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Can We Have 2 Minutes of Your Time To Watch This Video?

No More Abstract 3D? 291 Comments


There seems to be some push back away from abstract C4D stuff lately. This piece by Andrew Serkin sums it up by making the quintessential abstract mograph animation and adding a message to STOP MAKING THEM.

Scratch Scratch Scratch
Any popular technology or trick is always over-used by beginners at first. When turntable scratching became popular, it was EVERYWHERE for a few years and then it became more subtle as DJs learned how to use the new technique more tastefully. Same thing happened with synthesizers in the 70s and auto-tune in the 2000s. [1]

Our current auto-tune is Abstract 3D. Starting in the last year or two, 3D has become more accessible and can now run on laptops instead of huge expensive machines. Software like Cinema 4D is made to be used by designers instead of technicians. This means more people have access to the technology and can learn how it works. More people entering a market always means a big glut of beginners that need to go though the process of learning.

Learning
Abstract animations are a fun way to learn the software without worrying too much about your scenes not looking realistic enough. In fact, I use simple abstract shapes and animations as a way to teach Cinema 4D without getting too hung up on stuff like modeling.[2] Of course, if you want to become a real 3D artist (you know, one that gets paid) you might have to learn more than just abstract stuff. I don’t see the harm in playing and learning, but nothing let’s you know where your 3D skills stand more than a “Real” project.

We need experts like Andrew to point out the trend and to start conversations like this. However, in the end, its about being good at what you do and your ability to do what clients are paying you for. Don’t let people tell you what NOT to make. Learn, play, and make fun/abstract stuff. But, when you’re ready to learn more, remember there is much more to 3D than spheres.


1. I always use music analogies, but this happens everywhere. Look at how photography has taken off since digital cameras made it so anyone could try photography, or how Trapcode Shine is used in so many commercials on it’s default settings.

2. Also, I’m not that great at the advanced stuff either. This is a big reason why I am trying to get more Cinema 4D artists like Mike and Chris to do more advanced tutorials for Greyscalegorilla.

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291 Comments

  1. I agree with ya. Way too much of the same.
    It especially bugs me when I see a blatant ripoff of a tutorial from here or from video copilot on TV. Man that bugs!

    Yes we all need to learn, and thats great, but…

    Go for new ideas, be original, and have fun!

    Reply
    • Seeing a almost unchanged Videocopilot comp on TV doesn’t bug me that much any more (it does provoke something) but at the same time I think of the creators mental health: If someone storms in the office needing an ace piece for the next day, Andrew Kramer could save you from massive ulcers in the long run. Can’t be “creative” all the time.
      Regarding this abstract 3d, there has been a huge demand for this particular style, and I guess we’re now saturated our need. I don’t think it has to do with this style, as I’m sure [all of us] will jump on the next band waggon and wear it out whatever it is. There probably was a video like this of vector flourishes 8 years ago… As you say, too much of the same. I guess it’s inevitable.

      Reply
      • Excellent point. Its all very well sitting back and judging someone for taking a basic template and hardly changing it. But if the producers/ directors or managers involved wanted something along those lines in next to no time, sadly you don’t always have a few hours, let alone days, weeks or months to previs and work out an idea. Sometimes you need to knock something out quickly.

        I would say that literally taking the project and changing nothing shows a real lack of ability and effort though. It doesn’t take much to change a project even a little which can affect the look dramatically. Then again, you might have a client who has used the initial design as reference and is blinded to the value of anything else but that – constantly pulling back any creativity and making you effectively copy something already out there. In these cases you can try to explain till you’re blue in the face but ultimately, if you want to get paid, you do as you’re asked.

        I have however seen plenty of showreels with exact VCP, Gorilla, Motionworks tutorials with nothing changed. That is a huge no-no.

        Reply
        • Love abstract shit, there is a place and a time. Great discussion though.

          BTW is the above post really from ‘the’ David Byrne, if so, badass..

          Reply
    • mccabe33

      Well I dont really think abstract work is really the issue here as abstract obviously isnt a fad or a trend its an approach. But spheres and modynamics have certainly been explored alot recently and I think I agree in that the tools most have learned as a result of doing these animations should really now be used in a more creative way, not stop abstract work. I mean in Europe abstract work generally is more main stream and excepted and its been done way way way before c4D even had mograph before computers infact ha ha. And ye if you have some ass of a client that is asking for the heaven and earth in 2 days…video-copilot it is! We try where we can but when the odds are stacked against you, sometimes you have to do it…a dreadful shame and the the detriment of our industry and jobs but thats not our fault

      Reply
  2. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of imitating what other people are doing in order to be thought of as relevant or up to date.

    When I stopped second-guessing what I thought people/employers would want to see and started just doing what came naturally I began producing much better work (even if I do love particle systems a bit too much!)

    Reply
    • Well said, Tom. Imitation is a great way to learn software, but finding you’re own style is important.

      Reply
      • Khaleef

        I believe we learn by copying, but then we make it ours when we expand on that idea and improve on it.

        And I’m sorry but Nick, I think you got your “you’re” and “your” backwards…

        Reply
          • Hamilton Thorley

            Also Nick, there is a “let’s” that is supposed to be a “lets”, and the second footnote point is indicated with a 1 instead of a 2.

            I love how this animation actually is done in such a slick, polished way that it actually sells the abstract style as much as it warns you off!

            At the end of the day though, it is a good point to make but to anyone learning just keep on doing what you are doing and have fun with it I reckon. Although I think we all now know that the bar has now officially been raised…

  3. I agree that the stuff shown in the video he made is been over produced lately, but I think just like videocopilot stuff is seen all over, it all comes down to what the viewer is taking from all these tutorials. Are they taking techniques or ideas. Nick, your tutorials are a good place to learn parts of Cinema but should never be replicated for work for clients but just be used to learn Cinema 4D.

    But this video is a good wake up to anyone who does this kind of work to have just more than the abstract 3D skills and to make our work our own. To put our own style and flare to what we make to make it stand out.

    Reply
  4. Excellent point. It irritates me when pros take cheap shots at amateurs. Making badass animations like the one above isn’t going to make people stop doing it. It seems this is his way of flexing his muscles a bit. On a side note, I would really enjoy a good morphing tut.

    Reply
  5. PScotch

    I think there will always be a place for experimental and abstract design, but I agree it’s reached saturation point a little of late.
    Hopefully people will find their own voice as ultimately a distinctive sense of authorship is key to being a true creative mind. It is funny though the flippancy of fashion casts off what once was deemed cool fairly quickly. I guess style never goes out of fashion

    Reply
  6. Crispin

    I see a lot of canned mograph passed off as motion graphics. How about cooking up your own recipes. And if you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.
    Nice post Andrew, good point Nick

    Reply
    • Hey Crispin, can we see something truly original you have done?

      Personally, I find this whole thread really ironic and a bit sad.

      Reply
  7. feels pretentious to me. Although its a clever way of doing something to say you shouldnt be doing it and get the shame out of your own work, if you know what i mean.
    I almost never have the chance to do abstract stuff for clients, so i enjoy watching them. What gets old is lack of originality, either be abstract or realistic. I think the real point is there.

    Reply
  8. I share Andrew’s frustration with abstract 3D animations. While they are a great way to learn software, the seem to have become the dominating trend in the world of motion graphics.

    It seems that major websites devoted to motion design as well as the festivals only reinforce the fashion, hailing one video after another to be the new masterpiece, while all I see is same old primitive+deformer or object+displacement map with glitchy abstract audio.

    I’ve done my share of that stuff, hell, even have it on my reel – but when asked to explain the piece in detail I honestly admit “It’s just a result of me messing around in C4D”. Many “artists” however dress their pieces with clever write-ups using catchy wording like “exploration”, “juxstaposition of audio and visuals”, “post meta modern symbolism” and the crow goes wild.

    Truth be told, real creativity will always stand out in the sea of fashionable mediocrity, but that said, I am glad somebody had the balls to stand up and express this (I now see) quite common opinion in a form of well-done spoof.

    Reply
    • Those bloody crows, always fall for the pretentious shit. I joke, but great points.

      Reply
  9. Michael

    meh, Me Serkin’s piece strikes me as rather mean-spirited and elitist. “I’m, like so much further along the learning curve than you guys,” (dramatic sweep of the hair, teenage angst face).
    So what if there are loads of abstract 3d pieces around ? That’s just one level of the zeitgeist – there are huge numbers of people that have recently learned to make (mostly) half-decent versions of it, and the overall quality of both production and conception is improving.
    In this world there are a small number of people with radical, original ideas. Mostly, the visions of progress these people have are not borne out by ideas adopted by the majority; if you’re original and different and talented, then you have a chance of popping up ahead of the curve. But only a chance. Thus, most people are some way behind what is white-hot, and it couldn’t be any other way; if everyone were so different and so unique there would be no consensus, no progress, no direction to our culture – just millions of people doing something different with no cohesive movements music, art, literature, cinema, etc.
    To snarkily point to a trend that was ground-breaking a few years ago, but that is now popular and deride it merely on the basis of its popularity is intellectually dishonest; where was the critique of this form 5 years ago when, as you say, Nick – such production was only possible on cutting-edge systems ?
    Any individual piece still has merit no matter where it was produced in the history of like things.
    We don’t sneer at people that make dining chairs by hand although the technology and the design is hundreds of years old, and we’d discount any criticism of furniture-making from the dim and distant past that made its judgements purely on the fact that ‘everyone was now making chairs by turning wood into legs and fitting it into moulded seats’.

    Reply
    • Pokeitwithastick

      Word.

      Bit daft to say ‘no more abstract’ that’s a bit like saying ‘no more blue’… Strive to be origional, strive to communicate, have fun and don’t worry about it too much eh?

      Reply
      • I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one who felt this video was mean spirited and rather off target as well. We aren’t artists, just designers. So this guy needs to get off his high horse. I doubt he’s really all that amazing. I mean, will we know his name in 50 years? Doubtful.

        I actually felt like it was insulting to Nick Campbell and Andrew Kramer, two guys who are very open and putting great energy into the world and helping professionals and amateurs alike.

        Reply
    • I honestly doubt this piece is addressed at people learning C4D or that it tries to discourage people from trying abstract stuff.

      Since the message is very simple it may be interpreted in a myriad of ways.

