Monthly Archives: May 2007

Adobe Live! Cologne KICKS with 4,500+ attendees

…and by ‘kicks’, I’m of course referring to the line from the classic 1984 film, Ghostbusters
“We came, we saw, we kicked it’s (some) a**!”
Yes indeed friends, over 4,500 attendees at Adobe Live! Cologne, an astonishing feat, and yet another unbelievably inspiring CS3 tour experience. There is just no doubt that the CS3 buzz machine is an unstoppable one. All presenters, including Greg Rewis, myself, Mike Downey, Stephanie Sullivan, Gerhard Koren, Sven Brencher, Robert Hranitzky, and my old pal Robin Preston (a photoshop guru with a following, if I’ve ever seen one!) all conducted sessions to packed rooms, literally flowing with people. It really looked like a live, clone-stamp-tool example; I even referred to the ‘sea of faces’ as vaguely Woodstock-esque to one journalist. 😉
Perhaps that’s overstating a bit, but you get the idea. Floor-to-ceiling Adobe-philes, soaking up the presentations like sponges! I mean, Greg and I have done this many, many times…but this was really something. Robin and I were back to back on a few occasions, and we both literally had to crawl over people just to get out of the room. Greg and Stephanie experienced the same. It was a rock show, in all senses (minus the crowd-surfing). Now, I’m just waiting to see the first ‘Adobe Mosh-Pit!’ (thanks Karl S.!) Perhaps in Amsterdam? lol.
Keep in mind, of course, that Adobe Live Netherlands is on it’s way…and with registrations truly reaching the ‘nether regions’ (no pun intended!) it’s likely to be an even bigger blast! Click on the link for the complete schedule of events.
Immediately following Cologne, Greg, Stephanie, Mike, Ton F. and I headed for Kortrijk to present at the Multimania event on Friday. This show catered primarily to students and educators, but was again, a smash, with great attendance, an impressive array of international speakers, and more CS3 love…
And my reward for all of this? Well, it’s my ‘other’ favorite thing to eat in Holland (aside from Stroopwafels), but it kinda sounds like it…
The best falafel in the world (found in Amsterdam); an artsy view…
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(ps: i’ve temporarily switched from Spa Rood to Spa Blauw; from bubbles, to no bubbles)
Until next time, Blog On. (with the sounds of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s SPACE, 1969, playing in the background)

The Scent of Luxembourg…

…is miraculously fragrant. From corner to corner, I couldn’t stop noticing ‘the smells’…Lilac, Jasmine flower, sunflower, poppies, who the heck knows…it was glorious, and yet another reminder that there are still some places in this world where nature *really* exists. So green, so beautiful, and basically a ‘bank city’ (there’s not much else, save for a lovely ‘valley’ separating the 18-mile long country in half, with a cool bridge and a quaint little river) it was a fine way to wrap up the first 2 weeks on the road. (can you tell that I’ve been stuck inside darkened theatres, stuck in cars and trains, and haven’t gotten out in the last 8 days??)
The gig in Luxembourg was good fun as well (and a nice way to end the Benelux CS3 tour), and I was fortunate enough to have a new colleague, Branislav Milic, ‘host’ my stay there, by providing myself and another colleague with a little evening tour of the city (after the CS3 show). Again, small, quaint place…but wow it smelled good. Strange way to begin a blog? Perhaps. But really man, the scents of Luxembourg. To be bottled and sold.
The prior two cities, Brussels and Hasselt were also fantastic (total attendees for all 5 cities, approx 1700). Brussels was especially fun, as I got to do a bit of french (a nice, lengthy introduction), and then interspersed french-demo-bits throughout. Frankly, though at one point (years ago) I was quite fluent, now it takes some time to get back into it. But we had great fun, the audience appreciated it, and I believe that (my show) even got a few mentions on ‘Twitter’ (for those of you who know Twitter). Special thanks to my fellow “A” from Benelux, Serge Jespers, for also lending a helping hand and voice in Brussels and Hasselt.
So, the tour ends, and now it’s time (once again) to re-locate. I love trains, and opted for the scenic 6-hour journey from Luxembourg to Amsterdam. The trains connect in Brussels, and my first train arrived 25 minutes late. With a mere 2 minutes to connect to the following train, did I make it?? I wonder what happened? Would I throw out my shoulder and end up in horrible pain?? Click below and see…

