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Aharon Rabinowitz's Blog

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Giving back to the community

Every once in a while you read about something that makes you want to be a better person.

I just read that Peder Norby (of Trapcode) is giving an "Award of Excellence," which includes $10,000, to Ken Perlin, inventor of the algorithm called Perlin Noise. Many of the effects we use utilize this algorithm - for example, in Maya there's a texture called Perlin Noise, which is used to generate noise textures and displacement maps, and can be used for highly realistic effects through the appearance  “randomness.”  

It's my understanding that the Perlin Algorithm is also used in Trapcode's software, and that Peder Norby wanted to thank Dr. Perlin for his contribution to the community (He gave this algorithm away for free a while back) and to himself, because he can attribute much of his own success to Dr. Perlin's efforts.

So with that said, On Monday, April 23rd Peder Norrby will present Ken Perlin, currently an NYU Professor, the Award of Excellence at New York University at 7:00 PM in the main lecture hall of the Warren Weaver building (251 Mercer Street, between West 3rd and West 4th Sts.).

I really wish I could be there, but I teach during that time at another school.

I think that this sets a standard for us all in recognizing and honoring the achievements of others, and for thanking them for their contributions to what we do.

Posted by: Aharon Rabinowitz on Apr 22, 2007 at 8:00:44 pmComments (3) after effects, technology, business

The AE Holy Grails

I'm working the show floor here at NAB (with wondertouch software), and I had a chance to talk with Zax Dow about his new AE plug-in "3D Warps."

I haven't had a chance to try it out myself, but this could potentially bring about the end to the age-old question - "How do I make 3D ribbons in AE?" It looks like Zaxwerks 3D warps may be the answer. Hopefully they'll have some examples of this on the site soon. Keep your eyes open for this monumental plugin.

Another cool thing coming out shortly is Digital Anarchy's plug-in: ToonIt! That's right - converting video to cartoon!! It looks really good. I'm going to take a little credit here (but only a tiny little bit) because I introduced the team who created the technology for this to Digital Anarchy so that it could be developed as a plug-in for AE. You can read more about the plug-in here:

If you haven't seen Digital Anarchy's stuff - you shoud check it out. A lot of good tools there.

Also, I only caught a glimpse of it, but Peder Norby (Trapcode) demo'd the Alpha of his new project - "flux" - what appears to be a fluid generator for AE - I only caught a glimps becasue I'm working the show floor, but it appears to be for AE what Fluid Effects were for Maya.

Again, I didn't see much - because I had to get back to work -  but it looked pretty fricken cool.

One last note on Trapcode: Peder, if you're reading this - it's time to update your picture, man... You look way different in person. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Aharon Rabinowitz on Apr 17, 2007 at 11:18:45 pm after effects

The mobile/virtual office

I got a new webcam (beta testing software that requires one) and have been testing it out. I'm on vacation, and wanted to touch base with a colleague in Canada about an upcoming project, and to catch up with him and what he's working on.

I noticed in my skype list that his skype listing had a camera icon next to it. So I gave it a shot. It changed the entire experience for me. I was talking to him about work, and we could see each other. It felt like I was really there with him. He even moved the camera around so I could see his office a bit.  

What really hit me afterwards was that this could be a terrible or great thing when dealing with clients. It's easy too seem like you have it together over emails. But you create a much stronger connection with a person when you speak to them in person. When you're a freelancer working from home, you don't want them coming over to your place because that professional air falls apart when you're cats keep jumping on your lap...

on the other hand there are clients who want that face to face thing, and won't work with people they can't get to know. And frankly I like to know the people I'm working with. - and it's just not possible when your a country apart or both have busy schedules and deadlines to meet.  

Except now it is. Or at least, it's getting there. For 50 bucks (Webcam) and skype (free) you can feel like your in the room with someone and work together. No commuting time, not phone bills. Nada.

Of course, it's not quite the same as meeting in person - and you can't wear your transformer's pajamas anymore while working, but everyone has to grow a little.

 Just some random thoughts from the ether...

Posted by: Aharon Rabinowitz on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:33:23 amComments (4) cameras, technology, business, web

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