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Vimeo Festival + Awards Title Sequence 88 Comments



I just finished up a title animation for the upcoming Vimeo Festival + Awards. Vimeo asked me to make a sequence to help promote the awards and I said “Heck Yeah!”. I had a few hours free and a concept ready. What surprised me though, was how fast this animation was completed. It made me realize how much power we all have in these tools we use every day to help make things quickly and help make them look sexy.

Here is a breakdown of the workflow, tools and times. The 3D was It was animated, lit and rendered in about 4 hours using Cinema 4D, Mograph Dynamics and the HDRI Light Kit Pro. I then brought the final renders into after effects where I used Magic Bullet Looks, Trapcode Shine, Knoll Light Factory Pro, and Curves to edit and composite the scenes. The audio was made In GarageBand in just about a half hour using pre-made audio samples, loops and effects built into GarageBand (I wish I had more time to make custom sound design for this spot actually). Overall, this whole animation was concepted, animated, rendered, composited and Scored in less than an 8 hour day! The power we have at our fingertips to realize what we dream up is so outstanding.

There is nothing stopping you from making what you want anymore. Only your own skills (which you work on every day anyway, right?), knowledge (which is free. Thanks internet!), and the tools, which are wildly inexpensive considering what they can help you do in such a short amount of time. So, what are you waiting for. Stop reading and start making stuff. In fact, to bring this full circle, why not make something great to enter into the upcoming Vimeo Festival + Awards?

City Kit
Texture Kit Pro

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88 Comments

  1. Troy Jarrell

    That look sweet Nick!

    I really appreciate all your tutorials… it’s been my stepping stone to learning and incorporating more C4D into my projects. Thanks for all you do man!

    Reply
  2. Great animation Nick. More importantly, great message! What stops people from making cool shiz? Call of Duty? Watching useless vids on YouTube? I’m guilty of these and more but it’s time to step up the game. As Gary V would say, it’s time to CRUSH IT!

    Reply
  3. Yes we have all this power and tools at our finger tips but in my opinion this is an example of how things can go wrong.

    Just being constructive I don’t think this is a very strong piece. The animation looks computed and ‘randomized’, the glossy candy coated feel is being done to death and MB looks just adds the same looks to 90% of how people use it. (read this article for my point: http://theabyssgazes.blogspot.com/2010/03/teal-and-orange-hollywood-please-stop.html ) It looks LIKE a tutorial which is perhaps ironic since your tutorials are extremely helpful.

    This is just of course my opinion and naturally time and budget play a huge role I just feel like we are starting to apply the same preset ‘looks’ across the board and especially in 3D since its easier to use someone else’s looks, plugins and presets then to come up with a unique one.

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Travis

      That article is so sideways. The author fails to realize that these colors have been in use far longer than digital has ever been around. He uses mainstream, commercials movies that are made to make money to prove his point. If he want’s to make a point, look to art house movies. A movie that wants to make money is going to use elements that are appealing to the masses, such as skin toned color grading – which I repeat, has been done since editing systems were linear.

      If you’re going to look at Iron Man 2 and complain that it’s art isn’t original, you are an idiot and should be going to an art house to critique those films.

      Lastly, it’s not like Nick is copying this style. He’s an experienced pro, he’s not just some kid who copies tutorials. If a company comes up to him seeing his work (which is 3d shiny) and offers him a gig, do you think he’s going to turn around and make something that is unlike his typical style??? No!

      Reply
    • You’ve almost had 2 weeks to submit for a 5 sec piece Ian. We shall all look forward to the originality and creativeness of your entry.

      As for this piece, it is pretty cool. Most people couldn’t even come up with a concept and block out how it will cut in less then 8 hours let alone have a 30 sec finished spot.

      Reply
    • we are in 2010 people, let the bloke say what he thinks, his point of view wasn’t offensive.

      hey Travis, you should consider not calling anyone else idiot when discussing, or you may lose your point when being rude.

      be gentles guys, this is a friends place.

      Reply
    • Ian,

      look, people are people color and the rest of the world is teal or some variation of of this, live with it!.. you cannot escape this notion; this is a common philosophy amongst colorists – if you have humans in your film you do not have very many choices because of the restricted pallet and use complimentary color zone, teal just happens to fall within the zone, so what do you expect?? It all depends on the movie anyways, there has to be a reason for making people Barny-purple or larks vomit green. Avator was the exception because the main characters were blue!!

      btw, the guy who wrote the article sounds like the most miserable and abominable person on this planet, you guys would make a cute couple.. ;)

      To be honest this was one of my favorite pieces nick has made. keep on rocking in the free world nick!

