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Fix it in Pre

Looking for smooth shoots even on extreme locations? Want a painless post? 24P, film look, Depth of Field converter, advanced compositing and sound design. Carl Larsen shows you how to avoid problems through planning, along with invaluable tips for cinematic storytelling on a tight schedule. In this Creative Cow Magazine extra from the "Workflow 3.0" issue, Carl Larsen shows you how to avoid problems through planning, along with invaluable tips for cinematic storytelling on a tight schedule. Along with his remarkable story, you'll find the original short film, its animatic and storyboards, and a close look at project construction. Take a look...

Carl has also taken his production and compositing expertise to create 2 of the Cow's most popular tutorials, Building a Cube World, and Building a Cube World 2, showing easy ways to create 360 degree scenes.
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Holy COW


The word "workflow" has been abused for so long that it's easy to forget how important it really is... It's not a product feature.It's a combination of planning, discipline and creativity, achieved by perseverance, mastery of technology, and, if necessary, brute force, to get from one end of your job to the other. To redeem its abuse elsewhere, we have some especially gleaming examples of the proper use of the word "workflow" here.

South Park: TV's Longest Week Each episode of the Emmy Award-winning animated show is created, start to finish in 6 days, delivered with as little as 90 minutes before air. Here's a look at the people and technology that make it possible.

Metadata Through the Eye of the Lens A VFX cinematographer for films including "Quantum of Solace," Dave Stump also chairs the American Society of Cinematographers subcommittees for Cameras and Metadata -- and has unique insights on how the two are merging.

One team. Three Shows. Every week. FCP workflow pioneers Digital Film Tree (Cold Mountain, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Forbidden Kingdom) found themselves posting 3 network shows every week: Weeds, Everybody Hates Chris, and Scrubs. And they're doing it with the same team of 9 that used to post ONE show.

Fix it in "Pre." You might hope to fix problems in post...but the only way to make sure that you have everything you need is to start with careful pre-production. Read how one team balanced project design and storytelling while staring down the barrel of nearly impossible deadlines.

And... a round-up of Cows at work around the world and industry news. Download the latest issue here...
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Election Special


Did you think we were talking about O'Brahma and MoooCain? Bessie is a single-issue voter: more grass, please. No, we're talking about YOUR votes here at Creative COW.

Millions of people have visited the COW so far this year. Many of you are coming every bit as much for the tutorials as you do to read the over one and a half million posts in 149 forums. For this year's Election Special, we've tallied your votes, and here present to you The Most Popular Tutorials of 2008...

Top After Effects Video Tutorials
Creating the "Sin City" Look
Smoking Letters
Sci-Fi Hologram in AE
Making Design Elements Grow

Top After Effects Text Tutorials
Making Lights Disappear Behind Objects and Reappear with Expressions
Morphing in After Effects

Top Final Cut Studio Tutorials
Preparing Your Sequences To Go from Final Cut Pro to Color
The Ultimate Real-World Final Cut Pro FAQ
Stephen's 5 FCP Time-saving Tips

Top Feature Articles
The Forbidden Kingdom: Jackie Chan. Jet Li. FCP.
Clients or Grinders: 3 Market Types
Where's my rocket car? NAB spends $60 million to roadblock the future
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Bessie in Hollywood

Creators create. Everything we do is udderly unique, never before seen on earth. Right? Well, except when we need our own variation on somebody else's udderly unique work... and, hey, faster and better while we're at it. The overwhelming popularity of the recent Creating the Juno Opening Credits Look tutorial reminds us that we've got several more to help you create looks found in popular films. Take a look...

After Effects Tutorial: The Bourne Flashback The Bourne Flashback: Creating a Flashback Look
The Cow's Aharon Rabinowitz shows you how to create the flashback look as seen in the film The Bourne Ultimatum, with some extra touches and hints.

Apple Motion: Hologram Creating a Hologram
Looking to create your own holographic effect? Let Contributing Editor Stephen Smith show you how. This Apple Motion video tutorial will teach you what you need to know to create a hologram effect.

After Effects Tutorial: Invisible Cape Invisible Cape
With the help of his brother Yuval, Creative Cow contributing editor Eran Stern shows you a simple method to create the famous invisible cape effect inspired by the movie The Predator.

After Effects Tutorial: the Sin City Effect Creating the Sin City Effect
Creative Cow contributing editor Grant Swanson takes you step-by-step through the easiest and fastest (and extremely effective) way of creating the popular Sin City effect - colorized objects in a black and white world. You will learn basic techniques when working with color, and some useful masking/rotoscoping techniques. And don't miss part 2, here.

Cinematography: Film Look Looking for film look? Shoot like film.
Film look software will never offer the same impact on your work that film-style shooting will. Software will also always take longer than shooting right the first time. Longtime film shooter Kim Segel shows you the tools and techniques to maximize film looks, even on pauper's budgets.

After Effects Tutorial: the Juno Look Creating the Juno Opening Credits Look The independent film
Juno featured one of the most distincitive opening credit sequences in recent memory. It has a wonderful handmade look - which it turned out was created by hand. Whether you have seen Juno or not, Cow leader Simon Bonner shows a much easier way to create unique, handcrafted looks, without the pain.

