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seth_eckert

Motion Reel 2010 - Feedback/Critique

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The opening is a bit of a let down , been done to death and the shiny dynamic balls colliding with each other has been done a million times by everyone who has seen Nick Campbell so I suggest you drop it because the rest of the show-reel is pretty good . The showreel is full of Design Cliches like hair , disintegrating stuff and some abstracts as well as stuff falling down (which is not very impressive too now) . I say you have great design skills , amazing colors and textures , great lighting and camera movement but if I were a client I wouldn't really give you the priority because the show-reel gave me the impression that your work although great is for fun only and you don't look like you have any professional client work . My suggestion is to add more of that even if you had to fake it and try to stay away from Cliches

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Thanks guys, still a work in progress. Really been wanting to do more professional client work but it can be hard to break into sometimes, especially if I cant devote hours on hours applying. I have always somewhat been against making fake work, even though I understand your concept and why it would be good to have - I guess depending on the client, I could definitely see them not taking me seriously if I dont have any high client work, but at the same time I could see that not being as big of an issue (though I am no professional yet). Something to definitely look at.

 

I understand about the shiny ball thing, trying to just make some sort of intro quickly that doesn't take up to much time, need to have something together in the next couple of days but would really like to take up this advice, maybe changing primitives/shapes/models might help its cause. (what do you think)

 

@dan - yea man I dont know what I was thinking, more I watch it more I hate that I made that mistake, second set of eyes is always helpful. thanks :)

 

Guess other than what was said, do you think that it at least shows that I can make some interesting work? Say if I was applying for an entry level position as a motion designer. I feel that there is always room to learn for me, especially since I have only been using the software since January.

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Seth,

 

I think this shows more than enough - you can obviously handle the software, and seem to have a grasp of making things look cool. The reel may be full of experimental and (what appears to be) non-client work, but it shows off your skills. Your talent will develop over time if you keep at it.

 

My advice would be to lose the outro - but that's kind of a person opinion. I'm not a fan of having the same title intro graphic at the start and end of a reel.

 

Re: dan_hin's note about the car - if you're trying to show that you can treat footage, maybe you can find something that transitions to the bird shot better - something more organic/nature-based. It might not feel so jarring that way.

 

Good luck!

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just updated the reel (see post at top to view)

 

@dave - thanks for the encouragement, I took your advice. The reason I had need for the intro/outro was to fill a little bit of time to match the song I chose. Though instead of taking it out entirely, if you notice the new camera movement at the beginning vs the end I basically made 2 different ones to separate them visually. I feel that flows much better too, and I also think if I had a bit more time I could fill that dead-space with a little more work. Maybe sometime in the near future. The car again was something I put in there to fill dead space but I replaced it with a very simple animation I did for a companies logo intro they had me do earlier this year. Looks much much better.

 

I feel for the work I have up to now I can live with this, but as time passes I am sure in 2 weeks there is a high chance I will hate it or tweak even more. :)

 

thanks again guys for the feedback - super helpful

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This definetly looks more refined and better than the first time , I don't know what you changed or if you changed anything at all but it looks better .

The intro/outro are still a bit long (almost 10 seconds between them) , you can go for a simpler intro , some white text on a black background

The Lorem Ipsum text could have been replaced with anything other than generic text

Keep up the good work

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Hey there.. pretty solid work over all. I would have to 2nd or 3rd the creation of a new intro/outro for yourself. The work overall shows a good grasp of what is necessary, but the shiny latticed sphere thing is all too much over done. Its demonstrates a good technical knowledge but I would take some time and execute a personal spot the shows the style/scope of work you want to do. I actually liked the "lorum ipsem" part since its just kind of a generic text piece. What sticks out more to me is the RGBA shift FX... works well with scratches and glitches for sure, but I would either take it to the next level or lose it. Get rid of anything that might look sub par to the best piece you have (rate them yourself and edit or have someone else rate them for you) and cut it in half. Short and sweet and wanting people to watch more... or even better yet, work with you. Pay attention to the edit as there are some spots currently you can remap to best fit the driving audio track...

