document windows, Document Arrangement panel As already discussed in last issue’s Photoshop CS4 review, also Illustrator CS4 has introduced the Tabbed Document View and Document Arrange Panel, which allows you to display multiple documents nice and neatly arranged side by side. For me this feature helped drastically clean up my workspace and I love how simple it is now to arrange my documents on the screen.

Practical Smart Guides and Object Alignment Smart guides have finally become more refined in CS4. Being used to the way objects snap to guides as well as in Photoshop and InDesign, I always found myself disappointed when I tried it in Illustrator and it didn’t work. Another feature that I found very useful, were the little pop-ups with alignment and measurement information, that appear when moving or transforming objects.

>>>

50 51


REVIEW Adobe Illustrator CS4

The Separations Preview panel lets you now preview single channels before printing, which is great and will help a lot avoiding colour output errors and unwanted overprinting. The Appearance Panel doesn’t look very exciting at first, but once you start using it you realize how much smoother your workflow gets. No more jumping from the Colour Panel to the Swatch Panel to the stroke panel and back. CS4 provides you with quick access to the key alignment option through the Align and Control panel and let you specify Key Objects, which are objects that you want other objects to align with.

The Blob Brush The intelligent Blob Brush is perhaps the most innovative feature in CS4. I have always found it quite odd that a program called Illustrator is actually not so good to do illustrations and many professional artists preferred to work in Photoshop or Painter because these programs allow for more creativity. The pressure-sensitive calligraphic brush doesn’t work with Live Paint and anchor points can be quite irritating. These issues have been resolved with the Blob Brush as each pressure-sensitive stroke can be filled with Live Paint, as well as the Eraser Tool. The “intelligent” part of the brush comes into game when you intersect a stroke of the same colour, it will merge like-colored objects together. Use the bracket keys to adjust the size of the brush and when using a Wacom tablet, you can use the eraser of the pen by simply flipping your pen.

Gradients and Transparency Gradients and their past lack of transparencies were another feature that always made me want to work in Photoshop, whenever I was in Illustrator. CS4 finally gives you the option to assign opacity to any colour stop in a gradient. CS4 also has a new feature, which gives you the option to adjust and edit gradients directly on the artboard, which makes life a lot easier and gives you more time to spend on being creative.

CS4 finally gives you the option to assign opacity to any colour stop in a gradient.

Little bits here and there… Clipping Masks, Separations Preview and more In CS4, masked areas are finally truly hidden and only displayed while you are moving or transforming a masked object. To edit the mask double-click the object to open it in isolation mode, where you can edit the mask independently of all other objects.

The Enriched Graphic Styles Panel provides you with a quick and easy way to apply styles to objects and gives you a preview on the artboard. I also love the fact that effectsonly elements now display the outlines of the object on which the style was created. All in all Illustrator CS4 has many nice new features and improved tools. For me personally the new artboard tool and gradients with transparency were such significant changes that it was reason enough to upgrade to CS4. I can also imagine that illustrators and animators love the new blob brush and will start using Illustrator more again. What I liked best about this upgrade is the fact that all new features and improvements are relevant. No extraordinarily “cool” features that you only end up using once a month, just real useful basic improvements that will make life a lot easier. By Olivia Zechner Olivia Zechner is an experienced Media Consultant, working with international clients in Dubai, Vienna and Sydney. For more information visit www.oz-studio.com”


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NOW AVAILABLE Boost Your Creativity with

Create 3D in Illustrator

Imagine a client calls you up and needs a package design for his new product. When it comes to package design, the presentation is very important and as we all know, a flat design file doesn’t really show how the final product will look like. For this Adobe Illustrator offers a simple but very effective 3D effect. This tutorial shows you how to use it and how to make a 3D object look as real as possible. So let’s try the 3D effect with a simple soft drink can.


KNOW HOW Create 3D in Illustrator

1.

2.

Open a new document. Now start drawing the left or the right side of the can , but make sure you have only a stroke colour and no fill colour. It is important that you draw only half of the can because Illustrator will complete it when you apply the revolve effect. You should have something like picture 1 now.

If you want to have the aluminium look for your can you should select a white stroke colour. Later you can change the look of you can by adding the design. Now let’s apply the 3D effect. To do so, select the can outlines using the selection tool (shortcut v) and click on effects -> select 3D -> revolve.

Tip Illustrator gives you a more options button to make some adjustments for better results. The blend steps for example give you a smoother result, but demands more processing power from you computer.

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KNOW HOW Create 3D in Illustrator

Tip

If you have a fast computer you can use one 3D can and map the art work. Don’t forget to select shade artwork. But the results will have the same clarity as when you use two objects.

3. Illustrator can only map art if it is a symbol. To convert your label to a symbol, drag and drop it onto your symbol panel. Now you can map your artwork to the second can (3D object). I prefer to do it this way, because it increases the image quality and doesn’t slow down the computer.

4.

5.

6.

To edit your 3D can, double-click on the 3D revolve effect in the appearance panel which will open the revolve effect edit window.

To add your label click on the map art button and select the surface you want to place your artwork on.

Once you place your artwork click ok -> select in the revolve edit panel no shading.

7.

8.

Expand the appearance of your label and place it on top of the 1st 3D can

Change the blend mode to multiply in the transparency panel and you’re done.


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KNOW HOW Our Cover

Our

COVER If you’re looking for answers as to what the illustration represents and what underlying meanings it may has then you’re in the wrong place. Move on and make space for those who want to know more about the process of making the cover illustration. I will not go into each and every little step, I assume you’re an intermediate-level user of both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and you know your way around.

**ref photo montage** • For the idea of this issue’s cover I knew right away that I will need to work off some reference photos. Knowing the photos won’t end up on the final illustration, I chose to do the poses myself saving the time and effort to explain it to someone else, my brother took the pictures with his cell phone. Resolution is not an issue since those are only reference photos.

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**lightbox** • Utilizing a light box (back-lit surface) I roughly traced the prints on a blank sheet of paper using a pencil, then a pen of an appropriate point-size to make the final lines. If I was stranded in a light-box-less work environment I would use the windows, on sunny days it proves a better option. For extra accuracy I will make my own registration marks and as an added measure I will be stapling the two sheets of paper.

**97-100**

**101-103**

• Using a flatbed scanner, I transfer my sketches to the digital domain. I would scan them in as grayscale images and using my preferred Photoshop method of adjusting brightness and contrast, Levels, I ‘whiten’ the white and ‘blacken’ the black. It’s essential to do that for smooth results in next step.

• Using the magic wand, I would click the black lines and make sure the ‘contagious’ option is not ticked. This would select all the black lines in the image. I usually like to work with vectors when it comes to illustration, so I will convert those lines into a vector path by choosing the ‘Make Work Path’ in the side menu of the ‘Path’ floating panel. By exporting the ‘Path to Illustrator’ we will be done with Photoshop, at least for now.


KNOW HOW Our Cover

**Picture 90**

**Picture 88** • Before we touch anything in Illustrator, we have to do a little more cleaning to the ‘worked’ paths made by Photoshop. I usually ‘Select All’ (Cmd+A/ Ctrl+A) and Ungroup (Cmd+Shift+G/ Ctrl+Shift+G) everything a few times to be sure, then by pressing the ‘Exclude overlapping shape areas’ button on the Pathfinder panel I would be doing just that. Click ‘Expand’ and we would have a clean and user-friendly vector artwork of our main illustration’s outlines. Duplicate the process for each separate part till we’re done.

