• In Depth (66 ARTICLES)

  • Free Webinars! Calendar updated. #vfx #freewebinar

    Sep 19, 2017

    Can’t keep track upcoming webinars? This page is dedicated to webinars from our vendors that you may want to see. We will update this weekly or as often as needed so bookmark this page.

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  • In Depth: Color Grading is a LUT Easier with LUTs!

    Sep 15, 2017

    A LUT, or Look Up Table, is used in the film industry as an easy method of color grading. It’s an array of numbers to control the color of an image, by mapping one color space to another. Simple enough at the surface, but here’s more than you probably want to know about LUTs.

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  • In Depth: Brilliant (and Possibly Dangerous) Future Video and Audio Technologies

    Aug 07, 2017

    When I was a kid, I’d watch Star Trek and The Jetsons and be in awe of the ability to teleport or fly around with a jetpack or flying car. While those technologies have been tough to bring to reality, some of the technologies for film, video, and audio are just on the horizon or already in existence. This technology will help filmmakers fix botched lines, avoid retakes, make actors look younger, and even bring an actor back to life who died during filming. We’re going to cover a lot of cool technology in this article, technology that also has high potential to have ethical issues attached to it if it becomes available to consumers.

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  • In Depth: Freelancing Essentials, Part 1: Creating Your Brand

    Jul 26, 2017

    With any small business owner or freelancer, you’ll wear many hats. You will likely be the artist, the marketer, the accountant, the custodian, and more. You’ll constantly be thinking about your current job, your next job, who you can rely on to help you. It’s a lot of work and it’s sometimes exhausting! Not only this, you’ll end up taking on a higher amount of tax burden than someone who works for a corporation. Still, the appeal of being your own boss and working your own hours is very appealing.

    This is the first in a series for those who are freelancing and those who want to be their own bosses. Some of the tips will be specific to video and digital media, and others will be more general. Today’s topic is creating your brand, which has to do with marketing, sales, and protecting your brand.

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  • In Depth: Fireworks

    Jun 30, 2017

    Yes, the U.S. Independence Day is upon us once again! Whatever your country or holiday, here are some methods of creating some beautiful explosions in the sky with After Effects, CINEMA 4D, and other hosts. There are some great plug-ins out there for making fireworks too.

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  • In Depth: Audio Plug-ins and Formats for Video Professionals

    Mar 14, 2017

    You may think of Toolfarm as a place for just visual effects plug-ins and video tools, but we also know a bit about audio plug-ins. Did you know that many NLEs support audio plug-ins? This is a guide that explains the difference between Native and DSP-based plug-ins. Find out which format works with your system, whether you’re using ProTools, Cubase, Media Composer, Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Vegas or Final Cut Pro X.

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  • In Depth: Creating Space - A Galaxy of Resources for your Epic Space Film

    Mar 07, 2017

    It’s no secret that I am a space geek and I’m a big fan of hard science fiction, so I’m always attracted to tutorials that show how to create realistic space scenes. Here are a few that you may find useful for your next Space Opera! (Star Wars is a Space Opera if you’re wondering).

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  • In Depth: Keying and Background Removal in Photoshop, Part 2: Primatte Chromakey

    Feb 14, 2017

    Part 2 of this multipart series on background removal covers Digital Anarchy’s Primatte Chromakey and how to use it with Photoshop for the best workflow possible.

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  • In Depth: Keying and Background Removal in Photoshop, Part 1: The Pre-Process

    Feb 13, 2017

    If you’re working with still photography, it’s often necessary to cut someone out of the background to place them into a new scene or to add special effects.  While there is no specific “Chroma Key Tool” that is built into Photoshop, it still has great tools for removing the background and other elements from an image, non-destructively.

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  • In Depth: Glitch Effects Plug-ins, Footage Elements, and Tutorials and Freebies

    Jan 26, 2017

    Add some grungy, distorted glitch effects to your videos or create Glitch Art with these plugins and tools.

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  • In Depth: Keying: Part 5: Hawaiki Keyer

    Oct 31, 2016

    As you may know, Green Screen Made Easy, 2nd Edition, which I co-authored with Jeremy Hanke, came out in October 2016. In the book, I go over the keyers, but because it’s in print, I’m limited to how much space I have. In this series, I’m going IN DEPTH on some of my favorite keying and compositing tools for After Effects and other hosts.

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  • In Depth: Introduction to MARI Tutorial Series

    Sep 13, 2016

    The Foundry has created a nice set of tutorials consisting of 5 Modules with multiple Episodes to help get you up to speed with MARI quickly.

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  • In Depth: 8 Plug-ins for White Balancing Footage in Final Cut Pro X

    Sep 01, 2016

    White should look white, not peach, pink, or baby blue. White balancing footage will help your video look natural by looking at the color temperature in your shot and setting an accurate white, removing any unnatural color cast. Here are 8 tools for white balancing your footage in Final Cut Pro.

