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Spotlight: Schwar, CSB-Digital Managing Director

Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 5:10pm

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Simon K Jones

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"Alam, as it was first known, was created for my step-brother James 'The Great One' Armstrong as a tool to help him add lightswords to films he was making at university. After talking to other filmmakers on the web he found other people might be interested in such a program - soon after that AlamDV1 was born."

Some of you may already be aware of the CSB-Digital origin story, although you may not have heard it directly from Joshua 'Schwar' Davies, managing director and founder of the company. The route was anything but clear, with Josh studying the rather incongruous subject of History of Art at university and planning to join his father's company.

"Art has always been close to my heart - my dad is an ex art teacher and now runs a reproduction picture framing business. On the computer side, I have been programming since I was five years old and really got in to graphics when my dad got an Apple Macintosh II in 1987." According to Josh, from there it was just a small step towards the world of cinema - "I find knowledge of art and computers really helps when analysing modern films. Movies now constitute a major portion of contemporary art and computers are often used to enhance this relatively new art form."

The seeds of CSB-Digital were firmly planted at university, with Josh joining up with fellow students Toby 'Malone' Walsh and David 'Xcession' Cranwell to form the flegling company. "We really wanted to see if we could create something new, without selling out to the big companies. It took us many months to get anywhere as it was much harder than we expected," remembers Josh. "The creation of CSB-Digital is mainly down to my father - without his backing and support there would be no CSB-Digital. We started with special effects as there seemed to be a huge gap in the market. All special effects software seemed to be very expensive and hard to use - we wanted to make something different."

AlamDV1 was released and Josh's dream of running his own company became a reality. As time went by the company began to experience change, both internal and external. The community grew, plans for AlamDV2 were drawn up and Dave followed a different road to success. "Unfortunately, mainly due to lack of money and university commitments, Dave had to go down his own path but has now cut himself a career in web design over at Torchbox."

It is now nearly two years later and the company is poised to release its new range of software. With a community comprising of several thousand people from across the globe and a product catalogue that will soon feature the major new version of CSB-Digital's leading application, AlamDV3, as well as brand new programs in Chromantor and DigiGrade, the company has come a long way from its early days. "Our new software really does bring professional style tools to users with a limited budget," says Josh. "We are finally reaching the levels that we were aiming for when we first created the company."

The company has grown, gaining two new core team members, Tim Edwards and Simon Jones. "The thing I'm most proud of overall is the commitment of the team. Malone has always been fantastic at both the programming and web administration. When combined with Tim's programming skills and Simon's writing, the group can create some really special applications and websites."

What of the new products? With the team currently working simultaneously on all three products, balancing the workload is a vital task. "Basically I'm working mainly on Chromanator at the moment, with little bits of AlamDV3 and DigiGrade in-between. The new G6 engine has many modules that are used in all three programs, so it's important that these are as optimised as possible."

Specific details about the programs' features have been sparse to date but, although there are several 'sneak peek' features planned for the imminent future, Josh was willing to divulge a few morsels of information. "Tim is working on the new render engine, which should be amazing, and the new animation engine that Malone has been developing with me should go down very well. There are many new features in all the new programs which take them from the amateur level to a more professional level. For instance, you will be able to work on de-interlaced footage and then re-interlace when you render - which means you will have flawless, broadcast-quality output."

The next few months may seem like a busy period for us, but it certainly does not stop there. "CSB-Digital already has the rest of this year mapped out," explains Josh, "but I can't really say much about the other things we have planned yet. You can be sure that we are holding to our roots and aiming to help amateur film makers even more with our new projects over the next few years."

Last edited Thu, 30th Oct 2003, 3:21pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 5:16pm

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er-no

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Excellent article.

Thats not how I imagined you to look but AlamDV is due a lot of credit from me. Infact, without AlamDV I wouldn't have started to script Crawling Space or wouldn't have gotten into films as much as I have done since Semptember.

Thank you schwar for forming the company. If you want more praise just ask. razz
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 5:33pm

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Andreas

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And dont forget to say thank you to mr.big Schwar smile

Nice Spotligt as always
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 5:40pm

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moebius

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Ahh, the big man himself biggrin Keep up the good work!
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 5:53pm

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Joshua Davies

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...mr.big Schwar ...
...the big man himself...
Are you guys calling me fat?? razz
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:00pm

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Andreas

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rofl !

No, we don't or i don't, Mr Big Schwar is your dad! dooh' wink
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:19pm

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Joshua Davies

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You calling my dad fat? razz
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:22pm

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Mellifluous

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Excuse Andreas, he's Swedish... (edit: that was a joke Andreas) lol

Actually I've been meaning to say your English is very good, well done biggrin

Mel wink

Last edited Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:27pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:27pm

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Sollthar

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Haha, Great...

"The Schwar" himself...! very interesting article, as usual...

it's great suddenly seeing pictures of someone you kinda know a little but never known how he looks like... I have imagined you looking different... Good for you I was wrong... smile
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:27pm

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Kid

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Aha! I have many humourous pics of Josh as well, but in order not to impact too much on Malone's image as the zany one, I picked just one to post...

Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:41pm

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Mellifluous

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Reading this I kept on imagining it as some sort of docu-drama, with lots of unflattering footage of you-know-who (his name is to sacred to be uttered but you can call him Yahweh). Such as the pic Kid posted - that HAT...now I know why some users call him big lol Last but not least there would be a 1950s American accent narrating the documentary, like that one in Plan 9 From Outer Space. Are there any plans to make a documentary, complete with Alma FX?

Seriously, Thank You. I need say no more.

Ho ho ho. Sometimes my imagination frightens me...

Mel wink
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 7:53pm

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Simon K Jones

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Who is Alma, and how good are her effects?
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 8:20pm

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anonymous

Alma's my wife. And her effects are just great. lol

Sorry bout da spelling mistake, blasphemy

Mel wink
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 9:28pm

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av11d

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Great article, i really enjoyed it! O, and ART HISTORY? Anyways, Keep up the good work schwar!

Tarn, now that all the csb-digital people have been written about, are you planning on working on some more for community members? Those are just as interesting.
Posted: Wed, 19th Mar 2003, 10:03pm

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mediamaffia

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You guys!
With these recent portrait pics you are looking more and more like a boy band! lol.

New at #1 this week is "CSB" with "Chrominator"...
Not that I'm complaining - you all look pretty buff to me! :o)

Maybe next time we can have some topless shots ;O)
Guess it will keep some of us amused while we countdown to the new aps...

x
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 5:23am

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BDOG

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One thing I notice with these recent "spotlights" is that you all are trying to look as gay as possible! Is this a CSB thing or an english thing or what? I say this in jest but if I posted those last 3 photos on www.amihotornot.gay I bet they would be very popular. lol lol lol
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 8:49am

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Joshua Davies

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Yes we really try hard to look gay, thats what makes us popular with the ladies razz
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 9:23am

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Xcession

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Yeah! don't you know? laydeez dig 'gay' coz it means your sensitive to their needs!

just don't camp it up too much, or they'll steal your handbag and your best mate.
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 11:51am

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anonymous

Thx Mel ! biggrin
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 12:36pm

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BDOG

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HAHA nice reply. Well honestly good luck to you guys. I have said this before I hope you young fellas make a trillion.

Now stop doing your hair and get back to work. If AlamDV3 and Chromanator etc are not out on time we will all be upset!
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 5:12pm

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sidewinder

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I can just see this quoted in a magazine feature on alamdv.

Schwar: "Yes, we really try hard to look gay."
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 5:14pm

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Joshua Davies

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Heh
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 6:36pm

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Andreas

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Rating: +3

Yeah, they really look like a boy band! just look at tim! He is like a supergayboyband member! wink



lol lol
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 8:13pm

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Cogz

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Thats my official CSB uniform you know, don't knock it!!! wink
Posted: Thu, 20th Mar 2003, 8:30pm

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MechaForce

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+3 to both cause i have tons of money! heh
Posted: Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 4:02am

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moebius

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Andreas wrote:

Yeah, they really look like a boy band!
Hehe glad you think so too, Andy! Besides, CSB does sound like a band name: e.g. CDB, REM, EMF... etc lol
Posted: Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 8:35pm

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fallen

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nah schwar's too short to be in a boy band. would fit in well at olympus tho wink
Posted: Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 8:38pm

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Joshua Davies

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I'm 6 feet tall - how is that too short? sad

I really want to be in the boy band...
Posted: Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 8:41pm

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fallen

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6 foot? im sure i remember you being shorter than that...
Posted: Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 8:44pm

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Joshua Davies

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Nope, I'm just on 6 foot, Malone is a bit taller than me. I'm pretty much the same height as Blueshift - a little taller some days. smile

Just not as tall as you and TMM - ya great monsters....
Posted: Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 9:10pm

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Kid

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Dave (xcession) is the short one. If you watch Bud Chiposwki's world of home defence Josh looks like a giant.
Posted: Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 9:28pm

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averagejoe

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Schwar maybe 6 feet tall but legend has it, that his legs are freak'in uuge.

Good spotlight. Nice to get more inside info on the founding of the
CSB-Digital Empire that will one day rule all of the civilized world.

Future looks bright even if it is just a front for boy band farm twisted lol

Last edited Fri, 21st Mar 2003, 9:46pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 24th Mar 2003, 8:33pm

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codec3

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eww.
British Boy Bands.
eww.
Still, schwar and team are all kinda purdy.

Yeah, good write-up...

"Some of you may already be aware of the CSB-Digital origin story" heh, still waiting for the meaning of csb to be made public.
codec3
Posted: Mon, 24th Mar 2003, 8:35pm

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Joshua Davies

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Heh, don't bring that up C3 razz
Posted: Tue, 25th Mar 2003, 4:51am

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codec3

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Hi
erm, sorry schwar, but my daughter digs da boy bandz...
I just dig da bandz!
codec3
Posted: Sat, 22nd Nov 2003, 3:20am

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Marek

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wooh.
I just went on an old skool mission. I went through all the spotlights and all the other articals that had cool subjects. razz Anyway, as always, nice artical Tarn. Too bad none of the pictures in the Malone spotlight by kid and folk don't work anymore. Oh well, i still remember the one with malone all hunched on the ground in the dark, looking crazed and holding a sign that reads "I suck"
haha good times... gooooood times.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Nov 2003, 3:46am

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Kid

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As if by magic the pictures are restored.