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Are we done with this yet?

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You know I was thinking the other day that this trend for motion designers rediscovering the power of animation over mograph dynamics was a wonderful thing.

 

Wouldn't you rather this than another thirty seconds of twitchy black primitives being abused by bend deformers and SubPoly displacement?

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You know I was thinking the other day that this trend for motion designers rediscovering the power of animation over mograph dynamics was a wonderful thing.

 

Wouldn't you rather this than another thirty seconds of twitchy black primitives being abused by bend deformers and SubPoly displacement?

 

I have to agree with you entirely.

 

As far as trends go, this is one I can appreciate.

It's not simply based around some new feature or effect, but instead around more conventional keyframing, timing, design and animation.

 

That said, the attention span of this industry is inherently short, so it makes sense people are tired of it. Its already been around for what, 2 whole years? Sooooooo passee.

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Personally I don't have a problem with styles like this and I certainly don't think things go "out of date" - it depends on how you use them, the message you're getting across and the overall feel of your piece. Not going to concern myself with border-line snobbery regarding who's done what, how much and who's copied it - if it looks, sounds and feels good then that's all that should matter.

 

Detaching the chin stroking add-on from your creative hats might help you detach from stuff like that and potentially see things on individual merit? I dunno.

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Personally I don't have a problem with styles like this and I certainly don't think things go "out of date" - it depends on how you use them, the message you're getting across and the overall feel of your piece. Not going to concern myself with border-line snobbery regarding who's done what, how much and who's copied it - if it looks, sounds and feels good then that's all that should matter.

 

Detaching the chin stroking add-on from your creative hats might help you detach from stuff like that and potentially see things on individual merit? I dunno.

 

The piece does look, sound and feel good. The problem is it looks, sounds and feels just like many other works that have come out recently. It's hard to look at the individual merit of a piece that isn't individual.

 

The OP probably did go a bit overboard with the criticism but then he did say he'd had a long day.

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point taken...but is individuality a requirment? I personally don't think so, but others would disagree...!

 

Look at The Matrix - great film, spawned a ton of dark sci-fi movies...and no Usual Suspects without the hype of Pulp Fiction before it...I guess that may not translate too well to 2 minute animations or whatever but I guess you can get what I mean...

Edited by symphonicx

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point taken...but is individuality a requirment? I personally don't think so, but others would disagree...!

 

Look at The Matrix - great film, spawned a ton of dark sci-fi movies...and no Usual Suspects without the hype of Pulp Fiction before it...I guess that may not translate too well to 2 minute animations or whatever but I guess you can get what I mean...

 

Yep, I know what you mean.

 

The debate has been going on for years and will probably go on forever: Where do you draw the line between being inspired by someone else's ideas, and instead start relying on someone else's ideas?

 

To me it's a personal choice. There's no right answer that could apply to everyone.

Edited by destro

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sniff, all this talk about deer(dear)heads and the trends in the industry is making me misty-eyed. Almost like the old mograph.net came back alive to grab us by the collar and demand one last thing before dropping back and staring at the ceiling.

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I'm super late to the party, but here's my .02 shekels anyway.

 

All work spawns derivative work. That's how you know it's effective and successful. No one will fault you for creating derivative work, and you have to create inside a style to understand it, learn from it, which then allows the process of remixing, re-interpreting, and re-contextualizing to make new stuff.

 

Hundreds of animators have worked on "The Simpsons", and all were expected to adhere to the style guidelines of that show. The trick is to not fool yourself- animating on "The Simpsons" does not make you Matt Groening.

 

To add another entirely art establishment-y kinda reference, pop history seems to have skipped over the artist Elaine Sturtevant, who relished in creating copies of her contemporaries. A typical Sturtevant show would essentially consist of another artist's works recreated painstakingly. Of course, her intention was to question what original work even is and means. She found most art movements to be about surface, and wondered whether copies meant anything (They do). She did this even with Warhol, who was not enthused, with is ridiculous, because he made it his calling to create copies.

 

I wonder if the MoGraph Strutevant would create a growing vines and kinetic type piece, and if that artist would find personal meaning in the recreation.

 

Motion graphics, for the majority of the work, IS product. Most of what I do is meant to be disposable and derivative. Consumed for a few seconds of attention, and then discarded. For all the lofty goals and intellectual pedigree of design, the supposed stewarts and producers of the media- the artists- do very little to insure the adherence to the design process and respect the originality of fresh ideas. Again, I don't know if this is a bad thing. Many jobs require "copying" to be financially viable in any sense. I've done some freelance jobs this week and every single one had a "mood board" or other such nonsense, basically a direct reference to other pieces the agency or whoever basically wanted me to re-create. They need a sure and provable thing when money is on the line, and I wanted to get paid my rate, so I happily reapply the stroke reveal effect. I have a family to feed.

