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OUR MISSION: To explore innovative ideas, to seek out creative minds and new inspirations, to boldly go where no creative has gone before!

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my articles on cg+news

Check out the motion picture and broadcast industry articles I’ve written on cg+news.

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Floyd Norman: Once in A Lifetime Experience

The oxford dictionary defines the phrase “once in a lifetime” as a chance or experience that’s unlikely to occur more than – once in a person’s life. Kinda makes sense, right? This June, Floyd Norman will be our honored guest at motion 2017 in Santa Fe. If you’ve never met Floyd, I invite you to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity. What makes Floyd so unique that he warrants such a prestigious introduction? Sure. Floyd Norman was the first African American animator hired by Disney. And yes, it’s true. Floyd has over 65 credits to his name including The Jungle Book, Toy Story 2, and Monster’s Inc. Awards. You betcha. ASIFA Hollywood’s Winsor McCay Award and the International Family Film Festival for Lifetime Achievement in Animation to name a few. Not only that, Floyd was named a Disney Legend in 2007. And for many of us, Floyd is fondly referred to as “the ambasador” of the industry. In fact – filmmaker Michael Fiore found Floyd to be so fascinating, he made a documentary about his life. For many of us, Floyd is fondly referred to as ‘the ambasador’ of the industry. While credits like these would distinguish any artist as being in a category of their own, exulting them to “Hall of Fame” status, it’s more than this that puts Floyd Norman in the “once in a lifetime experience” category. You see…I know this first hand. I was fortunate to meet Floyd in person last year at motion 2016. As emcee for the event, I interviewed the legend as we took a unique look back at his life based on the chronology of some of his books*....

LG 5k Display 2013 Mac Pro Sierra Issues

I was excited when I saw the announcement for the LG 5k Display for Apple. I thought the footprint and features would be a great match for the work I do. I primarily use my 2013 Mac Pro for motion graphics and video editing. The day my LG 5k arrived, was a huge…disappointment. After unboxing, I plugged the monitor in to my 2013 Mac Pro and…nothing. A black screen. I admit – this was my bad. I should have read the specs. The new monitor requires OS X Sierra. My MacBook Pro was already running Sierra, but hadn’t gotten around to updating my Mac Pro yet. The new mornitor was the impetus. As always, I did a clean install. It always works so much better than doing an OS upgrade. Sure, it’s a bit more work, but personally – I believe it’s worth it. This time when I booted my Mac Pro with the new LG 5k – it worked. Sorta. Sure. It powered on and it was semi usable. But It seemed to be plagued with problems, that I couldn’t pinpoint. For example, it constantly blinked to black. It wouldn’t shut down or restart without doing a hard shut down on the Mac itself. I had read that the blinking issue could be related to WiFi or router interference. To eliminate that variable, I tried working without internet, disabling the WiFi off in my office from the router. No luck.  Since I had two new variables in the mix (a. the OS upgrade to Sierra and b. the new monitor), I had to determine which variable was causing the issue. I decided to try using...

Creative Cloud :: How to Disable Activation Devices

Adobe Creative Cloud allows you to have two devices active. For example – your desktop computer and your laptop. So what happens if you try to install on a third device? Creative Cloud asks you to either deactivate the license on one of your other computers, or offers to deactivate all currently activated computers. A few days ago, I was installing Creative Cloud on my new MacBook Pro. I ran into this issue – but was not sure which of my devices had a current activation. I assumed that Adobe had this info in my account somewhere, so I decided to explore – and share the results with you. It’s pretty simple. login to your creative cloud account select Manage Account you may be asked you to login again select Plans and Products under your Creative Cloud plan, select Manage Plan in the column on the right, you’ll see a section titled Activated devices click the ‘x’ icon by the device you want to deactivate Simple enough! If you accidentally deactivate a device, simply reactive by launching any Adobe application. It will ask you to login, thus activating that...

