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Issue #01 March -April 09 UAE Edition 50 AED, 4 KD

David Lim

CABSAT Over 20 Pages of Audio, Video & Graphic Design



Interview with David Lim, CABSAT Issue #01 March -April 09 UAE Edition 50 AED, 4 KD

David Lim

CAPSAT Over 20 Pages of Audio, Video & Graphics

Tutorials Showcases

Media Industry News

Graphic Design


Interview with David Lim






Logotype Localization


Photoshop CS4 Review


Drop Down Menu

Video 16


Media Production March -April 09

HD- All That Editors Should Know


Video News

Actionscript 3 Tutorial 48

Walk Tutorial Flash CS4


Distorting Text Tutorial

Flash CS4 Tutorial Drop down menu

HD- All That Editors Should Know

P 40

P 16

Interactive Surfaces

P 26

Showcase Nora Badanian

P 60

Logotype Localization

P 32

Showcase Salem Al-Qassimi

P 56

Team Managers Hamad Al Saab Ali Sultan Content Ali Sultan PR and Client Relations Hamad Al Saab Marketing Manager


Sylvia Voss

edia Production is the first multi-media magazine in the Middle East. Our aim is to introduce young creatives, as well as experienced professionals, to a new way to look at media. In a sector where the boundaries between the different media sectors seem to vanish, we offer a wholesome publication which provides information to individuals and companies from the full range of media sectors, not only in the UAE but in the GCC and the rest of the Middle East. In this manner we make information more accessible and more accurate, to keep our readers updated and informed about graphic design, audio production, video/broadcasting, animation, new media and the multi media industry in general. But we don’t stop there. The main philosophy of Media Production is “Information followed by education”. Let’s build a network, let’s work together.

Creative Director Ali Sultan Hamad Al Saab Writers New Media Editor Ryan Stokes Graphic Design Editors Olivia Zechner Talal Obaid Video Editor Areeba Hanif

MP Mag Team

Publishing and Advertsing ThinkTank Publishing & Creative House FZ-LLC

IMPZ P.O. Box 485009 Circular Building, First Floor Office No. 105 Dubai, UAE The opinions and views contained in

are not necessarily those of the publisher’s.

No part of this publication or content, therof maybe reproduced, stored in a retrival system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing.



CABSAT Q&A with David LIM Mr. David Lim talks with Media Production Magazine about highlights at Cabsat Mena/ Satellite Mena and the importance of “Knowlege Exchange“ in the Media Sector.

Cabsat will open its doors on the 3rd of March, and

from regional broadcasters discussing “Technology

we are all excited to see the new trends in the

Uptake in Challenging Times.”

broadcasting industy. What are your highlights?

HD video caused a lot of confusion in the past years, because of its many formats, can we expect

The technology highlights are HDTV, IPTV, Mobile TV

a standardized HD format for video production in

and HD “Live” coverage. There will also be product

the near future?

launches including some of the latest OB Vans. As with any technological advancement, vendors In addition, part of the CABSAT MENA knowledge

across the globe will introduce new formats with

exchange will see a Keynote address“ The melting ice

“cutting edge” technology. Over time, some of

cube: Analogue business in the Digital World” by Mr.

the formats will prove to be more widely adopted

Edward Borgerding, CEO Abu Dhabi Media Company

than others and through a evolutionary process, a

as well as a CTO Panel Discussion by leading CTO’s

“standardized” format will eventually be reached.

Q&A David Lim

10 11

I would like it to be entirely pro-consumer ie. consumer decides what to watch, where to watch and when to watch...

Media Production Magazine’s aim is to give creatives a platform to exchange knowledge. How important is knowledge exchange for you and for Cabsat? Very important. Hence the introduction of “Knowledge Exchange” branding to incorporate our conferences, workshops, panel discussions to facilitate the exchanges of knowledge in the industry. It is through increasing our knowledge that we as players in the industry will improve and in turn contribute to the

When do you think will the blue ray disc replace

further development of the industry. It is for this

the now so common DVD, or do you think they will

exact reason why CABSAT works so hard to provide

coexist for a while?

the regional audience with a high quality conference programme with minimum registration charges.

It is difficult to say. It is a chicken and egg question. It very much depends on consumer uptake of technology

Where do you see the future for broadcasting? Will

i.e. purchasing of HDTV and blue ray player which in

online broadcasting play a major role in the near

turn is dependent on the availability of HD content

future of broadcasting?

availability. I think they will co-exist for a while until the prices for HDTV and players becomes affordable

As consumer, I would like it to be entirely pro-consumer

and normal TV and players becomes obsolete.

ie. consumer decides what to watch, where to watch

Q&A David Lim

and when to watch. With faster bandwith speed and






better connectivity, I think online broadcasting will

to emerging markets such as the Middle East,

play a major role in this “pro-consumer” concept.

the region’s growth fundamentals and stability remain a strong proposition. In addition, regional

What effect has or will the financial crisis have

infrastructure is continuing to develop to be in line

on the broadcasting industry, regionally and

with the global standards and this will continue to


drive the industry.

If you use the exhibition CABSAT MENA as an industry

What needs to be done to regain trust in the UAE

gauge, the outlook is very positive with numbers on

media sector?

track to deliver a bigger event than last year. The Industry leaders including Advance Media Trading,

I did not realise that there was a “trust” issue in the

Al Yahsat, AVID, Arabsat, Eurostar, Eutelsat, Harris,

UAE media sector. UAE, with it’s open and transparent

Intelsat, NileSat, Oasis Enterprise, United Broadcast

policies, has been a haven for freedom of the press.

& Media Solutions (UBMS) and SONY are all present.

In fact, just this month a new UAE draft media law

In addition, we have over 60 companies that will

has come into place which lifts earlier restrictions

be exhibiting at the event for the first time. This

and provides freedom and protection to journalists

is testament to their strong vote of confidence

in the UAE.

I think online broadcasting will play a major role in this “proconsumer” concept

in the event especially in a challenging business environment. On the visitor front, too, we are upbeat and positive on the numbers.

12 13

NEWS CABSAT MENA AND SATELLITE MENA HIGHLIGHT STRENGTH OF REGIONAL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS SECTORS IN HARD TIMES Over 650 Digital Media and Satellite Communications Companies will gather for the Region’s Leading Exhibitions and Conferences Dubai, United Arab Emirates Satellite communication and digital media are “defining technologies” for the Middle East, making a major contribution to both commerce and culture, according to key players heading to Dubai for CABSAT MENA and Satellite MENA 2009. Digital media and satellite communications companies are having a significant impact on contemporary Middle East society, through the provision of connectivity for people and companies in remote areas, and by contributing to the proliferation of new media in the Arabic language.

Northern Sky Research (NSR) estimates that the global market for satellite communications alone will reach over USD 140 billion by 2010. NSR also reported an expectant increase in the global supply of commercial Cand Ku-band capacity in the coming years despite the current market situation simply because many markets such as the Middle East are still growing, and the fierce competition for orbital slots means that satellite operators will be reluctant to truly give up any of their current orbital allocations. This has been reflected by the increase in inclined orbit supply in the last year as older satellites are relocated to either begin developing new markets or simply to protect prior slot allocations.

Salam Media Cast at Cabsat 2009 Salam Media Cast has a proven track record as a broadcast systems integrator and is considered as one of the most popular broadcast systems integration specialists in the Middle East. Designing a new broadcast system or facility is a highly technical and labor intensive task. However, our technical and operational expertise allows us to integrate broadcast systems seamlessly and turning them into an easy to use, low maintenance and extremely reliable systems. As broadcast systems integrators we provide sustainable solutions, design functionality and innovation that meets your high requirements and can be maintained with maximum ease. Salam Media Cast has worked as a broadcast systems integrator for numerous small and large projects and the perfect blend of knowledge and experience in our technical team makes it easy to turn concepts into reality.

NEWS Visit Avid & Digidesign at CABSAT MENA Operating budgets are down, but you still need to capture and inspire audiences. You need equipment that is creative, efficient and totally reliable. CABSAT MENA will be your chance to explore how Avid’s latest HD solutions deliver on all three: seamlessly integrated broadcast and postproduction workflows, the highest quality creative tools for audio and video, and new end-to-end XDCAM HD production. Avid announcing XDCAM HD based production Benefit from lower costs and faster turnaround with our next generation production server AirSpeed Multi Stream supporting Long GOP MPEG2 HD (XDCAM HD) and supporting NewsCutter, iNEWS, Interplay and

Quantel at CABSAT 2009

Media Composer releases. Share our passion at the leading broadcast and production trade show in the Middle East Dream big. Sleep well. Avid HD postproduction solutions help creative teams

Quantel will be out in force at CABSAT 2009, to be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition

rise above the most demanding projects for music,

Centre from 3 to 5 March 2009. CABSAT (held simultaneously with satellite industry show MENA) is the leading

television and film production.

event for the digital media industry in the Middle East, with 650 exhibitors from over 50 countries and an expected 10,000+ attendees. It will showcase the latest digital media products and services, from content

Explore high performance workflows with:

creation through media management and onto delivery.

