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Everything posted by jaan

  1. 10.8.5 … been burned in the past with bugs in OS, AE, and plugins. I don't upgrade unless forced to or I have a huge chunk of down time (which is never since the recession). Also, I have Blackmagic hardware and I believe they are shipped with microscopic gremlin eggs embedded inside that awaken and hatch whenever you upgrade AE, Premiere, or your OS. The color label thing is also a big deal for me… funny reading it mentioned so many times on here, I thought I was the only weirdo on earth who cared about that.
  2. first off, in case you haven't figured it out already, about 80% of all the work in the US is shared between LA and nyc (LA having the most), with the entire rest of the country sharing the other 20%. i will be so bold as to say that i am not exaggerating. then a second tier would probably be chicago/atlanta/seattle and then i would put sf at tier three (i've been freelancing here 10 years). even though this is a huge ad agency center, LA is like a big vortex that sucks away most of the projects, budgets and people away from sf. yeah so anyway, if you're concerned about work, you straight up need to go to LA or nyc, particularly in this shitty recession. then maybe once you have your legal & networking shit worked out, move to somewhere for the quality of life rather than just for work. also, here is a dirty little secret about our industry: shops like foreigners. at least shops that are on the more competitive side. that's because in LA and nyc the freelance market is good, so any good designer/animator with half a brain will decide to go freelance and make 2x the money, or alternately work half as much. but when you have a talented employee that is obligated to work staff for you via visa sponsorship, then you no longer have to worry about that. so if you have a dynamite reel, try sending it out. best of luck & hope this somehow helps.
  3. oh wait, i just realized your project is seemingly animating a preexisting/preapproved design... i usually do a "full timeline" rough animatic to show composition & timing, with crap linear animation & dissolves, along with one or two short polished animation bits. and i make certain to not put the polished bits into the animatic, so they can see the explicit difference between the animation quality of the animatic and polished bits, which usually helps compound to them that everything in the animatic "isn't going to move like that, all herky jerky, is it?".
  4. i usually try to approach it as "how can i get the most signoff/approval process made in the least amount of time?". i know that sounds really "duh", but it will vary from client to client, project to project, so having multiple approaches is more advantageous. with a new client, i try to isolate the variables as much as possible. for the first round, i pick out 2 screens from the project (usually one title card/minimal text, and one imagery/infographic based) and do 3ish sets of semi-polished looks. key is to keep the actual content in the screens vague or minimal, because they will usually hone in on -and hence be distracted by- the content itself and how it's represented. then stay with the 2-styleframe approach, with the same content/screens until they signoff on the look. then i usually fill out more screens with *now the MOST relevant & touchy* content in it. so that way any problems with the representation of important content is tackled as stills, rather wasting a lot of time in animation to please them. then around the later part of this stage (when it seems like they are on a clear path to signoff), i'll include a short animation test of "not important" content. this will usually glide right in with the rest of the signoff of the finalized look. then the animation and all the hellish and/or heavenly complexities that ensues regarding signoff & client pleasing. in the initial project outline and/or contract, i give an overview of the approval process (and signoff dates needed to make their delivery date a reality), specifying how purely the "look" needs to be nailed down first and foremost, then building out the look of specific content, etc... so they know the game plan from the get-go and you don't have to explain repeatedly from the first presentation why "that really important complex graph" isn't in the styleframes. there is another important reason i do this: if your client liason is even a half-competent manager, they'll completely understand this and even appreciate it. and if they are resistant to this tiered approach and just wanna "see everything" from the beginning, then they are likely either A) very inexperienced in handling projects like this, B ) a machiavellian cretin who will revisionize you to death, that you're better off avoiding, or C) are overly concerned with pleasing & impressing their boss and will always want a luxuriously unnecessary amount of stuff to show him/her at like every stage of the process, which pulls important resources away from the actual making of something that will be actually good... also, these are the same people who will demand you suddenly change everything because their boss' 15 year old kid said "they think that blue stuff would all look better yellow", even after you try to explain that changing all the water to yellow will look like urine, etc. hope this is useful and somehow helps.