• Using the Pen Tool in Illustrator we will draw the blocks of colour that we will fit just under the edges of our main outlines. It helps at this point to put things on top of each other to make sure everything is working together as planned. If you’re feeling adventures and got plenty of time, why don’t you do this whole ‘colour blocks’ part using the same light-box process but maybe with a felt-tip pen. The results will have a very authentic handmade quality to them. After you’re done coloring and arranging the separate elements of your illustration, group the whole thing in one manageable unit. We are going back to Photoshop now.

**92**

**95**

• To give the illustration that rough paper texture you see on the cover we will have to find it first, literally just google “paper texture”. I found the one I used on the first page of the Google Image Search results.

•Let’s open a new blank canvas in Photoshop, and let’s have that found texture as the first layer there. Copy the finished artwork from Illustrator and paste it as ‘pixels’ on a new layer in Photoshop. Experiment with Photoshop’s layer blending modes, but I liked the results achieved with ‘Multiply’. I also scanned some droplets of dark water colors on paper to make the ‘smoke clouds’ but then I inverted the colour (Image> Invert) and I used the ‘Screen” blending mode which does exactly the opposite of multiply; leaving the dark colors out of the picture and letting the bright ones shine through.

Words & Illustrations By Talal Obeid

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WACOM


REVIEW Wacom Intuos 4

Wacom introduced the new Intuos 4 series at the Photo Imaging Expo 2009. After more than 4 years, this is the first upgrade for “everybody’s darling” in the media industry. With new functions, the Intuos 4 minimizes the need of using a mouse while working with the graphics tablet and accelerates the work flow.

S

o what’s new in the Intuos 4 series?

Looking at the tablet itself, the active area looks basically the same, but the 8 Express Keys are located on one side instead of 4 keys on the top left and 4 keys on the top right. With this new, more organized, user friendly interface, tasks are accomplished faster. Where the Intuos 3 was a grey tablet with actually no information on Express Key function, Wacom put all the necessary information on Express Keys on the tablet itself. Two sets of 4 LED displays located next to the two sets of 4 Express Keys indicate the assigned short cut functions, and set an end to sticking notes on the tablet and update them every time the short cut has been changed. Now the displays take care of keeping you informed on your settings. The touch strip controls are now replace by one touch ring with a toggle button at the centre. With 4 assignable functions the

toggle key makes navigating through your software canvas more convenient and faster. Beside the common functions such as, zoom and scroll, you can assign many custom function, such as rotate and brush size to the toggle button. The four LEDs located next to the touch ring indicate which one of the four functions for the toggle key is active.

What about the technical aspects? From a performance aspect, the first major feature of Intuos 4 graphics tablet is the enhanced level of direct pen pressure sensitivity which, was doubled from 1,024 levels of sensitivity to a sensitivity of 2,048 levels. For illustrators and digital artists, this is a welcomed enhancement, that brings out more from your designing software. With this high sensitivity, brush strokes for example in Photoshop and Painter X, come more precise and flow with you hand movement more naturally.

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Toggle button with 4 customizable functions such as, zoom, scroll, rotate canvas and brush size. Two sets of 4 LED displays indicate the assigned short cut functions.

The work flow Furthermore the minimum activation pressure was reduced from the former level of 10 grams to 1 gram, as a result, users can draw with even lighter pressure than before. Intuos 3 always caused some problems when drawing with a very light pressure especially when used to sketch objects. With Intuos 4, this is not an issue anymore and the boundaries of digital art are pushed further and give more room for creativity.

Now that we have covered the major technical aspects, there is one thing we all worry about. The advantage of Intuos 3 was that the express keys were located on the top left and the top right, which makes the tablet easy to use for left-handed and right-handed users. Now that the express keys are moved to the left side, left-handed users might find it inconvenient. But Wacom came up with an amazing solution. Instead of having easy access to at least 4 express keys

like in the Intuos 3 series, Intuos 4 gives left handed and right handed users easy access to all 8 express keys. The trick is in the way you connect the tablet to your computer. Left handed users place their tablet in front of them with the express keys and the touch

The tablet even recognizes when you tilt the pen from vertical to inclined positions. With some drawing applications like Painter X, this feature gives you some really nice effects when used with compatible brush such as acrylic or real bristle. Tilt sensitivity can be adjusted together with other functions such as tip feel in the control panel.

Right-handed use

Left-handed use


REVIEW Wacom Intuos 4

Wacom Intuos 4 is easy to use for both, left-handed and right-handed users.

CONFIGURATIONS ring on the right and connect the tablet, using the included USB cable. This gives you a mirrored interface with all the functions easy to access. Right handed users just flip the tablet and connect it. This is a genius idea for a genius product.

Model Number

PTK-440

PTK-640

PTK-840

PTK-1240

Includes Grip Pen

yes

yes

yes

yes

Interface

USB

USB

USB

USB

Wide Format

yes

yes

yes

yes

Active Area (W x D)

157.5 x 98.4 mm

223.5 x 139.7 mm

325.1 x 203.2 mm

487.7 x 304.8 mm

Pressure Sensitivity

2048

2048

2048

2048

Tilt range (all pens)

± 60 degrees

± 60 degrees

± 60 degrees

± 60 degrees

ExpressKeys™

6

8

8

8

ExpressKey Illumi-

0

8

8

8

4-Function Touch Ring

yes

yes

yes

yes

Precision Mode

yes

yes

yes

yes

Price

229 $

349 $

469 $

789 $

and Mouse

Conclusion Intuos 4 takes graphics tablets to a new level, giving more room for experimenting with application features, and let’s you feel touch your designs. With a starting price at 229 $, Intuos 4 is a reasonable and foremost a very professional solution. Staff Writer

For more information please visit: www.intuos.wacom.com

Levels

nated Displays

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Complex Simplicities The important element here is simplicity, or the minimalistic approach. Aspiring Graphic Designers should always contemplate over how they fill up the space.

Many things would have a reason to be placed in a certain position or be absent from the overall image. Many designers tend to make additions which appear to be irrelevant to the cause of their original design; these additions just fill up the page. However, there are times in which an empty space would fill the page more beautifully than cluttered illustrations. As for my own designs, I have been repeatedly told that I am lazy and my work is rushed. Although the lazy part is kind of true, but to say is rushed is or incomplete, well that p****s me off. The complex methods that go into designing a simple visual message are exhausting. Attempting to achieve the minimal simplicities takes multifaceted methods which result in draining all that is noise and creating art in its purist form. To fully achieve that is difficult, but it never hurts to attempt it. The best thing to do is to think of yourself as a psychologist: tell your audience to read what you want them to read or tell your audience not to read what you do not want them to read. In order to do


KNOW WHO Khaled Al Hamad

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Private property exists within the boundary of the chops. Please respect property owner’s rights; Do not trespass without notable credentials.