Avid Media Composer Nitris DX Avid DS v10

The Quantel stand (N° ZP-22A) will be located in Zabeel Hall. It will feature Quantel’s renowned SD/HD

Avid Unity

broadcast server systems for media production. Quantel’s Newsbox HD is an enterprise-wide, fully inclusive

Digidesign Pro Tools|HD v8 with new Video Satellite

and scalable broadcast production system, incorporating desktop and mobile editing, with integrated Mission


MAM, designed to optimize workflow for all broadcasters. At CABSAT, Quantel will be unveiling the latest new

Digidesign ICON D-Control

developments in production and post workflow:

And don’t miss the opportunity to see a complete XDCAM EX and RED workflow. Stand ZC-11, Zabeel Hall

Quantel Newsbox HD – fully-featured integrated SD/HD broadcast server system

• • • •

Mission – Quantel’s integrated MAM package sQ Cut – journalist editing workstation sQ Edit Plus HD – craft editing workstation sQ Play/sQ Record – ingest and playout control workstations

14 15

@#$%&$!@#$%&$! @#$%&$!@#$%&$!

HD – All That Editors Should Know Last night, just after 10 hours of non-stop Final Cut Pro dosage, I happened to rake in some celebrity gossip via the telly on the Inside Edition. Something really strange happened. At every commercial break, a proud celebrity announced the name of the show with specific emphasis on the last bit. “You’re watching Inside Edition. And I look so good because its in HD!”

KNOW HOW All That Editors Should Know

Tip A quick resolution review before we look at more. Image dimensions are defined in terms of pixels and measured as horizontal pixels x vertical pixels. HD What the @#$%&$!




rates. Heavily

Now I don’t blame my over-worked brain for perking




up at that, because suddenly I’m worried if some

other in defining a

future editor heard that and is scarred for life. I’m


on a mission to answer his questions and my own.

time-base, formats,

Does HD really make something look good? Does it

codecs and frame-

have better colors? Is It easier to edit? Is it tapeless?

rates are in fact very

Have i got you confused enough already?

different and distinct


features of any video

comes in varying sizes of 1280x720 pixels (imagine a rectangle), 1440x1080 (imagine a wider rectangle) and full HD is at 1920x1080 (a very wide rectangle) – this is why it is called wide screen. Anything bigger is a whole new discussion. For the purposes of this article, full HD is limited to 1920x1080.

HD has conveniently slipped from High Definition

or digitized media.

to Head Distortion. While the advent of HD came

As an example, 1080i

with the intent of standardizing production and post

is a format that could

production workflows, it has done anything but,

be encoded in ‘x’ number of ways at ‘x’ frame-rates.

It records on pocket-friendly mini-DV tapes (AED 10/

with a swirl of new formats and codecs endorsed

In reality, the ‘x’ is not an ambiguous possibility but

tape) with an hour worth of footage encoded with

by various manufacturers and consortiums. Andrew

rather dependent on the recording tool/medium and

the MPEG-2 compression, color sampling of 4:2:0 and

Ballis of insists that the root of confusion

a software’s capability of handling the various codecs

captured through the firewire channel. In layman’s

amongst many, seasoned editors and beginners

and frame rates.

terms, the work-flow is nearly the same as DV, with a

alike, is the ‘lack of consistency’ in describing these

In brief, FCP supports the following frames: 23.98,

few tweaks here and there.

formats. Additionally, just when the race for ‘full HD’

25, 29.97, 50, and 59.94 fps HD codecs supported

If PAL DV standard definition is measured at 720x576,

was nearly over, the pixel boundaries were further


then how does the same tape record the same

expanded by the REDCODE RAW; literally.

REDCODE RAW. It is common for one to assume that

amount of footage at a much higher resolution of up

to be a small number but try applying the frame-rate

to 1440x1080? The answer is in the way the MPEG-2

Thankfully, Final Cut Pro is a great mentor in

variants to each of the codecs along with resolution

compression on HDV works – the aim being to record

wrapping your head around things. Not only does it

possibilities and we’re talking Apple’s proud words:

at a much lower data rate than full HD and nearly the

natively support ‘virtually any format’ (

‘virtually any format’. This brings us to clearly

same as SD.

and incorporate Apple’s own Pro Res 422, it also

understanding each of these formats. In this issue,

HDV uses what is specifically known as long-GOP

accompanies decent 145 page HD and Broadcast

we begin with HDV.

MPEG compression which falls under the category

format manual (in human speak!) that takes the user through step-by-step explanations of a smooth post

HDV – High Definition DV

of temporal compression. Video can be compressed either





(Interframe). Spatial Compression is applied by way

production workflow. With reference to the same document, this article aims to highlight and clear

HDV is the kind of format that almost any user has

of averaging areas of similar color and texture with

some air on key specifications of the most popular

access to – it has been utilized in professional, prosumer

fewer bit information than the original. Hence, each

HD formats.

and even consumer cameras. It was developed

frame has reduced data rate and exists as a stand

by a consortium that includes Sony, Canon, Sharp

alone frame. Temporal compression however stores

and JVC, with all of these manufacturers regularly

‘only what has changed from one frame to the next’

developing the technology offering improved quality

(FCP 6 – Working with Broadcast and HD Formats,

The terminology most commonly used interchangeably

and features each time. One of the reasons HDV has

Apple Inc. 2008). I like to think of it as the difference

with HD usually revolves around formats, codecs and

become so widely popular is its mode of recording.

between being independent and interdependent.

HD – Format? Codec? Frame Rate?

16 17


The HDV camcorder is connected to the computer via FireWire

• • • •

Setup using one of FCP’s HDV Easy Setups Use the HDV log and capture window Edit in the ‘easily setup’ timeline Finally export a quicktime movie or print to video

In either case, the data rate is reduced, however,

heaven forbid something must be rendered, the

temporal compression offers a much lower data

processor needs to restructure the groups. Imagine

rate and hence much smaller file size. To compare

working with different groups of children and trying

file sizes, i recommend using Digital Heaven’s free

keep them all quiet. Needless to say, if HDV needs

widget VideoSpace. Oh boy, i love free stuff.

to be archived on tape, it must be conformed (group structuring) before being printed to tape. This is

Delving into more technical details (note: I wouldn’t

relevant, because since it may be not conformed

if it was not important), our interdependent frames

while you edit, it is not possible to edit to tape with

are generated by the creation of three types of

HDV. Having said that, the workflow is pretty straight

frames. The compressor takes a bunch of frames


and out of those generates a) a stand-alone i-frame that contains a complete image and b) predictive

Now that we’ve understood the encoding in HDV

P-frames as well as bipredictive B-frames that store

we can conveniently look into the HDV formats and

subsequent changes not the whole frame. This frame

frame rates.

grouping and chopping business happens every half second or so and that is where the term GOP comes

Final Cut Pro supports the following (a similar table

from because lo and behold it stands for Group of

can be found in the same manual we discussed

Pictures. I wish it were just Group of Frames.

earlier). The format name itself very often denotes the frame size, frame interpolation, dimensions and

While it is fabulous that less space is used up, HDV’s

the data rate.

GOP encoding is very processor intensive. Think about it logically – the frames are grouped, hence

With 1080i50 as an example more relevant to

editing with frame accuracy becomes a task and if

this region, 1080 denotes the vertical resolution

KNOW HOW All That Editors Should Know

of 1080pixels with the horizontal being 1440. “I”


FCP Easy Setup


Frame Rate

indicates interlaced frames with 50 representing the


HDV - 1080i50

1440 x 1080

25 fps/50 interlaced

frame rates of interlaced PAL – 50interlaced fields

1080i50 (Canon)

HDV – 1080i50

1440 x 1080

25fps/50 interlaced

14408 x 1080

25 Full Progressive fps

makes 25 full frames/second. Using this order of a) frame vertical dimension, b) frame interpolation

Firewire Basic* 1080F25 (Canon)

and c) frame-rate, the specs of any HD format can be interpreted just by looking at its name. Go ahead, translate all the formats in the table below using pointers a, b and c. You’ll get the hang of it. For those of you struggling, here’s a wikipedia definition of interlaced and progressive frame interpolation:

HDV – 1080p25 Firewire Basic*


HDV 720p50

1280 x 720

50 Full Progressive fps


HDV 720p25

1280 x 720

25 Full Progressive fps

*HDV1080i50 and 1080i50 Firewire Basic are the same except that Canon cameras connected via firewire need the easy setup ‘Firewire Basic’ **For NTSC format listing, refer to the manual.

Interlaced: Interlaced scan refers to one of two

a) the Apple Intermediate Codec over Firewire using

common methods for “painting” a video image on an

the appropriate Easy Setup

electronic display screen (the second is progressive

Disadvantages: MPEG-2 GOP compression – lack of frame accuracy

scan), by scanning or displaying each line or row of

b) Use a third party capture card (AJA or Black-magic

Color sampling of 4:2:0 – same as DV and definitely

pixels. This technique uses two fields to create a

Design) to capture in Apple ProRes 422

not good enough for keying.

The advantage of these alternate workflows is frame,

Needs to be conformed before being outputted to

accurate time-code and no conforming of footage







which means that it can be finally outputted to tape

scanning is a method for displaying, storing or

in anyway.

Always analyze the needs of your project before

transmitting moving images in which all the lines of

The disadvantage is that the transcoding will result in

deciding the format to work with. In this series, we

each frame are drawn in sequence, resulting in a full

a much bigger file size. Also, even though ProRes has

will continue to study the various HD formats, their

frame each time.

a color sample rate of 4:2:2, the color information

advantages and disadvantages, so that you, the

cannot be retrieved from the HDV 4:2:0 footage.

creative, can make the right decision based on logical

Interestingly enough, if your HDV camera has an

understanding, not just because it looks good.

