Category Archives: Industry Stuff

EL Capitan, Plugins and the Anarchist

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First off, the important bit: All the current versions of our plugins are updated for El Capitan and should be working, regardless of host application (After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, etc). So you can go to our demo page:

http://digitalanarchy.com/demos/main.html

And download the most recent version of your plugins.

If you haven’t upgraded to El Capitan, I’ll add to the chorus of people saying… Don’t. Overall we’re disappointed by Apple as continues its march towards making the Mac work like the iPhone. Making professional uses more and more obsolete. They’re trying way too hard to make the machines idiot proof and in the process dumbing down what can be done with it.

One of the latest examples is, of all things, Disk Utility. You can no longer make a RAID using it and have to use a terminal command. They’ve removed other functionality as well, but for many professional users RAIDs are essential as is Disk Utility. However, it’s now been crippled.

Of course, then there’s Final Cut Pro (which has gotten better but still doesn’t feel like a professional app to many people), Photos which replaced Apple’s pro app Aperture, and the Mac Pro trashcan. (kind of sad that when we need a ‘new’ Mac, usually we buy a 2010-12 12-core Mac Pro, they outperform our D500 trashcan)

Apple isn’t alone in this ‘dumbing down’ trend. Just look at latest releases of Acrobat (which I’ve heard referred to as the Fischer Price version) and Lightroom.

Note to Application Developers- Just because we’re doing a lot of things with our phones does not mean we want to do everything on them or have our desktop apps work like phone apps. There’s a difference between simplicity, making the user experience clear and intuitive but retaining features that make the apps powerful, and stupidity, i.e. making the apps idiot proof.

Anyways, end of rant… I spend a fair amount of time thinking about software usability, since we have to strike that balance between ease of use and power with our own video plugins, and using the host applications and OS professionally. So this ‘dumbing down’ concerns me both for my personal uses and having to help DA customers navigate new ‘features’ that affect our photo and video plugins.

Cheers,

Jim Tierney
Chief Executive Anarchist
Digital Anarchy

Customers That Piss Me Off

Let’s say you did some work for a client 3 or 4 years ago. A promotional video featuring upper management or something. They come back now and want you to redo the video with current management but everything else can stay the same. Just re-shoot a few people and drop them into the old video. Of course, because this is clearly so easy and they paid you once before, they want you to do it for free. What would you tell them?

We have people do this to us all the time. People who buy a new Mac, upgrade to FCP X, and get all pissy when we tell them they’ll have to buy an upgrade from us. Then they threaten to run off to BitTorrent because, you know, they paid us once four years ago.

It requires a TON of work to keep software working with all the changes Apple, Adobe, Nvidia and everyone else keeps making. Most of this work we do for free because they’re small incremental changes. Every time you see Beauty Box v3.0.1 or 3.0.2 or 3.0.7 (the current one)… you can assume a lot of work went into that and you don’t have to pay anything. However, eventually the changes add up or Apple (most of the time it’s Apple) does some crazy thing that means we need to rewrite large portions of the plug-in. As happened when FCP went from 7 to X. It’s too much work to do for free. We still need to eat and pay rent.

We want to support our customers. The reason we develop this stuff is because it’s awesome to see the cool things you all do with what we throw out there. However, shelling out $199 does not mean we can support you indefinitely. How much money has that software made you or how much time has it saved you in the three or four years since you bought it? We want to support you, but if we go out of business, that’s probably not going to benefit either of us.

We realize most of our customers understand what it takes to keep our software up to date. We are very grateful to you. We also realize forced upgrades suck and understand the frustration that goes with them. (we buy a lot of software too) Just understand that as a third party/plug-in developer we’re highly dependent on other companies. When one of those companies makes a big change, it usually takes a lot of work to keep things running.

Sorry for the rant, just something that needed to be said (and probably won’t be read by the people that need to read it). Just a little blog therapy that breaks most of the rules of Marketing 101. ;-)

It’s a 4K World! … or not.

A survey released lately seem to indicate that, despite all the marketing, there’s little consumer interest in 4K… or UltraHD as it’s now called. It’s estimated that it’s going to take until 2017, at least, for 4K televisions to make up more than 5% of the market.

Having just got back from CES and seeing all the latest and great 4K stuff, it’s fairly obvious as to why. It’s not that much better. Manufacturers are touting all sorts of crazy things to justify 4K… you can have the picture spread across two screens! You can look at more of your surveillance cameras on one screen! All sorts of great ideas that try to get around the fact that the one thing you don’t want to do is buy a 4K TV just to WATCH it. The picture is a little better than standard HD, but on a screen of less than 90″, it’s just not that noticable. I can see the eyes of the quarterback just fine in HD. I don’t need to see his nose hairs.

Of course, showing all that skin detail is great for stuff like Beauty Box, so we’re looking forward to the 4K revolution. However, if you’re worried about producing 4K content, you can probably relax. It’s going to be a long while before anyone can watch it.