Access over 30 Years of VFX Knowledge and History with Digital Cinefex Classic Collection

CinefexSince 1980, quarterly publication Cinefex Magazine has been the go-to resource for VFX artists, professionals, and enthusiasts. This visual effects "bible" is also a time capsule of sorts, that has captured and documented the evolution of movie magic for the past 3 decades, and now they want to bring all of it to you digitally. Subscribers can currently access Cinefex issues, as well as a number of back issues on their iPads, computers, as well as physical copies, but publishing company New Scribbler Press wants to bring you every single issue -- from the 1st to the latest -- digitally, and on their interactive publishing platform. They just need a little help.

If you've never read or looked inside an issue of Cinefex, it's probably best described as an incredibly detailed compilation of bonus feature DVDs and behind-the-scene featurettes of your favorite VFX flicks -- only in magazine form. Issues are full of photos, articles, and in-depth accounts from some of the greatest VFX filmmakers and artists in history, willing to share their invaluable knowledge with those who want to know.

Highly respected visual effects professionals vouch for Cinefex. Adam Savage (MythBusters) says, “It is a PhD degree in film special effects," while James Cameron calls it the "one true source" to "expand your vision."

New Scribbler Press has undertaken the effort of licensing over 30 years of rare and costly issues of Cinefex,in order to make all 126 issues available to readers on their iPads as the "Cinefex Classic Collection. They have started a Kickstarter campaign to pay for licensing fees as well as funding the transition of the archived issues into a new format. Check out their Kickstarter video below to learn more about the campaign.

New Scribbler Press isn't just making each page a PDF -- they're taking it a step further by developing a new publishing format that is both interactive and customizable.

Since they plan on making every issue searchable, you will be able to search for names, films, tools, techniques, etc. in a keyword search. Photo galleries will be available, which NSP has optimized for the best display possible. Also, you'll be able to highlight and share text within each issue, making reading Cinefex a social experience.

If you're interested in the world of visual effects, it looks like Cinefex sets the standard in terms of industry publications. Having all of those years of information and history at your fingertips is quite exciting -- at least to me.

The calculated cost of getting your hands on every printed back issue is somewhere around $2500 (based on eBay auction prices,) but once the digital copies become available on iTunes, the cost for the "Cinefex Classic Collection (126 back issues) will be $499, or pay $4.99 per issue. However, you can get the entire collection if you pledge $250 or more on their Kickstarter campaign.

Check out their Kickstarter campaign here, and if you're interested in subscribing to current issues of Cinefex, visit their website.

Do you read Cinefex? Do you think it's a good resource for VFX professionals? Let us know in the comments.




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Your Comment


Amazing, I'm getting one collection for sure.

July 20, 2013 at 4:38PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


iPad? Nope.

July 20, 2013 at 7:47PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


i agree. i own and love an iPad. But there's no way i would want to spend that much time reading this much info on my iPad only. Not gonna happen. There is mention of a PDF format but I didn't see any other viewing option other than an iPad. PDF on computer - totally different story, and I could get on board with that.

Then there's the true value question. This is true hollywood VFX methods and applications. We're talking budgets in the $150M+ range. Chances are low to mid range budget films won't have access to 90% of the resources described in these articles. Me thinks the better investment is to choose a VFX application that you really want to work in and invest in tutorials and education in that one application for more effective ROI.

July 20, 2013 at 11:43PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey Jeff, I've been working on high end vfx for near on 14 years now, yes software is used extensively, but many great visual effects shots have been created without any 3d or 2d software whatsoever. Take the shot of the Cotopaxi in the Gobi Desert in Close Encounters. Thats a miniature put close to camera, then all the people are put way back in the distance to make them look extremely small in relation to the ship. It's brilliant in it's simplicity, and this very concept could be applicable on low budget work. You'll find all these neat little ideas in Cinefex. Here's a pic of the shot I mentioned....

July 21, 2013 at 5:18AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) does this as well. The spaceship is a miniature set close to camera and the actors climbing into it are on the other side of the stage. The shots from across the river in Escape from New York (1981) are also miniatures using wrinkled Visqueen as the water. Both were shot at Roger Corman's Lumber Yard studio. My friend Austin McKinney did visual effects cinematography on them, and I visited him while he was working on both..

Don Trumbull (DP) and I (gaffer), did several Front Projection shots for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). For some things. even today, I'd prefer Front Projection to Green Screen. There are a lot of inexpensive and easy to do effects that can be done in camera that have fallen out-of-style today (and are unknown to today's film-makers.

July 22, 2013 at 12:03AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Why Icrap? No, sorry, give me PDF and I`ll happily spend money!

July 21, 2013 at 12:36AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM