The iOS apps you (and we) can’t live without

The iOS apps you (and we) can’t live without

From accountants to architects, here are some of the top apps that we have been recommending to customers.

One of the biggest benefits of Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is versatility. Apps allow you to transform an iOS device into just about anything you can imagine on a touch screen, and the Apple App Store already has a library of more than 520,000 approved apps – many of which are free. You can develop your own bespoke content that’s tailored specifically to your business’s needs but, apart from spirit levels and Angry Birds, what does the App Store have to offer?

For word processing: Pages

Pages (£6.99) from Apple is just one of a number of apps out there available for the iPad and iPhone that deal with word processing. Where this has the edge, though, is in its compatibility with Microsoft Word – it can import and export both iWork and Office for Mac files, as well as PDFs. It’s also far more flexible than its competitors, allowing you to import photos into text with minimal lag.

Download Pages from the App Store here.

For spreadsheets: Numbers

Download Numbers from the App Store here.Numbers (£6.99) from Apple is a spreadsheet tool that includes over 250 different functions. It’s completely compatible with Excel files (you can import and export the .xls file type), but bear in mind it doesn’t include pivot tables, sparklines and Macros – you’ll need to run Microsoft Office via VPN and remote desktop protocol for those.

For presentations: Keynote

Keynote (£6.99) from Apple is hands-down the best for creating and editing presentations, and you can work with both Mac Keynote and PowerPoint files. Bear in mind though, that if you just want an app for presenting that retains PowerPoint formatting, you’re better off going for GoodReader.Download Keynote from the App Store here.
For accessing and sharing files: mobilEcho, Dropbox and activEcho

mobilEcho (Get in touch for pricing) from GroupLogic has been a game changer in that IT can now give iPad users secure and managed access (via AD authentication) to files that are stored on corporate file servers. Basically, it lets iPad users access files in the same way as they would on their laptop.

Download free trial of mobilEcho here.

Dropbox (Free) by Dropbox is free but includes a storage limit, and lets you store any file type in cloud storage so you can access it on another device – you can save a document on an iPad and then carry on working on it on your desktop when you’re back in the office, without having to transfer over the latest version.

Download Dropbox from the App Store.

activEcho (Get in touch for pricing) from GroupLogic is the corporate equivalent of Dropbox, and works in the same way by giving you anytime, anywhere access to files stored in the cloud (either public or private). The one big difference: this improves security and helps you meet compliance requirements. Again, the client app is free but the infrastructure behind that isn’t.

Download activEcho free trial here.

For sketching and editing CAD files: AutoCAD WS

AutoCAD WS (Free) is purely aimed at anyone who works with 2D and 3D DWG, DWF and DXF files. It lets you view, edit and share drawings, and you can even work on designs offline or use the built-in design collaboration tools to review and approve colleagues’ work.

Download AutoCAD WS from the App Store here.

For retail and sales reports: Roambi Analytics Visualizer and Roambi Flow Viewer

Roambi Analytics Visualizer and Roambi Flow Viewer are both business intelligence apps that bring together complex data and engaging design. Roambi Analytics transforms existing business reports into stunning visual displays, while the Flow Viewer lets you turn business information (including Salesforce data) and multimedia content into a report for presenting to clients and colleagues. While both apps are free to download, for more comprehensive reporting in Analytics Visualizer, a subscription is required.

Download Roambi Flow Viewer from the App Store here.

Download Roambi Analytics Visualizer from the App Store here.

For monitoring and communicating leads: ForcePad and Salesforce Chatter

ForcePad (Free) by Salesforce Labs was formerly known as Salesforce for iPad, and gives you access to every Salesforce feature on the move. You can create, edit, clone and delete records in an Salesforce environment, view all your apps and visualforce/web/custom tabs, and post links to Chatter. This is great if you want to check leads or opportunities you’ve been assigned to.

Download ForcePad from the App Store here.

Salesforce Chatter (Free) by salesforce.com is a great way to turn your business into a social enterprise, giving employees the chance to communicate what they are working on and post photos.

Download Chatter from the App Store here.

For document management: GoodReader for iPad

GoodReader for iPad (£2.99) by Good.i.Ware is perfect for viewing lots of file formats, including PDFs and Microsoft Office files. Where this excels is in its flexibility and speed; you can load up PDFs of 100MB or more incredibly fast or even choose to load them without images, then use the annotation tools to look at other people’s comments GoodReader also uses a familiar file storage interface, and can sync with the likes of Dropbox and other remote servers.

