Category: MoChat

Introducing #mochat On Air (beta)

UPDATE: This #mochat topic has been rescheduled for September 2nd. New event page is now live.

Tonight on #mochat (9PM EDT, GMT-4), Brian Behm from Rooster Teeth will be walking through some projects… and helping us test something out.

Until now, #mochat has taken place entirely on Twitter. It’s an easy way for all of us to participate in the conversation from pretty much anywhere. Tonight we’re trying out an additional layer. We will broadcast a live Google Hangout along side the Twitter chat. Conversation and questions will still continue on Twitter like normal, but the guest will be showing off work and answering questions in the broadcast. A moderator will bring questions from Twitter to the attention of the guest.

This is the first time we are trying something like this, so expect hiccups. You can watch the live broadcast on the hangout event page, and participate in the usual way—your client of choice or a service like And feedback is always welcome. If this goes well, this might be a monthly event on the chats.


#mochat 94 – Anatomy of a Reel

For this week’s mochat, we talked reels! Particularly when starting out or going freelance, reels are likely the single most effective way to show clients what you can do. While it’s common to let them slip out of date when you’re full-time or otherwise occupied, it never hurts to keep your reel updated or give it a refresh between projects.

Some tips for updating your reel (or making your first!) —

  •  It’s okay to retime clips to fit the music. Energy is key.
  • Keep the length concise, not too short, not too long. It’s best to stick somewhere in the range of a minute to a minute and a half.
  • One thing to consider is whether you feel comfortable using unlicensed music vs. licensing or producing your own. There are a lot of quality resources for licensed music out there (one common recommendation is Killer Tracks). It’s also a good opportunity to lay down your own track if you’re so inclined.
  • Consider tailoring multiple reels to different types of clients. It can be effective to have a general reel for your web presence and tailored reels to submit to clients for different types of work.

Read on for the full transcript…

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#mochat 93 – Get Organized

On this installment of #mochat, we discussed getting organized—projects, files, layers, workspaces…  When asked, a lot of things that annoy other people were mis- or unlabeled layers and files, loose files in the project or system, or hidden layers that they need to get to. Some suggestions to keep organized:

  • Use a folder structure for your files and projects
  • Name layers/objects as you use them
  • Don’t label anything “final”

Read on for more tips & gripes about organization…

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#mochat 92 – Trends & Styles

On this week’s #Mochat, we talked trends and styles. Not everyone necessarily likes to follow trends, but it’s important to know what they are. Working for clients, you will probably be asked to work in one of those styles. And if not, it’s still important to know where the industry is so you can jump ahead. It’s also good to understand that trends and styles run in cycles, much like any fashion. Knowing the past will help you shape the future, and make you a better designer overall.

Some of the more recent trends include: cell animation aesthetic, hand keyframing, low poly, pastels, and pretty much everything in “Shit Showreels Say”.

Read on for the full transcript from the chat to see more trends past and future, a philosophical discussion of GIFs, and some guesses on future trends.

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#mochat 91 – Nuke

Many of us primarily work in After Effects, but for composting, Nuke is a really powerful option. This week on #mochat, @qsjcraig answers questions about Nuke and provides some perspective on why it works for him over other tools.

The main difference many notice in Nuke right away is that it uses a node-based interface instead of layers. This gives you the option of passing the output (or channels or individual channels) to multiple other nodes or or sending some outputs to one node and others to another. Another big advantage is being able to use 3D geometry directly inside of Nuke. It has a true 3D space to composite inside of.

Read on for the full transcript and more knowledge…

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#mochat 90 – Concepting

All ideas start somewhere. For this installment of #mochat, we talk about concepting. People get their ideas from all over the place. But there’s different things you can do to help get those ideas flowing and capture them. One of the big things people mention is getting away from the computer… use pen or pencil and paper, take a walk, look for patterns and shapes in the physical space around you. But digital tools like Pinterest can also be useful to grab and organize inspiration.

There’s a lot of good tips and knowledge in this chat. Read on for the full transcript…

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#mochat 89 – Particles

Particulae, X-Particles, Krakatoa… there’s lots of different particle systems out there.  For this #mochat, we discuss different particle systems, uses and examples, where to learn, and what we’d like to see in plugins/systems. And at the end of the chat, @AndreKrat won a one month premium Lynda membership!

Read on for the full transcript of the chat.

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#mochat 88 – After Effects 13.0

Last week, Adobe released version 13 of After Effects as part of the Creative Cloud 2014 update. This week on #mochat, several members from the After Effects team at Adobe joined us to answer questions about the update. For a lengthy description of what’s new and changed, see Todd Kopriva’s extensive writeup on the After Effects blog.

Some of the top features called out in the chat are:

  • Effect Masks/Compositing – Opacity settings and masks per effect (even third party). Combined with the mask tracker, this is a pretty powerful feature.
  • Editable Text Templates for Premiere Pro – Unlocked text layers are editable in Premiere Pro through Dynamic Link. More on AE/Premiere Pro integration. And with expressions, editable text templates can provide some unexpected functionality.
  • New Curves UI/Functions – Larger UI in three sizes, new auto-settings. The new UI is the result of feature requests (so make sure you submit yours). The new auto settings are the result of user research.
  • HTML5 Panels – New UI panels built around HTML and Javascript. ExtendScript is still used for control over AE. SDK and more info is available at the Adobe Developer Connection.

When upgrading, it’s pretty easy to migrate settings, plugins, and scripts. Very few changes were made to the plugin architecture. The only notable incompatibility seems to be Element 3D.

A few interesting tidbits arose during the chat. The most notable might be that the raytrace renderer is EOL. 3D efforts will be instead focussed on Cinema 4D and supporting 3D plugins. No major changes to Cineware were made in this release. Also, pseudo/custom effects are not actually supported by Adobe. Though there’s a lot of interest on the user side of officially implementing something like this. Lastly background rendering can be accomplished in Adobe Media Encoder, which now supports 32-bit and alpha channels. It still does not support color management, but a workaround is to use an adjustment layer with Color Profile Converter inside of AE.

And direct from Adobe, these are the sites to keep an eye on: After Effects Blog, After Effects Forum, After Effects FAQ, and of course the Feature Request Form.

Read on for the full transcript of the chat.

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