Tag: tips

#mochat 76 – NAB Survival Tips

This week on #mochat, we talked about surviving NAB with co-host Toolfarm, who also has their own page of extensive tips. Kylee Wall also shared her article on Creative COW for thriving at NAB. At the end of the chat, we were able to give away 5 Toolfarm t-shirts to @Motionworks, @qsjcraig, @steveHardawa, y@kyl33t, and @EllsDynamic. @FakeGreenDress was the lucky winner of a $100 Toolfarm.

Here are just some of the tips shared during the chat.

  • Monorail is your friend
  • Wear comfy shoes
  • Bring a water bottle with filter
  • Coffee lines will be really long—bring your own caffeine if you can
  • There’s a little grocery store behind the Flamingo—get snacks there
  • Cuban & Dominican places across form Sahara are cheap & good
  • WiFi & Cell service might be scarce
  • List of free WiFi hotspots
  • Bring a portable charger along with a wall charger
  • Bring a power strip & make friends
  • Be sure to visit to small booths
  • Don’t commit to too many events
  • Wear something with your Twitter handle
  • Meet people… lots and lots of people

Read on for the complete transcript…

– Read More –

MoChat 21 Transcript & Summary

Last night on #MoChat we talked about the business side of freelance. Some good questions were raised, as well as good tips:

  • Be weary of clients asking for pitches. If it’s necessary, put in the minimal amount of time you’re comfortable losing.
  • If moonlighting, make sure clients are completely clear about your schedule ahead of time.
  • Save up cash, especially when starting out. Paychecks are sporadic.
  • Work out payment schedules with clients. If they’re late, find out why and react accordingly.
  • Set aside some percentage of your paychecks for quarterly estimated taxes.
  • Insurance is expensive, but there’s some major changes coming with the Affordable Care Act.
  • Check the Freelancers Union.
  • Accountants can be a huge help. As can lawyers, but maybe less frequently.
  • Prioritize. You don’t need to be working 24/7.

[learn_more caption=”Transcript”]

Welcome to #mochat everyone! Tonight we’re talking the business end of freelance.8:59 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

To start things off, what are some of your concerns as a freelancer? #mochat9:00 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

competing on price against folks who live outside US. #mochat9:01 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

My concerns are on becoming a part-time freelancer but honestly is there such a thing? #mochat9:02 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

my concern with being a freelancer, if I did it exclusively, would be knowing when the next job is coming in. #mochat9:03 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

There is as long as clients are clear that you’ll be mostly unavailable 9-5. #mochat9:03 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

My biggest concern right now is how to stop thinking of income the same way as a fulltime gig. #mochat9:03 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

that sounds like moonlighting. One way to get your feet wet #mochat9:04 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

you can’t just do great work. You can’t win the race to the bottom #mochat9:04 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

If you can, live as frugally as possible and hoard cash until you have a decent buffer. Then pay yourself. #mochat9:04 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

true dat I need to get my feet wet… 8) #mochat9:05 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

You also have an advantage in that you live in the culture you’re helping to create. You can’t offshore that. #mochat9:05 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

the offshore thing is above our control, focus on being great here. #mochat9:06 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Yeah, there comes a time when the buffer is big enough you just stop being worried. #mochat9:06 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

the cost of insurance was one of the big factors that deterred me and family from going full time freelance #mochat9:07 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

It can just take a while. #mochat9:07 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I’d go as far to say, you don’t want to work for companies who send work offshore. They are hurting us all. #mochat9:07 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Insurance is a big issue for a lot of freelancers. How many of you are doing without? Do you have a family? #mochat9:08 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

How much do people hate calling tech support? Language barriers aren’t always worth it #mochat9:08 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I hear that. Would love to hear what freelancers with and without families do for healthcare. #mochat9:08 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Also one thing to note, is does everyone understand how insurance is going to change after next year. #mochat9:09 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I’m a staff animator but occasionally freelance by night. How to convince potential clients I have enough time for them? #mochat9:09 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I’ll say no. please expand on that. #mochat9:09 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

http://t.co/ktUQ0Rmo read that over, its changing for everyone, but it means even more to freelancers. #mochat9:10 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

When I was fulltime freelance, I bought my own insurance for the family and paid through the nose… Even with an HSA plan. #mochat9:10 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

