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Lead VFX vendor Atomic Fiction needed a more efficient way to do the compute-intensive, and traditionally very expensive, processes of rendering. The company used the cloud-based software Conductor (http://renderconductor.com), which allows artists to offload the processing from their own computers and send it to the cloud. By the end of the project, Atomic Fiction had completed 9.1 million hours of processing in the cloud, which equates to over a millennium of processing time!


Affordable, Easy LTO Archiving


Affordable, Easy LTO Archiving

It's a simple idea: your stuff is precious, but there's too much of it to easily store. The world of LTO seems expensive and confusing, and straight talk is hard to come by. Well, it happens that Creative COW's Bob Zelin is the master of straight talk, and has had to learn a lot about archiving to help his clients meet their needs. Here's what Bob has found as he looks at the latest and greatest technology and projects for affordable, easy LTO archiving.


BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! HOT THREAD: PC WORKSTATION FOR 8K FILES IN AFTER EFFECTS

There's sometimes a difference between the longest threads at Creative COW, and the ones receiving the most attention from Google and the world at large. Here's a perfect recent example in Creative COW's Adobe After Effects forum: a thread of only moderate length that a lot of people have nevertheless found their way to, Advice needed on PC workstation for 8K files in After Effects.

Multimedia pioneer and longtime Mac loyalist David Lawrence found himself embarking on a stereoscopic, 360 degree, VR project that could benefit from a sizzlecore PC. Creative COW After Effects leader and multi-platform multimedia whiz Walter Soyka offers some suggestions from his own experience using both Macs and HP workstations.

If our traffic to this thread is any indication, this is obviously something that a lot of people are wondering about. Regardless of your own platform of choice, if you're looking for maximum performance on massive files, here's a great place to start. Read more!
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It's a simple idea: your stuff is precious, but there's too much of it to easily store. The world of LTO seems expensive and confusing, and straight talk is hard to come by. Well, it happens that Creative COW's Bob Zelin is the master of straight talk, and has had to learn a lot about archiving to help his clients meet their needs. Here's what Bob has found as he looks at the latest and greatest technology and projects for affordable, easy LTO archiving.



David Boyd, ASC

Behind the Lens: David Boyd ASC & The Walking Dead

As Season 6 of The Walking Dead dawns on AMC, one of TV's true game changers is continuing to raise its own game yet again. Episode 602 in particular, "JSS," stands as a series highlight, with director and TWD fans calling it one of the 20 greatest hours in TV history.

Thanks to the combination of the show's fans and Google, we've seen a spike in traffic to a Creative COW story from a few years ago, an interview with the show's original DP, David Boyd ASC. Before lensing the show's first season and a half, he'd also shot Friday Night Lights, Without A Trace, and every episode of Firefly, among others.

Since our conversation, David's credits have included shooting Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as directing episodes of Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time, 12 Monkeys, and four more episodes of The Walking Dead.

While we've obviously covered a lot of ground since our first conversation, David's insights into shooting in general, and the core aesthetic of The Walking Dead in particular, are every bit as enjoyable as the day we first published it. We think you'll definitely enjoy another look at Behind the Lens: David Boyd ASC & The Walking Dead. Read on...


Tomorrowland -- Building a World Beyond with cineSync *  NEWS: Product News * Whiskytree

Tomorrowland -- Building a World Beyond with cineSync

Earlier this year, Disney brought another of its theme park attractions to the silver screen in Brad Bird's Tomorrowland - a VFX-fuelled adventure that whisks viewers across time, space and alternate dimensions. Computer graphics facility Whiskytree was brought on to the project to create the gleaming cityscape of Tomorrowland itself.

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Behind the Lens: David Boyd ASC & The Walking Dead

As Season 6 of The Walking Dead dawns on AMC, one of TV's true game changers is continuing to raise its own game yet again. Episode 602 in particular, "JSS," stands as a series highlight, with director and TWD fans calling it one of the 20 greatest hours in TV history.

Thanks to the combination of the show's fans and Google, we've seen a spike in traffic to a Creative COW story from a few years ago, an interview with the show's original DP, David Boyd ASC. Before lensing the show's first season and a half, he'd also shot Friday Night Lights, Without A Trace, and every episode of Firefly, among others.

