Search

Visual Effects Articles

Creative COW Magazine
Creative COW Magazine : Visual Effects Articles
TV & Movie Appreciation
Milk Creates Half-Face Man for Debut of Doctor Who Series 8Milk Creates Half-Face Man for Debut of Doctor Who Series 8

BAFTA award winning London VFX house Milk created the stunning and beautiful visual effects for the BBC's "Deep Breath", Peter Capaldi's debut episode as Doctor Who, directed by Ben Wheatley for the eighth series of Doctor Who.

  09/08/2014
Author: Milk VFX
TV & Movie Appreciation
Television VFX:A Different Kind of Beast at Stargate StudiosTelevision VFX:A Different Kind of Beast at Stargate Studios

Nightmare-spawning VFX, gruesome yet realistic shots for monsters we're glad are on the other side of the television glass, heart-wrenching, but necessarily believable medical drama effects are all but part of a working day at Stargate Studios. Working a television post production schedule is a beast all its own, and here, they tame the beast a bit with some great VFX and some mocha Pro magic...

  09/03/2014
Author: Imagineer Systems
Adobe After Effects
Zero VFX: Why Some Effects Are Better UnseenZero VFX: Why Some Effects Are Better Unseen

Kyle Andal and Gerard Andal, lead compositors at Zero VFX, bring invisible post-production magic to several films - including 2014 Academy Award-winning "American Hustle," in which the team helped transform 2013 Boston to 1978 New York - and also several commercial shots with mocha Pro.

  08/28/2014
Author: Imagineer Systems
TV & Movie Appreciation
A Distinctive LOOK For 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'A Distinctive LOOK For 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

In his third time working with Wes Anderson, LOOK Effects VFX Supervisor Gabriel Sanchez helped implement the director's singular vision on The Grand Budapest Hotel.

  07/14/2014
Author: Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Milk Explodes All Over London For “24”Milk Explodes All Over London For “24”

Milk is working with Fox as the lead VFX studio on "24: Live Another Day" -- currently airing on Sky 1 in the UK and around the world -- to create a mix of CG and effects work for the heart-stopping series, as it celebrates its debut year in business.

  06/30/2014
Author: Creative COW
Art of the Edit
Under the Dome with Encore VFX Supervisor Stephan FleetUnder the Dome with Encore VFX Supervisor Stephan Fleet

Visual effects are at the heart of Under the Dome, a hit CBS drama based on a novel by Stephen King, about a town trapped under an invisible dome that isolates it from the rest of the world. Read how Encore VFX created the dome itself for Season One, and other effects, as well as providing a full range of on-set and post services, all while translating the languages of many different disciplines into a single, unified vision.

  06/30/2014
Author: Stephan Fleet
TV & Movie Appreciation
Making Maleficent FlyMaking Maleficent Fly

Maleficent's Oscar-nominated Visual Effects Supervisor Carey Villegas speaks to us about his work creating the world of the iconic Disney villain, coordinating multiple effects houses on every one of over 1500 shots, and the challenges of creating realistic effects.

  06/02/2014
Author: Tim Wilson
Adobe After Effects
mocha Tracks The Wolf of Wall Streetmocha Tracks The Wolf of Wall Street

With multiple VFX Oscars (Hugo and Titanic, plus a nomination for Apollo 13) plus a couple of Emmys (Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) under his belt, the most remarkable thing about Rob Legato's latest VFX extravaganza is that it doesn't appear to have any VFX at all! Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street is a masterpiece of what has become known as invisible effects, and this article from our friends at Imagineer, highlighting Rob's work with mocha, is a real eye-opener.

  05/19/2014
Author: Imagineer Systems
TV & Movie Appreciation
Method Studios Creates Dramatic Effects for DivergentMethod Studios Creates Dramatic Effects for Divergent

Method Studios was selected as the lead VFX vendor, who ultimately proved to provide 381 shots for Summit Entertainment's Divergent. Set in a dystopian Chicago, one hundred years in the future, the film demanded seamless and invisible VFX to create a believable world of complex environments using set extensions, digital doubles and CG characters.

  04/16/2014
Author: Method Studios
Art of the Edit
LOOK Effects Takes Wing in NoahLOOK Effects Takes Wing in Noah

LOOK Effects is proud to announce their visual effects contribution to Darren Aronofsky's latest film, "Noah," from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises, which opened in theaters March 28.

  04/09/2014
Author: LOOK Effects
NAB Expo
Quantel and Snell Enhance Broadcaster ToolsQuantel and Snell Enhance Broadcaster Tools

Fresh off the recent acquisition of Snell by Quantel, both companies are working together - and apart - to introduce and refine a broad range of cost-effective and simplified solutions for broadcasters - from IP-based broadcast production with a Cisco partnership to high quality video finishing.

  04/07/2014
Author: Kylee Wall
Sony Vegas
Pixelan DIssolveMaster Review: Organic, Powerful, AffordablePixelan DIssolveMaster Review: Organic, Powerful, Affordable

Organic, powerful, affordable, easy to use -- what else are you looking for from a plug-in package? Creative COW's Douglas Spotted Eagle found even more than he expected from Pixelan DissolveMaster, plug-ins for Adobe After Effects and Premiere, and Sony Vegas. Douglas invites you to see just how elegant, organic and flexible such a simple tool can be, even with 4K footage.

  12/09/2013
Author: Douglas Spotted Eagle
TV & Movie Appreciation
Thor: The Dark World: Luma Pictures Unites Two ContinentsThor: The Dark World: Luma Pictures Unites Two Continents

The VFX house, Luma Pictures was called upon again to deliver VFX shots for the newest installation of Marvel's Thor adventures, "Thor: The Dark World." Working seamlessly across two continents, Luma delivered major villains, creatures, sets, atmospheric effects, character-interactive effects, and much more for the second film in the series.

  12/09/2013
Author: Creative COW
TV & Movie Appreciation
Doctor Who 50th Anniversary-Milk's VFX for Day of the DoctorDoctor Who 50th Anniversary-Milk's VFX for Day of the Doctor

When The Mill in London decided to close its TV and Film Department, the staff decided to open up VFX house Milk. They brought with them a first, very challenging job, which was begun at The Mill: creating stereo 3D effects for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. Here's how the newly launched company took charge to create some memorable VFX.

  11/27/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
Adobe After Effects
Joseph Kosinski’s Film “Oblivion” Showcases Elegant EffectsJoseph Kosinski’s Film “Oblivion” Showcases Elegant Effects

World‐class user interface designers, graphic artists, and animators create crisp, timeless visual elements for the sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman, Oblivion. Kosinski turned to Bradley G. Munkowitz (GMUNK), whom he'd previously worked with on Tron Legacy. As lead interface graphic designer, GMUNK then pulled a team together that included Interface Graphic Designers Joseph Chan (Chanimal) and Jake Sargeant, and Interface Animators Alexander Perry (AP), Navarro Parker (Nav), and David Lewandowski (D-Lew). They were happy to reunite to share how much fun they had creating the 2D effects for the film using an Adobe workflow.

  11/23/2013
Author: Adobe
Adobe Premiere Pro
Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a SpinSeasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin

Customizable interface, visual effects integration, and fast rendering time impressed long-time Avid editor and second generation filmmaker, Nicolas de Toth. Nicolas recently enjoyed the opportunity to edit a commercial for MagnaFlow and chose to work with Adobe Premiere Pro for the first time in his career.

  11/15/2013
Author: Adobe
TV & Movie Appreciation
John Dykstra, ASC: VFX Then and NowJohn Dykstra, ASC: VFX Then and Now

Creative COW had the great pleasure of speaking to visual effects pioneer John Dykstra, whose work first came to prominence on the original Star Wars. Dykstra received his first Academy Award for his work on Star Wars, and, the same year, won an Academy Scientific and Engineering Award for the Dykstraflex motion-control camera that made so many of Star Wars' effects possible. Join us as he shares behind the scenes on Star Wars, speaks about his transition from an artist to a VFX supervisor, and gives us his thoughts on the state of VFX today.

  10/28/2013
Author: John Dykstra, ASC
TV & Movie Appreciation
Storytelling, VFX and the Emotional Medium of MoviesStorytelling, VFX and the Emotional Medium of Movies

It wasn't the effects and it wasn't the cast that made 1933's King Kong the enduring classic that it is (though Fay Wray got a clear shot at immortality). It was the story. The story of a big lug with a soft spot a mile wide. Here's why young filmmakers should sit at Kong's feet.

  09/25/2013
Author: Stephen Menick
Autodesk 3ds Max
Autodesk, The New Rental Model & Flame Premium 2014Autodesk, The New Rental Model & Flame Premium 2014

Autodesk Industry Marketing Manager Marc Hamaker talks about Autodesk's decision to add a rental model. Rental models for Autodesk Design and Creation Suites as well as individual software packages, is available on Sept. 16. Also new is Flame Premium 2014, which integrates visual effects, editorial finishing and 3D effects creation.

