Multimedia creation tools

Adobe Systems Inc., a provider of content delivery solutions, offered its Adobe Flash Player 9 (formerly Flash Player 8.5). Adobe calls the product “the next-generation Flash Player client runtime.” According to the company, the Flash Player provides a more secure, lightweight, robust runtime environment for rich media and enterprise-ready internet applications. Installed on over 600 million internet-connected PCs and mobile devices worldwide, Flash Player provides application runtime capabilities across browsers, desktops, and other devices, according to Adobe. Flash Player and Adobe Reader provide client runtime capabilities for the Adobe Engagement Platform, which delivers programming models, tools, components, and services that enable designers and developers to create and deliver content and applications to mass audiences in virtually every medium, according to the company.

Flash Player 9 provides new application runtime capabilities for Adobe Flex 2, another Adobe product featured at NECC. The Flex 2 product line provides developers with an integrated set of tools and technology for end-to-end development of innovative web applications. With powerful tools based on Eclipse, a data services offering, and the introduction of the free Adobe Flex 2 Software Development Kit (SDK), Adobe says it is equipping developers to build a new class of rich internet applications with improved usability and effectiveness.

Avid Technology Inc., a provider of digital nonlinear media solutions, offered digital media creation tools from its Avid Academic product line. Avid Xpress Pro Academic gives students the video editing and effects capabilities they need to make cutting-edge films and videos, according to the company. The program includes both Mac and Windows versions, multi-cam editing, DVD creation software, and media management and color correction. The company also featured Media Composer Academic, which can be used to hone skills in video and sound editing, and is seamlessly interoperable with Avid Xpress Pro and other Avid media solutions. The company also offered the Pinnacle Studio Academic Toolkit, which includes what Avid described as an easy introduction to video editing and an interactive, step-by-step guide detailing the moviemaking process.

Celedy Software announced its new CeledyDraw 2 graphic design and desktop publishing program. The company says CeledyDraw 2 was designed for ease of use, powerful features, and affordability. For teachers, Celedy says, the solution is great for laying out handouts and worksheets and designing visual aids and class materials quickly, without extensive training. CeledyDraw 2 features curve-editing features and polygon drawing tools that can be used in tandem with trim, weld, and intersect operations to create geometrically formed logos and clipart, which the company says makes the solution perfect for teaching computer art and illustration tools. The product also features new graphic design features such as contour, blend, and multicolor gradients that allow more experienced students to create complex artwork. In addition, CeledyDraw 2 includes professional drafting features such as background grids, precision scaling, rotation, mirroring, and placement transformations. Its network support keeps all workstations connected to a network, making it possible to run the program simultaneously from a single installation.

Corel Corp., provider of graphics and digital imaging software, introduced a free curriculum available for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3. The curriculum is designed, according to the company, to teach students how to integrate graphics and images into their schoolwork. The program features integrated lesson plans that link directly to core curriculum with unit studies and video training, as well as cognitive and interpersonal skills development. Corel said the curriculum includes lessons in history, geography, science, mathematics, language arts, and media studies. It will primarily be geared toward middle and high school students, though the company says the lessons can be adapted to younger grades. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 features enhanced illustrations, page layout, photo editing, and bitmap-to-vector tracing, the suite delivers a combination of superior design capabilities, ease-of-use, and affordability, according to the company.

Tandberg, a provider of visual communications solutions, offered a new Content Server appliance at NECC. According to the company, the Content Server provides organizations with the capacity to access on-demand video presentations, distance education classes, and professional development training sessions anytime, anywhere. The company said the server makes it easy to manage and distribute live or archived content to any PC in Microsoft Windows Media, Apple QuickTime, and RealPlayer formats. The appliance-based, rack-mountable architecture makes for easy deployment and high reliability, the company said. The Content Server also features live streaming video; archiving of video calls; scheduling and ad hoc call support with dial in and dial out capabilities; content creation anywhere; and support for up to five concurrent videoconferences.

TechSmith Corp., a provider of screen-capture and recording solutions, announced the forthcoming release of SnagIt 8.1, enabling customers to easily embed interactive screenshots, graphics, and Flash (SWF) movies in PowerPoint presentations to create more instructive, engaging, and richer content. With SnagIt, users can capture, edit, and share any image, including scrolling windows, objects, menus, video, text, and web pages, and include them in eMails and instant messages, PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft Office documents, technical documentation, class handouts, web sites, and blogs.

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