CANON XL H1

Canon Australia have released their first DVC featuring high definition – the XL H1

The HDV camera uses the same component-based design as the XL1, allowing parts such as the lens, microphone and viewfinder to be swapped for different units.

The XL H1 uses three 1/3-inch 16:9 interlaced CCDs. It captures at resolutions up to 1,920-x-1,080 and at frame rates of 60i, 30p and 24p. Canon doesn’t state this explicitly, but the HDV specifications allows for 1,920-x-1,080 capture only at 60i, 30p and 24p are captured at 1,440-x-720. It is likely that the UK version of this camcorder will capture at 50i (1,920-x-1,080) and 25p (1,440-x-720).

The camcorder features Canon’s DIGIG DV II image processor, which maintains the correct colour space for HD, SD and still images. The XL H1 can capture still images at 1,920-x-1,080 to SD or MMC cards, using a separate Photo button, and uses the same XL-interchangeable lens mount as the XL1, XL1s and XL2. It ships with a 20x HD video lens with fluorite elements, which Canon says improves contrast, resolution and colour fidelity by reducing chromatic aberration. It offers a f/1.6 to f/3.5 aperture, with a 35mm equivalence of 38.9mm to 778mm in 16:9 mode, and 47.4mm to 954mm in 4:3 mode.

The 20x HD lens features Canon’s Super Range Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) technology, which combines a gyro sensor with a system that detects low-frequency vibrations in the CCD image and feeds this back to the stabilizer. The lens also features a 72mm filter thread, two independent ND filters (1/6 and 1/32) and focus and zoom presets.

The camcorder offers a wide range of outputs. As well as the standard FireWire I/O, the XL H1 offers HD-SDI and SD-SDI output for direct connection to broadcast systems and video editing systems (for uncompressed capture). …

SANDISK “U3 SMART” FLASH DRIVE

SanDisk have introduced its first USB smart drive using U3 technology, a powerful new platform that enables users to store and manage their “personal workspace” — including files, programs, passwords and settings — on a tiny device the size of a pack of gum.

SanDisk Cruzer Micro smart drives will offer a private, securely protected experience on any PC with Microsoft Windows XP or 2000 without leaving the user’s personal information on the host machine at the end of a session when the drive is removed. Cruzer Micro capacities are large enough to accommodate numerous U3 smart software programs as well as large files such as music, digital images, charts, graphics presentations and word documents.

SanDisk Cruzer Micro smart drives will be shipped with a number of pre-installed programs, including CruzerSync, which synchronizes the user’s Outlook email, attachments, calendar, contacts and personal documents on the device, and allows users to edit, send and receive emails from any PC even if Outlook is not pre-installed on it. Other programs are also available for download.

SanDisk Cruzer Micro smart drives with U3 technology, will be available in the US from October, and international markets from the first quarter of 2006, in capacities of 512 megabytes and 1 gigabyte. Suggested retail prices are US $54.99 and US $99.99, respectively.…

ACER 17″ LCD – 6MS RESPONSE TIME & 25% BRIGHTER VIEWING PANEL

Acer Computer Australia, has announced that the 17″ AL1751 LCD monitor now features a leading 6ms response time and Acer CrystalBrite technology for 25 per cent brighter views.

By applying an ultra-fine, highly-polished coating to the LCD screen, Acer’s unique CrystalBrite technology provides users with more intense colour saturation, superior contrast ratio and sharper photo images. The final coating to the screen prevents the diffusion of surrounding light and internal rays, meaning that colours are read more accurately, images are built quicker on the screen and overall, the effect gives users a 25 per cent brighter screen compared to standard displays.

This slim and lightweight monitor features a revolutionary bezel design that allows the monitor to be used free standing or it can be easily wall mounted using the standard base, with no need for extra brackets or fittings. This makes the AL1751 ideal for use in public display and exhibition areas where this flexibility will enable almost any set design to be created. All connections are housed in the base of the unit which also removes the unsightly tangle of connections necessary with some other monitors.

The Acer AL1751 is available now for $599 inc GST.…

ALIEN SKIN EYE CANDY 5 BUNDLE

Alien Skin Software have released the Eye Candy 5 Bundle, a suite of 30 versatile, Adobe Photoshop-compatible filters. The Eye Candy 5 Bundle includes full versions of Eye Candy 5: Impact, Nature and Textures and renders a wide variety of beautiful effects.

Eye Candy 5: Impact creates chrome, bevels, glass buttons, perspective shadows, and more. Eye Candy 5: Nature simulates a variety of natural phenomena, including fire, smoke, rust, snow and ice. Eye Candy 5: Textures collects 10 seamless texture generators and produces surfaces such as snake and lizard skin, fur, brick, stone and wood.

The Eye Candy 5 series refines the features of Eye Candy 4000 and supports the latest digital imaging innovations. Eye Candy 5 uses familiar keyboard shortcuts and is scriptable with Photoshop actions. Presets provide over 200 quick and easy effects. An improved settings management system makes it easier to browse, share and add presets. Eye Candy 5 works with 16-bit and CMYK images. So color transitions are smoother, with less banding, and print documents reproduce colors more accurately. Unlimited undo and redo make experimentation painless, while context-sensitive help addresses user questions.

The Eye Candy 5 Bundle has a US RRP of $199. Registered users of other Alien Skin Software products receive discount pricing when ordering direct. Online delivery is available at the Alien Skin Web site: http://www.alienskin.com.…

CHILDREN’S ANIMATED SERIES ERKY PERKY TO GO INTO PRODUCTION

Michael Boughen and Matthew Street of Ambience Entertainment, an Omnilab Group company, have announced that children’s 3D animated series Erky Perky is going into production.

The 26 part 12 minute animated series is an official co-production between CCI in Canada and Ambience Entertainment and will be directed by Ambience Entertainment’s David Webster.

“Erky Perky has been in development for a few years and it’s very exciting to finally have the opportunity to bring the characters to life for a global audience” said Webster.

Erky Perky follows the escapades of two bickering bugs, Erky and Perky, living an idyllic life on a hotdog stand who are cruelly swept away in a take-out bag and to their horror end up in a sterile suburban kitchen with no food.

“CCI is delighted to be co-producing Erky Perky and handling world television, home video and merchandising efforts,” says Arnie Zipursky, CEO of CCI Entertainment. “Kids will have an opportunity to share in the adventures the wacky adventures of Erky and Perky both on screen and off.”

The visually rich comedic series has been pre-sold to the Seven Network in Australia and YTV in Canada and will be animated at another Omnilab Group company, The Lab Sydney.

The Lab’s animation team has recently completed children’s animated film, Peter Cottontail for Classic Media in the US, as well as part animation on US feature Happily N’ever After. “It’s great to have such an experienced group of 3D artists working on this project. Their talents are really going to enhance the series’ said Ambience Entertainment’s Michael Boughen.

AUTODESK SIGNS DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE ALIAS

Autodesk have announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias for $182 million in cash. This acquisition will grow Autodesk’s expertise and offerings for the design of consumer products and automotive as well as in the media and entertainment markets. Autodesk anticipates that the transaction will close within the next four to six months.

“This acquisition brings to Autodesk a highly talented group of individuals, a wealth of technologies and a great set of products,” said Carl Bass, COO of Autodesk. “Alias’ technology spans several of our most important markets and augments the synergy between our design and media businesses. Our design customers are demanding more powerful visualization, animation and publishing capabilities. Our media and entertainment customers are increasingly using the data created by our design applications for broadcast, film and games projects. By combining the technology and talents of our two companies, we will be better able to continue delivering solutions that address our customers’ complex needs.”

Alias’ product lines comprise sketching, animation, visual effects, design, modeling, rendering
and reviewing solutions. Alias MotionBuilder is Alias’ 3D character animation product, Alias FBX is widely used in the exchange and use of 3D content, and Maya is the company’s Academy Award-winning 3D application. These products will augment Autodesk’s offering in the film and video and interactive games segments. Alias StudioTools – software for design tasks from 2D sketches to production models – will add industrial design and high-end visualization capabilities to Autodesk’s manufacturing solutions. Autodesk will continue to develop the Alias product lines in conjunction with Autodesk’s complementary products and technologies.

“This acquisition is designed to leverage the strengths of both companies,” stated Doug Walker, president and CEO of Alias. “Alias’ customers will benefit from nearly $300 million in R&D spending while having access to new and complementary

Avid Announces the Avid Liquid Product Line

Avid Technology are just about to release a new Avid Liquid product line, the company’s new nonlinear editing software and hardware offerings for event videographers, government and corporate video producers, and high-end enthusiasts. Drawn from editing products formerly developed by Pinnacle Systems, the Avid Liquid family includes new versions (v.7.0) of the Avid Liquid and Avid Liquid Pro systems, both of which are packed with new features designed for users who want a single application for creation and delivery of tape, DVD and streaming media. The product line also includes new configurations and pricing for the Avid Liquid Chrome HD (v.6.1) family of solutions featuring advanced standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) I/O hardware.

Avid Liquid builds on popular Liquid features, including native HDV editing, GPU-accelerated effects, background rendering, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio with AC-3 encoding, DVD creation directly on the video editing timeline, and great value I/O hardware.

New features of Avid Liquid v.7.0 software include:
• SmartSound integration – custom music creation directly inside the Avid Liquid application.
• New multimedia format support – native editing of popular codecs including WM9, DivX, and MPEG-4 for repurposing and output of content to the Internet.
• New effects – Real-time Timewarp, Stabilize, Dream Glow, and over 50 plug-ins from the highly-regarded Commotion effects suite.
• Avid Open Timeline – native HD and SD editing on the same timeline in real time, without transcoding for fast, flexible editing regardless of format.
• Preview HDV in SD – for viewing HDV in SD on a client video monitor with Avid Liquid Pro.…

LightWork Design and Arc Technology announce collaboration

LightWork Design, the world’s leading supplier of rendering solutions for developers of advanced 3D computer graphics software, is pleased to announce a collaboration with Arc Technology, developers of the ARC+ software application.