      In my eyes, it is directed at the pros and well established “mograph celebrities” who keep knocking out one piece after another using the same old tired techniques.

      To use your dining chairs analogy – I don’t think anybody would sneer at carpenters for making the chairs, but once these chairs, made out of the very same blueprint start showing up in galleries and art exhibitions all around the world – all looking the same – I think it would raise an eyebrow or two.

      Reply
      • even chairs have been thru the design processing. and some has been kept in mind for being great pieces of design, so is your movie, according to numbers of hits, nice buzz :)

        Reply
      • Greg L

        “No more abstract work” means nothing–only imagine the same thing said in painting, or in design generally. And note that this hipster polemic, this statement without any real aesthetic/theoretical value, is cached in…an empty, brief, flashy animation. This is lazy sub-Adbusters stuff. The legend “SHIT” over an animated pile of shit – really??

        The matter of [amateur] users replicating tutorials and calling it their own work has absolutely *nothing* to do with the more strenuous challenge of making art using CG apps, a challenge which requires deeper knowledge of the history of the arts, and also of the tools themselves (including programming/coding), than those tutorial-replicators will ever manage. It’s not specific platforms, nor apps, nor the presets in those apps which is the problem–it’s a failure to have ideas and skills even *before* booting up any app that’s the issue. Musicians, painters, writers & filmmakers take this stuff for granted; and serious CG/3D artists do the same.

        Reply
    • aye… mean spirited, pretentious, all of the above. seems more an attempt to garner attention on the part of the artist than to spark serious debate. do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do.

      Reply
  10. It’s a fair point that Andrew Serkin’s video makes, there is a little overkill in this style of design and any trend that hits the mainstream will eventually be rejected by the elite.

    However I think Andrew is being deliberately confrontational in order to promote himself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking him, if I could think of an idea that would get a video I’d made linked on a site like this I would do it!

    I am a trained 3d animator, my experience used to be in character animation using Lightwave but I’ve moved to Mograph because I find it a more creative medium that is way more satisfying than the labour of animation. It’s the middle ground between graphic design and animation.

    Videos in this style are great to showcase and develop skills without worrying about other factors, like you state yourself Nick. They help you develop skills that can be put to use in productive pieces. They are often the starting point for ideas.

    I’d also like to add that I’ve recently just started to use Cinema 4d simply because it is so much more useful than Lightwave for those purposes, and tutorials like those on Greyscale Gorilla are proving invaluable in that transition.

    Reply
  11. That Guy

    …..You’re the one that is teaching thousands of people how to make abstract things in C4D.. So I’m not sure where you’re getting at with this post.

    Teach us (and yourself) how to model things!

    Reply
    • Teaching by using simple shapes is more fun. There are plenty of other sites to teach you harder stuff. Try FXPHD or Cineversity. I’m not saying everyone has to be able to model, but maybe find a part of the software that YOU love to play with and be the best at it. For example, I love lighting.

      Reply
    • Chethan

      Looks like you paid Nick to teach you something and he cheated you by not teaching it. If you don’t like it, then just chuck it. There are more things to learn here than just what you are pointing out. Btw, good one Nick. I was actually thinking these must be the coolest thing to do. You opened many peoples eyes.
      Thanks!

      Reply
  12. This shit is waaaaay overdone. We shouldn’t even be having a conversation about this. That’s how overdone it is.

    Reply
  13. I don’t think it is cool – Being a great designer (probably an inspiration for many of us, and spread the message saying ‘stop doing this shit’. Alright, Everyone has to start somewhere. This video demotivated me – big time.

    I do Agree with Nick though…

    Reply
    • I do agree with you. Nick’s point is true. The way the message was sent out, a bit too harsh.

      Glad this type of posts come out, and should keep coming out. At least they makes us (creatives) be aware of what’s going on in the industry and question ourselves.

      cheers Nick!

      Reply
  14. I agree that there are general trends, which at some point turn into oversaturated styles, easily picked up and spit out in the real world. There’s always been things like that. Remember when Photoshop had their first set of filters? Bam, lensflares everywhere. 3D layers in After Effects? Same story (god I’m getting old).To the fullest. It usually takes a while and then most people realize that the trick won’t make the impact they’d hope for anymore, and move on to other -or more refined- techniques.

    I think it’s exactly the same as with this abstract wave. People find out they can make pretty imagery relatively easy with c4d, some did it in an early stage and became sort of famous for doing this. Zestkhof, Universal Everything and XXX for example were quite early with making abstract animations. More followed and now it’s all over the place. It happens.

    I don’t mind really, I see it as a learning tool. See what can be made with displacement maps, fresnels, GI, studio walls and what not. As long as it isn’t a one trick pony. At a certain point the client is going to ask for something different, and as a designer you should be moving on to stay ahead of them. And your competition for that matter. Apply the techiques you just learned in that one tutorial and apply it on your own ideas, which could be way different than said tutorial. Be creative and push yourself forward.

    Reply
        • Mario

          KPT was my favourite?
          Then came bryce 3d coz kai krause was behind this app….i dont really know what happened to Kai Krause? anybody know?

          Reply
  15. I don’t think the artist is saying stop doing Abstract, I think he is just saying “Stop doing B&W morphing shit”…..

    IMO, there really is no point to be using C4D without taking advantage of Mograph and the awesome abstract shit that you can make with it.

    Reply
  16. I think there is a distinction…and I struggled with this with traditional art as well…for me as long as there is as story and reasoning behind the idea…it does not matter if it is realistic or abstract. It is when the art is purely arbitrary that it loses artistic value to me.

    Reply
    • This video itself, I have respect for. It makes a statement and has caused a bit of a stir. There is a story behind it, regardless if you agree with the artist or like the work itself…it has spread it’s message and evoked a response. Bravo.

      Reply
  17. Excellent points all around. I appreciate this forum for a creative “kick-in-the-pants” to take it upon ourselves to break free of the default settings and do something original. Experiments are what gets noticed and is what sets unique trends, no matter what direction they go. There is never any harm in trying. So what if it takes 270 hours to render. Try another setting. Explore. I am also excited with each C4D tutorial I see that breaks down the barriers of the software and makes it that much more accessible to use these tools for what we do; animated or not. Keep pressing on!

    Reply
  18. We used to call this crap the “3D Blob” when I was in school, and that was 9 years ago.

    Some things will just never die.

    Reply
  19. Even if you’ve seen this type of work, doesn’t it mean most people have. So why care?

    I don’t care about style and try to have a broad horizon of techniques, and always trying to learn new stuff. If any client want that look I’ll give it.

    Most client want softer, kinder stuff anyway, so I think it’s unusual to get these kind of assignments.

    Reply
  20. Michael

    The criticism in the video as well as in subsequent responses on this post are ridiculous. Tutorials on the internet are incredibly popular. Some people copy them and try to pass them off as their own others use them as a stepping stone or put the various lessons learned in their own mental library. Everyone has to start somewhere and I don’t think it’s fair to criticize an educator like Nick or Andrew Kramer for what they do. Don’t like abstract 3D animations? Don’t make them and don’t watch them, problem solved. Want to learn how to model? Do you know what the move tool is? How about scale? See the tool called extrude? There you go, pick an object and have at it. Learning to do these things takes time, a lot of time AND dedication. If this is something you don’t realize than all you will ever do is copy tutorials.

    Reply
  21. man who cares, do what you love to do and keep learning by experimenting…you cant just “step it up” like from one day to another anyway…practice practice practice and one day your stuff will rule, doesnt matter if you do abstract stuff then or realistic stuff

    Reply
  22. I’d rather see someone try something new and innovative, even if it’s not that polished, rather than see so many (obviously talented) people knocking out the same old hat. I don’t think Andrew is trying to put people down, he just wants to see people pushing boundaries (as we all do).

    Reply
    • Sure, but pushing boundaries isn’t a matter of years or months. Advances take time, every month someone takes a little step in some direction, and only in a few years will we be able to see who did, and where he went.

      That’s how art goes.

      Reply
  23. This is a great talking point.

    Id like to raise the fact that with this kind of work, that I admire the audio is usually built to the visuals. I quite often like to work the other way around. That way you actually learn how to, you know key frame and think about what your doing.

    Although there will always be a place for snazzy visuals that look like screensavers. There are visual trends, so what. Remember when everything had a apple style refraction. For a while it looked good.

    Reply
  24. Sagnik

    Gr8 post Nick ;)

    I think when starting out making abstract things is goood, good process of knowing the extent of the application, its GI settings, render settings u know u just fiddle around bt heres waht i think, abstract can be fun even if put in demo reels provided they r done in such a way that they invoke the audience sumwhere u know. I mean i get it…its being overused and all bt it has happened over years with other design elements too..and its very natural that most ppl follow trends…bt then abstract will still be there.. may be after this ppl will bcme conscious of using abstract design elements bt if used nicely, i dnt c why ppl wont take a second look at it.

    Reply
  25. Why didn’t he spend the time and energy he put into that doing something original?

    Reply
  26. How many of the ‘pros’ did learn this program without copying, I’m wondering? And how many of the ‘pros’ didn’t start with primitives/copying?

    As soon as you get these basics you should ask for (free) assignments from friends or relatives and then you start learning the real deal. The moment you get into trouble you’ll have to find a way to figure it out.

    Nobody started with making a 2 minute animation that was perfectly lit/modelled…

    Reply
  27. derek

    alot of meta balls out there lol id love to see more advanced tutorials like the weight remapper or some more tp by simon there tough but they give you the knowledge to create not create from :) ive only had c4d for about 4 months but im serious about learning school in spring woot

    Reply
  28. I wrote up an article on Motion League brushing over this and how people should look at tutorials differently.

    http://motionleague.com/2011/03/beyond-the-tutorial/

    TL;DR – Learn techniques, not effects; build something different than the tutorial teaches; work backwards by reverse engineering the result before watching the tutorial; and watch the right tutorials.

    Reply
  29. Totally agree Nick. Don’t let anyone tell you what to make or not make. If you follow trends because you like them or if they let you make a living, then no one can tell you not to. It’s nice to do original stuff if you’re super-talented/educated in design and have a high-end job. But if you’re a lower level designer who has to do what their non-creative bosses tell them (ie super trendy designs), then hearing people tell you that you not creative is kind of a downer.

