Floyd Norman: Once in A Lifetime Experience

Floyd Norman: Once in A Lifetime Experience

The oxford dictionary defines the phrase “once in a lifetime” as a chance or experience that’s unlikely to occur more than – once in a person’s life. Kinda makes sense, right? This June, Floyd Norman will be our honored guest at motion 2017 in Santa Fe. If you’ve never met Floyd, I invite you to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity. What makes Floyd so unique that he warrants such a prestigious introduction? Sure. Floyd Norman was the first African American animator hired by Disney. And yes, it’s true. Floyd has over 65 credits to his name including The Jungle Book, Toy Story 2, and Monster’s Inc. Awards. You betcha. ASIFA Hollywood’s Winsor McCay Award and the International Family Film Festival for Lifetime Achievement in Animation to name a few. Not only that, Floyd was named a Disney Legend in 2007. And for many of us, Floyd is fondly referred to as “the ambasador” of the industry. In fact – filmmaker Michael Fiore found Floyd to be so fascinating, he made a documentary about his life. For many of us, Floyd is fondly referred to as ‘the ambasador’ of the industry. While credits like these would distinguish any artist as being in a category of their own, exulting them to “Hall of Fame” status, it’s more than this that puts Floyd Norman in the “once in a lifetime experience” category. You see…I know this first hand. I was fortunate to meet Floyd in person last year at motion 2016. As emcee for the event, I interviewed the legend as we took a unique look back at his life based on the chronology of some of his books*....
Happy 20th Birthday Adobe After Effects!

Happy 20th Birthday Adobe After Effects!

Happy Birthday After Effects! It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years. While I didn’t know you from birth, you came into my life when you were a couple of years old – just before your new family at Adobe adopted you. Not unlike a toddler in their terrible two’s my first experience with you was a bit overwhelming. Let me explain. My background was graphic design. You were my first move into the world of motion graphics. And for that, I am forever grateful. But I must admit, it took a bit of time for me to get to know you. Sure. Many of my colleagues said, ‘don’t worry! The kiddo is just like Photoshop’. And that was partially true. I loved that fact that you had many tools that I was familiar with from the graphic design realm…but you had so much more. And that frightened me. I gave you time. And conversely, you were patient with me. Now look at you! Over the years, you have grown and changed so much! You have so much to offer. If I were one of the ‘3 Dave’s’…I would be one proud daddy! But for me, you played a different role in my life. You shaped and molded my career in motion graphics. Over the years, you and I became best friends. You helped bring so much more to my client projects. Things that would wow them. Things that would make them say, ‘how did you do that?!’. Things that made me shine. And there you stood silently, looking at me like a proud parent saying, ‘look at how much you...
Why do you do what you do?

Why do you do what you do?

Simon Sinek presented a TEDx session in which he said, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it…“. Later, motion 2011 speaker Joel Pilger, Creative Director at Impossible took this a step further in an interview with the The Denver Egotist, where he asked each of us as creatives to ask ourselves: “WHY do you do what you do?” Creatives are a unique breed. Michael Waldron, Creative Director at TV Land in New York City asks, “Why do we as designers keep opening ourselves up to failure time after time?” And as Derek Walker from brown and browner notes, “We are creatives. We’re free thinkers. But time and time again when push comes to shove, fear takes over and we fall lockstep in line with one another”. So what do we do? We come prepared. We learn techniques to cope – or as Alexandre Bartholo from WeDoVideo in Tokyo states, “we’ve developed a set of survival tips passed on from creative to creative”. If you have even paused a moment to think about any of this…consider yourself one of the brightest and most creative minds in the industry. Good news… motion is designed specifically for you. All of the questions posed, are part of our Saturday, October 13 segment at motion called, ‘The Lost Art of…‘. Join us as a member of the live studio audience. Take an active role in the open discussion. Engage. It’s time to // feed your brain // register now » motion was designed for you. Until next time…...
Getting Creative Things Done

