MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2009 (#40)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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REVIEW | PRODUCTIVITY 108 MacDirectory One of the most interesting new offerings in the realm of 3-D animation is the presentation application, Kinemac ($299) . Thanks to its mastery of Apple's Quartz imaging technology, Kinemac enables the user to create broadcast-quality animations in minutes and then view them in real time without the need for rendering. While billed as a presentation app, Kinemac is clearly an animation program. Rather than using a slide metaphor, it uses sprites, a timeline, Bezier-controlled keyframes and other motion graphics tools. In addition to such basic features as importing vector objects and the extrusion and manipulation of text, it provides a range of 3-D primitives and can import OBJ and 3DS 3-D models. Presentation The three main elements of a visual presentation are text, images and charts, and Kinemac handles all three with style. Kinemac supports drag-and-drop RTF files for importing formatted 2-D text. You can also use the built-in 2-D and 3-D text tool to create extruded text to which you can apply existing art and adjust such attributes as transparency, reflection, and the like. You can import pictures and video clips, apply them to surfaces and animate them as you wish. You can also create animated 3-D graphs by importing tab delimited text files. Animation Animation is created via Bezier-controlled keyframes. As with text and other objects, lights and camera are manipulated along animation paths. In addition to extruding text, you can extrude paths and apply a still image or video clip to create an animated filmstrip. Kinemac also provides scripting tools for creating interactivity. For example, you can create clickable animated 3-D buttons that will trigger certain actions, such as animating another object, jumping to a frame, launching an AppleScript, etc. Everything is handled via an interface featuring a stage, timeline, Bezier window and others, along with a Keynote-style inspector panel, which offers tabs for the stage, geometry, surface textures, object attributes, alignment and anchor positions, lights, scripting, a sprite library, and a file browser. Hands-On The more time spent, the better the result, but you can become productive within minutes. Pop a primitive on the stage, slap some art or a video clip on it, slide in some text, assign an audio file, drop in a couple of key-frames, and you have created your first multimedia animation. You can run it as a Kinemac file or output it as a QuickTime movie with or without an alpha channel (handy for compositing in other applications or creating animated buttons in Keynote). Kinemac provides a number of tutorials on the website in the form of videos and corresponding Kinemac files. Online help is available in the form of illustrated text- based tutorials and FAQ info. Email support is also available and there is a user forum with links to such content as artwork, 3-D models, etc. Observations Kinemac has a glitzy feel and is great for creating slick, complex, and precocious logo animations with a distinct ESPN look, but if you are looking for a toned-down, organic feel, Kinemac doesn't have much to offer. Even so, it is a great application for creating timeline-based 3-D presentations as well as for creating clips for use in other applications. Kinemac is an excellent tool and provides a slick and easy means for creating impressive animations and for taking your presentations way beyond the limitations of traditional tools. A perusal of the online video introduction is informative and well worth your time. Its price is a touch high for hobbyists but in a professional setting it can easily pay for itself in a single use. KINEMAC > PRESENTATIONS THROUGH ANIMATION WORDS BY TREY YANCY Product Kinemac Made by Kinemac Price $299 Pros Easy, powerful, fun Cons None Rating HHHHH

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