November meeting

On Thursday 20th November three Oxford Creatives will talk about their work. David Perry discusses Making the Most of YouTube.  Roger Gilboy will talk about Photography in Low Light and Mariana Mota will outline UX techniques for cross platform design.

Making the Most of YouTube – David Perry

David-Perry-white-bg“We all know the statistics about how YouTube is the world’s most-used video hosting platform and the second most-popular search tool after Google itself. But as new features are constantly added, YouTube has evolved way beyond its initial role as purely a way to share video clips into a powerful marketing and social media tool. This session reviews some ways to get the maximum value from video content that you (or your clients) share online, as well as looking at how everyone can now use YouTube to broadcast live.”

Roger Gilboy

Cast (baby) PompeiiRoger is an Oxford based photographer and filmmaker who has an exhibition at the Town Hall, Oxford of photographs taken in Afghanistan whilst developing and idea for a documentary film. His talk will be about taking photographs in low light using only natural or available light. Photographs such as the image here of a casting in Pompei which won Roger an award earlier this year.

MarianaMariana Mota

Mariana Mota is lead UX and Interaction designer at software and web apps development company Oxford Computer Consultants. She co-organises UX Oxford. Mariana  will talk about UX techniques for cross platform design.

 

Micro Four-Thirds lenes and video production

Thursday October 16th – Jim Gwilliam will present a talk on Micro Four Third Lenses (or MFT or M43) that are used on some video and stills cameras (including the Blackmagic pocket cinema camera). The MFT system design specification does not provide space for a mirror box and a pentaprism, allowing smaller bodies to be designed, and a shorter flange focal distance and hence smaller lenses to be designed. Virtually any lens can be used on MFT camera bodies, as long as an adapter exists. The aim of MFT is to get DSLR like images without the bulky size of DSLR cameras.

Smaller and lighter cameras and camcorders can mean more creative freedom for camera operators and cinematographers. He will be bringing along a variety of lenses and adapters and explain how they are used and how they can be employed in video work to get the best results.

Second speaker to be announced (also on video production)

MORE DETAILS TO BE ADDED SOON!

Meeting Report: Portfolio Show-off Night

The 8 creatives who showed their portfolios at September's Show-off Night

Last night’s “Portfolio Show-off Night” was an excellent event with 8 creatives showing  portfolios across the whole spectrum, from film and video making to book design, a free video HD film stock service, photography, environmental journalism, visual effects and animation.

The portfolios in order of presentation:

Sharon Woodward, Filmmaker, documentary ‘Symarip’. sharon@woodwardmedia.org, www.woodwardmedia.org.

Harry Pill, Multimedia producer, showreel and introduction to free video stock footage library. harry.pill@videvo.net, www.videvo.net.

David Fisher, Photographer, portfolio website. david@fisherstudios.co.uk, www.fisherstudios.co.uk.

David Murray, Photographic essay inspired by the Situationists. davidmurray1917@yahoo.com, thedadameinhofcolumn.wordpress.com.

Toby Matthews, Book designs for print and mobile apps. toby@tobymatthews.co.uk, www.tobymatthews.co.uk.

Zoe Broughton, Campaigner and protest filmmaker. Documentary ‘Wool against weapons’ and short video of Didcot Power Station cooling towers demolition. zoe@urchin.info.

Rod Harbinson, Environmental journalist. Short videos of street protests against Thai military coup. rod.harbinson@yahoo.com, www.youtube.com, www.spiritforest.org.

Ken Turner, Visual effects and animation supervisor. Showreel of visual effects and animations. ken@designimage.co.uk, www.designimage.co.uk.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this Portfolio Show-off Night. A very special thanks to Richard, Roger and Dariusz who managed the technology fantastically for presenters, thank you guys!

Portfolio Show-off Night

On September 18th at 7:30pm we are back at Catherine Street and our usual date of third Thursday in the month.

We are inviting you to bring along your portfolio or a piece of recent work that you are proud of and would like to show to the group.

This can be digital or physical – a website that you have built or been a part of building, a video you have made or contributed to. Print designers bring along your latest document or other product. Photographers bring a set of prints or show us your website.

We are looking to give you creatives 6 minute slots to show your portfolios.

This is not a night of critique it is a night to celebrate your creativity and restart on a high after the summer!

Meeting Report: Creative Cloud Event Oxford

The Creative Cloud Event Oxford, an in-depth review of the new features in Adobe’s Creative Cloud 2014 release, formed our July meeting. Over 90 creatives filled the Seminar Room at Said Business School on this very warm evening of Monday July 14th.

