Pixnub Software – 2017 Quarter 4 Update
Update released: 10/1/2017
We have decided to start issuing quarterly updates on the status of our ongoing projects and software development. We get a lot of questions emailed to us asking about different projects. Therefore, we have decided to create an update at the beginning of each quarter. These updates will includes our goals and objectives looking approximately 12 months into the future. Everything we have planned will be included in the updates. If something is not in this update then either we don’t have plans for it or it is longer than 12 months out.
We have a new face book group dedicated to green screen photography. This group is meant to share and learn about green screen, or just show off your work. Also, there will be updates in the group for progress about development items, beta release links, etc. You can sign up for the facebook group here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/greenscreenphotography/
EZ Green Screen:
We are currently working on algorithm updates for blue screen. These updates will be included in version 5.3.3. Be sure to update when it is available.
Al lot of people have asking if / when there will be an EZ green Screen version 6. We have not started any development on a version 6 yet. EZ Green Screen 5 seems to be working well for the most part so we are not in a hurry to “re-invert the wheel”. There will a version 6 in the future. However, it won’t be within the next year. We are dedicating our development time to the other projects that we have outlined in this update. Our best guess for a version 6 would be sometime in around mid 2019.
Chroma Key Lab:
If you use auto text replacement and sizing then make sure to update to Chroma Key Lab 2.2.0. The auto text sizing calculation have been greatly improved. The text footprint size will now match exactly to the original template. Instead of basing the scaling on the number of characters, it calculates the actual pixel size of the text in the templates and re-scales the new text to to the exact size. Also, be sure to update to 2.2.1 when it gets released. We found that some fonts can can a slight shift left or right by a few pixels because different letters are not centered exactly the same way in the font vector creation. This is typically so minor that you would never see it. However, we are making a change for the upcoming 2.2.1 that will take this into account as well so it will be to the exact pixel for size and placement of the updated text.
White / Gray extraction plugin:
Development has been ongoing for a new extraction plugin that is meant for solid colored backgrounds, gray and white in particular. The new plugin name will be Image Extract. We are currently waiting to see what changes happen in CC 2018 before we can finish the development of the plugin. For the last 2 Photoshop releases, Adobe has made quite a few changes to features that image Extract uses. Because of that, it makes since to finish development after the next Photoshop release so we can adjust to any changes that may happen in Photoshop. CC 2017 was released on 11/2/2017. We don’t know when CC 2018 will be released but around the same time in 2018 would be our best guess.
Note: The Image Extract filter will not be 1-click like green screen. That just isn’t possible with white or gray screen. instead, we are trying to get the extractions to be 15-20 seconds each with nice clean results. hopefully, the results will be better and faster than what you could do manually. However, don’t expect 1-click type of automation. If it were possible then we would program it. Perhaps future Photoshop releases will build in capabilities that would make it possible to create a 1-click extraction system for white and gray. If that ever happens then we will be the first to jump on the development.
Since the release of the Portrait Crop Face detection cropping plugin earlier this year, we have been working on developing ways to use Portrait Crop for other purposes. A few months later, Chroma key Lab 2 was released which can tap into Portrait Crop in it’s composition building. Form all of the feedback we have received from our users, the Portrait Crop integration in Chroma Key Lab has been very successful.
There are so many different things that could be built around Portrait Crop. There are more ways it could be implemented then we’d ever have time to create. Therefore, we have decided to create an API (application programming interface) for Portrait Crop. This will allow other programmers to develop scripts or plugins that run Portrait Crop silently in the background. One such thing it could used for is sports team builder scripts for compositions. However, this is only one of many things that could be created. The API is available for free at EZTEAMBUILDERS.COM.
Sports Team Builders:
Since Portrait Crop has been released, we have quietly been exploring the possibilities of using it to help create team builder scripts. With the new Portrait Crop API, that is now 100% possibly. However, here is the tricky part. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of different design layouts. These layouts would need to be programmed. This is quite an overwhelming project from the standpoint of time.
At Pixnub, we are planning to start by developing some scripts for basic layouts such as team panoramics and memory mates. This development is currently happening. The first beta script for one type of panoramic layout is available at EZTEAMBUILDERS.COM. We expect several more scripts to be released in the near future.
FOR LARGE TEAM TEMPLATES: Larger team building scripts will require much more development time. Scripts that create layouts for hundreds of players need to be dynamic where the layout, player scaling and player spacing auto adjusts itself based on the number of players. A script for a single layout (such as the PSM Xtreme teams) could easily take hundreds of hours to develop. Also, the script would only be for that specific template layout. We at Pixnub may not have the time available to develop these scripts for a quite a while due to everything else we are working on. There is only so much time available for us to develop things. Therefore, we are in contact with other software developers who may want to take on this project. The other developers would then license and market the scripts on their own. If we can’t find any developers who want to take this on the we at Pixnub will probably do it but it will need prioritized with our other projects and it may be a while before we can get to it. The bottom line is that there will likely be scripts for large team in the future, hopefully in 2018, but it won’t happen overnight.
Photo Booth Plugin:
We are likely going to be starting on developing a photo booth plugin for Photoshop in late 2018. We are not 100% on this decision yet. However, we are leaning in that direction.
The Hot Folder plugin can already be used with a tethered camera to run photo booth automation. Quite a few booth companies are already using Hot Folder for this purpose. However, Hot Folder is more for advanced Photoshop users. With Hot Folder, you create your own the workflow by recording series of actions. This is great if you are fluent with photoshop action creation because you can make it do just about anything. However, if you aren’t good at making actions then it can be difficult.
We think that a booth plugin which is more simple without needing actions would have a niche place to fill. Think of Chroma Key Lab as an example. Before Chroma Key Lab was released, Hot Folder could do everything that Chroma Key Lab 1 could do. Chroma Key Lab just took a specific workflow dedicated to green screen and made it much easier than doing the same thing with Hot Folder. The booth plugin would do a similar thing but be specifically for booth workflows.
The CSV workflow capability from Chroma Key Lab is going to be built directly into the Hot Folder plugin. We don’t have an exact timeline but sometime in 2018 is expected. With Hot Folder, the user can set up very customized workflows for anything (not just green screen). The CSV data has been very successful in Chroma Key Lab. It makes a lot of sense to add that capability to Hot Folder.
A complete face lift of this plugin is scheduled for late 2018 or early 2019. Glamour Glow was originally released during the CS4 time frame. There is much more that can be added or improved upon. We are looking at the possibility of making this into an interactive HTML panel type of app. More details will be released on this later in 2018.
Alien Pix Graphics Website:
About a year ago, we started a new graphics website at ALIENPIX.COM. Because of all of the other projects we had going on, we haven’t added as much content to the site as we would have liked to. However, we will continue to add content and work on the site. We are hoping to put more continued focus on this site over the next year. One thing that we are planning to do is to have templates that are built around the new team builder scripts for panoramics and memory mates. So look for those in the future. Plus we are looking to add lots of different type of graphics related to green screen photography.