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HP DreamColor monitors in video; Worldsourcing production

The HP DreamColor LP2480xz Professional Display was released in 2008, which raises the question, why do a new review in 2010? The answer is simple: even two years after it hit the streets, no oher 10-bit monitor looks this good, at this price.

So before we get to Jeremy's review, a speedy refresher on the HP DreamColor display, which was developed in a close collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. This wasn't a marketing gimmick springing from HP's need for cachet and a clever name. DreamWorks was (and is) a paying customer, banging on the door for a better tool for mission-critical color work. To that end, along with the monitor, HP offers the DreamColor Advanced Profiling Solution, which includes Windows and Mac software, and an HP-branded colorimeter licensed from X-Rite, the industry leaders in color science who are HP's "Color Technology Partner."

The juicy goodness holding it all together is the DreamColor Engine. Yes, there is a literal engine in the monitor - a CPU that HP has programmed for color management. The display itself is built specifically for HP by LG Display (most definitely NOT a licensed version of off-the-shelf components as other reviews have stated), along with considerable development on firmware, which is also undebatable.

But, more importantly to most COW members is the question: does it work in the real world? Read Jeremy's report. He bought one and has been using it for over a year in a 10-bit video production setting.
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Creative COW members have been leaving high praise on Paolo Ciccone's many Blender 3D training videos now online in the Creative COW Library. Since beginning his series at the beginning of February, over 24,000 COW members have watched one or more lessons from Paolo's series. Of himself, Paolo says: "I worked as an R&D engineer for a company in the Silicon Valley now gone but at that time was one of the best in the field: Borland International. At Borland, I was the main OOS evangelist and successfully achieved the port of JBuilder to Linux. I moved to video/mograph production several years ago, and contributed to the OBJ import/export code for Blender 2.48. I'm now in the process of developing a full-fledged export to After Effects."

Paolo started the Blender series with the popular "After Effects Exporter for Blender" demonstrating Blender's new After Effects Exporter (AEE), a program that exports Blender animations to After Effects for easy post work. The AEE integrates perfectly inside Blender 2.49 and is capable of exporting camera information, mesh reference points, 3D text reference points, planes, lights and rendered footage. All with one click of the mouse.

Following this first Blender instructional video, Paolo launched into his quickly growing "Blender Survival Guide" series, a series which today stands at five installments -- which if we are learning anything about Paolo, we expect to see more in the days ahead.

So, if you are one of the many that tried Blender and gave up because it was just to hard and convoluted and poorly documented for your tastes, see for yourself why COW members are raving about Paolo's series. He really does have the ability to make it all make sense and to present it in a way that many COW members are quickly becoming fans of both Blender and Paolo Ciccone.

Visit the series online here.
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Our Music Video Contest Ends

For the last 45 days, we have watched as 236 music videos were uploaded and voted on during our first-ever Creative COW International Music Video Competition.

The votes are in and the award of $1,000 goes to Eduardo Souza and Rodrigo Lima, founding partners of Rio de Janeiro-based design and animation production company, PAVE Gastronomia Visual. Their music video for Brazilian artists, Os Paralamas do Successo, stayed in the Top 5 for nearly most of the contest -- and though it slipped down the ranks a few times -- it ended the contest as the audience favorite.

Our contests are never based solely on popular vote, and our judges panel had to agree with the audience that if we were ever going to all agree on a single video, it would be A LHE ESPERAR by Os Paralamas Do Sucesso. So, congratulations to Eduardo and Rodrigo and the artists of Brazil who have to take pride in their sense of design, style, and craft.

There was another award to be granted during this contest and it was our $500 Reviewers grant for the most articulate reviews. That recognition goes to Jim Hines, a man who was the clear leader with so many wonderful reviews and comments.

If you missed out on the videos, please visit them and see the incredible work that is being done around the world by COW members in nearly every corner of the world.

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Practical Particles

Creative COW is proud to welcome you to the newest member of the Creative COW Master Series of great DVD training titles, PRACTICAL PARTICLES, by Michael Parks.

