Things I’ve Learned…

Years back, I was working for a studio on a very complicated shot. The supervisor explained what was needed and provided the source material. After a moment of reluctance I was suddenly hit with a rather impressive solution.

The supervisor was still standing over me and I began to explain my brilliant solution. Then while in the middle of divulging this master plan, he interrupted and asked “So you’re all set?” I replied “Yeah, no problem”, and then he said “Great!” as he walked away.

I wanted to explain to him my incredible solution and further impress upon him that I was a valuable member of the team. But he didn’t want to hear it; he wanted to see the shot finished.

The following morning after dailies, he casually told me “Nice job with your shot.” as we all walked to our posts. There was no congratulatory announcement or trophy at my station, just a friendly “nice-job” in passing. If they only knew what I went through.

Then later, I was asked to come back on another project so I guess they liked the work after all, despite the lack of my creative explanations.

I learned that supervisors don’t really care how you get your work done; they just want to see it completed. They have other things to do just like you so don’t worry that your hard-work will go unnoticed because it won’t.

Soon you’ll be known as the guy that gets things done, and that is like the MVP of VFX.


9 years ago
I'm Sorry Shape Layers! I love you!
I must confess… I was never a big fan of shape layers…  we just didn’t get along.  I was used to using masks but suddenly (around AE CS3) the same mask tool began creating Red vector shapes. At first, they seemed cool enough but after accidentally adding shape layers to my comps, instead of masks, I lashed […]
Visualization Experiment and new Renders
Just playing around with a new After Effects experiment without using any 3rd Party plug-ins! I need to refine some parts of the effect but I really want to make a tutorial for it ASAP! Here are some other projects you may have missed! Using Element 3D bump mapping to create some Gold coins and […]
New Tutorial: Realistic Rain Drop FX!
In this tutorial we’ll use After Effects to create a realistic water effect without any 3rd party plug-ins! Great for adding atmosphere to a rainy scene or title. This effect is fully customization and can be used to create many cool FX! In this tutorial: Create a dripping water displacement map Simulate realistic camera DOF […]
Destruction Experiment!
What is this thing! I’ve basically combined a bunch of stuff into one experiment! I might have been inspired by the amazing planet explosions from The Force Awakens but wanted to see if I could get a cool version inside Element 3D. Few Notes on this experiment; I added smoke elements, shockwaves using CC Sphere, and even […]

4 years ago
thanks a lot sir
after 3years i have seen this words
and i really happy to see this, bcoz m in post production and according to you, u r perfect..
6 years ago
Ha Ha Ha Ha you had a briliant thought! And yes of course we all now agree with the concept. But now how ironic it is you the supervisor has got us on the edge of our seat and we loving every minute.
6 years ago
That's true. You don't have to explain things. The results/output will.
Truefax right there.
Alvin Yong
7 years ago
Great experience from you Andrew!
I learned something essential today =D Thanks Andrew~
8 years ago
Same goes like when people give feedback on your work.
When feedback is all nice and sweet no feelings start running up in your heart....but when feedback is not all super cool....we...artists/graphic designers....we tend to take it's hard to separate personal feelings when people give feedback that you don't want to hear.
My tip is : leave your feelings at home...and look for's all a big puzzle....and there is ALWAYS a lost piece of puzzle
A. D.
8 years ago
Mr. Andrew Kramer sir, i love you tutorials, your tutorials are the best cause the things you say before starting your tutorials make me laugh each and every time and also after that you get serious and get right to the point and teach us lots of important and useful stuff. Also inbetween you give some tips, which mostly no one will give cause they are very basic(as some other person might think), but they are very useful and they come in handy. I am the biggest fan of yours sir.
Right now i have taken a course in an animation institute, it has just begun a few days back, but i guess i know a hell lots more than other students in my class cause of your tutorials. i thank you for that. And i also want to thank your friend mr. sam loya sir (sorry if i spelled your name wrong). i hope that i get to see you someday in making of more funny+useful+the_best_tutorials_available & also looking forward to be a gr8 compositor and a gr8 person like you. bye take care.
8 years ago
Yeah, its just like that... I want to explain too the solution when i found one but "the people" just wanna see the final product...
9 years ago
I completely agree! For those of you out there who might be a little younger and maybe not have as much experience, this is a valuable lesson to learn. I have had a number of positions in my career that have been on both the supervised and supervisory in nature.

When I was younger, I thought that I needed to explain everything in order to impress the boss or to make sure people were aware that "I knew what I was doing". BIG MISTAKE! The boss (at least a good one) doesn't want to hear how you are going to do something, only that you can. And if you can't do it, they want to know that you will find out how.

