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Everything posted by SaintEfan

  1. Have you considered something like FXPHD? It sounds like you already have a good theoretical background and just need to learn some of the specifics and the software. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that for someone in your position your money would best be spent on books, DVDs, and online courses to get you up to speed on the specific softwares and techniques you're interested in.
  2. SaintEfan


    so basically they just ported iWork to the iPhone?
  3. I think it's definitely a good idea to remove some shots. Right now it's very long. If you could cut it down to :60 of your absolute BEST work you'd be in good shape. I hadn't originally watched it with the sound on, but when you mentioned the lyrics I figured I'd see what you meant. Watching with the audio on was extremely distracting. I think that the combination of the song's pacing and the distinct and, somewhat, odd lyrics lead to me focusing much more on the music than the visuals. It's usually a good idea to avoid fake branded work in a reel. It's difficult to tell how many of the branded pieces in your reel are authentic and how many are spec, but your intro is definitely one that should be reworked. Think about what that's actually saying about your brand. Do you really want to say, right at the beginning, I couldn't think of an original idea for my own brand so I just copied an existing, highly visible, campaign? Be very careful with spec. work in general. If it's not on brand, on message, and highly polished it will always look uninspired and uncreative. There's a lot of variety in the work which could play nicely in a shorter format.
  4. Heh. I think there's a difference between paying for insurance and paying for medical care out of pocket. PLenty of freelancers pay for INSURANCE out of pocket and I know I never had to pay $30,000 in premiums.
  5. You've got some very well executed work there. I think it flows together nicely in the reel. There's a lot of the 3d arrows piece, but it's a nice piece so it doesn't feel too redundant. I could see maybe losing the piece with the black and white band members in the little square windows. It's not particularly distracting, but it's also not as strong as your other work. Good job!
  6. Agreed. But isn't it great that H&R Block will put whatever money the government let's us have back on a visa gift card?! BOOYEAH! I mean it's not like it was our money to begin with, right?
  7. From the client's, and most outside observers', perspective a vendors rate for a skill based service should be dictated by the difficulty and requirements of the job, not necessarily the final venue. That's not to say that this is always how it is, but in this specific case it would be a tough sell asking for more than the original rate. If you have a building in a nice neighborhood and the same square footage in a bad neighborhood would you expect a carpet company to charge you 2 different rates for the same amount of work?
  8. SaintEfan

    Update on Showreel

    I think you may want to take another look at your intro piece. You want to put your best foot forwards, but the intro contains several issues. The most pressing is the fact that the camera barely gets all the words in frame before they shatter. There's no way to read what it says before it's too late. You really want to stress to potential employers and clients that communication is first and foremost in your mind. From a technical perspective it seems a little strange to see the hard, facetted, edges on the letters. The inside of the 'O' for example. I think adding some smoothing could help make this look more polished. It seems a little off-putting that some of the letters are floating just above the ground plane while others are actually penetrating it (compare the 'S' and the 'H'). There's also a fair amount of flicker in the shadows on the back wall which makes the renders look unfinished and rough even though the piece is supposed to look very shiny and intentional. Just a few suggestions on how you can take that intro to the next level.
  9. PFHoe is a pretty nifty little program. I think you'll find it's a bit under-featured for doing object tracking. I'm not even sure it can do object tracking at all. But you can try Kokosing's suggestion. You may also be able to stabilize the footage relative to the hand and then use this to "trick" the tracker into thinking the hand is static and that the camera is moving. I haven't tried this though so I don't know how well it would work, if at all.
  10. I agree that Crashproof 2.0 is a good place to get an idea of what's happening and where money is, relatively, safer. He gives good advice about finding a broker that can actually invest in overseas companies rather than just in American companies with divisions overseas. Gold and Silver have always been a good hedge against inflation. It's also something you can physically hold in your hand, should that be something you're looking for.
  11. I'm sure Silatix didn't mean the literal motion that you had on the word.
  12. Unless there's some work-around that I haven't heard about there's no way that I'm aware of to go from AE CS4 to AE CS3. We've tried at our studio, but haven't figured out a way to do it.
