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COW Blogs : technology
Ki Pro Mini - The Results
By: Don Greening on Feb 25, 2011 at 2:17:08 pm

We decided that today (Feb 24) would be a good day to shoot some test footage with our recently required Ki Pro Mini. The weather is clear, cold and windy. Okay, cold for us on the west coast but for anyone visiting it's just cool-ish. We went back to the same spot to shoot that we used when I bought my first EX1 back in January 2008. I'll be shooting with the 4 types of Pro Res 422 that the device uses and comparing to the same shot from the Sony SxS Pro memory card. There is actually a 5th...

AJA Ki Pro Mini

Ki Pro Mini - An Unscientific Setup
By: Don Greening on Feb 23, 2011 at 2:06:35 am

About a week ago I finally acquired my Ki Pro Mini but only now have I had the time to write about it. I ordered it back in September when they were first announced, which is why mine showed up before the broadcast supply houses in my area. With AJA it's first come first served, which is how it should be. This article will be a recap of what it takes to get the Mini up and running with portable battery power as well as some of the 'gotchas' that hopefully you'll avoid by reading this. Who was it that...

AJA Ki Pro Mini

100th Blogiversary
By: Mike Cohen on Jan 27, 2010 at 3:58:10 pm

I know I tell a lot of stories about the old days, but this doesn't mean I'm 100 years old. Just wanted to get that cleared up for those of you keeping a tally of how many times I mention 1" tape and CMX edit controllers. Now back to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress... For those of you just joining us, welcome to the Mike Cohen Creative COW 100th Blogiversary . "100 blog posts? So what," you might be saying. Well I try to put a little bit of my personality and philosophy into every post. For me...


Shooting video on a DSLR: The next Mac/PC, FCP/Avid-type flame war?
By: Andrew Kimery on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:41:54 pm

There's a somewhat lively debate going on in the COW Final Cut Pro forum about vDSLRs (still cameras like the Canon 7D or Panasonic GH1 that have HD video recording ability) and their viability as HD video cameras vs more "traditional" HD prosumer level video cameras. A few reasons why the vDSLRs (or HD-DSLRs depending on which acronym you prefer) are a hot topic is because of the low price, interchangeable lenses, and shallow (film-like) depth of field that has been sought after by so many people using sub-$10k cameras. Some downsides to vDSLRs are non-standard frame rates (7D withstanding),...


Film and Digital as Unique Instruments of Artistic Expression
By: Dan Parsons on Oct 22, 2009 at 6:50:44 am

I have often wondered what motion picture audiences would think of film-acquired images if digital imaging had come first. Would the grain structure, the motion blur, the organic judder, and the characteristic soft shoulder inherent in the celluloid medium be lauded, or would these characteristics be labeled simply as artifacts? Would, for instance, the limited dynamic range and sharpness of the digital format be viewed as necessary characteristics to be duplicated or mimicked in film, or would they have been seen, from the beginning, as an artifact to be eliminated by means of research and development. Would film have even...


One Head Many Hats
By: Ken Harper on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:38:14 am

Recently, I attended an excellent HD Workshop & Mini-Expo presented by Digital CONNtent Creators at Tripeg Studios in Hamden, CT. This event was very informative and I am still amazed by how rapidly the technology in our industry evolves and grows. There is no question that in order to survive these changes you must understand and embrace them, so thanks to Keith Larsen and the rest of the crew that put this show together. This November marks my 25th anniversary in this industry and throughout my career I’ve witnessed the many changes in the tools we use to do...

video production

Maintaining astronomical growth in stagnant market conditions
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Sep 4, 2009 at 12:33:03 pm

In December of 2008, we hit the venerable Google Analytics 1,000,000 totally unique users a month threshold. In January 2009, we crossed over the 1.1 million marker. February found us hitting the 1.2 million level. Then, in March, the 1.3 million level was passed. And so on and so forth until, today, in September of 2009, we have reached the 1.7 million totally unique users a month marker. (Being that we serve a professional audience, we always drop during the Summer months but bounce back fast in mid-August or so, as vacation season ends and people get back to work.)...


Breakthrough Technology from...the Muppets?
By: Tim Wilson on Aug 30, 2009 at 10:33:28 am

To be precise, we're talking about breakthrough technology from the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, which is part of the Jim Henson Company's Creature Shop. Some of the company's early technology received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement, but the work that led to their recent Engineering Emmy is even more impressive: motion capture with real-time rendering and 3D compositing, in full quality, full resolution. Read that last sentence slowly. Real time. 3D Models. 3D compositing. Ready for broadcast and streaming output. No rendering. The technologies are simple enough by themselves: "mechanical hand controls, a control computer, and a digital puppet...


Changes of perspectives...
By: Trent Whittington on Mar 11, 2009 at 2:25:28 am

Hi all, been a long time since my last entry at the end of last year. For those who read my last blog know that I'm a student at JMC Academy in Sydney, Australia. Having recently just returned back to go for my Associate Degree in Digital Television it has given my a great deal of understanding of different proffesional views on the industry. We have new teachers all round pretty much and all of them quite young (about 25-30) and there knowledge in such a short time has definately given me a wider understanding of the industry. We have...


Blu-ray and the Big Bag of Hurt; or, why no Blu-ray for me...again
By: Tim Wilson on Nov 25, 2008 at 9:20:40 am

When Steve Jobs called Blu-ray a big bag of hurt, he was being asked why the new MacBooks have no Blu-ray drives. His answer spoke to the cost of licensing the hardware. When his lieutenant Phil Schiller chimed in, HE was speaking about Blu-ray content when he said that the iTunes Store and Apple TV was the right way to deliver HD. Steve knows how much a Blu-ray drive costs to license, so I'll take his word for it. I won't bust Phil too badly as an individual, because lordy knows he's not the only one to think that Blu-ray's...


Hearing the world like never before!
By: walter biscardi on Oct 23, 2008 at 6:28:19 pm

For the first time... in my entire life really... I can hear like most normal folks. All through life I ve had a pretty significant hearing loss due to essentially dying when I was born. The cord wrapped around my neck as I was being delivered, thus I was a blue baby when I came out. My ears turned out fine, but the nerves that carry the sound to the brain were damaged. I essentially have a 40% hearing loss, especially on the low end of sound range.Well, thanks to the constant persistence of my lovely wife, yesterday I became the...


About RMVB format
By: bill yao on Sep 16, 2008 at 10:50:33 pm

RealMedia Variable Bitrate (RMVB) is a variable bitrate extension of the RealMedia multimedia container format developed by RealNetworks. As opposed to the more common RealMedia container, which holds streaming media encoded at a constant bit rate, RMVB is typically used for multimedia content stored locally. Files using this format have the file extension ".rmvb". RealMedia formats typically achieve much more efficient compression than MPEG-4 Part 2 codecs, such as DivX and Xvid, using compression similar to MPEG-4 Part 10 codecs[1], such as x264. For this reason, they have become noticeably present (though not entirely popular) on file sharing platforms such...


We're Famous
By: Jacki Schklar on Sep 1, 2008 at 3:54:24 pm

Chris Pirillo enjoying Live on his streaming broadcast.Kewl....


Homeland Security wants your laptop. NOW.
By: walter biscardi on Aug 14, 2008 at 6:50:57 am

Traveling anytime soon into or out of the United States? Homeland Security is now authorized to detain your laptop for a reasonable amount of time with absolutely no warrant and no suspicion whatsoever. From today: WASHINGTON - Federal agents may take a traveler s laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Wow, can t wait to travel out of the country again sometime soon. This is just getting ridiculous. Full story:


Wireless HD to your TV
By: walter biscardi on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:10:27 am

Sony and Samsung announce a wireless HD signal that would send HD signals to multiple TV's in your home from a single box. But Sony is also involved in another effort to achieve the same goal. Wonder if the signals will ever been good enough for smaller Post houses like mine to send signals wirelessly to our production monitors. that would be pretty cool actually!


Apple iPhone or Samsung Instinct?
By: walter biscardi on Jul 15, 2008 at 7:22:26 am

Well Samsung has released the supposed iPhone killer and I ve wondered how it stacks up to the newly released iPhone 2.0.   Fortunately for all of us, MSNBC has done a really nice head to head comparison of the two.  In the end, they both work well, but the one thing I was surprised about is that the live Sprint TV they advertise in the ads is not entire shows, just snippets of shows.   And the comparison of the screen brightness and clarity is pretty impressive. Anyway, really good reading for anyone thinking about one or the other....


Festival Laurels for your award-winning movie
By: Noah Kadner on Jun 27, 2008 at 2:08:39 pm

Ok so first you have to win some festival awards or at least be an official selection. Then you have to be on Windows. That said here's a very cool application that will make the creation of festival laurels for your movie's poster, DVD box, etc very simple. EZLeaves is a FREE application that allows to quickly and easily generate custom festival laurel leave images. Features include: Choose from four different laurel leave styles Use any system-defined font Export to JPG or BMP Define up to 10 lines of custom text Full control over the height and font settings of...


Calibrated {Q} Another native MXF importer
By: Noah Kadner on Jun 27, 2008 at 1:43:23 pm

Here's something interesting. An app that gives you native MXF in all QuickTime applications including FCP. Calibrated Software's unique solution successfully joins the separate video and audio P2 MXF files so that Final Cut Pro sees them all as ONE file - complete with TimeCode and Reel Name. PullDown can also be removed or added for select frame rates. And you're not just limited to Final Cut Pro, you can also natively import files in Compressor, Motion and Sound Track Pro. Not only that but they have also unveiled a DVCPROHD decoder for Windows. This is something our friends across...