Creative Cloud Event Oxford

Adobe specialists Niels Stevens and Tony Harmer presented an in depth whistle-stop tour of the new features in Creative Cloud 2014 for film makers, photographers, artists and designers.

Tony Harmer started the night with Adobe Mobile Sketching showing Sketch, Line, Ideas, Photoshop Touch, Photoshop Mix and Lightroom for iPad and iPhone. In Illustrator Tony showed  improvements to Pen Tool, Live shapes, Live corners, the Rebuilt Pencil Tool, CSS Properties Panel, SVG options and Custom toolboxes. Moving on to Edge Animate Tony showed a simple animation and a basic interactivity demo.

Continuing his high-speed tour Tony then moved on to Photoshop, showing the Focus Area selection, Refine Edge, improvements to 3D and 3D printing, Perspective Warp and Smarter Guides. Opening InDesign he showed the inclusion of .oam files from Edge Animate and Exporting to EPUB fixed layout before finally talking about Typekit support in all Creative Cloud 2014 applications.

“All the recorded clips of this year’s World Cup that were shown on the BBC were edited exclusively in Premiere” and there are currently over 2.3 million paid Creative Cloud subscriptions worldwide said Niels Stevens as he talked through the new features in the video tools in Creative Cloud 2014. He also told us that Premiere was featured as a part of the new film Last Showing starring Robert Englund (see the Premier UI 1m 16s in this clip).

In Premiere Pro Niels showed the new Live Text templates and Typekit integration, masking and tracking features for video editors to blur out faces, logos, license plates, or anything else throughout a scene; and to add a feathered mask that automatically moves with the action. Enhanced graphics performance in Mercury Playback Engine, streamlined voiceover recording, faster editing workflow and faster rendering with mercury playback engine. He talked about automatically backing up of Premiere Pro projects to the Cloud. Finally Niels demonstrated master clip effect changes rippling down through every part of the clip in a sequence.

Thank you to Adobe, Niels and Tony for a tremendous tour of the capabilities of Creative Cloud 2014.

Creative-Cloud-Event-Oxford-winner-John-Lobreglio-smallCreative Cloud raffle
Winner of the event raffle, John Lobreglio, was presented by Niels Stevens with a one-year free subscription to Creative Cloud.

Next meeting: Our next meeting is in September as we take August off to enjoy the summer. On Thursday 18th September we return to Film Oxford on Catherine Street for another Portfolio Show-off Night. This is the night where we invite you to share your portfolio with us all and show off your creativity. This is not a critique night it is an exhibition, a night to show what you do. Digital or physical, complete or work in progress, bring your work along and spend up to six minutes showing to everyone – no need to book, just turn up on the night. Meanwhile, enjoy the summer!

Meeting Report: Responsive Web Design and PhoneGap with Liz Myers

Thanks for all the Gelato Liz!   For our June meeting developer Liz Myers stood in at the last minute for Matt Gifford. Many, many thanks Liz.

Liz has been developing her app @2ScoopsApp which alerts users to the best gelato in shops in London, Paris, Rome and New York. The app works on geo location of the user’s phone and shows the details of gelato retailers, opening hours and contact details along with comments on the store and its products.

Originally from Minnesota, Liz worked in publishing for Microsoft where she switched to mobile development where she ‘got the bug’ before moving on to work for Blackberry. Liz is now an Adobe Community Professional and she outlined some of the announcements Adobe had made the previous night, particularly mentioning the Creative Cloud Photographer’s package and the student’s reduced rate for Cloud membership.

Turning to developing her app Liz pointed out the importance of using use cases as the key to design, deciding in this case that ‘find’, ‘enjoy, ‘share’ were some of the key uses of the @2ScoopsApp in addition to deciding the likely people who would be users, on what type of device and under what circumstances. In addition Liz commented on the importance of connecting the app to incoming Twitter feeds regarding the stores. Whilst displaying images and details of the products the app plays Italian voices to describe them in order to enhance the genesis of the gelatos.

Commenting on the development of the app’s code Liz stressed the importance of ‘test early, test often’. Liz suggested using jQuery Mobile for app development, stressing the importance of always using the latest stable version. In her development work Liz uses the Adobe Edge tools as they are tightly coupled with PhoneGap. In particular Liz mentioned the ease of multiple device testing using Edge Inspect which instantly propagates and displays on multiple mobile devices connected to the same mobile network the effects of code changes.