Getting Creative Things Done

It’s hard for creatives to get things done. With constant deadlines, and being bombarded from all directions, being creative for extended periods of time is difficult. Cal Newport on the99percent.com recently wrote about this. The following are some excerpts – consider it the ‘Cliff Notes’ of the article. What Is Needed for Good Creative Work? In his oft-cited essay– Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule, Paul Graham highlights the unique demands of creative work (the type of work produced by a “maker,” in Graham’s lexicon). The maker’s schedule, he explains, is defined by long, open stretches of uninterrupted work. For a maker, “a single meeting can blow a whole afternoon.” Graham describes his own schedule, from his time working in a software start-up, as starting after dinner and lasting until 3am, explaining: “At night no one could interrupt me.” In Graham’s construction, Newport identified two justifications for the importance of long stretches of uninterrupted work: Shifting Mental Modes: When the mind knows it has no interruptions looming, it can shift into the flow state required to produce high-quality output. Providing Freedom to Explore: Real creative work is non-linear, often requiring long, unexpected detours to uncover the contours of the problem at hand. Long stretches of time provide the freedom needed to feel comfortable indulging in these detours. As Newport states, the problem faced by to-do list creatives is that we cannot afford to integrate Graham’s long stretches of uninterrupted work into our schedules. With this in mind, Newport came up with the ‘GCTD system’ which attempts to replicate the two benefits of uninterrupted work, as described above, in a more realistic, logistics-respecting...
Minimalism. A New Approach for Adobe.

Minimalism. A New Approach for Adobe.

I’m an avid fan of Adobe software applications. I love the way Adobe products easily integrate with one another and facilitate efficient workflow. I have been a long time user of After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash – in fact, most of the applications in the Adobe Master Collection. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a trend where Adobe is introducing more and more applications – each meeting specific needs of a narrow target market. More often than not, these ‘new’ applications ultimately have features that already exist in established Adobe products. Adobe is becoming a company with numerous ‘fragmented’ products. Adobe, I’d like to make a suggestion. Consider implementing a ‘minimalist’ approach. Build on core applications. Create add-ons. Adobe has a handful of – what I consider – ‘core‘ applications: After Effects Audition ColdFusion Illustrator InDesign Photoshop Premiere Flash used to be in this category, but over the past 5 years or so, it’s developed an identity crisis. Is it a tool for animation? Web development?Rich internet applications? Mobile apps? How minimalism work Using the job title Designer, let’s take a look at a real-world example of how this would work. InDesign is what I consider a ‘core’ application. It is a powerful application created specifically for professional graphic designers. Using the motion picture analogy, InDesign would be the lead actor. Graphic designers commonly use photography and illustration in their work. If you need to customize a photo, you use Photoshop – another ‘core’ application. You can also use Photoshop to create raster based illustrations. If you want to include vector illustration or graphics, you reach for Illustrator...
The Saga of a Blackberry Praybook … er Playbook

The Saga of a Blackberry Praybook … er Playbook

I remember years ago when people commonly called windows technology “Plug and Pray” instead of “Plug and Play”. Fortunately, the Windows world has evolved beyond this point. But I think Research in Motion has stepped up to reinstate this concept with their new Blackberry Praybook – I mean Playbook. In my case, I’m still praying…but nothing is happening. Here’s the story. Becky, motion.tv co-founder got a 16GB Playbook a couple of weeks ago. Just like being a kid on Christmas morning, she immediately opened the package – excited to check out her new ‘toy’. She plugged it in, pushed the power on button, and started the setup process. The first step was to connect to our wireless network. Hmmm… let’s try that again. The first step was to connect to our wireless network. After numerous attempts, Becky couldn’t connect to the network, and asked me to give it a try. I admit. I’m a geek and almost always can resolve technical issues. We both had a lot on our plate for the day, so I told her I’d give it a quick look, and if I couldn’t figure it out within a short time, I’d have to try again later. After several attempts to connect to the network – both automatically and manually – without success, I told Becky I’d try to look at it over the weekend. Like a kid on Christmas morning who rips open their present, only to find the words ‘batteries not included’ – Becky’s plan to play with her new Playbook, wasn’t going to happen. • combined wasted time calculator: 50 minutes But like the kid...