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Member Since 26 Jul 2006
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In Topic: Quixel?

09 April 2014 - 02:49 AM

So from what I understand, you can't paint right on the model, so this is maybe not as powerful as bodypaint, but you do get really high quality previews really quick and right in photoshop? Is that sorta the trade-off, you think?

In Topic: The "One Concept" approach

08 April 2014 - 11:33 PM

Yeah, the arrogance is definitely a barrier here. I sort of want to punch him in the throat. :D

Part of ChrisC's awesome Michael Beirut talk (at 10:45) highlights the same idea without all of the self-importance, which is that it's the client's job to know their business, and your job to know design and communicating to an audience. In getting together, you both need to make sure the client is fully articulating their business goals, which should then allow the designer to go achieve those business goals by making something for the client's audience. This really puts more focus on the process of articulating the business goals, otherwise known as the development of the brief. I think we've all kind of experienced what goes wrong when the brief isn't well-conceived or the goals aren't stated well, because it's an oft-maligned cause of changed minds, late-arriving info, unsureness, revisions, etc. Of course, the designer could also just be doing a shitty job, but we'll assume we're all doing our best here with what info we're given. And that also puts the second onus on the designer to do that work and come to an arguably great response to that brief. If both sides understand their role in the process, and both have played their roles well, there should be some level of success in speaking to the audience and thereby achieving the business goals. And it shouldn't require lots of changes and additional input near the end.


Excluding all of the huff n puff, for me the call to action is "A professional designs for the client's audience." Because what that highlights is the designer's responsibility. If the client and the designer both understand the client's goals, it's not the client who should be making design decisions in the end, it's the designer. The client should be able to sit back and be well cared for, and the designer should be working for the client's audience at that point. So the problems are usually either in:


1) The stating and mutual understanding of the goals, or...

2) Understanding each other's roles, or...

3) Someone didn't play their role well.


So a lot of the iterating should actually happen at the beginning, and should involve stating and re-stating the goals until everyone is on the same page, which is something our industry is laughably bad at. Then it should be the designer's responsibility to go communicate to the audience, because that's his/her job. (That doesn't imply that design is objective, but we shouldn't then assume that the designer's subjectivity is invalid.)

In Topic: The "One Concept" approach

08 April 2014 - 08:53 AM

...But more and more I'm just coming across people who have NO idea about design at all and just change stuff a million times for no reason at all. 


Well I think that very point is what he's really addressing. And again, this is restricted to design, but it's that the expectation should be set forth in the beginning that what they're paying for is your expertise. If your expertise is in design, aka making design decisions, then they're negating the value they've paid for by taking those decisions away and trying to make them themselves. It's an apt analogy to think about paying your doctor a bunch of money and then having him go "well, it seems to me you've got endometrial ulceritis. What do you think? Any suggestions?" No, you're the fucking doctor! You get paid to make as highly informed a decision as is possible! :D

In Topic: Logo animation...

19 March 2014 - 10:57 PM

There's some nice animation happening here. But I can't really say that I know anything more about Shine Asterik than I did before I watched this, though, so there's kind of a strategic problem with the whole thing. Abstracted roller coaster parts terminate in a sphere thing that uncovers an asterisk? Cel-shading and dust/smoke and graphic shapes and wipes? I don't know if it's the idea or the execution, but it's not telling me anything I understand. And if you're going to take a logo into animation to tell a story about it, however abstract, it's kind of key that the story convey something. 


Formally, the qualities of the elements are kind of nice, with the hi-con cel-shaded look and touches of dust or smoke or whatever, but at the same time, you're kind of ignoring the rest of the frame, compositionally. And that's not necessarily a downside, but in this case, it feels bare, in a kind of unconsidered way. You could do with some subtle background elements to give your foreground elements a sense of context and space. But mainly, I'd be concerned about the camera move. The camera seems undecided and frenetic, which of course can be useful, but again in this case, it really signals that the camera just doesn't know what the fuck is going on. It's kind of just weaving back and forth while the coaster track is whipping about, and the combined effect is that my eye is bouncing around because the camera isn't doing a good job of showing me what I need to see. 


I know this is one of those projects you do because you want to learn a new tool. But the tool doesn't matter to your audience. As always, if you want someone other than yourself to look at what you made, make it with them in mind. Not with the tool in mind. That's not a harsh criticism of your experiment, it's just a strategy for thinking about why you did it.

In Topic: Print/Web designer looking to focus on Motion Graphics

13 March 2014 - 08:06 PM

Something to consider, that RVA8 is kind of hinting at, is that while motion graphics utilizes design principles, and refers often to graphic design in its methods of communicating visually, it's really a filmmaking medium, and on the whole has more to do with that. So, coming into it with a graphic design background is great, but that's kind of like trying to move into homebuilding with training as a lumberjack. You may understand wood, but there's a massive new number of concerns, contexts, and skills at play. And you're probably starting to get the feeling that motion graphics is really a HUGE set of disciplines all kind of collected under this umbrella term. So what will really help you, along with doing lots and lots of projects, is starting to familiarize yourself with the principles of editing, directing a camera, visual effects, the massive subject of animation and movement, and the much more massive subject of storytelling in all mediums and in film especially.


You'll get lots of different perspectives from people on this kind of question, because there are lots of specialties within the field. "Motion graphics person" is the catch-all label, regardless of whether someone is more on the side of compositing or storyboarding or editing or modelling or typography or particle systems or more likely some random mix of whatever. But if you want to author stuff by yourself, you're going to slowly be working toward a bunch of these things all in service of storytelling through filmmaking. So you're best off if you take filmmaking as your basic concern, and learn to solve the problems you're confronted with in trying to do that.