    Reply
  30. Frankie

    This whole discussion is so ridiculous. Everyone is sounding like a bunch of whiny art school prima donnas. Motion designers need to stop taking themselves and their work so seriously. We work in a disposable medium that churns out work to meet deadlines, gets devoured by the viewer and thrown away. You’re doing the work to get PAID, and you keep doing the work because you enjoy it. But it’s just a job, enough with the artist ego crap, this is a business. Do whatever type of design or animations that your clients want and that will get you paid. If you want to make a hundred abstract animations, go ahead. If you don’t, then great. Do whatever the hell you want to do, and stop worrying about what’s “played out” or what’s “hot right now.” And remember at the end of the day, these are just eye catchy animations for TV, web, or film, and In the grand scheme of things, NO ONE CARES.

    Reply
    • well frankie .. there is actually people out there doing other stuff than “catchy animations” .. calling people who care about these things “whiny art school prima donnas” makes you look like the motion design redneck that you are surely not…right ?!?

      Reply
  31. Zuppa

    “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

    — Ira Glass

    Reply
  32. Jesse

    But I LOVE the glitchy, abstract 3D stuff, especially when it is combined with live action, hand held style. It’s just beautiful. Sorry Andrew.
    And it IS ART, btw, I don’t think it is disposable – don’t sell it short, Frankie.

    Reply
    • Frankie

      Jesse, your enthusiasm is wonderful and greatly appreciated. I know motion designers want to think that they are artists working in a digital realm. But the reason we are all here working in this particular industry is to sell advertising in one way or another. Even personal projects such as the one we are all commenting on exist because there is an industry that these animations feed off of.

      Reply
  33. Jacob

    Always have an answer for everything, don’t you Nick?

    Reply
  34. I agree with tons of things said and really as someone who has been only using the software (c4d) for about a year and would still consider myself a beginner/intermediate I feel that abstract needs to stay and that taking any animation to its completion through the process is a great teacher in itself. Whatever subject works is fine – it proposes problems which need solutions and that is how I learn personally and what attracts me to want to continue this journey. But it is true that replication and taking other ideas and saying they are your own is a nono and really frustrates all of us. I think everyone starting out has been there though, myself included.

    For tests and simple concept tries I feel abstract or random combined ideas and techniques work. But if you are making money with it, even if you are using similar techniques, the ideas/modeling/animations/etc need to be original or you are only hurting yourself. Use sites like this one to learn the tools, what works, and what doesn’t. Starting out though if you stress to much about not being the best, that your work isn’t original, that its black and white, you wont get anywhere.

    I think Nick does an awesome job of presenting tools and techniques and that he has reached his own style and workflow that is a great example to anyone in the C4D community. When people complain about him “creating copiers” I believe it contributes nothing and is ignorant to say. I feel that information should almost be understood, that some people out there can and will only continue replicating.

    I really hope he continues to thrive in this environment and really teach and show people how to really do some visual problem solving. Obviously some people cannot comprehend posts like this and will continue making copied stuff, but to most good things in life there is always a negative side. Thanks Nick for posting this, and for you guys posting relavent responses – love getting to be apart of this community and continue the learning process. :)

    Reply
  35. fumanu

    ähm?
    I dont think the problem is “Abstrakt 3D” vs. “whatever”. Abstrakt 3D is fine. is totaly fine. But it has nothing to do with balls falling on the ground, or displacement maps. THATS the point.

    You can make beautiful abstrakt 3D Work.
    Here one examples form Zeitguised:

    QCC
    http://vimeo.com/15730092

    see. No shiny balls, to black and white, no stupid abstract displacement. And still is totaly abstract… no photrealistic, no characters… well those things are kinda characters.. but you know what i mean.

    you are talking and talkin and talking about the industry and “learning” and “copy to learn” and blah blah blah.

    “Zeitguised” is only ONE example and there are a lot of artist that are using 3D for making ‘art’.

    more examples:
    “__” by Alvaro Posadas
    http://vimeo.com/20245032

    shyscapes
    by Misha Shyukin
    http://www.vimeo.com/19290086

    senkyou – mergrim
    by makoto yabuki
    http://vimeo.com/22079748

    all abstract. And i think Andrew Serkin have nothing against ‘those’ videos.

    Reply
  36. Craig

    I say do what you want to do. Especially if it pays the bills. Doing what everybody else is doing is one thing. Not doing something because one guy says stop doing it is another. If you’re that elitist guy, you should be happy that you’re the only original person left. More work for you.

    Reply
  37. Marinus

    funny,

    10 Years ago everybody was making these static 3d images, (still got a few Digital Vision Infinity catalogs laying around) and there was the same discussion going around about this particular subject. Good or bad, making such trendy images sucked me into the world of (graphic) design, and gave me something to focus on in my life.. I learnt how to deal with photoshop, 3ds max, illustrator etc on the technical side and gained knowledge on composition etc on the creative side. After getting my BA in art (graphic design), having technical skills besides being able to develop concepts helped me LOT getting jobs. Showing abstract ‘fun’ stuff in an interview shows the need to create, and the total commitment (addiction) to our beautiful craft. Now i earn my money as a packaging designer within the food sector, and i have to say working for clients can sometimes be a pain in the *ss. To balance the whole thing i still like to do some abstract stuff. Just for fun. Just for the need to create. Nothing more. I that really so wrong?

    Reply
  38. Yes its overused and yes a lot of it looks the same but is there anything wrong with it if someone enjoys creating these sort of thing?

    Reply
  39. reggie G

    seems like just another pedantic git telling people what to do. waste of pixels and time.

    Reply
  40. This argument has raged for years in painting and sculpture circles, and yet both realism and abstraction is still being made today.

    Painting was said to be dead at the invention of photography. Instead, painting has been re-invented by people with ideas and views of others to push against.

    Surely what matters is the artists idea behind the piece, as much as the finished piece, in whatever form it takes? I think only time will tell how strong any particular style is.

    Reply
  41. Guilherme Todorov

    We don’t need this kind of nazi shit to frustrate everyone that is getting happy and messing around with the program.
    The same way I totally agree with you, I found this video very stupid. If he has a point, there is a lot of ways to clear it up without being an asshole.
    Why is it so annoying to see other people doing stuff, even if its the same stuff from tutorials? is he afraid of a lot of people trying to do what he does? is he TOO INDIE to be in a niche that is not exclusive anymore?

    There will always be trends in design and internet, that doesn’t mean the world will be infected by brainless pc users. The good guys will be good with time, and the bad will move up to the next trend some months ago. You know, get over it…

    If he is so worried about beginners getting his piece of pie, he should start to take good care of his own stuff before complaining about others.

    I don’t know if this was really the kind of message he wanted to give, I just got a little mad after watching this video. If that was just a silly joke, forget about it all :p

    Reply
    • GRIFF

      Well said Guilherme,
      I think most designers out there are already aware of whether they are being truly original with their ideas or not. Funny thing is, I immediately looked to see what his other work looked like and I saw something that looked ‘terribly styled’ :-) hmmmmm.

      Reply
  42. as a young motion designer, I thought I was REQUIRED by law to make an abstract 3D animation.

    Reply
    • I posted a similar question on the last podcast, whether or not we should be including stuff in our reel because its in fashion, just to prove to the client you can do that “cool” thing they saw on MTV last week. My strongest work has always come from exploring my own ideas while taking notice of what s around me.

      Reply
  43. I am good at my profession (which is not cinema :) ) and would never be condescending towards juniors who are trying to to learn an industry/technology in order to improve there skills and further their employment opportunities…

    Without doubt Serkin is very good at his job but it seems a shame that it has brought an arrogance with it. I am sure that he wishes to make a point but unfortunately he will ostracise himself from the community if he feels that he is better than everyone else and flaunts his wares in front of everyone…

    No one likes a showoff!!!

    I would like to also thank both the Great Gorilla and Andrew Kramer for providing 2 great learning resources to the community – this is what the internet and everyones learning is based upon… Lets not forget it… Respect.

    p.s. Serkin – i love your stuff, even your satirical piece (albeit a bit abstract :) ) but feel you were maybe a bit heavy handed in your approach. keep up the good work though :)

    Reply
    • Guilherme Todorov

      very well said

      such a shame to see so many cool guys on Vimeo’s comments laughing with him

      selfishness is all over Design communities, wouldnt be different with motion graphics

      Reply
  44. Its funny, c4dcafe.com have an abstract challenge this month. I wonder how people familiar with this discussion will think differently about what they submit.

    Reply
  45. “remember there is much more to 3D than spheres”. great. especially on this site! ;)

    Reply
  46. I think we’re forgetting the most important issue:
    What about the children?!?!

    Reply
  47. First of all I have to say that I didn’t expect the resonance to be so wide. Strange. But, thank you, guys.
    And thanx Nick for you project. I found some of your videos really useful.
    Please, go on.

    Reply
    • Mister

      I understand your frustrations, but you need to live and let live.

      I agree that people should not be passing off recycled designs for profit. I don’t think this is the case here.

      Even your own work has inspirations from places other than your own imagination. Without honing your skills on other peoples styles, you wouldn’t be able to produce the work you do. Sure, you add your own twist on each piece, but that’s the next step.

      Let these people learn and create, even if it is something you’ve seen before.

      90% of movies, music and tv shows these days are something I’ve seen before.

      Reply
  48. Anyone else think Andrew just really wanted to do some abstract stuff and just couldnt bring himself to do so so he masked it by insulting it?

    Reply
  49. I think is already a animation style, we will definitly use it better in a few years. I agree with Serkin it’s already an abused of it. but we have to know that it will be forever.
    Like when 10 years ago that kind of AE text and camera chase appear, I guess it was MK12 with the video animation call brazil. They are still using it and sometimes a guy from an agency show that as a reference.

    Now think about motion graphics. we are in very young era. is still the beging. There are genious of the motion graphics creating new motion styles and the rest we are just followers.
    we, the followers, we should try to make ours animations from references as far as posible from that reference, so we also push it to new stuff, maybe one day we can do something entirily new, or at least add something of our own into this huge collective brain.

    I hate presets.
    I definitly avoid preset…
    Can’t avoid to feed from others video

    Reply
  50. So true, sad thing is tho that I’m working on a short film right now where abstract shapes is a small, but important part of the overall style. It’s mixed with live action footage tho, so hopefully that makes it a bit different. It’s just so easy to make a sphere look good ;)

    Reply
  51. Liked the premise and it’s obviously well done, but I think the execution failed by revealing exactly what “not” to do. If the name of the video were titled “cliche” or something like that and removed the directive text, it would have been more of an inside joke among designers. I’m sure Serkin could have come up with a couple other cliches as well and strung them together in the video.