Ok, so I arrive in Amsterdam and as they say, “Alles Goed!”. So what do I do? Well, for starters, I actually unpack my suitcase (as I’ll be here for a few days, visiting clients/customers) before leaving for Munich towards the end of the week. After that, I’m famished, and must eat. And in Holland, I have some ‘preferred’ Dutch items that I (try) to eat daily. If I ate them everyday, well, perhaps I’d be less-healthy than I already am. Truth is…I love these things. And they really don’t go together (and my Dutch friends think I’m utterly bizarre for eating Erwtensoep in the summer, and Pancakes anytime!)…but somehow, to me, it all works. Dutch Pea Soup and Apple Pancakes, Spa Rode (heavily-sparkling water), and Cafe Latte. See for yourself…
Four-fifths of my (preferred daily) Dutch diet…
Erwtensoep. Winter, Spring, Summer…It’s good anytime!
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Appel Pannenkoeken. I have bizarre eating habits. I love Dutch apple pancakes.
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Now, I said 4/5 of my (preferred) Dutch diet, because there’s one other semi-daily element that’s cheap, good for you (somewhat) and I simply cannot get enough of. What is it?? Falafel. Yes, they make falafel everywhere…but there’s something about it here. It’s so good. And only 5,00EUR!! Pictures to come. And on that note, I’ll sign off for now. Oh, and I’ll have another special post with regards to some other Dutch faves (namely: a place called FAME) where I spent a good part of Sunday. More to come on the next phase of the tour (Cologne, Kortrijk, Brussels, Amsterdam) so stay tuned.
Blog On.

Benelux Kicks, as the CS3 Buzz continues

I think the title really says it all here. It’s only day 3 of the Benelux roadshow (technically, we’ve just finished day 2, so the official day 3 begins tomorrow) and already we’ve presented to nearly 1000 people!! Oh yeah. Antwerp found us in company of nearly 600, and Ghent (unbelievably beautiful city; hard to get to by taxi, but more on that later) found us in front of some 400+ people. Are you kidding me?? That’s huge, people! Thanks to everyone in both cities for attending and for being part of this truly unique event. And of course, none of this would be possible without our good friends at Blue Projects. They’re responsible for setting up the show, and making us all look and sound good. The best thing is, it’s family, and I mean that sincerely. I mean, that’s truly what makes this gig worthwhile; seeing the familiar faces, (in this case, Johan and Marietje), sharing a laugh, having a great time while we ‘do our thing’, and inspiring people with our new tools. In the end, it’s really about the relationships you make on the road; and I’m indeed greatful for the friends in Benelux 😉
So, the cab ride from Antwerp to Ghent. Yeah…well, first of all, if you’ve never heard of Ghent (or Gent, for those outside of Belgium) don’t worry, because evidently, there are a few taxi drivers that haven’t heard of it either (or at least, they’ve never been there)! So there we are (me and Greg Rewis), having just finished this great show for a great crowd at the Kinepolis. Taxi’s on it’s way, and we’re off to the next city. However, the beautiful weather that graced us earlier in the week has since disappeared, and now it’s turning grey and beginning to rain. We hang out for about 20-25 minutes, and eventually the taxi arrives. We tell him where we’re going, and we get a blank stare. Sadly, he has no GPS, no credit card machine, and we find out (after 20 minutes) that it’s his second week on the job, and he really doesn’t know where he’s going!! Ok…i can understand that. We part amicably, and he assures us that the next taxi is on it’s way. Several centimeters of rain, monsoon-like winds, and nearly 40 minutes later, another cab arrives. At this point, Greg and I are slightly drenched (though we took shelter), and we’re visibly shivering. Good stuff; ahh, the glamourous road life indeed! So, fortunately, this driver had a GPS, and despite the long, slow-going traffic (and a bit of the stop-and-starts, which does great things to my sensitive stomach) we arrive in Ghent, unaware of where we’re about to be. In short…a simply beautiful hotel in magnificently picturesque city. I wish we had more time there. It was breaktaking, and we only saw it in daylight for a few short hours.
And just on that, the architecture in the hotel was so spectacular that I just had to take some photographs. It’s a combination of contemporary Scandinavian Design (moreso in the lounge and rooms; but you can see some here) mixed with a general Euro-Benelux kind of vibe. In short, simply beautiful, and enough so that I had to take dozens of photos. Here are just of few of the lobby (all encased in glass, up against all kinds of old, traditional flats) with the most engaging accent colors. You just had to see it. Oh, and Ghent really rocked indeed. I can’t wait to return.
Ghent Hotel #1 & 2
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Ghent Hotel Lobby – groovy baby!
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A Glimpse of Antwerp…
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Ghent from the window…
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Evangelists on the move…
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Blog on. I’ll Report back after Brussels and Hasselt.

