Topics covered include
After Effects, Cel Shader, Cinema 4D, Cinema 4D Lite

In this tutorial, we’re going to have some fun creating pixel art inside of Cinema 4D, Cinema 4D Lite, and After Effects!  First I’ll cover the super easy workflow to turn your 3D compositions into pixelated 8 bit style renders directly in of Cinema 4D without any need to bring into Photoshop or After Effects.  Then, I’ll show you how you can use Sketch & Toon to create Nintendo style 8 bit looks devoid of 3D shading.  Finally, I’ll show you the workflow Adobe Creative Cloud users can follow utilizing Cinema 4D Lite and After Effects.  Happy pixelating!

If you want to learn more about Sketch and Toon, be sure to check out my Creating Motion Graphics with Sketch and Toon course on lynda.com that is a comprehensive walkthrough of all the features in Sketch and Toon or the Cel Shader check out my quick breakdown of Sketch & Toon outlines in this tutorial and the Cel Shader in this tutorial.
I also have collections of useful Sketch and Toon ready 3D models in my Sketch and Toon Model Packs that you can turn into 8 bit art that you can find out more about here: Sketch and Toon Model Pack that you can find out more about here.

If you have any questions, be sure to post it in the comments section and if you create anything cool using this 8 bit workflow, I’d love to see it so be sure to share it with me on Twitter!  Thanks for watching!

This was recorded live on the Live Design Stream. To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.

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Topics covered include
Cinema 4D, Sketch & Toon

In this new Cinema 4D tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can use the Sketch & Toon module to apply chalk style outlines to your 3D objects!  First, we’ll go over how you can apply lines to your objects using Sketch & Toon render settings, then we’ll proceed to go through all of the Sketch Material options to be able to create a chalk style quality stroke.  We’ll wrap up the tutorial by going over how you can animate the Sketch Style options to be able to create a rolling boil effect animation to the outlines.

If you want to learn more about Sketch and Toon, be sure to check out my Creating Motion Graphics with Sketch and Toon course on lynda.com that is a comprehensive walkthrough of all the features in Sketch and Toon or check out my quick breakdown of Sketch & Toon outlines in this tutorial.  The microscope model I used in this tutorial is from my Sketch and Toon Model Pack that you can find out more about here.

If you have any questions, be sure to post it in the comments section and if you create anything cool using this chalk line technique, be sure to share it with me! Thanks for watching!

This was recorded live on the Live Design Stream. To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.

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Topics covered include
Cinema 4D, Lighting, Modeling, Texturing

In this tutorial I’m going to break down how you can easily create a topographical map inside of Cinema 4D!  First, I’ll cover how to setup a Landscape Object and then how to then easily slice it into layers. Then I’ll demonstrate how to use the sliced layers to generate splines that will then be used to extrude to make each of the topographic levels.  Finally, I’ll light our scene and go over how to apply a colorful texture to the topographic map based on height (and even show some useful XPresso along the way!)

QUICK TIP:  For R17 users out there, be sure to use the new Spline Smooth tool to be able to smooth out those dense points to create rounder edges on your topographic layers.

If you have any questions, be sure to post it in the comments section and if you create anything cool using this topographic technique, be sure to share it with me! Thanks for watching!

This was recorded live on the Live Design Stream. To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.

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Topics covered include
Uncategorized

Gone Fishing.

The Fleeting Nature of The Stream Of Consciousness & Importance of Saving Every Idea

Intellectual capital is the economic capital of the new economy.

It happens all the time, you enter a room and forget why you went there in the first place. Thoughts can be easily lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. We live in an age of constantly being connected, always checking our mobile devices, and being awash in a flood of notifications. With so many distractions, it’s no wonder we forget why we walked in a room or can’t remember what that one amazing idea was that you had.

They call it the stream of consciousness for a reason; a stream is always moving.

They call it the stream of consciousness for a reason; a stream is always moving. Thoughts are always flowing in and out of your noggin. When you hook your next big idea, be sure to reel it in and store it somewhere or risk that marlin of an idea flopping right back into the stream never to be seen again.

We’re bombarded with so much noise, mass media, technology, and information on a daily basis that we are more and more susceptible to sensory overload and forgetting our ideas.

As someone working in the creative field, it’s our job to come up with unique perspectives and ideas. We are living in a changing economy where intellectual property is increasingly becoming the way people make money. Content creation is king! It’s for this reason why it’s so crucial that you make sure not a single one of those ideas gets lost. The brain is an amazing thing, but it’s also working fast to decide which thoughts to keep and which to purge. We’re bombarded with so much noise, mass media, technology, and information on a daily basis that we are more and more susceptible to sensory overload and forgetting our ideas.

There’s no such thing as too much intellectual capital.