The inspiration behind this DVD on using Trapcode Particular with Adobe After Effects, came when Michael Park realized just how integral to many core media techniques and effects that particles have become. From advertisements, to feature films, to television shows, particles are literally everywhere. He chose to use Trapcode’s Particular as his particle generator of choice because of the immense flexibility it affords and some of the unique features it offers compared to the particle generators inside of After Effects.

This training dvd addresses everything from simple particle generation from a single emitter to multiple emitters interacting with 3d layers in your compositions. The projects are specifically designed to showcase the wide variety of Particular’s main features and demonstrate both traditional and creative uses of particles in your work.

This dvd is a must-have for any Particular or After Effects user. It covers particle related subjects such as emitters, particle types, physics, motion paths and much, much more through the step-by-step creation of real world examples. The tutorials will also enhance your standard After Effects knowledge by exploring expressions, manipulating and combining effects and teaching you tips and tricks to set your work apart from the crowd. The dvd contains everything you need to recreate the exciting effects demonstrated in the projects, as well as the final project file for your modification and reverse engineering. Whether looking for specific training on Particular, or more general training to take your After Effects knowledge to the next level, you will not find more bang for your buck than with Creative Cow’s Practical Particles!

Many COW members signed up for the pre-sale $39.95 price for this DVD, prior to its release, and received the first copies when it shipped in early January. Now, for the next five days only, you can get Practical Particles for $39.95..

Need more info?
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NAB Show

Complementary Expo Pass Registration

Learn more about or Register for Conferences

Sure, the NAB Show offers a great chance to see and touch the latest gear, and speak face to face with manufacturers in their booths, but it also offers the widest range of education and information opportunities available in any single location. This year, there are more sessions than ever, covering every aspect of production, post, and the latest technologies for broadcast and beyond -- including social media, 3D in the home, digital intermediates, and iPhone and iPad video, and including certified training for manufacturers including Adobe, Apple and Avid.

A date to note: this Friday, FEBRUARY 19 -- that's when COW pricing ends, for both individual conferences and Super Session passes.

Other dates to note: the NAB Show runs from April 12-15 in Las Vegas, with conferences beginning as early as Saturday, April 10. Those conferences include:
  • Broadcast Engineering
  • Broadcast Management
  • Broader-casting
  • Digital Cinema Summit
  • Military & Government Summit
  • Post|Production World, which also includes the Producers|Directors Workshop, DSLR Cinema Workshop, the Director of Photography Workshop, and much more.
The COW is proud to be listed as providing Special Support for Post|Production World and the Broader-casting Conference. These are not only great educational opportunities, but a chance to meet some of The COWs - and the industry's - most respected and most popular leaders, including Richard Harrington, Gary Adcock, Robbie Carman, Marcus Geduld, Mark Spencer, and Douglas Spotted Eagle.

Stay tuned for more news about these conferences, and about COWs at NAB and don't forget the COW member code when registering at NAB: CC01.

And don't forget to vote for your favorites in the Creative COW International Music Video Contest.
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NAB Show

Complementary Expo Pass Registration

Learn more about or Register for Conferences

The NAB Show is very well known for vendor booths of course, but it also offers some of the most intense production and post conferences and workshops in the industry. We're proud to note that many Cow leaders will be leading sessions in the Post|Production World Conference, the Producer|Director's Workshop and the Director of Photography Workshop, beginning on Saturday, April 10.

As you've seen from the COW forums, in tutorials and reviews in the COW library, and from podcasts and DVDs, these guys know what they're talking about. By attending the conferences, you'll find that they're also terrific presenters in person.
Act now and save big, both for individual conferences and a variety of combination passes. Register HERE, and enter "CC01" as the promotion code. This is for Cows-only, and will only last through Feb. 19th.
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New DSLR Forum

People have been talking about the amazing video footage coming from new DSLR cameras, at resolutions that can easily exceed 4K digital cinema files, for a couple of years now, in all kinds of forums, including Cinematography, After Effects, and many NLE forums. In the past year, that traffic has continued to accelerate, and so we invite you to join us in a newly-created forum to concentrate all of that energy in one place: Creative Cow's new "DSLR Video" forum.