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Marina World Mall Al -Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak Entrance Store No. R1 114

2224 4793 Gallaria 2000 Mall Al -Salmiya, Salem Al-Mubarak Street Mezzanine Floor,Store No. 19-20

2573 5815 Al-Kout Mall Al-Fahaheel Sea Side - North Pier Store No. 6M

2393 0210 Villa Moda Al Manshar Mall Al-Fahaheel

2393 0500 (ext 337)

AUK Store American University of Kuwait Al-Salmiya

2224 8399 (ext 145)

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this, the designers should be consistent and spontaneous at the same time; play tricks to get the message across. At the end of the day, design has nothing to do with something that is visually pretty, but about getting the message across. In one of my photography series, I had one solid idea: I wanted to produce sound from an image. By this, I don’t mean “to be heard” or “listen to me,” but actual sounds, as real as a knock on the door or as loud as a scream from a nearby town. Although the core idea remained the same, day by day the idea grew into something beyond my control. It grew into something that had beauty, style, harmony, grace, and rhythm; it grew into something beyond my creativity to a point in which I think I shouldn’t take credit for it. The reason this concept flourished so seamlessly was because of how I had approached it, with simplicity.


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March 19th: Opening Ceremony March 23: Cinescape Cinema March 24:17.30 Kirikou and the Wild Beasts World Champion Speedy Gonzales Series Kicks-Off 20.00hrs Ma Vie en l’air 20.00hrs Bled Number One to perform 17.30hrs Salhia Complex 19.00hrs The Avenues 20.00hrs Tanagra France Opera Gala Dinner March 25: 17.30hrs Je Ne Suis Pas La Pour Etre Aime 20.00hrs Arraya Ballroom WIP 100KD/2 person La Trahison March 26:20.00hrs Changerment d’Adresse 21.00hrs March 27 18.30hrs La Dictee: Dictation March 28: An original play,Dervish Café, by Abdul Azziz Al-Haddad Competition at the French School Kuwait 10.00hrs Sahara Golf Club Semi-Pro Tournament March 29: Closing Ceremony 16.00hrs WAITERS RAFFLE TIME: WIN YOUR VALUABLE PRIZES COMPETITION: A Service Spectacle

Khalid Alhamad sskns@hotmail.com (965) 66311677 Education September 2006-present: The American University of Kuwait, Senior

Major: Graphic Design Minor: English Lit. GPA. 2.9 May 2003: New English School of Kuwait: High School Diploma Software Experience Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.

Specialties Photography, Logo Design, Layout, Print Production, Publication Design, Corporate Identity, Ad Campaign.

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KNOW WHO Tala Obeid

TALAL

Obeid

Born in Jahra, Kuwait in 1982, Talal Obeid ventured into experimental art at an early age. Ill-received and quickly discarded, Obeid’s earliest work expressed a precocious rebellion with the only materials at hand: His own feces, applied to his own diapers. Self-taught in graphic design and visual communications, Obeid began a career in advertising at age 18. Seeking distraction from the daily grind, he filled his personal notebook with sketches of visual puns and sharp-but-snarky commentary on life in Kuwait today.

Obeid is a frequent lecturer on graphic design at local schools and universities. His next lecture? Tips for a classroom of fourthgrade entrepreneurs, eager to embark on their first business venture: Selling T-shirts as part of a school project.

One day, on a whim, Obeid transformed his notebook’s highlights into T-shirt designs, thinking he’d just test their popularity with his blog readership. Ultimately, it was a quick and easy assessment: The focus group cleared the first batch! (Obeid still sells his T-shirts in bazaars and car boot sales, enduring the disapproving “clucks” of elderly women eager to register their opinion of his “risque” designs.) Obeid is especially passionate about cinema, and about independent filmmaking. He has worked for years on several yet-produced screenplays, strictly as a labour of love. He also assisted a group of friends in producing the award-winning Kuwaiti short film, Sharq.

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KNOW WHO Tala Obeid

72 73


KNOW WHO Tala Obeid


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Shurooq

Amin

“With art, feed my soul; with poetry, quench my passion; with photography, save my wings from being clipped”

W

e are lucky indeed to be living in an age where art has diversified into an uncategorized radical realm of expression, catharsis, and didacticism. Purists: welcome to the future. On a personal level, in my past art work, I did consider myself a purist, and followed old school mentality of adhering to oil paints, or pastel, or whatever medium I was experimenting with at the time. This past year, however, has seen a radical evolution in my art work, reflective of selfdevelopment and discovery. I underwent a revelation in thought, technique, and creativity that manifested on canvas in the most organic manner, and which I refer to as “synthesis” – for it is indeed a merging of the arts: digital photography, computers, active

painting, traditional painting, handwriting and poetry. These diverse fields in the arts all mesh together to transcend the banal and the expected, and rise to the realm of the unique and unexpected. Instead of the old-fashioned formula of traditional painting versus digital art, or East versus West; it is now a techno-contemporary formula of traditional painting with digital photography, and East meets West (in my work, this is because the subject matter of the image is usually Eastern and the poetry is written in English and thus is considered Western).

The implementation: Inspiration comes in bursts, and when it does, I have to feverishly follow it through till the end. As such, once the nugget of a concept

comes to mind, I quickly grab my camera and start clicking away, heedless of technicalities at this point. When this moment of creative passion comes to a pause, I then start to get technical, checking the settings and zoom, etc. I then repeat the process by having my subjects arranged in specific poses, as I see it in the vision in my head. At this point, I already have the picture etched in my mind, and it is simply a matter of implementing it (which, as other photographers and painters know, does not always work out the way you planned). There are many times, however, where I just don’t know where the picture is heading, and I just let inspiration carry me organically from one stage to another. The next stage is downloading the images into the computer, where they are stored in a folder already entitled with the name of that collection (the name usually comes to me with the vision in my head, so I tend to go with my first instinct, and rarely end up altering it later). I leave it there and wait till I “feel” the urge to see the pictures again. Sometimes this happens right away; at other times, it takes a few days or weeks. Once I open up the folder, I choose an image at random, whichever one appeals to me instinctively (I don’t think about this, I just go with my gut), and start editing very


KNOW WHO Shurooq Amin

Inspiration comes in bursts, and when it does, I have to feverishly follow it through till the end.

simply in Microsoft Office Picture Manager, just things like the cropping. I like to always start with absolute basics before I delve into the more complicated. Then I open the image in Adobe Photoshop and begin the process of altering the digital image into a painting. This stage may take one sitting or it may take two to three sittings, depending on how satisfied I am (or not) with the mood being created in the picture. Once again, I usually tend to stop instinctively, knowing immediately when the image is “done”. The third stage is gathering all the images and transferring them onto canvas, followed by mounting them on wood. I like the wood element for three reasons actually: one, it connects me to the earth and that is something I need when I’m creating; second, it gives another dimension to the artwork both physically and visually; and third, I like to paint the back of the painting and pay attention to details like the edges, so that that I can write my poetry on the back. This is one of the unique elements of my work: the client gets a secret original poem on the back of the painting that is written especially for them, signed and wax-sealed. The fourth stage is of course the actual painting on the canvas (on which the edited

digital image is overlaid). I use acrylics, oil pastel sticks, home-made stencils, and other assorted tools, most of which I make myself from junk around the house (stuff I find in the kitchen and the cosmetic dresser are especially unique!). The paintings are alternated: first laid on the floor for the first few layers of work, then put on the easel standing up, then laid on the floor again, etc. Finally, they are carefully set facing down so that I can paint the back and the sides, and write the poems on the back. They are then varnished and ready to meet the world. My work now encapsulates global visions and panoramic issues, from a methodical point of view by synthesizing mediums and various arts, and from a socio-political point of view by addressing cultural issues otherwise considered taboo. This is my philosophy, honed through endless experiments of trial and error. Synthesis of the Arts By Shurooq Amin

Dr. Shurooq Amin Dr. Shurooq Amin is an Anglophone poet, a contemporary artist, a certified interior decorator, and a Professor at Kuwait University. Email:shurooqamin@hotmail.com Website: www.theapetalouspoet.com Blog: www.theapetalouspoet.blogspot.com Facebook Group: Shurooq’s Art Consultancy.

