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jayfaker

Woe is Mograph.net

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Doesn't seem realistic to me to compare mograph to film at all. Film is at its best when it gets out of the way and just lets the message & feeling through. Any piece of creative work will have lasting and true impact when it does that. Mograph in its very nature is more in the way. When was the last time you saw motion graphics that didn't, no matter how subtle and appropriate, draw your attention over and say "hey, I'm motion graphics! look at me!"

 

Looking for the next phase in mograph that's going to take it deeper seems to me like looking for a cake frosting recipe that will make a great substitute for cake.

 

Not saying it's a craft that can't be made more powerful, but I think it's like anothername said, mograph's potency isn't going to go anywhere as long as it's tied to advertising. thank goodness.

 

In docos motion graphics can transmit information in a way that is'nt "look at me!" but "here's a ton of information in a form you can understand quickly". Most of the time motion graphics is the sugar coating a stale doughnut but it's not always the case.

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But look at this: http://www.autofuss.com/001/ That isn't distracting is it? I know it's a very short film, and maybe doesn't show much, but what if a film had stuff like this throughout, where the mograph actually revealed things about a character, or where it illustrated the stream of consciousness of a character and how that character makes decisions that on the surface would seem illogical and out of place? I think there would be a way to do it where the mograph is so integral that it is what you should be looking at rather than a distraction in the periphery.

 

Definitely. In this case the two work really well together and they both help each other out. But for me it's only a good match here because it's not super deep... if we as viewers had been watching this character for more than 15 seconds and were really emotionally invested in her scenario, those nice flourishes would turn into the thing that breaks the illusion.

But I see what you mean about having it throughout. seems like if you were to have a whole short film or long film with this kind of approach, where these kinds of enhancements became the norm, the established reality, then that could offer some real room to work with. "Into the Void" comes to mind as an example of that kind of format...

But yeah, this kind of application is definitely a step in the right direction in finding the potential in mograph.

Edited by adam

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for a while ive thought of 'mograph' as a modern version of being a signpainter, which probably was a generally commercially oriented application of art by some combination of technician/artist - there are probably some other uses of the artistic skill of signpainting - murals for example, and there are the base skills that go into sign-painting, drawing, thinking, project managing, communicating...

 

 

i can imagine a signpainter artist having gotten too many years and rough clients away from making art that mattered to them having the feeling of burnout. my point is maybe at times the signpainter can signpaint his way out of this creative burnout, but maybe also it might be time to get back to playing some piano or other visual art mediums for a little bit. the trick is these money making applications of art and craft pay better than dabbling at these other pursuits, but have much more patron control over artist

 

to the topic

 

i guess what jay started out talking about is a lack of freshness - animated films seem to be getting more and more amazing from short indie to features, is 'mograph' (the genre, not the site) more signpainting than other animation or filmmaking that we overlap with? maybe get paid more but are treated like artistic technicians than artists much of the time, with the technical side having matured and becoming more keeping up with the joneses than groundbreaking much of the time

 

or not, who knows. jay, nice initial piece though

 

**there are many ways this analogy is not the exact same however -in 'mograph' we have had the drastic leveling of cost of tools over last 10yrs, having to endlessly learn new technology to stay current, international comparison to the best in the damn world.. etc

maybe a better analogy would be magicians in the early 1900's? - and the question of having opened the pandoras box by having all this good information and tutorials out there with ever increasing sameness and lack of magic in so much of the work out there, much of my own included

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I think the problem is that our industry of motion graphics is really an artificial construct.

It's the same reason why we can never explain exactly what we do to the non-initiated.

 

 

We do graphic design. Or we don't.

We draw and paint. Or we don't.

We do classical animation. Or we don't.

We do stopframe animations. Or we don't.

We do 3d modeling and animation. Or we don't.

We shoot video and take photos. Or we don't.

We use aftereffects to put it all together. Or sometimes we don't even do that.

The only constant is that we put things in motion.

 

This industry, our industry, is simply the combination and culmination of everything that's ever been captured moving before it.

We've torn down the walls that separated all of these mediums, and we're left thinking "what now?"

 

What I think keeps us held in the grasp of the advertising world as opposed to going out and making real art (whatever that might mean to you) is a combination of the cost of producing a motion graphics piece, the economy, and how it's viewed as entertainment by the public.

 

There's no model of profitability in making a piece of motion graphics simply as art or entertainment. You can't sell a piece of motion graphics in a gallery; You can't get it screened nationally in theatres to garner ticket sales; You're unlikely to find anyone willing to commission it privately for themselves; You can't even sell prints and are unlikely to publish a collection of work.

The only way you're going to be able to fund a motion graphics piece for the sake of art is through grants, or out of pocket. Most of us are used to a rather comfortable and wealthy lifestyle, despite an uncertain economy, that's allot to be asked to throw away just for the chance at artistic satisfaction.

Edited by Spence

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jaan, what the heck happened to your post?! Maybe you felt it was too harsh, but I read it all and I appreciated your feedback.

 

Also, I was thinking this morning about mintyfresh's comparison to sign painters and came to the same conclusion as you: that perhaps the name Motion Graphics refers more to the commercial goal of a project than the medium. We made up a name because we didn't feel quite like traditional animators and filmmakers because they do art for art's sake (and/or entertainment) and we design to achieve specific marketing goals . But if we want to let go of the commercial aspect and move towards art then visual artists and animators and filmmakers are what we really are.

 

I think that definition helps me understand where to go to seek funding or support for artistic projects that I want to pursue, because if I want a film venue I go to Hollywood or independent film producers (or the NFB as you suggested, though I am not Canadian and I've heard they don't really fund too much anymore anyway). (By the way, I have seen numerous NFB productions and I love many of them, especially The Man Who Planted Trees. My wife loves The Big Snit. But I believe you're right that we can't just copy the works of Norman McClaren. I have my own ideas of what I'd like to do.)

 

Thanks for the perspective, jaan.

 

 

Spence, I see your point about the pitfalls of trying to sell motion graphics as art. I guess to me it would be mostly about making a film that had motion graphics (or animation with a graphic design slant or whatever you want to call it) as a key element of the film. How you'd make it so people would want to sit and watch it would be a big challenge. Would it be like a musical or opera, where you have simple plots but music (or in this case designy animation) describing the characters' feelings? Or do you load tons of info really quickly into shots to interestingly get through exposition and plot? Or do you make a film like 2001, where plot often takes a back seat to the visuals?

 

Roger Ebert said that to appreciate 2001, you had to go to it expecting to sit through a concert or symphony, not a film. Then you'd enjoy the film as it is and not get frustrated hoping to be sucked in by an overarching story. My dad said the same thing about the Fantasia films for more obvious reasons. I think something similar could be done with the type of work we mographers usually deal with. Though maybe we need someone as strongheaded as Stanley Kubrick to pull it off.

 

Who knows, until it happens.

Edited by jayfaker

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Damn this thread is awesome.

 

And i really agree with the whole idea that we are not really motion graphic artists, but we each are animators, or film makers or whatever, but we just channel it into something profitable, so if we want to do something deeper, we got to go back to that thing that got it started.

 

I label myself as a motiongraphics artists, although i'm really a 3D animator, but the type of work I like is in the ad industry, i like quick jobs, where you have to find solutions fast and produce something spontaneously. When you come in for a job, get briefed, get told you got 2 weeks, agree, and then you are told you have 4 days =)

 

I mean I can't imaging sitting and working on a movie for years, that's just totally not me.

 

I do have a dream of making my own live action feature film, but I'm only gona be able to do it once I get my skill up to a level where i can film and edit the whole thing in like a month.

 

Anyway Merry X-mas peoples!

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I guess to me it would be mostly about making a film that had motion graphics (or animation with a graphic design slant or whatever you want to call it) as a key element of the film. How you'd make it so people would want to sit and watch it would be a big challenge. Would it be like a musical or opera, where you have simple plots but music (or in this case designy animation) describing the characters' feelings? Or do you load tons of info really quickly into shots to interestingly get through exposition and plot? Or do you make a film like 2001, where plot often takes a back seat to the visuals?

 

Scott Pilgrim took a shot at this, IMO. I think if you're looking for motion graphics in a piece of narrative fiction, the place theyre going to occupy is either world-building (ala Scott Pilgrim) or info-dumping (The Kingdom is one of my favorite examples of this).

 

 

I also like what Spence said above, about how "motion graphics" is really just a catch-all term for "I make stuff that moves." I've kind of just always viewed making "motion graphics" as an excuse to get to play with all the toys in the toybox rather than just one or two. :-D

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Like everyone has been saying our industry is deeply seeded in advertising/marketing, it is what pays our bills.

 

I personally would love to see more projects come together like the Twenty120. The best work I see in motion isn't the newest and greatest Chevy add its the personal projects out there that are truly about the art of motion not selling refrigerators.

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A can tell you as a person who has chalked up the third highest post count on this board (*edit: post 2006 redo) , I left because the assholes left. As much as I appreciate motion graphics, I never really cared much about it in the grand scheme. I don't do it as a job and was only interested in it as an art for a while. Mograph.net was a online bar of sorts for me. It just happens that a lot of people on this board where extremely smart as well as smart-ass which is my kinds-o-people. It wasn't about the spinning of the knobs and the talk of design as much as it was the characters and their views on art in general, humor, etc. Occasionally there was the real talk of how to do things or how to see things, but it was the people. Nothing lasts forever, I just think it was a time when a lot of great dudes (and Firebetty) all came together and talked about the world and that's what I dug about it. Something in the forum switchover put enough of a kink in the flow that it seemed to all get disbanded. And left now is a carcass that brings in nice, earnest new people who see it is a place to learn and ask questions which it is, and that's great. But it's not the social IRC chat experience like it used to be which is why I lost interest. I used to hit my mograph bookmark like a rat hitting his reward bar. Now I hit it every week or so and maybe answer a c4d question here and there, but that's it. I agree that other social media probably made a huge dent right at a time the forum was being switched and caused a hiccup and that's ultimately what did it in. But really, if Sao Bento doesn't post anymore, it ain't the old mograph.

 

I already feel like this thread is like a high school reunion.

Edited by C.Smith

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I mean I can't imaging sitting and working on a movie for years, that's just totally not me.

 

I do have a dream of making my own live action feature film, but I'm only gona be able to do it once I get my skill up to a level where i can film and edit the whole thing in like a month.

 

 

 

That is a lofty goal man, not sure its realistic. Unless you're loaded, in that case, almost anything is realistic. Also, if you're loaded, can I help?

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I do miss the old mograph.net

It had very different spirit.

 

Probably not much to be done about it.

 

Also...

It had nothing to do with commercial/non-commercial projects.

It had to do with a group attitude that was more focused on learning and helping one another.

 

-m

 

EDIT: Also, mograph.net contains no more assholes than any other board... it just has better freedom of speech.

Edited by the_Monkey

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That is a lofty goal man, not sure its realistic. Unless you're loaded, in that case, almost anything is realistic. Also, if you're loaded, can I help?

 

Well I got plenty of time to get loaded, only 22 at the moment. And I think with enough technical knowledge on producing the film, it can be done pretty cheap. All you have to do is really pay the actors, got to go through a strict selection process to pick the right people, but I reckon its doable. Equipments getting cheaper and cheaper.

 

2 weeks to shoot, 2 weeks to edit. I reckon its doable. Will need to practice shooting short stuff first. Anyway I'll deal with those problems once I'm in the states, got other priorities right now, but if you have any useful skills, add me on skype and we can work on getting loaded together. ( that sounds odd...) =)

Edited by vozzz

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I used to lurk these forums back in the day when I hadn't yet registered. Shit, everyone was so fierce. Just when I registered, it had gone downhill.

 

All the new posts are about what computer to get or technical shit that you can probably find answered somewhere on the interwebs.

 

Happy New Year, Fuckers!

 

Drink up!

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The thing is, back in '03 (Really? Only 7 years ago?) this whole motion-graphics thing was new! It was fresh!

