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Posts posted by Carey

  1. I'm not reading it. Why would I be reading it? Me read it? Nope.

    Not that anyone is indicating that it's coming, but I'm waiting for apple to evolve the half-measure of the macbook "touch bar" (idiotic) to a full touch screen. There's a rapidly diminishing number of reasons to stay, otherwise. I can't imagine it's too far down the road, though. It's basically a clamshell iPad Pro with a keyboard. Otherwise known as a surface book. ;)

  2. Ok, so you're already working as a generalist, essentially. And this is sort of the digital illustration output of your learning process with C4D. I guess the question was really "Is there a specific goal you're working toward, like doing visual effects, or motion graphics, or archviz, etc.?"


    Doing this stuff for learning purposes and posting it is fine, but it's a little hard to critique. I mean, I could tell you I do or don't like your color choices, or I do or don't like your tendency toward centered compositions or textured overlays and heavy compositing, but it's all really subjective. I can objectively say things about whether a certain image is achieving photorealism (although I get the feeling that's not exactly what you're really going for). It's all either guessing what your goals are, or making really subjective statements, and as a random dude on the internet, I don't know if you really want either of those from me. :D

  3. Hey Brandon!

    The first question really is: what do you want to do with these skills? Are you aiming for photorealistic vfx? Or concept design? Is this for illustration purposes, or... y'know, what's your main goal here? Right now you're spreading it pretty thin as a "3D Designer - - Motion Designer / VFX artist - - Video Editor - Cinema 4D + Octane + Jesus Personal" and have a collection of "daily render"-style instagram shots. They're nice, but that self-description is spread pretty thin, so what are you working toward? Once you can lay that out, we can look at how you're meeting that goal.

  4. Yeah, I think almost everyone who does this understands the intensity of working on something like that, and the need to step away for a while. It's seriously no small feat.


    I really do hope the videos are helping so far. I'm working on the next one pretty much every day, but like your reel opener, i'm making every aspect of it so it takes forever. Conception, recording a project, writing writing writing editing writing editing writing, recording audio, editing audio, ideating and creating examples, editing video... it's a laundry list. I'll most likely step away for a while when it's done. It's just all around good to take a breather when you've put that much into a thing.

  5. Hey no problem, I hope it helps.

    You definitely have a variety of work, and I think it's a little inconsistent from piece to piece, but it's clearly stronger on the 2D side. There's some 3d work in there that's maybe confidence-building, like the spinning tv and diamond ring, but the other 3d-centric pieces are dragging that down. By contrast, your 2d work is largely much better executed, and I think with the exception of the Intelligent Life cut, it's lookin pretty good. And I think it goes without saying that the editing is great. ;)


    And with regard to that opener, it feels like it's 90% there in most aspects. It's just that we're all competing in that last 10%, so you might be a WAY faster runner than the average dude, but the dudes you're actually racing are still a few feet ahead, and that's all that matters. If you can give your girl some expressive facial characteristics, get that mouth movin like it's making words, and get her hand feelin like it's not robotic, you can take this from a negative to a positive. The question is: what kind of jobs are you goin after? Do you want character-based jobs? Because you're gonna want to cater more to that interest throughout the reel. And that's doable, but again, it's a tall order to take on the full 3d pipeline so you've really set yourself a task, but you're 90% of the way there, and if you're intent on sending the message that you're all about character animation you may have to stretch to pull off the bits that really matter in making it work.


    Remember that when people go looking for someone to hire, they typically go for the person who mostly does exactly what they need done. Like, you don't want your general practition doctor doing your open heart surgery, you want a heart surgeon. It's a little different if we're talkin about staff jobs at studios, where there will be generalist positions to fill. But if you're trying to get freelance work from studios or clients, they're likely lookin for the guy who demonstrates an ability to solve their exact problem. So ideally you curate your reel to appeal in a particular way. Your current reel is a little of this and a little of that, so if you can find the thread that makes the reel cohesive and identifiable, you'll be sending a clearer message about who should hire you.

