Adobe Creative Takes Innovation to the Cloud

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Adobe Creative CloudLast week, Adobe celebrated 25 years of Photoshop. Any software company would be overjoyed with the lasting impact that Photoshop has had on the design industry over the past several decades. But, Adobe has even more to look forward to and celebrate. In 2013, Adobe launched subscription based services through the Adobe Creative Cloud. Since then, the company continued to add functionality and creative features to the already dependable Adobe software applications. Now, Adobe is bringing this innovative software platform to schools and non-profits at a discounted price.

The world’s best creative applications can now be delivered to your desktop and beyond. The 2014 release of Creative Cloud includes all-new versions of your favorite desktop apps — including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro — along with hundreds of new features and performance improvements. Adobe Creative Cloud is the next generation of the Creative Suite. You get everything you need to create anytime, anywhere and even more ways to collaborate on projects. Perfect for a business or school environment.

How the Adobe Creative Cloud Works

  1. Select Your Favorite Creative App
    The best thing about Adobe Creative Cloud is that it can work like a buffet, or an a la carte menu. Binge on all the incredible features and services Adobe software has to offer or simply hand-pick some of your tried and true favorites. Check out the new functionality the Cloud provides these industry standard software applications. Sync your mobile devices with your computer, design on the go and return to your desktop to finish the job. Assign specific aspects of your project to various group members and bring it all together with a few clicks of a button. The Creative Cloud takes your designs out of the workspace, and into your world.
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  3. Choose the Membership that Fits
    Whether you’ve decided on the whole kit and caboodle or that one app you can’t live without, Adobe has created multiple pricing options to make sure you’re not breaking the bank. Academic institutions and non-profit organizations can benefit from the Value Incentive Plan, which provides two different licensing options. Also, academic institutions can take advantage of the Education Enterprise Agreement. Purchase “named-user” licensing for each individual user, or “device-licensing” for installation on an office desktop. The decision is yours to make based on what your organization needs. If it sounds like we just aren’t speaking your language, don’t worry. Visit our licensing page for non-profits and education to learn more.
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  5. Get Creative
    At this point you know what Adobe applications you want, you’ve selected the membership that is perfect for you and you’re ready to start creating. The Creative Cloud opens up functionality without sacrificing convenience. Maybe, you’re commuting and you don’t have internet connection. No problem. All your Creative Cloud desktop applications run from your hard drive, not a web browser. Complete your work wherever you are and upload it when you can. Purchase, install, create – it’s that easy!
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Make a Difference with Adobe Creative Cloud

“The lens that you use to look at your opportunities will determine how aspirational you’ll be or how ambitious you are,” stated Shantanu Narayen, Chief Executive of Adobe. [1] The Creative Cloud is all about choice. You choose the tools that will make your classroom or work environment successful. Instill the next generation of professionals with ambition by implementing the technology they need to take their creativity to the next level.

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Pixologic Completes ZBrush 4 Series with ZBrush 4R7

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Pixologic recently released the final iteration within the ZBrush 4 series, ZBrush 4R7. As with the previous point releases, it doesn’t simply make a few minor changes but rather is packed with major additions. In fact, 4R7 is one of the most extensive releases since ZBrush 4 came out.

ZBrush 4R7 BlogThis 3D application has literally sculpted some of the most infamous characters from our favorite Hollywood blockbusters, television shows, video games and even commercials. ZBrush is actually an Academy Award winning software used in nearly every film requiring special effects work. As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences noted in 2014, “ZBrush pioneered multi-resolution digital sculpting, transforming how artists conceive and realize their final designs.”[1] The new ZBrush 4R7 builds on this tradition with signature features including the ArrayMesh, NanoMesh and ZModeler with QMesh. It also introduces optional 64-bit support to allow you to fully harness your computer’s functionality.