Download GoodReader for iPad from the App Store here.

For notetaking: Evernote

Evernote (Free) by Evernote is more than just notetaking, if I’m being honest; you can take notes, capture photos, important PDFs, make voice recordings and more. Then save them all in the cloud in project folders. It’s the search function that really stands out, though, because Evernote will scan your saved images and PDFs as well as text documents for instances of your word or phrase.

Download Evernote from the App Store here.

For more of our must-have apps, keep en eye on our blog for our app of the week! Or to find out about creating and distributing apps within your business, call us on 03332 409 219 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com.

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Let’s say you have this storage thing sorted. You’re got an amazing SAN, you’ve got nearline drives rumbling contentedly close by and the robot in your tape library couldn’t be happier. How are you actually going to keep track of all this stuff? Making sure you can find, manage and monetise assets wherever they are in your storage hierarchy is the job of your Media Asset Management system – and a good one will also help you get through ongoing jobs more efficiently. All the systems we can provide will help your creative and technical teams carry out day to day work more efficiently, so you can save money by automating workflows and ensure that you always deliver jobs on time.

axle

Released in 2012, axle allows you to take one of your facility’s Macs and turn it into a ‘media management and collaboration server’. What this means in practical terms is that it looks through any drives connected to the server, whether that’s the hard drive of each Mac or the contents of your server room, and indexes all the files on them. It then creates an online portal where you can browse every file, regardless of where it’s stored, and your users can preview low-res versions of documents, play back proxy videos, edit metadata and more. Even better, you can create different views of this portal, so people only see the files for work that’s relevant to them, and any clients you give a login to can only see files from their project. You can also save searches for quicker access to common groups of files (say, all the images tagged to a specific location, or everything shot with a certain type of lens).

While this may not sound like it’s that far above and beyond anything else out there, the great thing about axle is that it’s accessible from any device, from your iMac to your iPad to a client’s PC, so you can always access resources. And because everything is web-based, your users don’t have to spend time installing apps on their computers. You can export collections of clips straight to your editor, then view H.264 proxies of the result and flag anything you want to alter in those proxies, without having to have access to the editor yourself (this could work wonders on complex approval processes where you have a lot of non-creative parties to get sign off from).

Once you’re finished with a project, you can even arrange for axle to automatically move it to centralised archive storage – or the cloud, if you prefer to store things online – so everyone can access it if you ever need to reuse it, but it’s not taking up valuable space on your SAN. The project stays in the central index of files, so if you’re ever working on something similar the team will be able to see that some assets already exist, and hopefully save themselves some time and money by repurposing that work, rather than duplicating it.

Avid Interplay 

Interplay has been at the heart of large broadcast AVID environments for some time now, and has a reassuringly strong heritage. A enterprise scale system, it comprises all the components you need for news ingest and delivery straight to air, integrated archive and proxy management, and remote logging and editing. It may seem a daunting amount to take on at first, but you can actually start to harness the Interplay environment on a single server, and only scale up as and when your team are ready.

As Interplay has been designed to work seamlessly with your Media Composer workflow, it’s the perfect tool for managing your assets, projects, users and multi-platform delivery options from a single, central point. You can give your editors more time to cut (and spend less time ingesting and creating deliverables) by introducing lightweight Interplay Central clients to your facility – these act as a browser-based rough cut and project creation assist tool. You can then use the same interface to enable remote viewing and approvals by your clients, as well as allowing everyone to see existing assets while on set to ensure they have all the shots they need before wrapping for the day.

The remote capabilities of Interplay have been moved to the fore recently with the addition of Sphere. Using Interplay Sphere, a second server will dish up media to your remote Media Composer editors anywhere in the world as if they were at your main office, so you can provide a truly global, collaborative service that’ll cover long shoots abroad, journalists in the field or anyone who’s catching up on an edit while delayed on the train – all the while safe in the knowledge that your assets are being managed on your secure ISIS back at the facility.

If you want to see the rest of the Interplay iceberg, you can always call us on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or drop by stand F33 during BVE.

 

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or visit us at stand F33 at BVE. To keep up with all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Infographic: Is your business ready for consumerisation?

Infographic: Is your business ready for consumerisation?