  6. Hey man! I really love the format, eg) cutting back to the girl singing the song in her bedroom. It's super fun and your camera work and edits around her are pretty awesome. On the downside, character design and character animation have to be REALLY fucking good in a motion design reel or they tend to become a liability. And, for me personally, I think that's the case here. The problem is, it's a taaaaaaall fuckin order to pull off every specialty in the 3d pipeline by yourself, triply so for character design and animation. That's a ballsy move, and I double salute you. I just don't think it's working to your advantage, in all honesty. Maybe, maaaaaaybe if you took out the thing with the family sharing gifts... because when you show me that, you've made my doubts stronger. I do love the idea of this format, but aspects of the execution could potentially send the wrong message. If you nail that animation, this could be really great!

  7. You're kind of asking a set of somewhat related questions, so there's probably a combination of things goin on that make it difficult.


    The first is that if you're coming up with ideas for things you'd like to make, but find you don't have the skills, that's either an opportunity to learn some skills (which you're apparently trying) or is an opportunity to figure out another way to do it that you can actually handle. Like, ok, I want to make a Transformers movie on my own... but I don't have $180M to spend. Can I make it as a flip book instead? Can I make each character be a square and just use the "transforming" sound and the squares turn into different shapes? Can I do it by hand animating construction paper cutouts like they used to make South Park? Yeah, absolutely. And I'll totally discover some things doing it any of those ways that I would never have thought of or appreciated before.


    The second is this cognitive effect that comes into play when you watch tutorials. Tutorials, cooking shows, DIY shows, etc. all show other people completing tasks easily and in short order, and when you watch them, your brain actually gets a pretty satisfying little hit not only learning something easily, but of actually feeling accomplished. Like you did the task that they did. They may tell you how to do something specific, but you'll rarely then feel compelled to do it yourself because there's a tiny part of your brain that's goin "yeah, but you kinda did cuz you watched them do it. Yeah, we did it, bro! We worked hard already! No worries!" So when you watch tutorials, you have to watch them with the explicit intent to derive an answer to a problem you're facing so that you can keep making progress toward your goal.


    Which leads to the third: You probably think you have an "idea", but you probably don't. You probably have some vague inspiration. What you need is a clearly defined goal. Not everyone needs a clearly defined goal. Some people can find their destination by wandering. But your problem is that you can't even find a road yet, let alone a destination, so you need get really really REALLY clear about exactly what you want to end up with when all is said and done. "A cool animation" does not qualify in the least as a goal. Whatever you're gonna say your slightly more specific idea is, I guarantee you can get 10x more specific about it. And when you do, it'll help you start figuring out various paths to get there, and how feasible each of them is, and so forth.


    I've posted these videos I made a bunch, but they might be really helpful for you. They're not tutorials ;)


  8. I really like them title cards. Not overbearing, but charismatic, and really well treated. I can see animation talent here.


    The selection of work is really varied, as in you're showing a wide range of skills and interests, which makes for a bit of a confusing time trying to figure out where you fit exactly, but most of the selections seem to have a similar level of quality, and that's not disconcerting. And I'm sure this sort of jack-of-all-trades presentation will be appealing to some smaller studios who want generalists.


    The edit itself, however, is a bit lackluster. The track you've chosen doesn't modulate much between levels of energy, it just kind of stays at the same activity or mood-level throughout, so there's no contrast between rest and action. And long sections are cut 1-2-3-4, straight to the regular disco beat, so the overall effect becomes monotonous and unengaging. Ideally, you want to keep surprising the viewer, and you're not really doing that. If you think about your reel like a story, your story right now is kind of like "He went to the store. Then he went to the post office. Then he went to the pet shop. Then he went to get ice cream. Then he went to the office. Then he went to the game. Then he went to the barber. Then he went to the pizza parlor. Then he went..." That could be an interesting story, thereby making each of those places interesting, but right now it's mostly a plodding recollection of timed events that have nothing to do with each other. This isn't going to kill your chances of getting work or anything, but as a presentation, your work can make much more of an impression than it currently is.


