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Tutorials and Articles

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Adobe After Effects
Zero VFX: Why Some Effects Are Better Unseen

Zero VFX: Why Some Effects Are Better Unseen

Kyle and Gerard Andal, lead compositors at Zero VFX, bring invisible post-production magic to several films - including 2014 Academy Award-winning "American Hustle," in which the team helped transform 2013 Boston to 1978 New York - and also several commercial shots with mocha Pro.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Imagineer Systems
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Marvel of Guardians of the Galaxy

The Marvel of Guardians of the Galaxy

Big companies can't be nimble? Don't tell Sony Pictures Imageworks. They turned around 88 shots for Marvel's instant classic, Guardians of the Galaxy -- plus a complete digital character -- in just two months. VFX Supervisor Pete Travers says it's the fastest they've ever worked on a project like this, and a sterling example of both the creative advantages that come with scale, and the richness of the Marvel multiverse.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Adobe Photoshop
Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

Why Wait for Apple Photos? Adventurer and editor Jigs Gaton takes us through some easy steps for migrating your photo library from Apple's Aperture and iPhoto into Adobe Lightroom.

Tutorial, Feature
Jiggy Gaton
TV & Movie Appreciation
Sink or Swim in Hollywood:Editor William Boodell & Sharknado

Sink or Swim in Hollywood:Editor William Boodell & Sharknado

When editor William (Bill) Boodell came to LA, he didn't expect to ever be associated with a shark tornado -- I mean, who is? And now Sharknado (the first one), is a part of mainstream pop culture even a year later and his best known work to date. If you talk to Bill for five minutes, you'll discover that he's a film connoisseur with a near-concerning catalog of directors, editors, and filmmaking theory in his head, and an up-and-coming editor with a unique post-film path to Hollywood that anyone can learn from.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Wall
TV & Movie Appreciation
Building the Storm for Into the Storm

Building the Storm for Into the Storm

If you're going to build the storm for a movie called Into The Storm, you better be on top of your game -- especially if it's an unprecedented mile-wide monster of a tornado. Method Studios created the storm and its aftermath, building on the kinds of things you expect from a tornado, to create some things you've not seen before.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Building The World of Hercules

Building The World of Hercules

Hercules achieved an epic look on a relatively modest budget through careful and clever CG environments. Together, Method Studios and Milk VFX are two of the companies that helped create a full, realistic world for Hercules, from the sky, to the Acropolis, to the sea.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Five OTHER Peter O'Toole Movies That Thou Must See

The Five OTHER Peter O'Toole Movies That Thou Must See

Peter O'Toole (August 2, 1932 - December 14, 2013) is most remembered for his supernova performance in Lawrence of Arabia, but in fact some of his most highly-regarded, even Oscar-nominated, performances are all but forgotten in the praise of that one. Here are five more movies to set the record straight: there was nobody else like Peter O'Toole, and there won't be again.

Editorial, Feature
Tim Wilson
Canon Cameras
Homeland: Behind the Scenes with Canon Glass/David Klein ASC

Homeland: Behind the Scenes with Canon Glass/David Klein ASC

David Klein, ASC, who is nominated for a 2014 Best Cinematography Emmy® Award for his work on Homeland, first AC Dominik Mainl, and B camera operator Bob Newcomb break down what's in their tool kit: an ARRI Alexa mounted with Canon Cinema Zoom Lenses, a RED Epic, a Canon Cinema EOS 1D C, and a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Stefani Rice
Crowdfunding
AIRDOG: A HOT KICKSTARTER FOR A COOL IDEA

AIRDOG: A HOT KICKSTARTER FOR A COOL IDEA

An auto-follow, gyro-stabilized GoPro drone that goes where you go, including skydiving and surfing, that you can operate hands-free -- sounds cool, right? It's called AirDog, and whether or not the product is for you, you can learn a lot from their very hot Kickstarter campaign: they reached their $200,000 goal in 4 days, on their way to over $1.3 million pledged.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Blackmagic Cinema Camera
Shooting Trent & Isabella: Blackmagic Firmware & Indie Film

Shooting Trent & Isabella: Blackmagic Firmware & Indie Film

Paul Del Vecchio is a filmmaker with an independent spirit. When he had the chance to beta test Blackmagic's new firmware on the Cinema Camera while serving as director of photography on the indie film "Trent & Isabella," he found that the new debayer process became a huge asset to getting the raw-like images he wanted without the price of storage and processing. Less time and money spent there means more focus on the film's visual style which ranges from spaghetti western to film noir.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Wall
Crowdfunding
Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Film projects are the most unsuccessfully funded of any Kickstarter category -- but producer and crowdfunding consultant Diana Ward Roark has worked on a number of campaigns for independent films that have exceeded their goals. She has the real-world advice you'll need to succeed, including where you can find backers, and how to engage them.

Editorial, Feature
Diana Ward Roark
Adobe Premiere Pro
Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors. Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.