How to Label DVD-Rs 2008 Edition
By: Noah Kadner on Jun 9, 2008 at 9:18:42 am

This question comes up a lot- how does one label a DVD-R? I would never use a print on inkjet disc- because they smear with just a droplet of moisture nor stick on labels because they peel and jam. Instead- I'd go for one of three technologies- depending on budget and how professional the labels need to look: 1. Sharpie. This is cheap as dirt and works like a charm for sending to replication houses and for internal backups. But not so much given to clients- looks decidely ghetto for that... 2. LightScribe - this is a type of DVD...

mac os

New version of XDCAM EX Transfer Software Available
By: Noah Kadner on May 1, 2008 at 9:43:56 am

If you're having any problems with Sony XDCAM EX footage the latest version of the XDCAM transfer software might be a big help. It has some new error correction built in that can recover corrupted material. The PDZ-KP1 XDCAM Transfer Software is an import plug in for Final Cut Pro. XDCAM Transfer Version 2.5 supports the current XDCAM HD and SD optical products, the new PDW-U1 optical XDCAM drive, and the PMW-EX1 XDCAM EX camcorder which records on SxS flash cards. Check it out: Technorati Tags: 24p , apple , final cut pro , indie filmmaking , video ,...


Breaking the Speed Limit -- Editing Phantom High-Speed Footage in Final Cut Pro 2 of 2
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 28, 2008 at 8:57:38 am

Once we have the actual shot, we can then control the downloading of footage from the camera using Vision Research’s software. Thus far they’ve only released a version that runs on Windows. In order to preserve the Mac-loving image of Simplemente, we decided to run it on a MacBook Pro with Boot Camp. We can then select the ins and outs of any particular shot. Typically the exact moment you want to save is a tiny fraction of that 6 minute take and the rest is a lot of frames with no activity you can delete. The selected portions are...


Breaking the Speed Limit -- Editing Phantom High-Speed Footage in Final Cut Pro: Part 1 of 2
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:44:35 pm

I wrote two articles for the Final Cut Pro User's Group Supermeet at NAB. They appeared in the SuperMag magazine. Here's part one of the second article looking at Simplemente's work with the Phantom HD camera: Rune Hansen and Monica Reina at Simplemente in Mexico City recently acquired a Phantom HD Digital Cinema camera from Vision Research . We got to shoot a bunch of slow-motion footage and then worked with it in Final Cut Pro to create demo reels for theatrical projection. We needed to accomplish all of this in the space of about 48 hours. The Phantom HD’s...

mac os

Mexico Goes to China - Part 2 of 2
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 23, 2008 at 3:38:36 pm

I wrote two articles for the Final Cut Pro User's Group Supermeet at NAB. They appeared in the SuperMag magazine(which I named btw). Here's part two of the first article looking at an Apple network system that is being used at the Beijing Olympics this summer in China. For part one click here. Simplemente chose to work with Gallery Software, a UK-based company that has been making QuickTime-compatible applications for over a decade. For the Beijing project, Simplemente selected Gallery’s SIENNA, a complete integration suite for connecting Final Cut Pro workstations to the traditional newsroom broadcast workflow. SIENNA was developed...

mac os

Mexico Goes to China - Part 1 of 2
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:00:43 pm

I wrote two articles for the Final Cut Pro Supermeet at NAB this year. Here's part one of the first article looking at an Apple SAN network system that is being used at the Beijing Olympics this summer in China: Last NAB, we visited Simplemente, a production/post-production house and Apple Authorized Training Center/Dealer based in Mexico City. They’ve been working hard alongside one of their biggest clients, Televisa, the world’s largest Latin American broadcaster. This year Simplemente embarked on its most ambitious project yet, a complete post-production solution for Televisa’s coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Televisa’s...

mac os

Adult Education
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 21, 2008 at 2:14:36 pm

Over the past two weeks I attended several medical conventions as an exhibitor. First was a meeting for laparoscopic surgeons. Last week was a combined meeting of surgical program directors and coordinators, held in Toronto. The unique aspect of the exhibits at this meeting were the uses of multimedia technology aimed at surgical education. First, of course, the Cine-Med display featured our latest books and our online video libraries, and a demo of our forthcoming Multimedia Atlas of Surgery. At this meeting, the most popular items were the books. Particularly a book about improving communication techniques for surgeons. The ACGME...


I have never been so frustrated with FCP
By: Jeremy Garchow on Apr 3, 2008 at 11:14:34 am

...and it pains me to say it. But it is the truth and I have to call it like I see it. The past three days I have been trying to restore an old project. It s a decently complex project with green screen, tons of cuts, P2 footage and tape footage. I have not been able to get FCP to reconnect to anything properly wihtout going through file by file. This process should have taken a day at most with the recaptures and p2 reimport, instead I am on day 3. I usually have excellent luck with Media Manager...


Raising the stakes for DRM-free music
By: Tim Wilson on Mar 14, 2008 at 3:32:26 am

I ve written before about my enormous respect for Trent Reznor and his impact on popular music. Now, he s raising the stakes for everyone distributing any kind of music on the web. There was a lot of talk recently about how the release of Radiohead s latest album, In Rainbows, on the web before it was released in stores as a traditional disk, and how this was going to shake the music industry to its very foundations. Here s the exact headline of one such story, one of a gajillion you can find on the topic: Radiohead s Album Threatens...


By: Shane Ross on Mar 11, 2008 at 9:57:51 pm

IFC , the Independent Film Channel, is having a film contest. To promote this contest they have made a GREAT promo video... IFC PROMO What makes me like it more is the fact that I WORK in broascast TV, and must adhere to those rigid standards. Frankly, it can be a bit tiring. I mean, make the colors look good, make it not look to hot, but when I get a show kicked back because I am .02 above 100IRE...that pisses me off! What about my content? Oh, yeah, the networks have hacked that to death with their notes and...


FREE, Open Source, and PLE software for the Artist!
By: Tony Ross on Feb 25, 2008 at 9:11:18 am

Want to be creative on your computer? No budget for software? Provided you follow some simple rules, here are some very powerful programs that only cost you the time it takes to download. FREE: Use this software as you please Open Source: Use this software as you please, add to it (help program it with the community of users), distribute it… or just simply enjoy it. Personal Learning Editions (PLE): This software is usually a limited version of a commercial product from a company. There may be a size, or time limitation for projects you create, or even a watermark...


Look Ma! FREE 2D Animation Software!
By: Tony Ross on Feb 25, 2008 at 8:20:39 am

omG! So I was up at about 1am randomly searching Google for stuff, as I do that from time to time, and found a piece of Open Source and or FREE 2D animation software, Pencil. It ROCKS! Enough talk, check it out.


More thoughts on the format wars: Image quality
By: Tim Wilson on Feb 20, 2008 at 6:04:36 am

I had a lot of fun writing the "The Big Dog Gets Off the Porch" article for the newsletter. (Check out my blog post on the topic too.) It took a TON of research, though, and I found a lot of things I just didn't have room to use. It also made me think about some things -- new stuff as well as stuff that's been kicking around forever. So here we go... This was never about image quality. Sort of. There were many comparitive issues that factored into the victory, and they never had anything to do with which...


Aharon Rabinowitz on NPR!
By: walter biscardi on Feb 5, 2008 at 9:38:50 am

I ve found out that our very own Aharon Rabinowitz is now doing occassional Technology reports for NPR! How exciting is that?! He s done one report and hopefully this will lead to many more. As someone who has gained a LOT of knowledge from this guy with all his After Effects tutorials and training, I want to congratulate him on this latest achievement. Hopefully this is just the first of many reports we can expect to hear from Aharon. Congratulations buddy!!! For those who haven t heard his first report yet,


Aharon Rabinowitz practices safe internet
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Feb 3, 2008 at 8:26:05 am

I just listened to COW leader Aharon Rabinowitz s commentary that ran on NPR. In it, he explores how human beings create one of the most insidious forms of computer virus, the let s forward a warning about a new virus to all our friends and associates strand. I had to chuckle at some of the points that Aharon expresses in his four minute commentary in which he uses analogies drawn from sex education classes in school. But in the end, it s something that I was thinking of forwarding along as a link to all my friends and associates...


DiscMakers Medley a so-so DVD Replicator / printer
By: walter biscardi on Jan 29, 2008 at 5:21:25 am

For those of you who followed my blog about the issues with the Primera Bravo II DVD Replicator printer, you know that I purchased a DiscMakers Medley unit to replace it. Well, while DiscMakers claimed the print quality of this unit would be equal to the Bravo II, in reality it isn't. This is disappointing because they both feature the same printing unit from Lexmark. The difference appears to be in the Bravo II drivers as there are many more options available to the user to achieve incredibly sharp text and good solid colors. What was printed as a...


MacWorld Best of Show: this killah, crazy NEC monitor. I want at least 3 of them.
By: Tim Wilson on Jan 25, 2008 at 7:56:22 am

Shane Ross hipped me to this. Until he posts his MacWorld ruminations, I ll tell you about it. The Apple Cinema Display is just fine, thanks -- but here s a 30-inch monitor that s faster and brighter, with higher contrast and a wider viewing angle. It can be hardware calibrated - way way WAY overdue for ACD. (Professional monitor? Hmph.) 2560x1600 res, dual DVI including HDCP-encryption and analog inputs, 12-bit LUT... Now throw in automatic backlighting and pixel-level adjustments to ensure uniform color across the screen and across time. Did I mention killah and crazy? It is. Of course,...


ModBook named Best of Show at MacWorld....
By: Tim Wilson on Jan 18, 2008 at 9:35:32 am, uhm, 2007. It really did make a huge splash at that show: in addition to MacWorld naming it best of show, I love this article from Ars Technica called ModBook Rules MacWorld. It s easy to see why - this is the super cool thing that Apple should have released this year...if not last year...if not before. Yeah, yeah, laptops get all the buzz right now, but I m telling you, tablets have been rocking the PC world for years because for a dramatic part of the laptop market, tablets work so much better. By such a long shot...


Projects I am working on - brand new here.
By: Mike Gruich on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:41:48 am

My work in video came after I started writing and found that I could really not rely on the resources I had for filming. After several months of reading anything I could get my hands on I purchased some lighting and everything took off from there. At the moment I own enough equipment (mostly 2nd hand, or lower end) to complete a video project from start to finish with pretty good results. As I have just started getting paid for my work, the equipment list grows. There is nothing more satisfying than sacrificing a few hours of your time, for...


