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Tutorials and Articles

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TV & Movie Appreciation
Milk's Epic VFX For Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Milk's Epic VFX For Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the acclaimed bestselling epic novel of magical realism set 200 years ago, was adapted by the BBC to a 7-episode miniseries that was itself quite epic, with over 1000 effects shots handled by London's Milk VFX. Creative COW's Tim Wilson spoke with Milk CEO Will Cohen about his team's work on the series, starting with his own enthusiasm as a fan of the novel. To use that word once more, it's an epic conversation about adapting novels, carefully managing budgeted creativity, and collaboration. Books, televised cinematic storytelling, VFX, good conversation, and magic: if any of those is your cup of tea, you won't want to miss this.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
FuseFX & Emmy-Nominated Work for American Horror Story

FuseFX & Emmy-Nominated Work for American Horror Story

Burbank-based effects house’s freaky work for hit FX series continues to draw accolades.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
FuseFX
TV & Movie Appreciation
Pixels: Going From 8-bits to Epic is No Game

Pixels: Going From 8-bits to Epic is No Game

Classic video game characters like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong sent by aliens to destroy Earth? No worries! Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks are on the case. It turns out that integrating 8-bit characters into a world recognizable as our own is a lot harder than it looks. It was also a lot of fun for everyone involved, and hearing about it from the two VFX supervisors will be a lot of fun for you too.

Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5 Volumetric Fog Tutorial

Apple Motion 5 Volumetric Fog Tutorial

Building on his popular "Volumetric Lighting" tutorial, Simon Ubsdell raises the game once more with this Apple Motion 5 tutorial that adds lights, fog, and text into a true 3D environment. As usual, it's packed with extra tips and tricks to help turn every Motion artist into an expert.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Adobe After Effects
Introducing Rotoscoping With mocha for Adobe After Effects

Introducing Rotoscoping With mocha for Adobe After Effects

Imagineer's mocha is Academy Award-winning technology for rotoscoping and motion tracking that's ideal for use with Adobe After Effects. Visual effects artist and editor Ruan Lotter shows some of the keys to unlocking this exceptionally powerful tool.

Tutorial
Ruan Lotter
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5: Science Fiction-Style Glitchy Interference

Apple Motion 5: Science Fiction-Style Glitchy Interference

You've seen the effect: video noise and glitchy interference, now a staple of contemporary sci-fi visuals. Simon Ubsdell shows you how to build it yourself inside Apple Motion 5, with no plug-ins or third-party software!

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
TV & Movie Appreciation
VFX from a tropical paradise

VFX from a tropical paradise

In today’s landscape, post-production companies are no longer restricted by geography. Husband and wife VFX team Lindsay and Jamie Hallett have based their business in Maui, while working on some of filmdom's biggest franchises and features: Avengers, Iron Man, X-Men, Ant-Man, American Sniper, and the latest installment of the Divergent seris, Insurgent. Here are some of their insights on remote collaboration. VERY remote.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
cineSync VFX
Apple FCPX Techniques
Managing FCPX Media Labs for Maximum Sanity & Minimum Chaos

Managing FCPX Media Labs for Maximum Sanity & Minimum Chaos

Managing a shared storage environment for Apple FCPX is one thing. Now add 100+ students who are still learning the rules, and the challenges skyrocket. Fortunately, Andrew Gash's experience at Lakeland Florida's Kathleen High School has given him some great ideas for you that promise to make things as foolproof as possible, maximizing sanity and minimizing chaos. Even if your shared editing environment is in a post house or broadcast environment rather than a school, Andrew's advice is well worth heeding!