  09/17/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Ups Creative Cloud and Adobe AnywhereAdobe Ups Creative Cloud and Adobe Anywhere

Adobe has updated its Creative Cloud with 150 new features, including numerous video tools for Premiere Pro, After Effects, SpeedGrade and other components. In addition, the company has also planned significant updates to Adobe Anywhere Video, the "modern collaborative workflow platform" that allows Adobe pro-video solutions benefit from centralized media and assets across standard networks.

  09/10/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Elysium: Insights From The VFX SupervisorsElysium: Insights From The VFX Supervisors

Vancouver-based VFX facility Image Engine was the VFX unit for Elysium as well as the lead VFX vendor. Associate Visual Effects Supervisor Andrew Chapman and overall Production Visual Effects Producer Shawn Walsh talk about how their company handled the visual effects works from pre-production through to completion.

  08/12/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
Art of the Edit
Now You See Me: Modus FX Helps Create the MagicNow You See Me: Modus FX Helps Create the Magic

Modus FX created 227 visual effects shots in Now You See Me, a movie starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher about four young magicians who appear to rob banks during their performances, distributing the spoils to their audiences, while the FBI and Interpol pursue them. Launched in 2007 by co-founders Marc Bourbonnais and Yanick Wilisky, Modus FX is located in a 12,000 square foot facility just outside Montreal. Modus was charged with many of the film's CG-heavy sequences, including the 5Pointz segment, which was almost entirely CG. In this article Modus FX visual effects supervisor Wayne Brinton takes Creative COW readers behind the scenes of the company's VFX magic.

  06/21/2013
Author: Wayne Brinton
TV & Movie Appreciation
VFX Titans Remember Ray HarryhausenVFX Titans Remember Ray Harryhausen

"When we grieve Ray Harryhausen's passing, we are at least in part grieving perhaps the last living link to the earliest days of movie visual effects," says Creative COW's Debra Kaufman. She spoke to many of today's VFX giants who were inspired by Ray, including Phil Tippett, Richard Edlund, Jeffrey A. Okun and ILM Animation Director Hal Hickel, who says, "Ray Harryhausen's impact on an entire generation (several actually) of filmmakers cannot be overstated, each of them trying again and again to reproduce the wonder they first felt as a child watching Jason fight those skeletons."

  05/16/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
Sony Vegas
HitFilm 2 Ultimate - Coming to a MAC Near YouHitFilm 2 Ultimate - Coming to a MAC Near You

HitFilm have just launched a KickStarter to bring their 3D compositing, visual effects and video editing software to Mac. Andrew Devis looks at the software package for Creative COW.

  05/14/2013
Author: Andrew Devis
Film History & Appreciation
Iron Man 3, Marvel & The Future of the SuperheroIron Man 3, Marvel & The Future of the Superhero

Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios Executive Vice President of Visual Effects and Post Production, began her career in the early days of the digital visual effects industry. We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Victoria about the Iron Man movies, post production's evolution, remote dailies and coloring on set, 4K & HFR, and keeping the modern superhero movie fresh.

  05/10/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
NewTek TriCaster
NAB 2013: NewTekNAB 2013: NewTek

At NAB 2013, NewTek unveiled 3Play 4800, a multi-camera server for live sports production that features real-time uses, redundant capture, high-end visual effects and slo-mo, as well as live replay switching and social media publishing. 3Play 4800 is the latest in the 3Play series of replay server technology and intended to provide affordable access to more sports broadcasters. NewTek also showcased the latest products benefitting the TriCaster 8000 from companies in the NewTek Developer Network, in categories ranging from content to controllers.

  04/22/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
NAB Expo
NAB 2013: Adobe Introduces Adobe AnywhereNAB 2013: Adobe Introduces Adobe Anywhere

At NAB 2013, Adobe is introducing Adobe Anywhere, a collaborative workflow platform that centralizes projects and allows users to share and change project files. Also new are some powerful new features for Adobe Premiere Pro, including color grading and the ability to "link & locate" clips. A newly designed SpeedGrade also makes color grading tools more familiar to Adobe toolset users, and After Effects celebrates its 20th anniversary.

  04/03/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
VFX Crossroads: Causes & Effects Of An Industry CrisisVFX Crossroads: Causes & Effects Of An Industry Crisis

The VFX industry is in a crisis. As Life of Pi won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, the venerable facility that created those effects - Rhythm & Hues - declared bankruptcy, and they're hardly the first to close their doors due to financial problems. Debra Kaufman pulls from her 25 years of experience covering the industry to take a close look at how the creators of some of cinema's indelible images are falling prey to dysfunctional business models. Their deep historical roots have also led to visual effects becoming one of the least-profitable areas of film and TV production. How did we get here?