      Reply
    • Bobby

      Ian,

      Pay no mind to the nay-sayers. I’ve learned enough from forums that there are people who will ALWAYS take the opposite position against you, and you can’t convince them of your point of view (especially when it seems like you’re criticizing the main guy – Nick).

      They will resort to calling you names and poking holes in your opinion but can’t provide any worthwhile thoughts to build upon the discussion. I am seeing it here with some posts.

      I say, learn what you have to learn and let the suckers remain drones. They are the ones who will not see things unless Nick tells them to do it. I am sure that Nick read your link and to some degree agrees with you, so don’t worry about it.

      These are probably 14 year old kids who want to pretend like they know something, so just ignore them and keep posting your thoughts because I value ideas that will help me develop my craft.

      Reply
    • Sapphire9

      I don’t necessarily disagree with your overall sentiment but I find the whole teal-and-orange hyperventilation a little silly myself. It’s like walking into a bakery and complaining about how many things have chocolate in them. It’s very simple. It’s because we like it.

      You can slam the bakery on the grounds that “everybody makes chocolate chip muffins.” Why don’t they show some real guts and go against the popular norm with some radical baby squirrel muffins (now with real squirrel!)

      You make a good point about not always going for what’s “easy” and there is no question we all need to guard against being derivative and lazy in the way that we approach our work but it’s also easy to turn your nose up and say, “Blah, I’ve seen it before.” When it comes to art you can very easily make the argument that we’ve seen everything before.

      Yes we should all shoot for new and original but is everything on your reel unlike anything ever seen before or is there a little chocolate in there too?

      Reply
    • Travis

      Tom, first, welcome to the real world. Second, I wasn’t calling anyone in this forum an idiot directly. Even if I was, thats fairly tame, and once again, welcome to the real world.

      Point is, you don’t look for high art in mainstream movies made for entertainment and mass consumption. It’s a film that was made with to be a catalyst to lots of income.

      Reply
  4. That is awesome! Nick you are in high demand these days and have certainly earned it. Now back to MILG-7 so I can ramp up on the finer points of creating a concept like this.

    Reply
  5. RagingClaw

    that is 100% Pimplicious! You truly inspire Nick.

    Reply
  6. Well, it looks like an 8 hour job.
    Okay, the look might be cool.
    But… is it sth. special to throw around some signs (…in an undynamical way)? I think not.

    Reply
  7. OhBeOne

    Nick,
    First of all AWESOME!
    I wanted to try and break this down. It looks like one plus object animated to fall, but not with mograph but keyframes. Then when it gets close to the ground you fade it out and have a second object behind it. The second object is a cloner object of hundreds of little plus signs that has mograph dynamics attached to it to make it explode, because they all are touching. Also did you slow down the animation by adding more frames per second or less?

    Again thanks for all the tuts, Love the light kit bundle with the training.

    Reply
  8. Damn! I really liked that! The impact on the music and explosion was huge after just the right amout of build up time. Real nice.

    The only reason I hate your work is because is because it just make sme want to go out and buy Cinema4D that much more. But I can’t because the funds aren’t there just yet. Oh well. Thank god Blender as a free alternative. If I didn’t have that I’d go insane.

    Keep making that cool shit!

    Reply
  9. Nate Tull

    Wow beautiful just stinkin beautiful Nick, I love it!

    Reply
  10. wow wow wow and wow! WOW! Spectacular! I never stop loving your style Nick!

    And by the way, any chances you will teach us how to make that crumbled paper trick like you did for REWORK?

    Reply
  11. It ain’t the Gorillas fault that people can’t take what he’s teaching you and make something original instead of copying his style pretty much straight from his tutorial and doing nothing to personalize it. (and no, switching out greyscalegorilla.com with your web address isn’t making it original)

    Reply
  12. Andrew

    I’d be curious to see what the detractors could do in less than 8 hours for an entire piece (including sound design). Too many people get caught up on the technicalities of work and not how it makes you feel. If it makes you (or someone) feel good, then great, if not, whatever. In the end that’s all that’s important. Not MB presets this and glossy look that. Clients don’t care about all that noise.

    Reply
    • Andrew

      Oh, and great job Nick! Especially under the time considerations, and kudos for putting up something that is self-admittedly not your “best work…by a long shot”. That’s something that’s hard for me, and I’m sure others, to get around.