Let your work speak for you. A shot or project completed on time, done well and under budget speaks much louder than any technobabble about expressions ever will.

Besides, as log as you're getting paid what you agreed on and you take pride in your work, you should be happy.
9 years ago
Yap! i too had such experiences............ and by the way u are GREAT MAN i like u works and tutorials ... i will buy u products and try to do some amazing stuff :) take care :) Andrew
9 years ago
Kramer, you are very right.

I guess its the destiny of us CG artists to go unnoticed till' we get our job done.
I too get unnoticed since Im always stuck with my NLE in my workplace in our Regional Network Group. Anyway, whats important is that its God Who will be glorified with our every work.

Anyway, tnx for the great tutorials man.
God bless
9 years ago

I'm a wedding cameraman. The same thing happened to me years ago. Nowadays I work for more than 150 photographers. Andrew, you're the man.
M. Alif
9 years ago
hi kramer,
nice story there. i know how u felt. but pretty good enough that you got a "nice job" phrase directly to you. few years back, i joined a team that need a multimedia expert to make a video about a project- which was me and i did it alone. when the project was finished, the leader said to the team "this is the most impressive video ever was". actually, the project will be held every year. when the 1st time i join them, the video i made was the greatest over these years. sadly, i never got direct "thank you". for the next year, they called me again to join the team. i refused because i have to do it all alone again. well, this is not all about appreciation i begging for. it is about consideration to appreciate what we've done. after all, self satisfaction in what i've done is the most valuable to me.
Michel Greco
9 years ago
Best momments of my week is when i see my boss in the lobby and he shakes my hand and thanks me for my work!! just showing his appreciation satisfy me and i can continue doing my job head up going foward to push the limits again and again.. thanks to videocopilot i can always go further!!
Zvi Twersky
9 years ago
Andrew, you are so right about what you wrote and more people should know this BEFORE they get into the field.

If you recall, in one of your tutorials about converting 60i footage to 30f, you said right at the start something like "... this tutorial is not one those things you can impress your friends with, like... "Hey, Dude! Come check this out! I just converted 25f footage to 29.97f"! Well, even with Twitch... when concerning a supervisor or boss... you can forget about too many compliments.

One reason a boss will stay away from too much credit is because he might be afraid of building up your confidence to ask for a raise or more benefits. He might subconsiously not want you to think you are needed that much to him that he can't do without you. He might KNOW that, but won't admit it to you or even to himself. But stay happy and be strong because after all, YOU are the one who knows what you are worth.
9 years ago
True, all the care are, and respect exactly what you are paid for, results, no need for namecalling ; )
9 years ago
I concur! Sometimes I get frustrated when I try to tell my boss(es) how I came up with something, and they just seem to stare at me. They see it and say "cool, but can we add this?". They just dont seem to get the whole rendering thing. They just think I whipped this out in a few hours (sometimes that's true, other times it took me a few days! ).

It's nice to be able to explain the details of the work to tech buddies. They understand and can appreciate all the work, and not JUST the end result...

I also agree with Spencer. I would totally buy a book from ya. My fav book is the DV rebels handbook, and it's 90% after effect VFX stuff...

Julio César
9 years ago
Professor Kramer, thank you very much for your words! You learned he hardest way and are now giving us the chance not to go trough this way.

The will of hearing "Great ideas! How did u get this done?" is natural, it's part of the ego, but a supervisor or whoever is above us won't wanna her this, You're totally right!

Greetints from Brazil.
9 years ago
Write a book. Seriously, that wasn't sarcasm. I'd be first in line for it.
9 years ago
So just out of curiosity, Andrew, do you read every single comment that people post? even if they comment on something you did a year ago?... You obviously make an impact on the world of VFX... I've spoken with so many people and they bring up this site and I'm like... "Yeah, all over that one!" Do you do freelance work as well? or do the VCP products take care of you?
9 years ago
Hi andrew, When I read your post i was pretty smile. Becose your feelings i know really good, i worked at the Tv like broadcast designer and my supervisor was tosame like yours, he never had care about how you can do it better, sometimes also a played with tv spot alot of more than i had, but only for what is he interesting is,if is it right and in time. Also what I have learned that if my supervisor aksed me if we are able to do it, answear simple yes or no, not yes or no becose we have do something, to supervisors is better to speak easy, short, and then your work will we be also easy for you. Iam checking your website time by time, and its great.
From small of europe. Czech republic
9 years ago
Andrew! You are my hero! you know that?
9 years ago
WOW tim nice search man he did a nice tutorial of 3D studio Max hahaha

nice i think he is also looks Andrew Best Fan haha but really amazing one amoung us....

