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Artistic Synthesis

artsynth 2011 reel

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Hey guys,

 

Been hanging around this forum for a while now, mostly trying to keep my eyes & ears open, mouth shut, and learn what I can… popping in from time to time when I can contribute. Coming from a musical background, I realized design & animation were my passions- that is, of course, after being a rockstar went out the window.

 

Being relatively new to mograph and having not really worked in the industry yet, these are mostly personal projects with a couple freelance sprinkled in. Artistic Synthesis is the portfolio site I started back in art school and just decided to use it as my moniker from then on.

 

I'm hoping this will get my foot in the door somewhere with a jr. level position, but I wanted to get an honest crit from the best in the biz. Thanks for your time & any feedback you can give.

 

-David

 

Reel site: artsynth.com

 

Reel on Behance: http://www.behance.n...el-2011/1229677

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I think the work looks pretty good so far, and you're fairly well disguising the fact that there's not a whole lot of it. Something that bothers me is that there's kind of a disparity between what you're saying and what you're showing. You're saying that you're interested in design and animation, but somehow that's not really what you're showing. I'm thinking that has almost everything to do with your intro/outro. And I'm gonna lay this argument out for you.

 

As you likely know, in this industry, a lot of work gets done as collaborations between people, which implies that a lot of reels have projects in them that aren't entirely the creation of the person whose reel they're in. If an employer is looking at a reel, that possibility is always in the back of their mind, because part of what they're looking for is a sense of where you fit into the average workflow (aka what skills you're worth paying for). Your intro/outro is the only part of your reel that someone can assume is most likely 100% conceived, designed, and animated by you. And that makes sense because it's a personal tag, with no commercial goal, and there'd be no benefit for anyone else to be involved in making it. So with that in mind, you can maybe see how if there's a huge disparity in quality between what viewers see in your intro and what they see in the montage portion, they might become suspicious of your actual skillset and really scrutinize your role in the work you're showcasing.

 

In YOUR reel, you're starting off with something typographically unskilled, in a clunky layout, with no visual detail, and an arbitrary write-on animation, none of which convey an understanding of visual communication, design prowess, or animation sensitivity, added to the fact that "Artistic Synthesis" is a name that's really begging for us to believe something we likely shouldn't. Then you immediately cut to a long series of big 3D showcases with spitshine polish. The effect is that I have absolutely no idea what aspect of the work I should attribute to you. My best guess ends up being that you're mainly a junior 3D modeller with some 2D/3D animation skills, but you work under tight direction in a production role with little impact on the design end. And that might be wildly off, but the evidence points me there.

 

So here's the thing: if the work you're showing is fully authored by you, then your intro/outro is the worst thing you've ever made and I'm pretty sure you're on drugs. :D If the work is collaborative, then you should specify your skillset somehow, either in the reel, or in your other branding materials so that employers know what they're looking at. And either way, you probably still need to take your intro and kill it with fire before burying it a mile under the moon's crust. Reconsider it as a first impression, and one that you want to make well. Figure out what you want that impression to be, and nail it.

 

Also, I won't suggest that you need an outright name change, but I will repeat that a name like "artistic synthesis" is pretty much the same as "I'm Sooooo Creative" or "Trust Me I'm Real Good". The problem is that it's TELLING us something instead of proving it by SHOWING us. If you want someone to believe something, you show them that it's so. You can tell me all day long how big that fish was, but until I see it, it's just a claim (see how I just showed you by example right there?). So, if your name IS somehow an artistic synthesis, that's going to be more powerful than if it literally says "artistic synthesis". Bear this in mind for everything you do: In every instance of communication, in every medium, showing is ALWAYS (!!) more powerful than telling. A person will believe what they see/experience above what they are told/sold.

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Thank you for the detailed & honest critique. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with everything you said, with the exception of being on drugs :lol:

 

The intro/outro is crap, was thrown together in a few hours just trying to get it out there so I could apply to some jobs, but that apparently hurt more than helped. I did not put as much thought into it as I did other projects. Not a great way to make a first impression. Consider it killed (with fire).

 

I definitely need to post each project in entirety and list what I did for them. Aside from modeling on the football, football helmets, the Boeing B307, and some stock images & electricity (on the liquid metal project), all of the projects in the reel were done just by me. It took me a few weeks of modeling a couple hours a day to complete the Flying V, but I was really proud of how it turned out.

 

Although my reel would probably be better if I had some collaborative work, I have just been working alone on personal projects in my off time to build up my skill-set since I haven't worked in the industry yet.

 

I agree, my work has a long way to go to live up to the name Artistic Synthesis. Clearly I've got a LOT of work to do! May end up just using my name instead of a moniker.