Seven questions businesses must answer as they prepare for the policy, security and system concerns associated to the mobile enterprise

Consumer IT is already changing the way people communicate and collaborate. That transformation is only likely to quicken in pace during the next few years and organisations must embrace mobile technology. CIOs will need to create a digital strategy that allows for a safe and secure switch to consumer devices. Here we take a look at the questions being asked of CIOs about service support, mobility, security concerns, cloud computing, application development and flexible working…

Click here  to download the infographic as an image. Or take a look at the interactive infographic below (be sure to hit the full screen button though)!

For more information about consumerisation, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. Or drop us a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

Case study: iPad at Guardian News & Media

Case study: iPad at Guardian News & Media

As part of their Digital First initiative, Guardian News & Media (GNM) decided to make iPad available to their staff at a discounted rate on a shared purchase basis. Jigsaw24 partnered with GNM to deliver this transformational project for 1200 users, without increasing support costs for the IT team.

The Digital First initiative

“All media companies are facing huge disruption through the internet, and we’re no different,” said Andy Beale, GNM’s Technology Director. “Our audience is consuming our products and interacting with us now onba number of platforms, and our feeling is that we should be on all platforms, whether that’s a hardware one or a software one.” As part of preparing themselves for the shift away from print publishing to digital, GNM decided they wanted to help their staff get access to the latest digital device, iPad.

“Putting these devices in the hands of all our staff is an important part of communicating that message and saying, ‘this is our direction’, but it also helps them on that journey. Not everyone here is a digital native. We have a really broad, diverse mix of people working here and we need to take them with us,” Andy explained.

Using shared purchase to engage employees and lower costs

While GNM’s leaders were all for helping employees become comfortable with the latest technologies, simply giving 1200 iPad devices away wasn’t an option. “The commercial constraints are incredibly important for all media companies,” said Andy, “so we came up with the idea of shared purchase, which would allow us to avoid taking a lot of assets and devices on to our own overheads, yet provide large numbers [of devices] if people were interested, while keeping costs down and giving employees some responsibility in the process.”

Under GNM’s scheme, employees had a three-week purchasing window during which they could buy an iPad with accessories at a subsidised price, and pay off the cost over a year. Because they wanted staff to be as comfortable with the devices as possible, GNM chose not to dictate what
they would be used for – staff could use them in the workplace or at home, and the GNM technology team would configure and provide training for each user regardless.

GNM’s tech team didn’t have the time or resources to manage an iPad purchasing scheme internally, so our team built them a branded online purchasing portal that would let staff buy approved devices over a secure, centralised system with 128-bit SSL encryption. Once the portal was live, we helped stage a launch event at GNM’s London offices, where we were on hand throughout the first day of the scheme to offer employees advice on which model would suit them best, and whether they’d need any accessories or adaptors.

“The launch event worked really well, because as well as ‘come and get your iPad’ we had a show and tell – ‘this is how you use your iPad, this is how it works, here are some of the interesting apps you can download’ – just to answer some of the technology questions people always have,” said Executive Director Adam Freeman. “The feedback from staff was fantastic. They were saying thanks for the offer, but actually it was really great how you helped us to understand how to use the iPad.”

90% take up and fantastic feedback from staff

“Now on a day to day basis I’m in a room and everyone’s on an iPad, and they’re all taking notes on them, presenting ideas on them, showing each other documents,” said Adam. “We’re also definitely seeing more confidence in the digital platform. When we talk about iPads and how people are using them, [staff] are much more au fait with what an app is, how it works and the user experience. It’s making it easier for us to have a shared language that’s digital, because people are experiencing it for themselves.”

“We ask staff for feedback on a lot of different things and it’s quite hard to get people to feed back – particularly journalists, who are by their very nature questioning and challenging,” said Adam, “but we had about a 90% take up on our iPad offer. I’ve never been in a room with hundreds of people, presenting opportunities, and had that many hands go up that often.

“In terms of innovation, what’s really important to us is that tablets and smartphones are going to be the place where the majority of our content is consumed in the very near future. When I look back on this, having had six months of people having these products, it’s going to be even more beneficial in two years time than it is today, because everyone will be writing for tablets. [The iPad] is the next 20 years of the organisation, not the last six months.”

“People find themselves doing extra bits of work because it is just so easy and mobile.”

But it’s not just a change in attitude that GNM have seen. “There’s no doubt that it allows more flexibility in working, so the fact that people can log in wherever they are, work whenever they want to – that’s definitely making us more flexible in terms of supporting people working in different spaces, working from home, working on the move. We’ve just invested in America, for example, so we’ve put a new team into the US this year and had a lot of people go from our UK office to there, and outside of the time difference you wouldn’t know where they were, because they’re using the same systems, the same technologies.”