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MY LOVELY CHARTS

My Lovely Charts is a Flash Based Online Tool To Create Charts Wherever You Have An Internet Connection. This Application Is Accessible Free Of Charge And Is Very Straight Forward And Easy To Use.

H

ow to use Lovely Charts

Visit the website my.lovelycharts. com (no www.) and register. After that you will receive a confirmation mail, through which you activate your account. At first sight, Lovely Charts seemed a bit difficult to use, this is maybe because I expected it to be difficult. The work flow turned out to be much easier than expected. There are two different modes to add content to your chart, the drag and drop mode (image 1) and the create and connect mode (image 2). Lovely Charts comes already with a huge library of objects and symbols suitable for


REVIEW My Lovely Charts

Image 1

Image 2

Lovely Charts comes already with a huge library of objects and symbols suitable for any kind of charts

any kind of charts. The library is divided into 7 categories: flowcharts, sitemaps, network diagram, people diagram, basic symbols, miscellaneous and wireframes.

The Modes With the drag and drop mode you can drag symbols you like and place them on the canvas. The second mode is the create and connect mode. To be honest with you I did not figure it out on the spot, but with a little bit of fiddling around I actually got the trick. To connect two symbols on the canvas select the create and connect mode, drag one symbol onto the other and the connection is made.

The Symbols Each symbol has a label. To name the symbol double click on the word “label” and type in the desired symbol name. To edit the symbol’s appearance click on the symbol, go to the menu bar and change the fill colour and the symbol alpha (transparency).

Of course you can add text to the chart. Unfortunately there is no format section for the type, only justification, type colour and font size. It would be nicer if there were some extra fonts available or just three fonts from the font families serif, sanserif and brush script. After finishing your chart, Lovely Charts allows you to export your file. Here is where Lovely Charts has some tiny disadvantages. You are limited to only two file formats; jpeg and png. This shouldn’t be an issue though, because Lovely Charts allows you to set the image size and image quality. So you can have high resolution jpegs you can convert to other formats using your image editing program. Have a look at Lovely Charts and I promise, you find yourself creating charts for everything. Staff Writer

My Lovely Charts allows you to save your document online or export them in jpeg and png format.

For more information visit: http://my.lovelycharts.com/

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Get your subscription form from www.mp-mag.com


‫يتضمن ‪GarageBand‬‬ ‫‪ 09‬الدروس األساسية األولى في‬ ‫العزف على البيانو والغيتار‪.‬‬

‫وهذا يعني أن عليك استخدام الماوس في كل مرة تريد‬ ‫فيها تعديل شيئ على المكبر أو ‪ .stamp box‬ولكن‬ ‫هذه ليست بالمشكلة الكبيرة‪ ،‬حيث أننا نحصل على‬ ‫كل هذه األصوات بالمجان‪.‬‬

‫تعلم الموسيقى ‬ ‫أعتقد أن أحد األسباب الرئيسية لعدم استخدام‬ ‫‪ Garageband‬على نطاق واسع هو أن استخدامه‬ ‫يحتاج إلى بعض التعليم الموسيقى األساسي أو‬ ‫على األقل القدرة على العزف على آلة موسيقية‪ .‬لقد‬ ‫أدركت «أبل» ذلك وأضافت ميزة «تعلم العزف»‪ .‬يتضمن‬ ‫“‪ ”GarageBand 09‬الدروس األساسية األولى في العزف‬ ‫على البيانو والغيتار‪ .‬ويمكنك الحصول على ثمانية‬ ‫دروس إضافية أخرى مجانًا لكل آلة من خالل اختيار «متجر‬ ‫الدروس» من نافذة «مشروع جديد» واختيار زر «الدروس‬ ‫األساسية» ومن ثم النقر على زر التحميل المجاور للدرس‬ ‫الذي ترغب في تحميله من اإلنترنت‪ .‬ويتم الحصول على‬ ‫دروس ‪ Artist‬بالمثل‪ ،‬ولكنها تكلف ‪ 5‬دوالرات لكل منها‪.‬‬ ‫ومما يؤسف له أن هذه الدروس التعمل إال مع أجهزة إنتل‬ ‫ماكنتوش ذات المعالجات المزدوجة ‪ ،dual-core‬على‬

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‫الرغم من أن بقية برنامج ‪ GarageBand ‘09‬تعمل مع‬ ‫أجهرة ماكنتوش ‪.PowerPC‬‬ ‫وفي الحقيقة أحب فكرة قيام «أبل» بتعريف المستخدمين‬ ‫بإعداد الموسيقى‪ .‬بالنسبة لي تعتبر هذه الدروس‬ ‫بسيطة للغاية‪ ،‬حيث أنني درست الموسيقى‪ ،‬أما‬ ‫بالنسبة لشريكي في العمل الذي كان معي عندما بدأت‬ ‫العمل في ‪ Garageband‬فقد كان مندهشًا ومتحمسًا‬ ‫ليبدأ الدروس على الفور‪.‬‬

‫الخاتمة‬

‫يعد برنامج ‪ Garageband‬وسيلة سهلة إلنتاج الملفات‬ ‫الصوتية ‪ audio‬وملفات ‪ .Midi‬وهو يوفر أصوات‬ ‫وتأثيرات ذات جودة عالية ويعتبر برنامجا قيما يأتي مع‬ ‫جميع أجهزة الماكنتوش الجديدة مجانًا‪.‬‬ ‫وأنا أنصح كل موسيقي ومدون وحتى صانعي األفالم‬ ‫ممن يريدون الحصول على ملفات صوتية سهلة وسريعة‬ ‫وعالية ألعمالهم أن يجربوا ‪.Garageband 09‬‬

‫تمنح واجهة التطبيق البسيطة والمباشرة المستخدمين‬ ‫الذين ال يمتلكون الكثير من الخبرة على وجه التحديد‬ ‫فرصة للبدء وتمنح المستخدمين من ذوي الخبرة أداة‬ ‫جديدة للعمل عليها‪.‬‬

‫لمزيد من المعلومات يرجى زيارة‬ ‫‪www.apple.com‬‬


‫ميزة التزامن مع إيقاع ألغنية‪ .‬وتوجد هذه الميزة أيضا في‬ ‫التطبيقات المهنية المعروفة األخرى مثل ‪Ableton‬‬ ‫‪ Live‬وأداة ‪ Dr.Rex‬في ‪ .Reason‬وهذه واحدة من‬ ‫العديد من الخصائص القوية جدا في “‪.”Garageband‬‬ ‫وبالطبع يمكنك القيام بتسجيل الملفات الصوتية‬ ‫‪ Audio‬أيضا باستخدام ‪ ،Garageband‬وهذه تحتوي‬ ‫على كافة المميزات األساسية‪.‬‬ ‫ال أريد هنا التحدث عما ال يستطيع ”‪”Garageband‬‬ ‫القيام به وإنما عما يمكنه القيام به‪ .‬مع كل إصدار تركز‬ ‫«أبل» على جوانب مختلفة من إنتاج الموسيقى‪ .‬ويركز‬ ‫“‪ ”Garageband 09‬في هذا اإلصدار على أصوات‬ ‫الجيتار الواقعية‪.‬‬ ‫طالما كانت أجهزة الكمبيوتر «أبل» سباقة عندما يتعلق‬ ‫األمر باألداء المنخفض والخفوت‪ .‬واآلن وبعد أن أصبحت‬ ‫المعالجات أسرع بكثير‪ ،‬فإنها تعد االتجاه الوحيد الصحيح‬ ‫الستهداف معالجة األصوات في الوقت الفعلي‪.‬‬

