Avid Pro Tools 12 Arrives with New Functionality

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Pro Tools 12 AvidRedefine your audio production with Avid’s latest Pro Tools 12. Avid Cloud Collaboration, Avid Marketplace, flexible licensing options and content management – it’s all part of the new functionality Pro Tools has included in its recent release. Now more accessible and affordable than ever, Pro Tools 12 offers you access to the latest updates and technical support through an included Avid upgrade and support plan. Now, you can stay current and stay ahead with a single license. As if these changes weren’t enough, Avid also improved some of our favorite tried and true Pro Tools features. Check out what Pro Tools 12 has in store for your audio production workflow.

Pro Tools 12: Next Level Compositions

More Power, Better Performance

Avid Audio Engine has been redesigned to support 64-bit performance. Multiply your processing power using your same hardware configuration. Now, you can even add epic numbers of virtual instruments and effects to create bigger, richer, more complex audio compositions.

Compose, Collaborate, Create

ProTools12 Compose Collaborate CreateCollaboration is integrated into the Pro Tools system. Exchange sessions with any Pro Tools user, or work on projects created with other audio and video software – Media Composer, Logic, Cubase and other third-party apps. Pro Tools allows you to collaborate with anyone, anywhere. With the upcoming introduction of Avid Cloud, this feature will expand to collaborative sessions in real time.

Precision Editing

Fine-tune your audio with professional editing tools. Create the perfect performance by joining complimentary tracks together. Allow the Smart Tool to help you speed up editing and mixing as part of Avid’s Clip Gain technology. Everything you need to achieve the sound you want is available from within a single Edit window.

A Peek at the Future of Pro Tools 12 

Avid has a lot of plans for Pro Tools 12, and they’re not shy about sharing them with everyone. We previously discussed the upcoming introduction to the Avid Cloud Collaboration and Avid Marketplace. Both of these features are sure to offer audio enthusiasts more connectivity and resources to help foster collaboration. But, now there is even more for Pro Tools users to look forward to – and remember those that buy now, get a free upgrade to these features upon their release.

Audio Archive: Access Your Work from Anywhere (coming soon)

Soon those days of combing through multiple hard drives and racking your brain to remember where you saved that one project, will be a thing of the past. With the upcoming archival service, you’ll be able to store content and track your audio files – whether you saved it locally or in the cloud. This is a cloud storage service, which allows you to securely house and access sessions, stems and stereo mixes from anywhere.

Content Management: Manage and Track Your Assets (coming soon)

Avid has announced a new open, universal metadata schema that will help you manage, track and document every project you create in Pro Tools. This metadata will allow media creators and distributors to keep track of everyone who contributed to a piece of content. Now, it is easy to keep track of who did what, when and where. Manage and control versioning, while providing accurate credit information.

Sign Up Now for Early Access to the Cloud

You can help make Avid’s new features the best they can be. Sign up for an opportunity to start using these upcoming features now before they’re available to the public. Get details on how to get beta access to Avid Cloud Collaboration, Avid Marketplace and more.

Flexible Pro Tools Licensing Available 

As always, Avid is offering incredible academic discounts for students, faculty and educational institutions interested in purchasing Pro Tools 12. However, the flexibility of its annual or stand-alone licensing model is sure to provide a price option for every budget – retail and academic. So whether you’re a student, faculty member, musician, audio producer or studio, Avid Pro Tools 12 has the resources you need at a value that is right for you.

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Avid Pro Tools: Professional Audio Tools for Everyone

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Avid Pro Tools 12The glamorous 87th Academy Awards presentation took place on February 22, 2015, and it was a thrilling night for its many film industry honorees. One of the evening’s top winners, however, wasn’t a human being. It was Avid Pro Tools. Technicians utilized this astounding platform to edit and mix the sound for such Oscar favorites as Birdman, Selma, Whiplash and American Sniper. In fact, American Sniper won the award in the sound-editing category.

Despite its name, you don’t need to be a professional to use Avid Pro Tools. To the contrary, you can purchase this program as a total beginner and turn your living room or garage into your own Hollywood studio. Whether you’re trying to break into the music business or simply having fun with your friends, you’ll be able to produce some spectacular recordings with it.