Staff have also found themselves picking up jobs out of hours. “You’ll be sitting on the sofa and whilst you’re on YouTube you find yourself checking your work email and thinking, ‘I’ll just answer this one…’” explains Ben McLeavy, Remote Communication Specialist. “People find themselves doing extra bits of work because it is just so easy and mobile. The main thing for me about iPad is that it is very portable, and it’s very instant. There’s no booting time, so it’s very much pick up and play – or work.”

Delivering better experiences but no extra support costs

“The initiative has been fantastic for morale,” said Adam. “It’s allowing us to make more informed choices because the people – particularly the journalists who are not at the forefront of digital product development – have got iPads themselves now, so when we talk about the new publishing opportunities iPad and tablets give us, they can easily see what the consumer experience would be like, whereas before it would have been, ‘What’s this new thing that you want me to be involved in? I don’t understand how it works.’”

And the scheme’s impact on GNM’s IT team? “We’ve not seen any increased overheads from an IT point of view,” said Andy. “We’ve taken on an extra 1200 devices, many of which are used in the work context, and we’ve not had to do anything in terms of supporting those.”

Want to find out how your business can get the benefits of iPad without increasing support costs? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 219, email us at B2B@Jigsaw24.com or take a look at our dedicated Apple for business site.

Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Tom, our resident multimedia designer, takes the latest incarnation of Photoshop for a spin. In this video tutorial, he puts the content-aware tools through their paces. In this tutorial he shows us how to use content-aware patch, move and extend features.

Want to find out more about Adobe Creative Suite 6? Call us on 03332 409 306, email sales@jigsaw24.com or send us a pigeon.

Video: Jigsaw24 Tech Support – How to configure RAM in a Mac

Video: Jigsaw24 Tech Support –  How to configure RAM in a Mac

In this step-by-step video tutorial, our Johanna (Jigsaw24 tech support specialist) runs through the ways to configure RAM in a Mac Pro, iMac, Mac mini and MacBook Pro.

For more help with your RAM, get in touch with us on 03332 400 999 or email AppleRepairs@Jigsaw24.com. Or if your problem is 140 characters of less, send us your queries on twitter @Jigsaw24tech.

First Look: Wacom Cintiq 24HD touch hands-on review

First Look: Wacom Cintiq 24HD touch hands-on review

After Wacom announced the Cintiq 24HD touch, we called them straight away and put in a request for a demo unit that we could put through its paces. Here, we let the Jigsaw24 design deparment loose on it to find out just how good the new multitouch technology really is. They answer questions such as “What’s your favourite multiouch gesture?”, “Could you see yourself using it day-to-day?” and “Does it recognise your cold, bloodless fingers?”

To find out more about Jigsaw24 and our design and publishing services, visit our design and publishing site or call 03332 409 306. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

A video guide to rendering CINEMA 4D scenes with Qube!

A video guide to rendering CINEMA 4D scenes with Qube!

Want to speed up your rendering in Maxon CINEMA 4D? Here at Jigsaw we like to share our tips and tricks and, as we know 3D modelling and animation professionals like to learn visually, we put together this video guiding you through the process of setting up CINEMA 4D with a third-party render manager.

The latest R13 release of CINEMA 4D has been a big hit with major FX companies and individual designers alike – although the former might be keen to increase their rendering capabilities beyond what the built in NetRender offers. We used Qube! as an example but the process is effectively the same if you wanted to use another such as Royal Render or Deadline. Watch the video at the top or visit our YouTube channel for more tips, tutorials and product reviews.

For more information on CINEMA 4D and external rendering software, call us on 03332 409 306 or email 3D@Jigsaw24.com. You can also visit www.Jigsaw24.com to see our full 3D modelling and animation range, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or Like’ our Facebook page.

New Perspectives On FCP X

New Perspectives On FCP X

Since the Sneak Peek, I’ve read and watched all sorts of commentary and speculation about the newly designed FCPX interface. I’ve also indulged in both the Larry Jordan and Philip Hodgetts’ webinars to hear their ideas about what we’re looking forward to because, as the saying goes, God is in the details (or the devil if you prefer the dark side).