A few snapshots from the OnLocation shoot…

A few stills from the recent OnLocationCS3 shoot. All images shot by Michael O’Neill with his fab digital camera. More to come, in mash-up-remix form (thanks, N.)
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Incidentally, just a couple of tips I learned while On-Location doing this shoot…
1) Always have something to cover yourself and the gear. Wind, Sun, Bugs, Oh My! Fortunately, we both had little jackets, and I forced Mikey to surrender his (hey…I live in the Desert; I can’t have it drop below 70f lol!). But seriously, I eventually had to give mine up to help me create a little ‘iso-room’ to monitor the screen, even momentarily. it’s akin to wrapping a pair of pantyhose over a hanger to create a make-shift vocal pop-filter– but it works. Heck, our footage came out BEAUTIFULLY…and if I had been solely dependent on ‘what I was seeing’ on the viewfinder of the camera, I would have been dead-in-the-water with a bunch of footage that was blown out and distorted. OnLocation’s monitoring made ALL the difference in the world, and it rocked. Period. But back to the kit, you really don’t want to put thousands of dollars worth of gear down directly on the ground. Seems obvious…but with carting around 2 laptops, the Z1, two digital cameras, cable bag, adaptor/battery bag, and more…it certainly slipped our minds. (thank goodness for jumpers!)
2) Beware of tiny little bugs. I squashed one on the MacBook’s monitor…inadvertently…it just flew in there. This was upsetting. Also, @ another point in the shoot, we were sort of, well, in the bush (you’ll see when the vid is posted). We camped out on the ground (and very fertile oceany-soil it was), started filming, and then I noticed a herd of Ants marching towards us, from all directions. Yeah, we were sort of in ant-hill territory. GULP! Fortunately, no ants were harmed in that demonstration…at least, I think (and again, it would have only been inadvertent. Sorry ants)
3) Hydrate. Now, being a desert dude, I’ve ALWAYS got water. This was not something we neglected, but it’s a point I just like to make to people. The sun is strong (no matter where you are), and lugging gear and cables (and doing all this whilst filming and narrating) is taxing. Keep yourself hydrated and avoid heat stroke, and the pain of passing out in the middle of a barren English countryside field, only to find that you’ve been carted away by some odd wildlife, without gear and without the clothes you arrived in. No, that didn’t happen…Or did it? 😉 lol
Blog on.

CS3 tour rolls on…to Belgium & Luxemburg

Well, the UK leg of this tour has ended, and today I’m off to Antwerp, where we’ll start the next series of Adobe CS3 roadshows. What’s really unique about these shows is that you can literally see *the entire suite* of creative products (Web, Design & Video) and also get to meet lots of others who are doing the same kind of work as you! Very cool, indeed, and if the pre-registration numbers are any indication, we’ll definitely be rocking the house!
So, fancy a train ride? I just love trains over here. They’re clean; they’re easy to follow, and within just a few hours you can go from Holland to Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, even France. (oh, and these trains have that fun little cart that comes by selling treats, just as in Harry Potter, but without magic or Alan Rickman) Here’s a brief look, on-route to Antwerp…

Now, there were a few responses with regard to the dates and locations of the Adobe CS3 roadshow across the Benelux region. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a link, as well as the actual dates of the tour. Come see me, my pals Greg Rewis and Ton Frederiks, and a host of others, wowing you with the powers of Adobe CS3 – On-Screen, On-Line, and On-Device baby!
Adobe CS3 Roadshow – Belgium & Luxemburg, 7 – 11 Mei 2007
7 May – Antwerp (Metropolis Antwerpen)
8 May – Gent (Kinepolis Gent)
9 May – Brussels (Kinepolis Brussel)
10 May – Hasselt (Kinepolis Hasselt)
11 May – Luxemburg stad (Utopolis Kirchberg Luxemburg)
Details about the locations, venues, and directions can all be found here
Well, I certainly hope to get to see some of you there! Stay tuned for more, as well as updates from each of the venues. (oh, and I’m still editing the HDV footage from Cornwall; I did a little editing on the train today, but as everyone who knows me already knows…I have terrible motion sickness!! A bit odd for a worldwide traveling evangelist who spends nearly 2/3 of the year on planes across oceans, I know, but true nonetheless! ) That being said, I edited for about 10 minutes, and then thought I was going to hurl. ‘Nuff said….the editing will have to continue later. 😉
Until next time, my friends.
Blog on.

OnLocation CS3 – Part II – The Setup

Alrighty, here’s the first little look at how the shoot began. You can actually see that what’s being filmed by Michael is actually, and more importantly, simultaneously being captured direct-to-disk in OnLocation CS3 (see the laptop screen? You can not only see the video , but you can also see the audio waveform drawing as we’re filming! too cool!)

So yeah…bright sunlight! What a drag! lol. But yeah, it basically meant that I was following Mikey around with this hood over my head for a good part of the shoot. However, he was able to make adjustments to iris/white balance right on the fly, based solely on what I was seeing in OL-CS3, brilliant. This allowed us to quickly capture the best footage, without that inevitable ‘surprise’ of getting it back to the edit suite, only to find that the whole thing is blown out because I couldn’t really tell whilst I was on-set. Not to mention, it also allowed us to make sure that audio was coming thru clearly, and in the end, what was captured was truly brill… By mid-day, we were just walking side-by-side (you’ll see it later); one filming, one holding the laptop.
That being said, I’m still cutting the little montage together (and we did some additional footage last night too!) So I should be posting some small snippets of the beautiful locations within the next few days (and preferably, before the Benelux tour begins)
Oh, and I received quite a few inquiries with regard to the actual system: MacBookPro, 2.33GHZ Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM, running Bootcamp 1.2 with Windows XPSP2, fully updated. The system absolutely kicked butt!
Onward and upward…see you in Belgium!
Until next time,
Blog on.

OnLocation with OnLocation CS3

Hello, my friends. Well, today marked a very significant day for CS3, as today my colleague Michael O’Neill and I went ‘on-location’ to capture a whole series of awesome, breathtakingly-beautiful HDV footage from the south-eastern coast of England…Cornwall, to be exact. We carted along a Sony Z1, my MacBookPro, a couple of still cameras, a backup battery and firewire cables, and set off to make magic….Oh, and we captured the entire thing in ‘OnLocation CS3’. And yes, it totally rocked! We visited quite a few coastal regions, and were completely blessed with unbelievable, film-ready weather, and lots of great material to showcase on the road.
Here I am, arriving at our ‘location’…

Now, the journey from London to Cornwall was a nice one (we drove; about 4+ hours), and along the way, we made a stop at another very popular, ‘mystical’ English site…Stonehenge, to be exact. I captured a quick movie from there as well (for now, ever vlogging!) but it was VERY windy, and there were some mysterious helicopters flying above us…so i’m going to try and clean-up the audio as best I can, and then I’ll post that movie later this week.
As for the rest of the day, well, I definitely learned a few things about really doing on-location HiDef recording. I’m going to edit a little montage and post it up here (hopefully tomorrow). You’ll also get to literally ‘see’ how we did it, replete with some very old-school (ie, makeshift) techniques for getting the job done…Intrigued?? Stay tuned.
So, until tomorrow,
Blog on, luvs.

Blowing Their Minds with High-Voltage CS3

Is it possible for me *not* to reference some movie or music during a blog entry? (School of Rock, 2003) No…it’s not possible.
And with that, today completes day 1 of 2 of the training extravaganza held here at Stockley Park in the UK. I conducted a training session with a host of our top-tier VARs and freelancers, visiting literally from all corners of England. It was truly rewarding to see all of the expressions on their faces, especially since many had not yet seen ‘the new goodies’ in Production Premium (too many to list; but you know there are lots of them!) Needless to say, the day was very info-packed, and squeezing 10 or so applications into roughly 7 hours is no easy task. However, it was a great start to this tour, and I would like to personally thank all of the attendees for being part of the experience. It was equally rewarding for me, and let’s face it…we can’t do it without you! A sincere thanks, and I look forward to our next session with great eagerness…
So, for your viewing pleasure (and if my text-heavy, movie-referencing nonsense has made you go straight for the vid, bypassing the prose), here you go…
…having said that, “viewing pleasure” may be a bit much. Let’s just say that I recorded this one, for YOU. Nah…too pretentious. Dig this??…Nah, it’s not *that* cool of a video entry. Oh whatever, just watch the video and love me. There you go. Spoken like a true narcissist, I mean, Evangelist. 😉
A freak? Perhaps. But a very aware one. lol Blog on.