 

Nice Job

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@Zickar - I changed some of the cuts and rearranged some of my clips as well as changed a camera angle on the intro, nothing to extensive. Also took some of your earlier advice on somethings.

 

I hear you guys on the intro/outro piece, it is most definitely overdone - my main goal with that was cloner vs emitter but its not very noticeable. Im looking into doing something with soft bodies and cloth but am having a creative blank today. I think I might take a look at doing a simple intro just in AE with minimal 3D stuff. Well see, need to set some time apart for it. Been playing with a new plugin that generates some liquid effects, well see if my computer can handle it.

 

@edrhine - in terms of the RGBA shift, are you talking about the scene I did with the bird? I might add a little effect in there to make it flow a little better with the music - if it doesn't look better I might go back and take that whole effect out, did that at the beginning of this year hopefully I saved the ae file. I also hear you on doing a faster edit. Maybe cutting it in half and taking a look at it, see how it flows/feels - good idea.

 

Thanks again.

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@edrhine - in terms of the RGBA shift, are you talking about the scene I did with the bird? I might add a little effect in there to make it flow a little better with the music - if it doesn't look better I might go back and take that whole effect out, did that at the beginning of this year hopefully I saved the ae file. I also hear you on doing a faster edit. Maybe cutting it in half and taking a look at it, see how it flows/feels - good idea.

 

Thanks again.

 

In my opinion its one of the best work you have and one of the best work I've seen , abstract , yet colorful and energetic ... I'm talking about the stuff from 0.22 forward

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(note: my connection is crappy enough that I've only seen the first 20sec)

Seth, I think youve got a natural sense of formmaking and animation and your pacing and editing sensibilities are pretty decent. You clearly have been focused on learning c4d and AE, which is good because obviously it's hard to make anything without tools. But don't get caught up in thinking that knowing the tools makes you valuable. You don't pay anyone just to wield a hammer and a saw. You pay them to craft a rocking chair or build a beach house or a sailboat. And those things require design prowess and engineering more than hammer-wielding.

 

While you can sometimes fool clients into thinking that you're hot stuff by doing sweet tricks with your hammers and so forth, the question will still remain: can you actually make something for them, and make it well? Can you convey the things they need conveyed? Can you build a house that suits them? Because that's what they care about in the end.

 

Your intro is a flashy hammer throw. It tells me literally nothing about you, which, as far as introductions are concerned, is really missing the point. And worse, because it's supposed to be an introduction, actually ends up signalling that either you don't know how to communicate or you don't have much to contribute in general. Now I get from a tiny bit of what I saw that that's not the case, but you really don't want your very first impression to be along those lines. And you want to reinforce whatever impression you're building throughout the rest of the reel.

 

I think what it's time to focus on, and convey in your reel, is your capacity to convey ideas, emotions, messages. Not only will this help sell the idea that you can create work that is valuable to clients, it will naturally showcase your unique voice, which will do more than anything else to differentiate you from the 400,000 other kids out there who also know all of the greyscale gorilla and videocopilot tricks.

 

This is sort of the long route to confirming what has already been said, but what you haven't yet taken to heart. No one cares about your cloners and emitters. No one cares about experiments with hair and particles. It adds almost no value to your reel because it has almost no value to a client. No one in the restaurant cares if you grilled their salmon filet with hyper helix heating coils and flipped it with anti-gravity beams. They just want some kickass salmon that tastes great, satisfies their hunger, and is good for them. Your intro should be visually delicious, but shouldn't be all taste. You should wield your tools, but they shouldn't be the focal point. You should present work that is beautiful but that tells us that you made it for a reason. And if you don't have much that fits that criteria, then start inventing more projects with real goals that you have to attain. Brand X just came out with a new product that does precisely Y and they need a web-based video promo of length Z for the front of their site that caters to their pre-existing audience of [make up a demographic]. Do this your way. Do it with purpose. And remember that no one sees the work, they just see the result. If the result speaks to your audience, then the work was worth it. If you convey an idea or an emotion or a message... If you take them somewhere they haven't been... You've done your job. Show us that you can do the job.

