3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 8, 2010 8:27 AM by Todd_Kopriva

    Work Flow - Suggestions, tutorials, or Books

    Cris is Bliss Level 1

      Hello All,


      I've been teaching myself AE, as well as Ps, Ai, and Pre Pro. (Creative Suite 4) 


      I'm somewhat comfortable with a couple of the applications but by no means a master of any.  However, I think that its takes me too long to do some things, and I believe that I have encounter some problems because of my work flow and probably could have avoided them if I had formal training.


      It could also be that I don't have a frame of reference and don't know how long things actually take, and to me, I just feel like I'm moving slow.  I have been surprised to find out that a particular music video or special effect that I saw took a TEAM of people, a MONTH(s) to create.


      For those of you who have gone to school and learned AE (or the other programs) with an instructor and a planned course, do you think you would have grasped the program(s) and how to make your creative ideas come to life on screen as easily if you had not gone to school and learned on your own?


      Now that I am learning a 3D program (Blender) and will be trying to incorporate AE, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator and Blender all together, when needed, and I was wondering if there is any book that deals with the proper workflow. Or is just doing the tutorials and building up knowledge/skills the way.  Practice makes perfect but does practice make efficient?  And  I haven't even gotten into the scripts or expressions YET.


      In buying the Creative Suite I had visions of making MOVIES/videos with all the special effects, flashing lights, disappearing acts, etc...   and since all these applications came together in the Creative Suite- its ment for and possible for a person to do ALL things, by him or herself,  --maybe my thinking is wrong and one should specialize and get with a team.


      Is it that when one is trying to create a certain effect or look, knowing each application and its abilities would sort of guide you to the correct work flow??  But until you know these applications -- Very Well--, its a lot like stumbling in the dark and trying out different blending modes.


      Is there a book that lays out the proper or most efficient workflow.  I  have been reading several booking on AE and also some on Pr Ps and Ai  and doing tutorials on line, and learning Blender on line at  CreativeCow.net  but the books don't teach workflow.


      Thanks in Advance

        • 1. Re: Work Flow - Suggestions, tutorials, or Books
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          Just to address one part of your post:

          Have you noticed that the credits for a movie go on for a very, very long time? And have you noticed how movies are sometimes said to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make? That's because visual effects and compositing work takes a _tremendously_ long time for a large number of people.


          I'm good with After Effects. It's my job to know how to work with this software. And it takes me hours to do a single visual effects shot that only lasts a few seconds.


          So, don't think that you're necessarily doing something wrong just because it's taking a long time. This kind of work takes a long time.


          Regarding books that teach workflow: Chris and Trish Meyer's Creating Motion Graphics and Mark Christiansen's Studio Techniques books do. After you've got the basics of the software's features down, dive into these.

          • 2. Re: Work Flow - Suggestions, tutorials, or Books
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            To put your mind at ease: I'm 100% self-taught, both in 3D animation as well as all this computer geekery. When I started out 18 years back, there simply was no way to study any of this here in Germany - there were no courses at universities or aprrenticeships. However, and I think that really is your problem, I have had a good artistic background already with painting, clay sculpting and any kind of paper/ wood/ metal craft, so I knew how to structure my workflow to get a specific result, recognizing limitations such as what a single person can actually manage to do at any given time. To me it seems you are still overwhelmed because you are letting yourself influence by too many things and try to use too many tools in the process. So in order to overcome your dilemma, the most reasonable approach would be to limit your artistic process by focusing only on a few tools just lika a painter decides on a specific style. This does not mean you should forego 3D animation nor does it mean you should start working only in AE and do a "hack job" of editing all your video there, but you may simply stop your exploration of specific features which you may never use otehr than following a tutorial. I would also stop watching tutorials as exactly this wil llead you astray again. Instead, try to draw up a project based on your current skill level and put it in motion. Along the way, you will find enough opportunities where you will have to look for a specific solution using a tutorial or reading help files, but that#s a different thing from just watching them al land trying to memorize every bit...



            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Work Flow - Suggestions, tutorials, or Books
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

              Mylenium's advice is excellent.