The iPod as a timecode slate
By: Scott Simmons on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:48:28 am

Originally posted on The Editblog . I recently got suckered into a low budget music video. How low budget? The decision was made not to hire an audio person for playback. Without that audio person it meant there would be no audio master made for the song and no timecode slate for syncing later in post. What was the solution? Use an iPod with video and make our own timecode slate! We dropped the audio into a timeline and then applied a timecode generator to a slug for one version of the song and color bars to another. This was...


Internet Killed the Video Star
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on Jan 10, 2008 at 7:41:48 am

Hi everyone - I ve been pretty silent for the last few months because I ve been hard at work on a new Creative Cow Master Series DVD - Internet Killed the Video Star: A guide to Creating Video for the Web. The 4.5 hour DVD will be available very shortly. Feel free to spread the word. Here s the basic description of the DVD: Whether you’re posting video for a client, putting your demo reel on-line, creating a video podcast, or building video training for the web, the Internet is conspiring to keep your work from looking its best....

after effects

Inspiration from Modo
By: Rajeev Nedumaran on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:05:18 am

I ve been fascinated by the photorealistic quality of images posted in the Luxology Modo Gallery. I ve been trying to learn from their workflow to see if I can do the same in Cinema 4D, especially from some of the free tutorials. I was struck by the level of detail in the shoe model posted there. Inspired by those images, I rolled up my socks and got to work! Trying to emulate the same in cinema4d. So folks here is my attempt. I think it kind of worked out ok. What do you think? let me know. As always...


By: Shane Ross on Nov 30, 2007 at 1:34:07 am

Tim Wilson over at the Creative Cow started this blog post as a comment on the blog post I made over there about upgrading to Leopard (a reprint of what I posted here ). It really goes in depth about the dangers of upgrading, and how really there is no way that Apple and other third party vendors can possibly test every possible combination of hardware and software to ensure that no bugs sneak through the cracks. This is also very pertinent to the recent issue I had with Noise Industries FX Factory, and how it was missed. Many people...

mac os

More advice on software upgrades
By: Tim Wilson on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:08:49 pm

First, I want to underscore Shane Ross s outstanding, super-critical advice on upgrading your operating system. Although he wrote it in the context of upgrades to Leopard affecting your Final Cut Pro installation, it applies much more broadly of course. What he recommends is the right thing to do for any OS update, on either platform. (Yo, Mac users...of whom I m one. Following Shane s directions, the upgrade to Vista is smooth as silk. Certainly no more disruptive than OS 10.2, less disruptive than the migration to Intel architecture, and FAR less disruptive than the first OS X....which doesn...

mac os

PayPal has a rocket? Really? A ROCKET?!?
By: Tim Wilson on Sep 13, 2007 at 1:45:47 am

Okay, unlike last time , I m right on top of this one. PayPal founder Elon Musk founded the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation in 2002, developing a family of launch vehicles which will ultimately reduce the cost and increase the reliability of space access by a factor of ten. Gotta give the man credit for having a much, much better looking rocket than Jeff Bezos. More credit (appropriately enough) where credit is due. First, can t say he exaggerates: Of the 3/20 launch of Falcon 1, he says , The launch was not perfect, but certainly very good. (This is...


The Emerging Metadata Landscape
By: Peter Berghammer on Sep 10, 2007 at 12:21:18 pm

The early stages of the content delivery wars are beginning to shape up as this year progresses. It can be anticipated that 2008 will see a full scale attempt by the many varied broadcast services to assert dominance not only within their respective niches, but also to encroach on established delivery services in an attempt to garner market share and establish primacy in the minds of consumers. Q1 2007 has seen an unprecedented number of acquisitions and an astonishing number of developments on the IPTV and VOD fronts and it would be a mistake to assume that these two trends...


Pulling your Internet Connection for too much use!
By: walter biscardi on Sep 7, 2007 at 3:51:01 am

So has a story about Comcast pulling the accounts of internet users who hog too much bandwith. Wait a minute. How many of you have seen those ads on TV or in your magazines / newspapers? Cable offers you Unlimited Access. High Speed. Downloads 50% faster than dial-up. And so on. But now if you actually try to use too much of these services, you might get cut off. Comcast says they re trying to make sure everyone can access the internet properly. Well, then either improve your bandwith capabilities or make it VERY CLEAR what you are and...


500 hours to an unlocked iPhone
By: walter biscardi on Aug 26, 2007 at 11:24:54 am

When I was 17 and it was summer, that generally meant lazy days out by the pool with friends. For George Holz, it was 500 hours to unlock an iPhone so it can run on any carrier, not just AT T. The times they are a changin! Along with a secretive group of online collaborators, the 17-year-old broke the restrictions that make Apple Inc. s iPhone, arguably the hottest gadget of the year, work only on AT T Inc. s cellular network. The feat took him 500 hours, or about 8 hours a day since the iPhone s June 29...