 3D Printing with ZBrush 4R7

ZBrush and 3D PrintingAlongside its association with an impressive list of major motion films and video games – Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Chronicles of Narnia, Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us and many more – Zbrush is also known for its incredible 3D printing integration.  It is the market’s leading application when it comes to working with high resolution geometry or optimizing high resolution 3D scans and preparing 3D prints. Now, you can use ZBrush to move back and forth from the virtual world to reality – and back again.

It all starts with ZBrush 4R7’s ability to correct 3D scans with accurate geometry and texture tools. Intuitive sculpting tools, especially the new NanoMesh and the Array Mesh, allow you to surpass simply optimizing your scan and give you tools to be truly creative. This technology is already being used to create high quality figurines and collectibles, and has already been seen in the special effects world. Both Iron Man’s armor and the combat suites of Jaeger pilots in Guillermo del Torro’s Pacific Rim were initially 3D rendered using ZBrush and then 3D printed by the special effects studio, Legacy Effects.

 ZBrush in the Education Industry

Pixologic’s ZBrush 4R7 has played a pivotal role not just in entertainment industries, but also in advertising, illustration, jewelry design, scientific visualization, forensic anthropology, automotive design, and so much more. Many schools and universities already use ZBrush in their classrooms, because they know it will help their students in future professions. ZBrush stands out because it easily integrates with other major animation programs and can export files in the most commonly used formats. Enhance your creativity and discover new possibilities with ZBrush 4R7 for students, faculty and academic institutions. The goal of academic pricing for Pixologic’s ZBrush is to prepare the students of today for the career of tomorrow.

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First Avatar Challenge Winner Announced

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Avatar Challenge Winner PudgieSay hello to Pudgie the Budgie! Pudgie is the first winning entry in the Avatar Challenge Scholarship Program. This challenge  – sponsored by Smith Micro, and co-sponsored by Wacom and Studica  – is designed to cultivate the next generation of digital artists. The winning entries will be showcased  by providing student-created content for the Avatar feature of Sprint’s Visual Voicemail service.

The program was introduced in 2014 to educators and students in secondary schools and higher education. Pudgie and the artist, Darbi Dugan, are the first to be selected as the “Student of the Month” character for Avatar messaging. Upon winning, Dugan received a free Intuos Pen tablet from Wacom, $2,500 in scholarship and over $1,000 worth of professional animation software from Smith Micro.

Avatar Challenge Winner: Meet the Artist

Artist Darbi DuganDarbi Dugan is a high school senior in Abingdon, IL. She plans on attending Missouri State University in the fall where she will major in Electronic Arts. In order to pass the time in her small town, Dugan immersed herself in anime and sought outlets to nurture her love of sketching, digital art and animation. Inspired by her pet parakeet, she entered the Avatar Challenge and created the winning avatar – Pudgie the Budgie.

The Avatar Challenge was the first time Darbi designed a character for mobile messaging.  With specific requirements on size, five distinct animated sequences and several design criteria, Dugan worked hard to perfect Pudgie the Budgie with vibrant colors and a cheerful personality. That hard work definitely paid off when she became the first official winner of the Avatar Challenge. Her avatar will be featured on the Sprint Visual Voicemail application viewed by millions of Sprint users nationwide. Not to mention the pretty great prizes she won!

“Winning the Avatar Challenge was a major shock and it made my year! It showed me that doing what you love really does pay off eventually. Contests like this can be nerve racking, but I’m glad I didn’t pass it up.” – Darbi Dugan

Take the Avatar Challenge

“Darbi’s design demonstrated all of the qualities that make for popular avatars, including personality, vibrant aesthetics, liveliness, and fluid animation,” noted Carla Fitzgerald, Chief Marketing Officer at Smith Micro. The Avatar Challenge is for full-time students in the United States, grades 9 and up. See the full contest rules to see if you can create your own successful avatar like Darbi Dugan did. Your work could be viewed by millions of Sprint subscribers and shared via mobile messaging, email and even Facebook.
Register today for the Avatar Challenge.

