Monday, December 27, 2010

Studio Artist 4.03 Update


By now Santa should have delivered download links to all Studio Artist 4 customers for the latest Studio Artist 4.03 application update.

Santa's Elves have also been busy at work on a new set of Paint and Vectorizer presets specifically designed for Studio Artist 4.03. More information on the new 4.03 preset collections along with associated download links are available here.

If you are a Studio Artist 4 customer and you are still running a version 4 build prior to the 4.03 application update, you should contact techsupport AT synthetik DOT com so that we can resend you your 4.03 application file update download.

If you are still running Studio Artist 3.5 or an even older version, now is the time to upgrade to Studio Artist 4. If you don't yet own a copy of Studio Artist, Studio Artist 4 is the premier digital art software tool and is now available for Windows as well as Apple computer users.

Quick Overview of Studio Artist 4 Features

Studio Artist 4 is the next generation of Studio Artist digital art, image and video processing software.  With version 4 we’ve now opened up the Studio Artist experience to Windows as well as Mac users.  Mac users will be pleased that version 4 is a universal binary application with faster native processing speed on both Intel and PPC Macs.  Windows users will be pleased that they can now run Studio Artist on their Windows computers. Studio Artist 4 is compatible with Apple computers running OSX 10.4 through the latest OSX 10.6, and with Windows computers running Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7.


Studio Artist 4 still provides the same graphics synthesizer editing metaphors, intelligent visual processing and smart automatic drawing capabilities developed in previous versions of Studio Artist.  But the underlying code base was extensively rewritten in version 4 to allow for support of existing features while also providing a solid platform for future development. We also added a ton of new features, enhancements, workflow and speed optimizations.


The new Studio Artist 4 workspace is much more modular in nature and can be custom configured depending on your particular workflow. You can dock and reposition your working palettes and toolbars anywhere at the edges of the main workspace. Palettes can be tab nested on top of each other to conserve screen space. Palettes can also be floated outside the main workspace, which is very useful in dual monitor and live performance setups. You can switch on the fly while working between 4 different user configurable workspace memories and a full screen display mode. Multiple levels of undo are also now supported.


Studio Artist 4 provides enhanced functionality and new features while maintaining compatibility with all of your old Studio Artist presets. The factory preset collection has also been significantly expanded, providing thousands of new presets to explore and modify.  A new Favorites preset toolbar allows you to custom organize sets of working favorites presets in a space saving moveable toolbar.  The new integrated help browser allows you to document, organize, and access presets via custom html help pages.


Studio Artist 4 includes new real time interaction features. Loop Action allows you to switch between different processing presets on the fly while they run in a live processing loop.  Effect and paint parameters can also be live adjusted while Studio Artist is auto painting or processing in loop action.  Paint Synthesizer Time Particles take on a whole new life with live editing while they are painting.  Live video capture can also be incorporated into loop action processing along with live interactive editing for live visual performance or live video synthesis.  The new Gallery Show features allow you to build custom free running art shows or automatically generate an infinite range of new presets and/or art images.


The Paint Synthesizer now has 500 adjustable parameters and is capable of an even wider range of potential styles and effects. Hybrid vector-raster paint effects can now be created, like painting a vector region that then has it's edges melted or smeared with water using a single paint preset. The new Live Extend path shape option allows for wild dynamic paint styles with physics based behavior. Photo mosaic, movie brush, and paint regionization features have been enhanced to expand your creative potential. The new Dual Paint operation mode allows you to combine digital painting and live image processing together to create dynamic organic paint presets as well as amazing interactive visual effects.


The Paint Synthesizer and Vectorizer now provide direct anti-aliased vector drawing and vector output.  Vector files can be output to eps, pdf, or svg vector file formats for resolution independent output.  Bezier paths can be embedded in a paint preset and then animated over time, creating dynamic animation or cross hatching effects. Bezier path editing for creating morph or warp effects has been streamlined for faster workflow.


The old Layer and Paint Action Sequence (PASeq) timeline functionality have been integrated into a single new PASeq timeline editor. PASeq batch processing features allow for enhanced professional workflow when auto-rotoscoping multiple movie files. The new Movie Layer features allow for Quicktime movie files to be embedded in multiple canvas layers when building animation effects or doing manual touchup to individual movie frames.


The Image Operation effects have been extensively enhanced and expanded. New intelligent Image Operation effects like Sketch Edge and Sketch Mass effects can now directly generate Bezier paths in addition to raster processing effects.  The new intelligent path generation features can be combined with the infinite variability of the Paint Synthesizer’s drawing engine to create an endless range of different art styles and processing effects limited only by your imagination.


