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Everything posted by SaintEfan

  1. I wonder if it's that improvements have gotten smaller or if the returns are diminishing. At a certain point even a professional is not going to be pushing their sick machine to the edge on a daily basis.
  2. A couple of purely technical comments to start with. • the geometry penetrations are a little distracting, particularly where the flat 'RT' element penetrates the 3d geometry • the motion blur seems a bit steppy and could benefit from some smoothing (raise the settings) • the animation of the 3d elements feels a little bit unrefined. I would recommend taking a look at your animation curves and checking tangents (easing in and out). Also, varying the timing and the way in which things animate could help at some interest and help the piece pop. Right now everything feels like it's moving in roughly a similar way. Things feel like they are happening slower than they should be, as though everything were fighting against some invisible viscous force. Creatively it's difficult to tell what is motivating the objects behaviors, or even where there are so many duplicates of the 'a' element. The concept seems pretty vague and doesn't really speak much to the subject matter (the logo) itself. Short of reworking the initial concept I would, at least, recommend delaying the introduction of the 'RT CORE' elements. Delaying their introduction would actual create some feeling of mystery with a reveal at the end. As things are now it's obvious from the first frame what is going to happen, which makes it predictable and not very engaging. I like the minimalist approach to the subject matter. With so few elements you'll really need to think carefully about how you treat them.
  3. You hit it right on the nose Velocity. I find it amusing how much Al Gore stands to personally profit from the green revolution. There's going to be more than a few pissed off polar bears when that all comes to light.
  4. SaintEfan

    Herock 3D

    Silatix brings up a good point. It's difficult for the viewer to come up with a WHY for the logo being revealed in the way it is. It seems like the logo mark is a thumbprint, which doesn't really explain the jackhammer reveal. The closest I could come up with is that maybe it's an 'urban' brand? In general my advice would be to always ask yourself why you're making a certain decision. It's a good way to audit your own work before you get to invested technically in an idea. Some more good advice Binky.
  5. Very nice. Refined and balanced.
  6. There's a number of reasons that you're not getting a lot of response. Number one would be that people aren't sure what they are responding to or what kind of feedback you're looking for. It's one thing if you're posting a reel. There's not much explanation required and everyone knows the drill with critiquing one of those. But when you're posting up a piece like this with no more information than essentially saying 'here's some thing that I've done' I don't think people know what sort of feedback you're seeking. Your impatience is not helping your cause either. I think that it's really turning people off. You even go so far as to post in someone else's thread that you're not getting enough attention. I'll try to give what feedback I can: I don't know why anyone would stick around long enough to get to the animation at the end. Which is to say NOTHING interesting happens throughout the piece. Blending two boring shots does not make an interesting one. It just makes for a confusing AND boring shot. Once the animation starts I don't understand what it has to do with the song content or the style, such as it is, of the rest of the piece. The more I watch and try to understand a connection the more I begin to think that you didn't take the piece particularly seriously yourself. If you were taking the creation of the piece seriously then I think it has a LONG way to go, and if you weren't then I don't know why you would expect well thought out comments. I hope I didn't waste my time commenting on a gag video.
