Today's project is based on a use of Trapcode Form that uses text, instead of an image, to create some nice extrusion effects. After the seemingly hundreds of tutorials I've clicked through over the past two weeks, I couldn't find the original clip that inspired this to give it proper credit. But, I do know that I've taken it as far as I can in the 16 hours I've spent on it and that it's turned into something I'm comfortable enough to call my own.
And actually, I've pieced together so many bits over the past hours, from using CC Particle Scatter combined with Trapcode Shine, to at least a couple of hours of losing my so completely I have no idea how to find my way back, that it's made my ability to view anything, even at 1/4 resolution, nearly impossible on my MacPro. So much for SSD's in RAID 0, 48GB of RAM, and a Dual Quad Core machine.
It's also made my notes on this project extremely hazy to non-existent at the moment, which is a bit of an issue for me.
In fact, I kept tweaking parameters on Trapcode Form and then adding some Trapcode Shine, and it seemed that every one of the results was something interesting and unique. I don't doubt that much of that excitement is the newbie-hacker in me talking, but being this excited about the creative process reminds me of the feeling I had when I first had the opportunity to produce bands I love like Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips way back in the 1990's. So, I know there is room for VAST improvement with all of the motion in this project, but I once again realized something important:
Projects are growing to be very complex (at least for me), very quickly, and I don't think there's a way to keep up this pace doing what I'm doing. I honestly expected a much slower pace of learning this new creative palette, but the software has advanced so far, that there are so many possibilities at my fingertips that I just can't resist playing with. I probably need to settle for less each day, obsess less each day, or at least to keep closer track of both the time and how much I'm adding along the way.
Either way, I've decided on Cinema 4D as my 3D animation software, so I may shift my focus to that and start to post projects from that instead of After Effects. I'm not sure which way to go yet, though. For a while, I won't be able to do anything other than some simple animations, so it might give me a much-needed break from these 16 hour days. I've also just discovered a series of tutorials by Harry Frank (graymachine) on After Effects Expressions while searching for an "Inertial Bounce" script I've heard echoes of. The free tutorial lured me in, and now I've got 6 tutorials to try to ingest.
That means that tomorrow is anyone's guess.
I've got a few layered images from Photoshop specific to the documentary, but I spent a few minutes playing with those, and it started to take up way too much time. Perhaps I'll post one of those works in progress, perhaps I'll make Cinema 4D do something, perhaps I'll have something to show for the series of After Effects Expressions tutorials I'm about to watch, but all I know is that exactly 24 hours from now, I need to have another project ready to post.