Thursday, April 30, 2009
Today I posted the 2.6 update to Bee Docs Timeline. This update contains a lot of “housekeeping” improvements that I wanted to get in there before turning my attention to the next major release. As usual, there are also some new fun features in the update.
I was happy to have Gary C Martin involved on this release to help me work a little more 3D magic. A few of our professional customers from film and broadcast television have requested a way to export video timelines with the background as an alpha channel (transparent). This would allow them to layer the 3D timeline movie on top of custom graphics using tools such as Final Cut Pro or Motion.
To do transparent backgrounds correctly was no easy task because wanted to make sure the feature supported motion blur, semi-transparent chart backgrounds, lighting effects, etc... However, we’ve done it in 2.6 and made subtle improvements to other aspects of the 3D rendering while we were at it.
We are working on a new demo video to show off some of the potential of this new feature. In the mean time, if you would like to try it, look for the “Include Alpha Channel” checkbox in the QuickTime export panel. Keynote does a good job of layering transparent movie files if you don’t have access to professional video editing software.
Our automatic importer for Things has been a popular feature since we added it last month. We also received feedback from other customers who are fans of another task manager called The Hit List by Potion Factory. So we have added an automatic importer for The Hit List is this release.
The Hit List was included in the recent MacHeist sale and has been getting rave reviews on Twitter so check it out. Whether you are using Things or The Hit List to manage your tasks, we hope you enjoy the integration with Bee Docs Timeline.
In the housekeeping category, saved document sizes up to about 40% smaller now if you are using lots of images. Also, PDF exports can be compressed which makes them more appropriate for sharing via the web or e-mail. There are some subtle improvements to the typography of date ranges. I’ve also modernized some of behind-the-scenes processes. For example, movie export is better at using disk space efficiently.
Version 2.6 is a free upgrade. So please use “Check for Updates” in the “Timeline 3D” menu or download Bee Docs Timeline today!