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New Motion Graphics Showreel

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So I've been watching Greyscale Gorilla's tutorial critique blog, hopefully this will take the sting out!

 

What's your background? Are you a student looking to get work or self-taught? I only ask because a lot of this is still quite raw. You can definitely improve on your camera work (it's very start-stop, not particularly natural), animation and typography.

 

The good - I liked the AIDS thing (nice colour work and design, animation..not so much), the DNA profile (again good design and animation) and Clutter Knot (which was head and shoulders above the rest, I think it was the lack of robo-cam!) - lots of good attention to detail.

And these sections looked original too.

 

The bad - There were too many tutorials in there. I've seen that sketched line tut, and the 3D door before. And as a skateboarder, Skatepro was probably the most patronising advert/design I've ever seen, and that includes those cringeworthy SunnyD adverts.. you didn't have anything in there which I associated with skateboarding! The lighting, texturing and composition on the white space bit really needs work. It was very computery. I didn't understand the significance of the frog (or why it Form-disintegrated) in the "your planet needs you" bit. Finally your end sting should have impact. It didn't look like you'd put an awful lot of thought into it, and worst of all your site URL was difficult to read.

 

So I noticed when you had done stuff that was original (well at least I hadn't seen it before ;) ) it actually worked much better than the tuts. you at least gave the impression that you'd put more work in. I think you really need to study camera work (ie - learn the limits of real world cameras before you start steadicamming all over the shop), and you really should vary your shot choice. instead of just using one shot to display an animation, why not break things up and use two or three? eg on your opening spot you could have been close up on each word (separate shots mind) then pulled out to reveal the completed logo or whatever. More shots = more variation and more edit choice.

I also think that if you're going to do work for personal projects then you need to set yourself a rigorous brief and really work at the design before you start animating. Design is about problem solving and if you don't have a problem to solve then what you produce will at best turn into a tech demo (however cool it looks) and at worst question why you've bothered in the first place.

Finally: please, please, take that sketch tut off the start of your reel. Make something original - perhaps your own logo - and animate that instead.

 

Sorry about the essay - hope this ramble has been of some use. Looking forward to the next iteration of your reel; good luck!

Dan

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So I've been watching Greyscale Gorilla's tutorial critique blog, hopefully this will take the sting out!

 

What's your background? Are you a student looking to get work or self-taught? I only ask because a lot of this is still quite raw. You can definitely improve on your camera work (it's very start-stop, not particularly natural), animation and typography.

 

The good - I liked the AIDS thing (nice colour work and design, animation..not so much), the DNA profile (again good design and animation) and Clutter Knot (which was head and shoulders above the rest, I think it was the lack of robo-cam!) - lots of good attention to detail.

And these sections looked original too.

 

The bad - There were too many tutorials in there. I've seen that sketched line tut, and the 3D door before. And as a skateboarder, Skatepro was probably the most patronising advert/design I've ever seen, and that includes those cringeworthy SunnyD adverts.. you didn't have anything in there which I associated with skateboarding! The lighting, texturing and composition on the white space bit really needs work. It was very computery. I didn't understand the significance of the frog (or why it Form-disintegrated) in the "your planet needs you" bit. Finally your end sting should have impact. It didn't look like you'd put an awful lot of thought into it, and worst of all your site URL was difficult to read.

 

So I noticed when you had done stuff that was original (well at least I hadn't seen it before wink.gif ) it actually worked much better than the tuts. you at least gave the impression that you'd put more work in. I think you really need to study camera work (ie - learn the limits of real world cameras before you start steadicamming all over the shop), and you really should vary your shot choice. instead of just using one shot to display an animation, why not break things up and use two or three? eg on your opening spot you could have been close up on each word (separate shots mind) then pulled out to reveal the completed logo or whatever. More shots = more variation and more edit choice.

I also think that if you're going to do work for personal projects then you need to set yourself a rigorous brief and really work at the design before you start animating. Design is about problem solving and if you don't have a problem to solve then what you produce will at best turn into a tech demo (however cool it looks) and at worst question why you've bothered in the first place.