    It’s one thing to out certain aspects of design, it’s another to actually call out a designer on what not to do it and I think this is where the video crossed the edge. Amateurs talk, pros walk; this does more of the former than the latter imo. There’s a ton of crappy work out there in all facets of design but you don’t see big designers flaunting what not to do, they’re out there doing meaningful work.

    Reply
  52. Zardoz

    I guess that pretty much puts you out of a job there boss

    Reply
  53. Even though I love shinny abstract shapes floating around, I find it difficult to actually truly see the artist skill. What I mean is that when an artist is modelling a car/shoe/furniture/ect, you can actually see the intent what the artist was after. As for abstract images you have no reference to what they actually where trying to achieve and for all you know, they could have been a lazy button pusher that accidentally stumbled across the visual, and to me abstract visuals are not proof of consistent employable skill

    Reply
    • tstroke

      Really good animation.

      Yea a lot of this abstract stuff shows the capabilities of the tool being used and not necessarily the user.

      I think they work well and they do look nice but if its a piece using metaballs just for the sake of using metaballs then really theres no point. (besides a demo reel for the software) :)

      Reply
      • “Yea a lot of this abstract stuff shows the capabilities of the tool being used and not necessarily the user.”…….Yo ppl! this line says it all….i guess its a bitter pill to swallow aii? so ya’ll quit whining and get down to d original stuffs that show u’ve used ur brains well enuff….no offence intended pls

        Reply
    • “they could have been a lazy button pusher that accidentally stumbled across the visual”

      You mean that as a criticism, and that’s where you’re wrong. Lazy or not the point is that “they” knew enough to notice what they accidentally stumbled across.

      Take an abstract painting for exemple, an artist might get the idea for a shape just by looking at an object in a daily situation that has nothing artistic to begin with. What’s important is not the object, it’s the meaning it might gain in a certain situation, or the tension of it’s shape.

      Maybe you’ll call that lazy, i’ll call it perceptive, and consequently creative.

      My point is, no matter how you get your work done, if its accidental or not, what’s important is that your good enough to notice when you come across something good.

      Reply
  54. Jordan Coates

    I agree with the video overall but for the purposes of what Nick does in all his tutorials is to teach people different parts of what C4D can do. I would never ever put a video with spheres floating around empty space in my reel no matter how good it looks. Take what you learn in Nick’s tutorials and then use them in a bigger project of your own creation. That’s what I’ve been doing since deciding to learn C4D.

    Reply
  55. The video Andrew Serkin put together is hilarious / brilliant in its own right. It caught the attention of the entire design community in a day. AWESOME!
    Personally I’m still in love with that style of motion graphics. When it’s done well, it’s dope! I’m still blown away by pieces like Flux, and Triangle.

    Anyway I don’t know how serious I’d take this thing. Even Andrew himself is still doing forms of “abstract” work.

    Here’s a link to his soon to come demo reel:
    http://vimeo.com/21770524

    Bunch of random twisted hairs in a plain white room emitting light = abstract.

    This one is called iPhone light:
    http://vimeo.com/20431483

    Bunch of seemingly random out of focus lights to glitch hip hop beats = abstract

    Even this one for Oscar Del Calico that is way more structured is still kind of abstract at heart.

    http://vimeo.com/19204867

    It has random dancing lights in the background. The content of the commercial itself materializes from random ‘form’ style particles. It has a bit of abstract style too.

    I highly doubt Andrew’s STOP piece is an attack on all things abstract. The specific styles that were done ie: triangulated low poly meshes, glossy spheres drawn to an attractor, meta balls with a random effector, primitives bouncing on a reflective surface, flashes of vertices, chromatic abbreviation glitches… Those same elements seem to get combined into individual pieces frequently lately. I think that was the point he’s making. You can do more with mograph then the Alchemists of Wallstreet.

    Look at how much talk this piece generated. All by being a little controversial and pointing out an obvious trend. Big ups to Andrew for making everyone think about the creative they are making. That video is genius!

    Reply
  56. adam hedman

    whatever art is art… I guess the god of C4D has spoken. lame how people always have to dump on something. i mean i dont really see people posting how to model people or apache helicopters or rigging models attaching mocap so for the time being it is what it is…it shall pass like everything else…ego flex i guess. hahaha! like that never gets old.

    Reply
  57. Come now, next you’ll be telling us shiny balls and 3D spinning logos have been overdone…

    O_o

    To sum up the arguments in favour, above:

    a) it really IS a good way to learn some basic techniques and actually get something FINISHED

    b) it’s often not what clients ask for, therefore a good way to let off steam and do something different

    Learning, though… I dare say learning can only be achieved by doing. Tutorials are fantastic ways to pick up tricks on how to use the interface, which button does what etc. but when someone comes to you and says “make me an animated dog”, or “can you texture and light up these CAD models” that’s when the real learning begins…

    Reply
  58. From time to time I get clients who love trends, and would LOVE for me to be a sheep and do what they like. Therefore, since I often need them to sign me a check, I let them have what they want, and I consider the missed opportunity to do creative work a problem with the economy and I concentrate my energy on 5 second projects which Nick taught me. ;) Anyway, I agree with both Nick and Andrew. Cheers.
    Nicolas Nami

    Reply
  59. But it’s all abstract!!!!

    What’s the famous Picasso anecdote – the one where he meets a guy on the train? It’s basically someone who doesn’t like how abstract all his paintings are… he takes out a picture of his wife and says, “Why can’t you paint things that look real like this.” So, Picasso looks at the picture and says, ‘She’s awfully small. And flat, too.”

    It’s something to that effect.

    Maybe he wasn’t going at all abstraction… I hope not. I wish things were even more abstract. But, yeah… the specific style that he’s parodying… he very effectively made his point. Awesome video in it’s own right that, without context, would be read an entirely different way! Great work.

    Reply
  60. Nick, I think you’ve shown us some awesome stuff, and for me, and I’m sure others, some things were like seeing the magician’s secrets revealed. When I first started watching your tutorials a year and a half ago, I had a feeling some professionals would be upset at the “secrets” being let out of the bag for everyone to try. You’ve taken away some of the mystery, and I think that ticks certain people off who see the average person now able to do the same things only they could do just a few years ago. The only defense is to now dismiss techniques as average, or annoying, because now, all the sneetches can have stars, so to speak.

    Reply
    • Of course, I’m not suggesting copying the designs for your own use, but what’s wrong with using a technique, for example, to make the logo your client wants shiny? I’m not copying design, just making the logo I designed shiny and reflective.

      Reply
  61. Stuart

    I find it interesting that nobody mentions the fact that the ‘shit’ object used in this video appears to be the very object that comes with the light kit pro.

    Nick, do you take this as a stab at a style you helped to popularize? I’m glad you took it head on, and encourage this type of dialog on your site. Your tutorials have been tremendously helpful in the adoption of cinema into my repertoire, and i feel this commentary is directed more toward the user of the tutorial as apposed to the creator.

    You’ve created a shiny, bouncing, bright orange monster!

    Reply
  62. Richard Squires

    I agree with the fundamental idea that Andrew is addressing, which is as designers we shouldn’t be lazy. There is way too much of this sort of thing around the web, a veritable tsunami of it. But in the real world originality is a hard thing to come by. Yes it’s great to be original but it’s hard. Originality doesn’t sell. Familiarity sells. why do you think there are so many sequels in Hollywood.

    So my point is that in a commercial environment sometimes this sort of stuff just happens. It’s called flavour of the month. We can’t all be Psyop and have clients who are adventurous and daring. New ideas come from experimentation, letting stuff gestate, coming back to it and that is usually not realistic in a deadline situation.

    It’s the same with DSLR videos on Vimeo. Every man and his dog seems to have an out of focus extreme shallow depth of field set to dreamy music clip up somewhere on the web. There’s a lot of dross out there but there is also some gold. And usually that gold relates to ideas and emotion. So I don’t think ideas are dead. I just think it’s a lot harder to see the wood for the trees.

    Fantastic little topic though

    Reply
  63. I understand where this dude is coming from, hes probably a little frustrated because people are mindlessly flooding the internet with this type of animation. I think he is trying to commentate on the lack of concept that goes hand in hand with animation like that. However, he does come off as a complete dbag sending his message in this manner, and is actually totally ineffective.

    Bottom line, don’t tell me what work I should or should not be making. I don’t work for you, I’m an artist remember..?

    Reply
  64. Nick, you should really start thinking about modeling, not just put a cone here, a sphere here, boolean, attach and ready.
    You should try some real modeling, like characters, even a sphery one… and then some unwrapping… you will be amazed about the stuff you can achieve.

    I really believe you can make it into more cinematic stuff and you wont regret.
    I can model, unwrap, rig and all that stuff in 3ds max but im just not that great.
    im stupid for not pushing myself to become greater…

    Reply
  65. Saying “stop making abstract motion work” is just the same as saying “stop making abstract paintings” or “stop making abstract photography”.. just different media.

    I agree that you do see it a lot of it nowadays and that it is a popular style. But why should people stop creating it? Should abstract expressionism been stopped in the 1940′s? I think there should be more emphasis on using these techniques to create something more creative and different from other work. That is what will drive the new trend.

    All in all, it is just a style of motion design that is popular right now. Don’t worry, a new style will come along soon and replace it soon enough if you don’t like it so much.

    Reply
    • He does not say “stop making abstract motion work”. He says “stop making this morphing b/w shit”. Quite a difference.

      Reply
  66. Kevin

    Wow that was so amazing! Thanks to Nick for posting the animation, and thanks to Andrew for the animation! Any chance of a tut on this one? Might be a good learning experience.

    Reply
  67. Kamaur Bonfield

    Can’t say I’ve landed a job doing abstracts. It’s all down to if I know how to execute.

    Reply
  68. Myles

    Serkin’s video annoys me a bit. Mean spirited and elitest, you said it best Michael.

    To bang on any more myself would only be repeating what has already been said. So for a well formed opinion, have a listen to Chris Anderson’s TED talk, about web video powers global innovation:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation.html

    We’ll all be better off in the end, for sharing communities like GSG and striving to make things better. No reason to put the brakes on anything, as Serkin would prefer to have it.