Alternate Work Flow:

HD SDI port, you can record directly to a hard disk resulting in a much less compressed image.

Due to HDV being processor intensive, an alternate

On a conclusive note, HDV has many production

Areeba Hanif

workflow of transcoding HDV footage to the

advantages, especially for low budget filmmakers:

Digital Film Making

Apple ProRes 422 or Apple Intermediate Codec is

Inexpensive image acquisition available in professional



and prosumer cameras Small disk space used Edit

Apple Certified Trainer

Natively in Final Cut Pro.

SAE Institute, Dubai

This means that you shoot in HDV but capture in

18 19

NEWS Royalty free Stock Photos, Videos and Audio sent us a nice little note today that their new Royalty Free Music section iStockaudio was now open for business. They’re not announcing it to

Apple iMovie 09

the wide world until March, but figured Videomaker readers might want to get a heads up, and get a chance to upload some of your original scores to the site before everyone comes knocking. It’s also a good place to look for new royalty free music for your

Finally the iMovie ’09 is available as part of the

video projects.

new iLife ’09 software package. Apple fixes many inconviences from the previous version and adds

The new site works similarly to their stock footage

many new interesting features for the beginners and

and stock photo sites.

semi professionals.

iStockphoto and can spend them on downloading

You pre-buy credits from


royalty free tracks directly. The cost of the tracks

stabilization, precision editor, full - screen library

is tied to “complexity” which may be a bit more

browser, advanced drag and drop, animated travel

subjective than how they charge for photos and audio

maps and much more.

(based on physical size). The tracks themselves are






in .wav format, 16bit, 44.1kHz or 48kHz, the latter iLife ’09 requires Mac OS X version 10.5.6 or later,

matching the audio sample rate for video.

a Macintosh® computer with an Intel processor, a PowerPC G5 or 867 MHz or faster PowerPC G4, 512MB

So if you have some audio tracks or sound effects you

of RAM (1GB recommended), QuickTime® 7.5.5 or

wish to sell, or if you’re in need of a piece of audio

later (included), a DVD drive for installation and

you just can’t make yourself, head on over and check

4GB of available disk space. iPhoto print services

out iStockaudio.

and GarageBand Artist Lessons are available in select countries. Full system requirements and more

for more information visit:

information on iLife ’09 can be found at


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Native Final Cut Pro format

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22 23


INTERACTIVE SURFACES Interactive Media has now become an indispensable tool for most companies’ marketing departments and the Middle East has turned into a hot bed for a plethora of new exciting technologies which can be used to get a message across.

Feature Interactive surfaces

Every year we are inundated with new gadgets that

screen terminal was a standard plasma screen with

allow us to deliver content and let users interact

an attached infra red touch frame.

with it in innovative ways and interactive surface computing (think touch screens, walls etc.) is

The crucial question which must be asked when

now becoming a popular choice of technology for

designing such a system is how does the interface

companies who want to impress their customers.

improve the users experience? To find this out you

Nowadays, touch screen systems can be found

must consider what advantages the interface offers

everywhere from kiosks in malls to exhibitions

over other mediums at your disposal? The Ventuz

and showrooms but it is still possible to use such

system, apart from being a crowd puller, offers

technology to stand out from the crowd. There are

benefits over more traditional linear based interfaces.

a number of different types of system presently

First off - a large amount of information can be


presented at any one given time without the screen becoming cluttered. Secondly the system offers users

Single Touch - one finger can be detected

the ability to be highly selective of the content they

Multi Touch - multiple fingers can be detected

view, which is empowering as he or she can get to the

Object Recognition - physical objects can be

content they are interested in quickly while avoiding

recognized and used to interact with the interface.

any that might not interest them. The end result is an intuitive and immersive experience.

Lets begin by exploring a recent project that incorporated a single touch user interface that really

Companies and even many developers often shy away

impressed its users and us.

from such systems because they believe that it is too easy to overpower a user with too much complexity but the folks over at Stereolize have shown that it is possible to strike a successful balance between

>> Masdaar

complexity and usability.

Masdaar entrusted the german design company Stereolize





interactive exhibition booth that could present

>> Multi-Touch

their Masdaar city project from strategy through to implementation. This project is a good example

The former project made use of only one input and,

of how atypical navigation systems can be used to

as mentioned previously, Multi-Touch technology is

present information without sacrificing usability.

now available. This is where things from a designers perspective get very exciting. What kind of user

The team designed a system called Ventuz, which

interfaces could be designed to take advantage of

consists of a touchscreen terminal and three large

surfaces that can detect multiple inputs?

plasma screens. The menu on the terminal is represented by 3d spheres which can be rotated by

First of all - what does more inputs allow? It allows a

touch and selecting something causes content to be

user to carry out more complex operations in a more

seamlessly displayed upon the plasmas. The touch

intuitive fashion (think zooming in on google earth

26 27

and you’ll get the picture). Thanks to the advent of

to interact with the interface. Microsoft states that

a much longer life span. The tracking software is very

such technologies as the iphone users are becoming

this functionality will eventually include the ability

impressive - it can identify hands and the specific

more familiar with multiple touch gestures which

to transfer digital content.

fingers of multiple users. The system is also modular, allowing an infinite amount of cells to be configured

means developers have a lot more headroom in terms

in any formation required.

of how complex they want to make the system. It

So we could soon be using such tables to buy content

also opens up the possibility of a system that can be

for our ipods or pay for our meals at restaurants but

used simultaneously by multiple users. This may be

don’t get too excited yet - Microsoft is only selling the

Wow! Imagine a 20 meter wide interactive wall

starting to sound all a bit minority report for some

systems to selective public and private corporations

display - that’s going to attract some attention! The

but the technology has been around for a number of

in the US, estimates that it will be available to the

displays are not cheap however, but thankfully there

years and is now becoming affordable.

public within 3 - 5 years and many have estimated

are options for those on a tight budget - if you’re

that its price tag will be in the $5 to $10K range. So

willing to roll up your sleeves and do some of the

what can you get your hands on now?

work yourself.

>> Flexible Systems

>> DIY

Surface interface last April. The Surface is a Multi-

One of the most flexible systems available at present

Thankfully the hardware used for FTIR based Multi-

Touch, Multi-User, Object Recognition Interface.

is the Multi- Touch LCD Cell from a Finish company

Touch displays (such as the Surface) is readily

That’s right! as well as being able to detect multiple

aptly named MultiTouch. Unlike FTIR based systems

available, relatively cheap and there is a large Multi-

inputs and different users it can also detect objects

such as the aforementioned Surface, the cell utilizes

Touch open source community that is sharing ideas

such as cameras or mobile phones, which can be used

LCD technology, which offers a higher resolution and

and posting an abundance of information about the

>> Surface If you have been keeping track of the news in the field you will know that Microsoft released their

topic on the internet . One company, Nortd, sell a multi- touch development kit which comprises of both hardware and software and sells for an amazing $1580. The screen is 27” by 18” in size, but the system is modular, meaning that any number of screens can be linked together. A camera behind the screen tracks any fingers that are placed upon the screen and a projector provides visual feedback. In order to avoid errors, the camera only views infra red light which is reflected back off of any finger that touches the screen. This is done by placing infra red LED strips behind the screen and using an RGB filter on the camera to block out any light in the visible spectrum. Full instructions

Feature Interactive surfaces

for setting up the interface are available online at and there is a forum where designers can exchange ideas and get help with creating their own applications, which are written in C++. There is no need to buy the companies hardware though - you can download its tracking software and API for free, allowing you to buy your own hardware and set it up as you see fit. The mention of C++ may have caused some to sigh in despair but, if you are up to speed with your Actionscript, Ideo Labs ( offers an alternative. The Home Brew Multi-Touch System consists of tracking software and a multi-touch client for receiving touch events in Flash. All the code is available for free from google code (www.code. and tutorials for building an interface can be found at as well as many other sites.

>> Object Recognition

their location on the x and y axis and rotation value. You can download the symbols and software for free

Object recognition is a far more complicated affair,

from their website (

and at present beyond the reach of most, but

The event data is sent out via a UDP port and can be

developers can achieve a similar functionality by using

received by a number of different client applications

symbol tracking. Back in 2003 a group of students

including C++, Java, Flash and many more. You merely

from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona

have to print out the symbols and attach them to the

came up with an ingenious tangible interface for

bottom of an object and when you place it onto the

the performance of live music called ReacTable. The

table the Reactivision software will give you all the

system is identical to the multi-touch systems just

necessary variables to work with.

described except that objects can be placed upon the table in order to trigger and change events.