  5. i haven't really read all the stuff on here, but i assume what the original poster means is footage that... 1. has a depth of field far shallower than what is accustomed to being seen in motion footage, because of the vistavision-sized sensor of the 5d mark2, often in a completely unmotivated & irrelevant way... 2. and is poooooooooooorly lit, or rather just plain unlit... 3. and exhibits poooooooooooor handheld where the horizon line bobs back and forth while they just are wholly concerned with keeping some point of focus in the middle of the screen... 4. or maybe they use that slider dolly they bought for every single shot. if i check out a vimeo link and i see two or more of those seeping onto my eyeballs within the first 3 or 4 shots, i just quit watching it. but needless to say there's been plenty of great stuff shot on them and they're a great cheaper alternate to renting a red package or whatever. also, there's a special place in cinematic hades for "fashion videos" that are basically nothing more than a series of still photos in 10-second durations where their arm moves about 4 inches or the lens flare blooms 8% brighter (or maybe if you're lucky, they walk about 3 paces) all cut to some song they found on the pitchfork blog.
  6. hard to say without seeing your material, but here's something i've used for shooting multipass on real miniature models to help pull out & stack specular highlights in composite... change the color of your lights to be the additive (CMY) inverse of the diffuse/base color of the object... ie. if the base color of your objects is green, then gel your lights to be magenta. this will result in the green having minimal increase in luminance, while the highly specular bits will still reflect a lot of light (though it'll be reflecting magenta light of course). then you take that pass into AE and tweak away until you derive a matte or whatever from it. best of luck and hope this somehow helps.
  7. btw, i don't know her or have any connection to her... just feel like she deserves hella props & exposure. and donations.
  8. if you have a bathtub full of money you should probably help out this filmmaker's new project... her first film "blood tea and red string" is one of just a handful of genuinely auteur stopmotion animated feature length films ever made, and she did it completely by herself (aside from the audio) over a course of 12 years. it's like if david cronenberg and david lynch had a baby that had a fever dream after watching james & the giant peach, put through a goth filter. trust me, you wanna at least netflix that shit.
  9. i've happened to see this dude doing it in real life. it's completely unreal how slowmotiony it all is... the movement, the bursting, even the liquid dripping seems like it was shot at 72 fps and being played back as some indiscernible hologram.
  10. that site looks useful, thanks dude.
  11. hey sorry a little off topic, but has anyone seen any place that has it in stock? like a local camera shop, doesn't matter where it's located to me. it seems to be completely sold out everywhere online. shooting a project soon and would prefer it over the canon DSLRs (not hatin'). thanks in advance for any leads.
  12. neonski, you have some very strong, original looking work... though mostly in that newer stuff on your vimeo (missing from your reel) and in your print projects. especially considering you work in such a (relatively) small market. here are some thingees that might help... - like others said, recut your reel. i feel like you've managed to make your work look less impressive than it is. bolder, snappier, tighter, blah blah blah. i feel like you could just have all your individual projects on your site too, so you could just cut it down more to just the frosting moments. maybe throw in a quick sequence of your print work, to help show your more innovative design sensibilities that don't get a chance to be used in your motion projects. - at your job, if you have a lot of ho-hum projects, adapt what i call the "1.5 second rule". meaning that with every project, no matter how lame or bang-outty, put in a 1.5 second portion that you're proud of and uses some technique etc that you've been wanting to try. as for the project overall, just give the producer/client what they want instead of burning your coals on fruitlessly fighting for more innovation in the project. before too long, you'll have a bunch of new juicy clips for your reel that show a wider range of looks/techniques. - don't say where you are in your site bio if you're courting international clients. too many will see that and just prefer to find someone closer... unless you're somewhere like london or LA or somewhere where your close proximity to a lot of clients will be a benefit. maybe just specify that you're an EU citizen, i dunno?... if that seems to be a beneficial thing to mention. if you being in croatia is a benefit to a prospective client, you can mention in the email you send them, etc. - if you can't seem to get any fun, good-paying freelance projects at the time (recession, duh), then maybe go after some that fulfill the following criteria: 1. will allow you to make something quality & innovative, and 2. will reach a lot of eyeballs that are attached to the skulls of people who hire motion designers... like maybe if there's any film festivals that you can do the opening intro for (guaranteed to pay horridly but be seen by influential people and they'll probably be open creatively). - approach unconventional clients. like any interactive shops that might want prerendered motion design elements to a flash site. Or any company that ever does anything video, like to put on their youtube or whatever. these kind of new clients might be a nightmare due to a combo of their inexperience working with motion designers and low pay, but even having an initial meeting with them (even if you end up declining) will result in new contacts that later down the road could lead to good projects via a referral or them changing jobs, etc. - find the biggest band on the biggest, most organized record label you get obtain access to, and make a video for them. the good thing about this is that once you're done, someone else will be spending time & energy putting it in front of as many eyeballs as possible, which is arguably even more important that being actually good at design/animation. - make a personal project that is about something you care about. not just a strategic self-promo project, but make sure it's about something you wanna convey (ie. make 'art" as cheesy as that sounds). it won't feel like work that way. make a thingee about how you hate your current job, whatevs. - and of course... maybe move somewhere where there's greater quantity and quality of work. hope this somehow helps & best of luck.