, which insurance liability, medical? #mochat9:11 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Obama’s healthcare plan. http://t.co/ktUQ0Rmo #mochat9:11 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I have an llc and through that have my healthcare setup for my family but it is still $$$ #mochat9:11 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

, yes required health care, also any luxury plans (what used to be good ones) will now be taxed as ordinary income. #mochat9:13 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

what kind of plan? Who’s the provider? #mochat9:13 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

As a small business and single freelancer it will benefit us, I cant speak to familys as I havent read into it. #mochat9:13 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

By delivering on time, and for new clientes telling them that you did deliver on time every previous work #mochat9:13 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

also for those who have day jobs to support their bills, you can expect the folks who are older to be tracked out. #mochat9:14 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

There is also The Freelancers Union offering help and plans https://t.co/qR32I0lL #mochat9:15 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

the biggest single reason that has always kept me away from full-time freelance is insurance #mochat9:15 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

in your case, not paying, yes you will lose out…but for my plans its actually beneficial. #mochat9:16 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I think were talking american companies asking for lower pay by outsourcing motion. #mochat9:16 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

there’s lots of people that have issues with the new healthcare stuff. i say, go to cananda like you threatened. WAIT #mochat9:17 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

yes I am referring to american companies. #mochat9:18 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Hey man, multiple translations are where the money is! #mochat9:20 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Is anyone seeing any considerable amount of offshore farming? #mochat9:20 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

there is tons!!!! It just isnt something anyone cares to actually watch. Farmed motion graphics sucks. #mochat9:21 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

i always like the ‘wow you are english’ comments when i worked tech spt #mochat9:21 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

On the issue of money, how do you handle taxes? Quarterly estimated taxes seem to surprise everyone. #mochat9:21 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Hahaha, gotcha. I’d been hearing the same in programming actually. #mochat9:22 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

around where I live (washington state) there has been more work going to our neighbors (Canada) to the north because of price. #mochat9:22 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Going to do quarterly next year, but this year I have set aside almost double what I need so I will be ready for the hit #mochat9:22 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I recommend that everyone use an accountant for taxes when making quarterly payments. Worth it. #mochat9:23 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

if there was a physical representation of ‘taxes’ it would look like a giant spider eating a fetus #mochat9:23 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I would take 30% of each paycheck and set it aside, pretended I didn’t even have it until tax time. #mochat9:23 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

what do you usally end up paying? #mochat9:23 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

RT : I would take 30% of each paycheck and set it aside, pretended I didn’t even have it until tax time. #mochat9:23 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

how much cheaper is Canadian mograph work? #mochat9:23 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

do even more, and you get to surprise yourself at the end of the year. #mochat9:24 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

i say take out 1.5 to 2x what you need quarterly to be safe #mochat9:24 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

~15% #mochat9:24 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I usually would anyway. We owned a house & had kids so had lots of deductions. #mochat9:24 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

, re tax: B&O tax, state income tax (if applicable), federal income tax, social security & fica. #mochat9:27 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Taxes suck, but they pay for all of the things we need to freelance. #takingtheotherside #mochat9:29 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

What do you do if clients are “untimely” with payments? #mochat9:29 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I do taxes on a monthly basis #mochat9:29 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Find out why they are untimely, its a bad economy give them the benefit of the doubt. #mochat9:30 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

ditto on the insurance fear. Having cancer makes it worse! #mochat9:31 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

the way I work with my clients is payment is due upon milestone completion. #mochat9:31 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

but making things clear up front, with contracts or legal protection can be preventative care. #mochat9:31 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

That’s a good point. How many of you have contracts or any agreements in writing when taking jobs? #mochat9:32 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

– late fees/penalties/late deliveries, etc are discussed in contract. #mochat9:32 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

best not to work with those who are “untimely” with payments more than once. #mochat9:33 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

do you charge fees for rework or changes from original idea? #mochat9:33 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

depending in the project, I require half up front based on an estimate. Then provide followup emails every two weeks #mochat9:34 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Off topic, but how many regular clients do you freelancers tend to have at once? #mochat9:34 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

RT : if there was a physical representation of ‘taxes’ it would look like a giant spider eating a fetus #mochat9:34 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

, depends if we agreed on work, then customer changes their mind I will charge them for the work. #mochat9:35 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

A million possibilities and 1-2 current clients. #mochat9:35 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