As I’ve traversed these discussions, one of the features that appears to have polarised opinion is Filmstrip View in the Event Library. I understand Larry, for one, is reserving judgement because he doesn’t think it is an effective way to display a large amount of clips. My immediate thought about that is, no matter how large the project becomes, I don’t actually want to see all of my footage at once when I’m editing. That can quickly become overwhelming. What I need is a way to narrow down the content, to sift through my footage, so that I only see whatever’s appropriate for the section I’m working on and the handful of clips I can choose from now. That’s how I’ve been working with Final Cut Server, and the new tools in Final Cut Pro X seem to extend this concept further.

iMovie X?

Of course for a lot of people the immediate point of reference for the Event Library is iMovie, which includes dynamic filmstrips and skimming processes similar to those demonstrated in FCPX. I think that can nudge people towards feeling it lacks the gravitas required of a serious NLE. While I see that connection too, there’s something else or, more specifically, someone else that comes to mind.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Walter Murch speak on a few occasions and the honour of attending a special Master Class he taught a few years ago in Vancouver. You might argue that his approach is particularly idiosyncratic (whose methods aren’t when judged from the outside?), but I think we must all agree that his contributions to contemporary cinema are profound and there’s no-one more insightful, illuminating or provocative on the subject of editing films today.

Picture boards

You’ve probably already seen documentation of the ‘picture boards’ Walter has mounted around his cutting room. Essentially they consist of vast collections of frames from the film he’s working on. Each image on the boards is intended to represent a significant aspect of the shot it’s taken from. The idea is that the boards facilitate a change in the editor’s viewpoint. From the vantage point afforded by this shift in perspective, the editor has the chance to make different casual connections or observe unexpected patterns in the footage.

In his 2004 book ‘Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain with Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema’, Charles Koppelman describes the philosophy behind the picture boards in some detail:

“Ironically, the more techno-centric film editing gets, the more powerful Murch’s custom-made innovations become. The organic qualities of the scene cards and photo boards compensate for perspectives that are hidden in the digital world. The efficiency, speed and increased choices of non-linear editing all have their benefits. But systems like Avid or Final Cut Pro obliterate some film editing tasks that contribute to the editor’s creative process. As Murch often points out, the simple act of having to rewind film on a flatbed editing machine gave him the chance to see footage in another context (high-speed, reverse) that could reveal a look, a gesture, or a completely forgotten shot. Likewise, the few moments he had to spend waiting for a reel to rewind injected a blank space into the process during which he could simply let his mind wander into subconscious areas. With random-access, computer-based editing, a mouse click instantly takes the editor right to a desired frame; there is no waiting, no downtime and fewer happy accidents. The photo boards are one way to compensate for this.”

The Verdict

The serious editors among you might baulk at an idea as fluffy or new-age-sounding as “happy accidents” but, when I’m feeling stuck, anything that will help me break through the block is a godsend. What I like about the picture boards – and I like them very much – is that they’re about changing how we view and understand the material we work with. They’re designed to spark our imagination, shift our perspective and, in doing so, inspire new ideas.

As demonstrated at the SuperMeet, the Event Library, through a multitude of features is intended to accelerate the editing process and provide that instant access to which Murch and Koppelman refer. While Filmstrips are clearly part of that re-imagined workflow, I also think that we’ll be able to use them to stimulate our creative process.

Read Jonathan’s original article at postpost.tv.

Want more FCP advice? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you. In the meantime, head over to Jigsaw24.com to see our full video range.

Using Photoshop in your post-production process

Using Photoshop in your post-production process

Many of us have experience using Photoshop in our post process, but it’s always good to see an example of an extremely experienced 3D artist at work. Step forward Ramy Hanna.

Ramy has written a step-by-step guide to the post process from part of one of his recent projects to design a Media Centre for Klein High School. Whether you’re an expert keeping tabs on the industry or a newer artist looking for ideas and tips: this blog post is well worth a read.

“Many of you have asked for my post production process and here it is.  I typically use AE (Adobe After Effects) for my post work, but for this post I’m demonstrating in PS (Photoshop) because most people use PS over AE for stills. However, the principles apply to all software. Also, I’m trying to keep it ‘out-of-the-box’, rather than show a lot of plug-ins. I always suggest learning the techniques with the software then, once you understand how to create them, go get the plug-ins to make your job faster.

“Some of you already know, but I do most of my modelling in Google SketchUp (SU). Not because it’s better than Max, but I find it super-fast for building design processes. Because we do architecture, SU is apt as it is very good with boxes and simple shapes. If you want to get into character modelling, 3ds Max or Mudbox would be better.

