Posted In:Inspiration Archives | Greyscalegorilla

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Animating 6 PayPal Commercials Using Cinema 4D and Redshift

October 22, 2018 - By 
Animating 6 PayPal Commercials Using Cinema 4D and Redshift - Featured

See how Run, Kick, Shout and Calabash Animation used Cinema 4D and Redshift to create a series of animated spots for PayPal.

Did you know that over 19 million sites use PayPal? That’s the fun fact I learned in these new animated spots from Run, Kick, Shout. Then I realized that this campaign was 100% effective on me. I learned facts about the client, I enjoyed the animation, and now here I am sharing my thoughts. I consider that a well executed campaign.

Take a look at the PayPal videos here to see what I fell in love with.

I wanted to learn more about this project, and the team behind, so I reached out to Chicago’s Run, Kick, Shout for more. Read More


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The Freelancer’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving When Working At Home

June 27, 2018 - By 
The Freelancer's Guide to Surviving and Thriving When Working At Home - Featured

Transitioning into a freelance or remote work-from-home position? This is a guide to surviving and thriving in a home office.

Multiple times in my career, I’ve worked from home. After many mistakes over the years, I finally figured out how to get work done and still live a normal life. I put together this list of to-do’s and not to-do’s based on my experience, while debunking many of the other work from home articles I’ve read.

Image via Domenico Loia.

As someone having worked in the creative industry for over a decade, I’ve worked in every type of environment. I have worked on set, lived the cubicle life (driving a beige sedan, ugh), worked in an open-plan office, inside a theater tech booth, and now I am in my element, working remotely from home.

If you have the fortune to transfer into a full-time freelance career or remote position, there are upsides and downsides. I’m going to offer some advice and tips I’ve learned on working from home. Read More


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Cineversity Tutorial: 3D Design for Non-Technical Artists

June 11, 2018 - By 
Cineversity Tutorial: 3D Design for Non-Technical Artists - Featured

A 2D artist’s guide to 3D design and using Cinema 4D for commercial projects.

In this Cineversity presentation with Nate Rodriguez-Vera, you’ll see easy ways to get started with 3D design. You’ll hear about his personal journey from music to design, all leading to his commercial 3D work.

He offers advice for artists transitioning into 3D work and then dives into some of his commercial projects. Rodriguez-Vera shows you how to arrange simple shapes with Booleans to make geometric designs, and also breakdowns a Trident spot.

GIF via Nate Rodriguez-Vera / Cineversity.

Read More


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Interview: A Skater Turned Designer for Nike, Vans, Marvel and More

June 5, 2018 - By 
Interview: A Skater Turned Designer for Nike, Vans, Marvel and More - Featured

How two surgeries sidelined this skateboarder and turned him into a top motion designer with his own creative powerhouse. This is the story of Already Been Chewed and Barton Damer.

Image via Barton Damer.

All great artists evolve. It comes with the territory. In this industry in particular, motion designers will constantly face pressure, second-guess their abilities, and continue to push themselves harder. That’s what it takes to make it in this industry, or really how to succeed in any type of creative position.

In this interview, you’ll certainly hear about many familiar stages of creative growth. Discovering your talent, honing your skills, facing your fears, getting lucky, taking risks, failing, and evolving. These struggles are not unique to Barton Damer, but his personal experiences are.

Barton Damer is the Founder and Creative Director of Already Been Chewed, or as many may know it as ABC. In our chance encounter, Barton and I learned that we live and work in the same area, a coincidence you’ll find repeating itself in this story. It’s funny how the internet has brought everyone together, but we tend to forget that many of us are just down the road from each other as well. That’s what led to me visiting Barton and his team at Already Been Chewed.

Here’s a glimpse at some of ABC’s most recent work.

I wanted to find out much more about ABC and Barton, and they were gracious enough to host me. Not only did I learn about his personal experiences, but we talked about motion design, rendering, tech, and growing your own business online. Here’s what I learned. Read More


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Cineversity Tutorial: Simple Tools for Complex 3D Artwork and Animation

May 10, 2018 - By 
Cineversity Tutorial: Simple Tools for Complex 3D Artwork and Animations - Featured

Watch Barton Damer breakdown his fully-animated sneaker commercial using simple tools to create complex projects and 3D animations.