  03/26/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
Adobe After Effects
Pushing AE - And MyselfPushing AE - And Myself

Bill O'Neil helps celebrate 20 years of Adobe After Effects with his story. Bill reveals his secret, "I learned how to use AE by making promises to my clients I didn't know I could keep."

  02/22/2013
Author: Bill O'Neil
Film History & Appreciation
The Art of Foley: John Roesch Honored by MPSEThe Art of Foley: John Roesch Honored by MPSE

John Roesch is one of the most accomplished Foley artists in the motion picture industry, with contributions to more than 400 films in a three decade-spanning career. He is the recipient of two MPSE Golden Reel Awards (The Dark Knight, The Matrix) alongside more than a dozen nominations. He has worked on 16 films that have won Academy Awards for Best Sound or Best Sound Editing. John Roesch spoke to Creative COW about the art of Foley and his extensive experience in creating sound effects.

  02/15/2013
Author: John Roesch
Art of the Edit
Zombies Brought to Life For Warm BodiesZombies Brought to Life For Warm Bodies

VFX company LOOK Effects ramped up a studio in Vancouver and created a new pipeline for character animation, to produce 85 shots of the Boneys - the most decayed, menacing zombies - in Warm Bodies, the new zom-rom-com based on the book of the same name. In addition to character animation, the company created a CG fly-through of a wasted city, blending with live action plates at each end of the sequence.

  02/14/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
Adobe After Effects
Prisoner To My PassionPrisoner To My Passion

"I don't know if it's addiction or adoration, but one way or the other, I'm hooked on her," says Creative COW's Rob Mize. "The signs are all there: the obsession with After Effects, the inability to function without After Effects there next to me on my laptop, waiting to be clicked. And the torment of each moment spent suffering any separation from my cherished compositor. Is it any wonder that I, a once innocent naïf in an analog world, now find myself enraptured by this non-linear, digital Delilah?"

  02/08/2013
Author: Rob Mize
Adobe After Effects
Advice To Editors: LEARN AE!Advice To Editors: LEARN AE!

Kevin McAuliffe's experience has been that all editors need to know Adobe After Effects at least as well as their NLE. His own experience has been that anything less than intermediate to advanced knowledge makes it impossible to actually get anything done. Even working with the compositing power of Avid Symphony, Kevin is in AE all day, every day. Here's the story of how he got there.

  02/08/2013
Author: Kevin P. McAuliffe
Adobe After Effects
How Did They Do All This?How Did They Do All This?

When he saw a particular commercial for another local company years ago, John Cuevas was blown away, "so I asked our senior editor 'how did they do all of this?' He replied, 'After Effects.' I looked him dead in the eye and said 'Yeah, I get that they did the effects after, but how do they DO it?'" After over 10 years of visiting the COW daily, he's clear about it now, and still learning how to do it better.

  02/05/2013
Author: John Cuevas
Adobe After Effects
Ronald & Kathlyn and After Effects & The COWRonald & Kathlyn and After Effects & The COW

Soon after they purchased CoSA After Effects in 1994, Ronald & Kathlyn Lindeboom found themselves in a little over their heads. There were virtually no web resources for learning AE -- frankly, virtually no resources whatsoever, as this was long before training tapes and books. So, they founded a web community to help find the help that they themselves needed, and 18 years later, it's still growing! And After Effects is still playing a central role in its success.

  02/05/2013
Author: Ronald Lindeboom
Adobe After Effects
Expressions, Scripting, Automation -- and FunExpressions, Scripting, Automation -- and Fun

"I first encountered After Effects in a somewhat roundabout way. I have (as many people do apparently) an aversion to public speaking, so I came up with the bright idea of creating a video to do the talking for me." So begins the journey of longtime Creative COW leader Dan Ebberts, which takes a dramatic -- and fun -- turn with the introduction of Expressions in AE 5.

  02/05/2013
Author: Dan Ebberts
Art of the Edit
Unique VFX Challenges for Live One-take Shooting on Les MizUnique VFX Challenges for Live One-take Shooting on Les Miz

Les Misérables, based on Victor Hugo's novel of crime and redemption in 19th Century France, has been a huge hit in theatres. Though it's gained acclaim for director Tom Hooper's technique of one-take shots of actors singing the songs, digital visual effects have provided many key elements. Les Miz represents a unique combination of in-camera effects, 2D and 3D compositing, adding elements, removing elements -- and not a single green screen shot.

