Art of the Edit
The Secret World of Foley, One of Cinema's Most Magical Arts
The Secret World of Foley is an evocative, wordless insight into one of the cinema’s most magical arts: the creative addition of synchronized sound effects in post known as Foley. This short film is also one of the most beautiful things you've seen in a long time. We highly recommend it to any fans of movies, sound, and the inspiration of watching true artists at work.
Art of the Edit
Editing: The Kuleshov Effect Put to the Test
One of the most powerful discoveries in the early days of editing became known as The Kuleshov Effect: the same piece of footage means different things depending on the shots that surround it. It is a mental phenomenon by which the audience derives more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation. One hundred years later, Sven Pape of This Guy Edits puts this venerable axiom to the test. Does this fundamental principle of modern editing still hold up? Prepare to be amazed.
VR (Virtual Reality)/360º Video
VR Cinematography: Exploring How To Represent People in VR
Close-up VR imagery from camera-originated material is awesome but tricky, says multimedia and VR pioneer Michael Naimark. The question is, how do you actually DO it? Taking Google's collaboration with Go Pro on the Jump VR 16-camera rig as a starting point, Michael and his team began to map out the specifics of managing point of view inside a 360 degree panorama. It requires a combination of complexity (stitching this many POVs together) and simplicity (panoramic sound helps a lot!) that we're just now beginning to explore. Ready for a wild ride into the future of capturing people in the world of VR cinematography? Start here.
G-Tech G-RACK 12: Fast, Easy, Expandable, A Winner
Already having a great reputation for standalone RAID arrays, G-Tech makes a bold move into shared storage with the G-Tech G-RACK 12. With 120 TB, expandable to 480 TB, blazing speeds, a built-in server (no separate computer or metadata servers needed!) and incredibly easy set-up and management software, longtime broadcast and facility engineer Bob Zelin says that the G-RACK 12 is a winner. Bob doesn't say that often, so you're going to want to check out all the details -- and because it's Bob, there are a lot of details!
Adobe After Effects
Creating A Flame on Your Finger with After Effects
It is easy to do some motion tracking and attach a basic stock footage element of fire onto your hands, but there is a little bit of work involved if you actually want to make it look good. In this intermediate tutorial by After Effects expert Tobias, you'll see how to use a fire stock footage element to set your thumb on fire! There are lots of useful tricks for null objects, expressions, and more in this tutorial that will help you create all sorts of other cool visual effects -- or set even more things on fire!
Depth of Field: Gregg Toland, Citizen Kane and Beyond
Whenever somebody equates "shallow depth of field" and "cinematic look," it's important to remember that the opposite is also sometimes true. Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson celebrates the work of Gregg Toland, ASC, born this week in 1904 -- the first master of extreme depth of field in movies like Citizen Kane and The Grapes of Wrath that forever changed what is possible for humans to do with cameras. This reprise of a classic article from the Creative COW Archives also offers a look at what Toland's approach to cinematic composition can mean for YOUR shooting.
Apple FCPX Debates
FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All
The first key to workflow wizardry is to exploit an application's strengths. In exploring the nuances of FCPX, famed workflow wizard Simon Ubsdell opens up some of the secrets around one of its most uniquely powerful, but sorely underused tools: Smart Collections. This isn't about replacing your existing project management (although it can). It's about leveraging some of the ridiculously awesome power of the Smart Collection to make your work flow far more easily than you might have imagined.
Bob Zelin's NAB 2016 Review: Everything You Own is Obsolete
Zelin Nation rejoices as the legendary Bob Zelin's legendary NAB wrap-up returns, featuring the unique insights of this industry-leading broadcast engineer into the stories that matter most. You won't find a better overview of shared storage, IO devices, converters, studio cameras, and Thunderbolt 3, because there aren't any. Check it out. Legendary.
Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Business & Marketing
Creative COW Turns 15! A Celebration of Being Uncool
15 years is a long time on the internet! Travel back with us to the days before YouTube, social media, digital cinema, smartphones, iPods and all the rest, back to the founding of Creative COW by Ronald & Kathlyn Lindeboom in April 2001. Join us for an insider's look at the earliest days of the professional digital video revolution, all the way through the events that have shaped the world's largest community of media professionals, right here at Creative COW.
SAN - Storage Area Networks
Navigating the Land Mine of Centralized Media Storage
Storage and media asset management are probably the biggest category you will find on the NAB floor in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Dennis Kutchera guides you with past experience how to Navigate the Land Mine of Centralized Media Storage in the Post-Production Storage Wars.
