Adobe releases Creative Cloud 2018

New Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere Pro & more

Adobe has released Creative Cloud 2018 to the public.

There are four new applications – XD and Character Animator have moved from their beta stages, Dimension (previously Project Felix) and Photoshop Lightroom CC are new – the latter being a redesigned version of Lightroom with a new interface (the existing software still being available as Lightroom Classic).

Adobe Lightroom CC

In Premiere Pro, users will now see Mettle’s Skybox tools for 360-degree video editing – which Adobe bought back in June – integrated directly into Adobe’s editor.

You can now also have multiple projects open at once and copy-&-paste between them, and frames around titles will now automatically resize as you edit the text. And they’ll be motion graphics templates accessible in Premiere Pro.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018 Workspace

Adobe Creative Cloud 2018 should now be available for download through your Creative Cloud desktop application.

To see more about the Adobe CC 2018 release, read the full article here.

 

Anticipate. Protect. Alert. Cyber Security Solution chooses MadWerkz

Israeli based security firm trust design boutique MadWerkz Studios

Quickly, MadWerkz has established itself as the go to creation engine for ABStyle/Blue Studios’ cyber security solution client Sepio Solutions. The Israeli based security firm has made a huge splash with their cyber security solution geared toward defending the supply chain.

Defending the supply chain against cyber security attacks

The supply chain security startup is focused on protecting an organization from the effect of an attack—instead of trying to prevent it. The suite stops rogue hardware before it damages the normal operation of an organization or degrades system performance. Leveraging hardware, software and cloud technology, it protects organizations against device supply chain attacks.

MadWerkz designed a custom parallax site and a set of print deliverables which incorporate the highly graphical nature of Sepio’s solution into its style. Thus making its offering highly visible and easy to understand.

Web Site

“AB Style/Blue Studios wanted to provide Sepio with a robust web presence that was easy to get up and running due to their hectic global conference schedule.” Stated Chris Kennedy, project lead.

Sepio Systems Home Page

The multi-page parallax style site highlights Sepio’s process and knowledge concerning cyber threats to an organization’s supply chain. In treating the various segments of the home page as pages themselves, it allowed us to direct the user to the specific information they are looking forward. Upon launching the site, the user is greeted with a browser wide animation, depicting the global nature of cyber threats. Underneath that is a ticker showcasing the companies numerous events and blog activity.

See the site Sepio Website

Print/Infographics

Delivering complex solutions in simple terms is always a difficult task. And the need to capture the attention of today’s global customer base is paramount to success. Therefore, developing content that speaks to each potential client is a priority for sales materials.

Amy Burns and Allyson Ruscheletta of ABStyle/Blue Studios developed the brochure content and handed it off to MadWerkz for layout and design. Knowing the audience, global security concerns that Sepio would touch at the various conferences it planned to attend. This meant quickly developing a Tri-Fold, a set of Data Sheets and a Trade Show booth that closed the visual deal of Sepio`as Global security player. Stated designer Jason M.

In the end, MadWerkz created messaged focused deliverables for Sepio Systems, allowing them to create a winning presence across the cyber security landscape.

For more information on Sepio Systems, visit them at sepio.systems.com

For more information on ABStyle/Blue Studios, contact them at allyson.ruscitella

Looking to enhance your solutions with fresh, vibrant look and designs? Contact us at MadWerkz Studios 

More than ever, Speech Matters Too

MadWerkz Studios Web Design Ohio Cleveland

In an era of emoji’s, 140 characters, and Snapchat, the art of verbal communication appears to be a lost art. But for those whose voice has been diminished not by technology – and through not fault of their own, but by health, birth or accidental means, the ability to improve their speech is a vital concern regarding quality of life.

Dr. Kennetha Mentor is a highly regarded Speech Pathologist based out of Detroit, Michigan who sees her mission, improving quality of life, as a core message. With that in mind, she charged us with building a website and branding identity that spoke to the core mission but also to a diverse clientele.

 

Logo

Playfulness and colorful artwork dominate the speech pathology market. In large part to many of its clientele being infants and children. Dr. Mentor loved the colorful aspect of many of the logos she saw, but she also wanted something that was clean and gave the impression of a well thought of design. Our approach,  to take the best aspects of the samples and infuse function and best practice design principles to create a clean design that spoke to the freshness of her business but also created a sense of trusted organization.

We went away from the scripted, cursive type that seems to be a well used choice in this industry and tapped Bubbler One as the logo font. It gives the design a sense of light hearted fun while maintaining a readable, balanced form, stated project manager Chris Kennedy.

