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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
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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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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Our USA and international first class magazines were sent out a couple of weeks ago, and so we've waited long enough to introduce you to the latest edition of Creative COW Magazine. And what a great issue it is. It is full of cutting edge articles that explore the rapid changes in our market and the ways that people are producing, viewing and distributing media for the latest screens, big and small.

One of the stories that we feel is right up there with our best ever, is the article by Robert Longwell of ABC, who takes our members inside -- the first network to stream their first-run shows not just to web browsers, but to just about every portable device out there. It is a story you will want to read. But it doesn't stop there, the issue has many other stories that could have been our lead story, they were that good. So download it, it won't cost you anything to get our digital edition.

Visit to find our new "Divergence Issue," as well as all of our other information packed and inspiring issues of Creative COW Magazine.

Oh, and if you feel like joining our first-class subscribers who get preferred mailings and see our new issues before anyone else, you can also subscribe at -- we'd be honored to have you aboard.

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One of the COW's recent articles is proving to be a very popular one. It is Mathew Fuller's "Advanced 2.5D Animation in After Effects."

Matthew explores ways to extract depth from 2D images and give your audience the illusion of volume in a program that, as any After Effects user knows, can fake some 3D tricks -- and in this article, Mathew Fuller shows you some clever workarounds to achieving some powerful visual illusions in After Effects.

You can visit it in the COW Library at:
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On September 25 and 26, you can meet some of the COW's leaders and creators, as we head to the Los Angeles Film School (near Sunset and Vine) and take part in Photo Cine Expo 2010.

Many of the top experts in the world of HDSLR acquisition, editing and finishing will be there. Shane Hurlbut (Terminator:Salvation) is going to be there, as is Vincent Laforet -- one of the true pioneers in the field of HDSLR. Rodney Charters (24) is also slated to speak, sharing his experience of using DSLRs on the highly respected FOX series. From Creative COW, Richard Harrington will be teaching a class on Photoshop and how it works with DSLR images. We'll also have some copies of Richard's new Photoshop book, the first in our Creative COW Master Series of books from Peachpit. If you'd like to get a signed copy, come by the booth on Saturday, as Richard will be in most of the day.

Tim Wilson, the irrepressible leader of our Creative COW Magazine project, is also flying out for the event and will be bringing along not only the newest "Divergence Issue" of the COW Magazine, but we're also bringing along many of our earlier issues -- so if you'd like to get your hands on some of our back issues at no charge, here's your chance.

The first 50 people that sign up using our code, which is PCEtix4Creative will get in at no charge. That is PCE (as in Photo Cine Expo) tix (as in tickets) 4Creative (as in for Creative COW members). So, we apologize for the length of the code but we think it's going to be an information packed event and we hope to see you there.

Sign up at and go to the registration page and enter PCEtix4Creative to get your discount.

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Creative COW Magazine on the Go

Want to take the full library of Creative COW Magazine with you anywhere you travel? It's easy to do, whether you use an iPad, an iPhone, an Android, a Blackberry, or many other 3G devices.

Here's where to start. Simply go to and...

If you use an Android, a Blackberry, or many other 3G devices, just visit the downloads address above and download the editions that you want directly to your device -- we recommend the single page print-friendly edition's complete set. ;)

If you are on a Mac or PC that uses iTunes, just download any or all of our no-cost PDFs in the edition you prefer -- the print-friendly single page format (recommended) or the 'spread' edition that gives you the full magazine spreads -- to your desktop machine.

Once the PDFs are on your machine, drag the downloaded PDFs to your desktop machine's iTunes program and click on the Books setting inside iTunes to make sure that sync books is active. If you use an iPod Touch, an iPhone or an iPad, your iBooks application will show them inside iBooks, in the PDF tab that you see in the image you see at the top of this newsletter.

Now, you can now take Creative COW Magazine with you for those times when you are in the air, waiting for a meeting, in the doctor's office waiting room -- or any one of a thousand other places where you might want to spend some time with the great articles and ideas that make up each of our issues.

Creative COW Magazine continues to grow because of the industry-leading articles written by many of the top working professionals from around the world. Uniquely focused, in-depth information, all written by the people doing the work -- people that write about the tools and ideas they use in their own careers and studios. You won't find anything like it, in any other magazine in our industry.

And now you can take it with you anywhere you go, with our compliments.
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