Some very interesting user interfaces could be made with such an approach. Imagine, for example, a

The team designed a set of unique symbols and made

stand at an exhibition. A person places a small model

an application that could identify each of them,

on a table and content appears on the table and

28 29

Feature Interactive surfaces

on plasmas in front and around them. Users could navigate through information by moving the model


into different areas of the screen. Rotating and moving the model could allow a user to control zoom

Surface computing is the future and as the technology

and the camera angle of a 3d model for instance - the

is so accessible and affordable it is going to become

possibilities are endless.

more prevalent in all of our lives. Setting up the hardware is relatively easy and the fact that such

Combining touch and symbol tracking allows for even

systems can be developed in applications such as

more possibilities and amazingly the most recent

Flash, instead of time consuming languages such

update of Reactivision includes basic multi- touch

as c++ will mean that prototyping will become a

functionality! If you want advanced multi- touch

much faster process. This means that so many more

functionality and symbol recognition you can run

developers can now get involved, which in turn will

Reactivision with one of the open source multi-

stimulate innovation in the field of user interface

touch servers simultaneously, without the need

design for such technology. All of us at Media

for any additional cameras (although you will need

Production are looking forward to seeing some of the

a powerful PC). This means that you could build a

new ways in which this technology is going to be used

Surface of your own (well almost!).

across the middle east and beyond. By Ryan Stokes

Nortd DIY Kit

Nortd DIY Kit

Masdaar Project

Ideo Labs

Multi-Touch LCD cell


Feature Logotype Localisation

Logotype Localization Whether you’re a multinational corporation trying to venture into the region or you’re just a new coffee shop around the corner trying to appeal to the bilingual crowd, Logotype Localization might just be the thing for you.

It might be a great addition to a foreign brand but even

I tend to categorize logotypes into two main

if you’re designing an identity from scratch, having a

categories. The first would really be the definition

localized version of the logotype will give you that

of a ‘logotype’ as in a logo that was made with a

edge you’ve always lacked in your presentations. In

certain typeface (font), the category itself naturally

the first part of this series we will look at the initial

has two subcategories ‘Serifs’ and ‘Sans-Serifs’. What

stages of research for a localization project.

distinguishes the Serif family from the Sans-Serifs (without-serif in french) is really what’s implied in

Figuring out what kind of a logotype we are about to

the names of both families. A serif is the little detail

localize will not only help you design a better solution

you see on the bottom of a ‘Y’ in the logo of SONY,

but it will also help you avoid obvious mistakes, saving

find other serifs in the logotypes of illustration 1. I

you time in the process. Don’t take anything I say

won’t go into why serifs are there and how they came

here as the de-facto rule for anything, it’s just what I

into existence, that’s what Wikipedia is for, but I will

know and what worked for me over the years.

say that serifs are not the only difference between

32 33

the two main families of type. A serif kind of type is usually written with a calligraphic brush adhering to a specific height, which results in lines of varying width, depending on the brush and how slanted the tip is. When localizing serif logotype, contrast in line strokes is almost more important that the actual serifs on the end of strokes. While the Arabic script is deeply rooted in calligraphic origins, continuous lines in Arabic script combined with extreme cases Illustration 1

of contrasting line strokes might result in an eligible results if not handled properly. On the other hand, besides the lack of serifs in sansserif typefaces, they also utilize an almost consistent line width for vertical and horizontal strokes. Usually sans-serifs are the easiest to work with, unless the logotype is set all in caps, which could lead us to baseline conflicts. While both Arabic and Latin scripts abide by a relatively similar concept of the ‘baseline’, the way they live around that line is not the same at all. In Arabic script, a lot of letters go under the baseline and some have a dot or two underneath them. Latin type however deals with this conditionally; if all letters are set in lower case, chances are some of them will go under the baseline (like ‘y’, ‘g’). In another scenario, if all letters are set in uppercase then nothing goes under the baseline. Baseline conflicts are not that relevant if both logotypes were presented on top of each other. Misalignment in baselines will only be noticeable if they are next to each other horizontally.

Illustration 2

Feature Logotype Localisation

is the brush strictly calligraphic? is there a texture seemingly created by the surface where the original logotype was (supposedly) written on?

The second major category of logotypes is logo that were made using a freeform handwriting utilizing a calligraphic or artistic brush. It’s debatable to call those ‘logotypes’, but let’s see what it’s like to work with such ‘logotypes’.

Logos like Coca-

Cola’s and Virgin’s have no clear guidelines for us to start with, no baselines nor x-heights. Approaching such logos triggers a ton of questions; is the brush strictly calligraphic? is there a texture seemingly created by the surface where the original logotype was (supposedly) written on? what are the actual dimensions of the logotype? should we include the extended ‘tail’ of the last letter in final width of the logotype? When working with the first major category (as defined in this article), different designers localizing the same logo might turn in similar designs. When working with clear visual clues and guidelines, it is expected to reach the same end products. That’s not the case with the second category, where improvisation under the lack of a clear starting point is needed. Identifying the problem is the first step to solve

Illustration 3

it, we might have only scratched the surface here but knowing the rules is necessary to work around them. Localization is always about finding the middle ground between maintaining a resemblance to the original logotype while being ‘faithful’ to the arabic script. In the next part we will talk about localization

By Talal Obaid:

techniques as well as tips and practices that avoid

Talal Obeid is an independent art director and musician. Talal

horrible localization mistakes.

writes on design, media and culture (on his moleskine) yet he rarely publishes anything. He used to maintain a blog ( and is currently working on getting his $h*t together.

34 35

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE FABULOUS! Adobe Photoshop CS4 is equipped with some fresh features, updated tools, a well-designed new interface and technology that gives a glimpse of the future.

Every time we unwrap a new edition of Photoshop, we wonder how Adobe could possibly improve our favourite missile faker and beauty producer. And as usual we were impressed by the improved interface, the variety of new features and the numerous tool tweaks. While there is a lot to explore in Photoshop CS4, the first thing you will notice is the revised interface, a single floating application window with tabs for open documents, which is especially convenient if you tend to work with multiple documents open at a time. It might initially take Mac users a little time to get used to, but is definitely worth trying, as you will end up with a much cleaner working environment. On the more technical side, the most important update of Photoshop CS4 is its 64-bit support for Windows Vista (while XP and OSX will still run on 32-bit) and OpenGL support for computers with dedicated graphic cards. If you tend to work on large files, 64-bit as well as the OpenGL support will be a major advantage and provide fast image processing, smooth zooming at all magnifications and seamless 3D acceleration for the extended version users.

Review Adobe Photoshop CS4

Normal scalling

Content- aware scalling Photoshop CS4 Extended comes with some interesting new 3D capabilities, which allow you to convert 2D images into 3D objects for example.

>> TOOL TWEAKS Those of you working with graphic tablets, will be amused by the new rotation capability, which allows you to rotate the view of your image and will persuade a few Corel Painter users to stay in Photoshop to do sketches from now on. Also the brush and zoom tools have been tweaked with great effect. By holding down the control key (Control and Command on Mac) and right mouse button you can edit brush sizes on the fly and adjust their hardness. Once you get used to these new modifiers, you will find them a much easier method Original

that helps you save time by resizing your brush while painting.

36 37

features tools for Curves, Photo Filter, Levels and many other tools, which offer live, re-editable and non-destructive image adjustments. For more convenient and faster editing, the panel includes many preconfigured as well as customizable options. For Mask lovers the new Masks panel will be another

On the more technical side, the most important update of Photoshop CS4 is its 64-bit support for Windows Vista

great improvement. You have the options to create both pixel and vector selections, as well as adjusting size, sharpness of edges and density in a very quick way. While automatic image alignment and blending was already introduced in the previous version, CS4 has been further enhanced with the introduction of two additional options: Vignette Removal and Geometric Distortion Correction for smootherlooking panoramas. Even though these features sound great in theory, in practice they are still quite slow

Both the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush come with a

get far better quality by simply importing the final

and sometimes buggy. For good results you should

great new behaviour. While previous versions showed

image into Illustrator, and adding vector formatted

also make sure that you use a tripod with exact

the size of the cursor, CS4 will display a preview of

text for a crisp and clean result.


what it will be stamping or healing before you even start editing.


And just as we have given up on the Dodge, Burn and

The latest Photoshop version has much better integration with Lightroom and comes with a new improved version of Camera Raw and Bridge. Bridge

Sponge tools, because of their poor performance

Our favourite new feature in CS4 is Content-Aware

CS4 makes it easier to find, preview and manage files

in the last 10 versions, Adobe improved them by

Scaling, which allows you to alter image proportions

and includes speedy transfer of images to Photoshop.

limiting the tonal range they apply to and adding a

without affecting the vital areas of the image.

The integration of Lightroom is much tighter and

“Vibrance” option, which will add an algorithm to

Photoshop is analysing the image while you adjust

allows you to jump seamlessly back and forth without

help to control saturation.

its size, and is intelligently composing the scene to

saving and manually refreshing, as required in earlier

preserve the most visually interesting areas. You can


For those of you who like using smart objects will

further improve this function by selecting the areas

appreciate the new functions of smart objects,

that you don’t want to distort when resizing the

All in all this new version has some excellent new

which can now have layer masks and can be scaled,

image, and Photoshop will protect these areas and

features, great tweaks to its already awesome tools

distorted, skewed and transformed in perspective.

resize other areas first.

and a powerful new approach of image processing,

A small disappointment in this version is the text tool,

Another very valuable feature update is the

which is long due for review but hasn’t improved at

Adjustments panel, which resided in the Image/

all. Text is still bitmapped and you will find that you

Adjustments menu in previous versions. The panel

even if it is only finished for one platform yet, it is in encouraging to see. By Olivia Zechner

Review Adobe Photoshop CS4





Flash CS4

Drop Down Menu Using Actionscript 4

Ryan Stokes shows you how to use ash CS4 to build a Drop Down menu using the timeline and Actionscript 3. This approach to creating a drop down menu is straight forward but there are many steps so pay close attention. The first step is to create and arrange the buttons.