      Reply
  13. beautifully written post nick, the most text I’ve seen here in a while (maybe ever?)

    It’s a good reminder of what simplicity and not getting hung up can do.

    Reply
  14. I don’t know about you, but 8 hours and 4 of those hours are for rendering and the rest is for actually working on it including sound design. That’s damn good if you ask me.

    Great job Nick. Did anyone noticed how Vimeo asked him to do a video. That’s freaking sweet.

    Reply
  15. Like it man, looks ace! Quick question: did you hide the large cross object when and small dynamic crosses explode from it? It looks that way to me, but the transition is so clean, I’m not sure! Cheers, Ollie

    Reply
    • Press pause right when the explosion happens. You’ll see the dynamic crosses pop in on a frame behind the falling cross. Then the front one cuts out and the scatter happens. When it’s done in just a couple frames you can’t even notice playing real time.

      Reply
  16. Hey great job to have produced this in such a short window, tight deadlines some times produce greatness!

    Do you have any tips, links to using GarageBand for this sort of thing? Its been on my Mac from day one, but I only just opened it today :|

    Reply
  17. Nice animation, Nick ! And thank’s for the message : go to work ! it’s the only way to make cool stuff… No secret !

    Reply
  18. 8 hours to conceptualize, create the animation, set up the cameras and lights, render, post process it and cut it together, sound design it and make sure everything is timed right, and render final.
    Congratulations! for 8 hours thats a good amount of work to get done in whatever means you had!

    Reply
    • btw i know i can get stuck behind garageband for hours to only create something out of loops that I don’t even use. But this doesn’t piece doesn’t really give off that “im from garageband” feel, which i think is hard to achieve (coming from a non musical bg)

      Reply
  19. Thats a nice piece Nick, especially when considered it was done in 8 hours. Thanks for explaining the workflow and timing. Even these little posts are very helpfull for me. Its sometimes the little details which give me an “aha” effecct.

    Reply
  20. Nick
    Your killing the freelance industry!!!
    Never let the clients know how the magic behind the curtain is made!!! They have to believe that we have the ability to move mountains and that what they ask is the equivalent of moving mountains!! If they know the ease in which some of this stuff gets made and the enjoyment we get in doing it they will take total advantage of us and the process.

    Remember – The job would be great if it weren’t for the clients!!!

    Lou …
    (you can turn off the sarcasm meter now)

    Reply
    • jason

      i’ve often made the comparison between motion graphics (and all creative) tutorial sources to illusions/magic tricks. you just shouldn’t share the tricks of the trade with the public. yes, they’re valuable for the right people but when anyone and everyone has access to it the markets are flooded with posers who have no real world experience and are stealing the much needed work ($) from the real artists. i hate to say it but i feel these sites like video copilot, gsg and tuts plus should all be shut down or at least charge a hefty price for their services in order to weed out those who do not need to know.

      i agree, the client should constantly be kept in the dark as to the process but so should everyone else unless it’s your profession and how you make a living. i’ve lost tons of work to young college kids who underbid and produce mediocre tutorial results. don’t get me wrong. i appreciate nick and andrew and everyone else sharing techniques and tips but the creative industry is suffering because the information is readily available for the public for free.

      ok, i’m done complaining. talk amongst yourselves.

      Reply
      • The secret to every magic trick is online and only a search away for anyone who wants to know. Yet, people still watch magic shows, wonder how it was done, and are amazed by the presentation. You see, the Magic doesn’t happen with trick coins, hidden cards, or a trap door. Magic is made by the magician. It’s the CRAFT of the artist that makes it special, not a bunch of “Secrets”.

        Kids with access to tutorials aren’t your competition. It’s the people with CRAFT that are valuable. It’s always the ARTIST that holds the value, not some tutorial.

        Reply
    • wtf_cakes

      Totally, 100%, agree with Nick’s statement above.

      Reply
    • If you have clients that settle for that kind of crap anyways, I think you just saved yourself a lot of time and frustration dealing with a client who obviously doesn’t respect or appreciate what we do to make a living. There are plenty of clients out there who have a standard, and they’re the ones worth working for anyways.

      Reply
    • We are in this new era of sharing information. Believe it or not, many people LIKE sharing what they know. Some people actually LIKE helping others. I believe that that’s what all of these tutorials are about. Do you think Nick, Kramer, John Dickenson, Aharon, Harry Frank (list goes on and on) make all the content they make because they want to destroy the industry? I would like to believe it’s about giving back. For myself, there is a joy in spreading information around. Making other people happy and excited in turn makes me happy and excited.