  13. nevmindy, adapted it from one here... http://www.motionscript.com/mastering-expressions/random-3.html
  14. have a crazy deadline in the morning... this is actually a super easy expressions thing if u know how. here's my problem. i have hundreds of 3d "cards" in a comp. they need to have faces that are random, from a set of 80 images... they're named "P_000.jpg" through "P_079.jpg" i put those 80 images sequenced one frame each in a comp. now that comp is the precomp that are all the cards in the master comp. i assume i can use an expression in time remap to say "yo homeboy randomly pick one of the frames in me and make that shit a hold keyframe, staying that way forever" but i suck at expressions, even after copy pasting pieces of ones i found online. ima be pulling an all nighter, so i'll be here if anyone is feeling charitable. halllp
  15. for a student project that was almost outstanding. i say outstanding because it was first and foremost compelling and rewarding to watch, had a great tone/mood, and didn't explicitly remind me of any other projects i've seen (rare for student work that's good). i also particularly like you using elements in a 3d environment to create a kind of oskar fischinger meets busby berkeley pseudo-2d sequence. big props for that. and it was funny, that never hurts. the "almost" in "almost outstanding" is because of your use (and lack of use) of the camera. the opening shot could've been much more grandiose and enthralling or at the very least more well-crafted. the spontaneous pan/tilt when the first guy levitates is pretty unorganic and needs more love on those keyframe beziers. and in general, you could've really upped the ante by using some changes in the camera/fov. even maybe just cutting in some longer lens shots. though i understand it's a delicate balance, since that historical style is suited to the continuous static wide shot. also, when the police's colored siren occurs, it drops the quality of the project because i then become aware of the lack of any other color in it. maybe if the police light casted colored light on the environment it would've turned it into a big plus instead of hurting it, i dunno. maybe if there was also some color the first time the guy levitates, and then also a different color at the last walking shot/punchline, i dunno. i also wish there was some more variation in the buildings and trees. and one last thing-- you had a great opportunity to show off some typography skills by doing some custom work on that 1930s quasi-soviet propaganda type. but overall, it's pretty damn good. as far as getting work goes, any experienced producer or AD/CD would look at that know that you'd only need a round or two of notes/revisions to make it excellent, which is a pretty good assessment for a student. hope this somehow helps and best of luck.
  16. one thing to note-- the reason why the philips carousel one looks & feels better than the other examples is because it has real moving specular highlights. and that's because they achieved that spot by just having everyone stay still (often with rigging) and then actually moved the camera (probably at very high speed/slowmo to minimize any movement in the actors), with stuff like the broken glass added in 3d. specular highlights will visually change whenever the angle between the light source, subject and camera changes. when you use projection mapping, the speculars will kinda look painted on or glued in place, which feels very nonsensical, and thus synthetic. though that can be a beneficial style to your project maybe. btw, a good example of a low-budget but effective use of the "frozen actors & ultra slowmo" technique is the suicide shot in buffalo 66. i believe i remember reading that the blood is actually a glass splash prop from a cranberry juice commercial, which was a brilliant technique by lance accord, who nowadays is an A-level hollywood dp. hope this somehow helps.
  17. you straight up need to find a producer with relevant experience. if your show is 2d character animation with lots of lip sync, then find a producer who has worked on projects of that nature, blahblah etc. post ads or whatever. find them, explain the situation to them --being honest and pragmatic about what you do and don't know-- and ask them to help you put together a budget. A lot of mid-level producers would be willing to help you if it meant a chance to be producer on a series. even if they ultimately decline to help you, be sure to learn as much as you can from them. hope this helps and best of luck.