But Andrew IS Andrew no one can take place of him...
9 years ago
Thanks for the information. I do believe, we practice it here at noodlehead studios, to celebrate all wins. It helps build the team, the confidence and the drive for the future.
9 years ago
When I started I was a supervisor working with artists on the Quantel Paintbox, Harry, Henry & Mirage. Working with them, I learned fundamentals that gave me confidence to make the jump to doing the work myself (Paintbox Henry with Encore & Mirage cost me $600 an hour so I was strongly motivated.)

When I was a producer/supervisor, I was in awe of the artists, but if they started chatting, I had to get them back on the job. It was costing me money. Now, after the session, I'd take them down to the bar on the bottom floor and buy'em a beer. Then they could talk my ear off about how they did things, and I was actually interested, but while we were on the clock (billable hours) FOCUS DUDE!

But I loved them and am still friends with many of them even though we don't work together anymore (thank you Adobe.)
9 years ago
There's things we've done (professionnaly) when we were young that we can't be really proud of (too fast , too curious , too much...)
when u remember what happened exactly ... we grow up but the crazyness is still there , with a different view and another state of mind :)

Crazyness + Freshness = Young artist :D

Or , you took a revenge a evil supervisor and now you want to explain every single shot you make and thats how Videocopilot is born ! Still Crazy !
9 years ago
I love to watch your work man, & I never been bored.
You are a genius, for me you are a superstar & a big heart person.
god bless you. & many congratulation for your kid.

9 years ago
Similar thing is, when you show some clip you made (like 3d room things etc) to someone who isnt familiar with this kind of stuff, they always ask "what effect did you use?". Its kinda funny but also frustrating, that people think you just add some effect to your clip and it makes the whole thing for you in a blink of an eye. Usualy I just answer "my skills".
9 years ago
Thanks for the comments everyone.

When time comes to add new website features the width may increase. Although this may not help the blog much because we want to keep the traditional "newspaper column" look and feel.
9 years ago
That was very well said Steve!

But since Andrew mentioned his web developer... I would like to through one more request on the pile...

I think the website should be designed to 980 pixels wide. These long blogs just take way too much scrolling. I'm sure 99% of the people visiting VCP are design professionals and have a resolution of at least 1024 x 768. Check your server logs!
steve johnston
9 years ago
I hope everybody blogging here has supported VideoCopilot. I look at the Copilot as part of my VFX toolkit. I can't think of a project in the past 2 years that I either didn't use something I learned from this site, or incorporated an element from one the Copilot's disks.

But most importantly, we all need to be giving something back to the VFX community. Share what you know (Like Andrew and his team do thru this site and their disks) with younger artists and other artists as well. You'll be surprised how that comes back to you multiplied.

It seems that we all are asking way too much from Andrew. He and his tream are giving all they have. We can make this site stronger by sharing what we know and encouraging others. I 've visited a few sites of some the bloggers here and have been blown away with their talents.

The pat on the back should come from the paycheck, the ability to mentor, and the constantly improving demo reel.

Don't be afraid to give back! Thanks for eveything Andrew, his crew and many of the copiloteers. (sorry, I couldn't resist)
Ben Lelis
9 years ago
Amen. I feel you man. This what it really feels like working in the background. It's just a lot farther than the camera but it is the biggest object in the shot.
Dave Starr
9 years ago
I think sometimes we need some congratulations. Anyway talking 'bout me i need that. It's just what i need to be stimulated. Some congratulations, i mean something very simple, (i don't want to be a star) just push me beyond my limits. If i'm working on projects for third-party agency i need some word on my job. If i'm working on my own projects i don't need anything but me and my brain.
9 years ago
To be in VFX you have to love those moments when you’re alone and you have figure out an effect at 11pm. This is something I have come to terms with and we all have to come to term with.
Enjoy the process, its what gives the greatest pleasure beyond anything you can discover.
9 years ago
Please do a Tutorial on how you solved the problem! :-)
9 years ago
this is a very nice short story.
and thanks for sharing your projects with us
Nicholas P
9 years ago
Thanks for the insight Andrew. As a college student interested in the computer science/graphic arts fields, it is always nice to hear about real world experiences from a professionals such as yourself. Thanks again.
9 years ago
some times people don't appreciate your work although it gives you a hard time to git it done and things like this happens a lot , but the important thing that you are happy and satisfied with your work.
> because we are :)

9 years ago
That is so true, i also did some lil projects and i felt really underappreciated.. sometimes i still do.. but when i look at it, when people need things to get done they usually call me so yeah ur absolutely true.
9 years ago
We had in saying in the Navy: " We are judged not by our methods, but by our results..."

