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Simon Ubsdell's FCPX Workflow Wizardry: One Smart Collection to Rule Them All

The first key to workflow wizardry is to exploit an application's strengths. In exploring the nuances of FCPX, famed workflow wizard Simon Ubsdell opens up some of the secrets around one of its most uniquely powerful, but sorely underused tools: Smart Collections. This isn't about replacing your existing project management (although it can). It's about leveraging some of the ridiculously awesome power of the Smart Collection to make your work flow far more easily than you might have imagined.

Another aspect of Simon's wizardry: this is something he quickly whipped together springing out of two very energetic conversations in Creative COW's FCPX or Not: The Debate forum. The first is based on Charlie Austin's presentation for FCPWORKS' FCP Exchange, called Making the Switch to X: A Comparative Study. As the conversation evolved, Simon more deeply explored the specific question, what might happen if you used one Library, one Event, one Smart Collection to organize everything? He continued to explore this on the new thread from whence this tutorial emerges, One Smart Collection to Rule Them All.

Take a look at this, then take a look at those, and prepare for your workflow to be transformed. Not unlike magic. See for yourself!

Turning After Effects CC Particle World Into a 3D Galaxy * Adobe After Effects * Graham Quince

Turning After Effects CC Particle World Into a 3D Galaxy

Want to create an epic space scene with only the tools built into Adobe After Effects? Starting with After Effects' native CC Particle World, Graham Quince shows how to create a spectacular 3D spiral galaxy using null objects, 3D layers, and expressions to define where CC Particle World adds particles in (After Effects) space.

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NAB NLEs 2016: The Revolution Is No Revolutions

While the emphasis on "revolutionary" product releases at the annual NAB Show makes for splashy demos, they can sometimes get in the way of what customers really want: improvements to the products that they already own, just making them work better. Lo and behold, that's what we got in 2016! Rock-solid releases long on increased performance, stability, and interoperability. Useful releases? THAT's revolutionary! Join Creative COW's Tim Wilson for a closer look at NLE software in particular, and the ways in which developers are delivering on the promise of truly meaningful releases. Read more....

In a special NAB 2016 presentation at the FCP Exchange Workshop sponsored by FCPWORKS, Creative COW leader Charlie Austin offers "Making the Switch to X: A Comparative Study" at his Creative COW Blog, in which he compares FCP X to other NLEs from an editor's perspective. In addition to describing the "intangible" time saving benefits of working in FCP X vs. others, he also presents some unique benefits of FCP X that are impossible or impractical in other NLEs. Even if you prefer editing in other NLEs, Charlie describes some very compelling reasons to add FCP X to your workflow.

In fact, the folks at FCPWORKS were kind enough to hook us up with nearly 6 hours of presentations from the FCP Exchange workshops! You can find them all at FCPWORKS' Creative COW Blog, covering topics including FCPX and Apple Motion tips, specific examples of broadcast workflows and new broadcast toolsets, VR/360, and much more. We wanted to draw your attention to one of these in particular, "The State of the Union 2016" by FCPWORKS' Workflow Architect Sam Mestman. You'll definitely want to take a look around to see what other kinds of great stuff is there.

While you're at the Creative COW Blogs, be sure to check out the rest of our NAB coverage, including new interviews with Adobe and Canon, and much more! Check it out!

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Bob Zelin's NAB 2016 Review: Everything You Own is Obsolete

Zelin Nation rejoices as the legendary Bob Zelin's legendary NAB wrap-up returns, featuring the unique insights of this industry-leading broadcast engineer into the stories that matter most. You won't find a better overview of shared storage, IO devices, converters, studio cameras, and Thunderbolt 3, because there aren't any. Check it out. Legendary.

Kylee Pena at NAB

Kylee Peña's NAB 2016 Review: It's The Little Things

This was not an exciting year for the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas, says Creative COW Associate Editor Kylee Peña, but that doesn't mean it wasn't important. The "exciting" stuff isn't what affects post production workflow the most, at least not immediately. Kylee notes that we may not even know NAB 2016's most important announcements for a few more years. After all, it might have been a long time after the introduction of 4K or even HD at NABs past before those mattered to YOU. So as important as NAB is, that's why it's important not to lose sight of the things that matter the other 51 weeks of the year.

NAB Audio & Video Interviews Galore!

Last week we teased you with interviews from Adobe, AJA, and Pro Tools. This week, it's gen-yoo-ine STAMPEDE, with new interviews from Canon, Sony, HP, VR, 4K, 8K, and much more. These come courtesy of Sarahelizabeth Mason & Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast, and Mathieu Marano from My Canadian Studio. You can follow the links to those individually, or you can save a few steps and head straight to the Creative COW Blogs, where in addition to those, you'll also find Walter Biscardi's look at DaVinci Resolve as an NLE, FCPX musings from Charlie Austin, advanced Avid conform training from Scott Freeman, UAV/Drones with Douglas Spotted Eagle, cable cutting with Creative COW Co-Founder and CEO Ronald Lindeboom, and much more! But yeah, NAB interviews GALORE!

