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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.
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Pixels: Going From 8-bit 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.

There's a lot of great stuff to go along with this one. Some exclusive shot breakdowns, a terrific 35th birthday (!!!) video tribute to Pac-Man, and the astounding, must-see 2010 short (only 2:34) by Patrick Jean that inspired the feature. You'll definitely want to check this article out.







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.







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.


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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.





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.





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!



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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!




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.

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Douglas Spotted Eagle is one of the most experienced aerial action shooters in the business, and came up with a fantastic approach to evaluating 11 of the leading POV camera options at once: he mounted them ALL to his helmet in a configuration he calls Frankenlens. The process was NOT designed to find *the best* POV camera, but to give you an idea about the out of box experience -- unmodded and untweaked -- to help you find what might work best for YOU.

Douglas wrote this article for us in the summer of 2014, so it doesn't necessarily include the latest versions of every camera. But as things heat up again in 2015, we're seeing more and more folks find their way back to this fantastic overview. We're pleased to present it again for your jumping-out-of-airplanes pleasure.




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 Keyer. Enthusiasm expressed by COW members for its latest release led us to ask Simon for a tour. If you're keying on a Mac, you're going to want to check this out.
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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 Keyer. Enthusiasm expressed by COW members for its latest release led us to ask Simon for a tour. If you're keying on a Mac, you're going to want to check this out.






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.







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 cutting edge technology that was just beginning to emerge, including a passionate belief in the possibilities that Betacam could offer. This is a truly astounding tale of creativity at the crossroads, and an intimate look inside the mind and work of one of the 20th century's most influential storytellers.
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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 different story than the one he had planned. This is a story about stories, as well as the challenge of managing lots and lots of cameras.
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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 Fitness in Post's Zack Arnold for a wide-ranging conversation on editing, exercise, nutrition, finances, and whether this crazy job is worth the pain. Spoiler alert: Yes, but you'll be intrigued to hear Alan's reasons why.




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. Every time.




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 cutting edge technology that was just beginning to emerge, including a passionate belief in the possibilities that Betacam could offer. This is a truly astounding tale of creativity at the crossroads, and an intimate look inside the mind and work of one of the 20th century’s most influential storytellers.
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3 Steps to Perfect, Painless Avid-Resolve Roundtripping
Everything that most Avid Media Composer/Symphony and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve artists need to know about relinking sequences is contained in just three bin columns. Just three. Avid editor and workflow consultant Scott Freeman will show you which three metadata fields to keep an eye on for perfect, painless Avid-Resolve roundtripping.





Orson Welles

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 cutting edge technology that was just beginning to emerge, including a passionate belief in the possibilities that Betacam could offer. This is a truly astounding tale of creativity at the crossroads, and an intimate look inside the mind and work of one of the 20th century's most influential storytellers.






Stepping into the Surgeon's Eyes
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 cutting edge technology that was just beginning to emerge, including a passionate belief in the possibilities that Betacam could offer. This is a truly astounding tale of creativity at the crossroads, and an intimate look inside the mind and work of one of the 20th century's most influential storytellers.





Motion 5 Light Streaks
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, 3D space, and more.

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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 cutting edge technology that was just beginning to emerge, including a passionate belief in the possibilities that Betacam could offer. This is a truly astounding tale of creativity at the crossroads, and an intimate look inside the mind and work of one of the 20th century’s most influential storytellers.




7 Customer Service Rules for Better Post Production7 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.






Motion 5 Light Streaks

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, 3D space, and more.






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 studios. Read on as Bob helps you put together a plan to build your own.


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, 3D space, and more.
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