Good post, Mr Kramer.

PS Thanks for the myspace add!
9 years ago
You should start a podcast where you can just talk about this kinda stuff.. we like your voice.
Jim Andrews
9 years ago
Andrew Kramer Says:
March 15th, 2008 at 11:14 am

"Some of you guys are misunderstanding the point of the story…"

:) :P
9 years ago
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !
9 years ago
hahaha, then you got mad, and decided to create your own business, with the right people, and tryed to live happily ever after.
is frustrating i know, Somehow we must try to join forces with the right people, and send this aversion of mankind to hell. Anyways ive been working on a solution, let`s make our own country. What do you say?
keep on the hard work Andrew, im sure people of this side of the river apreciate it much more than some of the Big fishes. :D
9 years ago
I've only been doing After Effects work for a very short time and most everything that I have learned, I have learned it from Andrew and Video Copilot. I work at a television station and I have already used countless examples of what I have learned from this site. I also have an independent commercial production company and I have been able to incorporate these skills there also. Like Andrew has said, most everyone only cares about the end result, not what it took to get there. My clients only want their spots to look as good as possible and most if not all of them have no idea what a keyframe is. Andrew Kramer Rocks!!!

We just give our clients what they want. We can't do their job and they cannot do ours. It takes a team effort all the way around.
9 years ago
So true... I've been figuring that out for myself here lately...
9 years ago
WORD! its so true... i have to live like that almost every day.. the only thing that makes me going is the satisfaction of doing a good work and that i enjoy it very much..i do small projects in 3d animation and its just a passion.. ilove it...
9 years ago
Thats true andrew i believe that!
on the other hand you can put yourself in ppl's sitiuation around you!
9 years ago
So true.

You really only get praise from your fellow VFX artists, because they understand the process and appreciate it... most of the time.

I really don't expect my employers or clients to praise me, I just want to get paid and have continued business with them, to me that is compliments enough.

Though it does feel good to get the occasional pat on the back.

What really sucks is when you work so hard to do an awaesome effect, but on the drop of a dime the client or boss says, "ahh never mind" don't they realize how much time I put into that effect?!?

Oh well...
9 years ago
My logical strategy and the way to handle this issue on the emotional level.

If you are talanted, expand you creativity and keep on mastering new techniques, stay up-to-date on the new tools and the most important one is self confinence.

Compensation and compliments come in writing if a form of a pay check.
David Stepus
9 years ago
so true one what u said all of it....

im still in the middle of learning and just turned 18 on march 13

but..... what i don't get is why he dose not care what ur doing or when u will get it done

i mean i would care what my workers would do...and what i mean by that is what there making...cuz lets jsut say if i was going to make something and my boss didn't like it then i would have to make something deferent ......
9 years ago
How did folks get that confused?.. i thought the article and its point were both well written...
[checks again]

i dont know.. maybe they didn't read it to the end? Thats all i can think of..
9 years ago
I'm thinking this might be answered in one of the making of videos, but is Video Copilot your fulltime job? or do you do freelance work as well? It must be nice to get out of the post production line, unless you like that kind of set up. I personally would like to eventually branch out on my own as well. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Sean Roberts
9 years ago
well post the tutorial on sam shooting that bullet, how long its been sitting in your harddrive. :)
9 years ago
Totally agreed with you...
It's simply how the design world works. here in Italy is just the same, obviously less professionals...
Best Regards,
9 years ago
You gaved me hope, tooked it, and then you gave it again, just with these few words...
Thanks Andrew, for being yourself :-)

Besides, long ago you talked of a new menu-button. So, when does it come?

Regards from Germany
9 years ago
Nike, "JUST DO IT"
9 years ago
Some of you guys are misunderstanding the point of the story...

To say that a supervisor doesn't care how you do things was a bit hyperbolic. Supervisors know enough about general compositing; what they don't need to hear are the details involved in what work needs to be done from keyframe to keyframe.

Take Steven Spielberg for example, he works with some of the most talented people in the industry but if he had to listen to everyones explanation of the work they performed he wouldn't be able to do his job. The point is not to expect recognition for your skills but understand you have been hired because of them.