Since our conversation, David's credits have included shooting Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as directing episodes of Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time, 12 Monkeys, and four more episodes of The Walking Dead.

While we've obviously covered a lot of ground since our first conversation, David's insights into shooting in general, and the core aesthetic of The Walking Dead in particular, are every bit as enjoyable as the day we first published it. We think you'll definitely enjoy another look at Behind the Lens: David Boyd ASC & The Walking Dead. Read on...



The Drive: Pac-12 Football

The Drive to Create "The Drive: Pac-12 Football"

We've also seen a big spike to our recent conversation with 16-time Emmy Winner Jim Jorden about The Drive: Pac-12 Football. Jim helped create pioneering sports programming for NFL Films, NASCAR, and Hard Knocks for HBO, among many others: in all, two and a half decades, 69 series, 7 features, and, yes, 16 Emmys for his shooting, his editing, and his role as Executive Producer.

This year marks Season 3 of The Drive: Pac-12 Football, an unprecedented, all-access series taking a look inside one of college football's most competitive divisions. We spoke to Jim at the beginning of Season 2, which focused on UCLA. This year, the focus is on Oregon State and Utah, and their quest for a national championship.

(As we send this, Utah is ranked at #3 in the AP's national rankings, #7 in the coaches rankings.)

Once again, Jim takes everything he has learned in his career to date, combining multiple cameras and shooting teams telling a variety of stories, editing on a scale and with a speed that even NFL Films has yet to attempt: compelling stuff from Jim's perspective as a shooter, editor, producer, and director. We know you're going to enjoy this look at The Drive to Create "The Drive: Pac-12 Football. Read more....

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3D Dance Show in After Effects
When Ari Grunzeweig needed to create a dynamic promo, he turned to a remarkable combination of keyed footage, particles, and the dynamic 3D compositing and cameras in Adobe After Effects to build a virtual world exploding with dance and light. Take a look to see how to build your own 3D world in After Effects.


A scene from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Colour Grading The BBC's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is a seven-part adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel set in the Napoleonic Wars, and says Technicolor Montreal's Head Colourist Nico Ilies, a beautifully crafted period fantasy drama with outstanding acting, great cinematography and art direction, beautiful costumes and amazing VFX work -- an absolutely ideal colorist's playground. Working in Baselight Nico took pictures in a variety of directions for an unusually diverse tale.





Perfect Chroma Keys from Bad Green Screens in After Effects * Adobe After Effects * Bracer Jack

Perfect Chroma Keys from Bad Green Screens in After Effects

High-quality green screen footage is a luxury that many of us will never have. Your quest for perfect chroma keys from awful green screen footage is nearing its happy conclusion as Bracer Jack shows you exactly how to achieve success using only the tools built into Adobe After Effects.

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In an industry where mental health is hard to come by, Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Peña reminds us how important it is to ask ourselves, and our peers, "How are you? No, really. How ARE you?" Kylee also offers some suggestions for helping ourselves be honest with the answers, as we also move toward a future that allows us to be more creative, more productive, AND more sane.




Positivity: Editor Jesse Averna on Evolving Your Career * Art of the Edit * Kylee Peña

Positivity: Editor Jesse Averna on Evolving Your Career

Five-time Emmy-award winning editor Jesse Averna has been a lifelong fan of filmmaking, a love reflected in his ambition to move into directing. Jesse shares insight about evolving his career, including the importance of being a positive force in your post community.

Perfect Chroma Keys from Bad Green Screens in After Effects * Adobe After Effects * Bracer Jack

Perfect Chroma Keys from Bad Green Screens in After Effects

High-quality green screen footage is a luxury that many of us will never have. Your quest for perfect chroma keys from awful green screen footage is nearing its happy conclusion as Bracer Jack shows you exactly how to achieve success using only the tools built into Adobe After Effects.

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Five-time Emmy Award winner, Editor Jesse Averna on Evolving Your Career
Please join us in belated congratulations to our dear friend Jesse Averna on his FIFTH CONSECUTIVE EMMY AWARD for editing Sesame Street! We couldn't possibly be more delighted for him. (Even if we could have been more punctual.)