Buttons >> Education: MA in Design for Interactive

Lets get started! Open a New Actionscript document and set its size to 550 x 400px.



Ryan Stokes


New Media editor on Media Production Magazine

Skills Interactive Media Developer - specializes in designing tangible and touch screen user interfaces.

1. Name the first timeline layer Menu. Go to Insert > New Symbol. Name it menu_mc and choose movie for Type.

KNOW HOW Drop Down Menu



Import a suitable button graphic to the stage, Go to Modify > Convert to Symbol.

Select the button graphic and convert it to a Movie Clip Symbol (like we did in

Name it mainBtns and choose Button for Type.

step 1) and name it btnBG.



Open mainBtns from the library, copy the Up Keyframe to the Over Keyframe.

Go to Windows > Library, open the menu movie clip and drag 3 instances of

Go to Window > Properties, open Colour Effect, select Brightness for Style and

mainBtns onto the stage. Select the Text Tool and create button labels .

increase Bright to + 20.

40 41



Select the first button, go to the Properties window and give it an Instance

Create a new layer and name it Sub Buttons. Import or draw a suitable sub-

Name of main1Btn. Name the other 3 buttons main2Btn, main3Btn, main4Btn

button graphic (here we use a simple black rectangle with a grey stroke),


convert it to a Button Symbol and name it subBtn.



Create 11 copies of subBtn and arrange them as shown. Note: The sub buttons

Select the Text Tool and create appropriate text labels for all of the Sub

must line up exactly so there are no spaces between them.


KNOW HOW Drop Down Menu

Masking >> The next step is to make a mask and use Motion Tweening to create the animation for the rollovers.




Select the rectangle tool and create a rectangle

Create a new layer on the timeline above the Sub Button Layer. Name it Mask. ctrl or right click on the layer

large enough to mask 4 sub buttons. Convert it to a

and select Mask to convert the layer to a mask.

Movie Clip Symbol and name it mask_mc. Position it just above the first main1Btn button.




Insert a frame at frame 41 for the Main Buttons and

Insert a frame on the Mask layer at frame 11 on the

Select frame 11 on the timeline and move the mask

Sub Buttons Layer.

timeline. Select the mask graphic, go to Insert >

down so that it covers the Sub Buttons below the

Timeline and select Motion Tween.

first main button.


42 43



Repeat the process for each of the Main buttons on frames 12, 22 and 32 as

Create a new layer and name it Labels. Insert Keyframes on 2, 11, 21 and 31.

shown above.

Select frame 2, Go to the Properties window and give it a Label name of Drop1. Name the following Keyframes Drop2, Drop3 and Drop4 accordingly.



Create a new Layer and name it Stops. Insert blank Keyframes on 1, 11, 21, 31

Create a new layer on the timeline and name it Action. Select Keyframe 1 and

and 41. Select Keyframe 1, go to Window > Actions and type in stop();. Repeat

open the Actions window. Type in the code as shown above.

this for the following 3 Keyframes.

KNOW HOW Drop Down Menu

Code >> We first create 4 functions that send the playhead to our frame labels on the timeline using the gotoAndPlay() method. We then add Event Listeners to each of the main menu buttons - when the mouse is over one of the menu buttons the corresponding function is executed.

Invisible Button >>

The final stage is to create an invisible button that sits behind the menu and write some Actionscript that sends the playhead back to frame 1 when the mouse is over it.

19. Create a Layer at the bottom of the timeline and name it Invisible Button + Actions. Use the Rectangle Tool to draw a rectangle and Convert it to a Button Symbol. Name it Invisble and give it an Instance name of invisBtn.

20. Insert Keyframes on 2, 12, 22 and 32.

21. Select the Keyframe on frame 2, open the Actions window and type in the code shown above.

44 45

KNOW HOW Drop Down Menu

The code here is exactly the same. We create a function to send the playhead back to frame 1 and add an Event Listener to the invisible button

22. Repeat the process for frames 12, 22 and 32, incrementing the number in the function name accordingly (For frame 12 the function name would be invisBtn2Over and so on).

24. Return to Scene 1 and drag the Menu_mc movie clip from the library onto the stage. Test your movie to see if it works!!

23. Open the Library window and double click on the invisBtn button. Go to the Properties window, open up the Fill window and turn the Alpha level down to 0. Open up the Stroke window and do the same.

Now >> The next step is to give each sub button an instance name and add Event Listeners to each of them. Then you can create functions that are executed when the mouse clicks any of the sub buttons and start building the rest of your site!!

Flash-CS4 >

Step by step

How to animate a walk cycle using the new Bones Tool watch?v=ZemzxxlCvcg

Skills Ryan Stokes

Interactive Media Developer

New Media editor on Media

- specializes in designing

Production Magazine

tangible and touch screen user interfaces.

Education: MA in Design for Interactive Media


Flash CS4 has a load of new features and one of the most exciting additions is the Bone Tool. In this tutorial we are going to be using the Bone Tool to create a simple walk cycle animation. The first step is to draw the leg and convert each section to a movie clip symbol. Lets get started!

KNOW HOW Animate a Walk Cycle

Create a new Actionscript Document and set its size to 500 x 440px.

1. Name the first Layer on the timeline Walk. Go to Insert > New Symbol, name it walk_mc and choose Movie for Type.




Select the Line Tool, go to Windows > Properties and

Select the line, go to Modify > Convert to Symbol,

Draw the lower section of the leg and a foot (you

set the Stroke to 15px. Now draw a vertical line on

name it Upper_mc and select Movie for Type.

can change the stroke colour in the properties

the stage.

window). Convert the sections to Movie Clip Symbols and name them lower_mc and Foot_mc accordingly.

48 49

Now we are going to create some bones for the Leg.

5. Select the Bone Tool, click the top of the Upper leg movie clip, drag down to the top of the Lower Leg movie clip and release. Now do the same starting from the top of the Lower Leg down to the foot. Delete the original layer on the timeline that the movie clips were on.

This walk cycle consists of four different poses. When you link different clips together with the Bone Tool an Armature is created which allows you to automatically create Motion Tweens.

6. With the Pointer Tool selected, select the leg and move it into position 1 of the walk cycle.

KNOW HOW Animate a Walk Cycle



Select the first frame on the timeline, Right(pc) or ctrl(mac) click and select

Select frame 10 on the timeline and move the leg into the position 2 of

Copy Pose. Select frame 40, Right (pc) or ctrl(mac) click and select Paste Pose.

the walk cycle.



Select Frame 20 on the timeline and move the leg into the position 3

Select Frame 30 on the timeline and move the leg into the position 4 of the

of the walk cycle.

walk cycle. go to Control and select Loop Playback. Press Return to see the animation.

50 51

KNOW HOW Animate a Walk Cycle

12. Return to Scene 1, go to Windows > Library and drag the walk_mc movie clip onto the stage.

13. Go to Control > Test Movie.

11. Create a new layer on the timeline and make another animation for the second leg. This time start the animation with position 3 (as shown above) and then 4, 1 and 2.

Now >> You can now add a body and arms to the animation and create a scrolling background!!


Free image editor & graphics creator Let me introduce you to my little Wilber:  So cute I know! And if you know what he’s capable to

Have a look :

do, you are going to like him as well. But let’s see

Interesting I know! It’s totally FREE & supports all

also read and write path information from SVG files,

who is he and how can he do that. Wilber was born

the famous systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux,

and read/write ICO Windows icon files.(2)

sometime before 25 September 1997 by Tuomas

BSD, Unix and AmigaOS. It has many features like

You will be amazed with what this little program can

Kuosmanen, know as tigret, with GIMP. (1). Since

resizing, selection editing, layers, brushes, patterns,

do with no money cost. I like my Wilber, don’t you?

then, he became the mascot of the GIMP


histogram, scripting, noise removal, scripting, colour

Image Manipulation Program). So when ever you

correction, sharpening, lens correction, size printing,


have a digital graphics and photographs that needs

retouching and plug in support. You can add a lot of

• Free download

to be processed, you’ll know that Wilber will be

scripts, filters and plugins.(3)

• File support

there for you!

GIMP has support for opening and saving to a large

RAW imports, bmp, gif, jpeg, png, tiff,

To understand that, let’s address some of the GIMP

number of different file formats. Its native format

bsp, xcf, pcx

features. Just wanted to tell you that GIMP was

is XCF. Gimp also has read/write support for popular

started in 1995 by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis

image formats such as BMP, JPEG, PNG, GIF and TIFF,

and is now maintained by a group of volunteers under

along with the file formats of several other applications

• Layer support

the auspices of the GNOME Project.(2) I thought you

such as Autodesk flic animations, Corel Paint Shop

• 3rd party plug-ins

might want to know that! The GIMP is capable of

Pro images, and Adobe Photoshop Documents. Other

• RGB, CMYK and HSV colour mode support

creating graphics and logos, resizing and cropping

formats with read/write support include PostScript

• Support for 8-bit per-channel images

photos, altering colours, combining multiple images,

documents, X bitmap image and Zsoft PCX. GIMP can

removing unwanted image features, and converting between different image formats. Also can be used

• OS support •

Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix, AmigaOS

Cons • No support for 16-bit, 32-bit

to create basic animated images in GIF format. It is

By Eman Al Kadhemi

• No floating pointFile support

often used as a replacement for Adobe Photoshop,


• No adjustment layers

the most widely used bitmap editor in the printing


• No pantone/ sport colour support

and graphics industries ; however, it is not designed


• No gamma correction

to be a Photoshop clone. (2)


52 53

Distorting text in Photoshop without quality loss

The main issue we deal with, when working with text in Adobe Photoshop, is retaining sharp and clear edges while distorting. This tutorial will show you how to create a 3D effect for text, with clear sharp edges. So let’s get started.


create a new document (cmd or cntr + n) and

choose the desired size. If you want to use your document for print choose a resolution of 300 dpi and if you work for screen choose a resolution of 72 dpi.