  18. if this is useful to anyone... the email i got about it stated "All of the Monitors Listed below were used in during a Major Sporting Event in Canada. All goods come complete with original packaging and manuals" http://www.danburysales.com/liquidation/panasonic/panasonic.html
  19. first off, as you have probably already gathered from the other posts, it's gonna be a huge learning experience for you. And be prepared to address bumpiness in the process, whether that amounts to some extra budget or schedule for unexpected problems. i'd very highly recommend you hire, first and foremost, a very experienced generalist that (VERY IMPORTANT) someone you know, trust and respect has worked directly with and can vouch for. a reel/resume/etc can't give insight into if someone's a flake, a baby about changing creative direction, or will crack under pressure. be super explicitly honest about what you do and don't know about 3d etc, and about what you need and expect out of the 3d. they will truly respect your honesty about that and will need to fully understand the situation to prevent figuring out you're 3d-inexperienced in the middle of the project. after filling the vouched-for generalist on the project's scope, get their input on what is needed beyond them (specialists etc) in a range of ideal vs. bare bones, in relation with the budget. they are likely to know of or have working relationships with other 3d folks. let them know that they would be the point person for the 3d and hopefully they will understand that the more people you add to the team, the more logistically complicated and less efficient everything gets. it helps if you have a more or less set budget for the 3d because then there's not really an anti-meritous incentive for them to push you into having a big team vs. barebones (bare bones means the generalist gets a bigger slice of the money pie). if they're experienced then they will know not to go too bare bones just for the sake of money. as far as payment goes, i would highly recommend you go flat rate after you go over the scope in detail, and supplement with it all in written form. also, let them know what aspects of the project need to be more focused on (ie. the shaders & lighting are more important than the design of the model) so they can plan for properly allocating their resources. but overall, it's probably gonna be a messy and rough process, so just put extra effort into keeping communication clear and flowing from both ends. hope this helps and best of luck. oh yeah, one more thing-- don't listen to the people telling you to not even bother trying. you can't learn to swim without getting wet.
  20. i didn't really read through all the posts on here so apologies if this is redundant, but if you're a designer in a resource intensive medium like animation, motion graphics, etc (stuff like print design and illustration don't apply so much), then there are four basic career paths... 1. continue being a designer/animator/etc who is hands-on making stuff, getting more and more skilled and/or specialized in your craft. 1A. be a freelancer or staff at a place that makes great stuff and just get used to long hours (that will become a problem when you have a family) and deal with the simple fact that your salary/income will quickly top out rather early in your career and sustain at that level (if you raise your rate too much, you'll be deemed too expensive due to the continuous supply of art school grads) 1B. be freelancer or staff at a place that makes ho-hum or corporate work that keeps things at about 40 hrs a week, thus allowing you to be a competent parent/spouse/etc... the salary top out applies here too, and is maybe slightly less than 1A, though not necessarily. 2. gradually become more of a creative director or manager where you are doing less and less of actual hands-on making and more and more meetings, email writing, client caressing, and being more or less a politician that comes up with ideas and figures out how to use a budget to make other people actually execute them and/or be good at bringing out your workers' best ideas and fine tuning them. or alternately, figure out ways to make it look like your workers' good ideas are your own, which unfortunately goes a long way for some people. obviously, if you aren't good at interacting with people then this path may not be an option for you. with this management path, the sky is the limit when it comes to income. not exaggerating. 2A. do this at a shop doing great work and, again, get used to long hours. 2B. do this at a ho-hum/corpy place and you're much more likely to get to work a more reasonable schedule, though not necessarily. for motion graphics (at least in the US), there are additional sub-splits of each option depending on whether you live in LA/nyc vs. some other american city, which will basically determine whether you have options as to what place you work at. hope this somehow helps and doesn't depress teh fuck out of anyone.