Captain America The First Avenger

The VFX Files: 13 VFX Houses Combine to Create Captain America: The First Avenger

To celebrate the release of Captain America: Civil War on Friday, we're going to take you back to our exclusive in-depth look at the making of Captain America: The First Avenger. Creative COW's Debra Kaufman spoke to all thirteen of the VFX houses involved in the making of this Marvel classic, describing the specific work that each of them did. It's one of the most insightful peeks at real-world epic moviemaking, and the perfect way to get ready for Friday's big opening!

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Creative COW Turns 15! A Celebration of Being Uncool

15 years is a long time on the internet! Travel back with us to the days before YouTube, social media, digital cinema, smartphones, iPods and all the rest, back to the founding of Creative COW by Ronald & Kathlyn Lindeboom in April 2001. Join us for an insider's look at the earliest days of the professional digital video revolution, all the way through the events that have shaped the world's largest community of media professionals, right here at Creative COW.

Creative COW co-founder Ronald Lindeboom retired in 2012, but he's been as busy as ever -- this time exploring ways to help you save money and greatly expand your home entertainment universe.

When Ronald and Kathlyn launched Creative COW in April 2001, it was a far different world than the one we live in today. Television itself is one of the greatest changes to come along. Devices like Roku count their channels in the thousands and they come from every corner and interest of the world, spanning subjects almost unimaginable. Most are free.

It would not surprise any of the COW's longest members to see Ronald exploring the world of cable cutting devices like ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and others. He worked in cable television in the 1970s, satellite TV in the late 1980s, into digital video in the 1990s, and of course in the online world as we turned the corner into the 21st century. In his new book, available beginning today at Amazon, you can join Ronald as he explores the greatest change to ever happen in the world of television. Click here to order yours.

Prince: Musician

Prince: Musician

There are almost too many stories to tell about Prince Rogers Nelson and his sudden passing at age 57. Stories of the dazzling star selling 100 million records, the explosive entertainer, the incendiary guitarist, the prolific composer, and more. Instead, we focus on a story too easily lost in all this: a man who was all about the music, 24 hours a day. Remarkable previously unseen footage of a playful Prince at an Osaka soundcheck in 1990 by Chainsaw Post GM Steve Purcell, who worked with Prince for 6 years, sheds entirely new light on an artist you only thought you knew.

Next week, we continue our post-show coverage in a big way, but for now, we want to tease you with a few early podcast peeks, courtesy of our friends Sarahelizabeth Mason & Jake Essoe at The Harold & Maudecast, and Mathieu Marano at My Canadian Studio. You can find both of these and more at the Creative COW Blogs, but here are some direct links:

  • Adobe's Patrick Palmer, Senior Product Manager, Professional Video and Audio at Adobe on new proxy workflows, new color and audio tools, 8K, and more
  • AJA President Nick Rashby, on some of the FIFTY FOUR new, shipping products they've introduced in the past year, including 24 at NAB. All shipping!
  • AJA's Bryce Button on HDbaseT and IP video
  • ProTools 12.5 introduces extensive new collaboration toolsets
  • KeyFlow Pro offers new affordable asset management for Mac video producers

And that's just to get you started! We're adding more every day to the Creative COW Blogs, our articles library, our social media feeds at Facebook and Twitter, and in your favorite Creative COW forums. We'll also have much more for you in next week's newsletter!

... and congratulations to our friends at Milk, who won their third BAFTA in three years for their VFX work in the Special, Visual & Graphic Effects category on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

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You might think you know how big the NAB Show is every year. It's much bigger. It goes far beyond its roots in legacy broadcast technology, beyond the four walls of a faraway convention center and the "handful" of people (ahem, 100,000 or so) who can make their way there for a few days. It's a giant, industry-wide reset button: not just new new products and new versions, but a new sense of what's possible in this crazily expanding industry.

And yes, it's expanding! This number of this year's NAB announcements have already eclipsed the past several years combined, and the show hasn't even started! To give you some hope of keeping up, we've posted the first thousand or so NAB stories that have come our way so far (and no, we're not exaggerating) in our newly-organized News section. We've included some of the NAB-specific categories below, including Broadcasting, Cameras and Equipment, Storage, Software, and more.

(Hey, and let us know if there's a topic you'd like to see us tag and track for you!)

We'll be following up next week with daily reports from the show, podcasts, social media round-ups, a wide variety of exclusives, and of course real-time reactions from the world's largest community of media production professionals right here at We're very confident in saying that nobody is going to have more or better NAB coverage than you'll find at the COW.

So get started now, and know that much, much more is coming soon!

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