Educators can also register their classes in the Avatar Challenge to help promote visual communication, creative design and engineering skills.

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Cubase Pro 8 and Cubase Artist 8 Announced By Steinberg

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New Cubase ProductsSteinberg ended its 2014 on a high note as it announced the release of the latest versions of Cubase. Cubase Pro 8 and its more affordable counterpart, Cubase Artist 8, feature a rebuilt audio engine, an extension of the Chord Track and render in-place capabilities. Already considered one of the world’s best DAWs, these new updates have certainly received a lot of positive feedback.

We would have to fill several blogs in order to highlight all the new features and enhancements that were unveiled with the new Cubase release. Yes, there are that many! So instead, we’re going to share with you some of the features of Cubase Artist 8 that audio production artists find most helpful, along with Steinberg’s list of the top 10 reasons you should update to Cubase Pro 8. But, we also want to encourage you to explore – in their entirety – the vast collection of tools that make these Cubase 8 versions the juggernauts they are.

About Cubase Artist 8:

Perfect for newcomers and seasoned musicians
Cubase 8 offers a rebuilt audio engine, which promises to deliver improved performance. While many enhancements in Cubase are exclusive to Cubase Pro, Cubase Artist is an affordable option that appeals to musicians, composers and songwriters with a budget. Check out what’s in store for you.

 Fast Performance

New ASIO-Guard makes working on your projects feel as if you’ve got an entirely new computer. Enjoy an updated audio engine that allows for more CPU-intensive processes, such as plug-ins and virtual instruments. In short, the new audio engine leads to faster processing and improved performance.

Mixing Updates

The MixConsole enhances the mixing experience with flexible EQ/Dynamics channel strip modules. The new system displays values for gain, frequency and note pitch. You have the option to enter pitch notes and values rather than frequencies.

Render in Place

This feature allows you to bounce MIDI and audio parts easily. Define exactly what you want to include, trigger a command and note as a new audio track is created with all the effects settings copied over from the original source, plus your rendered audio event.

About Cubase Pro 8:

Ten Reasons to Upgrade your Audio WorkStation

Cubase Pro 8 expands on all of the same incredible features found in Cubase Artist with a host of new features. Here are the top 10 reasons from Steinberg why you should upgrade to Cubase Pro.

  1. Performance boost for more instruments, more tracks and shorter loading/saving times
  2. VCA faders for complex mixing and automation workflows
  3. Render in-place: Bounce MIDI and audio parts easily
  4. Chord pads: A great way to playfully and creatively compose with chords
  5. Improved windows handling on PC, dockable rack and MediaBay plus a redesigned Track List
  6. Groove Agent SE 4 Acoustic Agent gives you a world-class virtual acoustic drummer
  7. Plug-in manager:Arrange, sort and group your effects and instruments
  8. New Virtual Bass Amp, Quadrafuzz v2, Multiband Expander, Multiband Envelope Shaper effects
  9. Mixing updates: Virgin territories automation mode, direct routing and Wave Meters
  10. Allen Morgan Pop-Rock Toolbox:30 construction kits, each with 25 to 30 audio and MIDI loops


Cubase Pro 8 and Cubase Artist 8 master sound                                               

Steinberg has been diligent in listening to customer feedback, and it shows in this latest Cubase release. Whether you want to start with the comprehensive, affordable audio tool selection of Cubase Artist or choose to purchase the top-of-the-line Cubase Pro DAW, you won’t regret your decision. You’ll be able to master sound production with some of the industry’s most powerful system.

 

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Candid Review of Da Vinci AiO 3D Scanner & 3D Printer

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da Vinci aio 3d scanner printerRecently, our Application Engineer, Mark Philipp, had the opportunity to get his hands on XYZPrinting’s latest addition to the 3D printing world – the da Vinci AiO 3D Printer/Scanner. Check out his candid review and discover what this new technology is truly capable of.