600_377244062

QR code to download and install the app

Liz showed her @2ScoopsApp and how through PhoneGap a user can scan a QR code to download and install the app. Thank you to Monica Messaggi Kaya who has posted on her blog a more detailed and technical report of Liz’s talk and demonstration. Liz’s blog at
myersdesign.com has much greater detail regarding @2ScoopsApp which is due to go into production live before the end of the summer.

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Roger Knight, winner of the Creative Cloud raffle prize.

The final activity of the evening was to draw the raffle for a one-year free subscription to Creative Cloud. This was won by Roger Knight, congratulations Roger.

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Cloud Event Oxford

On July 14th we change venues to Said Business School, Park End Street, Oxford as Adobe specialists Niels Stevens and Tony Harmer are coming for a special 2-hour presentation on the new features of the Creative Cloud for film makers, photographers, artists and designers.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the latest features in the new release of Adobe Creative Cloud 2014, including Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, Dreamweaver, Premiere, After Effects, Speedgrade and more. Learn about what’s new in this 2014 release that will help you do everything you do more efficiently using the latest innovations and modern standards. Get answers to your questions and get inspired by film makers, photographers, artists and designers who are creating amazing work.

This event is part of Create Now 2014 world tour, to find more Creative Cloud events to attend around the world, go to: http://adobe.com/go/worldtour14

Registration
Please RSVP via Eventbright for this special event (rather than just on Meet-up) http://tiny.cc/mlcphx

Agenda
7:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Registration, Check-In, Food, Networking
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM – Presentations by Niels Stevens and Tony Harmer
9:30 PM – 10:00 PM –  Q&A, Raffle & Wrap-Up

Prizes
Adobe will be providing prizes including a FREE One-year Creative Cloud Membership. You must be present to win.

Parking
Please use the car park at Worcester Square (opposite Nandos), Oxford Railway Station or Gloucester Green.

Food and Beverage
We shall be providing beer and nibbles, please arrive by 7pm.

Niels Stevens
Niels has 20 years consultancy experience in the Post Production industry. He started out in the content creation reseller business, specialising in sales and training for Audio post production systems, and spent 4 years at AVID as Senior Pre-Sales Consultant, looking after most of the major Broadcast Accounts in EMEA, and specialising in storage networks, media asset management, and editing / finishing / dubbing workflows.

He joined Adobe in 2010 as the UK Business Development Manager for the Creative Cloud Video products. He came on board at an exciting time, as the profile of Adobe’s Video applications became a renewed priority and continues to rise steadily in professional markets

Tony Harmer
TonyPrior to joining Adobe full-time in 2014, Tony Harmer has worked in the creative industry for over 30 years on a range of design, illustration and web/screen projects. An Adobe Certified Expert and Instructor in several products (holding more than 160 certifications and one of only a small number to achieve status as a Creative Suite Master) Tony has delivered training all over the UK and Europe.

Tony was the chapter leader for the London InDesign User Group for seven years and presented frequently on InDesign—even helping to influence the decision to integrate forms into the product—as well as demoing Illustrator, Photoshop and Creative Cloud topics for Adobe.

Additionally Tony has delivered training on HTML & CSS web standards topics, and has written frequently for magazines and blogs, but more than anything still just loves to sit and draw with pens, pencils, the iPad and his Wacom Cintiq.

Meeting Report: Blackmagic Night

Great turn out of 30, which was surprisingly good as the the weather was really warm and  lovely. Quite a few new attendees including many local TV professionals.

BlackmagicNightRaffleRichard kicked off with a brief look at how Blackmagic Intensity HDMI capture card can be used in stop motion capture, and edited in Premiere.

Dariusz gave a video presentation  on Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio 2, including Photoshop preset for creating live graphics.

Martyn Chalk from Chalkstar films was a great speaker, he not only brought two of his Blackmagic cameras but he also brought his cameraman too so he could answer the very technical questions some of the audience asked. He also showed some of his companies work using the cameras, which they had only had for a few months.

Questions started off on the pro’s and con’s of DSLRs versus Blackmagic, through to post-production workflow, grading and lenses and customisation. One audience member brought in his own Blackmagic camera batteries that he had made!

There was a raffle for a years subscription to the Creative Cloud, thanks to Adobe. The prize was won by Luca Koch; and quite  a few went to pub afterwards.

Meeting Report: Tigz Rice Gives a Masterclass in Lightroom

Tigz Rice gave a master class in Lightroom 5 at our April meeting.  It was a high-octane, high-speed, in-depth tour of Adobe’s photo editing and cataloguing application.