  13. It's short and sweet, which is great. No need to drag it out. I really like your willingness to experiment and work in interesting distortions and techniques. It seems like you attempt to capture a mood more than a specific style or visual in much of your work, which can be used to set your work apart. While the work was interesting I was ultimately left wondering why things were happening in many cases. Some of the techniques you were using are interesting and I would have liked to see more developed or more thought put into their application. I'm guessing that most of this work is personal projects and that you're looking to put a reel together to get a job, am I correct? If so I'd recommend really trying to show how you applied to your technical knowledge and sense of mood to solve a specific visual problem. It seems like perhaps the typography you include get a little obscured by the effects and the editing.
  14. I could be mistaken but I don't think that either of these two pieces were actually driven by the music in any complex, technical, way. I think that any synchronization you see with the audio track was a result of good editing and creating a piece that visually captures the mood of an audio piece. The first piece looks like some pretty basic polygonal geometry that has had multiple deformers applied to it. It looks like there's a slice or boolean operation going on to reveal the geometry and the motion looks to be a noise deformer of some sort. A good place to start in C4d would be with a box with a moderate amount of subdivision on each face and then experiment with applying the different deformers. Try layering some and animating the parameters. Perhaps keyframe the parameters to an audio track or just make some nice cuts and time ramps in the editing phase.
  15. Agree with the above. I think it's a good place to start. Putting a reel together is a great opportunity for everybody to evuualate the work they're putting in and the progress they are making. More specifically there's not a ton of work, which is not a bad thing by itself, but it starts to feel like you're dragging out the reel needlessly to compensate for, or disguise, this fact. The 30 second build at the beginning takes up nearly half the reel and nothing of substance really happens. It's great that you were sensitive to the audio track, but it may be more appropriate to just choose a different track and shorten the whole thing up a bit. I think that instead of worrying about making the reel longer you might want to focus on breaking the work up a little bit and figuring out the right places in the sequence to position work. Starting at :35 there's a repeating pattern that seems to develop of alternating shots of some spinning logo. This happens 3 times in a row (logo, other clip, logo, other clip, logo, other clip) and it really starts to drive home the feeling that the only logo treatment in the reel is a logo spinning. I think if you were to break these up, or maybe just remove the weakest, this would not feel as repetitive. A technical note; there's a point at the end where the audio cuts out, comes back, and then the reel ends. Just feels a little incomplete and, since there's not real indication that the reel ended intentionally, I was left wondering what crashed my vimeo player.
  16. I'd give Rusty Ace's suggestion a try. Depending on how large the ground plane is at a certain point your object is going to be reflecting the flat colored ground plane rather than the environment map.
  17. You probably won't get too many responses until the video is converted and available for public viewing.
  18. Overall a pretty nice reel. There's some good work and a variety of approaches and techniques. I think you could probably cut it down a bit though. Right now it's clocking in at almost 1.5 minutes and you're repeating some projects. I think you could bring it down closer to :60 and cut out repetition. It would actually make your collection of past work seem more comprehensive without the repetition. The scenes with the mushrooms and the cutout plants should be dropped entirely. It's just not as good as the rest of your work either technically or creatively. You seem to have fun with the work and it comes across in the reel. Good job.
  19. I definitely agree with the above regarding how to proceed. All that being said though it is somewhat poor practice to hire on additional help that is ENTIRELY conditional on receiving full, timely, payment from the end client. A healthy business should not be so strapped that that's necessarily the situation, unless od course there's a long line in front of you waiting to get paid, maybe even from even older projects. In which case I suppose they aren't really that healthy financially. Where's the money coming from to pay their fulltime staff? Would Apple be particularly understanding if you bought a new machine but couldn't pay them until you got paid? Your services shouldn't really be any different. From personal experience; I was flown out and put up at a place for several months that was, unbeknownst to me, struggling financially the entire time. Their business was based on some pretty big risks on their part all pretty much centering around getting paid by one big client. Needless to say that client decided not to pay and everyone had to walk away. Fortunately I wasn't owed very much in back pay, but was pretty bummed about having just signed a 1 year lease on an apartment. After all the other expenses like office space, render farm, etc. there was no money left. It's nice to give the benefit of the doubt and I hope that you get every cent you're owed. I suppose in general I take a somewhat cynical view regarding companies that, essentially, live paycheck to paycheck. It's not healthy in personal finance and so it shouldn't be in corporate finance.