Harry Potter in 3D IMAX, um sort of......
By: walter biscardi on Jul 12, 2007 at 3:58:43 am

I was really looking forward to seeing the new Harry Potter film in IMAX next week and even the fact that they had digitally enhanced it into 3D wasn t all that disappointing. Until I read an article about how once again, as they did in Superman Returns, only approx. 20 minutes of the film is actually in 3D. The finale. So I m going to skip the IMAX presentation because quite honestly, putting on 3D glasses at the end of a film (on cue) will simply break the experience for me. Either make a film in 3D or don...


Too dependant on technology
By: marisu fronc on Jun 21, 2007 at 1:16:43 pm

I should have known it was going to happen, I should have protected myself against it . . . but I didn t. It may not be a disaster on the scale of Katrina or the Titanic, but my mobile phone disappearing into a black hole shocked me into realizing how over-dependant I had become on it (and probably, on technology in general). When was the last time you wrote down a phone number? All mine were stored on the SIM card in my now non-existent phone (along with addresses, e-mail addresses, calendar, alarms, billing notes, the list goes on...


Sprint supports Mac OS 10 for Wireless Broadband
By: walter biscardi on Jun 12, 2007 at 6:07:58 am

So I ll be the first to admit, I m not a fan of the Blackberry. Really don t need that thing strapped to my waist at all times so I can answer an email at a moment s notice. Don t want to deal with that little tiny keyboard and besides, better than half the emails I recieve require some sort of document to be sent back to the recipient, which resides on my laptop. My wife convinced me to take some needed time off and we traveled to the Pittsburgh area for a great visit with her grandparents....

mac os

Clockwork: Still Ticking ... (Crazy long post)
By: Sterling Glass on Jun 6, 2007 at 2:46:49 pm

This is part one of a probable three part post. It s mainly a rant on hardware issues I ve had the last couple of months. The Lappy: I won t mention the manufacturer other than to say it s not a Dell or an Apple laptop. From what I ve read on forums and review sites, this laptop is overall in the 85-90 out of 100 group for cost/performance, yadda yadda. My mobile beast of burden, and the first one I ve ever owned. I prefer to build my own desktops, but building a laptop isn t quite accessible...

creative cow

The REALLY big picture
By: Peter Ralph on Jun 6, 2007 at 6:54:01 am

Seadragon/photosynth - an incredible visual viewing/modelling/networking app - from Microsoft. Very classy of BMW to leave their ad until after the presentation. bit of trouble embedding the video so meantime. Check it out here...

digital photography

Microsoft Intellipoint/Intellitype and After Effects - Not good friends.
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on Jun 2, 2007 at 6:19:32 pm

So, I got a new computer and needed to buy a Keyboard. The cheapest one they had at the store with a full sized backspace key (yeah - I make enough typing mistakes that it warrants a BIG key) was the Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard.   Anyway, I tested the keyboard on an old PC, installing the drivers and hardware, and it worked pretty well, so I moved it to the new one. But then when I opened AE, the interface was behaving badly. At first I though I had a bad install (new computer, new install of AE),...

after effects

Western Digital Warning
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on May 22, 2007 at 5:46:39 am

Just a warning to anyone buying a Western Digital MyBook drive. A TON of the drives shipped out with bad firewire cables - these cables will ruin the firewire interface of any MyBook Drive they are connected with - which I found out the hard way. However - they don t ruin the drives - just the firewire interface. IF it has a USB port (as many WD drives do) then you can still access the data. After hooking up my drives, and nothing working, A quick call to western digital confirmed that the cables were bad, that they had ruined...


Great rights resources
By: Tim Wilson on May 13, 2007 at 5:58:59 am

Since the issues surrounding rights and fair use come up at The COW all the dang time, from various perspectives, here are some of my very favorite web resources. The Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center has a heavily scholarly orientation, maybe moreso than you ll find useful. But the coverage here is certainly exhaustive.One of the coolest things about it is a free, digitized version of Stanford s Lawrence Lessig, called Free Culture. He s been a pioneer on rights in the electronic age from pretty much the beginning, and has fought vigorously against the rapidly diminishing rights that...


iPods may interfere with Pacemakers
By: walter biscardi on May 11, 2007 at 3:31:52 am

Very interesting article posted on that iPods can potentially interfere with pacemaker monitoring equipment when placed too close to the chest. In some instances as far away as 18 inches. As the article notes, most people with pacemakers are not the iPod listening audience, but still a very interesting development here. As the study notes, only iPods were tested to date and it will be interesting to see if they get around to testing other audio and small electronic devices. ...


By: Peter Berghammer on May 7, 2007 at 11:11:58 am

Before I begin my foray into the world of blogging I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to Ron & Tim for their efforts in getting me situated with the Cow. I look forward to the many blogs ahead and hope that some of you may find the information at least useful, and at best challenging. Although I have a fairly broad portfolio in the areas I write about, and areas researched, I believe that there are always some common factors or themes that run throughout the electronics, entertainment, tech, legal and economic communities - and the way in which...

creative cow

First posted pictures from an iPhone?
By: Tim Wilson on Apr 30, 2007 at 11:08:47 am