    By contrast, check this out (by Gary Provost):


    This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

  9. Friend of mine walked into a microsoft store to check it out. Said it was pretty cool, but you can't really rest your hand on it and draw comfortably because it registers the touch as a command, although it's not supposed to. Sample size of 1 suggests a major flaw here. Still lookin to play with it myself, because maybe just maybe he's got weird hands.

  10. You're up to scratch, of course. But your pitch needs some fixin'.


    First: Remember who you're initially talking to. Probably producers or even coordinators. Your reel is your whole voice, your entire pitch for this first introduction, and the title card is the first part of that impression. I'd say that the tone of your title card doesn't match the bulk of your work, so it gives the wrong impression. Anyone looking for someone to do work like you do may pass over your reel entirely upon seeing the title card. And anyone attracted to your title card may be disconcerted with the work contained within.


    Second: We all know it takes a lot of work to put together a cut, and you've likely put a lot of time into this, and it's cliché to say at this point, but it really seems to apply in this case; keep it under a minute. You've got plenty of work, and you don't need to show it all. What you need to do is make a compelling argument that you're the guy who brings the most value to the one job someone's looking to get done. So shave off a ton of the 2nd and 3rd-tier work, and get really critical about what's actually in your 1st-tier. You want only the sweetest, most succulent cuts of meat in this dish, and you want to trim even those down to the most perfect bites possible.


    You can get work with this reel, I'm sure. But it might not be the work you want. Make as compelling an argument for yourself as you possibly can. Look like a rock star who deserves whatever rate he's asking for. Otherwise, it's rough looking like just another generalist who's hot-swappable for every other generalist.

  11. Wow. This feels weird replying in mograph after quite a while.


    GTFO, you casual.


    Seriously, switching all over to windows would be monumentally painful, but holy snaps that studio is lookin hot.

    And yeah, it looks to be usb 3.

    4 USB 3.0

    Full-size SD card reader (SDXC compatible)

    Mini Displayport

    3.5mm headset jack

  12. Well, right now, VFX and motion graphics are still fairly distinct industries although crossover is becoming more and more prevalent. And I think that's just because mid-size and larger studios are having to offer more and more service to compete for survival. VFX and motion tools are really in the hands of everyone now, whereas studios alone used to corner those resources. What seems to be happening is that there's more work than ever, but there are also vastly more artists in the game, and that supply has grown so fast that it has outstripped the growing demand, and so prices have fallen.


    That doesn't mean you can't make a living, though. Falling prices and access to the tools just means that a lot of work is now being done by artists in smaller, more fluid teams with lower overhead. So there's a ton of jobs coming out of 2 and 3-man teams. At the same time, there's still plenty of work being done by huge studios and agencies, because very large clients want the security of the massive resources those studios can bring to bear on a project at a moment's notice.


    The main point here is: there's competition, yes. You have to be strong in your art and craft, yes. You probably won't be an instant millionaire, no. But there's lots of work, and while the industry evolves and restructures to these new conditions, you can be doing the exciting stuff you want to be doing, and be making a living in whatever weird way suits you. And that's not even the whole story. I'm sure other people have better insights from having been around the industry, too.

  13. You'll learn best by doing. So the most informative thing will be to make something. Something you're actually interested in making. In the process, you'll run into questions you'll need answered, and in answering them you're well on your way. This isn't so much like high school, where you're studying and studying, expecting that what you're learning will be useful on some eventual test. The doing of it is the learning, and there are no tests. So if you're interested in title sequences, create a project for yourself in that format, and start exploring it.


    The good news is: you don't have to wait to be prepared. So get to it!

  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La2nQMKfuxY


    I have a brand new thing for you. It's a video thing. Like these other video things, but this one’s aaaaa little bit bigger. We’re taking a project all the way from conception to execution to finishing, through puberty to marriage to babies to.... it's, y'know, pretty big, and we'll cover all kinds of topics like design and composition and other blow-your-mindey type stuff like storytelling and how to put tiny socks on a spider and that last one's not true, but you read it on the internet so now it IS.


