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Dave Stump, ASC, has spent over 20 years as a director of photography, a visual effects supervisor and VFX DP. Along the way, he won an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement. Add his position as Chair of the Camera Subcommittee of the American Society of Cinematographers Technical Committee to the mix, and you have a unique combination: a rigorous, scientific mind with direct responsibility for evaluating new cameras and technologies for his peers in the ASC, and a guy who is used to doing whatever it takes to get the shot -- the scholarly and the practical.

In his role as Rigorous Scientific Guy, Dave has been part of the Camera Assessment Series (CAS), jointly produced by the ASC, the Producer's Guild of America, and Revelations Entertainment, which is the production company founded by Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary. The goal is simple: to shoot demanding scenes with the industry's highest-end cameras, side-by-side, to illustrate their strengths and weaknesses.

We knew that Dave has heard reports from his peers in the ASC that are using DSLRs and has been taking a closer look at them for his own work. We asked him how well these new cameras hold up for digital cinema, both technically and in practice. Here's what he told us.
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The creative minds behind the web's existential comedy series "Coma, Period." talk about their craft and the challenges of designing the sounds that represent those heard inside a character's subconscious mind.

Rick Castaneda (Writer/Director) says of the project: When I first came up with the idea to create a web series that took place entirely inside someone's head, the value was immediate -- I could do anything I wanted. Here was my main character, Dan Humford, who had a car crash and ended up in a coma. We've given him the white space of his subconscious, and are letting him interact with all of his deepest desires, the nightmares, and random thoughts that he's had. If we wanted to, we could bring in a T-Rex, and have them talk about their feelings. That's how wide open the show is.

I brought in Lawrence to sound design really early -- actually at the script level -- because I knew that with such a blank white space, with nothing to look at, sound would be more important than ever. Infinite possibility was the first problem we had in sound designing the series -- we could really make the inside of Dan's head sound like anything we wanted to. This wasn't a park -- which you've been to, and you know how it sounds. This is the inside of a person's head. What does that sound like? A desert? A conch shell?

How did they create all of these endless possibilities for the audience?

Read the complete article online at http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/sound-design-for-the-web
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CreativeCOW.net brings fresh to you the industry's latest news items in the Creative COW NEWS section featuring the products and technologies you use, as well a look at who's doing what...
  • Broadcast technology companies including: Dalet, Harris, Snell, Softron and Thomson/Grass Valley
  • Distribution technology from companies including Digital Rapids, Harmonic, Omneon and Telestream
  • Film and digital cinema production including Angenieux, Cooke Optics, MARVIN, IRIDAS and Silicon Imaging
  • Cameras from ARRI, Element Technica, Hitachi, Ikegami, Panasonic and Sony
  • Technologies including Asset Management, Color Grading, Live to Air, Previsualization, SAN Solutions and Stereoscopic 3D.
  • This, in addition to post and production gear from companies including Adobe, Apple, Avid, Autodesk, DaVinci, and Quantel.
We're just scratching the surface here. As we mentioned, over 200 pre-categorized "quick linked" terms, plus a robust Search feature to let you dig as deep as you want, into exactly where and what you want. With daily updates and powerful search and sort features conveniently quick-linked, we think you will find the news section worth visiting on a regular basis.

Hey, don't we feature all the news in our newsletter? We try, but we often get far too much news to always feature every item that we receive. In busy news times like NAB, CINEGEAR EXPO, SIGGRAPH, IBC and other major events, we get far too much to include in our weekly newsletters. So, if you want to know the whole story, a quick trip to our news section is a worthy trip to make from time to time.

We also have a RSS feed function that you can tap to bring the news even faster to you. You can find the RSS function link on the news page, just above the "quick links" list of companies and quick search terms.

news.creativecow.net -- it's where it's all happening.

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Image Stabilization in Sony Vegas 10


With version 10, the team at Sony Creative Software added many new features to the already powerful feature set of Sony Vegas. One of the most requested and popular new features added is image stabilization.

In this video tutorial, Creative COW leader Michael Hurwicz explores not only the basics of image stabilization, as well as short-cuts to speed workflows, but includes a workaround for stabilizing unsupported formats like Panasonic MXF files. He also explains how to use "takes" to preview multiple stabilization alternatives.

You can find the tutorial online at: http://library.creativecow.net/hurwicz_michael/Image-Stabilization
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There are plenty of advantages to shooting video on solid-state cards, but cards have one particular headache of their own. That's when you have to offload your cards to a backup hard drive while working in the field. Maybe you have to free up card space so you can continue shooting, or maybe you have to hand your footage to a client who didn't bring their own cards. Either way, doing an in-the-field offload usually means bringing a laptop, a card reader, external hard drives and lots of cabling to your location, then finding a secure place to set it all up, and then waiting around as each card slowly copies to the drives.

No one looks forward to this. It certainly never appealing. But instead of hauling around an entire computer ecosystem, or busting the bank on more cardage, you can invest in a portable card backup device, which includes a built-in hard drive or SSD (solid-state drive), is small enough to hold in your hand, runs on battery power, and makes copying cards quick and foolproof.

This review by Helmut Kobler takes a look at two products that he's worked with for the last few weeks.