  7. Totally agree. I assumed I was watching the reel, but after about 15 seconds realized the rest of the work wasn't coming. Then I just wondered what exactly I was watching. It's an interesting concept for a few seconds, but it gets pretty repetitive well before the 40 second mark. The reel itself is pretty nice. Particularly for a student reel. Considering that most, if not all the work, in it is student/personal projects I think you could probably benefit from cutting it down. You clearly have more high quality work than many recent graduates and you should be proud of that, but all the same I'd recommend cutting it down to the best of the best. There's some pieces that just don't shine as brightly as others and don't have the same level of polish. Losing those will up the ante. One thing that I found was that turning off the audio, which many prospective employers will do, lessens the impact of some of the pieces. This is a testament to your ability to cut to audio, but it makes some of the more "filler" pieces stand out in starker relief. Like dan_hin I am one of the, perhaps few, staffers here. I've done both though, freelance and staff, and seen the hiring process work at our company. If one's work is halfway decent then it's really all about persistence and, to some extent, patience. It'll seem like you're making no progress and that your reel and resume aren't being watched by anybody, but often it's really just about timing. I've sent reels out and gotten calls back months later. Make sure to get involved in the community any way you can. If there are meetups or get-togethers I'd strongly recommend attending those. Getting recommended by somebody you met personally really goes a long way. How have you been going about the job search so far?
  8. The best person for the job would be the one who doesn't want it. I know that sounds somewhat trite, but Velocity's point is valid. Which flavor of big government do we want? Democratic, or republican? The idea that there's a distinct difference is just a farce.
  9. If you're ever in doubt as to whether or not you can "get away" with something when it comes to your reel, just play it safe and assume you can't. The design/animation/vfx market has always been an extremely competitive one, no matter what region, and is even more so now with marketing budgets what they are. For every person that doesn't put the time into their reel and work assume that there are 20 that did, and it shows. You at least want to be one of those 20. Then it's a matter of standing out from that subset.
  10. What "field" are you referring to exactly? Visual Effects, Motion Design, or other? It's tough to get very in depth with crits since there's really not much there that looks complete. I think that this will be your biggest challenge with using this reel to get work, particularly in such a competitive market as NYC. That's always the Catch-22 of getting a reel together. You need one to get work but you need work to have a reel. To this end I'd recommend really bringing some personal projects to a high level of polish and completion. On to the more specific: For a reel that's focused on VFX I didn't really see al that much in the way of visual effects other than some very basic compositing work. The reel, as a whole, really strikes me as more of a general reel. If this is, in fact, what you were going for I would recommend spending some time developing your eye for design. The design and graphic elements feel at best rushed and at worst thrown together. Even if your focus is not on design if you're going to include design elements make sure that they don't hurt the rest of your reel. A big question, that doesn't appear to get answered in most of these pieces, is 'why?' Why is this element moving this way? Why is this text breaking apart as it does? Why is there a lens flare with no light source? Make sure to always be asking yourself why a certain element is present in a shot. If you can't come up with a good answer then maybe it doesn't need to be there. This goes for both design and visual effects shots. It'd hard to avoid the feeling that this reel says "Here's a few things i can do with After Effects." Perhaps more work will help, but I think that really just polishing everything you do will go a long way to combating this.
  11. SaintEfan

