I’m Hussain, just started playing with AE for couple of months, and I have wonderings about “Dedication to Mograph”
I’m TOTALLY amazed by the general work I see in Behance and Vimeo.
My question in short: Do you think FULL dedication is a necessity to make great stuff? Do I need to drop collage to make high-class projects? Or just working for couple of years, 2-3 hrs daily, can make this happen?
please, think though your idea and elaborate it in the post, this may change my life plan.
I come at this question as someone with a Liberal Arts and Sciences school background, not a tech or trade school that only teaches how to work a particular piece of software. I’m not against trade schools, at all. But my philosophy, and my actual life experience of over thirty years, is that the variety of things I was learning in Liberal Arts classes turned out to be very helpful to me in writing, producing, and editing videos, and even in my own beginner-level mograph work. If you do it right, you are getting literary, art, music and historical backgrounds that will inform your work in untold ways when you are struggling, for example, on how to illustrate with typography and symbolism, ideas that are abstract.
I’ll give you an example: I had to do some mograph work to illustrate a script about an educational funding crisis, and a proposal to address it. Nobody really wants to look at charts and graphs, so, how to communicate this stuff while holding attention? I did things like build a little red one-room schoolhouse using 2-d pieces, assembled and animated in 3-d space within Apple Motion. I was able to show the building falling down to reveal a number inside, related to the script. Later, in a section about building educational funding up, I animated cartoon-like flat art of construction cranes lifting pieces of the plan into place onto a scaffolding of girders to build a tower. In another chapter of this series, I created a dark factory that lights up to reveal robotic arms and a conveyor belt; the belt begins to move, boxes go by the camera and the robot arms drop various text blocks of concepts into the “funding package”….
So my point there was, I never took courses in how to work the software; it was more about coming up with the creative ideas for visually representing the concepts, then figuring out the rest. That project made me pretty familiar with learning Apple Motion, for a time, LOL. but every day of my career, I come up against situations where something I learned in school about composing a frame, about lighting, about music, rhythm, form and space… all came from the non-technical, non-career classes I took, at least as much as from dedicated TV classes.
So I’m suggesting, if you’re in school, stay there for now. Soak up as many different areas of learning as possible, because believe it or not, it all eventually fits together.
The other thing I believe in about a Liberal Arts Education is; it teaches you how to learn new things, and that’s something you need life-long. I don’t know your age, but people just now about to get into their twenties will probably change entire careers five times in their working life. I don’t mean you’ll have five different jobs, but entire new careers, with the training and working-your-way-up-the-ladder that entails. Roughly every decade, you’re going to re-make yourself into someone new, doing something different than before. A liberal arts and sciences background makes you nimble and easy to evolve. It’s not the only way to success. I just think it’s a very dependable way.
So, stay in school, do the mograph stuff on the side while you grow yourself as a fully-fledged human being (as much as you can, while serving the practical needs of life and all). There will come a time when you will know you can step out and make this a career. Know that it’s a very competitive field, with an over-saturation of practitioners, so making a really good living at it will be tough because someone can always undercut your rates. You can’t let that bother you. When your work gets good enough, the higher rates will come too. Right now, though, make yourself the best “self” you can be, and just keep practicing, getting better. If you don’t get actual clients, pretend you are one, set yourself a really difficult goal and just work away at it, like the red schoolhouse and factory projects I described for myself. Don’t settle for average charts and graphs. Don’t just drop copy into a plug-in and call it done for animated typography. Practice building these things from scratch, and mastering your favorite tools. There’s no real shortcut to greatness.