 

While motion graphics may be chained to the floors of capitalism in it's day job, a quick trip to the Vimeo motion graphics short list awards section ( https://vimeo.com/aw.../motiongraphics ) reveals what the medium can achieve when it is allowed to fly into the sky of ideas. Adam Gault's "Gettysburg Address" and Micheal Rigley's "Network" couldn't be more effective in any other medium and couldn't possibly be more original works of art and communication, although I can see all the elements and lineage that created those pieces and I feel they are both reflections of the particular tools that created them.

 

Most of the time, I find the ire of artists and designers (I find this with music nerds particularly) is when an artist gets acknowledgement and success (say, Green Day) off of what the passionate tastemaker deems an earlier, rougher work (the rest of Punk) which didn't get it's fair due. While we may know MK12 and recognize the kinetic type work for the innovation it was at the time (and how odd the original content of "Macho Box" was), most Americans will see the technique watered down into a Ford F150 spot.

 

I find it interesting that "The Matrix" was sighted as an originator which spawned knock-offs as opposed to the stew of references of earlier work that it was. In the special features on the DVD, an interview with one of the producers (I'm too lazy to find the specific interview or reference) was that the initial pitch and treatment of "The Matrix" came with a DVD of "Ghost in the Shell", and a note which said "We want to make a live-action version of this".

 

What does all of this mean? As mentioned by Destro, context is important. What you are creating for and why play important roles. The only important thing is for everyone to be dissatisfied with the work they are making, and strive to improve. While during the production process we use a preset to get a task done, it's important to go through the expresso of Chris Smith's tools on a sunday afternoon to gain understanding or try and rig your own GreyScaleGorilla light kit, or, for that matter, trace Gotham or Futura or Helvetica and see if you can breakdown what made the font so wonderful to set in the first place.

 

Additionally, encourage everyone around you to drink from a larger well of reference. When tim palmer came and critiqued in my class, he referenced several blogs which were all about art and image making that had no connection whatsoever to the design fields ( like the amazing http://butdoesitfloat.com/ ) He said he intentionally tried to look at everything but other graphics. MintyFresh above said simply that once he began focusing on creating music, the broadening of experience smoothed the monotony of creating in other mediums, and also made it less urgent whether anything is original or not. I've heard this stated time and again in several other creators who I admire- that they can't even look at the internet anymore. There is a time to look at vimeo, and a time to look everywhere except vimeo.

Edited by Colin@movecraft

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I wonder when using typography is finally being done with.

 

Every designer is using 'letters' and 'words' nowadays, that's not real design.

 

The future of mograph will be nothing but a series of light leaks and lens flares timed to a glitchy, quirky soundtrack

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Hundreds of animators have worked on "The Simpsons", and all were expected to adhere to the style guidelines of that show.

This quote is a good example of what's happening in most of your post, which is that you're conflating the concerns of design and the concerns of production. They're equally important, but different, and I think this conversation is about design.

 

But on the design side of things, this is a great take-away for pretty much everyone...

There is a time to look at vimeo, and a time to look everywhere except vimeo.

People need new input to generate new output. That's how most brains work. If we all lived on separate planets, with no communication between us, and we all somehow showed up to a design show-and-tell on Neptune one year, our work would be so radically different that we probably wouldn't even understand each other. Inversely, everyone having access to the internet and enjoying motion graphics means we mostly tend to look at the same stuff, and are therefore compelled to create things from a similar headspace to one another. Finding a happy medium between these two is really key. To be just isolated enough to generate innovation along your own track, but just familiar enough to be relevant.

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To be just isolated enough to generate innovation along your own track, but just familiar enough to be relevant.

 

Philosophy time: Would it be fair to say that ANY art that is different enough not to have at least one toe in the current trendy waters is unlikable? Think about great art through history. A lot of it is genius but if someone dropped some of that art now , would anyone like it? And what if one created something so advanced it no longer had any way it could be a derivative of anything current or past, would it just seem to suck? Or would people say, "Wow, holy shit, that shit is so advanced, I don't know what to make of it, but I like it". i.e. does art need current context to be understood and enjoyed?

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Philosophy time: Would it be fair to say that ANY art that is different enough not to have at least one toe in the current trendy waters is unlikable? Think about great art through history. A lot of it is genius but if someone dropped some of that art now , would anyone like it? And what if one created something so advanced it no longer had any way it could be a derivative of anything current or past, would it just seem to suck? Or would people say, "Wow, holy shit, that shit is so advanced, I don't know what to make of it, but I like it". i.e. does art need current context to be understood and enjoyed?

 

I don't feel it needs to be current. It either provokes a response or it doesn't.

Most of the art that really blows the dust out of my mind is centuries old.

 

Commercial art is different. So much of selling is tied into trends that it forces the artwork to follow the fashion of the day.

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Philosophy time: Would it be fair to say that ANY art that is different enough not to have at least one toe in the current trendy waters is unlikable? i.e. does art need current context to be understood and enjoyed?

There's this quote by Arthur C. Clarke that's always somehow relevant, and it's something to the effect of "Any technology sufficiently advanced enough, relative to our own, would appear to us as magic." And basically what it means in a more general sense is that any idea not of our time is exceedingly difficult to understand. We just don't have the conceptual framework for it. It's like if you took an iPhone back in time to an era pre-dating photography, what would people think? If you took a picture of someone? They'd think you were a fucking demon for having stolen their soul and trapped it in your demon box. You'd be burned.