Last year, I reviewed the da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer from XYZPrinting, which is a great consumer-priced 3D Printer. The AiO made some improvements on the da Vinci 1.0, and also added a 3D Scanner into the mix. All while maintaining a consumer-friendly price point.

Rating the da Vinci AiO as a 3D Scanner

The biggest new feature on the AiO is the 3D Scanner. 3D Scanners are relatively new technology. Most of them are separate pieces of hardware that cost a decent amount of money. The fact that the AiO is able to implement a 3D Scanner into an all-in-one solution at such a low price point is certainly impressive. So, let’s break it down a bit to see how it works.

How the da Vinci AiO 3D Scanner Works
The scanner utilizes two lasers within the AiO. You put a model on the scanning bed and the scanner takes about 5 – 10 minutes to rotate the bed and scan the entire object using the two lasers. The data is then sent to your computer via XYPrinting’s proprietary software XYZScan.

XYZScan Software
XYZScan is very basic. It allows you to initiate a scan, save the scan, and send the scan into XYZWare for printing. There are some basic options that allow you to smooth out the model. There are not very many options for manipulating your 3D Model. If you want to manipulate your scan, you will want to use a dedicated 3D modeling program.

AiO 3D Scanner Rating
In my experience, the quality of the scans can vary wildly. In order to ensure the best results, I recommend using models that are not very reflective or shiny, do not have a lot of contrasting colors, and do not have an enormous amount of detail on them. The laser technology does not do well with reflective/glossy surfaces. It will give you less than ideal results. I found that objects with a lot of grooves and finer details on them lost some of those details in the scanning process.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want the scanning bed exposed to direct light during the process. When you initiate a scan, the AiO’s internal lights turn off to ensure a dark environment. As I mentioned earlier, the paneling on the sides of the AiO are also tinted to help keep light out. Exposing the scanning bed to a lot of light will give you undesirable results.

The scan can be saved as an STL or DAS file. This means you can also bring a scan into a 3D Modeling program and make modifications to it. Overall, the scanning technology has its limits, but the accessibility and the common file formats make the da Vinci AiO scanner ideal for any school or home use.

Review of the da Vinci AiO as 3D Printer
I wrote a piece back in December about the da Vinci AiO’s specs. Today, I am going to be talking about my experience with the AiO. The first thing I noticed, right out of the box, is the visual element of the AiO. The machine certainly catches my attention much more than the da Vinci 1.0 did. While this may not be a major selling point on the printer, it’s good to know that XYZPrinting is considering the aesthetics of their printer.

Design Aspects of the da Vinci AiO
Since it is a decently large (46.8 x 51 x 55.8 cm) piece of hardware that sits in my room, I appreciate the fact that they are putting some thought into the appearance of it. The panels on the side of the AiO and the door on the front of it are all a darker/tinted color. This is important to note because the 3D Scanner requires dark lit conditions in order to optimally scan an object. The dark tinting on these panels helps keep a lot of light out of the scan bed. The fact that they also look nice is just an added bonus.

XYZWare Software
As far as Printing is concerned, the process is still very similar to the da Vinci 1.0 3D printer. The AiO comes with XYZPrinting’s proprietary XYZWare software, which was also used with the da Vinci 1.0. XYZWare is a printer/slicer tool that allows you to import your STL models, prepare them for printing and send them as a job to the printer. The main drawback that I could see with XYZWare is that it only accepts STL and 3W File Formats. Fortunately, STL is the most widely used file format so it shouldn’t be much of an issue. There are also an abundance of third-party slicer programs that are available online for those who may not utilize STL files. Other than that, XYZWare is very simple to use.

AiO 3D Printing Review
The da Vinci AiO system doesn’t include many features to modify your model, but I would consider that task to be better served by software like 3DS Max, Sketchup, Maya, etc. XYZWare contains several options for customizing the quality of your build. You can include rafts and supports and you can modify the settings of your rafts and supports. You can also modify the quality of your 3D model with features such as 3D Density, Shells, Layer Height, and Speed. I only really experimented with the default settings on the “Good” quality.