As in working on concurrent projects, or just in contact with? #mochat9:35 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

treat it like a business. I can’t say it any other way. #mochat9:35 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

good point, there are times if it is a good repeat customer you will give them a pass on some rework. #mochat9:36 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

At a time. And also, how often do you have to call around asking for work? #mochat9:37 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I always feel like people do that when they know it will ultimately get them more work. If it makes sense do it. #mochat9:38 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

curious how do you deal with customer untimely payments? #mochat9:39 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

: I try to every time. 50% up front. (Not freelancing in traditional sense)” #mochat9:43 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

We’re approaching the final minutes of #mochat. What about lawyers & accountants. Who has them? Worth it?9:45 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I never had either. But there were times I wish I did. #mochat9:47 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

no? I guess its good that none of us have needed one. #mochat9:47 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I will admit to asking legal advice of a law friend when a client asked me to do some questionable work (copyright). #mochat9:48 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

yes to both. Accountant worth it, Lawyer not so much, I use them for non-standard contracts. #mochat9:48 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Just getting in. Hoth battle and popcorn with kids = Priorities 🙂 #mochat9:49 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

work-life balance. Definitely worth it. #mochat9:49 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Percentage-wise, how much of you income does having both cost? Is the lawyer on retainer? #mochat9:50 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I had a client like my work, but still asked for a sample motion to their project up front before discussing money. What to do? #mochat9:51 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Always 🙂 #mochat9:52 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

A proposal is one thing, that’s a little questionable. #mochat9:52 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

for accountant it < 1%, lawyer ~3-4%. #mochat9:53 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

make a sample and watermark the hell out of it with travitacus all over it.. just kidding. #mochat9:53 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I wouldn’t unless you are ok with probably losing a bunch of time. #mochat9:53 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Yeah, just sayin’ that they trust my skills to their task already, why need an unpaid sample instead of doing business? #mochat9:54 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Right 🙂 I was planning on making it a smaller render and lowering the rez if I did it at all. #mochat9:56 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Actually, if you think getting the job is a non-issue, has a point about watermarking. #mochat9:56 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

if client reside outside US then I’ll need to deal with lawyers to make sure contract is binding in their country. #mochat9:56 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Yeah, feels like I would waste time and effort. So I am probably going to decline the work. #mochat9:56 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Good advice. #mochat9:57 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I’ve done proposals and worked on style-frames for a bid, but only two hours on something like that. #mochat9:58 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

How many use any of the programs out there for insurance and such as a freelancer, or are you covering yourself as part of the bid? #mochat9:59 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

They sound like the sort who will go “This is so great! We can pay you $25 to finish it.” #mochat10:00 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

We’re just about out of time. What’s one thing you wold tell others about the business of freelancing? #mochat10:00 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Good point, I don’t think I would loose a whole lot that way. Thanks 🙂 #mochat10:00 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

🙂 It is starting to smell that way to me too. #mochat10:01 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

, that is good advice. #mochat10:02 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Setting up a hangout here at the end of #mochat has some fun tips for us today. Come hangout out and tweet me for an invite10:04 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Thanks to everyone for their advice and time tonight. #mochat10:06 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

That’s it for tonight everyone. Look for the transcript tomorrow. #mochat10:07 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

I do, and make them sign it, but to some clients that doesn’t mean Shit #mochat10:07 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

Join us next week for a #mochat on title design. Thanks for coming out everyone. And as always, #GoMakeSomething10:07 PM ET Nov 27th, 2012

[/learn_more]

MoChat 18 Transcript & Summary

Last night on MoChat we discussed getting started with expressions in After Effects. Adobe posted links off the bat for examples and basics. As far as the go-to & first learned expressions, loopOut() and wiggle() seemed to be the most common. For learning more about expressions, there is Harry Frank’s After Effects Expressions series, an FXPHD course taught by Harry as well, AE Enhancers, or a bonus chapter in Creating Motion Graphics. Keeping track of all those expressions we learn & write becomes a task over time. Some people use text documents, the Expression Toolbox script, or other programs like Codebox & Evernote. Of course, Adobe seems to be aware of this, too.

