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JonBoy

Fundamentals of a Good MoGrapher?

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Hey all,

 

New here. I'd be interested to know what fundamentals a really good motion graphics artist needs in order to kick ass I suppose.

 

I've been mo' graphing for the last couple of years (I'm actually working as a compositor at the moment but missing the sheer fun of motion graphics) but my background is lit./theatre and film. Now and then I get the feeling I'm missing some kind of theory behind what I'm doing (this is especially so when art directors start babbling to me :) ; at the moment I tend to work rather intrinsically.

 

Anyway, I figure there's a heap of design stuff that I should know but probably don't. Is all lost? :P

 

I figure in design fundamentals there's composition + layout, typography, colour theory, photography and being able to draw + ink. Huge holes here :o +

 

Software wise there's Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, one piece of compositing software, one piece of 3D software, and Flash+DreamWeaver (at least to get your reels on the web) to be learnt.

 

So it would be good if you could recommend books or some helpful tips like: keep practising! to help me out a bit

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

Jonboy.

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if you put up some work in showcase you can probably get specific feedback on that. it's the only way to really improve as an artist. that, and keep force feeding yourself inspiration (books dvds movies etc)

 

there is no secret to doing well as a mographer. It's just about how much you kick your own ass to get better. The more obsessed you become with the job the more you'll learn in a short amount of time. You need some talent though and you need to be a good student. You need to be self-driven and know your goals.

 

it's easy to get burnt out though so don't overdo it, quit and become a lawyer.... at least not before the CD has stopped looking for partners.

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Guest Sao_Bento

I've been interviewing a lot of people lately, and I have to say that there is definitely a "you've got it or you don't" aspect to this business. I think we tend to overlook that, as most of the people here seem to have "it" and take it for granted. One key property is self-development. If you sit around waiting for someone to teach you something new rather than going after it on your own, that's a sign that you might not have "it". If when you see good work, it doesn't inspire you to go off and do something of your own, you probably don't have "it". I always ask the candidates (this is for a jr. position, prior to seeing their portfolios) who their favorite designers/firms are, and the number of people who can't name a single one is shocking. To me, that's a dead giveaway that they don't have "it", and their portfolios usually confirm my litmus test.

 

I don't mean to say that it's 100% innate - we all rely on others to learn from to some extent, but if you don't have whatever that spark is that makes you want to do good work, regardless of the pay, etc., then you probably won't do very well in this business.

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I believe that "it" that Sao is referring to to me is "passion". If creating images/designs/animations is not your passion and you are not hungry to always grow as an artist or a designer then you will fail.

 

If you have that passion then the way you look at and digest the world is very different from other people. You maybe see a "beam of sunlight" as a form of inspiration rather than a "beam of sunlight". The way a car moves can trigger an idea for how an animation should be paced and the smell of Sheppards Pie might be just the thing to help you figure out how a colour scheme should be conveyed. It sounds weird but if you are a visual person everything is interpreted that way.

 

I get down right depressed if I can not spend at least a little time each day doing somehting creative even just for myself.

 

I live my life that way and it has served me well so far in my career. A lot of people I know think it is strange that i will spend hours working on something that might be seen for a few seconds, but to me the emotion that it can evoke is worth ever second I have out into it, i get a rush out of it.

 

the rest to me is technical. composition, lighting, colour, concept, typography, all of this can be learned. but if you do not have the passion to use them in the right way it will not yield the same effect.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

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I've been interviewing a lot of people lately, and I have to say that there is definitely a "you've got it or you don't" aspect to this business. I think we tend to overlook that, as most of the people here seem to have "it" and take it for granted. One key property is self-development. If you sit around waiting for someone to teach you something new rather than going after it on your own, that's a sign that you might not have "it". If when you see good work, it doesn't inspire you to go off and do something of your own, you probably don't have "it". I always ask the candidates (this is for a jr. position, prior to seeing their portfolios) who their favorite designers/firms are, and the number of people who can't name a single one is shocking. To me, that's a dead giveaway that they don't have "it", and their portfolios usually confirm my litmus test.

 

I don't mean to say that it's 100% innate - we all rely on others to learn from to some extent, but if you don't have whatever that spark is that makes you want to do good work, regardless of the pay, etc., then you probably won't do very well in this business.

 

Totally agree. When I do casting, one of my key criteria in an actor is "Do they get the joke?". If they don't get it, then you can direct them all day till you're blue in the face and they won't ever get it. But yet they still want to BE an actor. So, I'd say in mograph or anything in life do the equivalent of getting the joke. But I tend to think , like Sao, that is innate.

