updated 02:05 am EDT, Thu April 10, 2008
Test Gear 2.0 for CS3
Synthetic Aperture this week announced Test Gear 2.0, a new version of its video and audio monitoring software specifically designed for Adobe After Effects CS3. Expected to be demoed next week at NAB in Las Vegas, Test Gear offers a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and other diagnostic displays that are now fully integrated into After Effects CS3's user interface. Version 2.0 also adds Universal Binary support for Intel-based Macs. Version 2.0 enhances all of the test instruments by adding full support for 32-bit floating-point projects. Test Gear provides motion graphics artists and video editors with a variety of test instruments to make objective measurements of their visual and audio work, all from within Adobe After Effects. Test instruments include waveform monitor, vectorscope, histogram, image slice display, and audio tools.
The company said that video footage imported into After Effects properly displays values above 100 IRE and below 0 IRE on the waveform monitor, slice display, and histogram. It also adds a new Gamut Display that clearly shows the "legality" of the levels in the image to see where colors should be adjusted or a color legalizer applied.
Synthetic also said that the Swatch Book feature has been enhanced to support 32-bit floating-point color values, and to set paint and text colors with a simple right-click contextual menu. In addition to the existing support for importing Photoshop swatch books, Test Gear 2.0 now supports importing swatch books in Adobe Exchange format.
Test Gear 2.0 adds the following test instruments and functions to After Effects:
- Waveform monitor (luma-only, composite, parade, RGB, YRGB, GBR, overlay; units selectable as IRE or mV; field or frame display)
- Vectorscope (75% or 100% calibration, with 1x, 2x, 5x, and 10x magnification)
- Histogram (YRGB or individual channels)
- Image Slice Tool (takes a user-defined slice through the image and shows the pixel values)
- Color Picker (RGB, HLS, HSB, grayscale, webcolor; colors can be made video-legal with a mouse click)
- Swatch Books (multiple swatch books supported; swatch collections are compatible with Photoshop)
- Audio Monitoring (waveform, phase, stereo image, and spectrum displays)
- All instruments can be set for Rec 601, 709, or SMPTE 240M coefficients
Test Gear 2.0 requires Adobe After Effects CS3 and is not compatible with earlier versions of After Effects. It will be previewed at NAB (April 14-17) in Synthetic Aperture's booth SL 2128B and will begin shipping in late April. Pricing is $125 per license ($95 if downloaded via the company's website). Upgrades from previous versions of Test Gear are $50. A downloadable trial version is available on the company's website.