Editorial, Feature
Andrew Gash
TV & Movie Appreciation
Poldark: Full CG Elements and Dramatic VFX

Poldark: Full CG Elements and Dramatic VFX

VFX is playing an increasingly important role in small screen period drama, and for the vendors has become a more demanding prospect than ever before. You just need to watch an episode of BBC's Poldark to see why. Dark, dramatic and oozing atmosphere, Poldark is top quality British drama indeed, its narrative unravelling across the southern coasts of England across eight eventful episodes. It was the London-based studio Lexhag that brought this new vision to life for the BBC, using a mix of LIDAR scan technology, full-CG ship elements and the organisational capacity of ftrack.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
London-based Lexhag
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
Hawaiki Keyer 2.0: A Tutorial Introduction

Hawaiki Keyer 2.0: A Tutorial Introduction

After 25 years as an editor, compositor, and VFX artist, frequent Creative COW poster and tutorial author Simon Ubsdell knows what he needs from a keyer -- and knew he wasn't getting good enough results from FCPX or Motion. Discussions in COW forums led him to create the highly regarded Hawaiki Keyer. Enthusiasm expressed by COW members for its latest release led us to ask Simon for a tour. If you're keying on a Mac, you're going to want to check this out.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Dragons reborn: cineSync and Game of Thrones

Dragons reborn: cineSync and Game of Thrones

Transporting George R.R. Martin’s fertile imagination from the page to the screen is no easy task, especially when that means creating three fully-grown CG fire-breathers. Thankfully one of the shows dragon wranglers, Pixomondo, has been on the show since Season 2, and with cineSync on its side, there's no challenge it can't tackle. We're very glad to have special guests Pixomondo join the Creative COW Library to tell us the tale.

Editorial, Feature
Pixomondo
Indie Film & Documentary
Louder Than Words: 7 Years, 14 Cameras, 1 Surprising Story

Louder Than Words: 7 Years, 14 Cameras, 1 Surprising Story

It took 7 years, and 14 cameras with 3 TB of files for cinematographer and editor Saj Adibs to tell the surprising story in his documentary Louder Than Words. The film's first interview was conducted in American Sign Language, and once he saw the transcript, Saj realized he was going to tell a different story than the one he had planned. This is a story about stories, as well as the challenge of managing lots and lots of cameras.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Saj Adibs
Cinematography
Stepping into the Surgeon's Eyes

Stepping into the Surgeon's Eyes

Take advantage of years worth of Greg Ondera's surgical cinematography experience for cleaner, tighter shots and a better outcome.

Feature
Greg Ondera
AVID
3 Columns for Flawless Conform. Every File. Every Time.

3 Columns for Flawless Conform. Every File. Every Time.

Avid editor and workflow consultant Scott Freeman sometimes has to conform thousands of clips in a single project. Get one of them wrong, and the whole thing falls apart. Follow along as he shows you the three metadata fields to keep an eye on for flawless Avid-Resolve roundtripping. Every file. Every time.

Tutorial
Scott Freeman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Orson Welles' Brief, Passionate Love Affair with Betacam

Orson Welles' Brief, Passionate Love Affair with Betacam

A video production pioneer who shot with the first Sony Betacam camera and set up the first Betacam to 1-inch edit suite, Frank Beacham also worked with Orson Welles on Welles’ final project before passing away in 1985. Welles was exceptionally engaged with the most technical aspects of the cutting edge technology that was just beginning to emerge, including a passionate belief in the possibilities that Betacam could offer. This is a truly astounding tale of creativity at the crossroads, and an intimate look inside the mind and work of one of the 20th century’s most influential storytellers.

Feature
Frank Beacham
Business & Marketing
7 Customer Service Rules for Better Post Production

7 Customer Service Rules for Better Post Production

Dealing with people is industry-agnostic, but in an industry as competitive as ours, repeat business is everything -- and your clients are more likely to return to you if your customer service skills are great. Here are some customer service tips that are especially helpful for post production.

