Don’t Be Creative, Be Passionate

Now, don’t take the title too literally but consider this. Don’t come up with ideas because they are different, nurture them because they matter.

Hey Guys,

I hope everyone is having a good Monday, I wanted to write a post today for people who work in creative fields. Followers of this blog will know I’m a student, and so perhaps speak with a certain sense of optimism, but I feel my point here today is applicable to anyone looking to develop any kind of creative work.

This idea came to me yesterday, when after spending the weekend working on a couple of separate projects, I ditched them. I realised that I didn’t really care about these ideas, and I was developing them as a priority above my other work because I thought they were pretty avant guarde. Except they weren’t, they were crap. One I will admit, just needs a lot more development if I’m ever even to consider picking it up again in the future, but the other one is my primary example for this post.

Flying horses. Nay. Flying Toy Horses. My idea was this: I picked up these plastic model horses about 6 months ago because I thought I could use them for a mini-project. What I eventually tried to do, was animate still images of them with the distortion pin tool on AAE; creating a super slo-mo sequence of them jumping off of stuff. I ran a couple of renders, still not 100% but prepared to keep an open mind. Yesterday I finished two test renders, they had immaculate masks and lighting effects so they look relatively believable. My animation was good too, the motion of the legs, head and neck being key to the movement of a horse. But then I watched them back, and yeah, technically they were ok, but I was hit with two thoughts. What does this mean? And Why am I doing this? 

I was doing it because no-one else had; I’d side-tracked projects that mean a lot to me because I was in a rush to stand out. That’s not how you create art, that’s how you create shite. I took a step back, saw what i was doing and abandoned the project. I’m now refocusing my efforts of two of my large projects. In particular, my dissertation project for my final year at university. It’s sometimes hard to work on because it reflects some personal memories and intimate relationships, but so far it’s coming out well and I have no doubt that when I finish it, it will be a triumph. The project is called ‘3 Hours’ and I will add a link here when I have finished rebuilding the promo page.

This post isn’t for self-promotion though, it’s a thought on how sometimes it is so tempting to try and stand out, we breach our own values of quality. Gimmicks aren’t respected and never deemed as classics. So take your time and create the fantastic, powerful work you’re capable of. Impress yourself.

Take it easy,

Matt  :)

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The Most Beautiful Time-Lapse Videos EVER

So I have always loved time-lapse videos, I think they’re stunning and truly reflect that if you have a patience, you can create memorable pieces of art. I actually think I might have done this post before but who cares, the game has been changed by a release this year that blew everyone else out of the water. I’m going to keep this post very short as I am very busy today; but just watch the videos, it’s half and hour well spent.

The Mountain 

The best video online right now; stunning, haunting and moving. The best of the best in my opinion.

Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull

The first video I saw in like this, I love that there is motion in it too; it must have been so hard to calculate!

The Unseen Sea

A fantastic video that focuses on how clouds look during time-lapses; stunning.

Sorry this has been such a short post guys, but I’ve got stuff to do!

Take it easy,

Matt  :)

The Balloon

Hey Guys,

So I’m going to reveal another project I’m working on, as you might guess, it’s called ‘The Balloon’. 

So, the reason I didn’t include this project in my blog the other day is because, well, in truth I didn’t have it figured out yet. Now, I feel I do. The Balloon was initially a web-comic idea to follow up my mildly successful first outing into the field: Pancakes and Apples – Diary of a Boy at Sea (Please check it out!). However after a few drafts and working with the idea I just couldn’t get it to work; I felt the project could only work well if the visuals were up to what I imagined, and sadly my drawing is not up to what I see in my head. So I scrapped the project, but it stayed in my mind. Sadly, I don’t feel I can disclose fully what the story actually is, in case this project takes off in the way I hope it does; but I will say this: The Balloon is a story about optimism, and primarily, about looking up.

After a phone call with my (eternally wise) mother, we agreed that the story could work in a children’s book format; I know an illustrator through my part-time job and should I finish drafting the book, I will approach her and ask her to do the illustrations. Right now, I am two pages in and do not know entirely know many pages there will be in total; but it’s something I will continue with and aim to finish by the end of summer. I will keep you guys updated via this blog as I am always excited to start something new!

I’ve attached below two of my first (very rough) first drafts, I am not sure if I will submit them to the artist as they are very crude,  but equally they give away so little that I feel I can post them here without ruining the story!

Man, I’m making this sound like something out of Mission: Impossible!

 But anyway, that’s what I am up to at the moment, for more updates subscribe to this blog, or follow me on twitter.

Take it easy,

Matt  :)

Draft Page 1

Draft Page 2

Insert Coin [Amazing VFX!]

Hey Guys,

I just thought I would link back to a great little video I watched this morning, a beautiful (and I’m sure, painstaking) project called ‘Insert Coin’. Tomas Redigh and Daniel Larsson made this special video by projecting a series of digital images onto a canvas and then outlining these images with coins; the images are a homage to arcade games and their spectrum of gameplay. You can check out the video below and watch untill the end to see a brief ‘making of’.