 

I think there are some people that have EXXXTEME passion to be an awesome songwriter, yet they can still suck. Then there are those that take a shit and it's the best song evar. I think it's obvious when you're really young. I remember in 4th grade I liked drawing sports cars (mostly Lotus Esprit look a likes). They were OK. But this kid across from me could draw anatomically perfect action heroes with all the detail and shading of anime and still draw sports cars as background elements that SMOKED my cars. No lessons, he just liked to draw like I did. He just had "IT" and I didn't. He just sees the world differently then I ever will.

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I used to think I had it, then I saw that dudes reel from Buck, I'm never doing another 3d stroke for the rest of my life.....

 

On a serious note I don't think this is the kind of profession you just fall into. Its something you would have to be interested in first. I think its important to keep that interest, keep excited, as once you get a bit sick of it, it can hurt your work and everything seems a lot more like a 9-5 job. Having 'it' is important, but its also important to realize that theres always going to be someone better than you, and this dosen't mean he has more of 'it' then you.

At the end of the day I'm a big believer in everyone being able to learn. From software to having the design eye.

If you love mograph, just keep soaking up everything out there it will eventually shine though in your work and you'll get better.

If you just think mograph might just be a pretty ok thing to get into because working in a bank doesn't suite you anymore, then you may want to think twice.

 

 

I don't know if thats in anyway helpful, I just think its important to remember that at one stage even the best guys in Mograph today new nothing about this industry. Everyone has to start somewhere.

If you really love the idea of getting into it, just crack the books and you can get there.

 

My humble opinion....

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I believe that "it" that Sao is referring to to me is "passion". If creating images/designs/animations is not your passion and you are not hungry to always grow as an artist or a designer then you will fail.

 

If you have that passion then the way you look at and digest the world is very different from other people. You maybe see a "beam of sunlight" as a form of inspiration rather than a "beam of sunlight". The way a car moves can trigger an idea for how an animation should be paced and the smell of Sheppards Pie might be just the thing to help you figure out how a colour scheme should be conveyed. It sounds weird but if you are a visual person everything is interpreted that way.

 

I get down right depressed if I can not spend at least a little time each day doing somehting creative even just for myself.

 

I live my life that way and it has served me well so far in my career. A lot of people I know think it is strange that i will spend hours working on something that might be seen for a few seconds, but to me the emotion that it can evoke is worth ever second I have out into it, i get a rush out of it.

 

the rest to me is technical. composition, lighting, colour, concept, typography, all of this can be learned. but if you do not have the passion to use them in the right way it will not yield the same effect.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

 

hi steve,

i just wanted to see how your reel looks like. unfortunately the link is somewhat broken. maybe you want to fix it. reel site´s without reels are a bit ... uhm....useless ;)

greez,

payton

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Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. Some interesting stuff.

 

I was kinda hoping for responses like you need to know this and this about colours and that and that about layout design; my university degree used this reference book by this guy etc...but a topic on creative passion is still pretty good. Like I said, I've learnt everything by experience so far without any of the theory.

 

 

 

@ mete_shop - yeah, was planning to stick up a WIP topic for a piece on parkour once its my turn to manhandle the project :) get some vibes from the forum, see if I've got the magic :lol: unfortunately I'm not web savvy enough to stick stuff up online yet so no reel siggy.

 

@ Sao_Bento & C.Smith - I've also had the opportunity to interview new designers and it was kind of obvious who did and did not have the 'it' (in the end my boss decided to hire the pretty ones :blink::lol: ). Actually the 'it' is kind of something I'm trying to figure out about myself. Learning about the theory would help clarify what needs to be improved.

 

@ deedeee - yeah man, agree

 

@ PMC - actually I did kind of fall into motion graphics ;) somehow a solid career in accounting turned into sitting in front of a computer punching out motion graphics for the Flamers and animating end logos. I blame it on the Lord of the Rings. Ummm, what would these mysterious books be <twiddles fingers, wants to read these books>

 

Actually I've been having thoughts in the opposite direction, drop the mo' as a profession and work at the bank! <my stock on this board probably just tanked as badly as Bears Stearns>. I just have issues with the lower-than-average wage bracket and must-be-instantly-gratified agency art directors (no offense). I'd be happy to work as a white collar and make graphic pieces for the sheer hell of trying to beat those guys :lol: (by those guys I mean my favourite mo' graph shops).

 

@ Havok.Dzn - not with my body :blink:

 

 

Cheers, all.

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hi steve,

i just wanted to see how your reel looks like. unfortunately the link is somewhat broken. maybe you want to fix it. reel site´s without reels are a bit ... uhm....useless ;)

greez,

payton

 

Hey man thanks for the heads up!

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