    2009 Demo Reel

    There's some nice work in there. Very smooth. I definitely agree about the audio track. I was able to really appreciate the work more when I muted it. It starts to feel a tad long to me, but not over the top. There's a couple pieces that I don't think add very much to the reel as a whole that you may be able to lose. Specifically the shots of the silhouettes striking different poses and duplicated. Good stuff though!
  12. As you move forward looking for work just keep in mind that none of those places you listed are advertising agencies (unless they've made a pretty major change). I'm sure you meant studio instead of agency, but just thought I'd point out that there's a difference so that when you're doing searches you're not coming up with the wrong results. I noticed that your circular logo appears to be cut off on the right edge on your site. The devil's in the details.
  13. If you're drawings are substantial aspect of your style and if they influence and contribute to your motion design projects then by all means include them. If they are just drawings for the sake of drawings then I don't know if a prospective employer would necessarily need to see that. It's always good to show that you are creative and well rounded, but it can often come across as trying to pad your portfolio.
  14. Just tell your boss that to get the job done you'll really need Flame, but that you'd settle for After Effects. net savings of >$100k If that doesn't work remind them how consistently Apple supports some of their pro apps (*cough* Shake *cough*) and how long Adobe has supported AE.
  15. We'll have to set the table up again. Where did you guys move?
  16. I'd be down for a meetup sometime. Also, if you're freelance Redvelvet we'd (Mode Project) be interested in getting you on our list of available freelancers and perhaps chatting with you sometime. Same goes for any other freelancers in Chi-town.
  17. I think that you could definitely cut it down and make it a bit more concise. There's a lot of work that you clearly want to show, but much of it is very similar in tone and execution so it doesn't really serve to show anything new. There's some work in there that feels a little lower on the quality scale and should probably just be removed to let the better work shine. Things like photographic cutouts with a slight camera move probably don't need to make up such a large chunk of the reel. I'd also recommend removing the reel end-tag that you actually have in the middle of the reel for some reason. Not only does it reappear again ad the end but it really makes it feel like you're just throwing EVERYTHING you've ever done into the reel without much thought for why things are there. I felt that the audio track was a bit much and had to turn it off after a few seconds, but that could just be a personal preference thing. I think you could really edit this to highlight the variety that's actually there, but hard to recognize right now. Keep up the good work.
  18. What kind of projects/clients let you post work in progress on a public site that hasn't even made it past the mood/style phase yet? I often have trouble getting finished work released for public reels.
  19. Motion design is really just that. Design in motion. All the other stuff (like 3d, 2.5d, kinetic type, cool particles, exploding backgrounds, growing vines, etc., etc.) are just tools and individual elements. They aren't prerequisites to motion design. What I mean by that is it's tempting to say "I want to put together a motion graphics reel, so I need to include some 3d strokes, and some rotating 3d cell phones, and some kinetic type." In reality one's time is better spent mastering the design aspect of motion design. That was pretty general advice, more specifically; Your work would really start to shine more with a bit more attention to detail in the design. Type seems to be a troublesome area in this reel (as in many people's) and a lot of shots could benefit from a bit more attention in this area. The advice already given about the 3d elements was pretty good. I'd say that sometimes you need to walk before you can run. Meaning, if your goal is motion graphics and not specifically 3d animation then you may be getting ahead of yourself. Even if you master lighting and can make a totally photo real toxic waste barrel it's still not going to help if you haven't developed the eye for how it works within the over all design. I recall your previous reel and I do see progress there, so don't get discouraged and know that you are moving in the right direction. Just keep at it and if your goal is to get a job with this reel then try to focus it only to your very best, most refined, work.
  20. SaintEfan

    New Stuff x2

    the vimeo link appears to be bad.
  21. Agreed. You're not really purchasing the gear just for this project in the same way that you would, for example, need to rent gear for a live shoot. From the client's perspective: This guy agreed to take on this project which means that he presumably has the technology to do it. So why am I paying for him to upgrade his gear? Just make sure that you're getting enough in the end to cover your costs, whatever those may be, and your time, but don't itemize it.
  22. We've been seeing some slight loosening of purse-strings in advertising in Chicago. Looking forward to it while it lasts, though I'm not optimistic it will be for long. It's going to be a brutal holiday season and marketing budgets are going to tighten up again as soon as everyone realizes that this recession/depression is not going to just go away, despite Bernanke doing his best to just wish it away and convince us all that we're through it. Maybe he just got done reading The Secret?
  23. I agree with what was mentioned above. Cut it down and leave in only your absolute best work. There's some stuff in there that could do more damage than good to your reel. Try working on making a design work and look great as a still frame before you add motion. This will help you to develop your design skills and force you to really address the design problems rather than allowing motion to hide and obscure awkward designs and type choices.
  24. Welcome! Content-wise there's not a whole lot to comment on, so I'll just stick to the technical stuff. It's difficult to tell what you're tracking your text to in the tracking test. The text floats around independent of the background, the characters, pretty much everything. In a shot like this, since there's movement on the camera, the background elements and the foreground "characters" you would probably want to try to get a general camera solve (which is beyond AE's capabilities) for the motion of the camera, not the individual moving elements, and then use that to position the text. A shot like this is just a tough one to get your feet wet on tracking. There's just too much going on and you may actually be better off hand keyframing the text's position in the scene. After effects provides limited tracking tools and no way to solve for the overall motion of a camera. Where you using any of the text animator tools or presets for the text animation? If you were just animating each letter by hand I would recommend learning how to use the text animator as a next step in your learning process. A good way to start is to apply a text animation preset (which this actually looks a bit like) and start to dissect what the preset is doing. using a light on a colored background like that will often cause banding, particularly when compressed. This would be a good opportunity to learn a bit about eliminating such artifacts and undesirables. Keep experimenting.
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