[learn_more caption=”Transcript”]

Welcome to tonight’s #MoChat everyone. Tonight we’re talking Expressions.8:59 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

wiggle me this, wiggle me that… #MoChat9:00 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Here are some expression examples & links to resources that we’ve pulled together: http://t.co/PZpIWwAy (incl links to MotionScript) #mochat9:00 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

If you haven’t already, you can help by donating to the American Red Cross. http://t.co/JbL92F2s #mochat9:00 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

But first, I’m pretty sure it goes without saying that we’re all thinking of everyone on the US East Coast who went through #Sandy. #Mochat9:00 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

And off the bat with the links! #mochat9:01 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you haven’t already, you can help by donating to the American Red Cross. http://t.co/p09ibkby #mochat9:01 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : RT : If you haven’t already, you can help by donating to the American Red Cross. http://t.co/p09ibkby #mochat9:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Let’s start off simple. What were some of the first expressions you learned? #mochat9:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

what expression do you use the most other than wiggle lol #mochat9:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Pick-whipping, followed by wiggle(). #mochat9:03 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

loopOut(), and sometimes loopIn(). #mochat9:03 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:04 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : Welcome to tonight’s #MoChat everyone. Tonight we’re talking Expressions.9:04 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

my first expression was probably loopOut(“cycle”), to make something loop #mochat9:05 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

hear hear! other than wiggle it was a lot of pick whipping and doing positions and stuff for me #mochat9:05 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

interesting, i didn’t think of pick whipping as expressions but that’s exactly what it is #mochat9:05 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I use the loopOut expression method a lot. And the linear interpolation method. #mochat9:05 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:06 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

wiggle and pickwhipping for me #mochat9:06 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : I use the loopOut expression method a lot. And the linear interpolation method. #mochat9:06 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:06 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

i dont use #ae on a regular enough basis to really ‘learn’ any usefull expressions i think. but that will change #mochat9:07 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

copied and pasted expressions a lot to #mochat9:07 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Yup, loopOut is amazing. RT : I use the loopOut expression method a lot. And the linear interpolation method. #mochat9:07 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

definitely wiggle() #mochat9:07 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

next short movie i gotta make a head explode and i think blood seep outta walls…. mwahahahaha #mochat9:07 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I recently started using linear() to trigger a keyframed animation on a layer marker. #mochat9:08 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Does anyone have some questions on basic expressions? (Remember, you have 140 characters, so don’t get too complicated.) #mochat9:08 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Dude. It’s a derivative of JavaScript. Get on it! 😉 #mochat9:09 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

i know, and thats what makes me such a sad panda 🙁 #mochat9:09 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

No power. In the middle of a big project and as I tweet this my phone is at half full. Ah the life of a mograh artist #mochat9:11 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Say you have something which ranges from 3-8 and you want it to drive values between 0-100, linear(v,3,8,0,100) #mochat9:11 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

are there any training courses purely dedicated to expressions? i havent looked around yet. #mochat9:11 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

This is probably the expression I use the most: autofade http://t.co/IUQc2ab5 #mochat9:12 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

has some pretty good stuff… #mochat9:12 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

A good link was put up at the start by http://t.co/k5BLld2g #mochat9:12 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

harry frank has a series on expressions #mochat9:12 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

that would be great if i could afford DT lol #mochat9:12 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

The script I find most useful is distribute layer for quick tests of frames and graphics in x, y, z space – please recommend me more #MoChat9:12 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

yup, im looking at those right now #mochat9:13 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

http://t.co/kzkuYTRl #mochat9:13 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Stay safe. How are things out there? #mochat9:13 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

There are good examples and explanations for the linear interpolation method here: http://t.co/P7ud6ZxG #mochat9:13 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I know had a question about how to stop an expression on a certain frame. Anyone have a good solution for that? #mochat9:14 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

here is an oldie but goodie on expressions http://t.co/cfARfYuu #mochat9:14 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : There are good examples and explanations for the linear interpolation method here: http://t.co/P7ud6ZxG #mochat9:15 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Also, has the Expressions Bootcamp course again this term: https://t.co/hlS1NCeK #mochat9:16 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

ill see if i can borrow money from mitt romney lol #mochat9:17 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

You don’t “stop” an expression, per se. But you could use an if statement to use the keyframed value at certain times. #mochat9:18 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

People are safe and well I think. Now comes the reality. “Oh let go on my computer” crap I am having mograh withdrawals #mochat9:18 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

The expressions “bonus” chapter of “Creating Motion Graphics” is a pretty good exploration of the possibilities. #mochat9:19 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : There are good examples and explanations for the linear interpolation method here: http://t.co/P7ud6ZxG #mochat9:19 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