These are just a few of the thousands of tutorials, articles and industry insights you'll find in the COW Library.
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Product Reality TV

Michael Essany is the author of "Reality Check - The Business and Art of Producing Reality TV", and in our newest episode of the Creative COW Podcast with host Franklin McMahon, Michael joins Franklin to discuss how he went from a local show to a multi-million dollar program on E Entertainment Television. Along the way, Michael offers tips on getting into the reality TV business, just how scripted "reality" shows really are, and the best path to take when planning out production of a reality-based television show.

If you use iTunes, you can join the Creative COW Podcast here.

Or visit the show online at
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Fame Fortune Fun

As the Cow approaches 1,000,000 visitors every month, it's also expanding beyond the web's best source for peer-to-peer support for storage, cameras, hardware, software, and information, to now also offer the web's most trafficked source for services, gigs and events.

Now with over 900 listings, we're adding more of them every day, from all over the world, in fields including subtitling, photography, web development, voiceovers, and every aspect of film & video production from previz to post.

Yes, there are hundreds of listings for high-level positions in animation and film & video production -- HD shooters, particle animators... honestly, all of it -- with dozens more being added every week. Recent listings also include Flash and .NET developers, sales reps, multimedia technicians, and an Assistant Professor in Interactive Digital Media.

There's a section devoted to low-paying gigs and internships for folks who are just getting started and want to fill their resumes with real-world experience. And of course an area for you to tell the world that you're available for work.

(While we're at it, we should probably mention our Classifieds too.)

FUN: FESTIVALS, USER GROUPS AND MORE No matter what you're interested in, and no matter where you are, you're going to find something truly fun: a cinematography workshop in Fireze (Florence) Italy, the Paso Robles Digital Film Festival ("In the heart of California's Wine Country"), where this year's theme is Music and Film, a 3D modeling workshop, an Avid User Group in Boston on the subject of digital asset management, and "Disaster Recovery Strategies for Broadcasters and Facilities" in Detroit.

Click the appropriate link to add your service listing, post your high-pay opportunities and low-pay/intership gigs and jobs wanted, and announce your events.
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Cow in Space

You've seen the effect before -- footage of a human, feet firmly planted on Earth as a camera zooms up into the air, past planes and birds, through the clouds, beyond the satellites and into orbit. It's beautiful. Well, there are a lot of ways to achieve this effect, and this tutorial by Greg Neumayer is a truly compelling example of compositing and animation expertise that you'll love putting your own spin on.

Be sure to check out our other most recent tutorials, spanning the globe of content creation....and beyond!

Professional motion graphics artist, Greg Neumayer, shares his experience creating the zoom out from earth to outer space effect using Maya and After Effects. Greg walks you through how he solved the transition problems associated with this large scale effect where realism can be very difficult to achieve.
Greg Neumayer
Adobe After Effects
In this video tutorial, Creative Cow leader Aharon Rabinowitz shows you how to create the flashback look as seen in the film The Bourne Ultimatum with some extra touches and hints.
Aharon Rabinowitz
Web Design
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a full page pop-up window that overlays an existing html page. This technique is used often for displaying a video, movie file, picture, or form when a user clicks on an element in a web page.
Abraham Chaffin
Adobe Illustrator
In this video tutorial Creative COW leader Vince Rosati presents a simple technique to use an obscure function in the rotate tool to quickly create radial patterns in Adobe Illustrator. Use this technique with gradiants or more complex shapes to create incredible radial patterns.
Vincent Rosati

View these and more articles at the Creative COW Library
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Two Perspectives on CS4

Adobe CS4 -- The Official Release Introduced Today

Creative Cow's 900,000 monthly visitors do more than one thing, so we offer more than one perspective on everything. That's especially important with a subject as big as Let's start with articles on CS4: Eran Stern on A Compositor's Look at CS4, and David Roth Weiss on An Editor's Look at CS4. Then tune into the Creative Cow Podcast, where Franklin McMahon talks about the features he's working with in After Effects, Premiere Pro, OnLocation, Encore, Soundbooth, and Photoshop Extended, as well as a deeper conversation with Eran Stern.

And of course, join hundreds of thousands of Cows from around the globe in the Creative Cow forums. Whether in peer-to-peer support communities for Adobe software, or cameras, or production, you'll find even more real-world experience from media creation pros in film and televsion.
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Exposing the Red Camera

Director DP, David Battistella, REDtrepreneur, early adopter and obsessed student of the RED camera system takes a closer look at how to hit the sweet spot on the RED sensor. David shows how understanding RED's inner workings will help you expose your scene just right, every time. Read more...
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Ask Bob and then Stand Back

Bob Zelin and his clients have learned the hard way what works in this industry and what doesn't. We hope that their experience can spare you some pain, but whether or not these questions or answers have anything to do with you, you're going to have a ball reading this article. Bob's a terrific writer with an unusual sense of humor, and it won't take you long to see why he's one of world's the most respected systems engineers.

Click here to download the PDF (1.2MB)

This is just one of the articles in the latest issue of the Creative Cow Magazine. Here's what else you'll find:
  • Non-broadcast video: more freedom, more satisfaction, better client relationships, more money.
  • Programming the world's largest HD display for the Atlanta Braves
  • Multi-screen installations powered by multi-camera film shoots
  • In-house production with Elvis Presley Enterprises
  • Live concert video for Journey
  • Sony XDCAM HD in action at Wembley Stadium
  • An inside look at HBO's "The Wire"
  • How-tos for surgical video, corporate-style real estate video, and more!

Click here for your complimentary subscription, in print and PDF editions!
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