KNOW HOW Distort Type in Photoshop


Create a layer for the background colour.


Select the type tool, click on your image and


Duplicate your text layer (apple + j) and re-

Photoshop will create a new text layer you can write

flect them vertically. ( apple + t -> right mouse click


flip vertically).

If you have more than one text layer, create a group

This is the base for the text reflection.

folder to apply the effect on all text layers


Create a layer mask (layer -> layer mask ->


In order to distort now the type without


Select all text layers you want to distort (press

show all). Then select the gradient tool (make sure

quality loss, you have to convert all type layer to a

apple + select layers) and hit apple + t.

the gradient is in greyscale from black to white;

shape. To do that right mouse click on the type layer

To distort the text right mouse click and select

black = hide, white = show).

and choose convert to shape.

distort. No you can create a distortion like shown

Aply the gradient to the layer mask.

Your type is now converted to a vector shape, which


Now you have created a reflection.

can be transformed freely.



To give your text a bit more texture double

You can copy now the layer styles to the other


After doing all the steps above you should

click on the text layer to open layer styles.

text layers by pressing alt + dragging the layer style

have a created a logo with a 3D effect just using

Choose bevel and emboss to give your text a 3D

to the desired layers.



I wish you lots of fun with experimenting with text in Photoshop.

54 55


Title Fikra Design Introduction

Media Production


introduces the mastermind behind Fikra Design Studio Salem Al-Qassimi Salem Al-Qassimi Creative Director Fikra Designs information on artist



1 Pandemonium title of art work purpose

2. Fikra Design Studio Corporate Identity

OUTPUTWHO KNOW Showcase Salem Al-Qassimi Designer Tala Obaid






6 5


3. T-Shirt Project

4. Darosha 1 title of art work Corporate Identity purpose

5. Tashkeel 1 title of art work Corporate Identity purpose

6. Muntaj 1 title of art work Corporate Identity purpose

1 title of art work purpose

56 57

Q&A What is the philosophy behind Fikra Studio? Fikra is a source of ideas for different settings. For some we are creators, to others we are stylists, for some we visualize to others we actualize. We aim to exceed our client’s expectations by providing visual answers to vague questions.

Where do you implement your designs? Our designs are implemented in many places from stationeries and perfume bottles to cars and hotels.

What do you want people to feel when they see your work? We want people to be wowed, see how unique we are and most importantly remember our work.

What are your future plans? To expand in different categories of design, like motion graphics.




OUTPUTWHO KNOW Showcase Salem Al-Qassimi Designer Tala Obaid

10 7 Ferrari Layout

8 Coffee Layout

9 Hospitality Layout

10 Shawati Cover Layout 58 59

Design beyond Graphics When graphic design becomes art work, when artwork becomes a accessory, Nora Badanian is in her element. Nora Badanian Creative Director 1 Nora Badanian

KNOW WHO Nora Badanian

60 61

Profile Nora Badanian, born in 1973 in Beirut, Lebanon, of Armenian heritage, has been living in Dubai, UAE, since 1999. She began her career working in advertising in 1997, academically trained as a graphic designer / illustrator; she has also received private art tuition. Her passion for pop art, graphic composition and widescreen cinematography play a great part in the development of her ideas and pieces. Combining classic pop art styling with images taken from an eclectic digital stills and portraits is the essence of her work. Nora aims to make art that is simple and straightforward that is accessible and appealing to a varied audience. Nora also extensively works with private clients and companies on portraits and commissioned illustrations.

KNOW WHO Nora Badanian

62 63

SUBSCRIBE TODAY AND SAVE 50% Get your subscription form from This offer applies only to annual subscriptions Shipping cost may apply for outside UAE


A new world of sound Spectrasonics introduces Omnisphere. Media Production magazine had a look at the new “all you ever dreamed of” power synth. After many years of development, Spectrasonics

Creative Director of Spectrasonics. “Omnisphere is

amazing patches created by our international sound

is proud to release the brand new flagship virtual

our new flagship synthesizer, and points the way to

design team. The hybrid synth engine offers powerful

instrument Omnisphere. This epic ‘Power Synth’

all our future virtual instruments. After over 6 years

features never offered in software or hardware

breaks completely new sonic ground by combining a

of very intense work towards the goal of having our

such as Harmonia, Chaos Envelopes, Composite

wide variety of hybrid realtime synthesis techniques,

own in-house technology to offer our customers,

Morphing, the Flex-Mod modulation routing system,

an epic library of remarkable ‘Psychoacoustic’

Omnisphere is finally here. It really is a new beginning

and arpeggiator Groove-Lock integration with Stylus

sounds, and many innovative features that have

for the company. From this day forward all our

RMX. In the end it’s all about making music, and

never been seen before in any hardware or software

products will be based on our own technology, the

Omnisphere was deliberately designed for all levels

synthesizer. The new instrument is the first to be

STEAM Engine for synthesis products like Omnisphere

of musicians to create their own sound. It’s easy to

based on Spectrasonics newly developed STEAM

and the SAGE Engine for groove-based instruments

use, and yet extremely powerful.”

Engine. Omnisphere has an MSRP of $499 US and €379

like Stylus RMX. Customers will get the benefits of

Euro. An upgrade for all Atmosphere customers is

this in the years to come with regular updates and

Omnisphere is designed with a unique user interface

available from the online Spectrasonics Techshop.

upgrades offering new sounds and new capabilities.”





‘zooming’ to

accommodate the complete range of users - from “Omnisphere’s release is an historical moment

Persing continued, “The massive core library of

musicians who just want to be inspired by the

for Spectrasonics,” said Eric Persing, Founder and

Omnisphere is filled with unique sampled sounds and

sounds and customize them in an easy way, to expert

Review Spectrasonic Omnisphere

synthesists and the most advanced sound designers.

with years of creative sampling experiments and

Mode for transitionless patch switching and layering,

Users can go deeper and deeper into the software

thousands of inspiring patches. Spectrasonics has

Stack Mode for powerful performance mapping; and

and progress in their synthesis knowledge by simply

pioneered several brand-new types of sampling for

integrated modulatable FX Racks.

exploring additional levels of sound manipulation

the core library of this instrument, including unique

options. To make sure that all users get the most

“Psychoacoustic” sounds and soundsources created

Omnisphere is also the successor to Spectrasonics’

out of the new capabilities, Omnisphere includes an

with a new Composite Morphing Technique (CMT) -

popular Atmosphere® instrument, and contains

extensive set of video tutorials and synthesis lessons

which morphs the harmonic characteristics of one

enhanced versions of all the classic Atmosphere

taught by the renown Spectrasonics sound design

instrument to another. As a bonus, a section of the

sounds. However, the brand new core library in


core library is also devoted to representing the best

Omnisphere is 10-times the size of Atmosphere and

of Spectrasonics award-winning sample libraries.

features thousands of completely new and different

Omnisphere offers a host of hybrid synthesis and new

When all of these organic core library soundsources


control capabilities including Variable Waveshaping

are combined with the synthesis power of the STEAM

DSP synthesis, Granular synthesis, Timbre Shifting,

engine, the sounds become “alive” in a truly dynamic

The culmination of many years of development,

FM, polyphonic Ring Modulation, high-resolution

and expressive way.

Omnisphere is an instrument of extraordinary power





and versatility. Omnisphere brings many different


Multimode Filter structure, Chaos Envelopes™, an

Among the many unique features this new multitimbral

types of synthesis together into one amazing-

advanced Unison mode, and the innovative Flex-

synth offers are its flexible arpeggiators with the

sounding instrument that will inspire a lifetime of

Mod™ modulation routing system - to name a few.

world’s first Groove Lock™ integration with Stylus


RMX - allowing the arpeggiator’s pattern to instantly The huge core library of Omnisphere is filled

groove with the feel of the RMX drum loop; Live

68 69

Gated Drum Sounds Vintage sound is back. When you listen to new music productions you will not find a song without gated drum sounds, such as snares or hihats.

According to the legend gated drums where actually a mistake by the Phil Collins’ sound engineer, who forgot to switch off the noise gate after adding a reverb effect to a snare drum track. This is how the gated drum sound was born. Although gated drums where never really forgotten in electronic music such as Trans and Techno, they found their way back into the mainstream music productions. If you listen carefully you will discover that Madonna’s In this Media Production Issue we will take a closer look at the gated drum effect using Propellerheads


Reason. We chose Reason to demonstrate this effect because of its strong graphic interface. In todays digital

So lets get started by opening a new project.

music production environment signal flow happens behind fancy windows, which makes it specially hard to

Start your reason application -> click on file -> click

understand sound design. This step by step tutorial will show you how to create these popular sounds using

on new.

common effects.

