What have I been up to?

I was just responding to a few comment about what I’ve been up to and so I thought I would make a post about it as well to demystify my life… or something like it.

Here are some of my responses below.

Hey! OK, it is true, I have not been able to make as many tutorials lately but I really want to be more active! The truth is they require a lot of work and I always want to show people cool NEW things so it’s not a matter of just throwing one together cause it is Monday. I make them because I love to share cool tips and techniques that I’ve learned or that inspire me. That is why I also make occasional blog videos because I get excited about something new and we just make it!

The other thing some people may not know is that I do professional work for TV and Film as well I just can’t talk about it until it is released. Just in the past year I have done several Title sequences for TV Shows like Fringe, Person of Interest and the film Super 8. I also do a Visual Effects work on these shows as well as Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. On the film Super 8 I personally did over 100 VFX shots… now that was crazy!! But I loved it.

I also designed and created the FX for a fun iPhone App called Action Movie FX that let’s people add cool visual effects to there video like a missile exploding or car flipping. Designing visual effects was a major challenge since they have to work for everybody and look pretty good still. We built some amazing technology that has been really fun and well received.

I also have my family which is kinda the best thing ever. My wife and I have 2 girls and a boy on the way (any day now!). It’s fun and our oldest (4yrs) spends a lot of time drawing stuff and we have this activity where I give her something to draw like a “jungle gym play set”. Then she says ‘that’s too hard’ and I say, start with the slide. ‘OK, no problem’, then make the ladder and then the monkey bars etc. She has become much less afraid of bigger things as well. I literally work the same way, when you see an amazing visual effects shot that has tons of 3D and layers, it can be overwhelming but if you break it down and do it little by little it is much more manageable. Now when I’m not with my kids, I think “it’s pretty quiet, they must be getting into something!”

In addition over the past year we have been working on Element 3D along with several other plug-ins that we think are ground breaking and innovative. I’m passionate about pushing things to the next level. I realized that I don’t like to do things half-baked… it’s kind of a curse sometimes but I want things to be amazing and not just pretty good. Which leads me to this idea…

It seems creatively that the better you get at something the longer it takes to do it. That may not make sense at first but trust me it is! When you know better, you can’t ignore mistakes, your attention to detail goes off the charts and even when you learn to do something faster you pay attention to other details and it ends up taking longer. What is going on!! I definitely could explore this idea further another time because it blows my mind!

I think the natural place for Video Copilot as we see in the movies and motion design community is more 3D but hopefully inside of After Effects. 3D opens up a lot of new places we haven’t explored (intentionally) that will soon be possible with Element and ideally bridge the world of 3D without the steep learning curve you have with traditional 3D programs. 3D has always been regarded as too complicated or out reach but with Element we’re making it much more attainable.

All in all, It’s a balance, and not always a perfect one. I think it’s important for me to keep one foot in the professional ring so that I can continue to push my knowledge and learn new things and hopefully that will translate into tutorials, plug-in, etc. After Element is released I’m going to have a lot more time to develop tutorials keep the energy going so I look forward to that!

The other thing I dare say is that if anyone feels that they are being held back on learning something because I haven’t made a tutorial lately, I would say don’t let that stop you! There are many great ways to get better as an artist and they don’t necessarily require you to know all the shortcuts and buttons in a program. They come from experience and DIVERSITY! For examples, learning to shoot with cameras and lenses may not seem directly related to After Effects but if you become proficient with shooting it will actually make you a better compositor. You’ll know how cameras are supposed to work, how light works, colors and even how the camera moves so you can recreate it more realistically.

I look for inspiration everywhere because you never know what might inspire your next project.


5 years ago
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