      Yes, everybody can access this info. Yes, everybody can start making an exact replica of all the tutorials they see. But do you really think they are the ones who will succeed at the end of the day?

      If young college kids are threatening, perhaps you should up your game, differentiate yourself from these kids and show that you are a pro, that you really are worth the extra dollars.

      Reply
  21. Karim

    I dont like it. All your work has the same glossy and shiny look that feels very amateurish if used extensively. also I think this piece is more about the sound design and not the motion design, which is very simple to be honest. no offense but i get the feeling you are more of a flash in the pan lately :/

    Reply
    • Man again… this is a 8 hours job. Would you get into new techniques to explore, for such a rush ?
      I won’t and i think most of us pro won’t too.
      This is a matter of delivering in time a matter of keeping as pro as possible each time.
      If you dare getting into new techniques each time you have a customer on the phone. Well you won’t get into delivering tnigns on time.
      Mos of the time, customers call you because you are a pro because of your style and many times they want the same thing they saw on your reel. Same shit ???
      well show yours and you’ll may have a try for ask or say for something.

      Reply
  22. campru

    Amazing. I love how simple this is and the dramatic sound change when we see all the little bits.

    Reply
  23. wayfarer designs

    wow nick, great work and its quite stunning for 8 hours of work!

    Reply
  24. jason

    thank you for sharing. it’s a very attractive and underwhelming piece of motion graphics.

    Reply
  25. Brian

    Looks like it was created in a couple hours. Very average.

    Reply
    • “Simplicity is the height of sophistication,” i stole that quote from someone else…but i think it works here…He did mention it was all done in one day…

      Reply
  26. wtf_cakes

    “‘Can’t please everyone’ isn’t just an aphorism, it’s the secret of being remarkable.”
    - Seth Grodin

    Reply
  27. Reminds me of 2001: A Space Odyssey. All you need is the opening music and your good.

    Very cool.

    Reply
  28. Tedris

    Well in my opinion its not his best work, but who cares? For me, it looks decent enough, and i doubt that the folks who giving nick hard critique cant do it THAT much better.

    To be honest, it took me a while to figure out how exactly it was done.

    Sure its the same “old” Nick glossy/shiny/candy style, but you forget in the same breath that this is exactly everyone should aim for -> a style of art that let people instantly think “ah its a gorilla”.

    If you have even the slightest clue of marketing you know what im talking about.

    A piece of work which is all grungy and misty wouldnt fit to nick. Sure, if a customer wants those settings, he will able to achieve an awesome sequence no question here.

    Having said that, i personally see the problem in the community around GSG.
    They expect everything needs to be better than the last animation or tutorial.
    The fact that nick is teaching us the making it look great part is in my opionon too much.
    Still he does it, and very much of you out there doesnt want to think about how the look is created because they are to lazy or to unexpierienced in AE/C4D or whatsoever.

    Ill rate animation based on few categories:
    Atmosphere
    Sounddesign
    Animation
    Compositing
    Entertainment

    in this case i rated it in my awesome fancy and very complicated designed excel sheet (right?right!!!) as follows:

    Atmosphere:5/5
    Sounddesign:3/5
    Animation:3/5
    Compositing:4/5
    Entertainment5/5

    i cant help it, i still want to watch this animation again and again though i dont think its THAT good. And exactly THIS is the key of beeing recognized and get a job in this hard business.

    Just my thoughts and please excuse me for my bad english

    Greets from Germany
    t3Dris

    Reply
  29. Peter

    Look, it’s by no means dismissive of Nick’s talent to say that this piece, while beautifully lit & composited, is in conception & execution, a fairly plain piece of animation.

    What I think the problem is, is that it appears that the piece was built around the tools & Nick should be okay with that criticism given his earlier posts about the ‘Death of the Keyframe’ and expressions making everything look the same. While the lighting & comping is vintage Gorilla, the animation could have been done by anyone that’s done a few tutorials on Mograph Dynamics.

    It’s great for a days work & kudos to Nick for having really put time into mastering C4D. But I think the piece says as much about how powerful tools can flatten the creative space as it does about how giving you the power to do anything you want. That old Twain quote about when the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail?

    Again, no disrespect to Nick, whom I’m learnt an enormous amount from via his generous tutorials. But I think he can handle constructive criticism.

    Here’s the link to Nick’s piece about expressions for reference –
    http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/2009/09/the-death-of-the-keyframe/

    Reply
  30. Guido Agüero

    This looks simply amazing!!!