 

There's your problem right there. If you really think motion graphics began in 2003 then you have a very narrow view of its history and when the initial fads that caught your interest die out you mistakenly think the whole medium is dead. I mean even the term "motion graphics" was coined at least as early as 1960 when the Whitney bros. started their company.

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To the O.P: When you pop a Jolly Rancher in your mouth, its an explosion of flavor. When you finish and pop the second one in, it just isn't the same experience. Such is life. Such is mograph. You can never truly have a "first time" twice. We're all hoping to be tantalized and stimulated in new ways every day. I think maybe that's what happens when we as humans get past just trying to stay alive and start looking for some other reason to get up every day. We need more more more. At some point even "more" gets old. Then we want less, we want to simplify. Even truth gets old, then we want comes whatever comes after that. Irony? De-constructivism? Anarchy?

 

Who knows!

 

I have my own theories. Whatever the case, I have plenty of reasons to get up every day and I do like my mograph job. When the flavor wears off, mograph is still a pretty great job!

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Very interesting thread, and like many of you I have had this exact thought/conversation before (Monkey, you'll remember).

 

For many, including myself, mograph has become a job. (albeit a great one, as monovich said) You can't keep obsessively collecting reels forever. Every now and then there's something new that shines bright, but that flame is quickly extinguished by endless copycats. I do think mograph has a lot of potential as an art form, people with great design sensibilities getting into an art world that is bereft of design sensibility would be AWESOME. I think I'd be much more interested in a forum that focused on that. New software and c4d techniqes doesn't really draw me. I don't remember if the old mograph was less technical than it is now, but it felt that way. After a while people got tired of saying 'go to creative cow.' I do miss the dozen page argument threads, ironically. Pink dogs, global warming, and rip-offs made mograph what it is. I don't think that part of it will ever come back (even with clintvideo still lurking).

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To the O.P: When you pop a Jolly Rancher in your mouth, its an explosion of flavor. When you finish and pop the second one in, it just isn't the same experience. Such is life. Such is mograph. You can never truly have a "first time" twice. We're all hoping to be tantalized and stimulated in new ways every day. I think maybe that's what happens when we as humans get past just trying to stay alive and start looking for some other reason to get up every day. We need more more more. At some point even "more" gets old. Then we want less, we want to simplify. Even truth gets old, then we want comes whatever comes after that. Irony? De-constructivism? Anarchy?

 

Who knows!

 

I have my own theories. Whatever the case, I have plenty of reasons to get up every day and I do like my mograph job. When the flavor wears off, mograph is still a pretty great job!

 

I wouldn't necessarily agree with this.

 

Yes, we can become desensitized.

 

But as graphic designers, we have to look into the future and embrace upcoming mediums and adapt. We have to be self motivated.

 

As creative people, we can change and create trends. Remove it from it's vessel.

 

Understanding this will set you apart from run of the mill designers out there.

 

I see motion design as a branch of graphic design and other disciplines. It is morphing into the unknown in this post-modern world.

 

Best thing to do, as mentioned before, is to become a good designer and be multi-disciplinary. Study everything. Embrace them.

 

Use them to rejuvenate yourself. Be a chameleon and don't rely on style, but substance, even if your client forcefully wants you to do it.

 

Client & designer relationships have to be 2 ways. Graphic design is communication first and foremost, you're all problem solvers. Solve their damn problems!

Edited by hyp3

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I'm with monovich on the de-sensitivity pendulum, but there is an arrow here, too.

Regarding nog's comment about when mograph "started"... its birth was incidental. Hats off to the founders and all, but it didn't boom till after the millennium and that has more to do with the availability of the internet than anything else. I think the reason for this "post-peak depression" that some people are feeling is a result of the information overload that the Internet has allowed us to experience in the last 10-15 years. It's much bigger than just mograph.

 

It's not only hard to find a unique mograph piece, it's hard to find a good nut-shot video on youtube that you haven't seen before. Face it, we haven't seen it all... but most of us have processed more visual stimuli in the last decade than our grandparents encountered in their whole lives. We've seen a lot*. The human race has never experienced this much saturation of media... and I'm quite certain it's only gonna get freakier. Your kids are gonna be like Powder.