Feature
Kylee Wall
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5 Light Streaks Tutorial

Apple Motion 5 Light Streaks Tutorial

Apple Motion is capable of sophisticated motion graphics. The trick is unlocking its power. Join editor and motion graphics expert Simon Ubsdell to explore the possibilities opened up by a creative variation on the very powerful particle systems built into Motion 5, apply modes, parenting, behaviors, 3D space, and more.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Blackmagic Design
Building a Broadcast Studio with Blackmagic Design

Building a Broadcast Studio with Blackmagic Design

Master facility designer Bob Zelin has been building studios for his clients based around the offerings from Blackmagic Design, and he's here to tell you: this is for real. The pieces are here now, and they fit together beautifully -- and he's got even more clients lined up for Blackmagic-centered studios. Read on as Bob helps you put together a plan to build your own.

Feature
Bob Zelin
Adobe Premiere Pro
PluralEyes: Fast & Easy Connections for Video & Audio Clips

PluralEyes: Fast & Easy Connections for Video & Audio Clips

With the popularity of HD-DSLRs, many shooters are recording sound separately because of the camera’s limitations with audio -- but putting audio and video together in post can be a chore. Longtime spots ace Bill O'Neil has been dealing with this over the past several years , and has found PluralEyes from Red Giant to be fast, easy, and effective. Take a look to see if PluralEyes will help you, too.

Review, Editorial, Feature
Bill O'Neil
Tiffen DFX Filters
Tiffen DFX 4.0 OFX in DaVinci Resolve 11

Tiffen DFX 4.0 OFX in DaVinci Resolve 11

Founding COW member Dennis Kutchera reviews Tiffen's DVX 4.0. He finds more choices, better choices, and a faster workflow.

Review, Editorial, Feature
Dennis Kutchera
Fitness in Post
Fitness & Editing Hollywood Blockbusters with Alan Bell, ACE

Fitness & Editing Hollywood Blockbusters with Alan Bell, ACE

Alan Edward Bell's distinguished list of feature editing credits ranges from cult favorites like The Green Mile and (500) Days of Summer to blockbusters including the final three Hunger Games pictures and The Amazing Spider-man. A member of ACE and AMPAS (and Creative COW of course), he joins Fitness in Post's Zack Arnold for a wide-ranging conversation on editing, exercise, nutrition, finances, and whether this crazy job is worth the pain. Spoiler alert: Yes, but you'll be intrigued to hear Alan's reasons why.

Feature, People / Interview
Alan E. Bell
Indie Film & Documentary
Advantageous: Jennifer Phang on Making Way to Sundance

Advantageous: Jennifer Phang on Making Way to Sundance

Writer/Director Jennifer Phang's Sundance Jury Award-winning 'Advantageous' provides commentary on class and society that reflects her own experiences in the world through a science fiction story. The collaborative process took Phang from writing to post production in Adobe Premiere, where features like Dynamic Link became essential to finishing the film.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Wall
NAB Show
NAB 2015: Working Together on Collaborative Competition

NAB 2015: Working Together on Collaborative Competition

At NAB 2015, Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Wall says that the show's biggest story is companies now competing with each other to provide the most compelling collaborative platforms. The winner? Customers. Here's Kylee's look at the details of how it's all coming together.

Feature, People / Interview, Business
Kylee Wall
Broadcasting
NAB 2015, ZELINIZED: HD IS OVER

NAB 2015, ZELINIZED: HD IS OVER

Bob Zelin applies decades of engineering and facility design experience to finding products from the 2015 NAB Show that will make a real-world difference for you on a daily basis. Here's Bob's take on everything from thumb drives to 40GigE.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Bob Zelin
Art of the Edit
Finding Your First Job (Or Your Next One)

Finding Your First Job (Or Your Next One)

It's something we're all asked all the time: how do I get the first real job in the industry? It's almost always a question coming out of a young, wide-eyed, innocent looking baby deer of a human being who is graduating from university very soon and for the first time realizes that they're going to have crushing student debt AND no actual plan to get from here to Oscar-worthy filmmaker.

Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Wall
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