What is Avid Pro Tools?

Avid Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation (DAW). A DAW is comprised of the computer hardware, software, and interfaces that allow users to record and manipulate digital sound. [1] Operating one is similar to using a multi-track tape mixer, but you can do more with it.

Digital Audio WorkspaceUsing a DAW, you can take several audio files, synchronize them and edit them all at once. This technology also makes it easy to find similarities among various audio sources. For example, you could identify the moment or moments when the beats of two pieces of music approximate one another. Further, a DAW will let you add and remove sound effects from your files. With such a workstation, you could devise countless musical and sound combinations; you’d be limited only by your creativity.

While many DAWs exist, Avid Pro Tools is an especially versatile and popular brand, and it works with the operating systems OS X and Microsoft Windows. [2] You can use this platform to edit QuickTime videos and a range of sound files, including each of the following:
→ MP3.
→ WAV.

From the start, Pro Tools has been customizable. It permits users to choose from among a range of software programs and interfaces, so that they can develop their own unique styles and methods of working. The Pro Tools Community could tell you that this system makes it possible to work rapidly as well.

The Origins of Avid Pro Tools

The history of Avid Pro Tools is rich in innovation and a true democratic spirit. [3] In 1984, the sound specialists Peter Gotcher ― who’s now the chairman of Dolby Laboratories ― and Evan Brooks founded a technology company called Digidrums. Gotcher and Brooks were friends in high school, and both of them graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981. They were an ideal match, as both had long been fascinated by engineering, programming and music.

With Digidrums, Gotcher and Brooks set out to develop microchips that could store entire libraries of sound samples. They were especially interested in drumming. A major inspiration for their work was the E-mu Drumulator from the California-based company E-mu Systems; that drum machine had been introduced to the public in 1983. However, Gotcher and Brooks would ultimately find the concept of sound databases unsatisfying. What really intrigued them was the notion of releasing libraries of sound that people could edit. That way, those databases would help to unleash their customers’ artistic impulses.

Eventually, Gotcher and Brooks changed the name of their company to Digidesign. The former became the president, and the latter served as the chief engineer. Digidesign soon entered into a partnership with E-mu Systems, and its technicians started to use Macintosh computers to create software with which people could record and edit sound.

This period of experimentation bore exciting fruit in the form of Sound Designer. This software product hit the marketplace for the first time in 1985. It cost $995, a sum that’s equivalent to more than $2,100 in 2015. Despite the hefty cost of this program, it proved to be revolutionary. People now had access to the kind of sound editing technology that had pretty much only been available to major broadcasting and entertainment companies in prior years. Sound Designer’s release was a landmark for garage bands everywhere.

As years passed, Gotcher and Brooks continued their pioneering ways, offering new and more sophisticated versions of their platform from time to time. In 1991, they put out Pro Tools for the first time. It cost almost $6,000, and it combined software and hardware; an outside company had created the software. Before Digidesign released the next incarnation of Pro Tools, though, it assumed all of the software design responsibilities. The Pro Tools application as we know it today was born.

Around this time, Gotcher and Brooks made a fateful decision. They opted to allow other DAW-producing companies to incorporate their hardware. While there was a strong case to be made for keeping that hardware exclusive to Digidesign, the results of that choice turned out to be tremendously beneficial to the company. That’s because a larger pool of consumers got to sample what Digidesign had to offer, and a great many of those people were impressed by what they encountered. Pro Tools quickly established itself as the preeminent DAW brand, a stature it has yet to relinquish.

Avid: An Audio Powerhouse 

Avid Project MultimediaIn 1994, Digidesign merged with Avid, a large audio and video technology company. Founded by entrepreneur Bill Warner in 1983, Avid is headquartered in Burlington, Mass. After the two entities joined forces, engineers kept laboring to improve the Pro Tools software. By 1997, the program would contain 24 different audio tracks. Moreover, Pro Tools began to replace other kinds of sound editing equipment within professional recording studios throughout the late 1990s.