Print

MadWerkz Cleveland Business Card Brand Identity Design
Business Cards Mockup

The brand identity extended into business cards and a trade show sell sheet where we saw a chance to drive the fresh, colorful palette combined with a modern design reminiscent of an interactive interface.

Print Design Cleveland MadWerkz Studios Ohio
Trade Show Half Page Sell Sheet

speechmatterstoo.com

The primary deliverable for Dr. Mentor, the web page is a fun, responsive scroller built to educate and drive engagement with potential clients.

“One thing we wanted to do was drive a sense of unified thought and showcase the diversity of Dr. Mentor’s services. Since she works with not only children but also the elderly, it needed to drive that message”, states designer Joddy Eric Matthews

MadWerkz Design Layout Ohio Web design
Website Design

The site included animated image scrolling and image gallery which drives the them of diversity. To see the finished site, be sure to check out Dr. Mentor at www.speechmatterstoo.com

Need a fresh creative design? Give us a shout out. contact@madwerkz.com

 

 

 

Solid Angle releases Arnold 5

Solid Angle has released Arnold 5, the latest update to its production renderer, updating the API and sampling algorithms, and adding new physically based Standard Surface, hair and volume shaders.

The release also introduces support for Light Path Expressions and a number of workflow and performance improvements – but not for GPU rendering: a feature that many users had hoped to see.

Most of the key changes in Arnold 5 are beneath the hood, notably to the C++ API, which Solid Angle describes as having been “cleaned of legacy features, refactored, extended and simplified”.

Arnold 5 Sampling
Arnold 5 Sampling

Arnold’s sampling algorithms have also been updated in version 5. Solid Angle claims that the changes should result in reduced render noise for both direct and indirect illumination.

Arnold 5 Hair Renders
Arnold 5 Hair Renders

There is also a Standard Hair shader, which again, is physically based and replaces the old hair shader.

It comes with a wide range of parameters, including two representing melanin, the pigment in human hair and skin, making it the only hair shader we’re aware of with biologically plausible controls.

Read the full article here.

Autodesk serves up some eye candy

 

Autodesk posted its latest games reel in time for GDC 2017, its all AAA titles and some VR work. The usual suspects such as Halo (Wars), Creed, Deus Ex and Battlefield are there along with indie hits such as We Happy Few and Firewatch.

In game play has gotten so good that it can be included along with cinematics giving the reel a definite appeal to the gamer. Of course our focus is on the Autodesk tools and the process.

by Chris Kennedy

Read more about Autodesk’s tools for game design on their website

Building a 5X brand

MadWerkz creates branding, splash page and product labeling for S5X supplement line

AB Style agency tasked MadWerkz with creating Branding and Product Labels for the digestion aid supplement S5X.

“The agency wanted a clean style with a clear way of determining the various types of supplements in the product line, we determined that a numbering system, color varied, would do the trick.” Stated project director Christopher Kennedy.

Product Label

Joddy Eric Matthews designed the labels, then handed them off to Jay Mitchell who created them in Adobe Illustrator before they were then rendered in Photoshop. The next step was to map the labels on to a CG bottle which was done by Christopher Kennedy in Maya. The Bottle was lit and rendered, using a custom shader in Vray before being submitted to the client for approval.

 

Splash Page

Once the product designs were finished, a quick responsive splash page was mocked up using Photoshop and Adobe Experience Design. The tagline, Take 5 & Revive was added along with the product lineup and the S5X Logo. In the end, the splash page mockup was rendered and delivered to AB Style.

MadWerkz develops website for leading Cyber Security solution

MadWerkz Studios has created a custom website for cyber security solution provider Sepio Systems of Israel. The supply chain security startup is focused on protecting an organization from the effect of an attack—instead of trying to prevent it. The suite stops rogue hardware before it damages the normal operation of an organization or degrades system performance. Leveraging hardware, software and cloud technology, it protects organizations against device supply chain attacks.

MadWerkz designed a custom parallax site which incorporates the highly graphical nature of Sepio’s solution into its style. Thus making its offering highly visible and easy to understand.

Click here to view the Sepio Website and learn more about the Sepio security solution.

Welcome, To The Future: Cost effective pixel creation

Director Joddy Eric Matthews has teamed with Writer/Director Steve Lidrbauch to produce a provocative music video for indie music group, Seconds Before Landing. The song, Welcome, To The Future is the first release off their new album, The Great Deception, melds a combination of viral videos, 3D CG, particle animation and stock footage.

“I tried to write a visionary story, that would fit with the Producer’s vision of what the song was really about. They have a huge following in Europe and I tried to use that knowledge to aid in delivering the message they wanted to tell” says Lidrbauch.