    Reply
  69. I believe that this boils down to being just another trend. There are trends everywhere in this world, whether it is in the fashion world or in the world of animation/motion design.
    Around 2005-2006, people overused vines, flourishes and paint splatters in their animations. Then, around 2008, a lot of reel intros started looking alike by using an 80′s retro style. The same thing goes for typefaces. Some typefaces are timeless, but others become a trend and will get overused, such as Gotham (sorry Nick) & Avant Garde. In broadcast terms, this year seems to be the year of all condensed typefaces, which is probably due to the amount information that each network has to cramp into their bugs, menus and lower thirds etc.

    That being said, abstract animations have always been around, it just happened to become a trend in recent years. Also, trends keep repeating themselves time and time again. I am certain that ten years from now, it will be considered “cool” again to do an abstract animation. Just like it is cool again today to wear a skinny tie, which people wore in the 50′s and 60′s.

    There is nothing wrong about striped spheres and other geometric shapes flying thru the air, morphing into an even bigger shape, it’s just another dying trend, that’s all.

    Reply
  70. Morphic field won’t let it happen, 3d abstract b/w shit will live for some time.

    Btw I won’t leave b/w, this is my way of expression.

    Reply
  71. Again thanx to everyone who got this joke right. ) I love you guys.

    To the rest of you I have one thing to say.
    Look at what you’re doing here.
    You’re talking about your rights, about the way I should or shouldn’t do making my message, talking about “showing off”, calling me “pedantic git” and so on. You’re judging me. But you don’t want me to judge you. Is it fair?

    As an artists we always have to remember that there is an audience. And the audience has rights too. Rights to have the opinion. And all we have is a choice to hear this opinion or not.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • hmm…not very funny actually … reminds me a lot of the whole discussion about abstract painting in the 50s ..
      where have you hidden that joke you are talking about ?

      at the end you are disguising elitarian thought as irony … and that my friend is even more boring than b/w abstract c4d shapes

      p.s.: and no !!! artists should not think about the audience !!! thats what entertainers are for !!!!
      do you think jackson pollock or any other great artist thought about his audience ?

      peace

      Reply
      • Jackson Pollock had his own technique. I respect his work. And really want everyone to find their own way and become great artist. Not just an imitator.

        thank you

        Reply
        • ..well then share your knowledge like Mr. Campbell does. Your Video is like sticking someone his own poo in the face screaming: “smell it ??!???

          huuuuuhh smell it you filthy imitator ?!?!!!!”

          == negative reaction

          i am simply not interested in peoples output if it´s not up to my personal standards or utterly unoriginal .. so why bash on people who are learning through imitating … which by the way we all do at various stages of our lives.

          instead you could have made a tutorial and taught people something.

          == positve reaction

          and one more thing in addition:
          it´s not like people who simply copy tutorials and repeat the same shit over and over again will have any standing whatsoever in an overly competetive industry as ours .. so why bother ?!?

          peace over and out !

          Reply
          • I just want to notice that all above, including “smell it you filthy imitator ?!?!!!!” with bunch of this exclamation marks is just the MONKEYMEN’s interpretation.
            I didn’t mean it.

            Thanx God not everyone so upset.

          • dear Andrew !
            me being upset is your interpretation only.
            all said above decorated with exclamation marks is a very likely analogy. if you use imperatives in your work you will have to live with interpretations like these.
            i once read someplace that words spoken out will start to live lives on their own, influence people, harm them or give them comfort.
            i might simply dislike the tone you have chosen.

            and i still don´t get the joke.

            to quote alex below:
            “the problem with this particular piece for me is, that there is no own twist or conceptional idea to it and the preachy typo rob it of any subtilty there might have been. (“go for new ideas” – really?)”

            peace

      • Frankie

        Monkemen.tv, I can’t help but assume you are a young motion designer with all sorts of grand artistic ideals about your work and what it means to you as an artist. Which is why Serkin’s spot blew right over your head. I think a little time working in the business for clients that don’t care about your artistic expression will change that mentality, and put things into perspective. Also, Please don’t compare Jackson Pollock’s work to motion design, it’s not in the same universe.

        However, I may be completely wrong about my assumptions. I am just a silly redneck after all :)

        Reply
        • lol yeah frankie…your assumptions are pretty off…
          but hey, if you can live assuming why go any deeper ?!?
          …serkins post only bothers me because it stands for a very simplistic way of thinking and wiseass attitude i simply don´t like.

          further on:

          a.) you are mixing two posts here.
          b.) i have been working for clients for about 12 years now and i was not talking about myself but people who actually do make art with tools that others use in the industry … like zeitguised, Posadas etc.
          just because you don´t know about this doesn´t mean it doesn´t exist.

          c.) doing something with digital media does not limit the output to motion design. it seems you simply have overslept this whole new movement. gladly for us the museums and galleries of this world have not

          d.)now i am assuming that it was people like you who were calling pollock a talentless painter in the beginning because all that dots and drips didn´t look like the art they were used to at that time … just assuming

          so lets see where all this still new animation / time based design will end up … it will for sure not be limited to the commercial spectrum of things

          i do agree to your last sentence though :-)

          cheers

          Reply
          • Frankie

            Thanks Monkeymen, Ya know me, always hating on poor ol Jackson…
            You’ve given me a lot of fantastic insight to ponder on my next deer hunting trip. I gotta run out the door though man, these deer are tricky and I need all the time I can to track em down. Oh, and we do have a free spot on our next hunt, and it looks like you have plenty of time on your hands, so you should join us!

          • man… you start with totally off topic assumptions and this is where we are now ?!?. 2 grown men having a pointless argument we wouldn´t have in real life…plus a couple of trolls who think they need to back you up with a shitload of additional assumptions .. i wonder how this would roll out in a bar after a couple of drinks…jesus

            case closed

          • Morgan

            Why aren’t you stepping in to delete this thread, Campbell? Didn’t you say you were disgusted at how some people were insulting each other? Seems like monkeyman is stepping out of line, this guy who cleverly kisses your butt and uses the same mouth to be vicious with others.

            Oh wait, at long as no-one criticizes you. Right?

          • Monkeyman, I infer from this argument that you are deluded.

            Do not think you are a Jackson Pollack. You argue as if you are defending Pollack and his work, as if you are from his camp- and you will never be from your attitude.

            I would compare you more to the illustrators who painted matchboxes in the 1940′s.

            Abstract procedural connect-the-dots poseur CG that is taught on this website does not mean it means it is abstract like Pollack. It only shares a term, that is the only thing in common. I do not think you are able to wrap your head around that. But please try, for the sake of all serious artists.

            Now stop wasting everyone’s time.

          • Some of the ideas and discussion in this thread are great, but the name calling and anger has to stop or it will be deleted. Good debate is always better than being mean.

    • human0id

      hi serkin,
      with your video you make a statement and for me it’s fine. it’s your opinion! it’s funny how people react :D
      like gsg i’d like to compare it with the rise of the auto-tune area in music production. at that time i was more active in producing music and i didn’t like the overkill of that effect too. lot of “top notch” producers were moaning, but in the end the audience chose what they want and prefer. and now a decade later take a look at the charts, i’d say 40-60% is hardcore autotuned ;D
      your desire for swimming against the stream is honorable, but there’ll be few followers as long the audience go for the abstract stuff.

      cheers
      human0id

      Reply
      • monkeymen.tv is spot on. the message in the animation above is neither subtle, clever, funny, or anywhere near enlightened…

        Reply
  72. I think of these kinds of abstract animations as great ways of learning, but at the end of the day, they’re just like those crappy web forum signature pictures… You know the one’s with cloud and sephiroth? hahaa. But theres a time and a place for it. Just hope those really good designers stop using them lol.

    Reply
  73. I´ve been running my own agency for 7 years now, doing all kinds of spots and idents.
    Got alot of friends that are so so at what they do. 1 thing that i often realize is that when it comes to doing some work, alot of those new young fellas are really trying not to if you get what i mean, tyo much hussle…
    Copying things from here and there and adding it up to something new, which is fine in itself but oh so many times they have turn to me and asked for help when a “real” client has come and asked them to make a pitch or model/light this and so on, and suddenly they stand there with a long nose and have no idea on how to do things. Client has seen their showreel (put together with alot of copy/paste from videosopilot and here), then the real work starts and they often nag about,- oh, is it that much work, do i have to do it this way?…. i just say wow. time to learn the trade instead of using copy/paste.

    Reply
  74. This has developed into a great debate!

    I have to say that Nick, in your post, you appear to be justifying your work and in turn what GSG does. I don’t think you need to justify anything – what you have here is great! You learn and then you teach. Simple. The site grows with you.

    What we’re essentially talking about is creativity. It’s fun to learn techniques, to be armed with the tools to do the job. But essentially once you have the skills, that’s when an artist comes to life!

    In saying that though, we are all inspired by others and that shows in our own work. Some of the greatest musicians started out mimicking their idols and regurgitating what was popular, before finding their own voice and setting new standards.

    Learn your craft. Find your voice. Inspire others.

    …the debate continues!

    Reply
  75. The first thing I was ever taught was that a photoshop filter is not a concept.

    This is from a graphic design point of view but the same sort of thing applies here with the abstract stuff.
    Churning out copies of tutorials as original work (as in you put it in your portfolio) just makes you a digital technician.

    Concept is king so let that define the outcome, not think “hey I’ve got this cool new technique I picked up from a tutorial, how can I slot that into the work”.

    IF, at the end of all that some form of abstract is the best concept then ok. You should probably feel dirty for doing it but at least to got to that point the correct way.

    Reply
  76. I dont think its needed to make a special kind of video for this. See if someone is starting Design by his own with lets say ”Cinema 4D” he goes to alot of stages, he will first make alot of still image’s, than sooner or later he will find out what keyframes are Etc.. See its like a something were you can show off your experience’s. And after a while we all will find out that there are to many 3D Abstract anemations/projects already and sees that he needs to find something else to make his way in this Real life media or just for the internet.

    Reply
  77. I’m just starting out learning 3D (C4d).. thanks to GSG and other motion designers. I plan on elusively making black and white abstract animations. Not just to start with, but for the large chunk of my future work. I love it.. try stopping me! lol

    Reply
  78. Always find it funny when designers tell people to stop following a trend (holding up printed posts, those “Keep calm and carry on” style posters, those shitty Saul Bass style posters for modern films) but then just use that message as an excuse to circle jerk themselves by coin the same yet escape criticism by thinly veiling it as a critique.

