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Everything posted by SaintEfan

  1. Just remember that when conveying deliverable specs to the designers "full-res", "uncompressed", "hi-res" and "final" are all interchangeable terms. Also, when the client asks for 16:9 letterboxed-HD make sure not to question the spec and pass it right along to the editors, it's their problem now. In all seriousness, get good at dealing with pissy, cynical, creatives with a smile. Our producer has the patience of a saint and if it weren't for that getting things done would be like pulling teeth.
  2. Binky pretty well covered it. I would just add that the blur on the intro was a little bothersome to me. I couldn't figure ou whether it was intentional until the first project started playing and it was crisp. It was a little unclear what effect you were going for so it left me a little confused. I'd recommend going sharp with the intro text.
  3. SaintEfan

    My First Reel

    There's a lot to like in here for a first reel. The good is that it's clear you're technically capable and understand the tools and techniques. The reel's not littered with videocopilot stuff and "me too" projects which indicates that you can internalize techniques and not just parrot them back. I'm confident the reel will get stronger and stronger as you do more projects with your skills. Right now it strikes me, as many first reels do, as a series of tests and experiments. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in general be thinking "show don't tell." Make sure to show us your scripting skills in action, not necessarily the code you had to write to make that cool background, but the background itself doing something awesome. it's good to have a grasp on scripting but since it's just a tool directors aren't really going to care how you did it as long as it got done and looks great. Overall I think you're off and running, just keep building. And thanks for not padding it out to 2 minutes with mediocre work and repetition ;-)
  4. I generally like the reel. I think it was cut well to the music. It's succinct and the work contained within is well executed. I liked the intro and outro that you made for it and was a little disappointed with how heavily the whole reel relies on the first pro job you've got under your belt. Clearly there was a good deal to that first job and it's definitely good to frontload the reel with professional work but it would be nice to see a bit more variety throughout and ideally some neat personal experiments and projects. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing some more of your personal style and investigations in the future.
  5. Thanks for those references. I'm guessing that designers/animators fall into the same category as VFX artists so long as they are not supervisors/team-managers. In fact I think Illinois' FLSA (maybe even the FLSA in general) was updated to specifically mention "animator" as non-exempt. Now the awkward process of trying to broach the subject with the company... Thanks again for those links.
  6. More important than people think sometimes. Coming across as a personable guy that would be easy to work with goes a very long way in this business. Perhaps it's true anywhere, but when deadlines get tight and patience wear thin everyone likes to know the other guy or gal working with them is not going to be pushing their buttons. Keep it professional, of course, but being friendly and affable shows confidence and personality.
  7. Very interesting and I'm sure helpful. Thanks for putting this together. I found the overtime section to be of particular interest as it's come up where I work recently. Just curious if anyone else has any experience or legal knowledge regarding FLSA overtime exemptions for salaried employees. Particularly whether or not "designers" tend to be classified as "creative professionals." The language of the exemption clauses is, at best vague, and I've read differing interpretations of it. One interpretation, that seems to be the prevailing precedent in California, is that one must be the creative decision maker (ie. not just a designer, but more of a CD) in order to be considered an exempt "creative professional." Just curious if anyone has any thoughts, experiences, or insights with regards to this. Again, thanks for putting this survey together!
  8. Happy Holidays to everyone from Mode Project! Holiday Shorts
  9. Definitely some nice looking projects in your reel. The site is easy to navigate and too the point. The muted blue on gray background seems a little plain though. It might be nice to see that blue pop a little bit more. Sort of a nit-picky comment though. If you end up using this portfolio for freelance work I'd recommend including brief project descriptions as producers/directors often like to know a little more about what your contributions were on projects. Again, good looking work! edit: I forgot to mention that the audio levels on the montage seem a little high, at least for my system. I had my volume set normally and it nearly blew my head off.
  10. As Firemind and Trione have alluded to it's difficult to advise someone one way or another on the formal education thing. There are people who will just not learn the formal design basics on their own or can't learn that way and for those people a formal education is probably quite valuable. There are those who are more naturally bent towards learning on their own and who will be able to pickup everything they need from internship experiences and self-educating. Similarly, it's difficult to say exactly what ones earning potential is. Creative fields have never been easy to nail down numerically since there is so much variety in career path and market. Generally speaking you're not going to be making lawyer or day-trader money, particularly in smaller markets. Definitely take this into account when considering your educational goals. If you're going to need to go deep into debt to pay for the education then, given your initial earning potential, it may make more sense to spend some time hunting down internships, apprenticeships, etc. and seeing if you can forgo the expensive degree program. If you discover you can't then drop the dough and get the degree. You may also find in this process that the field isn't for you or that you're more interested in something else before you get locked into a non-transferable degree program. That would be a bummer. I can't really speak to the availability of work in your market but, in general, if you're a good designer there will be demand for your skills somewhere. Sometimes it might not be the glamorous NYC studio but good designers and animators can find work. Are there enough jobs to support new motion designers? Probably. It depends on how narrowly one defines a motion designer. There are other threads on mograph that have alluded to this fact, but a lot of "motion designers" are "new" in the sense that a good number of people shift to a more directorial or managerial role as they get older and room opens up for fresh faces to take over the day to day animation and design work. At the end of the day the broader your design knowledge the more employable you'll find yourself. Someone who just knows how to operate after effects and photoshop is easily disposable. Someone who has good fundamental design and critical thinking skills can transfer those skills to whatever technique or tool is needed for the project. This second person is much more valuable.
  11. This illustrator does some crazy work occasionally involving wacky machines: http://mattiasa.blogspot.com/ Also I'm sure you've checked out Dr. Seus?
  12. This is one of those problems which sounds trivial but which can actually turn into a rigging nightmare. I had to build one of these rigs a few years ago in Maya and I think the solution that I cam up with involved the positioning and offsetting of pages being driven by the relative spine position. There were also a couple of blendshapes on the pages themselves to account for the way they lay on top of each other after they turn. I'm not sure how much of that is translatable to C4d, but I truly wish you luck. It is a headache indeed.
  13. SaintEfan

    Teach me!