    Check it out! http://www.division05.com/006snapdragon/

  15. Again, there are a lot of ways to move forward, to build character into the illustrations. And that will convey things to your audience, much like how the animation conveys things. Thinking about curvy vs angular, eyes or no eyes, etc.... that's a good start. But also consider the other aspects of illustration. What are the materials involved? Ink, pencil, aliased vector, newspaper cutout, photoshop airbrush, real airbrush, real broken sputtering airbrush, crayon, cross-stitch, printed transparency, cel-shading? Is it filmed, or rendered, or stop-motion photographed? These decisions affect the qualities of your elements, and therefore their character. Some may be more right than others for your story, but it's mostly up to you to dictate what the story is by making those decisions. Telling your story through stop-motion imagery handpainted in blood on charred metal plates is much different than telling it through cel-shaded 3d renderings of bubble-shaped characters in candy colors, and that difference changes your story hugely.

  16. @Binky - Your tutorial on 'storyboarding' - this is your process for developing a visual strategy yes? Also, do you think the bear would have been a stronger design had it been more geometric, or is that just a way I could have gone with it? Both?


    Well, it's *a* process, for sure. It's not like a factory assembly line where you can count on the same series of techniques to produce a great result every time. But yeah, I think it gets at thinking visually. In the episode I'm working on now, I'm getting more into breaking down a brief to discover the real goals and the process of building up imagery to meet those goals. Which sounds incredibly dry, but it's lookin pretty cool.


    With regard to your bear, I'm advocating for asking yourself why you did it that way to begin with. Maybe you were on to something, maybe not, but I can't see what your reasons were for it. When you start figuring out real reasons to do one thing over another, then you end up making design decisions that are very intentional and very specific, and you imbue your imagery with purpose, and that imagery becomes more meaningful to your audience. That purpose also makes your decision-making process a lot easier moving forward. So to answer your question, I have no idea whether "more geometric" is a "stronger design" because I don't know what sort of story you're really trying to tell. There's a simple straightforward plot, clearly, but you can take your story elements to an infinite number of places. It's up to you to decide what's compelling in that regard, and to let your imagery be driven forward by that decision.


    I do think, though, that your characters should probably live in the same world, by the same visual logic. And it's definitely a visual design challenge to make that happen.

  17. Yeah, there are lots of ways to move forward on this. Design-wise, there's just no coherent illustrative strategy here, for starters. And I get it, you're not an illustrator, and this is a first attempt, which is why the imagery is amateurish. But take the first scene, for example, where you have the trees, which are highly reductive, to the point of geometric abstraction with some shading. Then you have the bear, which is reductive, but less so, and somewhat geometric, but not really, plus shading. Then you have the human character, with thin bendy arms, round features everywhere, and flat detail drawn into the vest and hat, and no shading. They're all meant to live in the same world, but they seem to all come from different worlds. They're drawn by different illustrative strategies. I'm not saying that can't work, but it probably has to be for a pretty good reason, and here it's apparent that it's more a result of lack of consideration.


    When you develop a visual strategy, maybe it includes textures, and shading, and detail or a lack thereof. Maybe it involves hand-drawn elements, or 3d elements, or flat generated colors, or randomly generated inkblots, or collaged bits, or found materials, or code-driven shapes, or... y'know, whatever. But right now you're sitting down in front of adobe illustrator, presumably, and using the square tool, and the pen tool and the whatever tool and calling it good because you're not asking yourself what kind of imagery would actually be appropriate or compelling for the content of the piece. That's pretty common (non)-thinking, but the more you can develop that aspect of the work going forward, the more character your work will have, the faster your voice will develop, and the more people will respond to what you've made.

  18. I watched on a laptop with tiny, tinny speakers, and it sounded ok, if that's informative at all. Not that you shouldn't balance it out for other setups. But admittedly, I thought it was funny. The character animation in the first scene is simple, and telling. And the visual jokes in the second are cute. The quality of the imagery itself is a little unpolished and lackluster, and the animation is sometimes oversimplistic, tending toward amateur, but again I think you have a sense for character/behvaior and that helps a ton. Nice job!

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