Peace,

Matt  :)

The Johnny Cash Project

Click to visit

 

Hey Guys,

I want to let you all know about an amazing project in honour of an amazing musician; The Johnny Cash Project.

This is a truely special project and I urge anyone who has even has a passing interest in art, music or creative work to check this out. In honour of the ‘Man in Black’ Chris Milk (Click for vimeo account) has put together this video event, asking anyone to submit a single frame to recreate the video for Cash’s haunting song: Ain’t No Grave. You can watch the ‘About’ video here, showcasing what the project is about it, how it works and what it’s for; though it is at its core, a beautifully detailed tribute to Cash himself.

As users are asked to submit only one frame (though you can submit more if you wish) there is a lot more time to put more detail and thought into each hand-drawn image, this creates a string of highly detailed, sometimes impressionistic and unique peices of art; which altogether rivals some of the best music videos I have ever seen. So far there have been over 250,000 unqiue submissions and though there is more than one image for each frame, even if your drawing is not chosen for the final piece, you will still be credited in a unique version of the video should your frame fall into that category e.g: Most strokes, highest rated, or by art syle such as abstract, pointillism, realistic or sketchy.

I sincerely urge everyone to check this project out right now; it’s unique, innovation and great fun. There are quite a few people involved in making the project happen so click here for a list of the full credits. Below you can see the reference frame I got and the entry I submitted; I will never claim to be the best drawer in the world so I went for a clean style with just subtle significance; the silhouette of Cash denotes his striking power and legacy but he is also blended with the darkness of the room linking back to his descent into drugs and alcholism during his career. I also gave him two hearts to represent his two wives (and also the many women he had affairs with); I know this is very basic symbollism but I am happy with how the image turned out. You can also watch a video on how a drew my entry here.

Click for Full Sized Image

Click for Full Sized Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace,

Matt  :)

Tips and Hints that EVERYONE Should Know About After Effects.

Click the image to go to the tutorial

Hey Guys,

Here is a repost of Topher Welsh’s tutorial featured on aetuts+ about how to streamline your After Effects operations. If, like me you are wanting to get a job in design we must all acknowledge that a lot of projects will be tight to a dealine, this tutorial helps you shave of those valuable seconds; iterating all the keyboard shortcuts and other tips to help streamline you work process. As someone who has been using After Effects for about 8 months now, I still knew less than half of the tips in this tutorial and I’m sure it will benefit a great range of people that take the time to read it. You can view the tutorial by clicking the banner or clicking here.

Peace,

Matt  :)

 

 

Six Word Memoirs.

Click here to View My Memoir

Hey Guys,

I just wanted to let everyone know about a great little project called ‘Six Word Memoirs‘ hosted by SmithMag.net. It’s a great little idea where anyone to everyone can submit an extremley short story about their life in whatever way they want; whether you talk about a recent birthday, revelation or just a film you saw the other day; there really are no rules (So to speak). There’s not really too much to say about this project except that I urge you all to check it out and have a go; I’d really love to see other readers of this blog attempts so please leave a comment linking back to your story on this post if you do try it.

That’s all I have to say really guys; also if you havn’t checked it out yet-I have changed the menu system for my portfolio, linking everything together now with images as well as drop-down menus; please leave a comment letting me know what you think.

 

Peace,

Matt :)

Vimeo Awards :: 2010

“In the end it’s about the work, not an award you get for the work…”

That was a quote by Linda Fiorentino (HollyWood Actress) and I have to say quite hounestly… what a load of RUBBISH.

We would all love to be awarded for the things we love doing, be it sports, motion design or playing tiddlywinks. To be credited with an award marks the distinction between your work and everybody elses. This year vimeo hosted its annual awards festival, the awards were available to anyone from the public (and maybe professional, though I’m not sure) sphere; users could submit under a range of catagories, each one catering to a particular niche of design media. You can view the winners here.

As a budding motion design artists there are two clear stand outs in this years awards; the first is called TRI▲NGLE. I found this presentation to be absoloutley captivating due to it’s spectacular direction and use of near photo-realistic 3D animation. The video is concise and feels almost too short due to it’s absorbing nature-as you feel like it has ended before it has even begun. I would be really interested to hear what anyone else’s opinion is of this video and whether they feel they could re-create a similar piece of deisgn.

The second standout for me was the animation category winner called Between Bears. The fact that this is a graduation piece from a design student is aboloutley amazing as it has the feel of an experienced veteran from the animation industry. I won’t give anything away in regards to the story, but it is a beautiful set up with some of the most striking visuals I have seen in an animation short. It works for me because of it’s simple composition which balances well against some of the more obtuse character designs. The video is also paced beautifully with nothing being rushed, yet also not feeling too slow.

Overall vimeo and their award judges have done an exemplary job finding the best of the best videos on their site, please look through the winners videos yourself and leave a comment on this blog letting us know which you liked the best and why.

If you don’t know what vimeo is all about, please click here.

Peace,

Matt  :)