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HP Introduces Skyroom

Ron Lindeboom looks at the powerful HP SkyRoom technology, which allows team members to interact in high definition video with one another. Highly powerful, yet priced within reach of many small to medium-sized companies -- nevertheless, the system is powerful enough for even major players like Dreamworks Animation, who used the system during the making of the blockbuster 'Monsters vs Aliens.' Powerful, elegant, simple to use.


Also, Tim Wilson looks at SkyRoom's advanced, and frankly, quite elegant, technologies, for visually lossless sharing of rich media and 3D applications. If you're a Windows-based media professional, you're definitely going to want to take a look.

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The Future of DaVinci

Blackmagic founder Grant Petty says that the company's purchase of DaVinci systems actually fits exactly what they have done all along: build the kinds of products they have needed for their own postproduction business, and being the kind of company they'd want to do business with. While important details are still being worked out, Grant has some very clear visions about how these practices can help rebuild one of the industry's most respected brands.

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Blackmagicdesign Buys De Vinci

Today, the news leading into IBC 2009 got a special jolt. Blackmagic Design has acquired da Vinci Systems. Yes, you read that right...the legendary da Vinci colorgrading technology is now the property of Blackmagic Design. In four parts of various chapters of the story, the COW Team has brought together talks with members of the Blackmagic team, users of da Vinci Systems tools, COW leaders, and others to explore the story from a wide vantage point.

To read Grant Petty's letter to his employees about the company's purchase of da Vinci, please see...

For Tim Wilson's Part One of the story, The BMD Acquisition, please see...

For Tim's Part Two installment, The Power of da Vinci, please see...

For Tim's Part Three installment, Longtime da Vinci Users Discuss the News, please see...

To discuss this news, please visit our new DaVinci forum, or see our Blackmagic Design forum, or visit our Apple Color and Apple Final Cut forums.
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Fill in Some of the Blanks

Sometimes you need lights. Sometimes you need a camera. And sometimes, you need action. That's why, in addition to forums for every aspect of production and post production, we offer one forum that puts it all together in ways that make you money: Creative COW's Business & Marketing forum.

When you take a look, you'll see why it's one of our very, very most popular communities. Here are some recent threads:

Political Spots I know political spots can generate a lot of revenue during the political season...but do any have reservations producing spots for candidates or issues that you are personally opposed to?

Errors & Omissions Insurance Coverage I'm developing a project and it appears I will need to buy errors and omissions (malpractice) insurance coverage if I want the local PBS station to carry it, a half-hour educational/historical documentary. I'd like to hear from all producers, writers, editors, or whomever about their experience with errors and omissions insurance. I'd also like to know where you got it.

Listen...can you hear me? There's sometimes a wide difference between what a client says they want and what they really need. If you only ever deliver exactly what they ask for, but never more, or better, you won't do well long-term.

Somewhat OT: Health Issues When I was in my 20s and a full-time EFP/ENG camera op, I was in fairly good shape, quite active in the daily activities that go along with being in the field, running around carrying gear. Since I became primarily a full-time editor/producer in 2000, I have put on about 20 pounds and have developed some health problems. My question is if anyone else has seen this in their lives, what did they do about?

The 10-sec. Email & The Principle of Counterproductivity Email is this age's great technological breakthrough for widespread, instantaneous passive aggression.

And in case the Business & Marketing Forum isn't what you need, we have 150 more where that came from...
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Flypacking for the Dalai Lama

Need a single, portable production package for image magnification, broadcast and webcast - all at the same time? Don't panic... In this feature from Creative COW Magazine, Todd Gillespie's experience with an event featuring the Dalai Lama will help you find inner peace.

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Formal Invitation

If you are a member of any of the top social networks, such as the business social networks at and, or the less serious networks at Facebook or Twitter, we'd like to invite you to join the Creative COW groups found in these social networking sites.

Our LinkedIn group has been given the most attention and will soon be crossing the 4,000 member marker, whereas our group just went live and is brand new -- we added it due to many requests from our Plaxo friends.

Our Twitter group is beginning to take off, and our new Facebook group is sure to be strong in the days ahead. (Our apologies to our Facebook friends for ignoring them for so long, we have been really busy and finally got around to showing up on Facebook from time to time.)

So, if you have a moment and would like to join any of these groups, please click on the logos or the text links that will direct you to the appropriate group of interest to you.

LinkedIn Cow group link   •   Facebook   •   Twitter   •   Plaxo/Pulse
Twitter Plaxo Facebook LinkedIn
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Final Cut Studio 3

The COW's man in Nepal, Jiggy Gaton, likes to live for danger. He installed a major software upgrade mid-project, with virtually no preparation, just to see what would break. Lo and behold, it all worked! And the more Jiggy works with it, the better he's liking it. What you'll read here isn't just a review: it's the experience of a paying customer, working on a client's job.