Regardless, I was rather pleased with the quality of the builds I was getting. They came out relatively smooth with few issues. Any issues I did have were mostly due to me printing a less-than-ideal model and not properly utilizing rafts or supports. XYZWare will show you how much filament you have used and how much you have left in your cartridge before you print. This is thanks to XYZPrinting’s proprietary ABS filament cartridges.

Comparison of da Vinci AiO & da Vinci 1.0 for 3D Printing

Printing
The process of printing seems to take about as long as the da Vinci 1.0 did. It’s hard to say exactly how long it takes to build a model because the build time depends on what kind of model you are printing. A model that was roughly 29mm x 48mm x 46mm took about 40 minutes to print.

The AiO uses Fused Filament Fabrication printing technology which is basically a layer-upon-layer approach to 3D Printing. The Extruder lays out filament and builds upon the filament over time.

Noise Control
One thing that stood out on the AiO is the noise that the printer makes seems significantly quieter than the da Vinci 1.0. With the front panel closed on the AiO, the Printer sounded more like a high-end Desktop Computer tower that was running loudly. This is actually a big improvement from the da Vinci 1.0, in my opinion. The 1.0 sounded ridiculously loud and the extruder would make a lot of noise while it moved around. The AiO certainly has a much smoother sound.

3D Printer Extruder
The extruder on the AiO seems to keep itself rather clean. I haven’t had any issues with filament clogging up the extruder. Of course, if your extruder does get clogged or dirty, the AiO comes with a scraping brush as well as some metallic pins that you can use to clean the extruder head.

Remove Your Model with Ease
Lastly, one of my favorite things about the AiO is that it comes with a metallic scraper. This might sound a bit ridiculous, but the da Vinci 1.0 came with a plastic scraper and it was very difficult to get your finished models off of the print bed. The metallic scraper is miles better and allows you to remove your model from the print bed quickly and easily.

Da Vinci AiO: Worth the Price Tag

In conclusion, the da Vinci AiO is a great piece of hardware for the price. The 3D printer alone is very capable and easy to use. Despite how picky the scanner can be, it’s a nice added bonus that hobbyists and students will have fun with. It’s amazing to me that this technology is becoming so cheap. It’s an indicator of things to come. The AiO further establishes XYZPrinting as a company that is at the forefront of consumer-grade 3D Printers alongside MakerBot and 3D Systems.

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Westfield Technical High School STEM Projects in Action

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high school STEM projectsAs many of our regular blog readers know, over the past year we’ve followed the progress of students at Westfield Vocational Technical High School (located in Westfield, MA) as they work through the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program.  This fall, a new group of students was introduced to the lab program. We wanted take a peek at how they’re doing, and share some of their work as they encounter a few early exercises in the curriculum.

Benefits of High School STEM Projects

One of the first sections the students work through involves sketching and documentation. As you may recall, the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program is built around the concept of “project based learning“. Each unit of the curriculum provides a different design challenge. Students – working together in small groups – assume a real-world role, while piecing together various concepts they’ve learned and discussed in class. These exercises also encourage a healthy amount of research, creativity and trial and error. In this design unit, the students were asked to assume the role of a fischertechnik designer and design a unique, new part. Discover how some of them answered this challenge in the two examples below:

In the first video, the students created a reservoir for holding air by designing the fischertechnik Compressor. This part actually did exist several years ago, unbeknownst to the students.

In the second video, the students designed a simple hand crank generator for powering fischertechnik’s electronic components.

What’s next in the fischertechnik STEM Lab?