‫واألوتار والغيتار واألصوات المركبة وأصوات الخلفية‬ ‫والكثير من األصوات األخرى يكون لديك كل ما تحتاج إليه‬ ‫إلنتاج الموسيقى الخاصة بك‪.‬‬ ‫تم تنظيم أصوات ‪ Garageband‬في مكتبة صوتية‬ ‫متكونة من أقسام متوفرة إما على صورة ملفات صوتية‬ ‫‪ audio‬أو ملفات ‪ .MIDI‬ومن الواضح أن صيغة ‪MIDI‬‬ ‫تتزامن مع إيقاع األغنية إضافة إلى خيار تغيير الصوت‪.‬‬ ‫األمر الذي يعني أنك تستطيع أن تأخذ عينة ‪ MIDI‬من‬ ‫قسم الغيتار وأن تضعها على المسار وتقوم بكل‬ ‫بساطة بتغيير أداة المسار إلى البيانو فتحصل على‬ ‫بيانو يعزف لحن الغيتار‪.‬‬

‫من الواضح من ناحية أخرى أن العينات والصيغة الصوتية‬ ‫‪ Audio‬ال توفر خيار تغيير الصوت فقط‪ ،‬ولكنها توفرأيضا‬

‫أهم ميزة جديدة هي واجهة مكبرات الجيتار ‪Guitar‬‬ ‫‪ Amp‬الجديدة‪ .‬وفي الحقيقة فإن هذه ليست سمة‬ ‫جديدة فعال‪ ،‬ولكن مع األصوات والتأثيرات وواجهة‬ ‫المستخدم الجديدة فإن “أبل” تمنح عازفي الجيتار كل ما‬ ‫يحتاجونه لتسجيل مسارات الجيتار الكهربائي الطبيعية‬ ‫واللطيفة‪.‬‬ ‫تأتي واجهة مكبرات الجيتار ‪ Guitar Amp‬مع ‪ 37‬مجموعة‬ ‫جيتار مسبقة الضبط‪ .‬ويمكن أن يتم تعديل كل واحدة‬ ‫منها وفقا الحتياجات المستخدم وذوقه‪ .‬وتشتمل كل‬ ‫مجموعة مسبقة الضبط على مكبر وما يصل إلى خمس‬ ‫‪ stamp boxes‬متصلة في تسلسل‪.‬‬ ‫يعد تحرير المجموعات مسبقة الضبط سهال وبديهيًا‪.‬‬ ‫فما عليك لتغيير المكبر إال النقر على األسهم الموجودة‬ ‫على اليسار واليمين‪ .‬ويتيح لك هذا االختيار من بين‬ ‫النماذج المختلفة الخمسة من المكبرات المصممة على‬ ‫نمط مارشال وميسا و بوجي و فوكس‪ ،‬وفيندر كومبو و‬ ‫تويد‪ .‬ولضبط المكبرات يمكنك أيضًا استخدام ‪Gain,‬‬

‫كل اإلضافات الجديدة مثل ‪ Guitar Track‬و برنامج التعليم الموسيقى يمكن‬ ‫الحصول على من ‪.Template Window‬‬

‫‪Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence, Master, Output, Reverb, Tremolo‬‬ ‫‪.Rate, and Tremolo Depth‬‬ ‫واآلن هذه ميزة ال أتوقع توفرها في البرامج المجانية حيث عادة ما نقوم بتسجيل‬ ‫الجيتار ومن ثم إضافة المحاكاة وتأثيرات المكبر أثناء عملية المزج‪ .‬أما ‪Garageband‬‬ ‫فيسمح لك بتشغيل نماذج المكبر في نفس الوقت‪ .‬لقد أصبح بإمكانك عزف‬ ‫وتسجيل أصوات الجيتار المفضلة كما لو كنت تمتلك مكبرات صوت حقيقية‪.‬‬ ‫النقطة الوحيدة هي أنه اليمكن التحكم بأي من أزرار الجيتار بواسطة ضابط ‪،midi‬‬

‫معلومة‬ ‫إذا كنت ترغب بإضافة ‪ stamp box‬قم بسحب وإلقاء‬ ‫‪ stamp box‬من المكتبه إلى الفراغ المراد إستخدامه‪.‬‬ ‫اما في حال ترغب باستبدال ‪ stamp box‬قم بسحب و‬ ‫إلقاء ‪ stamp box‬المرغوب فوق المراد ستبداله‪.‬‬


‫اإلنتاج‬ ‫الموسيقى‬ ‫أصبح أكثر‬ ‫سهولة‬

‫تطرح «أبل» برنامج “‪ ”Garageband 09‬الجديد‪،‬‬ ‫وهو برنامج سهل االستخدام لتسجيل األصوات‬ ‫ومونتاجها‪.‬‬ ‫وها هي بعض المعلومات للذين ليسوا على‬ ‫معرفة بتطبيقات “‪.”Garageband 09‬‬ ‫‪ Garageband‬هو برنامج إنتاج صوتي متعدد المسارات‬ ‫الصوتية يأتي مع حزمة ‪ .iLife‬يبدو أن مستخدمي‬ ‫«أبل» اليقدرون ‪ Garageband‬حق تقديره‪ ،‬خاصة عندما‬ ‫يكونون معتادين على استخدام البرامج المهنية مثل‬ ‫‪ Logic‬و ‪ ،Pro Tools‬وال أريد هنا المقارنة بين هذه‬ ‫التطبيقات و ‪ ،Garageband‬ولكن بعض األعمال بكل‬ ‫بساطة ال تحتاج إلى أستوديو كامل للقيام بها‪ .‬وهنا‬ ‫أعني التسجيالت البسيطة والمونتاج الصوتي البسيط‬ ‫واألعمال البسيط للمغنيين وكتاب األغاني‪.‬‬ ‫فمع مايوفره برنامج ‪ Garageband‬من واجهة تطبيق‬ ‫مناسبة للمستخدم ومجموعة من األدوات ومكتبة تضم‬ ‫مئات من األصوات مثل البيانو ولوحات المفاتيح والطبل‬

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‫‪KNOW HOW‬‬ ‫الثورة ثالثية األبعاد‬

‫باستخدام برمجيات ‪( Compositor WowVx‬أنظر‬ ‫الشكل ‪ ،)5‬التي تتيح الجمع بين العديد من تأثيرات‬ ‫العمق في تركيبة عمق واحدة وتحول النتائج إلى‬ ‫صيغة «البعد الثاني‪-‬زائد‪-‬العمق»‪ .‬بعد تحويل المحتوى‬ ‫إلى الصيغة الصحيحة يستخدم مشغل ‪ WOWvx‬من‬ ‫فيليبس (وهو متاح للتنزيل بالمجان) في عرضها على‬ ‫الجهاز (أنظر الشكل ‪.)6‬‬