When an idea comes to me, I write it down immediately no matter how obscure, no matter if it’s about a project I’m currently working on or for one that has yet to or may never come to exist. It’s important to record every potentially useful thought. I know if I don’t write down my idea right when it comes to me, there’s a 50/50 chance that I will ever remember it again. Just like the mental exercise of creating a mind map, inside many unconnected thoughts may lie the key to your next big idea so be sure to write them all down! There’s no such thing as too much intellectual capital! Your phone is the perfect device to jot down your every stroke of genius. You don’t need to buy some fancy note app as most mobile devices come preloaded with a free note app that will back up all your notes to the cloud. This gives this method a leg up on a notebook or writing it on a napkin. This also helps so you don’t accidentally blow your nose into your next amazing idea.

Your “eureka” moment can occur at the most unlikely times (I always seem to get them right before I fall asleep or in the middle of a jog), so this is one instance where always being connected and attached to your phone is actually beneficial. Type down that idea quick before you forget why you picked up your phone in the first place.  That stream of consciousness can be a torrent!

Happy fishing!

If you’re looking for free note apps other than the ones built into standard mobile OS’s, I recommend both Evernote and Google Keep.  Evernote has a limited free version while Google’s Keep is completely free.  Both are great as they both sync between all devices.


Topics covered include
Cinema 4D, Cinema 4D Lite, Deformers, Lighting, Texturing

In this tutorial we’ll recreate this Scandinavian inspired design in Cinema 4D or Cinema 4D Lite!  It’s a design made up of a piece of text with layers peeling away revealing transparency on the backside of peeled back portions.  We’ll break down how you model all the pieces and set up your text so you can smoothly bend the geometry of your text spline or any other spline you’d like to use.  Next, we’ll texture our object, creating the plastic, glass, and wood materials as well as light the scene.  Finally, we will cover how you can easily iterate by changing the text in the Text Spline Object by using Instances.

By the way, this tutorial can be followed along using Cinema 4D Lite that comes for FREE with Adobe Creative Cloud!

And as always, if you have any questions, be sure to post it in the comments section and if you create anything cool using this technique, be sure to share it with me! Thanks for watching!

This was recorded live on the Live Design Stream. To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.

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Topics covered include
Uncategorized

Tips to ensure your work gets seen and you get hired!

Whether you’re trying to land your first design job or striving to move on up to a better one, the process of applying to jobs can be a shot in the dark. With hundreds and hundreds of people applying to the same job, you need to make sure you have the edge and stand out amongst the crowd. Here are some ways to increase your odds of being seen and getting hired!


1. Crafting Your Online Presence

Whether your line of work is illustration, web design, or animation, the most important thing is not just solely having a collection of great work but making sure it gets seen. These days it’s very easy to set up your own blog or website, but you can also draw eyes to your site and your work by posting your portfolio pieces on creative sites like Behance, Dribbble, Tumblr, Instagram, or Vimeo. A good rule of thumb is to be very active on these sites by not only posting your work, but by following other artists and commenting on their work. And a word of advice, avoid randomly posting your own work in other artists comment sections to get views or feedback as this is universally frowned upon and considered a pretty spammy practice. You may be asking how often should you post your work onto these sites. I try to post a piece of work once a week, whether it’s your behind the scenes process (which a lot of people enjoy seeing), a still, or a short snippet from an animation. Ensuring you post often helps to maintain a constant presence on the feeds of these sites. If you’re not creating enough client work to post enough content weekly, make it a point to work on a small personal project every week. We live in a time where GIF’s are a viable platform to show off your work in the form of short 3–5 second clips. Dribbble and Tumblr are great online communities of creative folks constantly sharing these tiny bits and pieces of their work in GIF form. These sites are also perfect venues for getting feedback on your work and learning how you can improve. I can attest to the benefits of creating often and sharing your work to the point that it inspired me to host an entire series on lynda.com on the importance and benefits of creating and learning everyday. Not only does posting and sharing your work on these sites allow more chances of your work being seen, it also helps you…


2. Network

Being active in the design community sharing your work not only increases your online presence but simultaneously allows you to meet other creative folks that can inspire you or give you feedback on your work. The people you develop relationships with can help introduce you to the right people. Twitter and LinkedIn are good places to plant your online flag and cultivate your professional network. Getting to know people and develop relationships takes time but it’s a great investment that can pay off big, so make sure this is something you allow yourself to work on so you can organically meet the right people throughout your career. Start by following creatives who inspire you, comment on their work, share their work with your followers, and get to know them. A great way to gain followers is by sharing useful articles, tips, or tutorials relevant to your field, artists work you enjoy, and anything else you think your ideal audience would find interesting. Companies get hundreds and hundreds of inquires so just having your work out there is not enough. Sometimes it’s all about who you know and by building your online presence and reputation, it will ensure you have a leg up on getting hired if you have a recommendation by someone close to the company you want to work at.


