Posted In:Visual Learning | Greyscalegorilla


Motionographers new “Step by Step” Series

November 30, 2016 - By 


I believe sharing your process is one of the most important things you can do as an artist. Giving away your secrets and techniques will propel your own work forward at a rapid pace. Doing this will make you want to push yourself to come up with new techniques and not become repetitive or do what everyone else is able to do. Sharing your process for how you create your work will help our industry grow. In addition to this other artists will look to you for your expertise and you will stand out in the industry. What more could you ask for!

I am very proud to post Motionographers Step by Step: Locked And Loading article. Motionographers new “Step by Step” series take us through the artist’s process in real time while they create their work. It is a fantastic educational tool that really shows us inside the mind and process of the artist while they are creating.

I was extremely excited when they approached me to be this month’s artist on Motionographer and leaped at the opportunity. The most recent series I have been creating has easily been the most tutorial requested series of mine and I thought this would be a great way of sharing with everyone my entire process. I show you step by step how I created “The Buoy” animation.

Want to check out the tools I used? Take a look at the links below!
Maxon Cinema 4D
GSG Signal
GSG HDRI Link (Coming Soon) 
Octane Render
Duel Graph
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Photoshop

During my process I also show how I use Greyscalegorilla tools including HDRI Studio, Signal as well as the upcoming HDRI Link in creating my animation. These 3 tools have become must have tools for me as I have used them in almost every project over the past year. I hope you all enjoy and learn from my process!

We want to make a special thanks to Motionographer for creating another tool for artists to learn from and reaching out to Greyscalegorilla!


A Look Back At Half Rez 2013

November 4, 2013 - By 

Half Rez was a great success! Thanks to everyone who helped make the night so wonderful. We managed to record most of the presentations (links below) and to have a great night of hanging out and chatting with other artists. Huge thanks to our sponsors that helped make this possible and to everyone who came out to enjoy the night with us. We hope to see you again next year.

Huge Thanks to our Sponsors

Video Copilot
The Pixel Lab
Red Giant

Presenters And Links To Their Talks

Nick Campbell (Greyscalegorilla) – What’s new in C4D R15
Watch The Presentation
Amador Valenzuela (Digital Black Book) – Designing For Motion Graphics
Watch The Presentation
Mathias Omotola (Maxon) – Live 3D pipeline between CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects CC Not Recorded
Chris Schmidt (Greyscalegorilla) – 30 minutes of C4D Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks
Watch The Presentation


The Myth Of Faster Computers

November 4, 2010 - By 

There were quite a lot of comments yesterday about the cost of new machines and if it’s worth it. Here is another way to look at it. A faster machine isn’t just about speeding up your renders. It also allows you to make more beautiful work. How? Well, it’s not what you think. Being able to turn on more effects or turn up your anti aliasing isn’t what matters. Instead, it’s all about iteration. A faster render time allows you to see your changes in closer to real time. This allows for more experimentation and leads to more creative and beautiful solutions to problems. Of course, beautiful work was done on computers tens of years old, but it took years of trying different solutions and months on a render farm instead of just an afternoon of render tests with our current multi-core wonder machines.

Oh, and for everyone that asks, “What computer should I get for motion graphics?” I have an answer that will always be true even years from now.

Get the fastest machine with as much ram and the best video card you can afford.

Motion graphics, video and compositing is VERY computer intensive. Be sure to get the right tool for the job.


12 Core vs. 8 Core vs. 2 Core – Cinema 4D Render Speed Test

November 3, 2010 - By 

Many of you have been asking about my new 12 core mac and if it’s worth it to get that much machine. Well, I screen captured some Cinebench renders to compare the speed of all three of my machines including my new 12 core Mac Pro, my old 8 core Power Mac and my 2 core macbook. This way, you can judge for yourself.

Sure, it’s expensive. But remember, it’s one of the only things I need to do my job other than software, coffee and American Apparel t-shirs. Plus, I only get a new machine every 3 years or so and want to just stay ahead of the curve for a while so I don’t have to worry about it every year. Did I mention that it’s tax deductible? What machine are you running?


GSG Live Cast – How to Make Money as A Motion Designer

August 6, 2010 - By 

In this episode of GSG Live, I talk more about the business side of Motion Design. I talk about and answer questions about freelance, getting paid what your worth, how to meet people in your industry that are hiring, and the future of outsourcing and the Motion Design and VFX industry. If you missed this live cast and want to join me for the next one, tune in to the Live Cast Page on Wednesdays at 2PM Central to hang out and ask questions. See you there?