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  • In Depth: MAXON Cinema 4D Release 18 New Features Roundup

    Aug 22, 2016

    With the upcoming September release of MAXON C4D R18, we wanted to know more about all the new features and figured you did too. From Voronoi fracture & mograph enhancements, to new shaders and tools, C4D R18 had tons of new additions to unlock your 3D creativity.

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  • In Depth: Keying: Part 4: Red Giant Primatte Keyer and Key Correct

    Jul 06, 2016

    As you may know, I have a book coming out in October 2016 called Green Screen Made Easy, 2nd Edition. In the book, I go over the keyers, but because it’s in print, I’m limited to how much space I have. In this series, I’m going IN DEPTH on three of my favorite keying and compositing tools for After Effects and other hosts. I’ve talked a lot about keying tools in the book, on the Toolfarm website, and at user group events. The first article will look at Red Giant Keying Suite, which includes Primatte Keyer and it’s wonderful companion tool, Key Correct.

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  • In Depth: Render Farms

    Jun 17, 2016

    If you’re doing a lot of production work, a render farm will save you so much time and stress under tight deadlines. If you’ve been thinking about it, here are sone resources that may help you set up a great system for your 3D or video rendering. This article does not intend to explain how to set up a render farm but serves as an informational resource about plug-ins and software.

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  • In Depth: Rain Generators

    Jun 13, 2016

    It has been cloudy here all day and is just starting to sprinkle here so I thought it might be a good time to update this article with some new information.  Added June 13, 2016: Next Limit Realflow, Insydium X-Particles, a Boris tutorial, and more examples.

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  • In Depth: Light Leaks and Lens Whacking

    May 11, 2016

    Light leaks used to be caused by camera damage but now it’s a stylistic look. I’ll give you some cool examples of these optical lighting artifacts, and I’ll go over some plug-ins and stock elements to give your footage a light leak look. I’ll also talk to some of the pros in the industry about the making your light leaks look natural.

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  • In Depth: Michele’s NAB Survival Guide, 2016 Edition - Updated 3/24/16 #NABShow

    Apr 07, 2016

    For those of you new to NAB, here is the insiders guide from someone who has been to several NABs in a row. Trust me, I’m a pluginologist.

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  • In Depth: Skin Retouching Part 5: Some New Tools & Tutorials

    Mar 02, 2016

    Since I started this series, there have been a couple of new tools on the market for skin touch-up and smoothing, as well as a couple of useful tutorials on the topic. I’ll talk about Sheffield Makeup Artist III, which came out in February, and Boris Continuum Complete Beauty Studio.

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  • In Depth: 8 Must-Have Plug-ins for Motion Graphics in After Effects

    Jan 26, 2016

    This is a question that I get quite a bit. It’s usually someone who is just out of college and getting started in the biz. They often use the phrase “the best bang for the buck”. Nobody wants to spend money on tools they will never use either. Because this field has some diversity, I’m breaking this into a multi-part feature for motion graphics in After Effects, visual effects in After Effects, editing, and more. Here are my picks must-have plug-ins for motion graphic artists using After Effects.

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  • In Depth: The Ultimate Guide to Building a Great Demo Reel

    Dec 10, 2015

    Is your New Year’s Resolution to get a new job or to bring in new freelance work? A new demo reel can help. Promoting yourself with a reel has changed a bit since I began in this business over 20 (gasp!) years ago. The internet and short attention spans have changed the climate. What are employers looking for in a reel? I was on a panel at a college last month where we talked about what makes a demo reel great and what makes it… well, not so great. I also asked around to some industry peers for their opinions. This is what my research has concluded.

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  • In Depth: Working with Night Time Scenes, part 2

    Oct 05, 2015

    Part 1 of this two part series focused on shooting at night and when and how to accomplish shooting in low light. Part 2 focuses on working with footage shot during the daytime and color grading for night. We’ll also talk about adding some night time elements to sell your shot.

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  • In Depth: Working with Night Time Scenes, part 1

    Oct 01, 2015

    You really have two choices when shooting scenes that take place at night. Either shoot at night and deal with the low light situation or shoot Day for Night. Shooting at night is easier if your camera is capable of it. Day for Night, which I would recommend under certain circumstances, can be tricky but can look fantastic and undistinguishable when it’s done correctly. Part one of this article will focus on shooting in after dark.

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  • In Depth: Skin Retouching Part 4: DaVinci Resolve

    Jul 16, 2015

    Making skin tones appear natural, yet attractive, in color graded footage can be intimidating to the inexperienced. Here are some tutorials and articles focused on working with skin tones with Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve, including smoothing and cosmetic color grading.

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