    Anyone remember the abstract 3D fad of 2000? where people just stretched out a bunch of objects and exploded them with reflective materials then tinted it blue or green.

    Reply
  79. to make fun of a trend or popular concepts is totally ligid and necessary for good satire and contemplation. you know, weird al and key of awesome, to give nick a music analogy.

    ironically, this piece shows better technical execution and mimmicking of tried ideas than a true own narrative skill or conceptual direction.

    the problem with this particular piece for me is, that there is no own twist or conceptional idea to it and the preachy typo rob it of any subtilty there might have been. (“go for new ideas” – really?)

    the piece could have been parody if andrew had only done the turd morphing and twitching to his minimal sound stuff without the preachy typo and all the other things.

    this would have given the viewer some chance to “get it” by himself, there would have been less aggressiveness and wiseassery in it and most importantly, lifted this sentiment of “look, i can do it but i am cooler than it in real life” off of it.

    hmm, i cant find the link, but do you remember the demoreel a guy did with only a cube? that was a good parody. (lowpoly = cube with 6 polys, highpoly = cube with a million polys)

    thanks for the discussion guys.

    Reply
  80. While we’re at it, and since you mentioned photography, Nick, why don’t we also calm down on shitty HDR photography. It’s still supposed to look like a photograph when you’re done, not some crazy colored piece of crap.

    Reply
  81. I believe people should be able to still make abstract videos, but they should have some type of revelance and meaning. 3d animations that are just abstract take little to know talent as I have made one before :/ its not worth making abstract because it will never help you improve and proceed onto more advanced 3d work

    Reply
  82. Hamilton Thorley

    To anyone having a go at Nick here over teaching us these abstract tutorials, look beyond what he is teaching and find what you can take from it.

    I’m speaking as an absolute embarassingly crap, but constantly learning new kid to 3d animation and modelling. Working with Cinema 4d is like entering the world again as a child and having to learn slowly how to interact with everything. One day you will learn how to join things together, to make something look shiny, to make something roll down a hill, to turn something to liquid. There is so much to learn it is endless and I doubt that anyone out there has a complete grasp of the endless possibilities that can be created within a 3d environment like c4d.

    One thing I learnt back in school is that everyone takes something different away from any situation, everyone is different and learns differently so learn what you can, master it and add it to your repitoire and keep working on it and applying any inspiration to it that you get. 1000 people doing the same 1000 tutiorials will still get 1000 very different and unique styles, it’s human nature.

    Okay now I am rambling. All I am trying to say is can everybody stop getting so political about everything. Do what you want and dont mind what anyone else is doing as long as you push yourself in a direction that you want to go in. Boom.

    Reply
  83. Jeff Saunders

    I like this piece. I find it funny and playful. Not everyone can be an innovator. When it comes to mograph, I certainly am not one. There is, and will always be, the one thing that is getting over done. The boundary pushers will use it as a catalyst to create a completely new thing for everyone else to imitate. It is the cycle of art/design.

    The most interesting thing about the piece is the range of reactions it has created.

    Reply
  84. De la Rocha

    Andrew found a way to use these techniques and be called “innovative”. I would love to see the work he creates, it really should be something “unique and original.” Please Andrew, show us what you got. Nothing impressive on your showreel open, sorry. For me, is in the same abstract category that you call “shit.”

    Reply
    • Frankie

      http://www.serkin.ru/ – Good work, but not innovative or original. There’s a lot of original artists in Russia, but sorry mate, you’re not one of them.

      Reply
      • If you ask my friends they will tell you that I never called my work Original or Innovative. Meanwhile I’m trying to find my own way instead of replicating.

        And do you know how many times I was thinking “C’mon man, stop doing this. Make something better.” So in some way I addressed this message to myself as well.

        Reply
        • Frankie

          Andrew, you shouldn’t call your work “original” by any means, people must do that. Your video, one way or another tries to say this, which is a lie. I can find thousands of videos like the frames you have on your site. Stop making this shit too.

          Reply
          • But there is better way.
            Make another a message. With all of this ” thousands of videos” like I have on my website. Post it. And we’ll read the comments together. m?

          • Frankie

            I have more important things to worry about. . Like my dog, Amy Winehouse death, my bills.

            ps: check your kerning on your works. Good luck on your innovative journey! Peace, I’m out!

  85. Clairde

    When opinions are visualised, boom! Debate conversed.

    I appreciated the piece above, as the finishing is nice.
    I dont care the message about, as it is not a commercial or business piece.

    And its great to have people like Nick n Andrew to inspire and shape the community. Last but not least, just be your self.

    Reply
  86. using your turd model, that a direct dig at you? cheeky bugger.

    Reply
  87. moomoo

    Everyone who visits Nicks sites and other learning sites go to learn and be creative.

    Just have fun learning and keep moving forward.

    Nick you eff’n Rock.

    Reply
  88. Adam Forbes

    I’ve read a lot of comments about how VC stuff is all over tv. And while I agree that I look at it with disgust and think what a lazy person, you have to realize that 99.99% of the people seeing it have no idea that it came from Videocopilot.net nor do they care. So from a business perspective if you can take a product that’s already been made and make some money off of it while saving lots of time, that’s not a bad deal. I probably have to much pride to go and do that but some people just need to make a living.

    Reply
  89. Andrew is a great thinker, that’s why there is so much concept in this video. He put a concept into something that usually has no concept. It means it broke the rules. And just noticed.. we got 170 comments or so. Everybody wondering if this is good or not, if this should have been for learning or for selling..but see…the creativity boost in this video is total and clear so that everybody wants to share his tought..this is exactly what makes our business attractive and “creative”. When there is a lack of creativity all looks dull and boring. We should be always aware of that. Always try to surprise your audience. Also when u are learning. It will pay u back in less than 2 years because meantime you are already a master.

    Reply
    • yeah i saw this on motionographer, some beautiful works.

      I wonder why, if abstract is such a weak art form, has it survived so long? I think we need to look at the idea behind the work and then judge, not dwell on whether or not its easy to make.

      Reply
      • Abstract is sometimes considered “weak” because, as you said, it can be really easy to make (or appear to be easy).

        Like monochrom, or action painting, etc.
        There is an idea that if it’s not realistic (or figurativ, whith characters, etc) it’s “less work” or “less hard” to do.

        Reply
  90. kounichiwa

    i have not been too impressed by most of the pieces of resonance to be honest. there are a few great ones, but some could be achieved just by combining some of the ( great ) tutorials out there. i also have been abit disappointed by the piece nick did for offf, as i hoped i wont see spheres again. and i didnt get the idea behind the last tutorial, as for me it didnt show anything new ( for me it’s a combination of things he already tought us ). i think i understand what serkins meant with his piece, and i think its bad manner insulting him for what i guess should just have been an impulse to try something new. nothing less and nothing more. anyways, i have to be really thankful for what nick is doing, same as pariah, hellolux, robertlerger etc… by that i was able to learn c4d in about a year. and for free. and now its up to me to make something new out of it. so i guess you can just blame yourself for making more and more abstract things. if you cant do better, just leave it.

    Reply
  91. well nick i really like this site and i hope that its pure coincidence that the discussion i was having with some people was closed for some reason… i have no trouble defending an unpopular opinion or stand for my beliefs…it gets troubling when anonymous internet trolls start insulting people and take everything out of context. it seems some people don´t take the time to really follow a conversation but just drop off their hatred…thats a youtube thing and shouldn´t happen on this forum.
    cheers
    m.

    Reply
  92. Can someone give me some examples of work like this that is actually used in a medium other that the internet. I never see stuff like this on TV, in magazines, ect… Do you really think this “style” is overused to people that matter (ie. customers, general puplic) or just to motion designers who follow mograph stuff regularly? Is the point not to blatantly ripoff tutorials or not to do work that resembles a popular style? If it’s the latter I say bug off. Part of being successful in any industry is being able to do things others can do. That’s why so many commercials, advertisements are similar. Why is it ok to do “vintage style” photography or create a zombie movie for that matter when it’s been done already? I’ll finish how I began… Just because YOU think it’s worn out doesn’t mean others do. If the point of the video is to not copy tutorials, which seems how some ppl took it, then I did not see it.

    Reply
    • fahrenheit

      thank you. well said. we all need some perspective here. stop taking this stuff so seriously. if someone enjoys a piece of work or even the process of creating it that is a wonderful reason for it’s existence.

      Reply
  93. Hey Nick, you are and you will be the best motion creative motivator in the world wide web! Keep creating, motivating, sharing and selling cool stuff for the rest of us.
    Cheers!
    Joss

    Reply
  94. Brett

    I understand where this is coming from, but lets all chill out and if your are a really good artist like Andrew, then I would expect you to take the high road and not make a project just to make people learning the software feel stupid.

    Reply
  95. I agree with the fact that the abstract morphing time animations are used too MUCH.
    But by that I mean that a lot of these clips (let’s say about 60%) don’t have the expert touch nor are these abstract animations called for.

    The other 40% still kicks ass. Even though it’s used a lot.
    I like the animation style and atmosphere + it becomes extremely good when it’s combined with something different.
    By example if you are good at typography: add some kick-ass type.

    But that’s the thing with trends, trends are there for a reason. Simply because they do their thing, and they do it well!

    The only thing is that left to do is to sort the SHIT from the GOLD. But don’t say that an entire trend is shit. (except for those idiotic duckface pictures ^.^)

    Yet I do appreciate Andrew’s opinion regarding the subject.

    (amen)

    Reply
  96. Vodoopeople

    hello!!! I guess we can go further, I saw what people are doing with the Blend software and iit is amazing… I hope all the C4d users can do the same and better… And to get that, we have to expand our limits.. Explore a lot more posibilytiies. I’m very thankfull for this site and my friends follow the published tutos… Is a big tool for all of us… but we are hungry for more… I hope some day I can have time to get deep inside this program and share all knoulegements to all people… But not now… I have a lot of work right now….Im a crazy, Im a vicious, Im a fan… Follow the Gorilla and share share share….

    Reply
  97. Just checked out Serkin’s site and although there is a lot of great stuff on there, I think it is ironic that this is his best piece IMO

    Reply
    • I agree! That video was his BEST one yet (from what he has on Vimeo).