‫هذه التكنولوجيا تجارة التجزئة والمعارض والمتاحف والشركات أكثر من استهدافها‬ ‫الجمهور بشكل عام‪ ،‬أي أن أوقات المشاهدة ستكون قصيرة نسبيا‪ .‬كما أن هذه‬ ‫التكنولوجيا التتماشى حاليًا مع ما توفره فيليبس من شاشات العرض ‪ 42‬إنش و‪132‬‬ ‫إنش (على الرغم من أن العمالء الذين يعملون في مشاريع كبيرة يمكنهم االتصال‬ ‫بفيليبس وطلب مجموعة أخرى من األحجام)‪ .‬ومع ذلك‪ ،‬فإن شاشات ‪ 132‬إنش كبيرة‬ ‫جدا ونحن جميعا في الصناعة اإلعالمية نتطلع إلى رؤيتها تستخدم في مختلف أنحاء‬ ‫الشرق األوسط‪.‬‬

‫هناك عدد من المشاكل يجب أخذها بعين االعتبار‬ ‫عند استخدام هذه التكنولوجيا‪ .‬تحتوي هذه الشاشات‬ ‫على نقاط مشاهدة مختلقة “‪ ،”sweetspots‬مما‬ ‫يعني أن المستخدم يجب أن يكون في مواقع معينة‬ ‫ليحصل على التأثير وإال فسوف يواجه بقايا وتشويه‬ ‫في الصورة‪ .‬أما األثر الجانبي اآلخر غير المحبذ فهو أن‬ ‫مثل هذه الشاشات تجهد العين‪ ،‬وهذا بدوره يمكن أن‬ ‫يؤدي إلى الصداع بعد مشاهدتها لفترة طويلة‪ .‬إال أن‬ ‫ثمن هذه األجهزة يصل لما يزيد عن ‪ 8000‬دوالر أمريكي‬ ‫مما يعنى أن شركات مثل فيليبس تستهدف من‬

‫وفي وقت كتابة هذا التقرير‪ ،‬لم يكن هناك سوى اثنين من منتجي األفالم في دولة‬ ‫اإلمارات العربية المتحدة (‪ ، )Real Vision Homes and the 3D company‬األمر‬ ‫الذي يعني أن هذا هو الوقت المناسب للمشاركة في هذه التكنولوجيا التي سيتزايد‬

‫الشكل ‪5‬‬

‫فيليبس‬ ‫تستهدف من‬ ‫هذه التكنولوجيا‬ ‫تجارة التجزئة‬ ‫والمعارض والمتاحف‬ ‫والشركات أكثر من‬ ‫استهدافها الجمهور‬ ‫بشكل عام‪،‬‬

‫عليها الطلب في المنطقة‪:‬‬ ‫لمزيد من المعلومات يرجى زيارة‪:‬‬ ‫‪www.business-sites.philips.com‬‬ ‫‪www.wowvx.com/create/SoftwareTools.aspx‬‬ ‫‪www.virtualdub.org‬‬ ‫الشكل ‪6‬‬

‫‪Education:‬‬ ‫‪MA in Design for Interactive Media‬‬

‫‪Projects‬‬ ‫‪www.ipasdc.com/shuffle‬‬ ‫‪http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZemzxxlCvcg‬‬

‫‪Ryan Stokes‬‬ ‫تقدم فيليبس للمنتجين إمكانية تكوين محتويات‬ ‫معقدة الطبقات ثالثية األبعاد باستخدام برمجيات‬ ‫‪. Compositor WowVx‬‬

‫بعد تحويل المحتوى إلى الصيغة الصحيحة يستخدم‬ ‫مشغل ‪ WOWvx‬من فيليبس (وهو متاح للتنزيل‬ ‫بالمجان) في عرضها على الجهاز‪.‬‬

‫‪Skills‬‬

‫‪New Media editor‬‬

‫‪Interactive Media Developer - specializes in de-‬‬

‫‪on Media Production‬‬

‫‪signing tangible and touch screen user interfaces.‬‬

‫‪Magazine‬‬


‫الشكل ‪2‬‬

‫توفر فيليبس‬ ‫إضافات لتقنية‬ ‫ماكس ‪ Max‬ومايا ‪Maya‬‬ ‫ثالثية األبعاد تتيح تحويل‬ ‫المحتويات ثالثية األبعاد‬ ‫إلى صيغة «البعد الثاني‪-‬‬ ‫زائد‪-‬العمق»‬

‫الشكل ‪1‬‬

‫تختلف طريقة إنتاج محتويات مرنامج ‪WOWvx‬‬ ‫تماما عن البرامج األخرى حيث تعتمد كل‬ ‫وسيلة على حسب المحتوى المراد إنتاجه‬ ‫عند عرض صورة حقيقية ثالثية األبعاد‪ ،‬يدرك المشاهد‬ ‫أقسام مختلفة من الخلفية اعتمادًا على زاوية النظر‪.‬‬ ‫ومن أجل تحقيق «تأثير الرؤية المحيطية» تستخدم‬ ‫فيليبس التقنية التي يطلق عليها «ديكليبس»‬ ‫‪ .Declipse‬يعرض الجهاز صور متعددة للخلفية لزوايا‬ ‫النظر المختلفة‪ ،‬األمر الذي يمكن المشاهد من رؤية ما‬ ‫هو أكثر أو أقل مما وراء مجسم ثالثي األبعاد مما يؤدي‬ ‫إلى خلق تأثير مقنع (انظر الشكل ‪.)3‬‬

‫الفيديو‬

‫توفر فيليبس حلوالً لمعدات وبرامج تدعى (بلو بكس)‬ ‫‪( BlueBox‬انظر الشكل ‪ ،)4‬وهذه تتيح إمكانية تحويل‬ ‫أفالم الفيديو إلى صيغة «البعد الثاني‪-‬زائد‪-‬العمق»‬ ‫الخاضعة لحقوق الملكية الفكرية‪ .‬يتطلب األمر صورة‬ ‫خلفية منفصلة دائما من أجل تحقيق التأثير ثالثي‬ ‫األبعاد و لتحقيق ذلك يتم تصوير األشخاص أو األشياء‬ ‫أمام شاشة خضراء ‪ ،‬األمر الذي يمكن أن يكون باهظ‬ ‫التكلفة إذا لم تكن تمتلك أستوديو سينمائي‪.‬‬

‫الشكل ‪3‬‬

‫هذه الخدمة تقدم على أساس تجاري وهي ال تتوفر‬ ‫بثمن قليل حيث يكلف تجهيزها ‪ 16000‬دوالر أمريكي‬ ‫إضافة إلى أتعاب التركيب ورسم شهري لتحويل أفالم‬ ‫الفيديو؛ ولكن مه ً‬ ‫ال ال تشعر باالستياء ‪ -‬إذا كنت تعمل‬ ‫في الغالب مع محتوى من الرسوم المتحركة الحاسوبية‬ ‫فإنك لن تحتاج حتى إلى تقنية «البلوبوكس»‬ ‫‪!BlueBox‬‬

