Getting stuck in a 'rut'

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Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby unreal on 11/11/2008, 4:27 am

Not sure which forum this should be posted in but this seems as good as any.

Basically starting a thread as I constantly find myself using the same effects, colour, transitions over and over. I'm becoming transient in my approaches. Bland. Even boring.

Even when I find the 'courage' to break my mould I am only happy with the outcome for a short amount of time. Upon viewing the result a day or two later I look on it with distaste and usually reverb to my 'norm'.

Sites like this are great to help show the purity of other effects and looks, however, I do like to do 'my own thing' and stray from Andrew's ideas (I would assume this is the idea he himself was looking for members to do also). Having strayed I find myself then repeating my third paragraph.

For a horrible example....

I'll do a text intro. Make it look nice. Some nice camera animation,etc etc. Then invariably I'll think (a few days later); "Oh a wiggle expression and a glow effect with possibly a vignette will really make this 'pop'". No, no it doesn't. It is just what I usually do.

What am I posing here? Well I'm sure the proverbial 'hitting the creative wall' is common (in fact I know it is, hence why there is a phrase for it) so how do we/you break that mould and convince your brain to leave overused effects in the pallete and venture outside your comfort zones? Sure inspiration videos are a great start, however, I find two things by doing this...

1. Trying to re-create it I otften find myself in over my head and disband the option and then refer to paragraph 3.

2. I actually re-create it somewhat and then try to make it my own, you guessed it, by referring to paragraph 3.

See a trend?

Explain yours and some real life "work arounds". :)
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby Paul MCgrade on 11/11/2008, 6:29 am

Wow, you really hit the nail on the head for me! This is exactly my problem.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby Glacier on 11/11/2008, 7:01 am

It's very easy to get stuck in a rut. Don't beat yourself up about it. It happens to nearly all of us. Sometimes you feel like you're working in a sausage factory - but it could be worse - you could be working in a real sausage factory.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby codemonkey123 on 11/11/2008, 7:04 am

Glacier wrote:but it could be worse - you could be working in a real sausage factory.


Agreed, boring meatings, feeling stuffed in your job. Little chance of spicing it up.....

Ok I`m done....

:)
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby TomS on 11/11/2008, 7:47 am

Hey Unreal,
First of all, I can really relate to what you say. Second of all, it's not your fault. It's your brain's...

You see, the brain is a lazy organ. Look at it like a complicated patch rack with a gazillion connections made between contact points. If a certain combination of these connections works (for example, you create something 'good'), your brain doesn't bother rerouting the entire thing. And why should it? Why change a winning team?

I think it's a good thing that you try different things. Big chance that those 'new' things are as pretty as your old creations, but they're not the same, which 'annoys' you brain. Your brain wants to do the same things the same way, it doesn't want to learn new things (make new connections).

So does this make you a mindless slave of a few pounds of squishy stuff in your head? Luckily not. I think the solution is to keep making different styles etc., and then letting someone else take a look at it. Be it a colleague, your neighbour, the girl you often see at the grocery store, it doesn't matter. Let them tell what they think about your new work. Let some other brains decide if it's nice or not. You'll still have a big amount of errr-I-don't-know..., but after a while, you will convince yourself that your new approach works as well.

Keep in mind though that it's not a bad thing to have your own style. I think it's even necessary. The problem is that you have to find a balance between sticking to what you're good in and being a copy-cat.

Good luck, and
Keep (re-)inventing!
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby 40mm on 11/11/2008, 8:14 am

codemonkey123 wrote:
Glacier wrote:but it could be worse - you could be working in a real sausage factory.


Agreed, boring meatings, feeling stuffed in your job. Little chance of spicing it up.....

Ok I`m done....

:)


Agreed, I'm forever getting a good grilling from the boss, alway out the frying pan into the fire. Not even any saucy secretaries.....

Ok I'm done....

:)
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby codemonkey123 on 11/11/2008, 8:46 am

40mm wrote:Agreed, I'm forever getting a good grilling from the boss, alway out the frying pan into the fire. Not even any saucy secretaries.....

Ok I'm done....

