Beta supports 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4d to come
E-on has launched a public beta of its new EcoSystem-based 3D plug-in, Carbon Scatter. The plug-in renders mental rays and V-rays for 3ds Max, creating complex populations of native instancing with high detail. It supports automated smart scattering, placing objects according to the relief of the underlying geometry, and it can paint objects and plants with EcoPainter, the EcoSystem painter tool. Carbon Scatter offers advanced EcoSystem controls, allowing for complex nature painting that accounts for variables such as slopes, altitude and plant sizes. Fractal noise and bitmapping can be used to control distribution, while time can be factored in as well.
Company will add 64-bit support to 3 other plugins
Three new visual effects plug-ins have been announced by Digieffects, with a formal launch scheduled for the National Association of Broadcasters' NAB Show next week. FreeForm 3D Mesh Warp, FreeForm 3D Displacer, and Damage 2.0 will all support 64-bit operation in various applications. FreeForm 3D Mesh Warp adds a 3rd dimension to After Effects' built-in mesh warp. Users can choose to divide the image into rows and columns before manipulating control tangents or creating cylinders, curves, ribbons, folding cards, and any other 3D shapes. It will retail for $100.
Background clip analysis improves workflow
CoreMelt has launched an update to its stabilization plug-in for Final Cut Pro, Lock and Load X. The software fixes shaky video camera footage, analyzing and then smoothing video as much as possible. It can also smooth zoom and rotational motion, and be set to ignore foreground motion.
New plugins feature new methods, classes, fixes
Monkeybread Software has launched an update to its REALbasic plug-in package, MBS REALbasic Plugins 10.0. The suite features 29,000 functions in over 1,300 classes, providing REALbasic developers with an extensive list of extended tools to build software for the three major platforms.
Noise Buster now works with Adobe Elements, CS4
AKVIS has announced a new version of its photo enhancement tool, Noise Buster 7.0. The application is designed to remove noise in the color and luminance layers of images, both separately and together. The upgrade delivers a series of new features including support for Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, 64-bit Adobe Photoshop CS4, and Snow Leopard, as well as improvements to both the noise reduction algorithm and interface. Bug fixes have also been added for both the Mac and Windows versions.
TuneUp plugin updated
TuneUp Media has updated its iTunes add-on, and has announced that Apple will sell the plug-in online and at its retail stores. The TuneUp interface has been updated to closely resemble iTunes, and new features have been added. The software takes an "audio fingerprint" of songs to help users identify and organize tracks, find album art, and locate information about artists and concerts.
Macuarium 10 anniversary
In brief: Toolfarm a source for professional visual effects and motion graphics plug-ins has announced that it has acquired Pluginz. ToolFarm views this acquisition as a natural step in growing their site into a one-stop shop service. MacNN readers are now being offered a 30% discount on several video tutorials from Computer App Training. The latest releases include tips and tricks on working with iMovie '09 and Photoshop CS4. Separately, Macuarium, a spanish Mac news site, is celebrating its tenth anniversary and has released a special icon pack for its readers to celebrate.
Stacks 1.0 launched
YourHead Software has launched Stacks 1.0, a page-style plugin for RapidWeaver. Stacks 1.0 brings layout editing to the website creation software, allowing for flexible web page design using a drag and drop interface. Stacks arrives with a library of simple building blocks for creating complex layouts. Users build web pages using Stacks by placing elements from the Stacks Library anywhere onto a web page layout. Each element can be moved, resized, styled, and nested, while pages built via Stacks are flexible and flow content to fit the dimensions of any RapidWeaver theme.
PaintGrade plugin launched
Pomfort has released PaintGrade Plugin for Aperture, offering a painting approach to color correction within Aperture. The software allows common adjustments like brightness, saturation and contrast to be painted into the picture, making adjustments to only the areas affected by the brush strokes. The plugin uses dynamic color keying, allowing interactive modifications of the keyed area and uses algorithms that smooth and soften all the manipulations within a painted area, avoiding hard edges and color clipping and engineering smooth tonal changes between original and adjusted areas within the image.
