What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Discuss serious business and industry topics

What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Engine on 08/6/2008, 5:00 am

(@ the mods: if I'm in the wrong section I apologize :))

Hi guys.
First of all I would like to introduce myself :). I came from Italy, I'm 17 years old and I work (and still study at school) since I was 13. I started as a web programmer (most PHP) and today I'm a Web Designer and a Visual Effect Artist. I've worked with several companies (including Disney products) and Video Copilot was a great source of Inspiration and help for many of my works. I personally love Video Copilot and I think it's the real, biggest, source of informations and tutorials for After Effects.

In the past few months I've noticed a thing that is some kind of irritating. I'm starting seeing Videocopilot everywhere! I saw commercials in locals Cinemas done copying VC tutorials. Commercials on TV and tons of Visual Effects Artist wannabees that have just made the VC tutorials for their showreel.

So I've started to convincing myself that anybody can be a Visual Effect Artist because he can follow every step of a tutorial and then sell that work. That's kind of annoying because many persons think that they can do just what VideoCopilot did and starts to plan their works with this mentality. Example:
<<So I need a promo for this new cell phone so I'm gonna use the Energy tutorial, the Plate tutorial and maybe some Music Waveform>>.
This only creates a tons of clones.
I think instead that VC should be a source of inspiration not a source of things to copy and paste together.
I invite the newcomers to start experimenting with the stuff they learned not just copying. I've personally never did the exact same thing that I saw in the tutorial since I've never did a video that was following a specific tutorial. Instead I watch the video and learn something that I didn't know that was existing or possible. And then with that knownledge I start doing my project. Infact expecially the newest tutorials are some kind of "already seen" for me because I already know how to use Particular or how to cast shadows because I saw the previous tutorials, learned, and then experimented a lot.

This post is some kind of advice for all the newcomers to this job to not copy, just learn. Treat VideoCopilot as a Teaching Class and use just the concepts you've learned. I think that after tons of tutorials, you should know how to do a "frost breath" by yourself without watching the tutorial.

So again, thank you Andrew Kramer for this incredible website and I hope this advice will be usefull.

P.S. I'm sorry for my bad english but as you can see from the profile I'm Italian :)
Engine
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 08/2/2008, 11:50 am
Location: Ravenna - Italy

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby europa on 08/6/2008, 5:03 am

Welcome here, Engine.

Yeah, everyone's got this feeling, here :p
Alessandro De Micheli / Video Editor / VFX / Motion Graphics / I/T and security
obiettiva produzioni - Rome, Italy / http://www.obiettiva.it
Not dead yet.
europa
VC Moderator
VC Moderator
 
Posts: 440
Joined: 08/2/2008, 4:06 am
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Netsmith on 08/6/2008, 5:08 am

Yes we all wish we were the only ones that knew about VCP ;)
Web development, Photoshop, Nikon D300, Illustrator, Cinema4d, After Effects - In order of experience.
Netsmith
 
Posts: 89
Joined: 08/1/2008, 11:48 pm
Location: UK

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby zStudio on 08/6/2008, 5:13 am

wow i got through it all :lol: lots of text :P nah just kidding....

i agree what you are saying. im sick of seeing videos from videocopilot tutorials. i mean... when some kid just follow the tutorial to the point then post it on youtube trying to make it look like its his work. it drives me crazy. well anyway without all these tutorials i wouldnt know half the stuff i know now about after effects so thank you ANDREW!!! :P
Z-Studio
- Break The Limit
zStudio
 
Posts: 81
Joined: 08/1/2008, 6:12 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby J_a_n on 08/6/2008, 6:23 am

Yes. Look at youtube and you´ll see plenty of vcp-tutorials.
Not really creative IMO.
I have used some tutorials to, but most for personal learning...
But if you´ve seen like the energy tutorial...posted on this forum, with the jet-plane you´ll more close in making original FX than just follow step by step and think you made it.
well, learning by tutorials and master AE without being a vcp-copycat is what I think it´s about.
Then again, like youtube has proven, "demon-face tutorial" is alot of fun too! :)
J_a_n
 
Posts: 59
Joined: 08/2/2008, 1:38 am
Location: Sweden

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Dawg69 on 08/6/2008, 7:17 am

Well let me introduce myself. I grew up in United States and I am 50 yrs old retired from Police after 25 years. After retirement I came upon Video Co Pilot since I enjoyed making things with Photoshop and realized how cool it would be to learn the visual graphics and visual effects. I purchased adobe after effects Prem package and all products from VC with intentions on opening my own business someday. Well at first when I opened after effects I said to myself I would never learn this stuff because program is so intimidating. Without Andrew sharing his knowledge I would still be staring at the program. Not all can pay $30,000 to $70,000 to go to college to learn Visual effects and I am so grateful that Andrew shares what he learned and not keep it to himself like some.