Also do not confuse this with what I do here in a non-production environment or how a boutique style workflow is handled. In this situation we are talking about a post production line where if you need a 3D element you request it from the 3D department.

Besides this is one of the main reasons I got out of that kind of work and started Video Copilot, it could be very isolated.

Now as a supervisor myself, I work with a very talented Web Developer, but when we are building a new system he doesn't need to tell me about all the PHP functions he is going to be using... Just get it done.
9 years ago
and good for you !
9 years ago
all i could think of

Business woman on plane: "Which car company do
you work for?"
Narrator: "A major one."
9 years ago
i want my comment deleted!
steve johnston
9 years ago
A few years back I worked on a special fx composting shot that was really tricky. It was exhaustive to pull it off the tracking the shot required. The compliment came when my boss at the time had to convince the client that it was a special effect. I had to stop working to show the client the clean shot and then the finished shot again.

Andrew is right, it is the artist that always finds a way to get it done is the one that stays busy. The compliment comes from the returning clients and the referrals that they send your way.

Our job should be to solve the client's problem. Do that first and you get the opportunity to be creative.
9 years ago
true ur right andrew same things happen to me all the time but like u said if they say " great job" then u know ur doing a great job and dont let that stop u
9 years ago
I remember this andrew.... :)
9 years ago

I would be really grateful if you could post a tutorial on cool techniques for creating lower thirds, and making them appear and disappear in creative ways.

9 years ago

that video of the lost ring was added feb 29th, whilst twitch was out march 10th
infact the trailer is even much older then the added youtube video

besides, everything that twitch does can be achieved with a few keyframes and build in effects. saying this; i do not mean to diss the tool by par, as its nice Andrew & team combined some functions now
9 years ago
MVP is most valuable person.

i am running 2 companies, both designing/supervising myself.
I DO care how things are done, for 1 reason only:
improve on what has been done: to plus it (as disney imagineers call it)

it automatically resolves in:
- improved workflow
- minimize experimental guessing

i have to say a supervisor that doesn't care how his team works, should be fired the day before. you are a TEAM, and there is no I in team. all i am saying is
before you start a project, sit down, discuss workflow, discuss technique and you'll be done not only earlier with your job, but your supervisor already knows what the outcome can be.
since me & my colleagues do this, we do twice as much jobs in the same time keeping up our status.

simply because we talk over various project and ways to get there before even ATTEMPTING to do the job. its half work done. its not hard to understand.

maybe its a USA Europe state of mind, but i was rather disappointed with andrew's topic here. especially since you write all these tutorials explaining how things are done, you should strife for your techniques and show what you got in store. others in the field learn on that, and bounce back ideas/improved workflows etc.

ah well i can go on for hours on that subject. but in the end its all about the supervisors character that is willing to listen to his team or not.
David May
9 years ago
Nice little word of advice there.

Just a question, any news on the bullet advanced training dvd/tutorials you announced a month ago? Really am looking forward to it; (reference :

9 years ago
most valuable player of video fx, like the best of the year!! think of steve nash in the nba or gretzky in the nhl those a mvp of heir sport!!
9 years ago
Absolutely sure, that no one was caring so much about James Cameron - Terminator 2: Judgment Day Director, AS EVERY ONE was interesting WHO MADE that liquid metal effect with T-1000..... So, for supervisors you just doing the requested job BUT FOR THE REST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WILL SEE YOUR MASTERPIECE - YOU ARE A GENIUS! ANDREW KRAMER - SOON EVERYONE WILL KNOW YOU IN THE WORLD! YOU ARE TALENTED PERSON!!!
9 years ago
what does MVP of VFX mean?
9 years ago
It's all cause for you - it's your Life, and for them peoples it's only ******* job.
9 years ago
I think, in somehow, we all see or lived what you Andrew are talking about. But, one day, a colleague tall me something that i'll never forget...

"the problem with us, is that continuously we are looking for approval or a "wow, impresive!!", but in the end that ever going to happen... because, first mostly people, don't ever understand how hard it's to get a work done or that it's not so easy think in a solution that alo it's creative and different. Second, in the end, something that it's hard to us the creative people, is to separate passion from bussiness, and in the end for the rest of people it's all bussiness".

After that, and thinking a little bit more, understood... if all is bussiness in that matter, i have to be a seller of my work. And in bussiness, act with the brain not the heart. It's hard, but it's life.
9 years ago
Hey Andrew, How do you personally deal with contracting or pay? How do you rate yourself and your time?
9 years ago
Hi Andrew,
thanks for sharing with us that experience.
It's true: maybe no one will tell you "hey, great job", but the "respect" you get from your boss and colleagues it's enough.
Thanks for all the things you teach us with passion: I'm growing more and more.
It should be nice to meet you one day (or if you plan to come to Italy let me know).