  21. jaan

    Old school mastery

    the gold standard in hand drawn water animation is probably pinocchio (a lot of the texture is lost in the youtube compression) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc5skIrEiVE
  22. if there isn't a static area that you can blur to derive numeric luma changes from, like colin suggested, then i'd recommend first using tint to turn your footage b/w. then slap on an adjustment layer that turns one extreme state into the opposing state. if it happens in a continuous pace/rhythm, then throw in 0 and 100 keyframes for the adjustment layer's opacity and tweak the ease in/out until it looks like it's smoothly compensating. then hopefully you can just dupe the keyframes through the footage. after that, turn off the b/w-ing tint on the footage and tackle the color by looking at just the individual r, g and b channels (via the view toggle) same as the procedure above. i'd recommend using a separate layer per color channel for easier fine tuning. if your problem is a result of confused, searching auto color balance in the camera, then you may be in for a horrible, futile quest since the fluctuations will change based on what colors are on screen at any given phase of the shifting pattern. hope this helps and best of luck. --- oh also, if it's a slow motion and/or lit with fluorescents, then it may be, in layman's terms, that the light source is going slightly darker then back up in a pattern. which is generally easy to get a decent fix, unless of course there are multiple sources that are not all on the same phase (then you are kinda screwed).
  23. jaan

    15 sec ID, WIP

    you did a great job of taking something as inhernetly boring as fishing and made it very visceral, and "sexy" as they like to say in our business. i think the audio choices & timing are totally fine in themselves-- it's just a proper sound mix that's needed. the bad news is that if you don't have a good audio person then that's probably never gonna happen because in my experience it takes real skill and talent to do it well. i'm nowhere near a good audio person, but it feels like it could benefit from having the music and the sound effects/prodsound alternate in aural dominance (done using different compression & eq versions of each and then fading back and forth between them). or better yet, have the music, sound effects, and the prodsound be 3 separate "teams" that vary in dominance (instead of 2). though that would be a delicate balance requiring someone really good. another thing would be that it lacks any solidly low-frequency sounds (bassy) and even more noticeably lacks any really defined high-frequency sounds (snappy crunchy sounds). both those kinds of sounds usually over-litter spots with a similar tone to yours. i guess a visual equivalent would be if a spot had almost all grey tones with little or no full black or bright white... and like how visually you'd do that with levels or curves, audio does that with (generally) with eq & compression. anyways, visually you did a really solid job. hope this somehow helps. -- btw there are probably simplified "recipes" for the kinda stuff i described, somewhere online.
  24. jaan

    VO Setup

    for the money, these small booths for the mic are great. then behind the speaker, have the wall be as far away as possible, and not be a flat reflective surface (an irregular surface like a bookshelf helps... or hang a sound blanket). http://voiceoveressentials.com/
  25. i feel generally the way freelancing from home happens is like this: freelance on-site at as many places as you can and do an awesome job. then weeks/months/years later, producers or ADs that were impressed with your work hit you up from whatever new company they work at now and give you a project. or alternately, someone calls you who was given your number by one of those aforementioned producers/ADs. a rough example would be: a producer at a post house you worked at, years later gets a job in the marketing dept at a furniture company and is appalled at how bad and cheesy their promotional videos are (because they're made by a 53 year old video editor with the longest ponytail you've ever seen and 3 trapcode plugins) so the producer calls you instead. sometimes instead of a producer/marketing/furniture it's a vp/production/media and then the cash register rings extra loud. so the more you work-slut around at diff places doing a good job & impressing producers etc, the better your chances. overall i think the issue is whether they've met you in person and have a feel for your personality and dependability and flexibility (aka. not be a jerk about absurd changes). so the producers you've had past projects with are a lot more likely to work with you from another city than one that was referred to you and never met you (when this happens to me they are almost always local and the first thing they wanna do is meet in person before officially giving me the project). though all this stuff is probably really obvious. so usually it kinda takes a while. note that i mentioned "from whatever new company they work at now"... that's because generally if you start freelancing for a company on-site, then it'll usually stay that way because there's a reason they wanted it that way from the get go. unless you move and they love you enough to deal with the (very real) disadvantages in communication of having remote freelancers. or if it's a local place that demands you be on-site, if there's ever even a smidge of an issue regarding not enough workstations, be quick to offer to work from home and then overcome their fears. btw if you just wanna do boards then working remote is almost a non-issue... that stuff above applies to animating. and as far as working from home... it gets old. but if you have kids i can see how it would be a big positive game changer. hope this somehow helps and best of luck.
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