Jesse Averna is the quintessential lifelong film lover, starting in eighth grade when he got his hands on a camcorder. After spending high school working late into the night on video projects (VHS to VHS of course) and talking teachers into accepting videos instead of papers, he began to work toward a career in post production. His path eventually led him to New York, where, presumably, someone told him how to get to Sesame Street.

Recently inducted into ACE as an Affiliate Member and a founder of Twitter's #postchat, Jesse has also been building on his successes as an editor as he grows into directing -- while also trying to balance his life as a husband, father, and teacher. Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Peña spoke to him about the positivity that keeps it all moving forward.

Jesse Averna with his fifth consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing.
Jesse Averna with his fifth consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing.




Apple Motion 5: Crystal Spheres * Apple Motion * Simon Ubsdell

Apple Motion 5: Crystal Spheres

Apple Motion 5 has many powerful compositing and graphics features, but its 3D feature set is, alas, limited. (For those keeping score, it's only 2.5D). Simon Ubsdell applies his his VFX and motion graphics expertise to cleverly working around those limitations by exploiting the best of Motion's behaviors, filters, lights, cameras, blend modes, refractions, and more -- along with everything you'll need to customize the effect to your liking, and to deepen your own Motion

Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else * Art of the Edit * Kylee Peña

Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else

The Emmy Award-nominated editors of Amazon's Transparent and Lifetime's Project Runway All-Stars (Cate Haight ACE, and Emmy-winner Mary DeChambres, respectively) sit down with Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Wall for a wide-open conversation on getting started in Hollywood, getting ahead, and, most important, staying sane. Anything you want to know about editing in the real world? You'll find it right here.

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Apple Motion 5: Crystal Spheres

Simon Ubsdell has developed dozens of Apple Motion tutorials that are out of this world. This one is LITERALLY out of this world, as he cleverly works around the limitations of Motion's 2.5D environment to create a remarkably realistic, other-worldly 3D scene: three mysterious crystal spheres on a desolate planet's desert, reflecting the surrounding mountains and sunlight.

Here, Simon applies his VFX and motion graphics expertise to cleverly work around Motion's limitations by exploiting the best of its behaviors, filters, lights, cameras, blend modes, refractions, and more -- along with everything you'll need to customize the effect to your liking, as well as deepening the Motion skills you'll need to build worlds of your own. Get started!


Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else * Art of the Edit * Kylee Peña

Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else

The Emmy Award-nominated editors of Amazon's Transparent and Lifetime's Project Runway All-Stars (Cate Haight ACE, and Emmy-winner Mary DeChambres, respectively) sit down with Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Wall for a wide-open conversation on getting started in Hollywood, getting ahead, and, most important, staying sane. Anything you want to know about editing in the real world? You'll find it right here.


Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed! * Indie Film & Documentary * Gex Williams

Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed!

Microscopic budgets present limitations, but can also create opportunities. Gex Williams and Brian Crone produced Ctrl+Alt+Dance for $12,000, and it made $50,000 on its first night -- which included showings on every inhabited continent, has followings in nearly every major city, translated into 9 different languages by its fans. Want to know how to achieve that kind of global engagement? Look no further than the Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking.


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Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else * Art of the Edit * Kylee Wall

Editors on Editing, Emmys, and Everything Else

The Emmy Award-nominated editors of Amazon's Transparent and Lifetime's Project Runway All-Stars (Cate Haight ACE, and Emmy-winner Mary DeChambres, respectively) sit down with Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Wall for a wide-open conversation on getting started in Hollywood, getting ahead, and, most important, staying sane. Anything you want to know about editing in the real world? You'll find it right here.

Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed! * Indie Film & Documentary * Gex Williams

Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed!

Microscopic budgets present limitations, but can also create opportunities. Gex Williams and Brian Crone produced Ctrl+Alt+Dance for $12,000, and it made $50,000 on its first night -- which included showings on every inhabited continent, has followings in nearly every major city, translated into 9 different languages by its fans. Want to know how to achieve that kind of global engagement? Look no further than the Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking.

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The Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking -- And How To Succeed!

Microscopic budgets present limitations, but can also create opportunities. Gex Williams and Brian Crone produced Ctrl+Alt+Dance for $12,000, and it made $50,000 on its first night -- which included showings on every inhabited continent, has followings in nearly every major city, translated into 9 different languages by its fans. Want to know how to achieve that kind of global engagement? Look no further than the Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking.






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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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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