‫رسومات الحاسوب‬

‫توفر فيليبس إضافات لتقنية ماكس ‪ Max‬ومايا ‪Maya‬‬ ‫ثالثية األبعاد تتيح تحويل المحتويات ثالثية األبعاد إلى‬ ‫صيغة «البعد الثاني‪-‬زائد‪-‬العمق»‪ ،‬األمر الذي يعني‬ ‫أنه ال توجد حاجة لتعلم الكثير بالنسبة ألولئك الذين‬ ‫يعملون بمثل هذه التقنيات‪ .‬ومن الممكن أيضا العمل‬ ‫مع برامج أخرى‪ ،‬على سبيل المثال فوتوشوب‪ ،‬ومن ثم‬ ‫استخدام برمجيات مثل «فيرتيووال دب» ‪Virtual Dub‬‬ ‫لتجميع صورة ثنائية األبعاد وصورة القيمة الرمادية‬ ‫بالشكل الصحيح‪ .‬كما تقدم فيليبس للمنتجين‬ ‫إمكانية تكوين محتويات معقدة الطبقات ثالثية األبعاد‬ ‫الشكل ‪4‬‬

‫‪Background‬‬ ‫‪Foreground‬‬

‫‪Viewpoint shifts to the right‬‬

‫تعكس الشاشة صور مجسمة متعددة‪ ،‬ويستقبلها‬ ‫المشاهد عند متلقى العينين اليمنى واليسرى‪ ،‬وتقوم‬ ‫االختالفات الدقيقة بين الصور بخداع الدماغ لتكوين صور‬ ‫ثالثية األبعاد‪.‬‬

‫‪84 85‬‬

‫‪Central viewpoint‬‬

‫‪Viewpoint shifts to the left‬‬

‫من أجل تحقيق «تأثير الرؤية المحيطية» تستخدم فيليبس التقنية التي يطلق عليها‬ ‫«ديكليبس» ‪ .Declipse‬يعرض الجهاز صور متعددة للخلفية لزوايا النظر المختلفة‪،‬‬ ‫األمر الذي يمكن المشاهد من رؤية ما هو أكثر أو أقل مما وراء مجسم ثالثي األبعاد‬ ‫مما يؤدي إلى خلق تأثير مقنع‪.‬‬

‫توفر فيليبس حلوالً لمعدات وبرامج تدعى (بلو بكس)‬ ‫(‪ ،)BlueBox‬وهذه تتيح إمكانية تحويل أفالم الفيديو‬ ‫إلى صيغة «البعد الثاني‪-‬زائد‪-‬العمق»‬


‫‪KNOW HOW‬‬ ‫الثورة ثالثية األبعاد‬

‫الستيريوسكوب التلقائي هو عملية‬ ‫يمكن من خاللها مشاهدة الصور ثالثية األبعاد‬ ‫دون أن تحتاج إلى استخدام نظارات أو‬ ‫قبعة رأس خاصة‪.‬‬


‫الثورة‬

‫ثالثية األبعاد‬ ‫حتى قبل بداية الفترة الذهبية لألفالم ثالثية األبعاد‬ ‫(عندما تم طرح أول ميزة بتقنية الستيريوسكوبك‬ ‫الملونة في عام ‪ )1952‬وارتداء الجماهير نظارات الورق‬ ‫المقوى‪ ،‬كان الباحثين يحاولون إيجاد طرق جديدة لعرض‬ ‫الصور ثالثية األبعاد‪.‬‬

‫وعلى الرغم من أن تقنية الستيريوسكوب قد أتاحت‬ ‫األفالم ثالثية األبعاد للجماهير‪ ،‬فإن تقنية التصوير‬ ‫المج��م (الهولوجرافي) هي التي بشرت منذ فترة‬ ‫طويلة بتوفير تقنية «الهولوديك» التي كنا نحلم بها‪.‬‬ ‫واآلن تظهر تكنولوجيا جديدة جعلت في النهاية من‬ ‫تقنية التصوير المجسم أمرًا ممكنًا واألهم من ذلك‪،‬‬ ‫أنها أصبحت متاحة ويمكن الحصول عليها‪.‬‬ ‫توفر األجهزة الجديدة التي تعتمد على الشاشة فرصًا‬ ‫مثيرة لكل من الشركات والمصممين‪ ،‬وقد أصبحت‬ ‫اإلمارات العربية مركزا للتكنولوجيا الناشئة مع عدد من‬ ‫المشاريع البارزة التي تستخدم هذه التكنولوجيا في‬ ‫تطبيقات مختلقة‪.‬‬

‫الستيريوسكوب التلقائي‬ ‫الستيريوسكوب التلقائي هو عملية يمكن من‬ ‫خاللها مشاهدة الصور ثالثية األبعاد دون أن تحتاج إلى‬

‫‪86 87‬‬

‫استخدام نظارات أو قبعة رأس خاصة‪ .‬فكيف يمكن‬ ‫بالضبط تحقيق تأثير مفهوم العمق من خالل السطح‬ ‫المستوي؟‬ ‫قد تعتقد أن الطريقة ستكون معقدة للغاية‪،‬‬ ‫ولكن هذه الطريقة ما هي إال تطوير لمبادئ تقنية‬ ‫الستيريوسكوب التي اخترعت قبل ‪ 200‬سنة تقريبا!‬ ‫تعكس الشاشة صور مجسمة متعددة (انظر الشكل‬ ‫‪ ،)1‬ويستقبلها المشاهد عند متلقى العينين اليمنى‬ ‫واليسرى‪ ،‬وتقوم االختالفات الدقيقة بين الصور بخداع‬ ‫الدماغ لتكوين صور ثالثية األبعاد‪.‬‬

‫البعد الثاني‪-‬زائد‪-‬العمق‬

‫يمكن اآلن شراء أجهزة عرض الستيريوسكوب التلقائي‬ ‫ثالثي األبعاد مثل فيليبس ‪ WOWvx‬وخلق تأثيرات‬ ‫ثالثية األبعاد مذهلة ومقنعة‪ .‬لنلقي نظرة اآلن على‬ ‫ما يجب أن تفعله لعرض األفالم باستخدام مجموعة‬ ‫فيليبس ‪.WOWvx‬‬

‫تسمى الصيغة التي تستخدمها شاشات ‪« WOWvx‬البعد الثاني‪-‬زائد‪-‬العمق»‬ ‫وهي تتكون من صورة ثنائية األبعاد مع خريطة عمق مصاحبة لها (صور القيمة‬ ‫الرمادية) (انظر الشكل ‪ .)2‬وصور القيمة الرمادية هي في األساس مجموعة من‬ ‫التعليمات توجه الشاشة إلى المكان الذي يجب أن تعرض فيه كل بكسل من‬ ‫الصورة على المحور «ع» (أي إلى أي مدى ينبغي أن تقفز من الشاشة)‪.‬‬