      I think he just wanted to make an abstract animation, but didn’t want to admit it, so he disguised it as an insult.. while still getting to make an abstract animation in the process! lol

      Reply
  98. If we step back a bit i don’t think the argument is around creativity or design, i think it centers squarely at a tools level.

    As an example, you never really hear people comment on a piece as “oh that looks like After Effects” or “oh that looks like NUKE!” or to continue, “that looks like… renderman, mental ray, v-ray, maya, softimage”. Comments like that are pretty rare.

    I do however hear a lot of “that looks like particular!” or “that looks like Cinema!” largely due to the “looks” built in or the level of control that the application’s tools immediately allow (and i add that immediately refers its surface here because i know that you can dig into deeper control if you are so inclined).

    So morphing and render styles are iterated because the workflow and the tools make it simple to do so without having to toil in arbitrary details. Nothing really wrong with any of that.

    Reply
    • Great observation! I agree, Cinema 4D has well, a Cinema 4d look to it. you can usually pick out a Cinema 4d render and it’s probably because of what you have pointed out.

      Reply
  99. angel

    nick how make the nice effect for the shit?..second 0:25??….:D :D thanks

    Reply
  100. keetoo

    Agreed that it’s saturated, especially in the tutorials community. But look at the work by Universal Everything or maxim zhestkov etc. It’s a bit shortsighted to blast 3d and motion work that is more abstract or minimal in nature.

    Andrew also needs to look at his kerning, if we’re doing a crit here..

    Reply
    • I met Maxim in Scream School this spring.
      He said thad Cinema 4d killed the creativity. Literally.
      And I don’t thin he will like all of this abstract bw videos just because they are abstract and bw.

      And yes – I’m familiar with his work and really respect him as an artist.

      Reply
      • Zhestkov is a super talented designer/animator thats for sure …
        to say that a tool could kill creativity makes no sense at all though.
        people who don´t use a tool creatively were not creative in the first place.
        cinema 4d is an easy to begin with 3d software compared to maya, lightwave and all the other headache software. it is super exciting to see all the old school 2d motion designers, graphic designers, video artist to pick it up and see where they will end up with. this is a relatively early developement so we should be encouraging and excited.

        and again…no bad / boring abstract work has been overly published on the relevant blogs/websites/magazines .. so why bother ?!?

        me personally i have seen a lot of cool and inspiring work over the last 2 years..before that it was almost only a few bigger names.
        seems like the motion design community is exploding and that is great !

        so people make more 3d turds, vomit particles on all the pixar characters, morph them into bananas and do whatever makes you happy !
        m.

        Reply
      • tyler

        You say you like Zhestkov and respect his work but his work looks like a compendium of every cliched, morphed sphere, GI’d spooky music abstract piece of ambient occluded shit you seem to have been railing against. No law says you have to be consistent but you were the one seemingly laying down the law with your order/demand to “stop making this shit”. Really everyone is just having fun with learning and riffing on these techniques and playing around with C4D. Most peoples real gigs are flying type and logos around shiny globes. (I see you have to do a fair amount of that yourself.) Playing with all these “abstract” tricks that few people can use in their real work is just fun and nobody likes to be told what to have their fun with. Lighten up and stop giving orders, you’d probably have more fun too.

        Reply
        • GRIFF

          Thumbs up, Tyler –
          I’ve been in the business for almost 30 years and managed one of the world’s biggest motion design firms for Asia in the 90′s. The best people in the business I know have always messed around, played and experimented. Having fun should be a prerequisite ! I don’t think anyone should ever say ‘Don’t do this’. except for maybe Kyle Cooper :-)

          Reply
  101. What’s the point in blaming abstract shits by making more abstract shit? Is it original to point the finger without showing any new way?

    Reply
  102. Voodoo

    Could someone please tell me how he did the white lines on the black object in 00:03 much appreciated

    Reply
    • xpez2000

      you got your black polygon right…now copy paste the same polygon so you have two and place it within an atom array…give it a white texture and change the atom array settings so cylinders and spheres are very small to get the fine lines…

      Reply
  103. Mattski

    My take on this whole thing is to try something new from your 3d application, be it C4d, 3d studio max etc. Just like the “Frog View” 5 sec project.
    Find a deformer and play around with it, you will end up with something completely different each time. Try using Xpresso nodes or COFFEE scripting. Get a spline and make the object break apart and join other objects or float about. Let your imagination go wild. And this way, you are bringing the originality to the table. There are so many c4d tags to screw around with too! Don’t know what they mean, research on Google or join C4d cafe forum – there is a wealth of info in that site! Good luck with your new projects, young C4d-ians!!! :)

    Reply
  104. Chris

    Great post. I heard a quote from the typographer, Rick Griffith. He said, “Cliche is on the way to Originality” We designers and animators need to know what’s trendy (our clients will always want that). We learn by passing through Cliche town. But the goal is to get to Originality.

    Reply
  105. Someone

    i do agree with him in some ways
    abstract is way overdone but that is because it is easier to learn because of all the tutorials
    make different tutorials and we can learn how to do other stuff

    Reply
  106. I heard the guy that made this video invented the lens flare.

    Reply
  107. this is the dude’s site;

    http://lensflare.com/

    He invented the lens flare, but it’s a real shame because not only have lenses everywhere benefitted from his hard work, but also JJ Abrams.

    I was thinking JJ Abrams should thank the inventor of the lens flare at his next award ceremony.

    What do you all think?

    Reply
  108. Also, I am pretty sure GOD said ‘Let there be light”

    and then there was light. SO…

    Next time you use a light, especially in C4D, where they so closely mimic the light GOD made (he made them first), maybe you should try to come up with something ORIGINAL. Personally I think lights are overused. Lets all stop using them.

    A theoretical question comes to mind. Which came first, the lens flare or the light?

    Reply
  109. Mike Tosetto

    Great article Nick… personally, I love the abstract stuff when it’s done well.

    I’ll continue to create what I want regardless of whether someone thinks I should or not.

    The video above is the exact reason I’m not going to stop making abstract stuff… which is because it’s awesome.

    Reply
  110. They say when the first typewriters appeared some writers got scared thinking: “oh my, now anyone can write”.

    Reply
  111. I think it is wrong to demoralize people who just started to learn 3d. Even though, there are tricks commonly used, if an artist aware of what is he/she is doing, will change and improve his/her work eventually.

    Even, if you are saying something right here, you are doing with the wrong way my friend.

    Do an original piece and lead the way instead. It is the higher path.

    (Following sentences for everyone not a person specific.)

    Not everyone has to become artist/designer(or whatever). Just do your best at what you do and respect others work even if they are doing wrong.

    Reply
  112. personally i love the non abstract poo object the most.

    Reply
  113. Brandon

    i do tons of abstract 3D work, its fun to put random shit in random places ;D

    Reply
  114. xpez2000

    telling people not to make stuff sounds extremely arrogant.

    All designers grow with experience and talent.

    the market dictates what can be used as commerce.

    Trite work is always the hallmark of inexperienced practitioners in the creative industry. this is nothing new.
    It is just more visible because of vimeo and you tube. These viewing platforms are hardly the place to make across the board comments about what not to make…since they are rooted in a free for all viral mentality.

    To all the young peeps new to 3d make whatever floats your boat and stick it on you tube… your view counts and thumbs up will give you a clue as to whether its valuable or not.

    Reply
  115. I will continue to make Abstract pieces. Why? Because abstract design/animation is what I enjoy. That’s like telling a watercolor artist “quit using paint that runs together and start using oil paints” Just because people are sick of seeing abstract animations/design doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it’s place.

    Reply
    • David

      I thought that was you, Casey “3PM” Clark. Been following the Wideband Network for a while. ‘Just Like That’ is still dope!

      Reply
      • Hahahah :D Cheers mate!!! Thanks for following. I just rocked out to JLT today at the gym! :) Working on the next batch of Wideband music videos. Thanks again for the support and following the music man :)

        Reply
        • Awesome! I love the original, but rock out to r3volve’s remix when I need some energy. Danny Patterson (of DPP, Monocle, & Coupler fame) and I were actually in a band growing up together – a not so great band, mind you. I take it you did the visuals for the ‘Attention’ video? Great work and amazing vocals, as always :)

          Reply
  116. Andrew

    “Jackson Pollock had his own technique. I respect his work.” – BLA BLA BLA BLA

    You DONT have your own techs. So, I DONT respect you.

    Reply
  117. I am not reading all of these so this may be a repeat comment.
    Everyone’s a critic.
    Screw everyone.
    Do whatever you like to do.
    Make abstact or make real life or make a combination of the two or something completely different.
    If your work is the shiznit, people will love it and people will probably hate it too.
    Let the viewers sort it all out.

    Reply
  118. graham

    NOTHING WRONG WITH ABSTRACT!
    just don’t copy everyone else and that seemingly obvious route to make something. Abstract is what separates the creativity from the normal, and gives it that right to speak for itself, how ever that may be.

    EXPRESS YOURSELF, BUT REMEMBER NOT TO EXPRESS SOMEONE ELSE.

    ABSTRACT ROCKS!

    Reply
  119. It’s kina funny but the video – dispite it’s message kinda makes one want to run out an make an abstract using some of the techniques it uses or betters still discover some of your own.

    Abstract has it’s place – agreed – perhaps the same styles of abract are being used a tad too much in the industry. But as Nick is saying abstract is great way to learn some pretty cool stuff.

    One can apply them to other styles or even come up with your own style…

    Camera moves and use of DOF like the ones Mike Winkelmann used in his Instrumental video Nine – http://vimeo.com/9800754

    I think all will agree – that’s some pretty abstact camera use. As well some of his other vids found on Beeple – those could as well be considered abstract – many still have a use for the abstract, such as VJ’s.

    Personally don’t mind seeing abstract, maybe i just haven’t seen enough to be sick of it yet.

    Perhaps the real thing to strive for in the abstract creation area, is to now start really pushing some boundries of what has been done over and over again. Discovering how far one can push the boundries is half the fun of abstract – wouldn’t you agree?

    Reply
  120. Osirusblue

    Long time listener, first time caller here. The issue, in my opinion, is that we have a billion and a half ways of discovering all these abstract works now. Years ago, if you somehow managed to get yourself a working 3D tool suite, you were unique. Now, anybody can get just about anything and share what they’ve done with it on more services/screens/devices/etc. than ever before. Times haven’t changed I don’t think, we’re just more aware of how prevalent that “same old schtick” is now.