Well everyone has to start some where and being able to do a tutorial is a starting point and so what if they appear on you tube there is a place to show the effort. You might see alot of VC on TV, well whats that say, VCP business has something going on and I my hats off to VCP Business.

By the way everyone is trying to learn the program and lets not knock them for trying to doing to the effects. I am sure you benefited from VCP tutorials. There will be plenty of work out there and I thank ANDREW KRAMER for sharing !!!

my closing, just because people make a effect from tutorial it is a learning process and eventually there own designs will come out from the techniques. I am sure that they are not going to steal ur client. Video Co Pilot keep up the good work and make plenty OF $$$$ in the VSFX world.
Dawg69
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 08/1/2008, 11:48 pm

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Jinks on 08/6/2008, 9:05 am

I agree with Dawg69. First of all I don't think everyone is trying to become a full-time vfx artist or even earn a living out of it. Personally I'm just an enthuisiast and serious hobbyist with part time gigs on the side in videography. Thanks to VCP I was able to download a trial version of AE and after only three days of using it I realized some of the effects were missing in the demo version which prompted me to purchase the full AE CS3, followed by a few VCP products. All this is due to Andrew Krammer's genorisity to share his knowdledge with the rest of us. IMO it's a full circle... Adobe is happy, VCP is happy, I'm a happy customer for both sites and I see no reason why someone else would complain about these tut's being duplicated when the owner is not complaining yet.
Go Andrew Krammer, may you be rewarded abundantly for all that you do!!
Jinks
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 08/4/2008, 1:20 pm

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby De Huzz on 08/6/2008, 10:50 am

Yeah fully agree.. especially if it is high budget tv stations or productions! its just cheap to copy without inventing..

this is also being already discussed at the Inspiration forum with title "I Smell Videocopilot, Do You?", i posted there!
De Huzz
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 08/1/2008, 6:18 pm

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby LifeType on 08/6/2008, 11:04 am

De Huzz wrote:this is also being already discussed at the Inspiration forum with title "I Smell Videocopilot, Do You?", i posted there!

its also posted here :)
LifeType
 
Posts: 640
Joined: 08/1/2008, 6:09 pm
Location: Southern Cali

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby 40mm on 08/6/2008, 11:22 am

Engine wrote:I've personally never did the exact same thing that I saw in the tutorial since I've never did a video that was following a specific tutorial. Instead I watch the video and learn something that I didn't know that was existing or possible. And then with that knownledge I start doing my project.


You've hit on the head perfectly what AK tries to get across in every tutorial.

Keep working hard Engine, you'll soon stand out from the "cut n pasters"
40mm
 
Posts: 62
Joined: 08/6/2008, 11:08 am

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby PeXoN on 08/6/2008, 11:28 am

If all of you are such a good vfx artist, than you'll do much batter than the one that copy vcp tutorials! So...live and let live!
PeXoN
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 08/2/2008, 3:36 am
Location: Serbia

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby JohnnyB on 08/6/2008, 11:29 am

I actually saw a job posting on Craigslist the other day from a company here in Los Angeles looking for an After Effects artist like Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot. I mean wow, people are actually putting his name in Job listings. They were looking for people that could do Video Copilot stuff.
I started out here in LA as an Audio Post guy and because of Video Copilot my job turned from Audio work to After Effects work. Yeah you can see some Andrew Kramer in my stuff. You can also see a bit of my music teacher's influence in my Music. Students learn from their teachers and take the next step on their own.
Last edited by JohnnyB on 08/6/2008, 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
JohnnyB
 
Posts: 20
Joined: 08/2/2008, 10:25 am
Location: Los Angeles CA

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby europa on 08/6/2008, 11:29 am

The great thing about Andrew Kramer / Video Copilot is that you do not learn how to shot someone with a prop gun and some cool effects, you learn compositing; what's being done in the tutes is just a way to apply many techniques that lie inside them.