 

Likewise, imagine trying to explain modernist architecture to someone in the 14th century. They might not burn you, but they sure as hell wouldn't get what you were talking about. Their conceptual framework is also a historical framework, and one that clearly wasn't modeled in the context of an era that's 600 years down the road.

 

So, all of this is why we tend to move in baby steps, and why when someone introduces a radical idea, it takes a longer time to gain traction. It's where we get this notion of ideas that are "ahead of their time". Populations tend to collectively move forward at a snail's pace because we're really only capable of understanding each new thing if it's similar to another thing. The less similar, or more progressive an idea is, the longer it takes for people to get it.

 

This is a long way to say: yeah, the more divergent a piece of artwork is from the stew of ideas swirling around in a cultural setting, the less it will be understood. Took cubism a long time to be understood in general concensus. That first film of a train leaving the station terrified people because they thought they were going to get run over and killed. At that, the whole idea of film itself was a sideshow attraction for which no one could initially imagine a purpose.

 

The lack of understanding and acceptance of any new idea generates a reaction along a spectrum relative to how radical it is. Everything from witch burning to WTF to mild distaste.

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They'd think you were a fucking demon for having stolen their soul and trapped it in your demon box.

 

I still feel that way when my picture is taken.

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Guest Sao_Bento

You also make Jim Jannard feel that way every time you take a picture.

 

I still feel that way when my picture is taken.

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for me it comes down to the value of the content and experience you are providing. the infographic/cute influenced stuff works best when theres a story or some novel, freakonomics-esque, as yet un-juxtaposed or not well known, metrics or information. when its just a word, like this example, it feels a little like a glorified test. or if its for an event or a longer form content, then as a title i guess it could still work. but these as standalones, without something unique to convey, are just iterations of the style and maybe function more as the artist putting this style on his menu.

 

that said, for me, more and more im seeing imagery thats kind of jealous and not really offering anything uplifting, as well as some really clever, often funny stuff that cheers me up. the jealous visuals are kind of like a buff guy just flexing his muscles. been loving books and music as mediums lately that just offer the end user more freedom of imagination. like was said above, motion graphics are often in the category of short lived pop art, that because we care, we elevate it, but as a medium, it doesnt tend toward depth or repeat use.

 

its interesting to look at the differences and similarities to chefs, fashion industry people. regular old filmmakers, musicians, comedians... some overlap and some ways that are different. our connection to the ad biz pays off well financially, but can be a mind fuck creatively because the medium we work in just happens to work in that disposable modality, and maybe deep down we want to create deeper experiences and do things more from the heart, but the medium is people selfishly browsing the web, especially away from shorts film fests with nice loud sound in a dark room.

 

for me with my beats, i always love to see when friends have downloaded them and been able to experience life colored by my tunes, not just clicking through a few times at their desk (Edit: but im not ready to give up mograph)

Edited by mintyfresh

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does art need current context to be understood and enjoyed?

 

In some respects it's irrelevant whether art is understood or enjoyed, whatever the context. The art that really moves people, the art that holds a mirror to ourselves or society is as relevant out of temporal, social or cultural context as it was at the time it was made. I'm not just talking about famous artists either, and certainly not about artists in the mainstream (whatever that is). There are millions out there making excellent art that is born of a context we would not recognise. Art Brut, the art of indigenous peoples, street art, found art, a three-year old's drawing, these are all valid and wonderful art forms that deserve our attention.

 

Damien Hurst is an artist whose work requires context; it requires knowledge of the zeitgeist to be understood (though not appreciated). To my mind, it's an accurate reflection of our society: decadent, materialistic, manufactured, vapid and above all, consumable. However, from Seen to Gropius, Utah petroglyphs to Genzel there are artists who could stand alongside the likes of Rothko, Van Gogh etc as people whose vision stands outside of time and context. That to my mind is truly great art.

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Binky ++

 

I saw Walter Murch Speak a few years ago, and he said he doesn't even have anything onwership of a film once it's been released- it's now part of the cultural millieu and the zietgeist of the time, and he has no more ownership over it. I consider him extremely ahead of his time and future thinking. I think a lot of artists feel this way- and I know even trendy designers and commerical artists do as well- that once we are finished making, it's an immediate artifact of the time by definition.

 

What is a demo reel if not an artifact of the past?

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You also make Jim Jannard feel that way every time you take a picture.

 

Watch out, Sao. They will find you. They will hunt you while you sleep.

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Not really motion graphics, but it totally match the "Are we done with this ?"I am sick of SkateBoard/BMX/Parkour videos using twixtor-like slomo. Thanks to 5D and Twixtor they're all the same and they keep coming through my RSS from some "inspiration RSS feed" I should get rid off.. I'm already bored when it's well done so when it's not, it's just make me super angry.

Ohhh... and this one as the great idea of using M83....

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