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(note: my connection is crappy enough that I've only seen the first 20sec)

Seth, I think youve got a natural sense of formmaking and animation and your pacing and editing sensibilities are pretty decent. You clearly have been focused on learning c4d and AE, which is good because obviously it's hard to make anything without tools. But don't get caught up in thinking that knowing the tools makes you valuable. You don't pay anyone just to wield a hammer and a saw. You pay them to craft a rocking chair or build a be.....

 

@ Binky - Thanks for the long in depth response, I appreciate the encouragement and the time taken to reply. I feel it reiterated quite well what was posted before like you said but in a different light. I can take away from your post I need to pick up more work and get better, which is really what I sit down and do everyday. I guess this real shows that I am learning the tools, practicing, and harnessing the skills necessary to step into my style - one being taking a stab at editing a demo reel. Being newer to the industry and really wanting to get better, the best thing I can do to get there is start somewhere with what I have. I still dont want to make any excuses though.

 

Believe me when I say, I have taken everything said to heart, I love critique because it is the best way to get better. I feel that by posting something like this on a forum like this would mean I am taking things seriously. Seeing as I just made it, I cant turn around and spit out a bunch of work I dont yet have completed, but! Ill be working hard to come back next time with some stuff that is more client based and not abstract. The concepts and tests I have done really have helped me learn and I now know there is no place in a demo reel for a test or abstract work unless titled appropriately along with similar works. Ill work towards your "focal point" concept. (sound advice)

 

I have a question for you guys here that will help, which you guys have been awesome at so far. So obviously I have things that show I am still new but formulating how to get my ideas into digital form. But lets say I am watching a demo reel and someone has a Coke commercial they did, but in fact it was all made up and they never actually got the job with Coke. Is this something that you would do, or would your advice be that it would be detrimental to my work. I personally feel when I see that, it takes away from whatever I am watching, but some people might feel different. Say you were a head motion designer looking to hire a lowly jr animator, and you saw that, what would your reaction be.

 

Like you say -

 

then start inventing more projects with real goals that you have to attain.

 

Is that your idea of inventing a project or do you mean create a brand identity or a commercial concept and build from that - like a fake product (example below). My relating idea was to take say a small company and create something for them for free? My wheels are turning but Id like to hear what you all have to say.

 

http://vimeo.com/25413547

 

^_^

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I guess this real shows that I am learning the tools, practicing, and harnessing the skills necessary to step into my style

Yeah, well it shows a lot of things. You'll be surprised how much you can read in a reel when you've been doing it for a while. And your reel certainly shows skill. I'm just trying to give you a nudge in the design/storytelling direction so that you can do more than operate the machinery.

 

Also, don't worry about style. It's not the same as voice. Style is what happens when someone has a design challenge and they make something new that no one's really made before as a result, and it looks cool and everyone loves it so they all start making stuff that looks similar, but for all kinds of other projects, regardless of whether it really suits those projects or not. The look or technique becomes identifiable as a style from repetition. But the infatuation with it usually means that people end up applying it blindly to cases where it's not all that appropriate. You may hear it referred to as "Design Cream" because it just sorta gets smeared all over without much consideration. And it gets used for less and less appropriate things as time goes on. Like, "oh, i really liked that strawberry jam on my toast... I should put it on my sandwich too.... oh and my salad... oh and my coffee.... oh and I bet i could put it in my hair, and in my shoes.... and in the bath... and fuck we should just paint our house with it!" On the other hand, voice is more like personality. It's more about the way a person thinks about stuff. It's not really replicable, and kind of comes from the heart. It's something that can only come from you, so it'll be unique, and you can own it.

