Creative COW Library Creative COW Library of tutorials, articles, reviews and more for media professionals world wide. en-us Sat, 13 Feb 2016 17:00:00 GMT PHP Script Blackmagic Design Teranex Mini: 4K Monitoring & So Much More When Blackmagic asked broadcast engineer, systems designer, and all-around straight shooter Bob Zelin to take a look at the new Teranex Mini line, he told them no. Converter stories are too boring. Just one problem, though: his clients couldn't see pictures out of their SDI gear going into HDMI inpu Mon, 25 Jan 2016 00:45:23 GMT The Sisterhood of the X-Files Fandom As the first show to create a rabid, real-time internet fandom, devotion to "The X-Files" has been growing in intensity with each year since the original series finale, with a fanbase that is clever, thoughtful, and largely female. Not that there's any shortage of male X-Philes, but there' Mon, 25 Jan 2016 00:34:48 GMT Checksums, Speed, and Acceptable Risk Do you hang out under a tree during a lightning storm? Do you perform a checksum every time you copy important files from one place to another? If you don't have an equally strong opinion about both these questions, it's time to learn about checksums: how they work, how much you can trust them, and Sat, 16 Jan 2016 01:10:31 GMT Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, 1930 - 2016 - Remembering the Genius Winner of an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the long list of official accolades for Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC doesn't begin to illustrate the impact his work has had on generations of artists around the world. Friend, colleague, and Global Cinema Thu, 07 Jan 2016 03:37:36 GMT Editing Star Wars: The Force Awakens On Star Wars: The Force Awakens brings the latest collaboration of Mary Jo Markey, ACE and Maryann Brandon, ACE​ once again collaborated with J.J. Abrams, following their previous successes with him on pictures including Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission Impossible III, Super 8, and t Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:03:04 GMT Using Apple FCPX for A DocumenTree After 25 years of working on other people's documentaries, commercials, feature films, filmmaker Michael Angelo's first original project is the inspirational story of the Treeman of Venice Beach, a singular creation of a singular man whose combination of costume, body paint, live foliage, and 10-foo Tue, 15 Dec 2015 03:07:20 GMT Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor Blackmagic Design Fusion has long been known as an incredibly powerful node-based 3D compositing and VFX environment, responsible for some of the most indelible cinematic imagery of our time. Tokyo Productions Creative Director Simon Ubsdell has been a Fusion fan and user for years, and here provide Thu, 03 Dec 2015 11:31:59 GMT A Tale of Two Mockingjays: The Hunger Games Epic Finale(s) Deciding to adapt the Hunger Games finale, Mockingjay, as 2 films opened up remarkable storytelling possibilities for director Francis Lawrence, and editors Alan Bell ACE and Mark Yoshikawa ACE. We spoke with the editors about the technologies, workflows, and collaborative processes that enabled the Tue, 24 Nov 2015 05:55:43 GMT Peter Doyle: Supervising Visual Colourist at Technicolor Peter Doyle, Supervising Visual Colourist at Technicolor, shares details of his upward spiraling career. His deep technical knowledge allows for a perfect blend of creativity and productivity in equal measure. Here he talks about his career, his aspirations, and his involvement in productions right Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:00:00 GMT Introducing Ultron: Trixter Builds The Avengers' Biggest Bad At the heart of Marvel's biggest Avengers movie yet lies their greatest threat yet: Ultron, a self-constructing robot intelligence bent on destroying all of humanity. Munich's boutique-scale Trixter Film was given the critical task of introducing this epic-scale character, which they undertook from Mon, 02 Nov 2015 03:15:51 GMT The Walk: Largest Use of Cloud Computing in Film History Award-winning VFX Company Joins UPP and Rodeo FX to Recapture the Legendary Walk Between the World Trade Center Towers. Lead VFX vendor Atomic Fiction needed a more efficient way to do the compute-intensive, and traditionally very expensive, processes of rendering. The company used their cloud-based Fri, 30 Oct 2015 02:23:05 GMT Affordable, Easy LTO Archiving It's a simple idea: your stuff is precious, but there's too much of it to easily store. The world of LTO seems expensive and confusing, and straight talk is hard to come by. Well, it happens that Creative COW's Bob Zelin is the master of straight talk, and has had to learn a lot about archiving to h Mon, 26 Oct 2015 00:30:22 GMT Tomorrowland -- Building a World Beyond with cineSync Earlier this year, Disney brought another of its theme park attractions to the silver screen in Brad Bird's Tomorrowland - a VFX-fuelled adventure that whisks viewers across time, space and alternate dimensions. Computer graphics facility Whiskytree was brought on to the project to create the gleami Tue, 13 Oct 2015 18:58:17 GMT Colour Grading The BBC's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is a seven-part adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel set in the Napoleonic Wars, and says Technicolor Montreal's Head Colourist Nico Ilies, a beautifully crafted period fantasy drama with outstanding acting, great cinematography and art direction, beautiful costumes and Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:50:40 GMT 3D Dance Show in After Effects When Ari Grunzeweig needed to create a dynamic promo, he turned to a remarkable combination of keyed footage, particles, and the dynamic 3D compositing and cameras in Adobe After Effects to build a virtual world exploding with dance and light. Take a look to see how to build your own 3D world in