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Studio’s Top Stories of 2013: Part One

Every December, we dig into our weblogs and tally pageviews for stories published at StudioDaily in the last 12 months. The traffic stats reveal what we've been thinking about when it comes to product reviews, case studies, NAB news, and other business stories. And they often point toward what will be making news in the next year. We'll be publishing links to five of our top 10 stories from the year today, and finishing out the list in a post tomorrow. Enjoy this look back at 2013!

#10 Gravity VFX: Motion, Space and Weightlessness

Gravity was that rare film — a critical favorite, a smash hit with audiences, and a groundbreaking VFX piece that seems to be on the road to serious Oscar consideration. Barbara Robertson interviewed Framestore VFX supervisor Timothy Webber about how the film got weightlessness, and space, just right.

#9 Adobe Doubles Down on Creative Cloud, Adopts Subscription-Only Software Model

Certainly the most contentious story we covered all year was this one on Adobe's decision to move customers from a traditional software-license model to a subscription plan. While CS6 remains available for sale under the perpetual-licensing model, customers who want any of the new features introduced at NAB 2013 or beyond need to purchase a Creative Cloud subscription. Some users welcomed the move, noting that it simplified accounting and improved scalability for large facilities, but the vast majority of commentary online (including on our own comments board) was negative, complaining that the subscription increased costs over the long run and left customers with nothing if they stopped paying for the software. (For more on Adobe's move, and reaction to it, see our creative cloud tag archives.)

#8 Review: Sony NEX-FS700 with 4K Upgrade

Sony upgraded its popular FS700 with the ability to record raw 4K to a modular recording device, and readers clearly wanted to know more about this option. Our reviewer Barry Braverman confessed some skepticism about 4K hype, noting that an affordable 4K camera is of dubious benefit if the optics that can resolve that resolution remain prohibitively expensive. However, he lauded Sony's largely hands-off approach to the raw signal coming off of the camera's sensor as well as the quality of its 4K capture (through whatever glass you have available).

#7 Working with Florida's Outlaw Bikers to Make Warlocks Rising

It turns out Discovery Channel's Warlocks Rising is one of those projects that really grabbed the attention of our readers. Probably it's because of the obvious challenge the show presented. "Outlaw" bikers have to rank pretty low on the list of organizations that want a reality TV show getting up in their business, and even if individual club members are willing to cooperate, there's always the question of what the rest of the organization thinks about what they're doing. We spoke with series co-creator Cameron Casey about navigating biker politics to get a compelling show made without getting on the Warlocks' bad side.

#6 4K Cameras: What's the State of the Art in 2013?

The technology buzzword for 2013 was definitely 4K, and there's some indication the hype is going to get even stronger in 2014, as more and more vendors come into the fold with 4K capture solutions. And Apple is definitely pushing its Mac Pro (news of which just missed making this list) — as a lean, mean 4K editorial machine. For the second year in a row, we rounded up the current slate of 4K camera contenders for easy perusal, taking a quick look at the varying approaches to workflow on and off-set.

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