Barton Damer is a motion designer and digital artist who founded the design and motion graphics studio, Already Been Chewed. He and his team have created a variety of design, motion graphics and 3D animated content for some of the most iconic brands in the world including Nike, Vans, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Marvel.

In this presentation, Barton breaks down the main element of a recently created 30-second animated CG commercial spot for Xtep Footwear. Barton will show you how he models a sidewalk using a single primitive and the MoGraph cloner.

The he’ll uses a deformer and effectors to create an animated wave effect when the shoe hits the ground.

Finally, he’ll use RedShift to add materials and HDR lighting to finish the project.

Check out his NAB presentation below, and thanks to Cineversity for the recording, and to Maxon for hosting these incredible speakers.

Here is a timestamped breakdown courtesy of Cineversity.

00:00 – Introduction
01:25 – Demo Reel
06:01 – Key Visual and Style Boards for Xtep Footwear Commercial Spot
07:29 – Final Xtep Footwear Commercial Spot
08:24 – A Behind the Scenes Edit
12:38 – Using a Primitive to Create the First Piece of the Sidewalk
16:56 – sing MoGraph Cloner to Create the Sidewalk
19:02 – Creating the Concrete Wave in the Sidewalk
30:52 – Adding Materials and Lighting to the Sidewalk


Want more Cinema 4D tips, tricks, and presentations? Check out these Cineversity videos.


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Watch This Stunning Tribute to Akira and See How It Was Created

May 3, 2018 - By 
Watch This Stunning Tribute to Akira and See How It Was Created - Pills Cover Feature

Revisit the world of Akira in this must-see short. Plus breakdown the entire process with hours of behind-the-scenes videos.

Designers Ash Thorp and Zaoeyo (XiaoLin Zeng) teamed up to create an absolutely beautiful tribute to Akira. Watch their short, Akira Awaken.

The tribute was a collaborative project that took over a year to create. For those wanting more, there is so much more content.

The Akira Awaken website not only includes the jaw-dropping renders and comparisons to original stills, but also hours of behind-the-scenes breakdowns.

Image via Ash Thorp / Zaoeyo.

Watch as the team shows you what went into creating each shot from the short. They’ll show you their sketches, as well as Cinema 4D and After Effects project files.

Image via Ash Thorp / Zaoeyo.

The guys tell you all about their challenges creating certain scenes, and having to turn to online tutorials and Wikipedia articles to help them learn.

Image via Ash Thorp / Zaoeyo.

Here’s a look at the first breakdown. There are a total of 26! Watch all of the videos on the Process section of the Akira Awaken site.

There are also some on set photos and a breakdown of the team shooting organic fluids for the project.

Image via Ash Thorp / Zaoeyo.

(If you are interested in playing with and compositing these type of fluid elements, I had the pleasure of making some free fluid elements with the team over at RocketStock. You can go download 19 free 4K fluids in their Nebula pack.)

Project Credits:

Be sure to head over to the Akira Awaken website for all the in-depth videos.

Image via Ash Thorp / Zaoeyo.


Want more?

If you are interested in more like this, check out our interview with Ash Thorp, in which he showed us how he created a cyberpunk western for Nike.

GIF via Ash Thorp / NIKE.


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Our Favorite Episodes of the Greyscalegorilla Podcast

April 27, 2018 - By 

We celebrate our 100th episode milestone by sharing a dozen of our favorite Greyscalegorilla podcasts.

To celebrate 100 episodes of the Greyscalegorilla podcast, we put together a list of some of our favorite episodes. In order of release, dive into these staff favorites.

Is this the end of the Mac?

Way back in one of our earliest episodes, we talked about Apple’s failure to meed the demands of creatives, especially 3D artists and C4D users.

Podcast: Is this the end of the Macintosh for C4D artists?
Episode: 009
Date: November 07, 2016
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Are You Too Old To Do 3D?