And there’s no way to get the result of an expression at a certain frame, is there? valueAtTime only looks at keyframes? #mochat9:19 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

hello chatters.. #mochat9:19 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Look who showed up! #mochat9:20 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

That’s correct. Expressions are evaluated on the current frame and don’t know about expression values on other frames. #mochat9:20 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

whats the topic for tonight? #mochat9:20 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

can’t you just link to sliders for more in/out controls? #mochat9:20 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

One way that people “stop” an expression at a specific time is to keyframe a relevant parameter to 0 (like amt for wiggle). #mochat9:21 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Oh, absolutely. And my layers have an assortment of them. But would be cool to ignore expression results after a marker. #mochat9:21 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

For that, you’d just call the value method for the time after that marker. #mochat9:22 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Expressions. Read up, son! #mochat9:22 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

#mochat9:22 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

That’s what I was thinking. It can be a little inflexible (for example mid-loop), but gets part way there. #mochat9:23 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I hear you, that would be great. Sounds like it would be too time consuming to set up though, if possible. #mochat9:23 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

See this example: http://t.co/cIs5iDOx #mochat9:23 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

gotcha yep 0 out a KF at the moment in time is a good way to stop an expression & quickwhip w/ expression controllers = Win! #mochat9:24 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

http://t.co/0UI7aKmK Yes this is a great series.. wish I knew about it when it came out. #mochat9:25 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

that makes a lot of sense! Good commands for starts and stops, thanks. #mochat9:25 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

“Expression example: Start or stop wiggle at specific time”: http://t.co/cIs5iDOx #mochat9:26 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

So what are some people’s favorite/most-used expressions? (If it doesn’t fit in a tweet, post a pic or use something like CloudApp.) #mochat9:26 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:26 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : “Expression example: Start or stop wiggle at specific time”: http://t.co/cIs5iDOx #mochat9:28 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

late for #mochat. what i miss 🙂 #mochat9:28 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I like expressions that link properties to audio, like one here Nathan uses for ducking audio: http://t.co/oY8akXSo #mochat9:29 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Triggering something at a marker. Commented: http://t.co/9YB50FSU Compact: http://t.co/z3TgC5KB #mochat9:29 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:29 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

i like sampleImage tied to text layers, can be helpful to have in context sample results. i know did a post on this #mochat9:30 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

inertial bounce FTW! #mochat9:30 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:30 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Just a few people expressing themselves… get it? Expressing? Expressions? Anyone? Is this thing on? #mochat9:31 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Do you ever look at the other easing expressions, like the ones in Ease & Wizz? #mochat9:32 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

recently did a great expressions course over . think its repeating this term. great stuff even for advanced users #mochat9:32 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

no, but only cause ive never needed too. i was actually looking at that today 🙂 #mochat9:32 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Just checked and it is. Was a great course. I took it last term. #mochat9:33 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Here’s a forum thread in which I show how to make a color sampler with a text layer and sampleImage: http://t.co/gVc86E4N #mochat9:33 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

#MoChat I use lots of wiggle and simple interpolation expressions. Embarrassed to say the math hangs me up often when move to the deep end.9:33 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

At ‘s suggestion I’ve started learning to keyframe some of them, actually. #mochat9:33 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Easy ans Wizz is great.. Theres also Mamoworlds. iExpressions which Ive never used but you can pick it up in segments #mochat9:34 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

basic but handy- wiggle in one dimension http://t.co/zmRg0DMg #mochat9:34 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

linear is great when tying together different paramaters. #mochat9:34 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

wrote up a snap in/out expression ive used quite a bit. #mochat9:34 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

#MathIsHard #mochat9:34 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

yeah the math can be tricky.. but just bringing in Math.sin or cos can help w/ tedious motion and even use for decay. #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

my problem is i dont tend to save my expressions or if i do i lose them. #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

speaking of math, how adept are you power users? Do you survive without that trig knowledge? #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

We should do something to make that not a problem. #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Did you ever use Expression Toolbox? #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

i need an expression right now to get power on in lower manhattan and maybe some subways going so i can go back to work. #mochat9:36 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

