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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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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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