We are all getting older, but are we getting too old for this fast-paced and continuously evolving industry?

Podcast: Can you outgrow the motion design industry?
Episode: 046
Date: January 18, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Make Mornings Suck Less

This classic episode covers our morning routines and the odd habits we’ve picked up that help us get our day started. Like most other episodes, we also talk render wars.

Podcast: Make Mornings Suck Less
Episode: 051
Date: February 20, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Tips For Working Remotely

In this episode, we share all the good, bad, and lonely parts about working from home. From self discipline to tools, we cover tips and tricks on making working from home easier.

Podcast: Tips for working remotely
Episode: 057
Date: April 03, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Our take on Apple’s WWDC 2017

Between this and the previous Mac episode, you may see our growing frustrations over the years. Here’s what we though about the newest (at the time) Apple products.

Podcast: Our take on WWDC 2017
Episode: 065
Date: June 06, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


What would you tell your past self?

In this podcast episode, we all share the things we wish we would have known sooner. Whether it’s learning new skills or breaking down your decisions, this is all about questioning your path.

Podcast: What would you tell your past self?
Episode: 078
Date: September 26, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Learning how to learn

Back-to-back favorite episodes? You better believe it. Following up to self-advice to our younger selves, we then dive into the unique ways we as creatives learn, or even learn how to learn.

Podcast: Learning how to learn
Episode: 079
Date: October 04, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Wrangling client expectations

Whether your dealing with clients face to face or through a studio CD or Producer, this can be a tricky minefield to navigate. The guys share strategies around wrangling client expectations, using plenty of their trademark metaphors.

Podcast: Wrangling client expectations
Episode: 081
Date: October 17, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Our favorite things we’ve learned in mograph

We answer a bunch of questions including our favorite things we’ve learned in mograph. We touch on just about everything on this one, including 3D tools, production strategies, and inspirational posters.

Podcast: Our favorite things we’ve learned in mograph
Episode: 083
Date: October 31, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


PROJECT BREAKDOWN

This is a special episode that breaks away from our standard format, Chad and Chris breakdown the animated trailer they created for The Happy Toolbox. You’ll want to watch this episode, so you can see our workspace and renders.

Podcast: The Happy Toolbox project breakdown
Episode: 084
Date: November 14, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Good Money. Good Work. Good Life Balance. Pick Two.

How do you strike a balance between work and life, and how do you keep the important stuff from falling away? The group talks about freelancing versus going staff, and finding balance and ultimately happiness in this crazy creative business.

Podcast: Good Money. Good Work. Good Life Balance. Pick Two.
Episode: 086
Date: November 27, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Where did we go wrong?

We managed to make episode 100 an all time favorite. We share stories, many we never have, about our failures. Whether we failed at a job, or made life mistakes, our failures helped lead us to where we are and what we know. Bonus, we have some free downloads to giveaway!

Podcast: Where did we go wrong?
Episode: 100
Date: April 26, 2017
Listen to, or watch this episode.


Did your favorite episode not make the list? Let us know down in the comments which podcasts you loved. If you are looking for more episodes, check out the podcast page for every episode.


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PureRef is a Must-Use Reference Image Tool for All Creatives

April 24, 2018 - By 
PureRef is a Must-Use Reference Image Tool for All Creatives - Featured Image

Keep your reference images and project notes in your sight at all times with PureRef. No more tabbing between windows and programs.

Once in a while, a productivity tool comes along and changes the way I work. Now to be clear, I think of a good coffee cup as a productivity tool, so that should give a bit of insight into my obsession with honing in my toolset. When a tool can drastically improve your work or your life, I feel compelled to tell people about it. So this is me yelling from the rooftop about my latest obsession, PureRef.

PureRef is a straightforward utility app for Windows, Mac, and Linux with a very simple premise. Keep your reference images in view at all times. The app places your references in a window that stay on top of all your active programs and tools. 

All day I bounce back and forth between my DCC (digital content creation) apps to random reference bookmarks or folders on my machine. Sometimes even dragging images into the Cinema 4D picture viewer just to keep them in sight.

With PureRef, you can create a new canvas and drag as many images onto its infinite canvas as you’d like. The best part is that you can tell PureRef to stay on top of all your open applications and windows. While you’re working, you can dial in your look while having all your reference imagery sitting right next to your preview render (IPR).

The ability to save canvases means you can start keeping multiple PureRef projects to suit your current needs. It’s a huge time saver. I also love how you can quickly zoom, resize, and re-arrange your images anytime you’d like, saving the changes for the next time you need instant inspiration.

This tool improved the look of my work on first use. I was able to take 20 minutes assembling reference imagery, and during my look-dev process, I was able to hit the look I was after in minutes. You can even add notes to yourself within the PureRef canvas. 

Having reference imagery sitting an inch away from your IPR is something I will no longer be able to live without. You will see a lot of it in the future in my tutorials. So do yourself a favor, find an excellent sturdy coffee cup and go download PureRef right now.

About PureRef and Download

PureRef allows you to drag-and-drop files from your machine, or directly from browsers. You can also edit photos in your canvas to meet your needs, including rotation, scale, crop, opacity, and more. You can also customize the canvas and keyboard shortcuts to speed things up.

  • Compatibility
    • Windows 7+
    • Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Linux Ubuntu 14.04+
  • Supported Image Formats
    • BMP, DDS, GIF, ICNS, ICO, JPEG, JP2, MNG, PBM, PGM, PNG, PNM, PPM, PSD, TIFF, WEBP, XBM, XPM, TGA(TrueVision 2.0)

PureRef is a name your own price download, and you can get it here. It’s well worth throwing them a few dollars if you can.


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Guest Daily Render Artist: Rick Lundskow

February 2, 2017 - By 

 

Rick Lundskow aka @lundskow

We’d like to welcome Daily Render Guest Artist Rick Lundskow @lundskow to our ongoing series of awesomeness.

Follow the GSG Daily Render Series on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr


What is your name, position, and where do you currently work?

Rick Lundskow

Art Director

Cornerstone Church

 

How did you get into Cinema 4D?

I’m almost positive I saw a motion graphics video on vimeo back in 2010/2011. It was so impactful that I wanted to learn how to create art like it. I immediately downloaded the trial version and started watching Greyscalegorilla tutorials. After the trial expired I used the demo version. The demo wouldn’t let you save or render out projects, which was a slight bummer because some of the pieces were sweet. However, I could recreate them if I really wanted them.

Once I moved to Michigan to work at Cornerstone, I budgeted for Cinema 4d Studio. That’s when the real fun began.

 

When did you start your daily render practice?

I tried to start daily renders but they took too much time or I ran out of ideas too quickly. I got in my head too much… Each piece had to be amazing, but often times they were not great by any stretch of the imagination.

At Half Rez this past year I had a chance to talk to Beeple, the master of daily renders. He really encouraged me that it wasn’t as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. I just needed to make something happen. I don’t know what it was, but it clicked in my brain and I started the next day, September 15th.

What is the hardest part about doing a daily render?

Time would probably be the most difficult part of a daily render for me. Some nights I don’t get home until 10pm-12am and I haven’t even started on my project. The worst is when I get home late and I don’t even have a concept. On those nights, I wanted to give up. And there were many of those nights. However I’m sure other people have had that same exact excuse but have continued anyway. So I told myself that I couldn’t have any excuses for missing a day.

 

What have you learned by making something every day?

Probably the most significant thing I’ve learned is lighting and reflections. Lighting can make or break your render, so I experimented with different techniques until I found something that works for me. Since I don’t have a fancy render (which might change very soon), I wanted to learn the most with the tools that I had on hand.

As far a basic life skills go, I learned that I can put too much pressure on the creativity. I want the design to be better than the day before it, or create a compelling piece that will sell to millions of people. The former is stressful and the latter hasn’t happened yet. Daily renders are more like experiments. No pressure on the outcome. You try an idea that doesn’t work, but you fix those mistakes the next day and publish your findings. It’s important for me to realize that when I fail, I just found another way of not doing something.

What Hardware and Software do you use to make your work?