:)


Hey lets not get into a sausage joke war, I have no beef with you... ;-)

Ok thats it I really am done...
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby 40mm on 11/11/2008, 9:15 am

Hey unreal
http://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/0446691437
Train your brain to think different...
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby jamesthiago on 11/11/2008, 10:10 am

With after effects if you want to monkey around with new ideas there is that 'brainstorm' feature (http://blogs.adobe.com/genesisproject/2007/04/after_effects_cs3_brainstorm.html). That could help explore new avenues.

I have similar issues with sometimes losing sight of what looks good on my projects and what to do to improve them. That is when I should go for a walk and come back to see it with fresh eyes, yet i don't and that is when the project just goes to sh. But my deal i think is that i don't work on specific projects, so i start out with a disadvantage of not having a problem to solve.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby phastraq on 11/11/2008, 10:51 am

I sometimes fall into this trap with everything I create but I have found a solution that works for me.

Like one person said, it's your brain that resists change because it thinks that your new work doesn't compare to your old work. That's normal but many years in the graphics industry has taught me that my first attempt is usually "good enough" for the customer. That's why I call it the "good enough" theory.

As an artist you will always want to do the best you can but you need to learn that it's not always neccessary. Once you come to that conclusion then you will be more than happy going outside your comfort zone and if it doesn't live up to your previous standard then at least it's "good enough".

I always have a mental image in my mind of what I want the final work to look like. Once I think I am close enough that other people can see that image too then I have achieved my objective. You will always see things to 'fix' but the very act of fixing it is one of the things that you will regret you haven't fixed so just keep telling yourself that it's good enough and let someone else tell you if they think it can be better.

And don't worry, if it really sucks you will always be able to improve it :D
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby Edd Black on 11/11/2008, 10:55 am

unreal wrote:Not sure which forum this should be posted in but this seems as good as any.


These type of threads are the perfect example of why this community needs a "GENERAL" section of the forums.

On a side note, it will also cut down on miscategorized postings.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby Paul MCgrade on 11/13/2008, 6:24 pm

I wish Andrew would respond to this thread and tell us how he doesn't get stuck in a rut or if he does and what he does about it.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby Andrew Kramer on 11/13/2008, 7:22 pm

What I do sometimes is start something backwards or change the scenery where I work. Go outside, go to places you don't want to go and watch things that are different and unexpected. It will change your process up and make you work creatively and not mechanically.

If you start backwards or from an unexpected source it forces your to think differently. Kind of like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. It's harder because you won't be working from memory.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby Ben Wotton on 11/13/2008, 10:10 pm

Andrew Kramer wrote:Kind of like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand


Yeah that's weird aye...

But seriously great tips Andrew
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http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5171540/
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby Glacier on 11/14/2008, 5:12 am

Holding the toilet paper in the opposite hand is not only harder but more dangerous, so if you're going to come at a project from a different angle, choose wisely or things could get sticky.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby narenn on 06/16/2009, 9:22 pm

Glacier wrote:Holding the toilet paper in the opposite hand is not only harder but more dangerous, so if you're going to come at a project from a different angle, choose wisely or things could get sticky.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

That just made my day.
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Re: Getting stuck in a 'rut'

Postby unreal on 06/22/2009, 10:58 pm

Love it lol!

Basically did what you said you did Andrew. Just took a break from it all (okay 4 weeks is a bit of a break). Went on a holiday and chilled etc. It's refreshing having come back with a brand new look on things. For example I have always arranged my work into folders categorized by month/year. After having done a few things for the past few weeks I'm amazed at how much my 'style' has changed when looking at the work from, say, 2001-2008 (all the same to a point) and the difference I have had in the past few weeks.

I know a trip isn't always going to solve a brain fade and it's not always possible. However, I'm sure when I hit the proverbial wall again I'll be sure to take it elsewhere for a bit and release my brain.

I have actually started asking my 4 year old nephew for advice. Starnge but true. Whenever I get a job to do, I go to him and tell him the topic, give him a pen and watch what he draws. Then I work with that untill I'm happy. The results are suprising.
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