If you are familiar with shortcuts press apple+n

Hard Candy album or Britney Spears’ Circus and Black out album are produced in this vintage manner.

(macintosh) or ctrl +n (windows) Now you should have an empty rack.

KNOW HOW Gated Reverb Effect

4 In Reason 4 you have a preset drum kit loaded already, which is not a problem, but since we are creating our drum sounds from scratch you should initialize your drum kit. To do so, right mouse click on the ReDrum device and select initialize pattern. Now you should have no samples loaded in the drum



Insert the 14:2 Mixer: There are several ways to do

Once you have created your mixer its time to add

this. Right mouse click on the empty rack and select

ReDrum. This is Reasons drum machine which is used

14:2 mixer, or drag and drop the mixer 14:2 from the

to program drum grooves for any kind of music. You

tool window onto your rack or go to the menu bar,

can add the ReDrum drum machine the same ways

click create and select then the mixer 14:2.

you’ve added the mixer.


Your project should look like this now.

5 open the Reason sample browser window.


Select Reason Factory Sound Bank -> ReDrum Drum Kits ->xclusive drums -sorted -> 02_SnareDrums -> and

Program the snare sound now. Go to the step

select a drum sound you would like to use as your base.

sequencer located at the bottom of ReDrum drum

For learning purposes you should select a short drum sample to hear the effect better.

machine. Click on step 5 and 12. Hit run.

Now browse for a sample by clicking on the small folder icon under the track instrument name. This should

Now you should hear the basic drum sound.

70 71

Effect programming To auto connect your effects to the Mixer 14:2 click on the mixer first then right mouse click and create an instance of RV7000 advanced reverb. since you have created only this single ReDrum device, you will not have to split the snare signal linked to mixer 14:2 sends 1 and two, so no need for


rewiring in this case.

The hold time sets how much time passes by after

from the main signal. ReDrums two aux sends are

under-stepping the threshold until the reverb gets Now we will take a closer look at the RV7000 device.

cut off.

When working with your software studio always try new things and new settings and don’t stick only to the presets. These simple things will give your different than other productions. This is the part


where you can create the snare sound you really

After you have done that you should now hear you

want, without any compromises.

snare drum with a reverb effect.

production a unique touch, which will make it sound

Time to move on to your RV7000. In order to see all We will work with the standard preset of RV7000 and

the options available on the RV7000 click on the small

play with it to create the gated reverb.

arrow at the top right corner of the device. This will show you now the edit options available. By default the gate is deactivated, so activate the gate button by clicking on it.

5 Last is the release time. This parameter sets how fast the reverb signal gets cut off. A long release time will result in a smooth cut of the reverb signal, which is a fade out. A short release time will cut the the reverb signal very sharply, which is actually the idea of the gated reverb. At the end the snare drum should sound full and sharp but should not sound like in a cathedral.


3 The threshold determines when the reverb effect will be cut off. The higher the threshold the longer the

According to our tutorial project RV7000 is connected

reverb signal and the lower the threshold the shorter

to aux send 1 of our mixer 14:2, so now you should

reverb signal.

pull up your aux send 1 on your ReDrum to hear the

Now try different threshold settings and hear which

normal reverb effect.

one fits your taste best.

Enjoy experimenting with this effect. Be creative try it with different sound sources such as synths, vocals etc.

TUTORIAL Gated Reverb Effect

NEWS • HD QuickTime support on Mac OS X for increased versatility Pro Tools|HD® 8 also enhances the extensive capabilities of Digidesign’s flagship Pro Tools|HD audio hardware, with support for the new Satellite Link option, which allows users to control up to five Pro Tools|HD systems as one. Additionally, the Avid® Media Composer® based Video Satellite option brings Avid HD/SD video playback into the Pro Tools|HD audio workflow, while the new Video Satellite LE

Digidesign Ships Pro Tools 8

option allows Pro Tools|HD editors to play QuickTime HD/SD video or Avid® SD video from a separate but synced Pro Tools LE system, thereby preserving track count and processing power on the host Pro Tools|HD system.




Satellite and Video Satellite LE will be available in December, 2008. For project studio owners, Pro Tools LE 8 and Pro Tools M-Powered 8 support up to 48 simultaneous audio tracks out of

For composers and musicians, Pro Tools 8 provides

• High-quality amplifiers simulation via Digidesign’s

the box. Adding the new Music Production Toolkit 2 or

powerful functionality for streamlining the creative

acclaimed new guitar amp emulator Eleven™ Free as

DV Toolkit™ 2 (Pro Tools LE only), gives users access

process, and delivers the most versatile sonic palette

well as Tech21 SansAmp® amplifier emulator

to up to 64 audio tracks. And for serious Pro Tools

ever available out-of-the-box for Pro Tools.

• An 8 GB bundle of high-quality loops

LE users, the new Complete Production Toolkit (Pro Tools LE only) combines the content of both toolkits,

New music creation features include:

For music and post production professionals, Pro Tools 8 offers:

• Fully integrated MIDI and Score Editor windows

• Revolutionary Elastic Pitch, which makes it easy

for greatly enhanced MIDI editing functionality and

to transpose music in real time right in the Edit

professional score editing and printing


• A sizable collection of music creation and sound-

• 10 inserts per channel

processing plug-ins, including: 20 all-new effects and

• Enhanced controller integration with Digidesign

five new virtual instruments—Mini Grand piano, Boom

and M-Audio® control surfaces

drum machine, DB-33 tonewheel organ, Vacuum tube-

• ICON integration enhancements that dramatically

modeled synthesizer, and Xpand!2™ sample player

increase speed and efficiency

and offers up to 128 simultaneous audio tracks and 7.1 surround mixing. All three toolkits are currently available through authorized Digidesign dealers as well as at


LIVE 8 & SUITE 8 Ableton is excited to announce the agenda for 2009: Ableton Live 8, Ableton Suite 8, new instruments and three completely new product initiatives. Live  8 and Suite  8 enhance the Ableton vision of creative, real-time digital music with a wealth of new techniques, effects and most-wanted workflow improvements. These include a new groove engine, revamped warping techniques, live looping, five new effects (including the Ableton Vocoder), crossfades in the Arrangement View, group tracks and a reworked MIDI editor. Ableton Suite  8 includes all that plus a massive, inspired sound library and all the instruments a musician could hope for, including a wide range of synths, a sampler, electric and acoustic drums (new: Latin percussion), mallets (new: Collision), numerous sampled instruments and a new, even-mightier Operator.

New in Ableton Live 8: New groove engine: new groove library, extract grooves from audio or MIDI, real time groove quantize. New warping engine: warp audio events by adjusting

New in Ableton Suite 8:

the events on the timeline, updated Beats Warp Mode, new Complex Warp Mode, slice audio files to

World-class sound library: completely new sound

Operator, Ableton’s renowned do-it-all synthesizer,

MIDI tracks based on transients.

library with real-world “Sound Objects,” presets,

has been given a major overhaul. New filter types,

Looper: classic sound-on-sound looping without the

grooves, templates and, above all, over 1600

more modulation routing options and additive

limitations of a hardware device. Record, overdub,

beautiful sounds

wavetable synthesis with drawable partials make

undo and more without touching the computer. “First

Collision and Corpus: a unique physical-modeling

Operator more powerful and flexible than ever.

loop sync,” simple loop management

instrument for authentic mallet sounds and creative

New effects: Vocoder, Multiband Dynamics, Overdrive,

percussion. Includes Corpus, a separate effect that

Limiter and Frequency Shifter

reproduces Collision’s resonator section





Latin Percussion: a collection of acoustic percussion

crossfades in the Arrangement View, enhanced MIDI

instruments from the worlds of Brazilian, Afro-Cuban

editing, group tracks, multiple track selection, a

and African music plus a wide selection of clips and

screen magnifier and more

grooves for authentic usage

For more information visit:

74 75

Alesis M1 Active 320 USB speakers

Key Features

Alesis delivers pro-grade USB speaker performance to the computer desktop. M1 Active 320 USB speakers enable you to play audio from your computer and record audio coming into the speaker to your computer. Simply plug in the USB cable to your computer – No special drivers required. M1 Active 320USB speakers are not only substantial audio monitors, but also serve as a convenient audio interface. Keyboards, mic pre’s, guitar effects, DJ Mixers, or standard CD and tape players can all easily connect directly to the M1Active 320 USB. Record them directly into your computer. Full range, superb sound quality insures that you get more accurate audio reproduction to check your mixes. A Bass Boost switch helps emphasize bass frequencies - Great for various room situations where you want to hear more bass emphasis.