 

Seriously, thank you again for your time & the honest crit… this is exactly what I need to hear to get better.

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Agree with Binky. Drop your current identity, use your real name.

 

Any graphic designer (or are you mostly a 3d modeler/animator?) who uses the words "art" or "artistic" in their name seems like a douche to me. :)

 

Also agree with the comment regarding your intro. Watch your kerning and typeface choices first and foremost. The sideways apostrophe has been done a billion times and is unnecessary...unless you can "own" it. I don't see that happening since you're not that skilled in typography, yet.

 

And remove your contact "us" page. Use a direct email address. Whether it's mail@whatever.com or dixienormous@gmail.com.

 

Other than that, Binky, as usual, covered most of it so I won't get into critiquing your work. However, your edit is pretty weak. The music is too calm for the kind of movements that your work has. I don't mean that you should put a Jimi Hendrix track (pun intended), but look for something more non-soothing and cut to that to get some energy in there. Good studios will usually switch off the sound anyways, but it's good to at least have your ends covered.

 

Actually scratch that. Put on a Jimi track, that would be funny as hell. :D

Edited by pix3l

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The intro/outro is crap, was thrown together in a few hours just trying to get it out there so I could apply to some jobs, but that apparently hurt more than helped.

I had kind of guessed as much, which is why you got the extended discussion of what an intro means. Branding yourself is fun anyway. You get to do whatever the fuck you want! :)

 

I definitely need to post each project in entirety and list what I did for them

Not really. I mean, as long as you send a solid, cohesive message about what it is that you do, I think most people are going to assume that the credits would convey that you pretty much did that thing on every job, and as such they won't be too interested to see the list. That's not to say that you shouldn't make credits available somehow, but I don't think anyone's going to be too put off otherwise.

 

I agree, my work has a long way to go to live up to the name Artistic Synthesis.

Well, my point was really more that it's an exclamatory name, not that your work isn't good enough. The name is claiming something, and regardless of whether your work backs up that claim, it's still a claim. If I see someone claiming to be creative, I'm automatically highly skeptical, because any honestly decent creative person will have demonstrated creativity rather than spent energy trying to convince anyone of it. You ever hear one of those boring little sorority clones in the Pink shorts with Ugg boots exclaim, "OMG i'm so weird... i'm like the weirdest person i know"? Yeah, you know instantly that not only is she not weird, she's probably the most uninteresting person within earshot. If she were weird or interesting, she wouldn't have to tell people. And that's really the point. Calling your operation "artistic synthesis" is what that girl would do. You're really fighting an uphill battle on that one. You can fight it, but... don't. Just do your thing and let people be the judge.

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Well, my point was really more that it's an exclamatory name, not that your work isn't good enough. The name is claiming something, and regardless of whether your work backs up that claim, it's still a claim. If I see someone claiming to be creative, I'm automatically highly skeptical, because any honestly decent creative person will have demonstrated creativity rather than spent energy trying to convince anyone of it.

 

I really needed an outside perspective, so thank you both for your insight. I wasn't intending the name to be exclamatory of how creative I am, but now I see how that just comes off as being douchey. Not gonna fight that battle, just going to take this and learn from it.

 

 

(or are you mostly a 3d modeler/animator?)

 

I guess my skills lie mainly in modeling & animation, as my design & typography leave something to be desired. That's something I need to focus on, the past coupe years I've mainly just been focused on learning how to use the programs (C4D & AE). Knowing the programs will only get me so far and I need to fully grasp design & typographic principles as those never change.

 

 

However, your edit is pretty weak. The music is too calm for the kind of movements that your work has.

 

Agreed. I was going for a stark contrast to most of the electronic/pop music seen in most reels, but something with more energy would be a better fit. I'll leave the Jimi tracks to someone else though :D

 

 

With all of that said, which pieces do you think are weaker/stronger and any that I should definitely keep/trash? Also, moving forward with my real name... is it advisable to drop the artsynth.com domain and register one for my name, or should it be kept and just rebranded with my real name?

 

Thanks again for your help

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You ever hear one of those boring little sorority clones in the Pink shorts with Ugg boots exclaim, "OMG i'm so weird... i'm like the weirdest person i know"? Yeah, you know instantly that not only is she not weird, she's probably the most uninteresting person within earshot. If she were weird or interesting, she wouldn't have to tell people. And that's really the point. Calling your operation "artistic synthesis" is what that girl would do. You're really fighting an uphill battle on that one. You can fight it, but... don't. Just do your thing and let people be the judge.

 

That's awesome! Great advice as usual, Binky! I guess I better start looking for a new name too!

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