PS: Evolution, Riot Gear, Film Magic Pro and Designer Sound FX make the difference ;-)
9 years ago
haha, Andrew, you're the Mike Lowell of the vfx :p
9 years ago
I remember a couple of years back having to do a 1000 frame hand Roto.....Ouch!!
- Was I thanked for two sleepless nights?...err no.

Was the shot in question the energy drink spot - with the baseball player drinking?
(do I win a prize if I am correct?)
9 years ago
Awesome, you skipped all that filler people like to cram into articles. This one read better than most professional articles lol. That aside, this sort of stuff [sharing personal, but useful experiences] is what sets you apart from other VFX artists... in fact, other tutorial makers in general, out there. Including ones who show you tips and tutorials on "real world" things as other users asked.

Am i an andrew fan? well, sure! i love your work!! but am i a super andrew fanatic like most folks i read on here? lol no, sorry. I understand that you are just an [incredibly nice] dude doing his thing. But, that means when i tell you something [like what i said above] you know its a completely unbiased and un-arse-kissy statement. so good job!
9 years ago
Thank you for all this warm words,
it's allways what we think, but nobody says it
but that's why also we have choosen this job or hobbies, because we can be proud of our own victory in face of the very complicated shot
9 years ago
Yeah.. That's very sad becouse it's what keeps you motivated, excited. I suppose it's like a bucked of freezing cold water. But you do have great ideas and do fantastic stuff so don't really worry about that. There's always someone there who'll appreciate it! Even if it is only one person..

9 years ago
That's the best tutorial ever^^
9 years ago
So what was it for prodeject? Was it something special? :-)
9 years ago
Wow superb lines Andrews, it gave me much more strength for my future works.

I promise myself that I ’ll be known as the guy that gets things done.

thnx Andrew, U really inspire people with ur gr8 Words & Knowledge.

I truly can say, I learned everything from you. U made me genius in AE.

Thnx Andrew for Everything.

Warm Regards
9 years ago

that was

nice tips...I am gonna be working on a little movie soon so this is probably gonna help me !!!
9 years ago
Andrew us VFX people are guilty of the same acts as our supervisors (namely producers).
Ever check out how we treat our tech support people.
Most times I am glad I can call them to rectify my computer when the peach ball of death appears. However I don't know if its just me, but I do try to figure out what went wrong and what they did to fix it. That way I become technically better at understanding the computer and how it integrates with m graphics program.
So maybe we technical creatives do stick together when we are in the trenches doing battle.
Peace out AK, cya on the next side.
9 years ago
9 years ago
supervisor sometimes be pain in the buttocks, all they need is their projuct to be done on time, they dont really care how you done it. But whatever work your working on, your good at it. Keep it up andrew.

To change the subject,

I stumble this new movie, i think.... I think they used your twitch plugins.
9 years ago
THIS WAS AN AMAZING STATEMENT! I have gone through the same stuff, but you really hit it home, I would LOVE to hear more stuff like this here on the site. I think your sharing of stories is just as important as the tutorials in the way of excelling in the VFX and film world. Thanks again for all you do, your crew is amazing as well as your commitment to helping us.

-James Cawley
in The Dark Studios
9 years ago
Andrew you have been an inspiration to all of us.Sharing your talent is too much .Your right about supervisor maybe one other reason your more talented than him and this shows insecurity on his part.Whatever he says or what he do your still a great man and we all appreciate what you have been doing .I see a true person inside you you've done great things god will reward you more than what you do .What you sow is what ou reap.
9 years ago

By: Olympia Logger,
Homeroom: Miss Wormwood

Forget the damned soap opera.

- The End -
citizzen x
9 years ago
A shot that was flipped?

I saw a shot like that at, for a movie called "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Is this it? If it isn't, I would bet that you could do it just as good. I have to say that everything I know about after effects, I've learned it from you. Thank you very much!