Drones/UAVs, Cameras, and Beyond: Douglas Spotted Eagle
When longtime Creative COW leader Douglas Spotted Eagle recently approached us with a suggestion to add a Drones/UAV forum to our extensive cinematography and videography communities, it immediately made perfect sense. And who better than Douglas to host? We also took this opportunity to speak to Douglas about the sweep of his career, from Grammy Award-winning musician and producer, through editing, cameras, training, consulting, to now, as an early adopter and advocate for UAVs.
Feature, People / Interview, Business
Douglas Spotted Eagle
Drone Rules Suck...and Why You Want Them
Rules! Why do we need so many rules for drones? Pilot, skydiver, and drone operator Douglas Spotted Eagle agrees, “Some of the UAV/drone rules and laws are not only unreasonable but downright ineffective,” but when you look more closely from a pilot’s eye view, they start to make much more sense. Starting with this principle: common sense isn’t all that common!
Douglas Spotted Eagle
Indie Film & Documentary
Tuskegee Airmen 75th Anniversary: A Documentary Revisited
When Denton Adkinson and Bryan Williams told us the story of their documentary, In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen, back in 2011, we were amazed. It was one of the most popular stories we published that year, not just because of the inspiring subject matter, but for the remarkable way it came together as a project, and in post. In the years since then, the film has taken on a life of its own, including national DVD distribution, becoming part of high school curricula, NFL celebrations, museum presentations, and more. Now in 2016, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen, their film will be presented as a live event on over 200 screens across the US. To get there, though, Denton and Bryan had to update their SD original for the big screen, add a surround mix, and prep it for digital distribution. This is a story of faith, fortitude, upres, ProRes, and the power of positive phone calls that you won't want to miss.
Apple Final Cut Pro X
FCPX: Trailer Editing Workflow with Charlie Austin
Creative COW stalwart, FCPX whiz, and longtime trailer editing expert Charlie Austin recently joined the folks at FCPWORKS and their FCP EXCHANGE workshop series for a deep dive into managing this particularly intensive form of editing with the newest Apple editing offering. Charlie comes at it with both a wit and precision that you won't want to miss.
TV & Movie Appreciation
Renaissance Masters Go 3D with Nuke
VFX legend Steve Wright helped Italy's Sky 3D tackle an epic project, as Italian all-3D television station set out to present the city of Florence and the masterpieces of Renaissance art housed in the Uffizi Gallery in a spectacular stereoscopic 3D movie shown in 60 countries around the world. While the majority of the film was shot stereoscopically, Steve's challenge was to use Nuke to present some of the world's most precious artworks fully dimensionalized. Here's how he pulled it off.
Boris Continuum Complete 10: A Winner For Every Creative
Walter Biscardi has been a Boris FX customer since 1995, and he calls Continuum Complete 10 a winner that belongs in every post creative's toolbox. With filters that nobody else has, customizable presets galore, multiple host support for one price, the watershed Title Studio, and the integrated power of mocha's Academy Award-winning tracking built into every filter, forget the cliche of Continuum Complete being a Swiss army knife, says Walter. Now, it's more like a cannon! Join Walter for some of the details on why you need this amazing package yourself.
Blackmagic Design Fusion
Blackmagic Design Fusion: Building Your Own Keyer
In his latest tutorial for Blackmagic Design Fusion, Simon Ubsdell points out that you can of course simply use Fusion's built-in keyer, and quickly get a good result, but here he shows how combining visual effects nodes to build your own keyer helps you understand the processes to refine trouble keys. Even if you'd prefer not to build your own, you will gain practical insights into channel operations and other techniques to help you unlock Fusion's unique visual effects power.
Apple FCPX Debates
Apple FCPX and the Making Of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Rather than a story about editing software, this is a story about Apple Final Cut Pro X from a filmmaker’s perspective: specifically, how keeping as much VFX and audio temp work as possible inside FCPX during production helped allow Glenn Ficarra and John Requa to open up new options and saved weeks of production time in the making of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, the new wartime comedy starring Tina Fey.
School, Teachers, Italian Neorealism & a Few Soviet Films
In this exclusive interview, generously granted to Creative COW by the Gamma and Density Journal, during his lifetime, Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, sat down with Yuri Neyman, ASC to talk about his life as a cinematographer. We remember the genius.
Editorial, Feature, People / Interview