“I also start materials and texturing in SU.  I find SU super easy and fast for texture layout. If I texture most things correctly in SU, I can almost avoid the UVW layout process in Max entirely. The materials in SU are nothing special, just place holders really for the maps I want to use in 3ds Max.

“Using 3ds Max has been great, because I can import SU files straight from Max without needing to export models from SU. The new importer in Max is incredibly powerful. It respects instanced components from SU, remembers UV texture position from SU, and converts SU materials to A&D materials automatically – an amazing tool.

“During import I opt not to import the SU cameras. I prefer navigating in 3ds Max to get my actual camera angles. This is where I add any entourage from my library of 3ds Max models. Furniture, cars, plants, trees, etc all get added here. Then I begin texturing. I swap out SU textures for better texture maps. Or sometimes I replace a texture map with Max procedural maps like tiles and gradients.

“Some of the general settings for my A&D materials: If I can keep glossy samples to 8 then I do. Under Special Effects, I usually turn on Ambient Occlusion, and set the distance to 3′. Under Advanced Rendering Options, I make sure that backface culling is un-checked so I can render both sides of a mesh. If I have a single plane of glass then I check Thin walls.  If my glass is a box or has thickness, then I leave it as solid/thick. I find the real magic behind getting realistic renders lies in the material reflections. I usually have a reflection map that drives how much reflection takes place. In this tile material, the grout lines are black meaning no reflection, and the tile is more white meaning a lot of reflection. I use the same map for a bump effect. I almost always have my glossy reflections lower than 1.0. For this example I have it set to 0.4 – meaning the reflection is scattered at 60%, in this case with eight samples.

“Next I go to lighting.  In this scene I have one Daylight System, 309 photometric lights, and five MR Sky portals, for a total of 315 lights in my scene. This many lights in a scene would typically be brutal. However, for my photometric lights, I opted to use Point for my Shadow type. It doesn’t look as good as the other options (Line, Rectangle, Disc, Sphere), but renders much faster than the others at their default setting. For every shadow that Point renders, the other options render 32 samples per shadow. So this is a big render saver. For my photometric lights, I usually use the default light levels, and switch to photometric web using an IES file for the distribution. As for the MR Sky portals, I try to limit their use to where the large windows are.  Render times take a big hit from MR Sky portal shadows as well.

“This image is what the render straight out of Max looks like, known sometimes as the beauty pass. I render inside models with GI & FG. Surprising to me, I rendered this scene with the default settings for both GI & FG. I was reasonably happy with the results. I did get noise near some of the clerestory windows, but I was willing to live with it. I left all of my lights on, then calculated GI, saved it to a file, then rendered FG from each camera adding onto the previous FG map. Before rendering the final renders, I had one GI map and one FG map for the entire scene. This made it easier for me to switch cameras and not have to worry about changing light maps. The GI map ended up being 154 MB. The FG map was rendered at 50% from the final renders at 800 x 400 pixels, and ended up being 34 MB for all 11 camera angles.

“This is the Ambient Occlusion Pass. If you want to know how to do this, check this post out.

“This is a flare pass for the lights. This can be created in 3ds max, or in post. I usually create this image in Photoshop – it’s faster and gives me greater control on what the flares look like.

“This image is a dummy people pass. I rendered this one out to give me correct scale for adding people in Photoshop later. This way my people won’t look like giants or elves when I scale them.

“These are the people that replace the dummy people. To each person I add motion blur, reflections, shadows etc. Then I save this as a .png file and add it to my beauty pass.

“This is a volume pass that I render in 3ds Max. It is created using the Parti Volume Shader. I then add it in PS and tweak it to the right look.

“Lastly, I render a Z depth pass. Depending on the rendering I sometimes use this. If there really isn’t an object in the foreground then often I don’t use this at all, and rather just manually blur the edges of my image.

“With all of these passes combined in PS, AE or other compositing photo/video editing software, you can take your original image and turn it into something much stronger visually. This quick video should give you an idea of how I add all of these elements together using colour correcting, layers, levels, to transform a raw rendering into a finished rendering.”

All of Ramy’s renderings from the KHS project can be found here.

Source: Ramy’s Renderings on 3ds Max Rendering.

If you’re keen on using Photoshop in your post-production process or would like more information about the software, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email 3D@Jigsaw24.com.