Reviews

  • After Effects 6.5 review

    Of the three updates to Adobe’s Video Collection, After Effects has got the most out of the point-five upgrade. Plus, it costs £70 plus VAT whether you’re upgrading the Standard Edition or the Professional Edition, which is very reasonable. AE 6.5 claims more than 60 new effects, most of which have been bought from Cycore – the creators of the popular Final Effects plug-in set. Most of these are solid, one-shot effects, though effects such as ...

  • Softimage|XSI 4.0 review

    If you’re looking to invest in a top-flight 3D animation system, there are a few big players to look at – and Softimage|XSI would be included in the list. The reasons for choosing one 3D package over another are many and varied, and the top contenders all have their strengths and weaknesses. Feature lists don’t tell the whole story, and high-end 3D applications all have similar features ...

  • Flix Pro 4.0 review

    Flash is used mainly for creating vector animations, but recent upgrades have put increasing emphasis on its ability to use video content within SWF files. With the arrival of Flash MX, Macromedia introduced a new ‘flash video’ format (FLV) specifically for that purpose. Flash video hasn’t taken off in a big way as yet, but Flix Pro could be the program that helps to popularize the format.

  • Crossbow XB-A700 review

    You wouldn’t normally call a workstation small and stylish – but that’s the perfect description for the Crossbow XB-A700. Armari has taken a chassis that would normally house a combo PC/hi-fi unit, and somehow fitted most of the usual workstation components inside it. The end result looks great - but once you stop drooling and start thinking, though, the XB-A700 isn’t so appealing.

  • PFBarn review

    The Pixel Farm is a relatively new company aiming their products at high-end effects facilities as well as those on a more restricted budget. Their products are not cheap, but compared to similar programs in the market they offer decent value. Their current product roster consists of three programs - PFMatch, PFTrack, and PFBarn ...

  • HumanEyes 3D review

    HumanEyes 3D is an interesting new technology that creates stereoscopic images for print or on-screen viewing. It was originally invented to allow a single digital camera to capture 360-degree panoramas for stereoscopic viewing – this hasn’t previously been possible with one camera. Technically it’s not true 3D, but ‘2.5D’ as the subjects only rotate slightly, but your eyes see a realistic continuous-depth impression.

  • PF Match 1.0 review

    The market for match-moving software is becoming increasingly crowded – and now there’s another product to add to the list. The Pixel Farm’s PFMatch joins the likes of 2d3’s Boujou, RealViz’s MatchMover, and a handful of plug-in-based solutions in the match-moving market. PFMatch aims to offer a sophisticated toolset and autotracking for the extraction of 3D camera data from film or video footage.

  • Vegas 5 review

    Vegas is the permanent underdog of the video-editing world. The NLE has a small but fanatical following in the US, but has probably slipped under the radar of most editors – although it’s a tool you’d know about if you always wanted to make music videos. It's available 'straight' or bundled with the DVD Architect 2.0 authoring package (reviewed here) as Vegas+DVD.

  • Matchmover Pro 3 review

    Designed for high-end post-production work, MatchMover Pro is Realviz’s professional 3D camera-tracking system. It’s a robust and generally well-designed package, and it offers both automatic and full user control of the tracking process. Match-moving is the process by which 3D camera data can be extracted from nothing more than film or video footage ...

  • C5100n review

    The Oki C5100n colour LED printer has all the makings of a shared studio laser printer. It has USB 2.0 and ethernet interfaces, as well as plenty of paper capacity, all for a very reasonable £699. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support the Mac platform, it’s slow, and the printer’s output just isn’t good enough to meet the high quality demands of most creative professionals.

  • Edius 2.0 review

    When first launched in summer 2003, Edius seemed like a saviour for users of Canopus’s capture and effects hardware. Tied to Adobe’s ailing Premiere 6.5, Edius offered a more professional and efficient editing environment for the discerning editor. However, Edius turned out to be about as well finished as a PoundStretcher tea-set ...

  • RX-E Workstation review

    Armari’s RX-E includes some of the best components currently available for mid-range, Windows-based 3D workstations. It offers two of the latest generation Xeon processors and a healthy amount of fast RAM – and it sees the first appearance of ATI’s latest workstation-class graphics card.

  • Stitcher 4.0 review

    RealViz is best known for its professional-quality tools for integrating 3D elements into movies. However, its Stitcher software is a high-grade still-imaging tool for creating panoramas from multiple images. Results can be output as a super-wide print, or put onto a Web page or CD to form immersive QuickTime VR MOV, Shockwave, or ...

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