The initial draft of the song contained about 25 HD stock images of a man or people in a gas mask or surrounded by smoke. “The budget wouldn’t support it, and as much as we loved the concept, some of the imagery was over $400 per clip! We needed other options.” stated Producer John Cristino.

See the video here: Welcome, To The Future

Creating cost effective pixels

Co-Director Joddy Eric Matthews decided to create the various imagery of a person with a mask in 3D. “It allowed us to mimic most of what Steve envisioned at a smaller budget”, quipped Matthews. We always wanted to show a human emitting smoke or material from the mask instead of filtering it as it entered the body, doing a fully CG environment allowed us to control the situation more fully”.

Finished Playground and Jail Cell

Animation Lead Chris Kennedy oversaw concept of the videos jail cell and playground of desolation, both of which were modeled in Maya by Matthews over the course of a few days. The human skeletons and a lounge chair, last minute additions by Matthews, were the only stock models added to the design. The mask was quickly modeled and UV’d by Kennedy in 3D Max and sent to Maya for shading. Texturing was also handled in Maya via Mental Ray’s Mia Material shaders. “We had some thoughts about using Arnold, but since time was short we decided to stick with a more proven workflow” says Kennedy.  Lighting was accomplished using Final Gather, Mental Ray’s Portal Light solution and several Area Lights using CIE Blackbody using Quadratic decay rates. Each Camera used the Mental Ray lens shader, mia_exposure_photographic in order to get the closest exposure match to a real camera as possible. “The initial render is really dark. We under lit the scene at 800 ASA and 5.6 since we knew we would be adding a ton of atmospheric layers in post.” stated Matthews.

CG Breakdown

Modeling – 3D Max/Maya
Animation – Maya
Lighting – Area Lights/CIE Blackbody/Portal Lights/Final Gather (100 rays)
Camera – MR Lens Shader/Mia_Exposure (800 ASA/F5.6)
Render – Mental Ray

A custom Trapcode Particular particles script that allowed for the creation of a hundred thousand particles per frame allowed for the emitter to be set up and designed in a day. Three emitters, each sync’d to the Bass, Treble and midrange of the song, generated between 8,000 to 120,000 particle per frame. Turbulence and Physics were added to influence direction. The final composites were sent to Adobe Premiere CC for editorial.

Welcome To The Future has logged over 30 Thousand views worldwide since it was releases a day ago.

Title: Welcome, To The Future
Artist: Seconds Before Landing
Producer: John Cristino
Directed by Steve Lidrbauch and Joddy Eric Matthews
Creative Director: Joddy Eric Matthews
Animation Lead: Christopher Kennedy
Particle Animation: Joddy Eric Matthews
Editor/Colorist: Joddy Eric Matthews

Festival Series: BluRay versus DCP

Still From Film Derby Baby
Still From Film Derby Baby

Our latest DCP was for the Indie Doc Derby Baby, produced by Dave Wruck and Robin Bond for Robin Bond Media. The film, which has no less than 100 Showtimes across the country Derby Baby showtimes, is a great project which we were proud to help get on the big screen. The film’s Producer’s contacted us seeking to find out more about the DCP option. They understood BluRay or even a HDCam tape delivery were options but they wanted to see if a DCP could be done quickly and inside the Indie Budget they were working with. One of their first questions centered not around price but around the benefits of a DCP over a BluRay.

The wide adoption of BluRay, after the HD-DVD/BluRay Wars (remember those?), gave us a standard that has allowed theater owners to offer a presentation platform of high resolution and reliability to today’s Independent Filmmaker. The ease at which a disc can be authored and played back on almost any machine, worldwide, coupled with the fact that the 1080p format scales nicely with the Digital Projection 2K standard and it’s relatively cheap disc/burner cost, make it a great tool for the filmmaker looking to release his/her film.

So why use a DCP?

First let’s answer the question, what is a DCP? DCP stands for Digital Cinema Package. In short, a DCP is the digital equivalent of a 35mm film print.   It is what you give to a commercial theater so that they can screen your movie on a digital ( also known as “D-Cinema”) projector.  Like a 35mm print, a DCP is a world-wide standard.  If you walk into any D-Cinema theater, anywhere in the world, they can play your DCP without a problem. It can handle files up to 4096k in size and runs at speeds up to 250 Mbit/s! It also operates in XYZ Colorspace rather than videos YUV/RGB Colorspace. So in short, it is made to as closely simulate the image complexity and fidelity of film as possible.

But why spend the money on a DCP? Is a DCP really that much better than a BluRay. In short, yes!