Editorial, Feature
Herb Sevush
TV & Movie Appreciation
A Distinctive LOOK For 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

A Distinctive LOOK For 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

In his third time working with Wes Anderson, LOOK Effects VFX Supervisor Gabriel Sanchez helped implement the director's singular vision on The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
CSNY 74: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Epic Tour Revisited

CSNY 74: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Epic Tour Revisited

Meet CSNY 74, wherein Messrs. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young make a definitive 3-hour, 3-set, 40 song, case, supported by 8 video clips and 188 pages of written and photographic evidence, for being one of the world's very biggest and best rock and roll bands, working at the very top of their game. Creative COW's Tim Wilson explores the beautifully rendered, exceptionally satisfying experience of this historically epic tour.

Review, Feature
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Contemporary Living Network: Fresh Ideas, Fresh Content

Contemporary Living Network: Fresh Ideas, Fresh Content

Longtime Creative COW Contributor, Walter Biscardi, Jr. recently announced the upcoming launch of Contemporary Living Network, a digital network focusing on positive lifestyle edutainment. For him, it's a natural progression from production to creating a new home for all original content. We asked Walter to tell us about CLN and his crowd funding campaign for "Ice Cream Nation," one of the first series to be featured on the new network.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Walter Biscardi
Art of the Edit
House of Cards: Coloring the Game-Changing Netflix Series

House of Cards: Coloring the Game-Changing Netflix Series

Season 2 of the pioneering Netflix series "House of Cards" brought a number of changes, including new Lead Colorist Laura Jans-Fazio. She spoke to us about her approach to this visually distinctive show, her remote collaboration with Executive Producer David Fincher, and her use of the Baselight grading system for fast turnarounds with the show's 5K footage.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Cinematography
The NASA IMAX Project with Cinematographer James Neihouse

The NASA IMAX Project with Cinematographer James Neihouse

James Neihouse, the large format cinematographer renowned for his work on projects from shuttle launches to volcanic eruptions, and newly-minted Academy member, finds himself working around the globe, literally, shooting the IMAX 3D film, Earth 2.0 (working title) co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and NASA. In this feature, Neihouse reflects on experiences working with astronauts, race cars, and rocket launches, and how important choosing the best equipment is in extreme production.

Feature, People / Interview
Creative COW
Art of the Edit
Interlude's Treehouse: Interactive Video Authoring

Interlude's Treehouse: Interactive Video Authoring

"Welcome to a new world of storytelling," invites Treehouse's Interlude, an early player in the world of online authoring and delivery of interactive videos. In this review, Jerry Hofmann finds an impressive and easy-to-use service for creating "smart video" for more engaging content.

Review, Editorial, Tutorial, Feature
Jerry Hofmann
TV & Movie Appreciation
Milk Explodes All Over London For “24”

Milk Explodes All Over London For “24”

Milk is working with Fox as the lead VFX studio on "24: Live Another Day" -- currently airing on Sky 1 in the UK and around the world -- to create a mix of CG and effects work for the heart-stopping series, as it celebrates its debut year in business.

Editorial, Feature
Creative COW
Art of the Edit
Under the Dome with Encore VFX Supervisor Stephan Fleet

Under the Dome with Encore VFX Supervisor Stephan Fleet

Visual effects are at the heart of Under the Dome, a hit CBS drama based on a novel by Stephen King, about a town trapped under an invisible dome that isolates it from the rest of the world. Read how Encore VFX created the dome itself for Season One, and other effects, as well as providing a full range of on-set and post services, all while translating the languages of many different disciplines into a single, unified vision.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Stephan Fleet
Adobe After Effects
LightGrid Script and Demo Tutorial Part TWO with New Feature

LightGrid Script and Demo Tutorial Part TWO with New Feature
  Play Video
LightGrid Script creator Brian Charles demonstrates his newly modified After Effects script for rigging lights in grids and circles. The modified script with the new feature, which adds the ability to enable individual light colors through a checkbox in the effect control panel, is available as a free download in the Project Files folder.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Brian Charles
Art of the Edit
Saturday Night Live's Film Unit: Making TV Fast

Saturday Night Live's Film Unit: Making TV Fast

Saturday Night Live's film unit produces a pre-taped segment for every live show, with nearly all of production and post happening within a 48 hour period. Director of Photography Alex Buono and editor Adam Epstein rely heavily on communication, improvisational filmmaking skills and the flexibility of their toolset -- including Adobe Creative Cloud -- to hit their deadlines and bring film spots to air each Saturday night.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Wall
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Toaster and Tim's Vermeer

The Toaster and Tim's Vermeer

The inventor of the NewTek Video Toaster was certain that he figured out the secret behind the uncanny realism of one of the world's greatest painters, and certain he could use the same methods to duplicate it. Really? Yes, really. Join us for a conversation with NewTek founder Tim Jenison on the unexpected intersection of art, technology, obsession and the Video Toaster in the wonderfully provocative documentary called Tim's Vermeer.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Adobe After Effects
Green Screen Billboard Compositing

Green Screen Billboard Compositing
  Play Video
This After Effects tutorial demonstrates how to simulate augmented reality centered around a city billboard by compositing green screen footage and editing it into the scene.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Ari Grunzeweig
Adobe After Effects
After Effects Handwriting Tutorial

After Effects Handwriting Tutorial
  Play Video
This tutorial will show you how to create an animation of a marker writing out a logo or a few words, followed by a slick reveal to an actual logo.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Ari Grunzeweig
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