TuneUp coming to Mac
TuneUp Media is bringing its Windows-based iTunes plugin to the Mac, and MacNN users are invited to try the beta. TuneUp works within iTunes to find missing album art, clean-up mislabeled tracks and inconsistent metadata and more. TuneUP claims its plugin is the most popular iTunes add-on for Windows with more than 60-thousand downloads in the past three months
Google Code project owner 'Colesbury', has released Firefox Mac PDF Plugin. Unlike other browsers such as Safari, Firefox by default does not allow for inline viewing of PDF files (that is, the viewing of .PDFs without need of third-party applications). Based on the PDFKit in Cocoa, the open-source Mac-PDF plugin allows users to view full .PDF documents within the browser itself, bringing Firefox into line with other browsers that already sport the feature. The plugin requires Firefox 3 and Mac OS X 10.4 or later. (Last week Adobe's PDF file format became an ISO standard and the company released Reader 9 with several new features.
"Total Workstation" audio
IK Multimedia and Muse Research have joined forces to create what they claim is one of the most powerful music sound modules ever made. The Total WorkStation Rack uses Muse Research’s Receptor hardware plug-in player with IK’s SampleTank 2.5, Sonik Synth 2, Miroslav Philharmonik, SampleMoog and Sampleton virtual instruments. The product also ships with more than 10,000 sample-based sounds from every instrument category.
Quick-dial for Leopard
Nova Media has released Phone Plugins, a utility that allows one-click dialing and text messaging from any application in Leopard. Users of OS X Tiger were able dial cellphones connected over Bluetooth, but Apple removed that feature in OS X 10.5. Nova claims the utility not only restores that lost functionality, but improves on it as well. The Berlin-based developer says the Phone Plugins include a Bluetooth wizard to connect cell phones in one step. Users can call or send a text message to any number within Address Book or other applications using the “services” menu.
Noise Buster 6.0 ships
AKVIS has released the v6.0 update to Noise Buster, its photo enhancement tool. The app is able to remove noise in both the color and luminance layers of photos, separately or together. The Mac version of the upgrade has a variety of changes, among these support for Photoshop Elements 6; also new though is the "Microdetail" parameter, which attempts to return minute details to a photo without additionally reintroducing noise.
Apple refreshes Mac TM
In brief: We have a review of the Tannoy i30 iPod speaker system, Apple refreshes the "Macintosh" trademark, a 36-hour iPhone programming marathon takes place and iSync phone plugins gets new device support ... We have posted a review of the Tannoy i30 iPod speaker system. This heavy-duty speaker system has an oval shape that is flat from the front view, but extends the oval in the back, complete with an inset hidden handle. The clean front design has not a button to be seen; so all the controls are on the small remote. The front is graced with two non-removable gray grills that cover 4-inch iCT, Inductive Coupling Technology , speakers and an iPod dock, under which is a gray TANNOY label. When removed from its suitcase-like box, the sheer weight of the speaker system is impressive, as is the simple packaging.
PluginManager 1.7.3 update
Apple today unveiled PluginManager 1.7.3, an update to the plugin management service for Final Cut Pro, Motion, Aperture, Logic Studio, as well as several SDK kits. The update addresses certain problems within Final Cut Studio relating to backwards compatibility. PluginManager.framework, FxPlug.framework, ProFX.framework, and FxPlugWrapper.plugin have all been replaced with current versions to address the issue. The update is also available through Software Update, under the Apple Menu.
Digital Heaven has announced the release of DH_Subtitle 2.0, an upgrade to the popular subtitle generator plug-in for Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro. The tool allows users to create professional style subtitles with boxes behind the text. The new version adds text tracking and leading controls plus a new outline style option. It automatically creates the box according to the text entered and also ensures the last line of text is always in the same vertical position, no matter how many lines of text a subtitle may contain. With version 2.0 there is a new outline style which puts a line around the text to increase legibility. Also new in this version are controls for text tracking and leading.