    I don’t get the problem. You see it, you like it or you don’t, you move on. What’s the big deal? Things will continue to evolve, people will continue to do cool/innovative things because for every 10 people doing the same ol’ schtick there’s at least one doing something new and different.

    Reply
    • True.
      10 years ago, every graphic designer was trying to do this kind of abstractions. Debate was the same back then. Some made it good, other made it worse, but we were a lot for sure.
      I respect the people who are pushing the boundaries of it nowadays, but I must admit I’ve seen all of these back then.
      And it’s a pity some of you don’t even know the names of Mike Young, Jens Karlsson, Bradley Grosh, Jonas Strandberg Ringh, James Widegren, Joost Korngold etc.
      Those were the first in 3D digital Constructs.

      At this time all was made in 3DsMAX. Now it’s C4D turn, so what?
      I definitely like those abstractions, because I grew with it and it has become a state of mind (including Music, Clothes, Passions, etc).
      I’m more into abstraction than reality or real stuff. A matter of taste, that’s all what it is.
      It’s interesting to see that the trends are going away and coming back, like in fashion.

      Reply
      • ezeakolam Ononiwu

        you are really right with waht you said Loic, you see i started with alot of abstract drawing

        Reply
  121. Chili

    Art is art, even if it is or isn’t period correct. And almost all art is influenced nature or other artist. It’s been that way for thousands of years, but I get Serkin’s point. He is saying maybe it’s time to stretch. Doesn’t mean that abstract 3D is not art.

    Reply
  122. I don’t have a problem with people doing abstract 3D in C4D because it is technically hard and can be very sophisticated.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I hate to see people saying “don’t do this, its shit.”

    If you don’t like it, go do something else.

    Reply
    • James

      Absolutely dude, the thing is, it’s not even a thing for beginners, I’ve been in post production for 11 years, this kind of stuff is what clients love on a reel.

      Reply
  123. Interesting discussion. Personally as long as it looks good i don’t see a prob with it.

    Reply
  124. This has certainly sparked some debate! My two cents is that abstract pieces, as so many others have said, are a great way to learn the tools of the trade. If they have a function in a commercial setting, so much the better, but most will simply be a way to produce something rather than nothing. I know I’m guilty of perpetrating a few :)

    Reply
  125. James

    Long live abstract graphics in general, I disagree with this guy, I don’t think he really has a point, it’s just a random statement. Abstract frees the mind from the usual shit. Sometimes we do things that look mainstream, but now and then we create something unique. So what??! That’s how you get there.
    There is no debate to me.

    Reply
  126. Nick, can you do a tut on how to make what he made?
    Hahaha, that’ll teach him.
    :)

    Reply
  127. Good post Nick! We all can recognize when things are over done or used over and over but this reminds me of the awesome art quote (might sqrew it up) “good artists copy but great artists steal. But I like my rendition-good artist copy and then stay bitter and jealous and competitive in their bedroom while GREAT ARTISTS steal and talk and support each other about what they stole.
    I think the approach to the abstract and morphing is fun to look at, and it’s a great way to learn. So who cares if we copy each other? In the end, what we should be striving for is to create a reflection of our past creative works and be outdoing ourselves individually. I’m so tired of the competing and jealous souls who write music and create digital art trying so hard to be original all the time. You will burn yourself out and not learn if you don’t copy first. If we want to see or hear something new… then we should look into ourselves to do it – not get defensive cause people are coming up with the same things. Copying one another has been around since the beginning of time anyway.

    Reply
    • Well said Becca, that is so true. Great artists recognize the potential and magic in something, no matter how insignifigant, small, overused, or whatever. Latch on to it, figure it out, and improve it. This is the only way forward.

      For those of you who support that morphing and abstract motion work is passe, or cliche, or beginner – I say that either the people complaining about this are jaded and work way too much with it to recognize it’s beauty anymore, or are just trying to protect their chops. Nevertheless, I love seeing what people are coming up with in this genre and encourage much more of it. It stimulates ideas and growth which evolves the art form further. Of all the cool stuff that c4d does, if someone does something cool with it, then others will imitate it. Imitation is the best form of flattery so don’t let it bug anyone. I will imitate and use any chops I see that make my eyes light up, over and over again.

      For all the beginners out there, don’t let others discourage you from copying or overusing anything. Do it if nothing else for the sake of learning how to make it more a form of your own expression. Copy, copy, copy, steel, steel, and more until you master the techniques and gain more freedom to express what you feel on your own. This shit is difficult at first and takes years to master so just keep at it and overuse it as much as possible in order for you to gain experience doing it. It will pay back in the end.

      Reply
  128. I haven’t read through all 140+ comments, but I will say this:
    Abstract 3D visuals aren’t a fad from the last 2 years, its been around since the early-to-mid 90s (look at Attik’s early output) and reached a perfect storm at the turn of the century when everyone was doing some sort of abstract 3D — not helped by the commercialisation of the images by Digital Vision (now Getty) (*disclaimer: I made multiple image collections for them). While that period died down, abstract 3D didn’t and has been kept alive by sites like Depthcore, and a pack of designers that keep reinventing the genre if you will. Its a bit of an empty argument really — Abstract 3D is still as commercially valid as ever and as new designers discover the tools and the language the style will evolve in an ebb and flow movement.

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  129. Rahum

    You’re right Nick, (Doesn’t it feel good to hear someone say that?)
    I’m a self taught 2d (After Effects) animator who is switching to the 3d world, and for now, abstract shit is all I’m kicking out. I only got into the 3d stuff to make cool flying 3d letters, and smooth backgrounds with depth, that I can then add with my 2d AE stuff.

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  130. GiantSimon

    - – I thought this might be relevant here – - good story and some pretty insightful facts…LIke I knew Led Zeppelin stole riffs from blues artists, but I had no idea how blatant. And Star Wars has taint damn it!

    Everything is a Remix part 1
    http://www.vimeo.com/25380454

    Everything is a Remix part 2
    http://www.vimeo.com/19447662

    Everything is a Remix part 3
    http://www.vimeo.com/25380454

    BTW – I’m all for rolling back the ridiculous copy-right laws we have in the US and would like to see it go back to the original 7 Year rule and after which it’s fair use in the e public domain. – -

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  131. What does this mean? I can’t do collage shit anymore? I shouldn’t paint photorealistic shit anymore? I can’t use depth of field in my shit? Or use shitty Helvetica?
    Maybe I should stop shitting alltogether, because everybody is doing it… daily…
    …well, now i feel like shit…

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  132. Haha, is this the same mentality that would have advised Pollock or Kandinsky to give up this loser abstract style and stick to realist painting to demonstrate true skill?

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  133. here’s 4 haiku’s about this video:

    Oh hey man what’s up?
    oh you dont like that stuff, huh?
    thats cool, whatever.

    wait, you dont tell me
    what to do with my art stuff
    you are not my dad

    making what you want
    even if it has been done
    before is cool, yeah.

    y u gotta be
    mean to kids having fun man
    leave them alone, jerk.

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  134. clason stuhlreyer

    i hear what andrew is saying but i think the message goes a little deeper. it’s not so much about a specific style rather your willingness to challenge yourself on a daily basis. if your serious about honing your craft you need to be spending more time working outside of your comfort zone then in it.

    in it’s purist form, creativity is the thirst for knowledge & the courage to embrace one’s mistakes. while the right way is often the path of least resistance, the wrong way can take you places that you never knew existed. mistakes are the painful yet necessary fruit of the creative process; failure on the other hand is when you are unable to see the beauty in the lesson.

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  135. Mario

    How can somebody be original…like that takes about 10,000 hours of practice for four years to truly master a subject…

    Ok so you may wonder what in hell im talking about…some of you have heard the term research i hope…research until you drop and only then put pen to paper…I know that we get to see something that we like and we all want to learn how to create it the next second…and almost anyone with a computer possibly can create it…but my argument is simple…how can someone become original at something? Even the most creative minds on the planet arent creative or original enough to satisfy everyone…there is so much copying going on that people hardly can see the difference between what is creative original and what is borrowed…it is an argument that has plagued the industry ever since it started…unless you go through what i’m going through at the moment…which is an honours degree focussing on research first then create…

    So Nick, I challenge you to rethink your idea that you dont need to go to design school to get a job. I should point out that without a qualification these days the majority of employers arent going to hire you.(you still have to put that 4 years or so within a backyard garage learning those wonderful tutes from you guys…everything takes time)

    It truly comes down to how determined you really are?

    I understand that freelance experience would be one way of getting a job and practicing that job under strict guidelines without study. On the other hand how many people are getting work that don’t have a qualification…I can bet you within the oecd that this number would be exceptionally low…i apologise that i dont have this statistic in front of me…

    Anyway just a bit of food for thought…

    Mario Y

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  136. Hey Gorilla. I’ve been studying 3D for about 5 months now, mostly independently, and I just wanted to say thank you for the great blog. After watching several pages of your tutorials I stumbled upon this post and frankly it is somewhat enlightening. Learning techniques like the Cherry 7Up commercial is really cool, but I’ll be careful not to overuse the same effects and try to be original.

    Some of the best things about your tutorial are the off topic tips. For example, creating a selection object is something my teacher neglected to show us but has already streamlined my workflow incredibly. I also incorporated the cloning of deflectors onto some motext to create a similar effect to the 5 filled with eyeballs in R11.5 (I don’t have the collider object as far as I know).

    Basically, you’ve given me a lot of great advice through this blog and I just wanted to say thank you.

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  137. If abstract Beeple type stuff is apparently C4d’s version of Video Copilot effects… so what?
    Just like those VC effects, they exist for others to learn the software. It’s just up to the artist to take that foundation and build on it to make unique stuff. I hope that was this dude’s point from his polemic because if so I agree. Camera swoops around glitchy shiny balls are indeed played out. But I think the idea behind abstract techniques still serve as powerful tools to push your animation further.

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  138. We wish for you to appreciate it just as before for that lovely tips anyone presented while preparing her own post-graduate study along with, above all, pertaining to delivering every one of the tips in a writing. In case there was known of one’s site this past year, we might have been saved this useless measures we all had been employing. Appreciate it greatly.

    Reply

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