Test instruments to make objective measurements of their visual and audio work
Test Gear 2.5 provides motion graphics artists and video editors with a variety of test instruments to make objective measurements of their visual and audio work, all from within Adobe After Effects CS5 and later.
While the final measurement of any project is what it looks and sounds like, getting there has previously relied strictly on subjective viewing. Test Gear’s objective measurement tools make it easyto check video levels and color balance, choose colors, view channel values in detail, and view digital audio, all within After Effects and without the need to apply effects just to make a measurement.
Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope
Test Gear provides standard waveform monitor and vectorscope displays so that your work can be analyzed in the traditional manner without expensive outboard equipment. The waveform monitor can be formatted to show an entire frame or two fields. Options also include luma, luma plus chroma, parade, RGB, YRGB, and overlay style displays. The display can be calibrated in IRE units or millivolts, as you prefer. In After Effects projects using 32-bit mode, Test Gear will display values above 1.0 in the waveform monitor, making it easy to see highlights which exist and may be brought into range using an appropriate plug-in, such as Color Finesse. The vectorscope can be calibrated for 75% or 100% bars, and can be zoomed (using your mouse scrollwheel) for more precise examination of the important center portion of the display. The vectorscope can also be set to display either Rec 601 or 709 calibration.
For checking to ensure that your video meets your delivery specification and broadcast “legality” requirements, Test Gear provides a special purpose tool for looking at video levels. The Gamut display can show individual red, green, and blue channel levels, as well as luma and chroma levels at a glance. The Gamut display can be set to show either an easy-to-read bar graph, or a more detailed waveform-style display.
No longer do you need to apply an effect just to see a histogram display; Test Gear’s histograms are always available. View red, green, blue, and luma histograms at the same time, or select an individual channel for greater detail. You can also zoom in and out to see the full range of data. In After Effects projects using 32-bit mode, Test Gear will display values above 1.0 in the histogram, making it easy to see highlights which exist and may be brought into range using an appropriate plug-in, such as Color Finesse. In addition to the graphical histogram display, Test Gear also displays the minimum, maximum, peak and mean values in numerical form. The mean is also graphically represented, so you can quickly spot overall color casts.
Choose colors using Test Gear’s color picker window using RGB, HLS, HSB, web-color, and grayscale pickers. Colors that would exceed video broadcast limits are flagged and can be legalized with a single click.
Color Swatch Books
Color swatch books keep collections of related colors always available for use in After Effects. To use a color from the swatch book, use After Effects’ eyedropper tool or right-click on the swatch book entry and choose to set text and paint colors into After Effects’ tools. Use one of the built-in swatch books, create your own—keeping handy all the colors you’ve previously chosen—or load an existing swatch book in Photoshop swatch book (.aco) or Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ase) format. Test Gear automatically makes available swatch books from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (if installed). Test Gear will even create a custom palette for you based on the current frame’s image colors, making it easy to develop harmonious colors based on existing content.
Image Slice Display
Test Gear’s image slice display lets you define an arbitrary slice through the image data and examine the red, green, blue, luma, and alpha levels up close. Far more revealing than a point-sampling tool, it’s ideal for checking edge values when pulling mattes from blue- and greenscreen material. You can also use it for examining color subsampling issues, edge sharpness, and other levels changes that are difficult to visualize with any other tool. Examine all channels at once, or view each channel individually.
Audio Waveform Display
Test Gear’s audio waveform display makes it easy to see your audio and check levels and spot cues. Optional level warnings flag audio as it approaches 0 dbFS, to help you avoid digital clipping. You can zoom in on a single frame, or display the audio from multiple frames.
Audio Phase Display
Check the phase of your two-channel audio using both XY and stereo-image displays. This display helps prevent phase-reversal problems that could cause playback problems later.
Audio Spectrum Analyzer
The audio spectrum analyzer shows you the frequency content of your audio signal. Use it to check for pitch problems or locate audio cues.
What’s New in Test Gear 2.5
Includes 64-bit plug-in for use with Adobe After Effects CS5+.
Improved histogram, slice, and gamut display show color channel values > 1.0 in 32-bit After Effects projects.
New support for loading Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ase) color swatch books.
Automatically makes swatch books from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator available within Test Gear, if those applications are installed.
Enhanced vectorscope with a zoom capability, using the mouse scrollwheel, makes it easier to see detail when white and black balancing.
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