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COW Library : Features
Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design Teranex Mini: 4K Monitoring & So Much More

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 inputs of consumer 4K TVs. BMD promised that one of the Minis would do the trick, and it did -- but Bob was pleasantly surprised to find even more than he was looking for! Find out why he calls the Teranex Mini lineup a no-brainer, and what it might be able to do for you. Read more...

Editorial, Feature
Bob Zelin
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Sisterhood of the X-Files Fandom

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's a generation of women who was inspired to technical careers by the Gillian Anderson's Dana Scully. Kylee Peña is among them, and additionally very specifically inspired by the production values of "The X-Files" to build a career in the technology of TV storytelling in particular. Here's Kylee's look at what it has meant to be a female fan of the art, technology, and empowerment of "The X-Files" in the 21st century.

Editorial, Feature
Kylee Peña
Art of the Edit
Checksums, Speed, and Acceptable Risk

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 how this technical task can save a creative person from certain doom.

Editorial, Feature
Kylee Peña
TV & Movie Appreciation
Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, 1930 - 2016 - Remembering the Genius

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 Cinematography Institute co-founder Yuri Neyman, ASC shares some of his memories with us.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Yuri Neyman, ASC
Art of the Edit
Editing Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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 the TV series Alias. Here, they tell us about putting together this new instant classic.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Apple FCPX Techniques
Using Apple FCPX for A DocumenTree

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-foot stilts is gently beguiling and deeply inspirational. With over 1000 hours of footage in a crazy number of formats over a period of years, collaboration among a far-flung team of volunteers with varying degrees of expertise (including none at all), A DocumenTree seemed like the ideal project for Michael to jump into Final Cut Pro X. Michael's longtime experience in a variety of disciplines has nevertheless allowed him to come at the issues of media management, metadata, offline-online workflows, and a variety of complex technical issues in some unusual, and, dare we say it, organic ways.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Michael Angelo
Art of the Edit
A Tale of Two Mockingjays: The Hunger Games Epic Finale(s)

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 them to so richly explore the nuances of power, pain, and the lifelong toll that war takes even on the victors.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Peter Doyle: Supervising Visual Colourist at Technicolor

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 from the outset.

Feature, People / Interview
FilmLight
TV & Movie Appreciation
Introducing Ultron: Trixter Builds The Avengers' Biggest Bad

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 concept art through design, mocap, animation, compositing, and output.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Walk: Largest Use of Cloud Computing in Film History

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 software Conductor, which allows artists to offload the processing from their own computers and send it to the cloud. By the end of the project, Atomic Fiction had completed 9.1 million hours of processing in the cloud, which equates to over a millennium of processing time!

Editorial, Feature
Shaina Ostroff
SAN - Storage Area Networks
Affordable, Easy LTO Archiving

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 help his clients meet their needs. Here's what Bob has found as he looks at the latest and greatest technology and projects for affordable, easy LTO archiving.

Editorial, Feature
Bob Zelin
NEWS: Product News
Tomorrowland -- Building a World Beyond with cineSync

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 gleaming cityscape of Tomorrowland itself.

Feature
Whiskytree
NEWS: All News
Colour Grading The BBC's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

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 amazing VFX work -- an absolutely ideal colorist's playground. Working in Baselight, Nico took pictures in a variety of directions for this unusually diverse tale.

Feature, People / Interview
Nico Ilies
Adobe After Effects
3D Dance Show in After Effects

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 After Effects.

Tutorial, Feature
Ari Grunzeweig
Art of the Edit
Positivity: Editor Jesse Averna on Evolving Your Career

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.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Social Media
How Are You? No, really. Creativity & Mental Health

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 we also move toward a future that allows us to be more creative, more productive, AND more sane.

Editorial, Feature
Kylee Peña
Art of the Edit
Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else

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, most important, staying sane. Anything you want to know about editing in the real world? You'll find it right here.

Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Indie Film & Documentary
Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed!

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 different languages by its fans. Want to know how to achieve that kind of global engagement? Look no further than the Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking.

Feature
Gex Williams
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
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
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
Authors

Michael Angelo (1)
Pixomondo (8)
Andrew Gash (1)
Ari Grunzeweig (1)
Yuri Neyman, ASC (1)
Kylee Peña (5)
Gex Williams (1)
Tim Wilson (5)
Bob Zelin (2)


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