Hug from Lisbon, Portugal
9 years ago
In 25 years of editing I have had 2 memorable expressions of appreciation:
1. Building a commercial for a big time gambler in Vegas... at the end of the session he tipped me $200. Boy was I surprised!
2. A client last week brought me in a personalized gift basket for going above and beyond the call of duty. I was really touched by her expression of appreciation.
AND I am lucky to work for 2 sweet employers that always make a point of thanking me for my efforts.
9 years ago
Thats exactly how i feel :|
See you
Mishael Hernandez
9 years ago
Good Advice Andrew
9 years ago
Hey Andrew Lord and Master. I face that situation every other day. Good scenario.
Funny thing is a few weeks ago many people ignored my email I sent out urgently alerting the entire department to the quicktime update problem with version 7.4 that you are well aware of.
About a week later when 4 machines were locked up and unable to export renders out of AE. People referred to my email. As I have learned no one cares till you amaze them or there is a catastrophic problem.
To be in VFX you have to love those moments when you're alone and you have figure out an effect at 11pm.
Peace out Andrew.
9 years ago
"Basically the shot need to be flipped. We were all out of ideas when I though that we can change the x scale to -100

Problem solved."

You shoulda gotten a raise!
9 years ago
There are so many times when people want to ramble on about how they are going to do this or how they did that. You couldn't of said it better sir. They don't want to hear it, they just want it done. The only people who want to hear HOW you did something are other people who do the same thing. Another DP would probably loved to of listened to you explain how you got the shot to work. Other VFX artists come here to listen to you EXPLAIN how to do the things you show how to do on this site. A Supervisor just wants things done. They may even have a vision for how it should be and it's now your job to make the vision work. Doesn't matter how, just make it work. The key to your story and the lesson most of have learn working for years is just shut-up and do what you are getting paid to do.
9 years ago
While I have only been working for 6 months or so, I have experienced just that. I have on my desk, an article I cut out of The Wallstreet Journal all about how work goes unnoticed and should be accepted as accomplishments even if they were not recognized specifically. Also goes on about how people don't care so much about the quality of work as long as it gets done when it needs to which is something I need to work on as I try to make my work the best I can constantly.
9 years ago
great job! :)
Dustin James
9 years ago
Like you, I too work hard and want to explain my mind boggling discoveries. Also, when you spend so much time figuring and tweaking for hours and hours, and then you get a "Good job." and maybe a "That looks good."

I've learned as well, as long as I get a (positive) response, then I must be doing something right.

I think that our compositing/whatever maybe way to advanced for the average mortal Joe, unlike ourselves here at videocopilot.

PS. I'm tired of my computer marking VideoCopilot as a misspelled word! Is there a way that you can submit it as a real word? (Kidding, sort of.)
9 years ago
Hi, the worst clients are the ones who dont understand what it takes to do a shot, I do a lot of advertising photography and the worst phrase to hear is i would like a couple of snaps of this. I dont argue anymore just go and get the job done. Sometimes for fun I will hand them my camera on a shoot after setting it to default manual and ask them if they want a shot. Only one has refused but all have failed miserably and then I grab the camera and smile quickly set it back to custom take one shot and let them see the preview. The comment snaps soon turns to photographs. We are like street magicians everyone in the audience suspects they know how it is done but none can perform the trick.

That is half the fun, but being there with a team and producing something that makes someone smile and feel proud of their vision is something that nobody can take away from you.
9 years ago
Well, I get that too often.. Work not appreciated thingy and such.. but the fun part is you strive hard to learn more and eventually become, as what AK said, "MVP of VFX" yeah! I really love critcisms as long as they're very true but if they're too cruel on giving opinions even 8 out of 10 people have told it was good man! that would only mean either that person don't like you or worse jealous of you! haha!
9 years ago
Andrew...this site is a “GREAT JOB!”.:D
Zsolesz from Hungary!
9 years ago
that's true, being "a surety" always pays, and it's not just about being cool, but being an added value to the crew..thanks for sharing your thoughts, you're a good guy :)
Matt in MO.
9 years ago
Very true Andrew. I do videos for my church and I get some great ideas. I call up the Director of Worship Arts and tell him some of my great ideas, but when I cross beyond the line that he doesn't understand it anymore, he starts closing his ears and laughingly says "Geek Alert! Geek Alert!" So now I know I'm not the only one who is just told how its supposed to look in the end, no matter how I get it accomplished.

Great real-life example.
9 years ago
What a solution Andrew, you must be good at math
9 years ago
Great story! Thanks for telling it how it is. Clients are like this in every job, it seems. I did a knock-out (I thought) website for a lady and wrote her this email along the lines "It's up! It's done! Check it out!! Woo hoo!"

And she writes back, "Thanks."

I was actually a little heart broken until I realized the same thing you did: the client just wanted the job done.