 

-m

 

 

 

*Although mostly kittens and porn

Edited by the_Monkey

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A can tell you as a person who has chalked up the third highest post count on this board (*edit: post 2006 redo) , I left because the assholes left. As much as I appreciate motion graphics, I never really cared much about it in the grand scheme. I don't do it as a job and was only interested in it as an art for a while. Mograph.net was a online bar of sorts for me. It just happens that a lot of people on this board where extremely smart as well as smart-ass which is my kinds-o-people. It wasn't about the spinning of the knobs and the talk of design as much as it was the characters and their views on art in general, humor, etc. Occasionally there was the real talk of how to do things or how to see things, but it was the people. Nothing lasts forever, I just think it was a time when a lot of great dudes (and Firebetty) all came together and talked about the world and that's what I dug about it. Something in the forum switchover put enough of a kink in the flow that it seemed to all get disbanded. And left now is a carcass that brings in nice, earnest new people who see it is a place to learn and ask questions which it is, and that's great. But it's not the social IRC chat experience like it used to be which is why I lost interest. I used to hit my mograph bookmark like a rat hitting his reward bar. Now I hit it every week or so and maybe answer a c4d question here and there, but that's it. I agree that other social media probably made a huge dent right at a time the forum was being switched and caused a hiccup and that's ultimately what did it in. But really, if Sao Bento doesn't post anymore, it ain't the old mograph.

 

I already feel like this thread is like a high school reunion.

 

I'm in the same boat. I think I joined around 2004 or so and I remember how different it was. I kept coming back because of the members and what they had to say on a range of topics. It was MUCH less technical back then - now all I see are C4D questions.

 

 

@Dotcommer - any ideas for a replacement for vfxtalk.com? That's a whole other story what happened to that board, but we need to find a new one, I have no where to go to get my vfx fix!

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Regarding nog's comment about when mograph "started"... its birth was incidental. Hats off to the founders and all, but it didn't boom till after the millennium and that has more to do with the availability of the internet than anything else.

 

By boom you mean quantity though right? My point was that I'm not really seeing this golden age of quality that people seem to be talking about. Maybe some people were exposed to something for the first time around a certain point in time, they got excited for a while, and then later they got bored of it. But that has nothing to do with the actual health or history of the medium.

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By boom you mean quantity though right? My point was that I'm not really seeing this golden age of quality that people seem to be talking about. Maybe some people were exposed to something for the first time around a certain point in time, they got excited for a while, and then later they got bored of it. But that has nothing to do with the actual health or history of the medium.

I think we can all agree on quantity... but I think quality too.

 

When would you say the Golden Age was?

The 60's? John Whitman? Saul Bass?

 

That's not to say MK12 is better than Saul Bass anymore than Jimmy Hendrix was better than BB King...

it simply means that "peaks" occur when you're standing on the shoulders of giants.

 

-m

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You can still flip your pen(mouse) and imagination at 60 regardless of trend and looks.

 

My guess is that, getting used with it and seeing more shit, our expectations naturally grew.

 

Is like seeing a girlfriend for six years and kissing all the time, without taking the next step...(maybe it`s fun for a while, but you also see the possibilities :))

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When would you say the Golden Age was?

 

Well, for starters I think now is more interesting than 2003. But I don't think there has necessarily been any golden age. There are certainly a lot more motion graphics being created now than at any time in the past, and that growth will probably continue to accelerate. But if you look at the entire history of graphics in motion, from the dawn of cinema to the present, I think there was probably more great work created from the '30s through the '80s than there has been since digital tools became widespread.

 

I guess what I mean is if you think of "motion graphics" as a certain range of visual styles created using After Effects and 3D packages that became popular over the past decade, then yes, that trend can't stay exciting forever. But if you think of it simply as design in motion and take a look at the whole history of the medium starting with traditional cel animation and other experimental techniques, and then look toward the future of motion design for various digital screens, I don't know how you could be bored with it or think it's getting stale. It's like being tired of music or something.

 

Jayfaker said that the novelty is gone forever. I think the real problem is in viewing the medium as a novelty.

Edited by nog

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