I ve got one of them here, of our boy Derrick (really?), eating his toast. Really. By itself, it s not much. Unless you re Derrick or love toast. But it s part of an online mystery unspooling around the iPhone.   Quite the saga behind this. The Mobile Guerilla had been searching online for taken with an Apple iPhone. Good for MG! This one of Derrick was the first of two posted to Flickr, marked private, then removed . I m still not exactly clear what happened from there to make them public, if obscure. But whatever it was, I...


iPod-compatible George Foreman grill?!?
By: Tim Wilson on Apr 30, 2007 at 4:05:14 am

It s the George Foreman iGrill , model number GIPOD200 . (Did I miss the 100 model?) Okay, on closer examination, it s a George Foreman grill that you can plug more or less any MP3 player into. But the ad and the model name namecheck iPod by name. Built in speakers and amp, too. Gotta love that. You could go to George s site to see it yourself, but I ve been thoughtful enough to save you the trip by pasting the picture here: My favorite part is Knockout tunes! Knockout the fat! at the bottom.   He s such...


Demo Reel Design, Part 2
By: Julia Camenisch on Apr 26, 2007 at 11:12:14 am

Like I said earlier, your demo reel has a very short period of time in which to grab a prospective client s attention and convince them that you have what it takes to deliver the goods. So how can you maximize on that short span? 1) Put your best foot forward...ASAP! Make the first 15-30 seconds of your demo reel electric. Your best footage, the best spot you ve ever done, the best scenes from your short film - whatever you re putting in, make it, you guessed it, the best. 2) Customize your reel to match your strengths to...


What NOT to do & other bits of advice
By: Julia Camenisch on Apr 23, 2007 at 10:46:33 am

I m sure you ve read it, but it s so good (at least IMHO) that it bears repeating. Mike Curtis over at HD for Indies , has compiled a list of 10 don t do rules for indie filmmakers, based off his experience as a consultant. Since he wrote these as a frustrated rant, it s a bit long-winded, but here s a quick summary of 9 of those rules. Two of them are so similar I didn t bother repeating: 1. Don t use Cineframe mode on Sony HDV cameras - looks bad and isn t true 24p....


Giving back to the community
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on Apr 22, 2007 at 8:00:44 pm

Every once in a while you read about something that makes you want to be a better person. I just read that Peder Norby (of Trapcode) is giving an Award of Excellence, which includes $10,000, to Ken Perlin, inventor of the algorithm called Perlin Noise. Many of the effects we use utilize this algorithm - for example, in Maya there s a texture called Perlin Noise, which is used to generate noise textures and displacement maps, and can be used for highly realistic effects through the appearance   “randomness.”   It s my understanding that the Perlin Algorithm is also...

after effects

NAB_From a Distance
By: David Battistella on Apr 19, 2007 at 2:15:23 pm

It s a relief because the speculation has ended and we can focus on how we are going to use these creative tools in our everyday lives.  In my case it s as a film maker and I have to say that I am thrilled.  I like to think of myself as a complete film maker.  My background is as an editor and everytime I see a release like this, I can t help but think about how much I wish it was all coming sooner.  I mean, I m not getting any younger and these are all of the...


Clockwork: Procrastination (ironically) pays off ...
By: Sterling Glass on Apr 18, 2007 at 5:11:20 pm

... at least for this project. While tweaking the markers I had set up in Audition of the demo version of the song, Audition crashed. Like a first-time user, I just glanced at the screen and thought that my changes before the crash were still there and saved the file instead of Save As... . I was using the Spectral Display in Audition to see where the kick drum hit in the audio since I want to make my animation sync with the music. When I looked at the Spectral Display of the audio, nothing was there. So, I reinstalled...

after effects

USB: the universal power adapter?
By: Tim Wilson on Apr 11, 2007 at 5:15:59 am

George Ou over at Real World IT talks about his quest for a universal power adapter. Wouldn t it be loverly? Then he observes that USB is becoming the new standard for charging devices including iPods and other portable music players, portable GPS, and an increasing number of phones. All true. He leaves out PDAs and portable gaming devices like PSP  and Game Boy. Then he says, Now all I need is a single cigarette to USB adapter and a single 110 V to USB adapter where ever I travel and I don t need to worry about forgetting a...


The mobile/virtual office
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:33:23 am

I got a new webcam (beta testing software that requires one) and have been testing it out. I m on vacation, and wanted to touch base with a colleague in Canada about an upcoming project, and to catch up with him and what he s working on. I noticed in my skype list that his skype listing had a camera icon next to it. So I gave it a shot.  It changed the entire experience for me. I was talking to him about work, and we could see each other. It felt like I was really there with him. He even moved...


iPhones, the TED interface and the Future...
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Mar 31, 2007 at 5:15:29 am

When I first saw the iPhone previewed by Steve Jobs during his keynote at last January s Macworld Expo, I had a sneaking suspicion that I had seen that interface before. In fact, I told Tim Wilson, Man, that interface looks just like the one that is over at the TED conferences... that I had sent Tim a link to the summer before. Well, it *is* the TED interface and while Apple gets top nods for knowing a good thing when they see it, and for licensing it quickly enough to likely have it forever associated with them in the...