The next unit the Westfield Vocational Technical High School students will tackle in the curriculum focuses on mechanical systems. Students will be provided with instructions on how to build a simple, yet functional, car-jack using fischertechnik Education. The corresponding challenge presented in this unit is to create a simple, effective braking system – such as you would find on a racing bike. We are excited to see the many different ways these students are solving these challenges and look forward to sharing more of their videos and photos as the year progresses.

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Bill Nye Weighs in on Fixing STEM Education

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Recently, everyone’s favorite science guy, Bill Nye wrote a commentary piece for CNBC.com outlining the challenges the U.S. economy faces with the lack of students seriously considering a career in STEM related fields. Nye noted that STEM jobs in the U.S. will increase by 14 percent from 2013-2020, with data showing that 3 million of these jobs will go unfilled by 2018. [1] The lack of qualified students pursuing a STEM career hurts our education system and the national economy.

So what’s the answer to fixing these challenges? Nye suggests that it’s important for Americans to recognize there is a problem in the first place. Everyone in education is aware of the push in STEM education across the country. We know that those reading our blog on a regular basis are well familiar with the challenges and possible solutions for integrating STEM education into existing curricula. But, the majority of Americans don’t see the value of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Bill Nye Focuses on Interactive STEM

Bill Nye states that one way to establish the value of STEM is promoting STEM education at a young age. Students that are introduced to STEM in high school, rarely continue with it in college. Nye notes that high school is too late to develop a long-term interest in STEM. Educators should support science programs with an invested interest in fostering STEM skills. Put simply: the earlier, the better.

But, how do you get students excited about science? A common critique of this suggestion is that younger children have a difficult time maintaining enthusiasm for STEM subjects. Bill Nye believes that is silly and we have to agree. “Science is the best idea humans have ever had,” he stated. [1]  It is not the subject of science, technology, engineering or math that makes students shy away from learning, but rather the method of how they are learning it. The Next Generation Science Standards recommends making exploration and experimentation an essential component to STEM curricula; not just learning from a book or lecture.

Play is STEM Education in Action

The most effective way of teaching any subject is finding a way to engage the student in an activity that feels familiar and encourages them to interact with the material. What better way to do that than to implement STEM curricula that encourages play as a form of learning? Choosing to teach these subjects in a way that does not intimidate or discourage will provide students with a sense of purpose for STEM skills. Check out some of these elementary geared, interactive STEM solutions in action.

fischertechnik education
Bill Nye Blog fischertechnik Intro to STEM
fischertechnik Introduction to STEM I
Introduce elementary students to the exciting world of STEM using examples from everyday technology. Students can have fun, while completing hands-on activities created specially for grades 2-4.

Sphero
Sphero – Get your students interested in robotics and electronic programming with Sphero, the app-controlled wireless robotic ball. Spark interest in programming, robotics and math.

Bare Conductive
Bill Nye Blog bare conductive
Bare Conductive: Flashing Card Activity Pack Robot Parade – Have fun learning with this engaging group activity, teaching participants of all ages how electricity flows through circuits and introducing simple circuit design.

STEM Education: Invest in the Future

We’ve only highlighted some of the incredible intro to STEM solutions we have at Studica. As it becomes increasingly important for young students to engage in STEM concepts, more and more options are available. Not every classroom is the same, but we strive to gather programs that fit your students’ needs. As Bill Nye said, “Let’s tackle this problem – together.” [1]  Now is the time to get academic discounts on the technology your school needs. See Bill Nye’s full commentary on CNBC.com.

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Avid Announces Pro Tools 12 at NAMM

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Pro Tools 12The 2015 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show took place in Anaheim, California from Thursday, January 22 – Sunday, January 25. The show is a global music industry event where you can come face-to-face with the latest innovations from leading audio production companies.  It is the perfect time for Avid to announce the upcoming release of the much anticipated Pro Tools 12. Avid Pro Tools has redefined the music, film and TV industry time and time again. It is a standard in digital audio workstations allowing you to record, edit and mix your sound without boundaries.