I do most of my work on a 2012 MacBook Pro. Nothing too fancy about it but it gets the job done. If I stay late at work, or have some free time over lunch, I’ll create piece on my Mac Pro with 12GB of ram. Then render it out using Team Render across 3-4 of the other machines in the office.

Aside from using Cinema, I use Illustrator a lot to create splines. The shape builder inside Illustrator is incredibly powerful for making custom shapes for lathes, sweeps, and extrudes. I recently purchased ZBrush core. While Cinema’s sculpting tools are great, there were a few features about ZBrush that made it easier to sculpt heads.

 

What is your day to day like at work?

My work schedule changes on a daily basis. I tend to have a theme to each week day though. Mondays are meeting days. A nice easy transition into the work week. Tuesdays are typically my big project day. I can get the most done without a ton of distractions. Wednesdays are a big filming day. We do video announcements in our Sunday services and we record & edit them mid-week. Thursdays are the busiest days because we’re trying to finish the work week strong. So I’ll finish projects that I didn’t quite complete the other work days. Coffee is a requirement for Thursdays. The great thing about my job is that I don’t work Fridays. Actually, I don’t think I’ve had a job in the past 10 years that required me to work Fridays. It’s pretty amazing.

Anything advice to anyone out there just getting started?

Great art isn’t about having the best resources, it’s about using what you have. There’s something special about taking what little resources you do have to create something beautiful. It gives you an appreciation for the things around you. When you hit a roadblock, figure a way around it. Don’t let circumstances hold you back from accomplishing what you want to do.

Also, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Start with a 5 minute idea and work from there. Most of my projects come from a small element I see in my day to day world. Find something that inspires you and run with that idea.

 

Where can people learn more about you?

I’m currently rebuilding my website from scratch, so currently I don’t have more info available.


 


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Daily Render Project 2016

January 1, 2016 - By 

Happy 2016! It’s that time of year again. Time to think about what we want to accomplish and what we want to learn in the new year.

Like you, we are constantly learning and growing to push our abilities beyond where they currently are. There is no resting. Being Human is about growing.

Let’s Learn And Grow Together

We have always encouraged others to start their own daily render project to help learn faster and to give a deadline to push against to make great work. It’s time we take our own advice.

That’s why are starting our own daily render project on our new Greyscalegorilla Daily Render page.

Why are we starting our own daily render?

  • To encourage more play time and experimentation in C4D.
  • To expand and grow our visual language and design skills.
  • To have an excuse to do more live shows. Look for a live show soon that is all about watching how some of our daily renders are made.
  • To show off our incredible artists here at Greyscalegorilla.
  • To show off what Cinema 4D and GSG tools are capable of.

Everyone Is At Their Own Level Of Learning

Listen, we aren’t experts or Gurus. Trust me. We are only trying to get better just like you. We are all at our own different levels of learning. We should all try something new every day and experiment with Cinema 4D and new plugins to see what is possible. As we do, we will be sharing our process.

So, will you join us? Will you commit to your own render per day? Set up some deadlines and let’s grow together in 2016. Drop a message in the comments if you commit to a daily render project with us. I would love to see everyone’s work.

Follow us on one of these sites to see our new render get posted every day.

Here is to a productive and educational new year!

Visit Our New Daily Render Page


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How Greyscalegorilla Got Its Start – An Interview with Nick Campbell

December 23, 2015 - By 

Rob Garrott of lynda.com interviews Nick about his inspiration to start Greyscalegorilla.com. An in depth look at his background, how he got his start and how that morphed into what Greyscalegorilla is today.

Garrott also interviews other industry professionals in this course. Here is a summary of the series:

Rob Garrott, lynda.com’s video content manager, got the chance to sit down with nine influential artists to talk about their work, their inspirations, their tools, and the industry as a whole. The series kicks off with a conversation with Kris Pearn, storyboard artist for Sony Animation, and one of the people “drawing the movement” behind movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. We also include interviews with the following industry pros:

  • Nick Campbell, motion graphics artist, photographer, and entrepreneur
  • Marc Potocnik, designer and 3d artist
  • Tim Clapham, VFX artist and educator
  • Alan Torres and Stephen Morton (Cantina Creative), design and visual effects artists
  • Aaron Limonick, concept artist
  • Mike Lowes, 3D animator and technical director
  • Lorcan O’Shanahan, motion graphics artist
  • Scott Keating, 3D artist and illustrator
  • Clear Menser, visual effects artist
  • John Robson, motion graphics artist and filmmaker
  • Grant Miller, VFX supervisor
  • Tomasz Opasinski, creative director and movie poster artist

You can watch the interview here on lynda.com.

