A Creative Cow "Real World" Product Review
Timothy J. Allen
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas USA _______ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Creative Cow's Timothy Allen is not only one of the nicest people you'll meet in Creative Cow but he's a gifted musician and artist -- a man whose wide range of talents in all things audio/visual has brought him to NASA where he is a part of the Video Services Team. In this article, Timothy talks about how he and other members of the NASA team use Boris RED in their productions.
Three Emmy Awards. Four Telly Awards. Three Axiem Awards. Two Communicator Awards of Distinction. Two first place awards in the US International Film and Video Festival. These are just a few of the accolades bestowed on the Video Services Team at NASA's Langley Research Center for productions using Boris RED for their effects, transitions and titling. "Boris RED has raised the quality level of our productions more than any other product that we used," says Timothy J. Allen, who worked on the creation of these projects before recently transferring to the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Looking cool adds value, and we can get there faster and easier with Boris RED than with any other tool we use."
Using Boris RED has been one way that NASA Langley's Video Services Team follows NASA's mantra of 'Faster, Better, Cheaper.'"Faster" - because we don't have to exit our host program to integrate our graphics and composites. "Better" - as a result of Boris's razor sharp image quality, and "Cheaper" - than buying the three or four other programs which we would have to use to get close to matching Boris's capability.
"The open of our show is done on a Flame, and some graphics are provided by freelance help, but during editing, all graphics are done in Boris RED. Many of the elements began as still images in Adobe Illustrator, which we did intentionally to allow graphics artists to work in an application that was familiar to them, but that would allow us to animate every aspect of those files -- including stroke, fill and extrusion -- in Boris RED, without having to go back to the artist to make changes.
"We've actually found that to be the case again and again, where we found ourselves doing more of the work ourselves, rather than waiting for somebody else to finish a graphic or a composite for us.
"We used to use a lot of stock footage of clouds for our aeronautics programs, then add blurs and composite modes. We're finding it faster and more flexible now to build these animations from scratch using the RED Clouds filter. We're also using particles in a variety of ways, such as having titles appear to blow onscreen in a wind tunnel.
"This is a lot of flexibility to have inside an editing system. By allowing us to composite without leaving our host program we also save more time during the edit sessions. We can use that time to be more creative instead of waiting while importing and exporting clips.
"It is great to be able to call up a clip in the browser and show it to my clients, then when they have a general idea of what they want, we can tweak it & play with it until we have the perfect effect, customized for their project. When I'm editing the next show, I can just pull up their customized transitions. Nobody makes this kind of repurposing faster or easier than Boris.
Our next project is to pre-visualize our website in RED. We can very quickly build animations that our web designers can translate into dynamic styles -- we don't have to become web designers, and they don't have to waste time trying to figure out what we want.
"Faster, more powerful effects, integration with our editing systems, vector graphics, and 3D -- those are all reasons why RED is at the center of our award-winning productions."
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