    Thanks Nick!!! This inspire us to keep learning and improve our skills….

    Reply
  31. Mr.Rubber

    jo nick,
    I was so exited when I started the vid, had my popcorne and coke right next to my awesome mouse….but what happened then….
    what is this? so slow animation…why a + as main shape, what does this have to do with vimeo? was it a paid job?
    I am a little bit disapointed with u, u are my hero dude,….put more hdri and lenseflare magic in it …u can do it

    Reply
    • Tedris

      yeah really confusing why he is using a plus shape for the vimeo PLUS logo from the vimeo PLUS award!!!!!!
      That doesnt make any sense nick!!!

      oh wait…this isnt failblog??!? g2g

      Reply
    • Mr.Rubber

      hi tetris,
      thanks for the aditional information man, now I understand the breathtaking concept thats beneath this masterpiece. Sorry for judging you nick without looking at the vimeo site…
      by the way i looked at your stuff at vimeo tedris…your 3d skills are amaaaaaaaazing ;)
      I can seee the influence of our beloved teatcher

      Reply
    • Mr.Rubber

      by the way:

      Entertainment5/5

      wtf…u are easy to entertain or

      Reply
    • Tedris

      “why a + as main shape”
      i respondet to that.

      i´ll agree. my videos on vimeo are , well, garbage.

      The main reason about that is, that i dont use vimeo for uploading my stuff. i´m on youtube for making tutorials, you maybe want to check them (they are in german though).

      by the way:
      were exactly did i mention my 3d skills? and what the hell they have to do with the discussion of nicks vimeo animation?

      Entertainment 5/5 mainly because, as i wrote above (asuming that you acutally can read), the video makes me watch it again and again, i dont now why , again as i mentioned before, i wanna watch this vid over again though i dont think its good. cant explain, just entertaining for me i gues..

      so.. now find real arguments if you wanna bitch about something.cmon YES YOU CAN!

      Reply
  32. Excellent tittle sequence, it looks really simple but a great force with the render quality.
    I work in 3dsmax but every time I visit your site I’d like to learn C4d.

    Reply
  33. hudelfa

    nick please tutoeial about this work. it is great work

    Reply
  34. Thomas

    Hi Nick,

    Great stuff in the first place!! keep it up.
    and now my question how do you get different colors in a mograph falling plus things?

    Thanks Mate!

    Reply
    • Just add multiple items to the cloner. In this case, I added the same object but duplicated with different colors.

      Reply
  35. Simon

    Hey NIck,

    Nice work, particularly for the timeframe. I’m from a graphic design background, mostly print and strongly believe the idea is king. Also you need to move people emotionally. This is very hard to do. Spike Jonze is famous for a reason. Kyle Cooper is the same. Great ideas, great execution.

    I am slowly learning how to put my ideas into motion and I downloaded your piece above to analyse it frame by frame. And I realised that motion graphics, whilst being about the visuals of course and the theme etc, is really about the DETAILS. Eg the lens flare and light blowout as the cross nears the ground. Also the little camera zoom in and shake at impact. I think experience is the only way I’ll learn TIMING. Timimng and details, the little things if done well make an ordinary piece great. Now I don’t think this piece you did is gonna change the world…but its not meant to…its an intro to an event…it sets the scene and gets the punters ready for whats next…and I think it does that job.

    A few comments above really focus on the “look” only with one guy saying something about shiny renders and those colours. People need to look at the impact on the audience,,,thats all that matters. I come from a very strong brand strategy background and I can tell you….fads, looks whatever you want to call them do work, but used moderately. The only thing that matters is the story and the message. And I agree, its the crafter, the storyteller, the artist that makes the difference. Imagine if Pablo Picasso learnt how to use C4D and Mograph. I can tell you right now he would be pushing the limits to the nth degree, because he was a true magician. Some people are just wired different, like Tarantino, Peter Jackson, Spielberg and Hitchcock to name a few!

    And on Picasso he once said it took him 80 years to learn how to paint like a child. Not sure exactly what that means but it sounds cool!

    Anyway I’ve said my piece and greetings from Australia everyone.

    Oh and is there a tutorial we can expect on this soon?

    Keep up the great sharing of your knowledge Nick and remember mate it beats cleaning toilets for a friggin living!

    Simon :)

    Reply
  36. zeyad

    i love it so much
    nike…. i want to achive his level in grapich :D

    Reply

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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.