It appears we’re at the link-sharing portion of the evening. Favorite resources to learn? Favorite links to expressions? #mochat9:36 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

another one i DLed and then never used #mochat9:36 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

loopOut is a great little expression that does just what is says loops between 2 kf, add 3rd kf it delays the loop by that amnt #mochat9:36 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Start bugging for that one. They’re also working on a time-travel one at ‘s urging, too. #mochat9:37 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

think my main issue is after writing something up to get it portable fo ruse in other projects #mochat9:37 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I have it, and have been using it, but it seems to have issues with line breaks & tabs for new expressions. #mochat9:37 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

quickwip> lightbulb to generator.. #mochat9:37 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

sooner you know how to plot those eases yourself the sooner you reach for em everywhere. #mochat9:38 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

That sucks up so much of my time. It’s easy to get caught up in that when (at the time) it just needs to get done. #mochat9:38 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I have an evernote notebook with my frequently used expressions #mochat9:38 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Still waiting on #FXPHD gathering of Expression on Bootcamp did we get that yet? #mochat9:39 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

saving them as an animation preset is handy. #mochat9:39 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

i learned a lot by threads at places like http://t.co/svSPRNiF great to learn by seeing people work through expression #mochat9:39 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

It will loop through any number of keyframes. #mochat9:40 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

yah, i have a page set up for that too. i just forget to use it #mochat9:40 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

itd be kinda cool if expression were more node base using the quickwip like Xpresso.. #mochat9:40 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Doesn’t look like it: https://t.co/88le28dP #mochat9:41 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : itd be kinda cool if expression were more node base using the quickwip like Xpresso.. #mochat9:41 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

ahh see I usually used only 2 then added the 3rd one for offset. so if my kf were 1 sec apart. the 3rd one could offset it #mochat9:42 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

or writing them was like a developer environment with autocomplete, suggestions, etc. i think adobe makes a few of those… #mochat9:42 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I’d love that. I’m _this_ close to writing a custom Coda library to help write longer expressions. #mochat9:44 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

But it would be great to have autocomplete/suggestions in the Expression box instead of a “dumb” text field. (cc ) #mochat9:45 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

time is my favorite.. plug that sucker anywhere & you have infinite movement or evolution or whatever. 8) then add some Math.__ #mochat9:45 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

DMN!! Comon HARRY!! #mochat9:46 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : “Expression example: Start or stop wiggle at specific time”: http://t.co/cIs5iDOx #mochat9:46 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

what about loopin and loopout? dont be a hater man #mochat9:48 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

not only do i second/third this, i infinity this… >_< #mochat9:49 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

yeah time rocks, use it often #mochat9:49 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

With about 10 minutes left, does anyone have questions on some basic Expressions? #mochat9:50 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

lupin makes your expressions hairy every full moon.. and then you gotta shoot it w/ a silver bullet.. #BadWolf #mochat9:50 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

: I use Codebox for things like this, easy to store data on Dropbox and link up to many machines.” #mochat9:50 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I encourage you to submit feature requests here: http://t.co/yE59kCiY That’s the best way to have your vote tallied. #mochat9:50 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Best way I know to turn expressions off is to link a variable to a slider you can animate. Works well for wiggle #mochat9:52 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

RT : If you’re looking for basic definitions and such for expressions, start here: http://t.co/XCpiQWO5 #mochat9:52 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

yep yep.. those expression controller I ignored for years are actually very handy.. #HeSaidMildlyEmbarassedToAdmit #mochat9:53 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

My main concern with expressions is that, for me, they tend to take longer to write/look up than to just keyframe/adjust manually. #mochat9:54 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, and how flexible it needs to be. #mochat9:55 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

the layer expression effect and sider expression effect i use all the time. #mochat9:55 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I had a comp with hundreds of parented layers. A few sliders on the parent controlled all the children. Saved time. #mochat9:55 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I’d say yes to that for overly complex ones. but the time you spend on the back end pays off during post time. #mochat9:55 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

tying expression params to the layer effect helps reusing complex expressions and retargetting to another layer #mochat9:56 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

personally i use scripts a bit and put them in my workspace as panels #mochat9:56 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

the posterize expression is also great when doing stop motion projects. can KF as usual but motion happens on X frames. #mochat9:57 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

feature request submitted! #mochat9:57 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

If someone is nervous about using expressions because they’re complicated, I recommend starting with these: http://t.co/EjcdTS8u #mochat9:57 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

distance to layer expressions can go a long way with that, actually. Write once, then save it for future. #mochat9:57 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Which expressions did you use mainly for that project? #mochat9:58 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

posterizeTime is great! #mochat9:58 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