- Live Interior 1.5 ($80) lets users design house, office, apartment, and other interiors with realistic 3D walk-throughs. Live Interior 3D 1.5 update adds lamp creating functionality. Now you can compose and edit various lamps using Light Source Editor, insert and adjust different types of light sources in any objects including imported ones. [Download - 49.4MB]
- MBS REALbasic plug-ins 8.1 ($270) a collection of several plug-in parts which extend the REALbasic development environment with over 900 classes and 2 controls featuring over 17000 documented functions. This release adds: new ThreadMBS class for crossplatform preemptive threads in REALbasic; MutexMBS class to work with the ThreadMBS class; IKImageEditPanelMBS class to use the image edit panel from Apple. [Download - 80.4MB]
- PasswordWallet 4.3.3 ($10) password management application. PasswordWallet for iPhone gives you access to your passwords on your iPhone: ninternet connection or hacks required. And it's all secured with 448-bit BlowFish. Version 4.3.3 adds localizations for French and Japanese. Also included is the "Synchronize Files" Automator Action that is Leopard compatible; smoothed import from Splash ID; explicit Read Only warnings if your data is read from a read-only disk or permissions are askew; other improvements. [Download - 2.4MB]
- KeyCue 4.1 ($30) keyboard shortcut cheat sheet. This release adds two high-contrast large-font themes to make KeyCue even more helpful for visually impaired users. The new version also offers an automatic update checking system, which ensures timely access to updates for future versions. KeyCue 4.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or newer and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). [Download - 922KB]
- Power Manager 3.7.1 ($30) helps schools, businesses, and homes save energy by automating their Macs. Power Manager 3.7.2 includes an improved Quick Schedule interface, tweaked icons for Mac OS X 10.5's menu bar gradient, and a bug fix for rescheduled events. It also fixes a critical bug that could cause events to be skipped. This bug potentially occurred when delaying or altering an event. [Download - 1.7MB]
Troi Dialog Plug-in 5
Troi Automatisering today unveiled Troi Dialog Plug-in 5 for FileMaker Pro 9, a plug-in designed to extend FileMaker's dialogue boxes in a number of different ways. The latest version adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and an improved InputDialog function, which provides access to upwards of 15 input items. PresentImage has also been revamped, allowing users to view full screen slideshows of pictures or movies. Troi Dialog Plug-in 5 is currently available for $60, with free upgrades available for those who purchased v4.x on or after February 1st, 2007.
Skype for Apple TV beta
Developer Brandon Holland recently unveiled a downloadable beta version of his Apple TV Skype plugin that uses a standard USB VoIP handset to make calls through the Apple TV. The plugin is a front-end, and requires the Skype framework to be installed prior to use. Holland offers a fairly in-depth video tour of the as-of-then working features, giving users a technical demonstration of the software's capabilities.
Magic Bullet Frames, 24p
Red Giant Software today unveiled Magic Bullet Frames, its latest plugin for Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Premiere Pro. The plugin is designed to allow users to shoot video on low-cost film, and then scale the footage to 24p, giving it a professional finish. Magic Bullet Frames uses motion-adaptive and field-blended modes to process frames, and can apply custom letterboxes to footage to give it a cinematic feel. Red Giant Software is currently selling Magic Bullet Frames for $200.
First Look at Exposure 2
Digital photography, some film veterans will argue, has no feeling, due to the lack of imperfections in digital imagery. Others prefer the artistic qualities that film grain provides, and the varied tonal ranges that exist or have existed through different film types. Unfortunately, film is slowly losing ground to the digital lifestyle, and many film types are being discontinued, never to be seen again. Alien Skin's Exposure 2 gives new digital photographers a chance to play with well-loved vintage film effects – some that are even discontinued completely – and provides film photographers with the chance to keep using their tricks of the trade on in to the digital age.
AKVIS Noise Buster 5
AKVIS today unveiled Noise Buster 5.0, introducing a new algorithm designed to reduce digital noise in photographs. Noise Buster is optimized for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and features a new histogram for displaying noise level and noise components. A standalone version of the plugin is also included, allowing users to fix images outside of Photoshop. Users can either set Noise Buster to work automatically, or they can customize the settings and get a specific effect. AKVIS is selling the new version of Noise Buster for $50, and requires Mac OS 10.3.9 or higher.
Adobe plug-ins updated
Two plug-in updates have surfaced for Adobe software to help users update prices in InDesign documents and 'spray' pictures on top of any RGB photos or layers in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Elements. Meadows Publishing Solutions has released AutoPrice for Adobe InDesign CS3, an easy-to-use plug-in module designed to streamline the updating of prices and similar information in InDesign documents. Meanwhile Human Software has released PhotoSpray 1.8 as a Universal Binary that works with Mac OS X Leopard (pricing for both AutoPrice and PhotoSpray was unavailable).
Image Doctor 2
Alien Skin Software recently unveiled a new version to its image-restoration Photoshop plugin, Image Doctor 2. The plugin is designed to fix erroneous photographs, by removing blemishes, dust and scratch damage, compression damage, or an unwanted party guests from photographs. By sampling from the surrounding area, Image Doctor can intelligently repair problematic areas on digital photos without requiring hours of input by the user. In addition to fixing blemishes and removing elements, Image Doctor is able to mend JPEG compression damage – blocky pixelations in an image that are caused from repeated saving in the format. Image Doctor 2 is currently shipping, available for $200 from Alien Skin's website.