A momentous event occurred in 1999: A song that was created with Pro Tools reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That catchy tune was “Livin’ La Vida Loca”; Ricky Martin performed it, and Desmond Child’s Gentlemen’s Club Studio recorded it. Another significant milestone happened in 1999: A much cheaper version of Pro Tools premiered to great acclaim.

Over the course of the past 15 years, Pro Tools software updates have emerged on a semi-routine basis, and in 2010, the product officially became “Avid Pro Tools.” These days, Pro Tools 10 and 11 are the newest available editions.

Now, to get a sense of just how far Pro Tools has come, let’s look at some of the advantages of the latest version:

→ Pro Tools 11 boasts the Avid Audio Engine (AAE), which has a 64-bit architecture and 64 bits of processing power. It’s very fast and effective.

→ When you’re not utilizing certain plug-ins, they won’t use up any Pro Tools resources. Consequently, you can install a massive number of plug-ins without overburdening your workstation. In fact, with Pro Tools 11, it’s comparatively simple to set up a session that involves a few hundred plug-ins and dozens of audio tracks.

→ While there’s plenty of new code in this installment, if you’re accustomed to earlier versions of Pro Tools, you should have no trouble operating this edition.

New Horizons: Avid Pro Tools 12 Features

Pro Tools breakthroughs keep popping up. Avid Cloud Collaboration is a relatively new paid-subscription program that allows Pro Tools users to conduct recording sessions with other people no matter where those individuals might be located. Thus, with this system, a band could easily record songs together even if its members were thousands of miles apart. No one listening to their music could tell that the musicians weren’t in the same room. Another advantage of this arrangement is that you could record with people you meet over the Internet, but never actually meet in person.

Pro Tools 12 likewise demonstrates that Avid is looking to evolve the relationships that it has with its users. Those interested in starting out in audio production can get their hands on Avid Pro Tools First for free. When Pro Tools 12 is released, people will be able to either buy it or subscribe to it for a monthly fee that starts at $29.99 [4]. Even more exciting, those who purchase or subscribe to Pro Tools 12 will receive Pro Tools software updates through the cloud at no extra costs.

In short, if you’re a Pro Tools user, your recording future will be what you make of it. Indeed, the possibilities seem endless. Just think about all of the artists that you might get in touch with via the cloud. Some of them may accept your invitation to work together on a project. Also, if there’s a particular recording that you’re proud of, you can share it on Avid Marketplace. Perhaps nothing exceeds the joy of creation, and Pro Tools enhances that joy and makes it less challenging to come by.

Author: Philip Rudy, Owner of ProToolsTutorial.org

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Pantone Features New Art for 2015 Color Guides

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Alices Flowers Pantone ColorThe masters of color management at the Pantone Institute have released its 2015 Color Guides with a surprise look on the cover. This fresh new aesthetic is courtesy of Russian artist, Alice Macarova; an avid Pantone user and a member of the Pantone Canvas Portfolio Sharing community. With over fifty-two years of color intelligence experience, Pantone’s color management systems continue to evolve adding more brilliant, innovative colors than the last. These updates are influenced by designers, trends and new discoveries, so it seems only natural for the powers that be to turn to their own community of artists in continuing its Artist Edition Cover Series.

Pantone’s new color guides and books ensure that you are current with the most comprehensive selection of colors available. It may seem a bit taxing for design students and educators to get the latest selection every year, but Pantone makes it easy with incredible rebates and trade-in programs. Ditch your old guides and trade up. It’s pretty easy.

Alice’s Flowers: The Art Behind Pantone’s New Look

pantone color guidesAlice Macarova is an illustrator and a graphic designer from Saint Petersburg, Russia. She credits Pantone Color Guides for the color inspiration that goes into her work. “I always use Pantone Color Guides for inspiration, to choose colors that will work better together and enhance each other,” she noted in a recent interview with Pantone.

Macarova’s abstract series, ‘Flowers’, will dawn the front cover of Pantone’s 2015 Color Guides. The focus on these designs is clearly on the vibrant, moving color combinations. Just in time for spring, Macarova’s creations certainly provoke a rejuvenating use of vivid colors. Her work offers softer color choices coupled with warm tones creating an eclectic palette of exuberant pastels and rich natural hues. In other words, it is the perfect fit for Pantone’s new releases.