A special thanks to Lynda and Rob Garrott for the interview.


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Q&A With Beeple About His Latest Animation, ZERO-DAY

September 23, 2015 - By 

Beeple has been posting his creative work every day for over 3000 days straight. If that wasn’t enough, he recently posted ZERO-DAY, the most recent animation in his “instrumental video” series.

We asked him a few questions about his process for ZERO-DAY and about how in the heck he continues to stay so prolific?

Thanks for answering some questions about your new project, Mike. You seem like such a motivated and hard working guy. What keeps you going with all these great projects?

Hahaha, honestly I really don’t feel like that. I feel like it’s a constant struggle to stay focused and productive each day. Damn you interwebz and your engaging content!! 🙂

No, I think the main thing that motivates me is seeing all the amazing work out there and wanting to try to make something like it. The main motivations for this piece were people who do amazing robot and mech designs like Vitaly Bulgorov, Aaron Beck, Greg Broadmore, Mike Nash etc.

What inspired you to make Zero-Day?

Well this is part of a larger “instrumental video” series that I’ve been working on for the last 10+ years. If you look at “IV.10” and “instrumental video nine” it’s the pretty clear next step. I really like making audio and video super tightly synced as I think it illicits some sort of visceral response.

Based on the themes from Transparent Machines and Zero Day, you seem to have some thoughts on the way technology is changing society. Would you say you are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of a tech connected world?

I would say I am cautiously optimistic. I think technology is doing a huge amount of good and will continue to. I do think there are some potential pitfalls but I think things are changing so fast that there really isn’t gonna be a lot of time to stop and realize if things are getting fucked until it’s too late.

I think these videos might come across as paranoid or very pessimistic but they are really more sort of exaggerations of a worst case sci-fi scenario. There is plenty of technologies like AR, VR, self-driving cars, etc. that I am BEYOND jacked up for. I think these things have the *potential* to be extremely positive for society.

ZERO-DAY Process Video

What was the most difficult part about this project?

Hmmm, I think just sort of defining the scope of the project. I really never have a clear idea about where these things are going when I start. I shit you not, at one point the second half of the film was gonna have a bunch of snippets of 70’s porn on the walls and the film was gonna be more about like how we have this weird machine fetish culture. I even downloaded a bunch of old porn and edit it in to see how it would look. HAHAHA. So this shit is really all over the place until the very end. At best i have a loose grasp on where the hell this shit is going.

The audio is so great and very integrated to the animation for Zero Day. What was the process like with working with Standingwave?

I’ve known Kyle for a very long time and he did the sound design on Transparent Machines, Subprime, etc. This was the first time though that I’ve had someone else do the music for an “instrumental video”. Which was a bit of a learning curve but Kyle does amazing work and he killed it. Never ceases to come up with great ideas or push things in directions I never thought of.

I’ve noticed you using Octane more. How has Octane Changed your Design or Animation Process?

Honestly it’s very hard for me to imagine going back to the standard renderer. Not until the put in a live viewer at least. Can’t overstate how amazing and helpful that is. Really changes everything for someone like me who has no idea what they’re doing and is just pushing buttons until something looks cool.

One last thing. What is your favorite artist to listen to when working?

Oh god, I could sit here and be like, I love all this super obscure cool crap (which i usually do) but lately I’ve been listening to just fucking horrible shitty like 90’s rap music like puff daddy and like nelly and shit. HHAHAH, so fucking random and weird. I’m this fucking nerdy ass middle aged white dude all dressed up sitting in his basement alone making robot animations listening to DMX… LOLOL. WTFFFF.