  20. You don't necessarily need to target just bigger, longer form, shops like Blur. Even smaller projects need good style frames to pitch to clients. It all depends on what the budget allows though. My recommendation would be to keeping developing your conceptual and design skills, since that sounds like what you love, but to keep a basic level of know-how. Often being a good general AE guy, perhaps not a master technician, is a good way to get in the door and to give people an exposure to your work in general. It's pretty much the same process as getting hired as an animator; put together a good portfolio, send it out, wait for responses. Network network, network. At the end of the day a moderate sized project will probably only need 1 or 2 people doing style frames while needing perhaps twice as many people to execute. So the market is somewhat more limited for someone that ONLY wants to draw style frames. You don't need to be a master of everything (3d, 2d, stop motion, photography, typography, vfx, etc.) to get work as an animator in this industry. Don't be afraid to do both, to pay the bills, while you hone your design chops. It never hurts to be technically savvy AND a good artist. I think it's rarely as black and white Kylie kinda makes it seem.
  21. Would you trust a home built machine, regardless of OS, as your primary work machine? Either OS you go with you'll be your own IT department and will get no help from MS or Apple. If you don't want to work on a home built rig then Hyp3 is right in that you'll be comparing something like HP or Dell to a Mac pro. If you think a Mac pro is pricey check out BOXX. There's plenty of people here that would vouch for a well built custom rig being a great experience and others who would never trust it themselves. It's all where your level of comfort is with your own technical skills and what value you place on the less tangible qualities. My personal opinion is that what I pay for with a Mac is not just the OS, but the confidence that the OS is guaranteed to work with the hardware I have. I didn't like doing work on my home built PC because I never really felt like all the kinks were worked out of it and there were just to many gremlins in the machine that would always pop up when I was under the gun. I've heard great things about Win7 64 running on machines with certified hardware.
  22. It really depends, and there's a good deal of variation. Like many careers there's not one established, set in stone, path to follow. There's a much more structured hierarchy in film, but in more commercial work there's often smaller teams and so people tend to wear many different hats. In order to stay marketable many folks, particularly around this board, are both highly creative and cultivate a good understanding of technique and execution. It's often easier to find work if you can concept AND execute, particularly early in one's career. That being said that's not the ONLY way to do things. I think there's definitely something to be said for developing really good ideas and concepts regardless of execution. Often the best work is developed without much thought for how it will technically be achieved. This really pushes the boundaries of what's possible and the technology itself. Technique changes so rapidly that by the time one finds themselves in a more senior position it's often the case that the more junior staff is actually more in touch with the intricacies of the cutting edge tools. The best creative directors I've worked with actively acknowledge this and their job becomes leveraging their team's unique abilities while concerning themselves more with the concept and big picture. That's just one possible path, however. It's a common goal for folks in this industry, but there are also those that choose to remain highly proficient with technique/tools and though their goal is not to direct the whole creative process they are still highly desired on many projects by those who's job it is to direct. It's really all about where you personally want to end up and then doing whatever it takes to get there. In general the more senior the position the more time you spend supervising and managing a team. As an example I know guys that are certainly experienced enough to be in the CD roll but they prefer to hone their craft and to push the boundaries of technique. These folks are no less valued. In fact they are sometimes more coveted. Likewise a good director who knows how to use their team to its fullest and understands how the different pieces come together is huge. In response to the specifics of your question: I think that the amorphous terminology is somewhat misleading sometimes. The person often referred to by the title "mograph artist" is usually a person that does everything from concepting through execution. So most "mograph" artists are a one man band, but when and if they move on to other rolls, like Creative Director, they usually are not referred to with such a vague label anymore. The obvious result is that it appears that all mograph artists are generalists