The two distinctive designs that make up Macarova’s ‘Flowers’ series will be featured in their entirety on the cover of Pantone’s Solid Chips two-book set. These designs were also segmented to create seven different covers for the Pantone Formula Guide. Purchase the latest formula guide and receive a random combination of two artistic covers. These Pantone 2015 Color Guides are sure to inject bold uses of color into any workspace.

Pantone Color Guides Offer Academic Advantage

Pantone makes it easy for students and educators to get their hands on the latest color technology. Offering academic savings on almost every product, the company is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of artists. Staying up to date on the latest is made even easier with Pantone’s Chip-In program and rebates.

Receive academic discounts and rebates of up to $500! Now is the time to catch up with the trends. Ensure that you are up-to-date with the most complete selection of colors when you upgrade to the latest Pantone Guides and Chips Books.

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Unity 5 Pro Offers the Ultimate in Game Development

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Unity 5 ProUnity 5 was released a couple weeks ago at GDC 2015 in San Francisco, California. If you know anything about the game development industry, you know that Unity is a powerhouse in terms of design and its evolving feature set. The launch of the Unity Cloud Build is just a start to the productivity and efficiency boost that is taking over the development platform. But with the release of a Unity 5 Personal Edition and Unity 5 Pro Edition, there is a little bit of confusion regarding what features each license includes. If Unity 5 Personal Edition includes the Unity engine and all its features, what are the benefits to purchasing Unity 5 Professional?

Have no fear, game enthusiasts. This blog is here to highlight the benefits of a Unity 5 Professional license, and how it can offer you a sneak peek at Unity features that are on the horizon.

Top 8 Features Included in Unity 5 Pro Edition

Check out eight features that are exclusive to Unity 5 Professional Edition, and sure to make a difference in your 3D interactive content build.

  1. Unity Cloud Build Pro
    Automatically, build projects in the cloud, and share with others. This 12 month subscription is a $300 USD value included with your Unity 5 Pro purchase, and great when developing for mobile. Whenever you make a change and submit it, a build is sent to the cloud. You will be notified on your devices when the build is ready. Add as many collaborators as you want.
  2. Unity Analytics Pro
    Boosts retention, engagement and monetization for your project. Understand your audience and get actionable insights.
  3. Team License
    Reduces the time it takes teams to import assets, which facilitates efficient project sharing and boosts productivity. Previously a $500 USD value, it is now only available in Unity 5 Pro and gives you access to two core features including: the Asset Server (version control, Perforce & Plastic SCM) and the Cache Server.
  4. Beta Access
    Unity Pro users can test and try new features before they hit their official release dates. Be one step ahead of the game.
  5. Asset Store Level 11
    Offers free and heavily discounted digital assets updated on a monthly basis – including: 3D models, visual scripting plug-ins, editor extensions and more.
  6. Game Performance Reporting
    Capture your game’s exceptions during development and after launch. Monitor your detailed reports available via a web dashboard.
  7. Customizable Splash Screen
    Users can customize the splash screen for Windows Phone 8, Blackberry 10 and Windows Store Apps, based on their personal branding – or the brand of a contracted client. (Purchase the Complete Suite and this feature extends to iOS and Android platforms)
  8. Priority Bug Handling
    Incoming bug reports from Unity 5 Pro users will have higher priority from Unity support and verified first.

Explore Creativity Further with Unity 5 Pro

Purchase a Unity 5 Professional Edition license to get the full benefits of the Unity development platform. As a developer with Unity experience your skills will be in demand in the medical training, virtual reality, architecture, military simulation, advertising, retail segments and of course the gaming industry. Don’t wait for release dates, be a part of the action with beta access and optional source code access – exclusive to Unity 5 Pro users. Students and faculty can get up to 50% off commercial pricing, without sacrificing any of these highlighted features.

Get more information on Unity 5 Professional Edition and learn how you can get your own Unity 5 Pro license today!