ARC+ is one of the leaders in the architectural CAD software industry, used by more than 30 000 users worldwide. The collaboration with LightWork Design will see the full capabilities of the LightWorks rendering engine being integrated within Arc+ to give these users even higher quality rendering within their architectural design work.

ARC+ (www.arc-techno.com) is a versatile software package addressing numerous other areas of creativity, such as urban and town planning, kitchen-furniture design, aluminium profile design & manufacturing, transportation planning (train stations and airports) exhibition design, industrial facilities, and a wide variety of other design applications.

LightWorks is embedded in over 80 software applications and used by more than 1 million users worldwide. Applications that incorporate LightWorks include: 3cad from In.tres srl, Alibre Design from Alibre, ArchiCAD from Graphisoft, ARCHline.XP from CadLine, ArchiTrend from Fukui Computer, Cobalt from Ashlar, Configura and InstantPlanner from Configura Sverige AB, form.Z from auto.des.sys, ICEM Surf from ICEM, Lumen Designer from Lighting Technologies; Madric from CPU, MSC.visualNastran from MSC Software, NX from UGS, PowerShape from Delcam, Pro/CONCEPT, Pro/DESKTOP and Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire from PTC, Solid Edge from UGS, solidThinking from solidThinking Ltd., ThinkReal from Think3, trueSpace from Caligari, VectorWorks from Nemetschek NA and products from many other major CAD vendors.…

Nokia launches world’s first handset for mobile TV

Nokia has extended the Nokia N-series multimedia range to include three devices: the Nokia N92 (the world’s first mobile device with a built-in DVB-H receiver), the Nokia N71 and the Nokia N80. With these devices consumers can wirelessly watch mobile TV, stream music, share photos and send e-mails with attachments, using technologies such as 3G, WLAN and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).

The Nokia N92 is the world’s first mobile device with a built-in DVB-H receiver, making it possible for users to watch and record live TV.

The Nokia N92 features applications and functions that enable users to watch and search for TV programmes, create personal channel lists, subscribe to TV channel packages, set programme reminders and access interactive TV services. The ergonomic form factor includes media keys, a view mode and a large (2.8″) anti-glare QVGA screen supporting 16m colours.

The latest member of the Nokia Xpress Music family, the Nokia N71 is a pocket-sized entertainment system that comes with stereo FM radio and support for digital music and videos. The Nokia N71 also features the Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map. This allows a semi-transparent, zoomed-out view of a web page, so that users can orient themselves on a handset screen.

Equipped with WLAN and 3G, the Nokia N80 is the world’s first handset to feature UPnP technology. This allows it to be used as a remote control for wirelessly swapping content between compatible PCs, TVs and audio equipment. Images and video stored on the Nokia N80 or on a compatible PC can be viewed on a TV, for instance, while music stored on the device can be played through an audio system. Nokia N80 users can print wirelessly to any UPnP-enabled printer. The Nokia N80 supports most commonly used e-mail solutions and office-application formats.

Nokia Eseries devices …

Epson releases 7 inkjet and multifunction printers

Epson Australia is releasing three new single function – the Epson Stylus Photo R230, the Stylus Photo R250 and the Stylus Photo R350 – and four new multifunction printers – the Epson Stylus CX3700, Epson Stylus CX4100, Epson Stylus CX4700 and Epson Stylus Photo RX530, this November.

Each printer creates BorderFree prints on 4×6, 5×7 and A4 size paper, with a resolution of up to 5760 dpi optimised (dots per inch) with RPM (Resolution Performance Management) technology using Epson Variable-Sized Droplet technology for smooth tones and vibrant colour prints; and uses individual ink cartridges for economical printing.

With features such as direct CD/DVD printing, the Stylus Photo R230 allows users to be creative and have fun with home printing. With its 1.5 inch colour LCD viewer and multiple card slots, the Stylus Photo R250 offers user friendly, PC Free printing. The Epson Stylus Photo R350 is based upon the highly successfully Stylus Photo R310, and offers many new features including an easy to use control panel and high quality LCD screen for PC-free printing.

The multifunction Stylus CX3700, Stylus CX4100 and Stylus CX4700 use Epson’s DURABrite(TM) Ultra pigment ink which ensures that prints will last up to 120 years#, while the four individual colour Intellidge(TM) ink cartridges provide consistent results and maximise ink usage.

The improved 1200dpi scanner and improved copying facilities mean that the Epson Stylus CX4100 and Stylus CX4700 allow users to scan anything from documents to photos with quality results while copying quality has been improved from previous Stylus models with an adjustment of the LUT (Look-Up-Table).

The Stylus Photo RX530 uses Epson’s brilliant dye based HQ3 ink with improved print longevity, and comes with Epson Photo Enhance 4 and Epson colour restoration software plus a 2400 dpi scanner for standalone film and photo scanning, for easy …