because, for the most part, those given that title are. It's somewhat circular in that way. Kinda like the whole 'square is a rhombus but a rhombus is not necessarily a square' thing. It can't speak for everyone here, but for me the answer would be yes and no. I'm moving towards taking on more senior rolls, which tends to require me to be more concept oriented and often does not afford me the time to execute everything myself. I do still enjoy getting my hands dirty and keeping abreast of new technique developments. In general, form what I've seen around me, a motion designer will probably become more concept oriented as they become more senior level, if not by personal choice then by the necessities of studio life. Do you feel you've been wasting your time? If you feel like your real strength is in concept rather than execution and that you'll never be as technically adept as your competition then by all means start selling your ability to develop concepts over your ability to execute them. If you find it difficult to secure work in your market this way then build up some experience in execution and keep honing your concept development skills in the meantime. Whatever keeps you most marketable and most happy. Not always the same thing unfortunately. I can tell you that in my market the shrinking budgets for projects has definitely squeezed many highly specialized folks. Our studio definitely prefers freelancers that can bring more than one skillset to the table. The purely concept people we do work with tend to have a LOT of experience under their belts already and are perceived to be a "sure thing." One thing to keep in mind about that interview; "Happiness Factory" was a fairly atypical production. The project wound up working much more like a film project than a typical commercial spot. As a result there was a much higher degree of specialization than you would find in most motion design commercial pieces.
  23. I too, generally, agree with that concept. I recycle, conserve, use CFLs, seek energy efficient transportation, ride my bike, etc. In many cases it saves me money in the long run and I'm not opposed to cleaner cities and nicer environments. I don't think that deception is a means that's necessarily justified by the end though. I'm not saying there definitely is a deception, but there seems to be at least a possibility. What does REALLY concern me though is our government using issues (whatever that issue may be) as an excuse to control aspects of citizen's personal lives or the market. I don't buy the 'common good' arguments, for the most part, as they tend to be an extremely slippery slope that leads to shit like the patriot act.
  24. I think that you may have read a bit more out of what I said. To clarify: I never said that Gore's "goals are purely fame and profit" and I'm sure you're right, there probably are easier ways to go about those goals, I wouldn't know. I also didn't call into question his trustworthiness, just mentioning the fact that he does have certain investments that would generate a profit that happen to be related to the issue. I never framed it as a big oil versus Al Gore issue. I don't even understand what you're trying to imply with the ExxonMobil trustworthiness issue. I don't think that ExxonMobil is particularly trustworthy, but that doesn't mean that those who oppose them are by default valid sources. At the end of the day all you did, and pretty unfairly too, is project a lot of 'global warming denialist' stereotypes onto me. When what I actually said really didn't contain most of what you attributed to me. To make my own opinion perfectly clear, and perhaps avoid future ad hominem attacks (doubtful): I don't think that Al Gore is necessarily a fabricator. I think that a lot of claims made by himself and others are worth reasonable investigation though. Personal motives are always a valid question, particularly in regards to an issue that effects a lot of people. Scientists, and others, who disagree with the man made global warming dogma should not be shouted down, but allowed to at least try to make their arguments. Most importantly; any conclusions drawn regarding ANY issue should never lead to actions that stand in violation of the Constitution and the protection of personal freedoms and liberties. If that makes me a "douche" or "idiot" (mete_shop) then oh well. Great contribution to the discussion by the way. As for the spot itself. It seems technically well executed though I found it to be conceptually off balance. Regardless of ones agreement with the sponsoring group's premise about airplane emissions it's still confusing having the bears falling from the sky like that. having bears falling from the sky because airplanes are in the sky is a bit of a conceptual leap and ultimately the whole thing ends up feeling like shocking for shocking sake. It really reminded me of those awful anti-marijuana ads where the stoners hit that girl on the bike with their car. Shocking, maybe. Reasonable or thought-provoking, no.
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