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Chief Architect X7: Home Design Has Never Been Easier

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Home Design Software Chief ArchitectChief Architect is incredible 3D architectural home design software. We say this not only because of its professional toolset and automated building tools. Chief Architect is truly incredible in its ability to deliver industry-standard features in a program that anyone can use. It is the home design software of choice for many people interested in 2D and 3D design, across several industries. The recent release of Chief Architect X7 introduces even more accessible tools for professionals, educators, students and hobbyists. New tools, such as the Object Paint with Eyedropper and the 3D Preview of Lights, will become the essentials you never knew you needed.

Chief Architect X7 is available now and runs on both Mac & PC. Like most of us, you probably have access to both platforms. No worries. You can run Chief Architect on either platform natively with a single license, so you don’t need two separate copies.

What’s New in Chief Architect X7?

Chief Architect X7If you’re familiar with Chief Architect, you already know all about the extremely intuitive interface. Believe it or not, some of the new features in X7 actually make it easier for you to create comprehensive designs. For a complete list of all things new in Chief Architect X7, we invite you to look over this detailed list. In the meantime, discover some of the highlighted features that make everyone feel like a master of home design.

User Interface Enhancements

3D Preview for Primitives – Don’t wonder what assets look like in your home design. This 3D preview allows you to view and rotate, while adjusting the attributes of primitive shape objects.

Dockable Layer Display Options – Can’t find that layer you were looking for? Configure the Active Layer Display Options, while designing to quickly and easily control your layers.

Re-Designed Delete Objects Dialog – Has your design become a bit too busy? The reorganized dialog now includes schedules, making it easy to delete families of objects.

New Editing Tools

Object Painter™ / Eyedropper – Matching elements doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Use eyedropper functionality to match properties from one object and apply them to another object.

Apply Plan Materials using Material Painter – Not sure if you prefer wood or brick? Choose from a list of materials from the Library Browser or Plan Materials to quickly select new materials or reuse those that are used in your design.

Set Default Electrical Items – Use the ‘Set as Default’ feature to define wall, ceiling, and exterior, for lighting, switches, outlets and other electrical items as the default style in your designs.

Content Library Improvements

3D Preview of Lights in Library Browser – Know what an object looks like before you add it to your design. Library objects defined as “Lights” display 3D preview in Library Browser, instead of 2D.

Create 3D Objects that Cut Terrain Holes – Library Objects can be defined to cut holes in terrain, like window wells and swimming pools.

Import New 3D Objects from Library Browser – Want to re-use an object you created? Use the right-click contextual menu in the Library Browser to import new 3D Objects directly into the Library folder.

Chief Architect X7: Smart Building Tools at Academic Prices 

What’s better than a program that teaches you everything you need to know about home building and design? Learning that it is available at amazing academic discounts. Students and academic institutions can take advantage of educational pricing, putting this comprehensive design solution in the hands of future designers, architects and engineers. Give your curriculum the boost it needs to focus on teaching the concepts of design and construction, rather than concentrating on complex software programs. Chief Architect X7 is easy-to-use and ready to implement into any project or curriculum, so you can focus on what really matters.

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FUZE Computing Platform Mixes Fun & Computational Thinking

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FUZE_T2_AB_ProjectLearning to code and create computer programming doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be quite fun. FUZE products are great examples of safe, interactive ways to teach and learn computational thinking. The FUZE system that has made a big impression on classrooms and tech environments throughout the United Kingdom is powered by the Raspberry Pi and uses its own FUZE BASIC programming language. Encourage your students to develop their logical thinking with a fun, engaging outlet, which allows them to program robots and other devices. Let them bring their creations to life and instill in them a real sense of power and confidence when it comes to computing.

The FUZE case is made from aluminum and as such, is extremely robust and safe. It expands on the usual Raspberry Pi (RPi) connectors and sockets by including four extra USB ports and an on/off switch, which further extends the life of the RPi. This one-stop-shop for your intro to computer programming is a great solution in terms of e-safety too. The FUZE does not require Internet connection, which means parents and educators don’t have to worry about online security.