Finally: please, please, take that sketch tut off the start of your reel. Make something original - perhaps your own logo - and animate that instead.

 

Sorry about the essay - hope this ramble has been of some use. Looking forward to the next iteration of your reel; good luck!

Dan

 

 

Thats for the quick reply and never thought I would get such a quick response. It seems like I have a lot to do in the next 2 months :)

 

Anyway I have just finsihed University and decided to redo my showreel and learn more along the way. Your points I agree with and with some I already had similar feelings about just sort of rushed into it to instantly get feedback. I had the idea for the intro before I saw the tutorial it just seemed a good way to go at the time. (Realised the mistake now)

The 3d door have not seen before but will change that if you say its common. Like you mentioned with set briefs I find thats my problem. Clutter Knot for example was a real world brief so I naturally put more work into it. Creating briefs for myself I do find hard so any tips for brainstroming them would be good.

Your 'camera' point was one of my concerns aswell after wactching my showreel back through. Sounds silly but I never thought of looking into real world cameras before, so I will give it a go.

 

And the frog was a tutorial to :)

 

So thanks for all your help not sure how long it will take to change things as have to do it all in the evenings but I hope to progress it through soon.

 

All the best

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hey well taken!

Yeah the tutorial stuff definitely shows. The way I've found to quickly improve is to collect fucking cool showreels (all available from this very site) and just list all the stuff I like, not in a "logo explodes and reforms to some text" way, but just on a design, composition, camerawork etc basis. like, literally break each spot you think is brilliant down into its component parts in as much detail as possible. Once you've done this with a few reels, you'll start to see what works and what doesn't, and where and how fast you can improve. Even if it's as simple as "have a background" (not that you need to do this) or "add squash and stretch" or whatever.

 

It can be fucking daunting at first seeing all that great work and wondering how the hell you get there... (and still is) but it's always great to keep challenging and testing yourself.

 

recommendations (if I may be so bold..): Digital Lighting and Rendering by Jeremy Birn - a necessity if you've not studied lighting design, and teaches some rock-solid compositing tips.

 

The Animator's survival Kit by Richard Williams - so, so, relevant.

 

Finally if you're creating a brief - either take part in the five second projects at http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/ , look at existing products and work backwards from there, or just think of stuff you like and add constraints. so - have a time limit. have an intended audience. have some imaginary brand guidelines. have a restricted colour palette. tell a short story (there's loads online). Just work with type. Just work with video. So there's a lot of ways to restrict your options and give yourself problems to solve.

 

Dan

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your reel shows some potential. and depending on where you are located and what strata of a company you wanna work at, it may or may not be "hireable" at its present state. a post house in missouri might find it good enough, but right now it's probably not to the level that will get you into the LA or nyc freelance circuit. from watching it i somehow get the impression that you've learned a lot really fast. i have no idea what makes me think this but i just kinda smell it. that makes me feel like you will continue to improve at a steady pace. overall, you have a decent grasp of what i call "overall orchestration"-- how you dole out animation events in regards to timing and contextual movement. but your overall level of finesse in design and animation needs improvement.

 

here's some general negative thingees i noticed...

 

- there are some linear keyframes in there. this is like a mark of death, it'll almost immediately disqualify you from getting work from a decent shop. the only thing comparable on a neg level is like if you used the typeface arial.

 

- your color palettes are unsophisticated. not a super huge deal tho, since this is a common weakness in motion graphics people.

 

- your design & type skills need more refinement and education. but this is easily overcome with time and effort.

 

- reel music is generally insignificant, but for some reason your song would make me assume you're a 45 year old video editor. i know you're not, but just something to take note of maybe.

 

 

 

i find it really interesting that you wanna improve it in 2 months... here are my suggestions for pushing things as high as possible in 8 or so weeks... like a boot camp sorta approach.

 

- first off, i suggest you go buy the last Print Magazine design annual. maybe the last two. look at the stuff over and over. you will feel like a toy and loser. don't worry, everyone does. the design quality in these needs to become your new standard from which you judge your own work.