@Dawg69: Heh, I, too, thought about Andrew doing this for free and it seemed a bit out of the norm, to me. I thought he was just your average AE user doing this primarily as an exercise, but time proved me wrong. I wouldn't know what I know about VFX if it wasn't for him and the Video Copilot team. He's also responsible for what, months later, became my job.
Alessandro De Micheli / Video Editor / VFX / Motion Graphics / I/T and security
obiettiva produzioni - Rome, Italy / http://www.obiettiva.it
Not dead yet.
europa
VC Moderator
VC Moderator
 
Posts: 440
Joined: 08/2/2008, 4:06 am
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby JaysonX on 08/6/2008, 11:44 am

I got Evolution as a gift and have yet to use the elements in commercial work, always and only just for practice sake. I have seen the tutorials on this site replicated and sold to clients around the country that I work especially when the client decides to have outside graphics and animations brought in. It pains me so bad to tell the client that they just paid a ton of money for a free template, or easily reproduced work. I may not be the best in my field but I will never stoop to the level of forgery. I'm grateful for Andrew as I was a bit timid to venture into AE before his great tutorials. Kudos to your post Engine.
JaysonX
 
Posts: 44
Joined: 08/2/2008, 11:30 am

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby wtf.cakes on 08/6/2008, 12:08 pm

I also get a little annoyed when I see stuff straight ripped from here, or anywhere for that matter. I find it happens a lot in audio production too. I've lost count of the number of times I've recognized a sound/beat from a sample CD. Nearly always the "producer" didn't even both to change the sound. I think we've all spotted a default particular preset in a crappy intro. I even spotted the default particular fire preset rendered as an flv and being sold on a flash stock site. The guy had sold over 50 copies of it.

Please don't get me wrong. The issue I have (and I think the original poster) is with the lack of originality, rather than the usage of VCP resources. Personally I couldn't look at myself in the mirror in the morning if I knew I had straight copied something. I watch the tutorials and pull techniques from it rather than try and copy the video itself.
wtf.cakes
 
Posts: 101
Joined: 08/1/2008, 8:18 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby JaysonX on 08/6/2008, 12:30 pm

That's just it, around here they clone it with no hint of change or creative additive. Thats what really annoys.
JaysonX
 
Posts: 44
Joined: 08/2/2008, 11:30 am

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Dave on 08/6/2008, 12:37 pm

you learn something from a vc tutorial, your film or video has a scene that needs one of the tutorial effects and you use it, even customizing t to be your own. What annoys me is you have a 20-30 minute film and the only comment you get is "ooh thats from video copilot" or the classical "You stole that from andrew kramer."

I mean, how the hell is it stealing when he openly shows you how to do it and even gives you the example files. Its borrowed, and you have to remember that a lot of the effects are not completely original to video copilot. for example

Healer - charmed, species, the crow
Facial bug displacement - The mummy, Matrix
The Bullet - Matrix and a whole load of other overused bullet time films
Blood cell tutorial - House, CSI

So if I "Steal" an effect from andrew, does that not also mean he "stole" the effect from major hollywood films?

I just wish people on youtube would just shut up whenever you use an effect that may be from or similer to tuts from VC

I even got some idiot saying I stole the planet explosion video from here, even though my video was made in 3ds max and posted months before anrew brought his out.
http://www.video-fx-universe.com

Website, tutorials, forum
Dave
 
Posts: 145
Joined: 08/2/2008, 1:52 am

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby bwoogie on 08/6/2008, 1:10 pm

I'll admit to using the ideas from the tutorials for some of my stuff... but NEVER for a commercial project. But then again, I've never worked on a commercial project :p
The reset button was my idea.
bwoogie
VC Moderator
VC Moderator
 
Posts: 2129
Joined: 08/1/2008, 7:30 pm
Location: Wichita, KS
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bwoogie

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby galvanisedoil on 08/6/2008, 1:26 pm

My issue is when it is a direct copy of the tutorial, or it is shown in a way that the user is making it look like it was all their own work.
This site is awesome for people that want to come and learn new and amazing After Effects but with everyone using this stuff in their work it's a little bit like what happened the lens flare when it came out in the 90's. Everyone was using it and everyone could tell that it was a lens flare effect and after that it became a little bit of a taboo thing to do in VFX.
I think these tutorials are an awesome starting point and Andrew always says to take this effect and push it to the next level.
What I would like to see (and this is more for production work not just self learning stuff) is for anyone that wants to use one of these effects is to take it and make it your own. Change it up a little. Put a little more effort into it and try and make it look as original as possible
galvanisedoil
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 08/1/2008, 6:30 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Ramzes on 08/6/2008, 1:34 pm

I have seen some stuff from VCP on Eurovision.
Ramzes
 
Posts: 40
Joined: 08/6/2008, 2:51 am
Location: Piwniczna Poland

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Dave on 08/6/2008, 1:34 pm

speaking of overdone you say its lens flares, nowadays its bullet time or slo motion camera angles at heros who strut through streets looking all hard and cool. That seems to be the thing of 2000
http://www.video-fx-universe.com