The new Temporal Image Processing operation mode provides a number of new time based image processing effects.  These new temporal effects can be used for video processing.  They can also be used to generate static images from video sequences that encapsulate the motion in a video sequence into a single static image.  They can also generate a static panorama view based on the video camera’s panning and movement in a scene.  Slit scan temporal effects can be used to expand, contract, extract or remove motion from a scene as well as create amazing looking visual effects.


Much of the old MSG Evolver modular image processing editing capabilities are now accessible directly in version 4 via the new MSG Advanced Editor and MSG Evolution palettes. You can use directed evolution to generate an infinite variety of different abstract procedural art images as well as image and video processing effects without delving into the technical aspects of MSG editing. There are now over 500 MSG processors available that can be combined together for constructing custom modular image processing effects.  MSG presets can also be used to expand the Paint Synthesizer's capabilities through the use of MSG source brushes, brush load processing, path start, and path shape generators.


More information on Studio Artist 4 can be found at the Studio Artist Tips site.


How to Get Studio Artist 4

The list price for Studio Artist 4 for new customers is $399. There is special upgrade pricing for existing Studio Artist customers. For more information on purchasing Studio Artist 4, here's a link to our online store.

Studio Artist 4 Information Resources

In addition to the 551 page User Guide pdf that ships with Studio Artist 4, there's a ton of on-line tutorial and information resources available to learn more about the vast range of Studio Artist features and special effect capabilities.

If you haven't checked out the Studio Artist User Forum, you should really do so. It's a great place to ask Studio Artist related questions and receive answers from Synthetik Software as well as other expert Studio Artist users. There's also a photo gallery of user artwork created in Studio Artist, as well as a video gallery. New paint and effect presets from Synthetik Software and from other Studio Artist users are available for download from the forum. You can also construct your own custom home page and Studio Artist blog if you wish to. You can access the Studio Artist User Forum here.

The Studio Artist Tips site provides online documentation, getting started and tutorial tips for Studio Artist 4. You can access the Studio Artist Tips site here.

The new Studio Artist Daily Effects blog highlights a different Studio Artist effect or feature everyday. Each effect or feature is explained in detail, and you can ask questions via the comments section for additional clarification. The new daily effects blog is available here.

The Studio Artist Users Showcase is available on Vimeo and highlights different Studio Artist processed video effects and animation. You can access the Studio Artist Users Showcase on Vimeo here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Studio Artist Visits Ko Lanta


Many people dream of traveling the globe with a powerbook, taking in the exotic sights and creating digital art on the go. Studio Artist user Lee Roskin has been living that dream for several years now.

Lee and his wife have been extensively traveling throughout Asia and the Pacific, and are currently on the beautiful island of Ko Lanta in southern Thailand. Lee runs Studio Artist on his MacBook Pro while sitting at the beach or in his Bali-style bungalow (which comes with free wireless), creating abstract animations with synthesized music backdrops.

Lee has been actively involved in digital video and animation production since the early 80s, when he first started using a Commodore Amiga 100 with an old program called DeLuxe Paint. Later, he got into a video system called Music Visions, using it to make over 250 hours of video recordings. His realtime video performance system used 3 Amiga Computers, 2 genlocks, a video digitizer, 2 Visual Aurals, and a video camera for video feedback purposes.

Eventually Lee got into Mac computers during the Power PC era and started using Studio Artist. In the last few years he has been making videos with Studio Artist in conjunction with Adobe Premiere for non linear editing.


Lee says, "From the beginning, I used Techno music and attempted to match the video with the music in Psychedelic Lightshow fashion. With Studio Artist, I make clips of about one minute using MSG's (often multiple times) and these are sequenced and manipulated in Premiere with effects, layers, opacity. The Techno music (Ambient, Industrial, Trance) goes well with the electronic nature of the video. When I have about one hour of about 6 videos, I burn them to DVD. I'm working on the 8th series of DVD now."

Lee recently posted a short except from one of his trance inspired abstract animations to vimeo. I've seen some of Lee's finished DVDs, and they are a really nice combination of psychedelic MSG derived abstract visual animation combined with some great techno music.


I traveled through southern Thailand many years ago, so i get a big personal kick out of seeing Studio Artist running on Lee's powerbook at Pra Ae Beach in Ko Lanta. I also thought that Lee's story would be inspiring to Studio Artist users, both young and old. It's fascinating how technology has advanced over the years so that animation work that required massive amounts of physical hardware to pull off in the past can now be generated on the go with a small portable computer (and Studio Artist) while traveling the world.