 

- especially study the color palettes. go to one of those color palette websites and start recreating a bunch of those palettes on a color wheel-- but use a RYB wheel, RGB is for robots not humans. seriously, do this for like dozens of pieces from the annual. it'll feel stupid at first, but it's like the karate kid. you will start to notice certain math-like patterns emerging. i promise you this is the most efficient way to invest a few hours into learning about harmonious color.

 

- go back in and fix all those linear keyframes

 

- that frog anim is probably the strongest piece in your reel. but cut it before the logo is done resolving... that part isn't very strong and kinda diminishes its value. or if you change the logo bkgd to black it would improve it greatly. especially if the way the bkgd becomes black is elegant.

 

- drop the print design cards, they aren't particularly strong and add nothing to my perception of your abilities

 

- in that cityscape (after adding eases on the anims), use color in all those elements. make the palette harmoniously mind blowing. spend a few days just exploring the colors, saving out a bazillion combinations. then after a night's sleep, look at them all and you will probably see one that needs just a tiny tweak.

 

- add a couple different hues/tones to your reel intro. make sure it's a palette/combo that doesn't appear somewhere else in your reel.

 

that should be the first week. for the remaining 7-8 weeks, make a 3-6 second animated proj per week (except for the last week, keep that open). like set deadlines, one per week. don't put logos in them, don't do spec shit. do little explorations of what you really wanna do, what you'll enjoy. like if you wanna do a rhino's face turning into a rubik's cube or whatever, just do it. or if you wanna do type, do like a random phrase. nobody cares if there are non-client projects on your reel if you're starting out. go back to those cityscape color explorations and find some more palettes you can derive for these. just make these super super tight and refined (which is why you keep them super short)... the design, color palette and anim quality need to be as high as you can push it.

 

then for the last week, watch those 6-7 short movs and pretend your worst putrid enemy on earth made them, just scouring for something to criticize and insult. this sounds silly, but really pretend someone you hate made them. take note of what you come up with and spend that last week remedying them. now you have a bunch of new good stuff for your reel and you can trim down the old stuff like a mofo.

 

i say all this with the intent to genuinely help and not offend, and i hope it's somehow useful.

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To Dan _hin thank you again that all sounds like good advise. I have looked at 100s of Showreels but never really tryied to pull them apart or critique them intensively. And I will add those books (i assume they are books) to my collection.

 

To jaan you appear to be doing a great job on here. When I signed up I only expected a few lines feedback but you and Dan_him have done very well. And I am please you have picked me as you surely cant do this for every piece that come in in this much detail so thank you. I only said 2 months to give myself a deadline although that might now be longer as I have to do my work in the evening which isnt easy after a day of work anyaway.

 

One thing Im not 100% on what you mean by 'linear keyframes' could you please expand futher as it seems to be a good point.

 

I like your 'boot camp idea' and will somehow plan those tips into my weekly routine.

 

Oh and I live in england but would like to work in London.

 

So thank you very much for your time you have been a great help.

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One thing Im not 100% on what you mean by 'linear keyframes' could you please expand futher as it seems to be a good point.

 

grabbed from the internetters:

"Linear keyframes make a steady transition from one keyframed state to the next, with no acceleration and no slowing down. If you use linear keyframes to animate an effect that happens somewhere in the middle of a shot, the animated effect may appear to begin and end somewhat abruptly. On the other hand, if you are keyframing an animated effect that begins at the first frame and ends at the last frame of the shot, the appearance will be of a consistent rate of change."

-

 

basically, the problem with linear keyframes is that they literally never ever happen in the real world, at least on planet earth. if you are doing any animation that is intended to simulate any sort of evidence of physics and/or gravity, then linear keyframes are your enemy. maybe what i percieved as linear keyframes in your reel weren't 100% linear... if not then they still lack the use of acceleration/deacceleration.

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So I've been watching Greyscale Gorilla's tutorial critique blog, hopefully this will take the sting out!

 

His critiques pale in comparison to anything you'll find on this site.

Just sayin'....

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His critiques pale in comparison to anything you'll find on this site.

Just sayin'....

 

I kind of get that, having seen some choice crits on here before. Always good to get ideas from as many different places as possible...

 

Dan

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