DSC_3975London based fashion, boudoir and burlesque photographer Tigz opened by asking us whether we wanted higher SEO ratings for our photography websites and blogs, telling us that the metadata that can be inserted into images using the facilities of Lightroom can do just that. Tigz usually shoots around 300 images in a normal 4-hour shoot and sets default metadata on import of the shoot into her Lightroom catalogue which takes seconds and ensures that all images from the shoot are identified with ownership, copyright and shoot identity details as a minimum.

Tigz explained her reasons for using RAW files for her work rather than jpeg, pointing out that the data contained in the three colour layers of a RAW file gives tremendous flexibility and range – typically allowing for instance 2 stops under or over exposure. The editing or processing of files in Lightroom are non-destructive with all required editing details recorded alongside the RAW file in a sidecar .xmp file.

Whilst taking us on a trip of the features displayed in the initial navigation of the Library module of Lightroom Tigz asked if we had heard of the new release of Lightroom which included Lightroom mobile. She went on to explain that during import from an external source images can be pre-processed to apply standard setting such as sharpness, lens corrections etc. thereby saving large amounts of time in processing. These changes could of course be reversed on any image where the batch processing was not appropriate.

“Do you flip your images?” asked Tigz and then went on to describe how she had increased her volume of sales of portraits by horizontally flipping the images so that the sitters saw the mirror image of themselves that they are used to seeing in their mirror. Tigz went on to caution that this does not work so well when there is any writing involved such as a tattoo or background writing.

“Optimise your catalogue” was a recommendation Tigz made. This is to improve performance within Lightroom and to save on the storage space required for the catalogue. This optimisation can be made automatic by reducing the setting of the minimum period for keeping previews.

Tigz continued her demonstration of features in the Develop module showing how for instance, in Lens Corrections, images can have their inherent lens and chromatic aberrations corrected automatically by use of the installed lens profile. Similarly verticals and horizontals can be corrected to remove converging verticals and sloping horizontals. Images can be cropped in Lightroom in the develop module as well as cloning and healing, applying gradients, radial filters and local adjustments.

Moving on to the Map module Tigz pointed out that Lightroom offers a world map that can used to refine and insert a GPS location into the metadata for an image, or batch of images. This GBS metadata can be accessed later in processed files. Finally Tigz showed how easy and versatile Lightroom makes the creation of a slideshow in the Slideshow module. This facility includes the ability to create a preview version of the slideshow in full HD 1080P video.

In conclusion Tigz told us that her workflow meant that she worked 95% of the time in Lightroom only doing around 5% of her finishing work in Photoshop.

Thank you Tigz, a comprehensive and enlightening masterclass in Lightroom!

Meeting Report: Animation for the Mobile Web

MarchUGMeetingIona Walters, Senior Solutions Consultant at Adobe, brought Animation for the Mobile Web to the March meeting and talked about Adobe Muse, the Adobe Edge family of applications and some of the complementary features recently added to Photoshop.

Introducing the Adobe Edge family Iona visited each of the five tools and two services. Starting with Edge Animate, which enables you to create standards compliant interactive and animated content using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Edge Reflow creates responsive designs and high-fidelity prototypes through media query breakpoints, allowing easy importing of design and assets from Photoshop.

Code content and applications with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript using Edge Code preview, a code editor is specifically designed to work with other Edge Tools & Services. Edge Inspect, allows developers to preview and inspect web designs on mobile devices using synchronous browsing and remote inspection, to grab screenshots from all connected devices with a single button click.

PhoneGap Build builds mobile apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in the cloud targeting iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and webOS devices building apps with web technologies. It enables easy compilation, access to native APIs, support for multiple platforms, quick deployment cycles, direct app installation, web inspector remote (weinre) integration, collaborative projects, support channels, documentation and tool integration.

Completing the Edge family of applications and services are the free web fonts provided by Edge Web Fonts, and the premium font service of Typekit.

Iona demonstrated the Photoshop Generator feature which creates image assets in real time, eliminating the tedious steps of copying, slicing and exporting each layer manually, saving hours of time.

Presenting Adobe Edge Animate Iona showed how quick and easy it is to create animations from multiple image and sound assets, publishing settings in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and/or exporting to InDesign or Adobe Muse. During this demonstration Iona showed how to make an image move along a motion path with the orientation of the image following the path.

Using perspective warp in Photoshop, including other images from Photoshop and a sound track Iona created an animation of a train moving into the scene toward the viewer, growing in size and correct perspective, with audio to enhance the overall effect – in just a very few minutes.

Iona’s tutorials on Adobe Edge tools, Photoshop Generator, Adobe Muse and Kuler can be found at www.creativesneaks.com.