Jiggy is far from alone, of course. Dozens of new threads are being added to The COW's Apple Final Cut Pro forum every day, such as, "Okay, so what do you REALLY think?" With additional forums for Apple Color, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, as well as supporting products from companies like AJA and Blackmagic Design, cameras of every description, and -- best of all -- the real-world experiences of over 1.6 million visitors from around the world every month, Creative COW is the world's most complete resource on everything related to Final Cut Studio 3!

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Bessie's Real-Time Business Advice

Need help making money? Even more important, do you need help collecting money from clients for the work you've already done? Pay close attention. One of our members posted her problem in the Cow's Business & Marketing forum this morning: "I am a freelancer who provides services relating to video,photography & design. This is a fairly new venture for me as a fulltime business and I am learning the ins and outs.

"Unfortunately, I am in a bit of a pickle with a 'deadbeat' client."

Within hours, she got some wonderful advice, both for this problem and for moving forward: how to protect yourself with good contracts, how to manage your clients, and ultimately, learning to be honest with yourself about what kind of businessperson you want to be.

The thread is still evolving as we speak of course, and we hope that you'll add your perspective. We certainly can't promise the answers to your specific problems within hours. (The SEARCH button will often help you find answers even more quickly, but that's another story.) We absolutely can promise that you'll hear from many of the industry's most successful business owners, and, with tens of thousands of visitors passing through every day, many people who've been in jams just like yours.

Shared experience. Money-making solutions. Real time. That's just some of what you'll find in Creative COW's Business & Marketing Forum.

PS. We've also got loads of business articles in our library, including one of our perennially most popular, "Clients or Grinders." And if you need to make hay while the sun shines -- or while you're driving -- we also recommend the "Client Management" episode of our Business Strategies podcast.
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Coraline, Reality & 3D Storytelling

Coraline By working in the area between what you see, and what you CAN see, Brian Gardner is helping re-write the rules of 3D filmmaking - right before your very eyes. As the Stereographic Adviser of "Coraline," Brian showed how to incorporate traditional cinematic storytelling devices that had previously been considered forbidden in 3D moviemaking, and at the same time, bringing in methods that will shape its future.

We were certainly impressed with the beauty and imagination we saw in "Coraline" on the big screen, and amazed by its fully integrated 3D. Just released on DVD and Blu-ray, "Coraline" comes with four sets of 3D glasses -- we were just as amazed with the 3D at home.

Brian's diverse experience includes everything from directing stage plays to being a technical director, 3D artist, or technology supervisor on visual effects blockbuster movies, like "X-Men," "The Matrix Reloaded," "The Matrix Revolutions," "Babe," "The Chronicles of Riddick," "Batman Forever," and many others. In the expanded edition of his article for Creative COW Magazine's "Stereographic 3D" issue, Brian delves into the world of human perception to reveal how our mind processes visual information, including 3D. He also explores how this can shape our 3D storytelling as filmmakers. You're going to love this article, and we're proud to share it with you.

Brian Gardner
Brian on the set of "Coraline"


Coraline DVDs

Coraline in the 3D home version is simply enchanting. The Blu-ray version is stunning but for SD viewers it also works very well -- especially for those who use up-converting progressive scan 1080 DVD players. That was what we used when we showed some friends and both of them went home and later bought Coraline for their own home theater systems. The anaglyph (red/blue glasses) 3D used on Coraline's home version works wonderfully and the garden scene towards the beginning of the movie just jumps out of the screen at you, our friends were laughing intensely in many areas of the film where the 3D works wonderfully. As far as we can tell, this is the best 3D yet that we have seen released for the home. Will it work on standard TVs? Yes. But if you have Blu-ray or an upconverting progressive scan standard DVD player with an HDMI cable, be prepared for a wonderfully immersive experience. Five cows? Yes, and then some more.
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Pushing the Limit on Pushing Daisies

Visual Effects Supervisor William Powloski helped create one of the most eye-popping worlds ever seen on TV, as part of a feature film aesthetic on a TV budget and schedule. Although it was canceled after only two seasons, "Pusing Daisies" remains one of the most beautiful and innovative programs to ever air on US television.

We're not the only ones who think so. In 2008, it received 22 Emmy nominations, the most for any comedy, and won three (Directing, Music Composition, and Picture Editing). Among the handful of other other nominations and awards for "Pushing Daisies:" Directors Guild (won, Barry Sonnenfeld), Writers Guild, Art Directors Guild, Visual Effects Society, Casting Society of America (won twice), and many, many others.

We still can't believe that it's gone! The good news is that the "Pushing Daisies" Season 2 DVD and Blu-ray sets, as well as sets for the complete series, were released today. To celebrate, here's an expanded version of Williams's original article in The Visual Effects Issue of Creative COW Magazine, an exclusive look at how he and his team helped pull off the look of this truly amazing series.

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