By: walter biscardi on Mar 30, 2007 at 2:55:54 pm

Ok, it s NAB time and I ve been receiving quite a few of those MUST SEE emails touting everything from Apple to Avid to everything in between. Today I received what has to be the dumbest PR I ve ever gotten from someone who teaches Avid. I m guessing this person doubles as a Porn Spammer on the side because it has all the qualities of the endless junk email I receive. Well, here, you can judge for yourself. I guess Avid is going all out this year to woo Final Cut Pro users, I wonder what the private...


Hacking Apple TV: Blogs to the rescue!
By: Tim Wilson on Mar 29, 2007 at 7:48:01 am

Hacking was a term originally coined at MIT to descrive such classic pranks as emptying the deans office and reassembling it -- complete with rug -- in the middle of the frozen Charles River. (That illegal software thing is more properly called cracking. ) Hacking Apple TV is an entirely legal activity that makes it truly useful, starting with a bigger hard drive -- child s play for anyone reading this. A blog by the fine folks at offer a fully illustrated tutorial called  Violating my Apple TV warranty in 4 easy steps. Legal yes, warranty-voiding, yes, but seriously, dude....


Magazine Article Correction - Re: YouTube & Flash
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on Mar 26, 2007 at 6:50:25 am

So, it appears YouTube Caught on to the tests that I and many others were doing to find the best FLV settings for YouTube. Up until recently, you were able to upload FLV s to You Tube without them messing with (i.e., compressing) your videos. Alas, they decided to change that. It s too bad too because you were able to get some really high-Qulaity video on line. Now they convert Flash FLV s too. Here are some samples of tests I did before it got shut down - hit more info by each video to see the settings I used: Medium Quality:...


The Curse of the Yellow Hammer
By: Christian Glawe on Mar 25, 2007 at 2:58:24 pm

We all know how techno-centric our industry is. And how quickly that technology changes. Simply keeping up with all the new capabilities, gear, workflows, software, platforms, etc. can be a full-time job. And gear is critical. We can t do our jobs without it, and we can t do our jobs *well* if we don t know how to best *use* that gear. But.... we re supposed to be creative artists, too. In fact, I d argue that those who find long-term success in this business aren t necessarily those with the most gear, but instead, those who can find...

creative cow

Amazon has a rocket! Really? A ROCKET?!?
By: Tim Wilson on Mar 22, 2007 at 7:19:10 am

Well, to be precise, Jeff Bezos has a rocket. He s the founder of, and he s apparently been working on this for a while. It s not a big rocket, but it s really, truly a rocket. Its first successful launch was in November. He s got pictures and a movie at the project s website, Blue Origin . How the heck did I miss this story at the time?!? It turns out that I m not the only one. It didn t get wide coverage until January, when an FAA notice from November was published, warning air traffic to stay clear...


Apple TV shipping!
By: Tim Wilson on Mar 21, 2007 at 5:32:13 am

CNN reports  that Apple has started charging credit cards for the shipment of Apple TVs. They continue, Analysts say it s likely to sell well initially. Wow. You think so? The same analysts believe that Apple has taken pre-orders for more than 100,000 units, and, well, since I read it on the internet, it must be true. Blog pioneer (he was doing it 10 years before blogging had a name) Dave Winer reports that one of his readers says he got a notice from Apple that his has actually been shipped. I got Dave s link from NewTeeVee, who quotes Dina...


What the world needs - Rewritable Ink.
By: Eric Bliss on Mar 9, 2007 at 9:55:54 am

So, I was working on cleaning up my place the other day, and I was noticing yet again that I really need more room for all of my books, when I suddenly realized that wasn t what I actually need. What we need is a book that works like a hard drive. Imagine a new kind of printer for a moment. This printer doesn t just print out pages. You can also feed pages into it, which it will then make blank by pulling the ink off of them. Once it has blanked the pages, it will then print on...


Apple gets its game on?
By: Tim Wilson on Mar 9, 2007 at 5:11:41 am

One of the favorite games of Mac Kremlinologists is looking under the hood of new releases to find hidden text strings for hints of what s coming. Monday s release of QuickTime 7.1 hints at a whopper : Apple TV could be doubling as a game hub. What Apple has not yet said, but is quite apparent from Monday s iTunes release, is that Apple TV will also sport some rudimentary gaming capabilities. Are you sure you want to sync games? All existing games on the Apple TV, reads a localized string file hidden in the software. Another reads, Some...


Adobe asks: "What's in the Box?"
By: Aharon Rabinowitz on Mar 8, 2007 at 4:04:42 pm

So this viral video showed up on You tube:  Clearly Adobe is planning something big. Only time will tell......


A tapeless world
By: Barend Onneweer on Mar 5, 2007 at 5:44:43 am

The following is a republished blog entry from my own company website. A project for Ticketservice Uitburo was our first experience shooting DVCProHD for greenscreen material, with the Panasonic HVX-200 - since the budget didn't allow for HDCAM or film. What sets this camera apart is that is shoots HD on P2 memorycards, not tape. As a result we could immediately copy the data to a computer and start working. No need to have tapes transferred to files, or send film to a lab. The immediate availability of the material is one of the biggest advantages of this type of...


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