Read the article online at http://library.creativecow.net/kobler_helmut/solid-state/1
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We've all been hearing more and more about Facebook and Twitter and the rest. They've made fortunes for their founders, but can they make money for YOU? Creative COW Contributing Editor Richard Harrington has learned some of the secrets of what to do, and what to avoid, as you add social media to your bag of marketing tricks. "The social media movement is filled with a lot of hot air right now," he writes, "just like the real estate market, the social media boom will pop.

But people need homes, and people have a real need to communicate with others in meaningful ways. Social media is a real communication medium that can be incredibly valuable, but it can be overwhelming at first. If you look for help, you'll encounter a lot of bad advice. That's why I am writing this article, to offer you practical advice and real world experiences about how social media can help those of us who work with traditional media."

Read more here.
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ABC has been the first network to stream video on virtually every new platform. In this story from Creative COW Magazine's "Divergence Issue," you'll learn how their workflow has evolved to reach viewers wherever and however they're watching.

When we here at Creative COW got our new iPads, the first app we downloaded with the ABC Player we'd been hearing so much about. We were floored! It was gorgeous, fast, easy to use, and delivered amazing-looking video. ABC's Robert Longwell has been hosting in the COW's Telestream Episode forum for quite a while now, so we asked him who was responsible for this remarkable thing. Well, it turns out that, as Director of Video Operations, Digital Media, for the Disney/ABC Television Group -- Robert was!

To be more accurate, he was of course part of an aggressive creative team at ABC. Here was one of the most remarkable parts of what Robert told us: they heard about the iPad the same day we all did, and got their iPads the same day we all did. No special treatment for these guys whatsoever, and yet they did what they had to do in order to deliver streaming video on the day the iPad landed.

That's just one part of Robert's look at the evolution of ABC's digital strategy in "The Divergence Issue" of Creative COW Magazine. Here's the rest of this remarkable story.

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In one of the most popular articles from the latest issue of Creative COW Magazine, the South African team at Reflex Motion Control applies the robotic motion-control expertise it gained in live-action production, to create stop-motion stereographic motion plates on a 14:1 miniature set. In a project created through Cape Town-based animation and post specialists BlackGinger, and production company Shy the Sun, who had been contracted by Ogilvy Johannesburg to develop two scripts for M-Net, the major satellite pay TV provider in South Africa. These were to be two 60-second spots that would air in theaters before 3D feature films, one called Firefly, the other Ladybug. Firefly was a night scene where a firefly's source of light (a lamp) goes out, and he goes on a search through a forest for a new light. Ladybug was a similar idea, but in daylight. The producers found that producing photorealistic backgrounds would take way too long, and be very expensive. Shooting miniature sets was going to be much more cost effective.

Reflex Motion Control's job was to create a 3D motion path for the background plate, as they followed a little firefly through trees and under brambles and bushes. They exported the path created as three-dimensional data that identified keyframes and some of the frames between them. The move was pulled into Houdini, where it was evaluated, and any changes decided.

To create the flight path of the firefly, they used a single Canon 5D Mk II on a motion control arm to photograph one frame at a time, first one eye and then the other -- using motion control to precisely move to each position. This allowed the team to also animate convergence, and to create a result that is groundbreaking.

Want to watch the movie and read the how-to?

You will find it online in the Creative COW Magazine article found at http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/5d-3d

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With version CS5, Adobe took Premiere Pro into new powers and abilities that enable CS5 to work directly with many of the latest file formats without the kinds of conversions and re-encodings needed in some other programs. Because of this and many other new features, Premiere Pro CS5 is gaining the kind of respect and usefulness demanded by professionals.

If you are one of those who is digging into Premiere Pro CS5, we have been getting many new tutorials from Andrew Devis, a media trainer and producer based in Leeds, UK. Andrew trains both Premiere Pro and After Effects as an Adobe Certified Instructor as well as some of the surrounding programmes such as Mocha.

You will find Andrew's new series in the Creative COW Library at http://library.creativecow.net/articles/devis_andrew/

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Things change fast! New products, new platforms, new ways of working -- they're all coming fast at you, and there's no time to waste getting up to speed. That's why Creative COW exists, of course, to get you the help you need while you figure all of it out. And as your work evolves, so do we! Meet some of the newest forums that have joined the COW round-up!

DSLR Video is hot and getting hotter...but not necessarily getting any easier to actually USE. Start here for advice from some of the industry's leading experts. Tip: if you have NLE-specific questions, be sure to check the forums for your favorite editing software too. You'll find it online at http://forums.creativecow.net/dslr

Field Production requires keeping your wits about you at all times, and your eyes open to every possibility. You also need to remember that you can reach the new Field Production forum on your mobile devices! You can find it online in the COW at http://forums.creativecow.net/fieldproduction

CatDV is one of the year's most useful and in-demand products, and of course you'll find the industry's most active and informed discussions about it right here at Creative COW! You can find it at http://forums.creativecow.net/catdv

And don't forget to read the first article in the COW Library from Thomas Miller, "Shooting True First-Person Interviews," in which Thomas Miller -- the host of our Field Production forum -- shares a technique he uses to get great eye contact from those he's interviewing. It's an excellent idea born or Tom's 20 years of shooting in the field. You can read it in our Library at http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/shooting-true-firstperson-interviews

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