- USB 1.1 audio interface - 16-Bit / 44.1-48 kHz recording and playback - Pro-grade 1/4” plugs and standard RCA jacks - TRS Headphone output - Two ¼” phone jacks inputs - Stereo 1/8” TRS mini- jack input - Stereo RCA inputs - 1/8” TS output to passive speaker - Switchable power supply - Magnetically shielded for placement near TV and computer monitors

The new all-round talent

Korg M50

M-Audio releases

Axiom Pro 25

The M-Audio® Axiom® Pro 25 keyboard controller builds on the acclaimed Axiom 25, delivering premium TruTouch™




MIDI mapping technology and other cutting-edge enhancements in a compact model perfect for tight spaces. HyperControl automatically maps the keyboard’s 28 controls to commonly accessed The Korg M50 ----a brilliant new synthesizer distilling

you use two patterns simultaneously in Combination

parameters in digital audio workstations including

the sonic essence and functionality of the M3

mode or Sequencer mode to create complete

Pro Tools®, Cubase, Logic and Reason*, as well as

series into a seriously portable and affordable new

ensemble backing.

software instruments. The constant two-way link


• The highly intuitive sequencer provides 16 MIDI +

with your host DAW means the keyboard’s controls

1 master tracks with all the tools needed to capture

are always in sync with your software’s active


and easily shape your musical ideas into polished

parameters. The intuitive graphic LCD constantly

• Rich and vivid sound using the same “EDS”


updates the current values, which ensures seamless

(Enhanced Definition Synthesis) tone generator found

• The large TouchView graphical user interface

editing and prevents parameter jumps—even when

on the upper-end M3.

makes it easy to select sounds, adjust parameters

plug-ins are closed. Toggle instantly between Mixer

• An enormous 256 MB of PCM data*, provides 608

and create your music easily.

and Instrument control modes. Map buttons to send

programs and 384 combinations featuring Korg’s

• An SD card slot provides easy and affordable

QWERTY key commands right from the Axiom Pro 25.

acclaimed voicing expertise.

management of your sounds and songs.

Save settings to 50 memory locations—each with four

• The 61-key M50-61 and 73-key M50-73 use a new

• Included M50 Editor and M50 Plug-In Editor

profiles of quick recall via the intuitive graphic LCD.

semi-weighted Natural Touch keyboard, while the 88

software lets you edit the sounds using your computer,

Now you can control your entire session right from

key M50-88 features the top-of-the-line Real Weighted

and allows you to use the M50 as a plug-in instrument

your Axiom Pro 25.

Hammer Action 3 (RH3) graded action keyboard.

in your favorite DAW software (VST, Audio Units, and

• The Drum Track gives you 671 patterns to stimulate

RTAS are supported).

and support your realtime performance and song

• The M50-61 features a stylishly retro light-weight


and compact design, and the M50-88 is the lightest

• The Polyphonic Arpeggiator delivers from simple

weight 88-key keyboard Korg has ever made.

phrases up to complex rhythmic gestures, and lets

76 77

Tascam DP-004 Digital Pocketstudio SM Pro Audio

V-Machine VST Player The V-Machine is a compact VST/VSTi hardware playback module built for performance keyboard players and DJ’s. It is one little beast that can’t be underestimated once loaded up with your favorite VST instrument and effect plugins. Take your plug-ins on the road or into the studio and access them live without a computer. Multiple plug-ins can be pre-loaded into bank/preset memories for immediate access. Combine VST and VSTi plug-

The Tascam DP-004 Digital Pocketstudio is a portable

ins into chains, splits, and layers to create extremely rich and unique sounds. Full external MIDI controller

4-track digital recorder that promises to retain the

support allows users access to available loaded plug-in parameter controls such as virtual dials, switches, and

ease-of-use of its classic cassette-based 4-tracks


but with CD-quality recording. The recorder uses dedicated knobs and buttons for easy operation, and

Features *

features two unbalanced ¼-inch inputs accepting mic

• External hardware host for Windows plugins

or line signals, plus a built-in stereo microphone. A

(VST instruments and effects)

• MIDI learn functions included

stereo mixdown track is also included, and tracks or

• Banks, presets (incl. chaining, layering,

• All effect and synth chains can be switched

mixes can be transferred to a computer using USB

very fast for instant playing

2. The DP-004 records to SD cards, and a 1GB card

or the host software

• USB-Ports for external peripherals

is included. A metronome and tuner are built-in,

• Create synth layers and chain them with

• Use software samplers and stream its

and input A accepts a guitar-level signal for direct


splitting) can be edited with the V-Machine


content from any USB drive

• Connect nearly every MIDI-Controller to the

• Sensor to adjust the display’s contrast



• Multiple VSTi’s can be combined

For more information visit:

M-Audio Luna II

Condenser Microphone Building on the feature set of the original Luna mic, the Luna II ($399.99) from M-Audio ( features solid-state, Class-A electronics and a 1.1-inch, 3-micron, gold-evaporated diaphragm with brass capsule assembly. Additional features include a -10dB pad and LF roll-off filter switch. The fixedpattern cardioid condenser handles 130dB SPLs (140dB with pad) and weighs 1.4 pounds. Luna II ships in a wooden case and includes a heavy-duty shock-mount

KM-402 and KM-202 KAOSS Mixers 4-Channel Dynamic DJ Mixer with Integrated KAOSS PAD Creative use of effects in a DJ set can turn an “ordinary” gig into a dynamic musical experience. The new KM-402 and KM-202 KAOSS Mixers merge the effects and revolutionary interface from the KAOSS PAD, six different types of EQ, and an adjustable crossfader curve to deliver the most unique DJ mixer on the market. With the innovative KAOSS pad, you manipulate effects using the tip of your finger. The unique touchpad changes multiple effect parameters at once to create unique timbres. The simple and intuitive interface has made the KAOSS PAD one of the most popular effects processors in the world.

KORG NANO CONTROLLERS nanoKEY Slim-Line USB Keyboard nanoPAD Slim-Line USB Controller nanoKONTROL Slim-Line USB Controller

The KM-402 integrates one hundred powerful effects

The nano Series from Korg – Serious Music Production in a Seriously Small Space

from the KP3 KAOSS PAD, all with the unique fingertip

Meet the most compact family of USB-MIDI controllers ever! Introducing the new Korg nano Series USB powered

control that made the KAOSS PAD famous. These

slim-line controllers - so small you can put them on your workstation, in front of your laptop, on a recording

effects range from filters, phasers, delays, and

console or anywhere else you need versatile control over your DAW, virtual instrument/effect or DJ software.

reverbs, to unique effects such as a real time looper and synth section.

For more information visit

78 79

agenda MARCH 3-5, 2009 Le Royal Meridien Best




Digital Marketing conference ‘09 effective

winning market share. Join the experts

marketing and maximising ROI are

to identify methods which drive results

crucial for competitiveness in today’s

and stay ahead of your competition.

economic climate. The Conference will share the latest methods and techniques for results

2009 highlights include

driven marketers.

Focused debates with international and

Discover trends in social media which

regional leaders, providing you with an

will impact your multi channeled

open forum to discuss which web 2.0

marketing mix. Evaluate how to benefit

applications are proven to be effective

from online behavioural change to

for delivering leads, subscriptions and

drive your revenues.


Learn the latest techniques in SEO, SEM

Case studies with in depth examples

and how to use both in partnership to

of how to develop positive feedback

feed traffic to your website. Stay ahead

loops delivering quantifiable results for

of your competition by understanding

informed decision making.

how to rank above the fold.

Middle East insights providing you with





strategy and maximise your budget by developing the right strategy and selecting the right tools. As consumers become increasingly influenced by online activity, digital savy marketers are maximising ROI and

the latest data to adapt your campaigns to improve your bottom line.

MARCH 3-5, 2009 World Trade Centre

Cabsat Mena Satellite Mena

Cabsat Mena and Satellite Mena Highlight Strength Of Regional Media and Communications Sectors In Hard Times Over 650 Digital Media and Satellite Communications Companies will gather for the Region’s Leading Exhibitions and Conferences Dubai, United Arab Emirates Satellite communication and digital media are “defining technologies” for the Middle East, making a major contribution to both commerce and culture, according to key players heading to Dubai for CABSAT MENA and Satellite MENA 2009. Now in its 15th year, CABSAT MENA is the landmark event for the digital media industry, with Satellite MENA now looking to become the definitive show in the region for the satellite communications industry. With more than 650 companies from over 50 countries exhibiting, the events welcome over 100 new companies such as DurAlpha, Gulf Broadcast Technology, Mobile Technology Tomorrow and Smartlink.

MARCH 15 - 17, 2009 Palladium Complex, DMC

Dubai Lynx 2009 presided over by Dylan Taylor, Creative Director of BMF Sydney. The TV/ Cinema, Print, Outdoor and Radio Jury Cinema,




President will be announced shortly.

Interactive, Direct & Sales Promotion,

The Dubai International Advertising

Media and Integrated categories.

Festival is now in its 2nd year and will

The entry deadline for entering your

see an extensive 3-day programme

work is 12 February 2009. The Juries,

of topical seminars and workshops,

comprised of 29 creative leaders from


14 different countries, will come


from across the globe to discuss and

Prizes will be awarded at the much

award the very best in advertising and

anticipated Dubai Lynx Award Ceremony

communications creativity in the MENA

on the 17th March 2009. The Festival


takes place at the brand new Palladium

Chairing the Media Jury is Richard

complex located in Dubai Media City.

Beaven, Worldwide CEO of Worldwide

If you would like to enter, as well as to

Initiative, whilst the Direct, Sales

find further details, please visit www.

Promotion and Interactive Jury will be




80 81

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Media Production Magazine  

Issue 308 March-April, new media magazine, news, review, tutorials, showcases