 

But lets say I am watching a demo reel and someone has a Coke commercial they did, but in fact it was all made up and they never actually got the job with Coke. Is this something that you would do, or would your advice be that it would be detrimental to my work. I personally feel when I see that, it takes away from whatever I am watching, but some people might feel different. Say you were a head motion designer looking to hire a lowly jr animator, and you saw that, what would your reaction be.

It's usually not a good idea to do a spec spot for something as recognizable as Coke because 1) Coke already has a large body of stuff out there that's executed better (by whole teams) than you're likely able to execute by yourself and you don't want to be proving capable of doing a poor man's version of anything, and 2) as you've guessed, putting the Coke logo in your reel is distracting because people know Coke better than they know you so it's gonna steal your thunder.

 

Is that your idea of inventing a project or do you mean create a brand identity or a commercial concept and build from that - like a fake product (example below). My relating idea was to take say a small company and create something for them for free?

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. I was just saying that a project that you could do would be to find a small company and do something for them, regardless of whether you ever contact them or not. Just for the sake of having some concrete goals. Like, maybe you're into rally racing or whatever, so you go to the site of some rally car parts maker who makes sick wheels but has shitty branding, and you pretend the following: they just had a short promo made for youtube, it's like 1 minute long, and it talks about a new dual alloy rim with built in camber or whatever and the effect is practically like tank tread on the dirt, and they want you to create an endtag for the video. You'll have a 2 second space to transition from the last shot to the climax, and then they want their info or tagline or image to be visible for 3 more seconds before the spot is over. Well, their branding is shit, so maybe you're gonna give them a new logo, and really develop an image for them. You can decide what that endtag needs to do for the audience. And then when you're all done, you can take the raddest part of what you made and cut it into the reel.

 

But that aside, don't think that you can't go out and get a job with what you have. Your reel shows skill and dedication. Potential employers will know where you do and don't fit in their team. Your reel will be an ongoing project, regardless.

Edited by Binky

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And it gets used for less and less appropriate things as time goes on. Like, "oh, i really liked that strawberry jam on my toast... I should put it on my sandwich too.... oh and my salad... oh and my coffee.... oh and I bet i could put it in my hair, and in my shoes.... and in the bath... and fuck we should just paint our house with it!" On the other hand, voice is more like personality. It's more about the way a person thinks about stuff. It's not really replicable, and kind of comes from the heart. It's something that can only come from you, so it'll be unique, and you can own it.

 

Good advice on the style, I completely agree. Though as much as I would like to shower in strawberry jam I feel it makes the point very clear and sticky (though I might have to try that just to see how it feels). If I really ever overdo something like that in any projects, to the point it was very noticeable and tasteless, I really hope that I get slapped in the face at least. Definitely something to avoid. I guess instead of style, its like you said, its how you think, almost how I would go about solving a problem. I think thats the part im most in love with is the idea of "Okay, how do I get this off my head and onto this screen" type of deal.

 

a poor man's version of anything

 

 

The Coke example for sure would be one I could never tackle but was just a terribly uncreative example (i laughed at the poor mans thing - very true). I like the idea of finding a small business to do their logo - that is a really good idea, and possibly has revenue involved. I am actually going to do a series of projects over the coming months of little works just like that. Though I doubt I could model a rally car I get the concept.

 

I feel for these next works I am going to try to focus on "okay, this is my strength, this is my weakness, lets incorporate both and focus mainly on improvement of my weakness but also knowing how I can play it off on my strengths to give it that balance", if that makes since.

 

But that aside, don't think that you can't go out and get a job with what you have. Your reel shows skill and dedication. Potential employers will know where you do and don't fit in their team. Your reel will be an ongoing project, regardless.

 

Thanks, this means a lot. I cant wait to see what the future holds.

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