Top 5 Benefits of FUZE

FUZE is great in and outside of the classroom. Whether you’re sparking creativity at home or jump starting STEM activities in a room full of bright minds, FUZE offers incredible benefits to the learning environment.FUZE_T2_AB_Arm_Display_Med

    • Cross curricular – strengthens skills in Math, English, Science, Design and Technology
    • Confidence builder – helps develop social interaction
    • Promotes e-safety – classroom IT solution, which does not require internet connection
    • Encourages creativity – students can design their own games and programs
    • Introduces Career Opportunities – computer programming is a central component
      to many industries including: entertainment, architecture, design, engineering, etc.

FUZE Teaches Kids to Code

FUZE Computational ThinkingOur present and future are steadfast in the development of computing. FUZE makes learning to program and practice computational thinking accessible and achievable. Join the FUZE community and gain access to free games, programming applications, an electronic component kit and downloadable project cards. Learning to code doesn’t have to be difficult. FUZE makes it easy by realizing the full educational potential of the Raspberry Pi and delivering it to you in a single, neat package.

Get with the Program with FUZE BASIC

FUZE comes equipped with everything you need to start learning straight out of the box. Discover a range of FUZE Project Cards, which provide easy-to-follow, step-by-step walkthroughs of each tutorial. Each of these projects has been developed in-line with established IT curriculums. There are even assessment challenges to measure student retention. Students can actually take tests in an environment that focuses on interactive learning, rather than simply putting a pencil to paper.  From simple loops and logic commands to advanced data collecting and real-world interaction – FUZE BASIC programming language covers it all in user-friendly, easy to follow steps.

Check out this demonstration video of the “Hello World Project” to see just how easy it is to get started with FUZE.

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PCI Geomatica for Education Available at Studica

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PCI Geomatica

Geographic information is increasingly important in almost every academic discipline. Its growing influence and the expanding field of high-tech career opportunities are creating new dimensions in a variety of academic studies. Studica now offers PCI Geomatica for students to allow them to explore the many benefits and uses of geographic information.

PCI Geomatics specializes in creating geo-imaging products and solutions. It is the standard in remote sensing and image processing tools used in over 135 countries worldwide. Geomatica is used by scientists and image professionals across multiple industries to analyze and share data and geo-imagery. It features tools for remote sensing, digital photogrammetry, geospatial analysis, map production, mosaicking and more. Sounds really technical, right? Well, it is but it is also very important in terms of determining the effects of building in any given environment and how businesses function within an existing community. Before we venture into why PCI Geomatica is so important to you and your classroom, let’s delve into what geomatics actually does.

What is Geomatics?

Geomatics is the science that deals with the collection, analysis and interpretation of data relating to the earth’s surface. Its application can be used in a variety of industries including air navigation, archaeology, mapping, disaster management, urban planning, oceanography, agriculture and more. The wide diversity in the study’s application creates diverse employment opportunities. A graduate in geomatics can establish a career as a surveyor, analyst or business owner in environmental sciences– that’s just naming a few. This course of study provides a unique environment that prepares students for the practice of land survey and engineering. It not only prepares students for the future, but also provides them with the tools to build it.

Figure 1 - Digital Elevation Model Created with Geomatica over Hamilton, Canada using Stereo Overlapping imagery

Figure 1 – Digital Elevation Model Created with Geomatica over Hamilton, Canada using Stereo Overlapping imagery

PCI Geomatica for Education Features

Now that we have a basic understanding of geomatics, it is important to highlight some of the qualities that make PCI Geomatica a standard for this growing industry. Check out some of the features included in Geomatica for Education. The Geomatica Total Education suite includes key modules that make it possible to work with satellite, aerial, and radar imagery. Additional included modules consist of DEM Extraction, Pansharpening, and Ortho Production Toolkit to automate the ortho-mosaicking process.

  • Ortho Production Toolkit is a complete collection of powerful, automated tools for the orthorectification and mosaicking of aerial photos and satellite imagery including tools.
  • Pansharpening allows you to fuse low-resolution multispectral (color) data with high-resolution panchromatic (black and white) data to produce stunning, high-resolution, multispectral imagery.
  • Automatic DEM Extraction creates Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from stereo air photos, stereo images and RADAR data. Image correlation is used to extract matching pixels in two overlapping images.