Pro Tools 12 will set the stage for all new features, along with some major improvements on old favorites. Proven and trusted by professionals in every segment of music creation, movie making, television, live sound, broadcast and streaming media, Pro Tools motivates you to take on the most demanding sessions and maximize efficiency.

Pro Tools 12: More Choices, Infinite Possibilites

Some of the biggest announcements to come from the NAMM show are the features that are “coming soon” to the Pro Tools system. Pro Tools 12 will establish the Avid Cloud Collaboration and the upcoming Avid Marketplace, which will offer you more flexibility, so you can access the industry standard in more affordable ways than ever. The price options are incredible and fit any budget, whether you’re a student, freelancer or a studio, there is a way for you to get your hands on the latest from Avid. Check out some of the pricing and decide what’s right for you. The choice is yours.

NAMM Avid

  • Avid Cloud Collaboration (coming soon)
    Work on an audio session with friends, classmates, colleagues, professors, etc. – no matter who or where they are, anywhere around the world. Cloud collaboration is a groundbreaking collection of new features developed to help you compose, record, edit and mix sessions collaboratively with other Pro Tool users.
  • Avid Marketplace (coming soon)
    Connect with other audio professionals, so you can share, collaborate, promote and sell your work – publicly or privately. With Avid Marketplace, you’ll be able to publish session files, multichannel stems and stereo mixdowns directly from Pro Tools for license in the public marketplace. This gives you the opportunity to make valuable connections and create new opportunities within the audio community.

These are just a couple examples of the ever-expanding features of Pro Tools. If you’re looking to rock your sound board, be sure to stay tuned to our blog as we announce what else Pro Tools 12 has in store.

Purchase Pro Tools Now, Get Free Updates to Pro Tools 12

With the flexible, collaborative features included in the upcoming release of Pro Tools, it is clear that the already present Avid is truly expanding everywhere. Purchase a Pro Tools license today and get the latest version of Pro Tools 11 with a free upgrade to Pro Tools 12 upon its official release.  Plus, your purchase of a Pro Tools license includes Pro Tools support and feature upgrades for a full year.* Now you can experience more power, performance and versatility than ever before. Manage and track your audio assets, access your work anywhere, and share sound sessions. It all starts here, with the purchase of your Pro Tools license. Students, faculty and educational institutions can get their hands on the latest from Avid at unbeatable academic pricing.

*Licenses and upgrades must be registered with Avid in order to take advantage of this offer.

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Monument Valley Developed with Unity, Wins Big

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Unity Awards 3D VisualsUnity is a leading game development ecosystem that is acknowledged as an essential tool for industry professionals and established game studios. Every year, the company accepts submissions for its annual Unity Awards. These awards acknowledge exceptional games and other interactive experiences created with the Unity development platform and released in the past year. As huge fans of Unity and its classroom solutions, Studica tries to keep tabs on the latest Unity authored games. Recently, the puzzle, iOS game, Monument Valley was honored with Unity’s Best 3D Visuals and Community Choice Awards for 2014.

The Big Deal About Monument Valley

Monument ValleyThe game has also received MetaCritic’s Most Reviewed Mobile Game of 2014, Apple’s Design Award 2014 and the Apple’s Appstore iPad Game of the Year 2014. Oh, and did we mention that it was also nominated for Tech Crunch’s Best Design Award? This game is definitely turning heads and getting a lot of feedback from gamers, critics and fellow developers alike. Before it hit Google Play or the Appstore, Unity sat down with Monument Valley’s lead developer, Peter Pashley from UsTwo, to discuss the look of the game and how Unity helped them create such a beautiful, immersive gaming experience. Monument Valley is a puzzle game where players lead Princess Ida through mazes as she encounters obstacles, like the marching Crow People. Pashley credited Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher and the Unity Editor for the incredible look of the game.