To celebrate, we asked Marco Solorio to update an article he wrote for "The Workflow Issue" of Creative Cow Magazine, "Time Lapse Video Secrets: HD and Beyond with your Digital Camera. (See? We really have been talking about this for years.) He gladly rewrote it for us to incorporate the latest models and techniques. And coming soon in Creative Cow Magazine: Marco's look at the state of the art in HDSLR video -- not just a review, but a look at how to maximize the potential of HDSLR video with paying clients.

In the meantime, if you've got questions about DSLR video, this is the place to start. The forum's hosts include Richard Harrington, who hosts several other forums us (follow that link for details), as well as Creative Cow's Photoshop for Video and Final Cut Studio podcasts. With over two dozen books already under his belt, his latest is set for release this spring by Peach Pit Press, "From Still to Motion: A photographer's guide to creating video with your DSLR."

Our newest "DSLR Video" forum host is Lance Bachelder, an expert in independent feature production and post-production. His work includes title design, editing, post sound mixing, original music, cinematography and directing. Most recently, he served as the Supervising Editor for the past several seasons of the children's series, "Back at the Barnyard," based on the 2006 movie "Barnyard," where Lance worked with writer-director Steve Oederkerk.

Seriously now, what are you waiting for? For a quickly-growing community of video and film professionals who are starting to explore this exciting new technology, visit the Cow's "DSLR Video" forum!
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Music Videos

Yes, Creative COW is taking another big step, this time chartering a new non-profit foundation whose sole mission is to help deserving students who are studying film and media, pay for their educations. We will shortly be naming the first institution that we will be working with and the lawyers are working on the documents, so expect to hear more soon.

How will it work? Well, in typical COW Fashion, 100% of what the foundation raises will go directly to students. All bookkeeping, legal, managerial and other fees and costs, will be borne by - as part of our donation to the foundation - so that whatever you do that adds to the charity, is 100% directly helping our scholarship recipients.

Because we take the WORLD part very seriously in our Communities of the World moniker, we will not just assist students in the USA but international students, as well.

So, we'll see you in Las Vegas and we hope you will take part in this new addition to the Creative COW community effort.

Oh, and while your eyes are already down here, why don't you scroll down a bit and see some of the great Top 30 videos that are a part of our new MUSIC VIDEO competition...
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The Legacy

It was really hard to pick the winner in our Trailers competition. There were so many worthy contenders and we could have picked any one of a dozen or so. But after much debate and a couple more days of consideration than we had planned, we picked "The Legacy" which scored very high with COW members and was the favorite of our judges panel. Our judges thought that the "extra ingredient" that made The Legacy so special was its element of childlike wonder, as the boy discovers his dad is a super hero -- and at the dinner table, the dad flips the cap away with his thumb in a move that only a super hero could make. The boy is stunned. Of all the various images and scenes that our judges discussed, this one was the one that they kept coming back to.

Victor Carbonneau is the creator of The Legacy trailer, and he also held about 40% of the Top 10 for much of the contest, with his other entries for The Golden Compass game trailer, the Nights: Journey of Dreams game trailer, as well as the comedy film trailer for "Peace," which stars Kurtwood Smith and Nancy Lenehan. Congratulations, Victor.

Our $500 Reviewer's Award goes to Brian Berneker, who had many great reviews across the various trailers. Some of our favorite reviews are his comments found on film trailers like Ghost Street, Peace, Dead West and others. Thank you, Brian, for being a fair and considered voice in the rankings that you brought to the contest.

Some of our other favorite trailers in the contest, were "Tunnel To A Lost World," a documentary brought to you by the National Geographic Channel. "Dead West" was another favorite, a trailer for a story of a failing independent film studio that switches from westerns to vampire movies -- only to find that the vampires they are filming are real. One of our other favorites was a late entry for "Creative COW: The Movie," entered by Jamie Hobert and a small team who rushed the production to make the deadline and clearly became an audience favorite in the closing days of the voting. Thanks you guys, it was hilarious and we loved it!

But now it's time to move on to our new Music Videos competition...

Music Videos Competition
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