    45 seconds. 60 seconds tops. Way too long and way too many repeats of projects. The compression makes everything feel a bit soft and a bit crunchy. Try to improve the video quality to showcase the work itself better.
  14. So far using straight alphas out of Maya (mental ray) seem to be working fine coming into AE CS5. I'll let you know if I run into any similar problems, though.
  15. I think it would be worth trying to not be too beholden to the music's beats. Every transition doesn't need to be on a beat. Maybe a few are but generally it could be more about flowing smoothly to complement the music rather than trying to totally match the music. It's hard to say whether that will be the ideal solution but it couldn't hurt to try. As for cutting down the user experience stuff; I think that you would have to use your best judgement and just see where you can cut while still getting the idea across. Some will clearly lend themselves better to quick cuts than others.
  16. I think there's some great work related to interactive design and the addition of animation to an interactive experience. The design and art direction is looking very nice and I'd love to play with some of those user experiences. as ianfreeze mentioned this may not be the ideal place for the kinds of critiques you'd need on the interface stuff, however there are some general reel related comments to be made. I think you can cut the reel down a bit in general. maybe getting it down to a solid :45. It's often difficult to keep the pacing feeling right when showcasing interactive projects in a reel format, but I think that cutting the length of certain shots and picking exciting, stimulating, and dynamic moments from the different interfaces could help with this. I really like the intro you have but it could definitely be cut down. I think that the :10 length is contributing to the generally lengthy feeling of the reel. Great looking work all around. Where can I check out some of those interfaces? Edit: I really like the temporary splash page for your site. Good job.
  17. There is no need for the reel to be so long. Cut it down to a solid :45 of only your very best work. There is a lot in the reel now that just feels like filler. Review the readability of the intro. "Broadcast" and "Motion" are almost unreadable because of the heavy treatment and blurring.
  18. It's hard to tell what exactly you're looking for when you post here. If you've got this stuff all figured out then great, start rockin it and we'll see you at the industry events. If you're looking for serious critiques...at this point it seems like you're not going to find too many around here. The well has been poisoned, so to speak.
  19. Virgin :90 spot I'm curious how other people feel about the new :90 for Virgin Atlantic. Personally I'm a little baffled by the $9million price tag and can't see it as anything but a Bond intro. Maybe I'm missing something.
  20. I think perhaps you'll find it difficult to get the kinds of answers you're looking for here. Not because nobody wants to help you out or wants to be snarky, but because it's pretty hard to nail down a motion designer's toolbox to a set of "essential techniques." Ultimately what's more important is not technical knowledge but creativity. There have been a lot of fantastic projects that perhaps could have used more honed "techniques" but were stellar because of the creativity and design. That said, accepting criticism and notes well is a pretty important technique.
  21. There's some interesting and nicely varied work to be found in the reel. I particularly like the intro. Fun sound design and a neat idea. I wonder if it would be a good idea to perhaps split this reel into 2 reels. One being a design and animation reel and one dealing more with the production and visual effects. The two don't seem to mix well right now as it is. My initial reaction is that the vfx work is much stronger in some areas than the design and animation work and so it sort of lessens the other work when in the same reel.
  22. It's not particularly clear what exactly you're trying to accomplish with the background. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you're describing, but it sounds like you are making an animation to be displayed on an LED panel. If this is the case I'm a little confused why your animated background should also look like an LED. Are you just doing that for preview purposes? If your final output is LED then I would recommend just creating an animation, however you're comfortable using the resolution of the LED panel for your comp.
  23. I agree with RVA8 in that a lot of this stuff just comes with experience. Other than the basics like budget and delivery format, etc. there's not really a standard set of questions that will always catch everything you need. Every project is unique and so the creative process needs to be unique for every project. If you could apply the same process to every project then it wouldn't really be all that creative and it could easily be automated, or at least fulfilled by less creative and cheaper staff, right? Sometimes a client's needs will demand heavy research into a specific brand identity or logo, sometimes a project will call for a dense narrative and story development. Look at every project as a unique opportunity to listen to the client's needs and do something different than what you did last time. It's what they pay you the big bucks for, eh?
  24. I remember having a similar idea when I was putting together my very first reel. It was tempting to try to enhance the work I had and showcase even more of my mad mograph skillz. Instead it distracted form the work, looked like I was trying to hide things, and ultimately came across somewhat unprofessional. I agree with the reasoning of the previous posters against vignetting and would recommend keeping the experimentation confined to individual pieces that can be cut into the reel with the rest of your work.
  25. I agree that the article seemed a little thin on reason and a bit heavy on "In my opinion..." There are a few half-points that the author almost hits, but then skips past to make another quasi-analogy. On a sidenote, for an interesting, and well written, read on IP I recommend checking out Against Intellectual Monopoly
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