Website, tutorials, forum
Dave
 
Posts: 145
Joined: 08/2/2008, 1:52 am

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Some Guy on 08/6/2008, 1:35 pm

I think it's cool to see VC stuff on TV. I feel kind of proud when I see some Evolution or Riot Gear on TV knowing that I am part of this great community. But when I see people just rendering Andrew's project files and uploading it to YouTube (or even once I saw somebody using Andrew's footage from Basic Training Series in their reel) it is really bad. It doesn't annoy me, it's more like the people doesn't get what Andrew is trying to teach. When I watch his tutorials I'm thinking "What else can I create with this technique? Where can I use it?" and not just copying the same effect with my own footage. I don't think it's bad to just copy, I think it is a lack of creativity and those people shouldn't work with After Effects. Because this is art. And if you are not an artist you better sell vacuum cleaners...
I mean even if they get a job with their reels full of VC project renders, I think their own work will look like crap, because, like Andrew would say, they don't bring it to the next level.
Peace out and sorry for the long post.
Some Guy
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 08/2/2008, 3:33 am
Location: mostly Germany

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby Dawg69 on 08/6/2008, 2:51 pm

The point I am trying to make for someone that can't pay big bucks for a college on Visual Effects. Trying to learn the program without anyone showing how things are done, Video Copilot, Arron Rabinowitz, Eran Stern, Maltannon etc.It would be a waist of time and frustrating for many to learn.Visual Effects would be a one man ban waggon. The ones that had the college and were good would be a high demand in the job market. What I seen from Andrew he is self taught and showed everyone that it does not take the big college to be good at Visual Effects and you are able to make it in the industry. At times I feel he has photographic memory how fast he is and his knowledge of everything.

What I like about Video Copilot and the others that are that they are willing to share what they have learned to help out the people to do this kind of work without going to them top dollar colleges.

Do I agree with someone taking a tutorial and putting their pictures in the project file and passing it off as their work.....answer is No!! When I try the effect I use the tutorial as a guide and it always turns out little differant unless you copy all the settings .The tutorials show you how to do the technique as you would learn in one of the colleges. So if I use someone getting hit by a car and follow technique how to achieve this following steps of a tutorial is that copying Video Copilot ......my opinion it is not. The one thing it does show me that people that have a desire to learn the visual effects can do it . Lets face it there are so many steps in alot of effects which some one not knowing the program in and out could not do. So the tutorials lead you in the right direction and should not be critized if some one uses an effect so long as they put their own effort into to it and not just copy it.

Well I appreciate that all the artist that share their skills and knowledge to do effects so that you don't have to go to them big dollar schools and have a chance to make it in the industry. I will say after trying these tutorials after effects is not as intimidating and is alot of fun. Who knows maybe some day I to can make some money but, for now I will keep learning.

So my hats off to the Artist that help others out!

Little side note: What I learned in my years in my line of work keep what you learned to yourself to ensure job security. I am sure what your taught with all these free tutorials is just the tip of an ice berg on what is needed to make it on your own in the industry At least it helps those to get started.

So with help of tips and tutorials every one has a chance to make visual effects with time and effort into it to come up with your own amazing results. Keep Rockin On Video Copilot and others willing to share the knowledge of Visual Effects.

dawg69
Dawg69
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 08/1/2008, 11:48 pm

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby galvanisedoil on 08/6/2008, 3:26 pm

Maybe I wasn't as clear in my last post. It is definitely fine to do Andrews tutorials as they are to learn. There is no better way to learn than to do the tutorials.
The point that I was trying to make was that you shouldn't stop there. Instead of making some footage of a guy getting hit by a car try something a little different. Use the same skills that have been learnt. In this case Andrew taught us how to use 2 different plates to create a clip. There was so rotoscoping and other stuff in there as well. Take those skills that you learnt and make something new. As well as feeling awesome that you made something original you were also learn alot faster and have a deeper understanding of After Effects.
I agree with what you are saying about this site been awesome for people that don't want to/can't afford to go to an expensive skill. Just remember that what Andrew is teaching us is an understanding of the processes used in After Effects and we need to take them and create our own effects.
That's how I've always looked at this site :D
galvanisedoil
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 08/1/2008, 6:30 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: What I love (and hate) most of VideoCopilot

Postby wtf.cakes on 08/6/2008, 3:30 pm

galvanisedoil wrote:Take those skills that you learnt and make something new. As well as feeling awesome that you made something original you were also learn alot faster and have a deeper understanding of After Effects.

And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the key to this issue.
wtf.cakes
 
Posts: 101
Joined: 08/1/2008, 8:18 pm
Location: Montreal

Next

Return to The Industry