Aft Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:51:02 GMT Perfect Chroma Keys from Bad Green Screens in After Effects High-quality green screen footage is a luxury that many of us will never have. Your quest for perfect chroma keys from awful green screen footage is nearing its happy conclusion as Bracer Jack shows you exactly how to achieve success using only the tools built into Adobe After Effects. Tue, 06 Oct 2015 02:00:55 GMT Positivity: Editor Jesse Averna on Evolving Your Career Five-time Emmy-award winning editor Jesse Averna has been a lifelong fan of filmmaking, a love reflected in his ambition to move into directing. Jesse shares insight about evolving his career, including the importance of being a positive force in your post community. Tue, 06 Oct 2015 02:05:33 GMT How Are You? No, really. Creativity & Mental Health In an industry where mental health is hard to come by, Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Peña reminds us how important it is to ask ourselves, and our peers, "How are you? No, really. How ARE you?" Kylee also offers some suggestions for helping ourselves be honest with the answers, as w Tue, 06 Oct 2015 03:01:09 GMT Apple Motion 5: Crystal Spheres Apple Motion 5 has many powerful compositing and graphics features, but its 3D feature set is, alas, limited. (For those keeping score, it's only 2.5D). Simon Ubsdell applies his his VFX and motion graphics expertise to cleverly working around those limitations by exploiting the best of Motion's beh Mon, 21 Sep 2015 21:21:01 GMT Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else The Emmy Award-nominated editors of Amazon's Transparent and Lifetime's Project Runway All-Stars (Cate Haight ACE, and Emmy-winner Mary DeChambres, respectively) sit down with Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Wall for a wide-open conversation on getting started in Hollywood, getting ahead, and, m Thu, 10 Sep 2015 20:50:00 GMT Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed! Microscopic budgets present limitations, but can also create opportunities. Gex Williams and Brian Crone produced Ctrl+Alt+Dance for $12,000, and it made $50,000 on its first night -- which included showings on every inhabited continent, has followings in nearly every major city, translated into 9 d Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:40:34 GMT 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 a Mon, 24 Aug 2015 20:06:43 GMT FuseFX & Emmy-Nominated Work for American Horror Story Burbank-based effects house’s freaky work for hit FX series continues to draw accolades. Mon, 24 Aug 2015 04:46:09 GMT 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 Mon, 17 Aug 2015 16:45:04 GMT 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. Mon, 10 Aug 2015 21:41:20 GMT 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. Mon, 10 Aug 2015 21:31:09 GMT 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! Mon, 10 Aug 2015 19:26:06 GMT 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 Sat, 08 Aug 2015 23:54:41 GMT 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 Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:08:19 GMT 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 Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:06:02 GMT 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 Keye Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:05:44 GMT 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, t Thu, 16 Jul 2015 22:20:07 GMT 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 diffe Tue, 14 Jul 2015 04:57:39 GMT 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. Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:15:08 GMT 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. Eve Mon, 22 Jun 2015 22:01:08 GMT 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 cuttin Fri, 19 Jun 2015 00:49:28 GMT 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. Sun, 14 Jun 2015 18:48:12 GMT 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 Mon, 08 Jun 2015 21:58:40 GMT 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 s Mon, 01 Jun 2015 21:40:56 GMT 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 PluralE Wed, 20 May 2015 21:49:13 GMT 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. Tue, 12 May 2015 20:15:40 GMT 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 Fitnes Mon, 11 May 2015 22:24:48 GMT 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 Fri, 08 May 2015 00:39:00 GMT FCPX Magnetic Timeline: Apple's New Paradigm REVISITED NLE interface design pioneer and longtime editor David Lawrence first wrote about the editing approach of FCPX, including its highly controversial Magnetic Timeline, soon after FCPX's release in the spring of 2011. Time has passed, the editing landscape has changed, and 4 years later, David takes an Thu, 07 May 2015 07:00:00 GMT 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. Tue, 05 May 2015 00:31:55 GMT 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. Mon, 04 May 2015 00:00:00 GMT 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 Mon, 27 Apr 2015 04:24:53 GMT Panasonic Makes 4K Handheld with AG-DVX200 Camcorder Panasonic has announced a new large sensor 4K handheld camcorder with the same filmic quality of the VariCam, which also saw updates at this year's NAB Show. Sun, 26 Apr 2015 03:54:48 GMT ARRI Puts ALEXA in a Mini Package Introducing a new camera to its popular ALEXA family, ARRI announced the ALEXA SXT and the ALEXA Mini, a small form factor ALEXA camera for specialized shots where third party cameras have been used before. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 04:23:57 GMT AJA Focuses on 4K and Lets you #TryCION AJA announced 4K-focused updates to its family of mini converters, as well as updates to the 4K/UHD CION camera and new loan program that will put the camera in the hands of filmmakers across North America for free this summer. Mon, 20 Apr 2015 07:58:40 GMT