3. Allow Your Individuality to Shine

Distinguish yourself from the pack! When reaching out to potential employers, don’t craft generic emails that could be sent to multiple companies at once. And when reaching out to a company, don’t just drone on about yourself and your accomplishments. Companies want to know what you can do for them so frame everything you say in terms of how you can help that company. Be sure do your research and know the ins and out of that company so you’ll be able to talk specifically about why you like their company (whether it’s their style of design or the quality in general) and what you can do for them. We work in a creative field so be creative with how you craft your e-mail. On Dribbble and Twitter, many companies place ads in GIF form that attracts attention, why shouldn’t you do the same when looking for work? By adding some imagery or humor, whether it’s by making a fun animated GIF about the company or yourself or cracking a (appropriate) joke about your skill set, it can help make you stand out and form a lasting impression.


Crafting an interesting GIF to send along with your e-mail helps you get noticed. (Credit: https://dribbble.com/Motion)


4. Learning from Failure

If you don’t hear back from a company, don’t hesitate to be persistent and reach out a couple of times to check in and ask about the status of the position to show your maintained interest. If you get rejected, your job is far from over. Politely ask the company if they can give you constructive criticism on your work or your interview so that you can be more effective in the future. Some clients may be open to this and appreciate the initiative you’re taking, some may not. Putting in the effort to try to learn how you could improve is always a good trait to exhibit to a company. And listen, we’ve all been rejected at some point. It’s the necessary consequence of putting yourself out there, so don’t be discouraged by rejection. You have to keep in mind that while there will be people better than you, there will be people worse than you too. The difference between the designers who are good and those who are bad are that the good designers worked past their bad work to get to the good stuff, so keep striving to get better!


5. Commitment to Improvement

Always be learning new things and adding new skills to your skill set. Aim to learn something new everyday, no matter how little that thing may be. Step back and review your portfolio. If your current portfolio of work isn’t relevant to the job you’re trying to get, make sure your creating the type of work that you want to work on! A company will never hire you for work/skills you’ve never shown. Have weaknesses? Work on them! There’s so much free information online in the form of tutorials or articles on how improve at literally anything! There are also some great resources for structured learning provided by numerous online schools and subscription based learning sites like lynda.com that can help you if you’re lacking in fundamental skills like design, animation, or any other business related topic. And finally…read! There are some amazing books out there like ‘Show Your Work that can give you great insight on how to grow as a creative and how to get noticed.

It’s always good to be honest with yourself about your own skills. The sooner you address your weaknesses, the sooner you can improve your portfolio and the chances of getting hired!


By EJ Hassenfratz. If you have any tips or questions on how to get hired, or topics you’d like to see me write about, feel free to email me at ej@eyedesyn.com. You can also find me on Twitter or on my website.


Topics covered include
Cel Shader, Cinema 4D, Sketch & Toon

In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through how you can create some cartoonish mountains.  First I’ll cover the landscape object, followed by how to use a Terrain Mask and Cel Shader to add color to our mountain.  If you’re not familiar with the Cel Shader, be sure to check out this tutorial all about it and how you can use it for flat 2D shading.   Finally, I’ll show you how you can turn your mountain into a low poly one in a click of a button!

And as always, if you have any questions, be sure to post it in the comments section and if you create anything cool using this technique, be sure to share it with me! Thanks for watching!

This was recorded live on the Live Design Stream. To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.

Tutorial:


Topics covered include
Uncategorized

The importance of communicating to clients that they get what they pay for.

We’ve all been there, a client wants to hire you for an animation that has a “needed this yesterday” deadline and a “loose change in my couch” type of budget. You can politely decline the gig, suck it up and take it knowing full well you’ll most likely be severely underpaid and severely overworked, or you can try to educate your client on why their demands aren’t realistic nor fair to ask someone to work for what could potentially amount to below minimum wage. One phrase that is jokingly tossed around a lot regarding client expectations, and is very true is: “Pick 2: Cheap, Fast, or Good.” When a client expects all 3 is when trouble arises.

Show up to a car dealership with $500 to spend and you’re walking out with a busted up golf cart.

As freelance designers, we work in the world of visual communication but we tend to forget the importance of communicating to clients what your services and skills cost and most importantly why they cost what they do. The difference between a budget of $500 vs $5000 is massive but for an uninformed client they may not understand why you should cost so much. Here are a few important things you need to communicate to your client to justify why you cost what you do:

1. When you talk about budget you talk about time and cost.

Clients with limited budgets need to understand that hiring a designer is like hiring any other expert in any other field. There’s this perception in many creative fields that due to the fact that many of us love our jobs that we don’t want to get paid for it properly. If they have limited budget that client has to be honest with themselves about scope and expectations. A client won’t get a talented, experienced designer with a very small budget. Sometimes a client is faced with having to rethink what’s more important, adjusting project scope and budget to be able to afford someone to get the job done right or risk hiring someone who may or may not get the job done. With a low budget, they can only afford someone with no or very little experience and they may not deliver to expectation. Show up to a car dealership with $500 to spend and you’re walking out with a busted up golf cart.