These are just some of the incredible features you can use to complete assignments on your own schedule, while utilizing the full power of Geomatica software. This education suite addresses the importance of geographic information and its expanding field of advanced career opportunities.

PCI Geomatica at Studica

PCI Geomatica is available to students currently enrolled in a degree program at the undergraduate or graduate level. It includes all the professional tools you need to work with geospatial data for only $150 (USD). This suite is only available in Canada and the United States. Want to learn more? Visit our website or feel free to contact us.

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Unity 5 Launch Brings Big Changes & Massive Improvements

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unity-logoUnity 5 has finally hit the game development scene, and it is definitely worth the wait with over a thousand improvements. There isn’t enough room in our blog to fill you in on every detail, but we’re going to walk you through some of what our friends at Unity had to say during the official launch at GDC in San Francisco.

The Big Ideas Defining Unity 5

  • It is a graphics powerhouse capable of rendering beautiful, complex and detailed scenes.
  • The highly extensible and feature rich editor is now 64-bit and is even more robust than ever with additions like the huge suite of integrated audio design tools (full multi-track audio mixer, very cool.)
  • Unity’s industry leading multi-platform support is evolved with WebGL and improved with better console platform support and the introduction of IL2CPP. Unity now supports 21(!) platforms.
  • The launch of Unity 5 also introduces the Unity Cloud Build, which is provides developers with an option to boost their productivity and efficiency through the cloud. Learn more about Unity 5 here.

The Thought behind Unity 5 Pricing

Along with all the new features, a new pricing model was addressed at the launch. Unity is evolving its licensing model to provide easier access to users and include more features. The philosophy behind the new pricing was broken down into two major goals by John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity:

“Goal #1 — One of the founding principles of Unity is the idea that we work hard to solve very hard technical problems so our developers / users won’t have to.  For this to be at all relevant, our best tools need to be a great value.

Goal #2 — Deep in Unity’s culture is the principle of Democracy. The goal is to price in such a way as to reflect our principles.  Democracy is the principle we were founded on, and it means we do our best to put Unity in the hands of developers, Indies or Pros, that may not have the resources to pay for it.  It’s about enabling most everyone to create with the best tools we can make.  I won’t get too soppy in this post — but is an honor for me to work in a company so mission driven and principled.”

Unity 5 Licensing

Keeping those principals in mind, Unity revealed its new licensing model. Similar to Unity 4, Unity 5 offers a Personal Edition and a Professional Edition. The Unity 5 Personal Edition is now a free download, which includes the same engine and editor found in Unity 5 Pro. This means that Unity 5 Professional offers more than basic features and includes special services.

  • Unity 5 Professional Edition is adding incredible value for teams of all sizes.
    • Price: $749 (Stand-alone Student/Faculty Commercial License)
      (Commercial Value $1,500 USD)
    • Services included:
      • Team License
      • Unity Cloud Build Pro (12-month subscription)
      • Unity Analytics Pro (currently in beta)
      • Game Performance Reporting (currently in preview)
      • Asset Store Level 11 (a new collection of free assets available each month)
      • Access to previews and betas
      • No revenue limit, no revenue share

Unity 5 is a huge upgrade from Unity 4, and it comes with a bunch of extra services and a team license.  Which means, better value than ever before.

  • Unity 5 Personal Edition provides all the power of Unity 5 engine and editor. It comes with all the features including: Profiler, Occlusion Culling, Render-to-Texture, and Post-Processing Special Effects as well as all the big Unity 5 features like Physically-based Shading, Enlighten, reflection probes and more. Learn more here.

Unity 5 for Education

Unity 5 is even more accessible to a broad range of users and provides a wealth of tutorials and training for teachers to use. Schools, students, faculty and staff can take advantage of academic savings of nearly 50% off of the commercial Professional edition. Get the latest game development software for your students, and prepare them for a successful future. Now is the time to make Unity work for you.

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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.

  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.

  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!

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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