My Notes from Blendfest 2019

You asked to see my notes and takeaways from Blendfest so here they are.

Full distillation up front, then some pertinent quotes ( though some of them

might not be direct quotes), and finally my raw notes. Enjoy!


My Thoughts about Blendfest 2019:

The creative process is difficult work. It requires us to be vulnerable and open ourselves up. To be a professional artist, you’ve made a career out of being exposed while you create and tough when receiving feedback. It’s a logical fallacy to stay closed off while still being able to create art.

You don’t have to walk that path alone. Sometimes you need to be a B.I.G.B.O.Y and accept other’s boints of view. It often takes two to mo-ball. When you work with other people different than you, your work gains a mix of their brand ( their cultural background and experiences ) with your own. It’s tempting to work together with those similar to you. However, working with clones of yourself limits the possibilities you can see. You trade away the potential for the best work you create for an smooth working environment. It’s not easy. you’ll have creative differences and your ideas will battle to the death. Appreciate those differences.

You’ll feel like the work you’re doing doesn’t warrant such strain. But fret not. Nothing is ever lost. The skills you cultivate on jobs that don’t deserve it come with you to the next one. The designs that don’t win the bid push your mind closer to the next design which will.

Don’t look to social media, it encourages conditional happiness. Don’t mentalize, you undermine yourself and prevent yourself from taking risks. Trust the process. Remember that good work is its own reward.

Storytelling is key. Everything is a storytelling mechanism: How audio moves through your world, how the music and sound effects interact, the eye-contact and postures of your characters, Every decision tells your viewer something. Make sure it’s telling them the right thing.

Rewrite your scripts, distill your concepts down. Start with broad strokes and refine with finer and finer passes. Be Vulnerable. I was. … and I’d be vulnerable for everyone again.



Pertinent Quotes:

“Your self worth goes beyond the things you create.” -Choi

“We’ve all played mo-ball, how many of you have a ball in your work?” -Gunner

“Trust the Process. The process is your product. The Process is your own reward.” -Handel Eugene

“[Have] Best Regrets” -Handel Eugene

“There are two types of fear. How will we do it? Why will we do it.” -Josh Beveridge

“Nostalja is a danger to the new.” -Josh Beveridge

“The most rewarding work is working on jobs with those better than you.” -Nicholas Menard

“Why aren’t you doing your personal projects? 2:00 minutes. Go.” -Part1

“Steer your career, don’t become ‘the paper guy’.” -John Kelly


Blendfest19 Notes:


Screenshot_20190924-210839_Keep Notes.jpg

Design for web

Cool work is no longer client work

- personal work is cool work

symantics don't matter

- what is motion graphics?


Your cultural background and experiences are your brand

Dont wear your masks while creating.: Fuck Masks

What does sharing mean?

- Practicing authenticicty while exposing personal shame

Be Vulnerable, I was.

use that fear as a personal driving force

- turnabout personal motivation

- take a leap of faith

be the energy you want to attract

sometimes your biggest inspiration is a deadline

define success and plan for it

- creative freedom

- money

- fame

- free time

- etc

Your self-worth goes beyond the things you create.



Be Good (trust)

I need help (hire squares)

- Mix and match for awesome combos

Get your money later (Pay others now)

b oint of view

Outstanding locations

Y (Why)

-Cool Moball

- Happy People

- Community

- not being bad



-Paths Pannel

-Brush Path

Displacement Maps

- can be used for easy illustration paralax maps (ramps)

C4d Color from picutre

- command click to define swatches

Vary Cell Animations

-animate on 4s

- offset individual animations to introduce smoothness

UX with EGP

- consistency within design

- single icon comps

- mess with time remapping using master props

Ai shortcuts:

Command Y = outline view

Comman 3 = hide thing


Psychology and Storytelling

Grow is to ndividual as lead is to teams


conceptual - outside the system

experimental - incrementation of system

requires energy, envy?(scribble), intelligence. dicipline, and occasionally a cayalyst

empathize with your audience, don't bombard like daily content, strive desireability


3 Steps to Award Winning Work

-Trust the Process

- Process = Product

-Process = Reward

Creative Process:




I'm Shit

Maybe OK


Uncomfortable - outside comfort zome

Alternative Inspiration


- Archetecture

Build a library of references of cool motions. (actions, not motion design)

Inspiration -> Process Feedback loop

Auto-Pilot robs you of the process

robs you of improving your process

robs you of being an artist

The work that doesn't deserve it is the work you should push hardest on

Nothing is ever lost -> skills and designs inform your future

Social Media = Conditional Happiness

Good Work is it's own reward

have "Best Regrets"

3 Steps to Rewarding Work


Animation is self inflicted punishment


Have Mentors

" I thought this was success! I want to kill myself"

Studios as Entities, not individuals

Make the work you want. be positive and have faith


Audio as storytelling

Normally last, bails out animation

Audio should Always serve a storytelling purpose

Audio a common language,

allow for efficent questions

audio WILL inform some or all:

-physical -

- emotional

- intellectual

audio will inform above weather you decide or not

every element of audio can become a storytelling mechanism

- music as emoitional indicators

- music soundspace

- vo etc

contrast visuals and audio (eg: clean visuals, crunchy audio)

Audio design as communication

- how it feels, not distractions

- World feel, how does sound work in this environment?

- how do the music and sound effects interact

- intensity/energy chart map (not just a storytelling tool)

know your collaborators


Everything Moves (even 404 pages)

Content > Concept


Animated but tactile

lmimitations are features not bugs (16:9)

AR is an Active experience (webapp possible?)

consider all elements

both static and motion

does it make a product that will last

Part 1 Branding

Mistake Sharing is valuable to all


-Thinking about how other people are thinking of this

- do not do, undermines self, prevents risks

1 - Don't mentalize


Why aren't you doing your personal projects?

2 - Encourage motivation to create

Don't consider past investments when thinking about the future (similar to sunk cost fallacy)

3 - be honest asap

4 - Be Kind ( even to collegues )

Send good vibes

Help the peope around you work to reach their potential

5 - Appreciate the differences

Working with peope similar to you is easy but produces inferior work

would you rather a smooth process or the best work?


Complacx Shape Layers in 3 steps

Primary Shape PSR

Secondary Shape Path Animations

Link KeyArt to above

Vertex color for cam view to paind fbx in VR

link view space + sculpt space for easy round trip

Shift curve view to change values without affecting animations

Ai Soft Shading Gradients

- pencil tol

- highlights and shadows as shapes blending mode then blur it, add clipping mask

- blend it, blur it, clip it

AE Hamburger menu "AutoKeyframe" makes path animating easy (no twirl)

"Let me think about it and get back to you"

- "... get back to you in 15 mins"

- if no answer, that's an answer.

= that answer is ask for help

Nicholas Menard

Winning vs losing pitches

Start on paper

rewarding work is working on jobs with those better than you

Josh Beveridge

Head of char anim sony imageworks into the spiderverse

top down " break the pipeline"

Comic as anchor, adjudicator, core decision maker

treat everything graphicly - everything comes back to a graphic design layout

define bondaries: not cartoon, not real

two types of fears:

How will we do it?

Why will we do it?

remain comic book while no nostalja

Nostalja is a danger to the new.

Deconstrct and design to fill the hole

- Magic cube

- design deconstruction core element

don't handicap animation with the demands of reality - > can do anything

Smears = feel not see

Designed Deconstruction aligns with "Design with intent"

Make detail with a graphic world

all on 2s strobe

anim on 2 cam 1s = mega strobe

solution = sliding 2s

solution = locked screen space 2's cams on 1s

pixel locked to camera

No cereal commercial,

-artists are interoverted right?

-world skeptical

-think in head

Animation storytelling tools

-eye contact


- everything in service of story

Kendra Ryan

Work in borad strokes, then refine with finer and finer passes.

John Kelly


rewrites are distillations of concepts

don't become "the paper guy"

Steer your career


- agency reference taken with a pinch of salt

- sometimes lose job

Storyboard like nobody's watching

storyboarding shows in the final results

Make time for inspiration

you need input to make output

You know more than you think you do

be sure of yourself

Prepare, Details add up

Don't Prepare, open for spontenaity

doesn't hurt to ask for things to be more difficult. shows an understanding of the brief and willingness to work to make things cool

work with nice people

nobody knows how other people will take it