IMO 3 most extremely helpful expression terms to learn & use daily. time/value/index learn to use these and watch your skills grow #mochat9:58 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Custom stuff based on difference of indexes btwn child & parent controlling z-distance, opacity, and solid composite. #mochat9:59 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

def need to try out posterize soon – great tip! #mochat9:59 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I’d add valueAtTime to that list. #mochat9:59 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

the angle of the dangle is proportional to the heat of beat #mochat9:59 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

is there a hangout tonight after #mochat? I’m actually home in 10 minutes!10:00 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Im down.. #mochat10:00 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Ohh thats what I love about mochat I always learnz something. thanks PC.. #mochat10:01 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I also have been using propertyGroup a lot for linking lately. #mochat10:01 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Touche, that does sound nice to have a formula with a project like that. #mochat10:01 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

you guys are trying to cut into my xbox time arent you…. #mochat10:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

I was using that to trigger already keyframed animation at layer markers. Super useful. #mochat10:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

That about does it for tonight everyone. But feel free to keep the conversation going. #mochat10:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

Also, remember to help with #Sandy by donating to the Red Cross http://t.co/JbL92F2s or other efforts. #mochat10:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

If you have friends on the East Coast, get in touch and see how they’re doing. And let them know we’re thinking of them. #mochat10:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

And a reminder to everyone that there will be no #MoChat next week. Go vote in the US!10:02 PM EDT Oct 30th, 2012

[/learn_more]

Cinematography for the Motion Artist: “Dutch Angle”

Welcome to the first of hopefully many posts about the use of cinematography tips and techniques to help make your motion graphics animations more dynamic and interesting.  In this first post, we will be covering a technique that is used a lot in both cinematography and photography to add uneasiness or tension into a shot.  The “Dutch Angle” is achieved by tilting the camera off to the side so that the shot is composed with the horizon at an angle to the bottom of the frame.  Adding just a slight value to the “banking” value in your Cinema 4D camera can make big differences in the mood of your animations, adding energy & making something more dynamic looking.

For example, let’s take a look at the use of the “Dutch Angle” in BEELD.motion’s Telecine Rebrand reel:

In numerous shots you can see the use of Dutch Angle where the horizon line is not straight, but diagonal.  In these instances they don’t exactly emit a certain mood but it does add energy to the shot and it looks more interesting than if it was shot with the horizon straight.

In the second shot here, the Dutch Angle adds some more playfulness to the festive activities in the scene:

If anyone has ever had the unfortunate displeasure to see “Battlefield: Earth”, they used Dutch Angle in almost the entire film, and was ripped for it by the critics.  The name of the game here is to use it, but don’t abuse it.  Any effect can be overused and in turn, not be as impactful as a result.  The next time you build something in 3D, I urge you to try out this technique and try to step back from the Xpresso, textures, dynamics, and mograph and instead take a look at how you choose your camera angles and compose your shots.

Feedback is welcome and I hope these cinematography posts can be useful for motion graphic artists!

Recharge Creativity

Note: This article talks about working as a motion designer for reference. The following subject matter applies to anyone in a creative position.


It’s a dreaded fear for every motion designer. It’s kryptonite to our yellow sun. It’s just as inevitable as running low on system resources. Chances are you’ve experienced it more than you care to recall, and the unfortunate truth is that eventually it’s going to rear it’s ugly head again. Of course, I’m talking about being “creatively” tapped out. Whether it happens to you once a year or after a few very demanding projects, it can be a terrible experience that, at its worst, can leave you debating if you should toss in the towel on your career.  But don’t give in just yet; there some things you can do to help get yourself out of this creative rut or prevent one from occurring all together. You just need to give your mind a reboot.

Here are some things to try: – Read More –

Cinema 4D Timeline/Camera Animation Tips

I recently picked up on an excellent thread over at CGtalk regarding pro tips for the Cinema 4D timeline window. It’s jam-packed full of very handy snippets to make working with complex scenes a little easier.

I had two “why didn’t I think of that!” moments whilst reading:

1. Add a tracer object to a camera in order to permanently display the motion path

2. Modify the fcurves in pairs – x/h, y/p and z/b – assuming you’re not undertaking any massive twisting moves.

 

Both these tips are handy for avoiding annoying bumps in your camera animation and syncing your move with  other objects in the scene.

Now – go check out the rest!

— Thanks to Chris Cousins and Derya Ozturk who contributed the featured tips.