Along with the accolades, Monument Valley has also become one of the biggest hit games of 2014. With almost 2.5 million downloads, the game made over 5.8 million dollars in revenue. That’s incredible for a game launched initially for the iOS platform – it is now offered on Google Play and Amazon.

Unity Development

Lead designer Ken Wong and lead developer Peter Pashley both new that they wanted a very clean, simple look for their project. According to an interview with leading game development magazine, Develop, there were several features of Unity that made it an ideal fit for creating Monument Valley. Check out some of the features Pashley thought were important for game design.

  • Unity Editor – The rapid build-test loop and user-friendliness made putting together a quick test for any idea or concept very easy.
  • Unity Light Mapping Tech – Developers were able to customize their own shaders and combine them with Unity’s lighting features, which was “invaluable” in achieving the look they wanted.
  • Unity Profiler – This tools helped track down performance bottlenecks and leaks

Incredible Gaming Starts at Development

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer, an aspiring designer or an industry professional, Unity has a stronghold in your present and your future. We love the comprehensive look and feel of Monument Valley, and we’re ecstatic to be able to provide the same technology used to create these incredible designs to you, the academic world. Save thousands on one of the world’s leading game development software, while inspiring your students.

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Studica Exhibiting at Bett 2015 Education Show in London

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Bett-2015-Education-ShowStudica is excited to be participating in Bett 2015. This technology event takes place in London, England from Wednesday, January 21st – Saturday, January 24th 2015. The Bett show – British Educational Training and Technology – is an annual trade show in the United Kingdom that showcases the use of technology in education. Bett has brought innovative and inspiring electronic advances to the world of academia for over 30 years. We’re very proud to be a part of this long standing tradition as we share some of the latest from fischertechnik Education and XYZprinting’s da Vinci 3D printers to teachers, managers, specialists, education professionals and other attendees. Visit us at Stand B390 and see these powerful products in action and talk to our friendly staff about other great offerings.

 Bett 2015 – Studica Showcase

What’s in store for you at Bett 2015 Stand B390? Come by to see the da Vinci 3D printers in action. Learn more about fischertechnik Education and how you can implement STEM kits into your classroom. But that’s not all, Studica specializes in providing students and educators with technology that will help them succeed. Stop by and let us tell you about some of our favorite classroom solutions.

Affordable da Vinci 3D Printers

3D printing has grown tremendously in many industries, which has motivated many academic institutions to implement it in various curricula. Schools are in the early stages of adopting this technology, but most agree that the benefit from introduction has helped both students and educators. XYZprinting’s da Vinci 3D printers offer schools affordable, plug-n-play systems that feature safety components and an open-source database. Studica even offers these devices bundled with design software to help institutions integrate 3D printing into their programs and mitigate costs. Discover some of the benefits 3D printing can bring to your classroom:

  • Seize the interest of your students, compared to just showing the 2D representations of objects
  • Enhance hands-on learning and learning by doing
  • Using this prototyping technology, students will be able to produce realistic 3 dimensional mini-models (ideal for subjects such as: engineering, architecture, design, multi-media arts etc.)
  • 3D printing in education is newcompared to other technologies, which encourages students and educators to experiment in their learning and educating experiences

fischertechnik Education Introduction to STEM Kits

fischertechnik STEM learningExperts agree that success in STEM related fields, both in college and in the working world, is highly dependent upon students developing an interest and aptitude in STEM as early as possible. With this in mind, fischertechnik called upon noted educator and STEM expert, Tom White, to help them create a line of learning products specifically designed to engage elementary aged students in the world of technology. The result is the fischertechnik Introduction to STEM I & II. Check out some of the important features of these incredible sets:

  • Introduce elementary students to the world of STEM using examples from everyday technology
  • Complete with curriculum designed to meet the most current college and career readiness standards
  • Each set contains everything needed to build a series of functional STEM-focused models using the fischertechnik building system.
  • An affordable and easily scalable STEM education solution–each set is designed for groups of 2 students, and is fully re-usable.
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