‫‪KNOW HOW‬‬ ‫‪3D Vision‬‬

‫الجانب الفني‬ ‫يتم تمديد طبقة رفيعة نصف عاكسة من البالستيك بزاوية ‪ 45‬درجة أمام خشبة‬ ‫المسرح‪.‬‬ ‫يتم بث شعاع الصورة بواسطة جهاز عرض ضوئي (بروجكتور) نحو السطح العاكس‬ ‫من أسفل‪ ،‬األمر الذي يؤدي إلى عكس صورة مقابلة على السطح العلوي على الغطاء‬ ‫الموجود أمام المسرح (أنظر الشكل رقم ‪ .)3‬يمكن تعديل التهيئة ألي وضعية أخرى‬ ‫تقريبًا‪ ،‬و األهم من ذلك أنها قابلة لتغيير المقاس تمامًا بفضل طبيعة الغطاء الخفيف‬ ‫و بساطة و توفر التقنية المتضمنة فيها‪.‬‬ ‫إن االهتمام بتهيئة المسرح (الذي يتم بث الصورة عليه) هو ما يجعل باإلمكان خداع عقل‬ ‫المشاهد وجعله يصدق أنه يرى شيئًا مجسمًا‪ .‬ينبغي االهتمام الكامل بأدق التفاصيل‬ ‫لكي تنطلي الخدعة على المشاهد وتكون مقنعة له‪ .‬وينبغي إعادة خلق كمية الضوء‬ ‫واتجاهه في عملية اإلنتاج على المسرح لتفادي أي تشوه بصري لخلق تجربة حقيقية‪.‬‬ ‫يتم تسجيل محتوى الفيديو أمام شاشات خضراء للحد من أثر الخلفية‪ .‬كما يتم‬ ‫بعناية تامة توثيق اتجاه الضوء‪ ،‬واأللوان‪ ،‬والكثافة لكي يتم خلق نفس الظروف على‬ ‫المسرح‪ .‬ويعد عمل الرسوم المتحركة لـ “خط العين ثالثي األبعاد” على الحاسب اآللي أمر‬ ‫أسهل بكثير وأكثر مرونة بسبب التحكم الهائل في الضوء و زوايا الكاميرا الذي توفره‬ ‫البرمجيات مثل برنامج “مايا”‪.‬‬

‫النظري والمادي‬ ‫ليست مسألة إمكانية تعديل القياس‪ ،‬أو غيرها من النقاط التي تم التطرق لذكرها‬ ‫هي ما يجعل “خط العين ثالثي األبعاد” ملهمًا للغاية – فتوليد الصورة أمام المسرح‬ ‫يتيح كذلك العديد من الفرص باإلضافة إلى ما يقدمه منظور االستريوسكوب اآللي‬ ‫للعرض ثالثي األبعاد‪ .‬فهو يسمح بالخلط بين ما هو افتراضي وما هو مادي لخلق‬ ‫نوع من الواقعية ‪ ،‬والتي تمخضت عن العديد من التطبيقات الشيقة كظهور لويس‬ ‫هاملتون على المسرح و إجراء حوار مع مجسم لنفسه على المسرح في فعالية “ريبوك”‬ ‫الترويجية في الصيف الماضي‪.‬‬ ‫أما من منظور التصميم‪ ،‬فإن هذه القدرة على الخلط بين الرقمي والمادي تفتح آفاقًا‬ ‫وإمكانيات جديدة للتجربة مع مختلف الوسائط و المحتوى المسجل في الفضاء المادي‪،‬‬ ‫و الرسوم المتحركة ثالثية األبعاد‪ ،‬وتجعل من الممكن تضمين األشخاص والعناصر‬ ‫المادية كجزء من نفس العرض – فهل يتساءل أحدكم عما إذا كان بإمكاننا أن نرى‬ ‫صورة أخرى من العمل المسمى “من صور روجر األرنب” على المسرح؟‬

‫‪Education:‬‬ ‫‪MA in Design for Interactive Media‬‬

‫‪Projects‬‬ ‫‪www.ipasdc.com/shuffle‬‬ ‫‪http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZemzxxlCvcg‬‬

‫‪Ryan Stokes‬‬ ‫‪New Media editor‬‬

‫‪Skills‬‬

‫‪on Media Production‬‬

‫‪Interactive Media Developer - specializes in de-‬‬

‫‪Magazine‬‬

‫‪signing tangible and touch screen user interfaces.‬‬


‫وهناك سوق واعد كبير لتلك التقنية التي يمكن تعديل‬ ‫قياسها‪ ،‬في منطقة الشرق األوسط‪ ،‬وذلك الستعمالها‬ ‫في الفعاليات‪ ،‬والتواصل‪ ،‬و الالفتات كبيرة الحجم‪ ،‬وقد‬ ‫توصلت إحدى الشركات العاملة في اإلمارات العربية‬ ‫المتحدة إلى منظور فريد لتحقيق تجربة مجسمة ثالثية‬ ‫األبعاد يمكن تقديمها لعدد كبير من المشاهدين‪.‬‬

‫الرؤية‬

‫ثالثية األبعاد‬ ‫أصبح باإلمكان اآلن تحقيق التأثيرات المجسمة بفضل‬ ‫إدخال استخدام آالت العرض االستريوسكوبية‪ ،‬إال أن‬ ‫قياسات الشاشة الحالية ال تتخطى ‪ 132‬بوصة فقط‪،‬‬ ‫و التقنية ال تسمح حاليًا بإمكانية تغيير قياسها‪،‬‬ ‫األمر الذي يعني أن تقديم مثل هذه التأثيرات (بدون‬ ‫نظارات) لعموم الجماهير ليس أمرًا ممكنًا بعد‪.‬‬

‫‪88 89‬‬

‫استخدم نظام خط العين (‪ )Eyeliner‬ثالثي األبعاد‬ ‫في عدد من الفعاليات الكبرى عبر العالم‪ ،‬و خاصة في‬ ‫اإلمارات العربية المتحدة‪ ،‬حيث أقيم مجسم ضوئي‬ ‫لألمير فيليب من العائلة البريطانية المالكة بإلقاء‬ ‫كلمة على الجمهور في حفل القمة العالمية لمستقبل‬ ‫الطاقة في أبو ظبي‪ .‬في تلك الحالة المشار إليها آنفًا‪،‬‬ ‫كان األمر تسجي ً‬ ‫ال مسبقًا لألمير‪ ،‬ولكن النظام استخدم‬ ‫الحقًا لتقديم عروض حية – وهي العملية التي تعرف‬ ‫«بالحضور عن بعد ”‪ ،”Tele-Presence‬والتي تسمح‬ ‫بنقل مجسمات ضوئية و صوت مصاحب عن بعد عبر‬ ‫العالم‪.‬‬

‫األصول‬

‫تم تصميم نظام خط العين (‪ )Eyeliner‬ثالثي األبعاد‬ ‫بواسطة مدير شركة إيفينت وركس السيد‪ /‬يوي ماس‪،‬‬ ‫والذي استلهم الفكرة من مسرح قديم من عام ‪1860‬‬ ‫حيث كان يجري نوع من اإليهام يعرف بـ “شبح بيبر”‬ ‫نسبة إلى البروفيسور جون هنري بيبر‪ ،‬والذي قام مع‬ ‫مهندس يدعى هنري ديك باستخدام نظام إضاءة خاص‬ ‫مع بعض الزجاج نصف العاكس لخلق إيهام بظهور شبح‬ ‫على المسرح‪ .‬اتخذ نظام خط العين (‪ )Eyeliner‬من‬ ‫المنظور االنعكاسي لشبح بيبر أساسًا له وقام بتطويره‬ ‫إلى تجربة هولوجرافية مجسمة ثالثية األبعاد عالية‬ ‫المواصفات تتناسب مع تقنية القرن الحادي والعشرين‪،‬‬ ‫وهي تجربة أذهلت الحشود حول العالم‪.‬‬


Pablo Picasso Spanish painter. Founder of Cubism.

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Media Production May 09