Flash Player 11 and AIR 3: For HD Video and 3D Gaming on Multiple Platforms

  • Adobe announced this week Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3 software to enable “console quality” 2D and 3D games and scientific visualizations for multiple platforms including Android, Apple iOS (via AIR), BlackBerry Tablet OS, Mac OS, Windows, connected TVs and others.
  • Adobe touts 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash 10 and AIR 2 enabling 60 frames per second rendering and console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows and connected TVs. A production release for mobile is coming.
  • Content protection is available using Adobe Flash Access 3 on supported platforms — “including support for mobile platforms,” explains the press release — with support for rental and subscription options “to more than 80 percent of the U.S. pay TV subscribers.”
  • HD full frame video quality can be displayed on iOS devices using H.264 hardware decoding to deliver 7.1 channel surround sound.

Autodesk: Smoke for Mac Strikes Balance Between Cost and Performance

  • Low-cost software tools are driving the democratization of the post industry, suggests Digital Content Producer, and one result has been the availability of editing and effects services from some new players.
  • However, some professionals realize there’s more that impacts the bottom line than price.
  • “Rather than solely building a business on Apple’s Final Cut Studio or the Adobe Creative Suite,” suggests the article, “a number of new producers have found that Autodesk’s Smoke for Mac OS X has struck the right balance between cost and performance.”
  • Digital Content Producer profiles several companies that are currently using Smoke to attract and maintain their clients (including Boogie Studios, Glyph Corp. and VODA Studios).
  • “Autodesk’s Smoke for Mac OS X is a relatively new product, but it brings a level of finishing to the Mac platform that has been out-of-reach in the past,” indicates the write-up. “Thanks to a heritage of years of Irix and Linux development, the product starts as a seasoned offering, complete with a very high brand appeal among clients. These ingredients have given the early adopters a definite creative and business edge.”
  • “Clients have really responded well to our offering of finishing services,” explains Sebastian Dostie of Montreal’s Boogie Studios. “It’s great to have the audio mix on Pro Tools and video finishing on Smoke under one roof, because everything can get done in the same day at the same facility, including any last minute changes. We love that Smoke is on the Mac platform, because it makes it easy to bring in the offline editor’s FCP edit list or to use Photoshop on the same computer as Smoke. Performance and reliability has been great and clients feel very comfortable when they hear that you are using Smoke.”

Adobe Announces Acquisition of IRIDAS Film and Video Technology

  • Adobe announced at IBC in Amsterdam that it has acquired certain assets of IRIDAS, “a leader in high-performance tools for digital color grading and enhancement of professional film and video content, including stereoscopic technology.”
  • The deal is part of Adobe’s efforts to invest in its own video software solutions, Premiere Pro and After Effects, at a time when videography is democratizing (especially with the arrival of video SLRs) and some consumers are frustrated by changes to Final Cut Pro.
  • “The IRIDAS Speedgrade software offers the ability to refine video in a number of ways, notably what’s called color grading, which can shift a video’s color tones to give a particular look,” reports CNET.
  • According to Adobe’s press release: “With the addition of IRIDAS technology, Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium and Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection, the world’s leading video tools for professionals, are expected to gain a comprehensive set of tools so video editors can manipulate color and light for any type of content, including professional film and television. The addition of premier color grading tools exemplifies Adobe’s commitment and leadership in the digital film and video space.”
  • Adobe also explained that the deal will help the company move forward in regards to the growing trend in 3D video.

Muse: Adobe Promises Creative Code-Free Web Site Design (Again)

  • Adobe has released a preview of Adobe Edge, which uses HTML5 technologies to bring “Flash-like animation and interactive development tools to the Web.”
  • The company also unveiled a beta version this week of its new Web publishing tool (code-named “Muse”) that is intended to enable users to design and publish Web sites without the need to write HTML code.
  • According to Digital Trends, the Muse tools will be familiar to those familiar with Adobe InDesign and will be implemented via the Adobe Air desktop application framework.
  • For those interested in additional information, the article outlines Muse by its four steps of production: Plan, Design, Preview, and Publish.
  • Adobe Muse is currently available in beta for Windows XP or newer and Mac OS X 10.6 or newer (Adobe Air 2.7 framework must be installed). Pricing has yet to be announced for the 1.0 release expected in early 2012.

Vizio Releases $299 Android Tablet in Time for School

  • Vizio has released an 8-inch Android tablet priced at a mere $299. It features Adobe Flash, a three-speaker configuration and a MicroSD slot for expanding to 32GB.
  • The Wi-Fi tablet is being promoted by Vizio as an affordable back-to-school option and as a media device designed to interact with TVs.
  • According to the press release: “The VIZIO Tablet features VIZIO Internet Apps Plus which combines the latest technologies with a unified, easy-to-use and fun user interface across select future VIZIO HDTVs, Blu-ray players and other devices — further differentiating the sleek VIZIO Tablet. In addition, the new Tablet is able to control nearly every element of a user’s home theater with a universal remote app and includes a built-in HDMI port with HDCP support for content protected HD playback on the big screen.”

Adobe Announces New Web Creator: Alternative to Flash?

  • Adobe has announced Adobe Edge, its new HTML5 Web motion and interaction design tool.
  • Gizmodo reports: “Far from Adobe surrendering to Apple and the good HTML5 fight, Adobe’s Edge Web creator is simply a little shrug and acknowledgment that HTML5, CSS and JavaScript will get them on more mobile devices than Flash will.”
  • Compatible with Macs and Windows, it can be used to add motion to existing HTML documents and create visually rich HTML and CSS3 content from scratch.
  • According to the company’s press release: “While in public preview, Adobe Edge will be a no-charge download that Web designers are encouraged to explore and provide feedback on, to help shape future preview releases. To download the software, visit www.labs.adobe.com.”
  • The post includes a 5-minute video preview from Adobe.

Adobe Demos Flash Video Streaming at NAB

Adobe previewed its new video streaming technology at NAB, built on the Adobe Flash Media Server. The new features and capabilities are designed to help stream protected video to mobile devices such as the Apple iPad and iPhone, Motorola Xoom, Samsung TVs and Atrix smartphone.

Last year Adobe introduced HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) for the Flash Platform, which leverages the MPEG-4 fragment container format using H.264/AAC codecs. The company is now adding support for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), an MPEG2 transport stream used by devices including the iPad 2. Adobe explains that HLS support within the Flash Media Server reduces “the publishing complexity for broadcasters who need to reach browsers supporting HLS through HTML5 (such as Safari) or devices where Adobe Flash is not installed.”

Adobe also demonstrated its next version of the Flash Media Live Encoder, that enables users to “capture a live broadcast stream and publish out to multiple devices including Android, Apple iOS and Samsung TVs.”

You can check out a seven-minute video demo on the Adobe blog.

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