Secret Cinebench Scene Files

August 5, 2010 - By 

Awesome! I was playing with Cinebench and found that you can open the scene files used for the test renders and play with them in Cinema 4D! My favorite is the Aixponza file. Open it up and check out all the great lighting and textures that they use for that scene. I’ve said it before but, picking apart professional scene files is one of the best ways to learn tricks from the best artists out there.


Demo Reel Critique Episode 6

July 27, 2010 - By 

In this episode of GSG Demo Reel Critique, I asked my twitter friends “who wants their demo reel critiqued?” and got a great response. Thanks to everyone who offered up their reel. My hope is by talking about others work, there is something in YOUR reel that can be made better. Let me know what you think!

Reels Critiqued
Daniel Barros
Ali Karim
Andy Needham


Ecko Artifaks Interview With The Monkey

June 11, 2010 - By 

I sat down with Mike “The Monkey” Senften of 4DThieves to talk about his latest 3D masterpiece, Ecko Artifaks. In the interview, Mike talks about the overall scope and design of the project and about how he pulled off some of these silky smooth animations. We also get some behind the scenes about the techniques used to make the spot. Mike used just about every tool at his disposal to to get such a varied look for these spots including Cinema 4D, Mograph, Pyrocluster, Trapcode Particular, Meta Balls, Sketch And Toon, MoDynamics, Time Tracks, Trapcode Sound Keys, and multiple destruction tools for the final scene.

Thanks again to The Monkey for doing this interview. Mike has been a big part of teaching me Cinema4D though his generous posts and scene files over at I’m hoping to get him back on Greyscalegorilla for more interviews and maybe even some tutorials. With his incredible technical skill, design ability, and a name like “The Monkey” he is bound to show back up.

Links from the Interview
Mike’s NAB Presentation
GEO Tools 2010 Thread

The Ecko Artifaks Spot

Visit Vimeo for the Full Credit List


Say No To Spec Work on your Demo Reel

December 14, 2009 - By 

I wanted to talk a bit about spec work. It has come up a few times on the Demo Reel Critiques lately and I thought I would share my opinion on it. What is spec work? Spec work is doing work for another company or brand either as a creative exercise or to try to win their attention or money.

The short answer?
Don’t do spec work. And if you do, DONT put it on your demo reel.

Spec work is often done with popular brands, who already have a strong brand image. Apple, Nike, BMW, Gatorade, MTV. Doing something similar to them has no creative merit and doing something off brand looks weird and unprofessional.

Explain Yourself
Keep in mind that there are no “cover letters” with demo reels. Explaining each piece in your reel is not an option. Having work on your reel with other’s brands in it say to the viewer, “I did this piece for this client” Explaining yourself after the fact seems shady and can lead to “what about everything else in the reel?” thoughts.

What to do Instead

  • Channel your time and creative energy into doing your OWN animation.
  • Try entering a Five Second Project where you have more control over the animation.
  • Make up your own brand If you want to work with logos and do something more commercial looking.
  • Make a spot your a friend’s small business or website. (I did one for a local coffee shop that ended up getting me some local attention)
  • Do something abstract. Do something crazy! Screw the popular look and make something totally personal and new. Go nuts!

The Bottom Line
In this business, you will probably be making commercials and animations for other people your entire career. If you do something on your own time, don’t rehash what has been done or do free work… Instead, make something that is truly your own.


Five tips to stop creative block and to help get started on your next project

November 17, 2009 - By 

1. Just freaking start already!

2. Make a design. Sketch it out or make a board frame.

3. Think of your scene as if it were a real studio.

4. Set limits. Try doing this project with no plugins or no 3D.

5. Get out your camera Shoot it for real Take a Photo to get started.


Keyframe TV Episode 2

November 16, 2009 - By 

OMG! The episode 2 of Keyframe TV is up and ready for viewing.

Check out keyframeTV for the full post and credit list. As always, we would LOVE to hear your feedback. Enjoy!

UPDATE: was kind enough to send over a “Anatomy of a scene” video on exactly how they pulled off their Believe spot. Go check it out on vimeo here.


Interview: Jason Esser – His journey from student to Digital Kitchen

November 10, 2009 - By 

I wanted to share with you the story of my friend and peer, Jason Esser. He took all the right steps to land a job, right out of school, at Digital Kitchen. Jason was also the inspiration behind the Five Second Projects after hearing about his idea to “Just make 3-5 seconds of animation every weekend for the reel.”

Learn how he started working for Digital Kitchen by…
1. Making a short, diverse reel that shows promise and capable design
2. Knowing someone that worked here to get his foot in the door.
3. Busting his ass as a freelancer to show his commitment to good work.
4. Being a cool guy to work with.

Mentioned in the Interview
His Reel
Finish Line