You wouldn’t hire an architect right out of school to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

2. In many instances, designers estimate project cost based on a day rate.

Sometimes that rate may be as much as $500 a day, so that means that for a client whose budget is only $500 they’re only going to get a day or 2 of work in order for you to make a fair wage. It’s really simple, the bigger the budget the bigger the scope, and the more experienced a designer they probably want to hire to handle such a large important job. You wouldn’t hire an architect right out of school to build the Golden Gate Bridge, nor should they hire an inexperienced designer when a company or brand’s image is on the line.

If a client goes cheap on hiring a designer, they run a great risk in not getting the job done to satisfaction and that will end up costing them more money in the long run if they need to hire someone else to finish or fix the job.

3. Many clients may ask “Well why is it so expensive, what am I paying for?”

Well why does anyone get paid any amount of money for anything anyone does? You’re paying for quality, expertise & experience. You’re paying for all the years of a designers experience in fulfilling clients needs and the experience in learning design, in animation and in learning the software to create a final product. You’re paying for the time cost that designer will be working on that job. If you ask a builder to build a house, it’ll be more time and money than if you asked to build a shed, and a lot more expensive and a lot more time if you wanted a mansion. And you want that builder to be trustworthy and to have built many houses before with success. If a client goes lowest common denominator on hiring a designer they run a great risk in not getting the job done to satisfaction. And if that does happen, it may end up costing them more money in the long run if they need to hire someone else to finish or fix the job. Better they pay someone fairly who will get the job done professionally the first time and allow them to sleep better at night knowing they hired an expert in their field that will meet & succeed expectations…that expert is you!

4. Visual branding or advertising is how the world sees a brand.

Will your client want the world to see them in a soiled t-shirt and sweatpants or will they invest in their image by buying a designer suit? There’s a reason why people try to dress their best when meeting new people or for a job interview. Your image is THE thing that communicates to people who they are and what they do and it’s also why large companies spend millions of dollars on a logo or ad campaign.

Just because a clients’ budget is unrealistic doesn’t mean you can’t work with them to let them know what they can afford.

5. Being Upfront About Costs Allows You to Be Flexible and Negotiate

When your client understands everything that goes into your rates, you can then be in the position of finding a middle ground with your client about what a certain budget can get them. They wanted a 90 second animation but their budget realistically might get them only 30 seconds of animation. Pitch how you could communicate what they need in a shorter amount of time. Explain why a shorter and more concise animation may even communicate what they want to convey to a viewer even better due to most people’s attention span. Just because a clients’ budget is unrealistic doesn’t mean you can’t work with them to let them know what they can afford.

Backing up your rates with justification will help ensure you get paid what you’re worth. After all, an amazing animator with mediocre business acumen will be paid like a mediocre animator.

What are some experiences you’ve had with clients regarding rates?  Have you ever had to explain to a client that their expectations don’t match their budget?


Topics covered include
Cinema 4D, Cinema 4D Lite, Lighting, Modeling, Texturing

In this tutorial I’m going to break down how to create a piece of a “Mini Machine” from this piece by Pixego and how to create plastic textures, including a plastic glass texture.  We’ll build the mini machine, add a 3 point light setup, and then go over how to texture our objects!

By the way, this tutorial can be followed along using Cinema 4D Lite that comes for FREE with Adobe Creative Cloud!

And as always, if you have any questions, be sure to post it in the comments section and if you create anything cool using this technique, be sure to share it with me! Thanks for watching!

This was recorded live on the Live Design Stream. To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.

Tutorial:


Topics covered include
After Effects, Animation, Cinema 4D, Cinema 4D Lite, MoGraph, Photoshop, Texturing

In this 2 part tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can create a retro 80’s style animated GIF using Cinema 4D (or Cinema 4D Lite), After Effects, and Photoshop.  We’ll start by first building our
scene inside of C4D and creating all our retro elements.  Then, we’ll light and texture our scene and keep within a retro color palette.  In Part 2 of this tutorial, we’ll bring our rendered animation into After Effects and apply effects to turn our crisp rendered 3D and transform it to make it look like a faded VHS tape.  Finally, we’ll render our animation from AE, bring it into Photoshop and I’ll cover how you can turn your animation into an animated GIF.

If you have any questions, post them in the comments!  Be sure to post any examples of you using this technique in your projects as well!  Thanks for watching!

This was recorded live on the Twitch Live Design Stream.  To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.

Part 1: How to Create a Retro Style Animated GIF in Cinema 4D

Part 2: How to Create a Retro Style Animated GIF in After Effects and Photoshop