Thanks, Andrew! Love you!
9 years ago
Basically the shot need to be flipped. We were all out of ideas when I though that we can change the x scale to -100

Problem solved.
Allen Ellis
9 years ago
You realize that now we're all curious what your brilliant solution was, right? ;)

Thanks for sharing - it's a good lesson, and something I think we overlook especially when we're younger.
Jason McKee
9 years ago
Exactly! I have always thought of it as... like a magician. Once a magician divulges the secret to the trick, the trick losses it's wonder. It's the same with VFX. If they can see how you have done the trick, then it's that much less cool.
9 years ago
Absolutly right, that´s exactly the way things happens. Im only 29 years old, I´ve been working in TV Ads for seven years and I´ve realized that works well done are NEVER recognized at least with a little, "wow, thats cool man", on the other hand whwn there is no complain you must learn that this is the recognition. A job well done has no complain!!!, a job with mistakes will be treated like a job not done.
Andrew, thank you very much for your website, all videocopilot team must be considered as VFX Gods!!!
and for the first time, in VFX artist world I must say.... CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!! GO GO GO !!!

Thanks, from Argentina, Seba
9 years ago
Don't try telling people in a forums how it was done without your employers permissions if you signed any paperwork.

but to the story I agree. Also are they hiring?
9 years ago
"what kind of shot was it?"

A very complicated one :)
nick hardy
9 years ago
i know exactly what you mean, i'm on a project right now creating opening/closing credits for a show (with some help from the newly purchased twitch) an dall i get from my bosses is "nice work" but i also know that in a few years of hard work i, and many other people who visit this site, should have an exciting career.

p.s. to the american viewers a little question. have you heard of a show that is sometimes refered to as BBX?
Jim Andrews
9 years ago
This story holds true in any job, not just VFX Media, and yes this story is Deja vu to me. :)

Thanks again Andrew for this Reminder of How The Working Stiffs Life Really is.
9 years ago
Hehe, funny story.
9 years ago
BTW I played a little bit with Twitch and I must Say that it is an Awesome plug in
it renders pretty fast and that's one of my favorite things about Twitch

In a score of 10 out of 0
Twitch scored : --------------------10/10

9 years ago
Hi Andrew,

great little story. I think it's one of those I needed these days; thank you!

9 years ago
so, what kind of shot was it?
9 years ago
Thats very true Andrew!
Even if your audience doesn't really notice the pain and effort your put into your effects, they WOULD notice if it wasn't there!
9 years ago
Well Andrew, I never posted on your blog, but I've been following your tutorials since the beginning.

After reading this, I just had to say: "Good Job!" - you deserve it.
Dean Doll
9 years ago
Usually supervisors are thinking about "how much is this costing me" as if it is personally coming out of their bank account.
9 years ago
I agree with that right thur! I put SOOOO much work into assignments grphicaly (when I can) and the teachers all say Jack and some other kid gets a better mark who didn't do anything on the criteria sheet! Geez, but all my friends know how much work i put in sooo, you're right Andrew, it all pays off in the end. Nice post, oh and I can't wait to get Twitch! WOOOHOOOO! It looks sooo cool!
9 years ago
i guess that is your life story?
9 years ago
nice theory-tutorial
9 years ago
It's funny you posted this- today we had a lecture at Uni where a guy who had been working in the industry came in as a guest lecturer and spoke of how often he finds his work to be a thankless task - I think the universe is trying to tell me something...!
Just Amit
9 years ago
interesting.... little did he know u would one day be a leader to many new VFX artist. but still a good point, results don't come with every step. thanks for the story and advice.
9 years ago
sweet stuff! Supervisors are creepy in a way. always standing behind you, gazing down upon you as you nervously do what you're told. It's pressure!
9 years ago
This is TRUE, very TRUE
9 years ago
that story turns in ny andrew kramer
9 years ago
Ha. Pretty true. No one cares how, just do it.
9 years ago
I know what you mean. I have had that happen to me a few times. So long as they "like" the shot and i get paid i don't care.
Morten Enoksen
9 years ago
nice story Andrew, I can feel the pain;)
9 years ago
Thats awesome....Congratulations!! I hope I can be "The guy that gets things done". :D:D
9 years ago
great job! :)
9 years ago
9 years ago
forgot to say.. thanks for this site Andrew IS JUST AWESOME"""... :D... I think now you are getting all the congrats you can take :D... Greeting from Mexico and sorry for my bad grammar and english :D
9 years ago
And the same thing happen when you are freelande and your clients recive wath you think is a great work... you never recieve a "GREAT JOB!".. but then they came back again and again.. then you know you do a good work .. and most important.. they will recomend you :D
9 years ago
Great little story Andrew - well put!