  01/20/2013
Author: Debra Kaufman
Art of the Edit
Cloud Atlas: The VFXCloud Atlas: The VFX

Cloud Atlas, a complex and lyrical film directed by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, relies on visual effects and more than a dozen visual effects facilities collaborating closely to bring alive the past and future worlds depicted in its six intertwined stories. Method is one of the houses who helped create these amazing worlds, and Creative COW's Debra Kaufman spoke to them to learn more.

  11/14/2012
Author: Debra Kaufman
Adobe Premiere Pro
IBC 2012: Adobe Provides Broadcast & Media SolutionsIBC 2012: Adobe Provides Broadcast & Media Solutions

Adobe came to IBC 2012 focused on the broadcast industry. The big reveal was its new Adobe Anywhere, a collaborative workflow platform that allows real-time collaboration for remote users of Premiere Pro, After Effects and Prelude. Adobe expanded its partnerships with broadcast solution companies, to over 200. At the show, Adobe also unveiled a new promotional offer for individuals and corporations interested in switching from Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer to Adobe Production Premium or Adobe Creative Cloud.

  09/09/2012
Author: Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Where Digital Meets Stop-Motion in ParaNormanWhere Digital Meets Stop-Motion in ParaNorman

The stereo 3D stop-motion animated feature ParaNorman from Laika puts the emphasis on handcrafted puppets and details. But digital plays an important, behind-the-scenes role, not just in painting out rigs but in creating ghosts, dramatic, witch-filled skies, crowds and set extensions. Laika's visual effects supervisor Brian Van't Hul, compositing supervisor Steve Emerson and CG/look dev supervisor Andrew Nawrot talk about the creation and integration of the digital with the real in ParaNorman. (Potential minor spoilers in the article)

  08/17/2012
Author: Debra Kaufman
COW: The Community Speaks
SOPA InitiativeSOPA Initiative

If you are a USA citizen, help us protect the internet from the control and regulation that legislators are trying to implement under two ill-conceived bills that would effectively destroy the internet as we have known it. These bills are being referred to as SOPA and PIPA.

  01/18/2012
Author: Ronald & Kathlyn Lindeboom
Art of the Edit
The Power of Many or No Waiting Required: Adobe After Effects vs. Apple's MotionThe Power of Many or No Waiting Required: Adobe After Effects vs. Apple's Motion

You've heard the best and the worst about the compositing applications out there, and if you've struggled with the decision of which one is best for you, take a look at some of the advantages of both to assist you with your choice.

  12/07/2011
Author: Kevin P. McAuliffe
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
FCPX and the Domino Effect Part I: Stacking Them UpFCPX and the Domino Effect Part I: Stacking Them Up

Apple's release of FCPX has shaken the digital content creation industry, and raised a lot of speculation among editors about how much Apple understands or cares about professional users. Walter Soyka looks into the issues in this two part series.

  09/29/2011
Author: Walter Soyka
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
FCPX and the Domino Effect Pt 2: Knocking Them DownFCPX and the Domino Effect Pt 2: Knocking Them Down

Apple's release of FCPX has shaken the digital content creation industry, and raised a lot of speculation among editors about how much Apple understands or cares about professional users. Walter Soyka looks into the issues in this two part series.

  09/29/2011
Author: Walter Soyka
IBC Expo
High-speed cameras roll at IBC 2011High-speed cameras roll at IBC 2011

IBC boasted hot new high-speed cameras, with P+S Technik introducing a "time effect" or digital cinematography synch sound camera with a 35mm-sized CMOS imager and global shutter that offers slow motion, fast motion, ramped motion and time-lapse motion.

  09/23/2011
Author: Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Pushing the Limits on Pushing DaisiesPushing the Limits 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, it remains one of the most beautiful and innovative programs to ever air on US television. In an extended version of the original article in The Visual Effects Issue of Creative COW Magazine, here is an exclusive look at how he and his team helped pull it off.

  7/21/2009
Author: William Powloski
Adobe After Effects
After Effects West Conference ReportAfter Effects West Conference Report

In Pasadena, theres a gathering of many of the best and the brightest in the world of After Effects. Its the After Effects West conference which is the first ever power users conference dedicated to AE. Its an amazing gathering and the ideas and techniques being discussed are nothing short of breathtaking. Was it worth going? Well, lets just say: Whens After Effects East?

  08/28/2001
Author: Ron Lindeboom
Creative COW Magazine is copyright 2006 - 2014 by Creative COW®. All rights are reserved.
No reprint rights are granted except to educational institutions such as universities, colleges,
art academies and other training academies. All other rights are expressly reserved.
[Top]