BluRay, DCP Frame compared

A BluRay gives you easy access to the 1080/24p spec, and 5.1 Dolby Surround audio. and having seen many BluRay projected films, It can look stunning given the author encodes at the highest rate allowed, color corrects with D-Cinema in mind and uses as close to master quality as they can. But even with those pluses, the BluRay has the following limitations;

  • Since the Projector screens at only 2k or 4k, any HD material will introduce bars on the sides.
  • Most likely your compression will come in somewhere around 12 to 25 Mbit/s, falling way short of the 250 allowed by the server.
  • Since there is no standard on authoring, encoding from say a H-264 web release to BluRay is allowed, meaning there is nothing to prevent you from burning your 640 x 480 scaled Youtube video to disc.
  • A mistake in the authoring process can result in an unplayable disc.
  • Films, can for the most part be copied by anyone.

DCP standardizes the process, giving the filmmaker full access to the 2048k/4096k image format, and it allows films shot in 2:35/2:40 to be projected as intended. The DCP will not be created if the source footage is not within the strict DCP spec. Another benefit is that DCPs don’t wear out like 35mm or scratch like BluRay’s.  Digital copies do not degrade, so you’ll never have a broken, scratched or dirty DCP.  The 1000th screening will look just as perfect as the first. Also as stated above, If you walk into any D-Cinema theater, anywhere in the world, they can play your DCP without a problem. Often housed in a military grade USB drive, factors such as scratching and damage from transport are nonexistent. And since the package is housed on a Linux formatted hard drive and in a muxed jpeg2000 format, copying a film is extremely difficult.

Another factor, and a very important one if you care about the look of your film or your film depends on the look to enhance audience participation, is regardless of what you deliver on, that your film will be projected in XYZ Colorspace not in the YUV/RGB Color we are all used to from our television sets. DCP’s are automatically converted to XYZ in the packaging process. DCPs and theatrical D-Cinema equipment will make well-shot and color-corrected footage look absolutely fantastic.  The color gamut and contrast are far superior to anything you’ll see on your computer monitor.

3D DCP’s are easy to encode and package. There currently is no solution below 5k for authoring 3D BluRays.

Lastly, In order to be considered for an Academy Award, your film must be delivered on either a film print or a DCP. For full specifications, go here, http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/digital.html

Derby Baby Logo

Derby Baby DCP
A darling film, about love, addition and ring rash, Derby Baby was turned into a DCP from a sequence of Tif files and a set of discrete 5.1 audio files. The original film was uprez’d from 720p to 2k by Dave Wruck and sent to us via a Hard Drive. The finished 90 minute film was sent to a D-Cinema in Los Angeles for screening on a CRU 100 gig hard drive. To get more information on the film, go to http://www.derbybabythefilm.com/

So what special steps do you have to do in order to prepare your film for a DCP? Contact us and we’ll gladly walk you through the steps.

The price of DCP’s have come down drastically in the last few years. The choice to go with the format used by all the major studios versus BluRay is a much easier one today. The ability to compete with the majors is now fully within your grasp. For instance, we offer dynamic packages starting around $10 per minute. Visit us at www.madwerkz.com or contact us at madwerkz for more info on creating DCP’s. Happy filming.

Joddy

 

Creating a Deadly Comic (Animated) Open

Frame from Open

MadWerkz animation and graphic artist Jeff Black recently finished (6) six amazing hand drawn and inked comic book style illustrations for a series of Short Opens being produced by MadWerkz Films.

DR_Open_teaser_480

The Open directed by Joddy Eric Matthews, which took 12 weeks to complete was a study in the old school, hand drawn approach meeting the digital age. “I use a tablet and pen, often, but to get the personality of the live action characters into these drawings, I needed to feel the paper and the pencil in my finger. I needed tactile response.” says Black.

Full Page artwork for Open

Even though each drawing was hand crafted and inked, more like a paper based comic, they were quickly scanned and colored in Painter and Photoshop in 16bit resolution. Effects such as dot gain, splatter effects and lens flares were added to the layered files as they were sent into After Effects for Motion graphics artist Jason Mithell, whose scene quickly rose to over 100 layers in some places

The layered PSD files, imported into After Effects as compositions, were quickly turned into 3D layers, animated and rendered to 16bit 2048 DPX and Apple ProRes 422 10bit files for lay back to the editor.

Jeff is currently in development for MadWerkz Films motion comic, “Trinity: HellWater” a prequel to the live action film “Trinity”, set to film in the fall. The motion comic, unfolding over five episodes, will see Mr. Black serve as Animation Director.