Adobe Slate From A Designer’s Perspective

It was just about a year ago when Adobe launched Voice – and innovative app that Emmy award winning tech journalist David Pogue deemed, ‘One of the simplest, most creative, most joyous apps ever written’. Voice went on to be included in Apple’s prestigious App Store Best of 2014 list. Well, Adobe’s back at it again. Today, they announced the release of their latest iPad app, Slate. Slate lets users tell their stories using text and images. At its core, Slate is a continuation of Adobe’s recently adopted app design mantra touting ‘easy-to-use tools for creatives’. Slate is made for anyone who wants to communicate with impact. Using a set of professionally designed templates, Slate users can now turn their next report, newsletter or travel adventure into a document that captures attention – complete with eye-catching motion. Slate content automatically adapts to any device for a high-impact reading experience on tablets, smartphones or computers. Slate creations are links that can be shared easily via text message, email, embedded in websites, or posted on social media channels. So how does Slate appeal to design professionals like myself? I decided to kick the tires and take it for a spin. First off, as a design professional, Slate is so easy to use…that I initially floundered with the app for a few minutes, assuming that it couldn’t be that easy. As I entered a block of text, I was frustrated when I hit return to start the next paragraph. Slate automatically inserted a new ‘section’. I wanted a line break. That was until I realized, that’s how Slate works. No need to know code that I use day in and day...

A Fresh Look at Daylite 5

Years ago I wrote an article titled Daylite – The Little CRM That Could. In the article I explained how I chose Daylite as the CRM that we use at Well it’s been a while since that last article (2011), so I thought I would write a bit more and talk about Marketcircle’s latest release, Daylite 5. First off, let me say the term CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is somewhat inaccurate, as Daylite does so much more than just handling interactions between customers and clients. The description on Marketcircle’s website is much more accurate: Daylite keeps everything related to your business in one place, so you and your team can share information wherever they are by Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Your contacts, schedule, tasks, projects, sales opportunities, emails, and notes are all there, making it easy to find what you are looking for in seconds. isn’t your typical business. Instead, it’s a mix of multiple entities including: motion – our annual conference retreat for creative professionals, – content that feeds your creative brain, cg+news – our motion picture and broadcast industry news portal, and our newsletter – BrainFood – all of which are owned by our design firm, z o c o l o c o | s t u d i o s. Because of this, we don’t have one standard workflow that fits each entity. And, because there are just two of us who handle everything, we’ve had to come up with systems that are lean and clean. the toolbox One of our challenges is that at any given time, we are working with multiple people outside of our organization simultaneously. Whether...

Cinema 4D + KRAKATOA Cinema 4D + Viz Artist

One of my favorite things at NAB are the sneak peaks – the opportunity to learn first hand what’s coming down the pike. And today at the MAXON press luncheon I did that that. So what’s in store for CINEMA 4D?

about me…


I love to create. Whether it’s creating motion graphics for broadcast, sharing my thoughts on, or curating our annual show, being a creative is what fuels me.


As the producer of motion, I where many hats. Creative director, production designer, web developer, graphic designer – whatever it takes. The outcome? An amazing annual show.


I’m known for being a creative technologist. A unique blend of left & right brain. When in left-brain mode, I program in PHP, Javascript, and build our servers from the ground up on AWS.

elaine montoya
  • right brain 50%
  • left brain 50%

the details…

I’ve been described as a “right-down-the-middle-left-brain/right-brain creative technologist”. But since the right-brain/left-brain myth has been debunked, I prefer to think of myself simply as a creative. Someone who needs to feed both the stereotypical left brain and the stereotypical right brain.

Have I always been this way? It would seem so. I started my college career at the University of NM with a NASA scholarship in computer science and electrical engineering – satiating my left brain with logical, precise, and structured skill sets. But after graduating, my right brain screamed ‘what about me!’ Not one to ignore the whole-brain, I earned a second degree in graphic design from The Art Institute of Colorado.

Next chapter: Art Director for ad agencies. Founder of the visual design firm zocoloco studios. Won numerous awards. Was published in HOW Magazine. Taught at The Art Center.

Now, almost 3 decades later, life is filled with a wide range of seemingly juxtaposed experiences ranging from After Effects to AWS, PHP to print design, MySQL to motion graphics and video post-production.

Up until 10 years ago, I thought I was an anomaly. But I’ve since found out I am not alone. I am a creative. It is who I am.

Thus began the voyage of the network. Its mission: to explore innovative thoughts, to seek out creative minds and new inspirations, to boldly go where no creative has gone before. And for the past seven years, we’ve done just that – providing online content for creatives in the motion picture and broadcast industries on, streaming live shows like the annual Made with After Effects Awards, and most importantly, giving birth to motion…a place where people – not unlike myself – can come together each October and celebrate who we are: creatives.

Teacher. Speaker. Writer. Adobe Community Professional. I am happiest when I can truly create – and equally as delighted when other creatives remember what that experience is like, and are inspired to do the same.

On – and one more thing…in my spare time, I enjoy cycling, art, reading – and day spas. And, as a breast cancer survivor, I’m committed to advancing survivorship issues.

I am elaine montoya. I am a creative.