Affinity Photo Advanced Photo Editing

For those high end photo editors among us who have always assumed Photoshop was the only game in town, you might want to take a look at Affinity Photo, a Mac-only app that is making waves. Affinity is considered a serious Photoshop rival, and now that it’s poised for a major upgrade, version 1.5, it’s a good time to take a look. Some of the coolest new features offered in 1.5 include  including the ability to merge and edit HDR images with granular control and apply some of those tools to non HDR images, and sophisticated new 360 degree image editing tools, including the ability to insert objects while retaining perspective within the 360 degree frame. Other new features include:

• New workspace for tone mapping
• Focus stacking to bring depth to multiple combined images
• Batch processing
• Macros to record and replay a set of commands

This short video does a good job of demonstrating the top new features:

mimoLive: Live Video Production Studio in your Office or Living Room

For those of you who use tools like Wirecast as the centerpiece of a low cost live video production studio, there is a new player on the block. Boinx Software hosted a live stream today that showcased mimoLive, the successor to BoinxTV and the results of months of work in conjunction with a large beta-testing community. MimoLive is basically a broadcast studio for your Mac. It now natively integrates with Blackmagic devices, including the UltraStudio Mini ($150.00) and the UltraStudio 4k (~$950.00), and Magewell and Epiphan were also specifically mentioned as offering compatible products for those who want more advanced switching capabilities and/or the ability to integrate more than four simultaneous video sources.

mimoLive interface

 

One of the biggest updates showcased was the addition of a plethora of built-in live streaming options, including:

  • Wowza
  • Any other rtmp streaming server
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • nginx
  • UStream

The central element of the mimoLive layout is layers, and in fact the UI looks and operates a lot like Photoshop. Clicking on different elements uncovers extended palettes in a way those who like Adobe products should find intuitive. Sources are selectable on the left and outputs on the right, including the live options listed above plus the ability to record to disk, now with more codecs, including ProRes 422 or 444. 444 supports an alpha channel, so things like lower thirds and graphics maintain their editability after export. The layers are stacked like in Photoshop so that what is above hides what is below. They mentioned there is a third party integration that provides better visibility in the UI down through the layer stack but weren’t able to show this during the demo.

To begin a project, you select a template, choose your dimensions and frame rate, including plenty of options for mobile devices, and then begin working with your layers. Options include graphics like logos and lower thirds, and numerous external elements, including weather layers and Twitter or other social media feeds. One of the cool new features demoed was the new ability to edit many of these elements directly from the preview window–i.e., you can click and drag the lower thirds or logos to size them rather than entering pixel dimension manually like before.

Also new is play-out to an external player like the Blackmagic UltraStudio 4k or your ATEM Television Studio via SDI. This includes motion graphics plus their fill and key signals.

Right now, one down side compared to Wirecast is that you can only stream to one destination at a time with mimoLive.

Another change is how licensing works. All licensing is now subscription-based, with pricing that ranges from $19.00/month for personal licenses up to $199.00/month for enterprise usage. They mentioned that this will allow all users to take advantage of the fast update cycles they are planning. Their plans for the product seem ambitious–they even specifically mentioned that they want to support live 360 video with placing of objects in different parts of the “frame.”

One user asked about Integrating Skype and specifically Skype audio, and the presenter indicated this is easily done through a combination of video capture and a virtual audio router to get the audio from Skype into mimoLive

For those interested in learning more, the on-demand version of the webcast should be available via the following link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdwTTkXOGNI