Friday, December 9, 2016


I've teamed up with some old friends to make a new Mac application, Boardfish, a tool for creating storyboards. Make panels in the graphics app of your choosing and drag them in. Boardfish will let you arrange them, add captions, and export to a PDF.
Boardfish is the brainchild of Matt Silverman, who runs the production studio Swordfish. (I've known Matt since forever, starting with ElectricImage user groups at the turn of the century.) At Swordfish, Matt & co. have often made storyboards using general purpose tools like InDesign, but making changes to the layouts was a pain. Matt thought it would be worth it to make an app dedicated to storyboards, so he brought me in to do the programming, Mauchi Baiocchi for creative input, and Brandon Smith for everything else (including the docs and website). Together, we are Mekajiki Inc.

When it comes down to it, Boardfish is basically a page layout app—a procedural one. Virtually everything about the layout of the boards is exposed: the number of panels on a page, the typeface and font size of each text element, the width and color of every line. Boardfish lets you make global changes instantly.

There's a free trial. Give it a whirl!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

ProEXR AE update

Several years ago ProEXR added the ability to render the layers of an After Effects comp into an EXR sequence, each layer given its own set of RGBA channels that could be pulled out independently in AE, Nuke or another savvy program. This feature was accessed through the standard After Effects render interface, made possible by various loopholes in the After Effects API.

Well all good things must come to an end and those loopholes were closed in After Effects CC 2015 as part of the program's re-architecture-ing. As a result this feature is now found where you might have expected it from the beginning, under Composition ➤ Save Frame As ➤ ProEXR. Unlike its neighboring Photoshop Layers feature, the ProEXR layer export will let you render out a sequence.

Users of previous AE versions can still use the render queue as they always have, and that's the only way to render on a farm. Or since AE CC 2014 can read CC 2015's project files, you could always open your project in the older version and regain the render queue functionality.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

OpenEXR for Premiere is Free

Adobe has released an update to Adobe Premiere CC 2015 that includes something relevant to this blog: an OpenEXR plug-in. This is actually the same plug-in that has been a part of ProEXR for the past three years, and it is now free to all. (It runs in Media Encoder too.) Updating your CC 2015 is the easiest way to get it, but for those of you still using older versions of Premiere you'll find a free copy in the standard ProEXR download, replacing the old non-free one. The price of the remaining ProEXR plug-ins has dropped to $50.

Like the After Effects plug-ins before it, I've made the Premiere plug-in open source on GitHub.

As a refresher, the following plug-ins are free in ProEXR:
  • ProEXR EZ for Photoshop
  • OpenEXR, EXtractoR, IDentifier plug-ins for After Effects
  • OpenEXR for Premiere
  • ProEXR Comp Creator for After Effects (part of ProEXR AE)
The following ProEXR features require a license:
  • ProEXR for Photoshop (read/write layered EXR files)
  • ProEXR AE (write layered EXR files out of After Effects)
  • VRimg support (part of ProEXR for Photoshop and ProEXR AE)

Monday, April 13, 2015

WebM for Premiere Pro

After well over a year in public beta, today we're calling the free WebM plug-in for Premiere Pro officially released. In that time the plug-in has evolved greatly based on feedback from users and from Google itself. And it will continue to evolve, especially as Google continues to develop their libvpx encoder.

One thing that has been interesting to watch is how the VP9 codec has come along. When I posted the first beta, VP9 was experimental, had hardly any application support, and was incredibly slow to encode. Today you can play VP9 in Firefox, Chrome, VLC, and other standards-compliant software. And VP9 encoding…well, let's just say it's a lot faster than it used to be, thanks to multithreading and countless other optimizations.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Usually I use this blog to announce a piece of software I've written, but now I'm announcing something I'm hoping to write. It's MOX, an open source movie format for video and film production. You can read all about it on the Indiegogo page.

The reason to use crowd funding is twofold. First, this free software project is too big for me to just put it together in my spare time. Second, we are proposing to create a new standard so we need to know there's support for it before we get started, to know that it's really worth doing.

Continue reading for the details of how this all began.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DDS plug-in for After Effects and Photoshop

I've written a plug-in to read and write the DirectDraw Surface file format in After Effects and Photoshop. DDS files usually store textures because they employ compression formats that can be decoded quickly on a GPU. The plug-in is free and open source.

Most of the heavy lifting in this plug-in is done by Rich Geldreich's open source crunch library. DDS users may also want to check out Rich's DDS Export program and Nvidia's Photoshop plug-in.

Development of the plug-in was sponsored by Walter Soyka of Keen Live and Cameron Yeary of UVLD. Walter inquired about hiring me to write a plug-in for him, and I said I'd do it for half price if I could make it open source. He agreed, and here we are.

Version: 0.5
Date: 23 September 2014
Mac | Win

Friday, August 15, 2014

DWA compression in OpenEXR 2.2

OpenEXR 2.2 was just released, and it features a new lossy codec created by Karl Rasche of DreamWorks Animation. Simply called DWA, it applies techniques common in lossy image compression like the discrete cosine transform and Huffman coding, but it uses them to great effect. If you can accept a little loss in your HDR images, DWA can shrink them to a fraction of their lossless size.