Flash Site Critique
I recently put together a new flash website and I wanted to get a critique on it. I've worked really hard on it and now I basically want to use it as a reference for freelance employers to check out and (potentially) give me work.
Any thoughts/comments/suggestions would be awesome!
I realize that you want to play up your last name "Bird" but by making the demo reel intro almost immediately show "bird crap" falling onto the hood of the car, you have set a negative image in the mind of your audience right from the start. Play up the positive aspects of birds -- flight, beauty, freedom, speed, power, etc. -- not arguably one of the most annoying aspects.
I'll leave it to others to remark on other areas of your reel.
I do believe he asked for a critique on his website, not his demo reel.
Your website is fantastic. I've never seen anything like it - very creative and it was great that no section chugged, and I didn't have to wait for loading. I think it's a great tool to show prospective employers because it really shows a range of talent. Fantastic job - one of the best I've seen for sure.
As for the demo reel - I disagree with Ron Lindeboom. Personally, bird crap is the only interaction with birds that I ever have in the city. I don't normally see them "soaring" and ravens aren't exactly "beautiful". Your idea is *bird in the city*, and unless you're lucky enough to have a park near your flat, ravens are just about the only bird you're going to see. That's just my take on it at least.
Congrats on your hard work.
Thanks for the instant feedback! Wow... those was quick replies. To respond to the birdpoop comment, it is definitely something that I gave some serious thought to. Obviously, it's a bit off-color for corporate clients. However, it was my goal to create an opener that would certainly be memorable as well as a bit playful. While it understandably might turn off some people, I think that it captures my objective and might be humorous to the types of clients I hope to attract.
(Time will tell whether clients agree!) =)
Thanks again for your input.
I love the vending machine concept!!
nice transition too.
Inspiring to see.
I love the vending machine concept!!
nice transition too.
Inspiring to see.
[tallassistant] "I do believe he asked for a critique on his website, not his demo reel."
Well, excuse me for pitching in an idea or two: I only built the place and I kinda figured as the guy who pays the tens of thousands of dollars each month to keep the lights on here, I might even be entitled to an opinion. Pardon me for overstepping my bounds...
Seeing as his demo reel is almost the first thing you see in his site and as it is a key part of his site, I thought it just made sense to give my opinion on how it is being used. Especially as someone who has drawn up marketing plans for DirecTV, Isuzu and many others, as well as as consulting with many of the biggest companies in this industry and building the Cow with damned near nothing.
But hey, what the heck do I know??? ;o)
[tallassistant] "Your website is fantastic. I've never seen anything like it - very creative and it was great that no section chugged, and I didn't have to wait for loading. I think it's a great tool to show prospective employers because it really shows a range of talent. Fantastic job - one of the best I've seen for sure."
While all that may be well and good, in the end pretty commercials with the wrong message don't sell a thing...
Look at the Cow itself. Uglier than bird crap, wouldn't you say? But it works and it proves everyday that wrappers are NOT as important as what's actually in the box...
In this industry, it's about the message, not the wrapper.
There are ALL kinds of ads that audiences watch on TV which creative artists and art directors sat around creating, saying: "Eeewwww, it's so cool. How edgey and brilliant!" Yet, many fail miserably because the audience just doesn't get it.
Critiqueing a website is far more than looking at how the images move or don't. Get it down on that level and you are one of the 95% of businesses that will likely fail in the first year.
Me, I HATE the way the Cow looks and I can hardly stand to look at it. But I have been so busy with a ton of other things that I haven't had the chance to update it since we took it online years ago.
But it works...
It takes one incredibly talented and insightful marketer to use negative association in a way that works. It's far harder than actors trying to do comedy. For every one person that you find who will actually like the fact that someone associates themselves with bird crap, you will find many others who won't and will write it off as a negative. Most people do not like negative association as a sales or marketing stimulus.
[tallassistant] "As for the demo reel - I disagree with Ron Lindeboom. Personally, bird crap is the only interaction with birds that I ever have in the city. I don't normally see them "soaring" and ravens aren't exactly "beautiful". Your idea is *bird in the city*, and unless you're lucky enough to have a park near your flat, ravens are just about the only bird you're going to see. That's just my take on it at least."
I am happy for you that your only experience with birds is bird crap. But the average person isn't limited to such an outlook and there's a reason that the biggest selling movies are not the "hook the toilet up to my head and crap in my brains" negativity flicks that many in the avant garde champion. Coming out of the gate with almost the first thing your audience sees, associating yourself with bird shit is a hard image to undo.
In a marketing war -- which all of us are in whether we get it, like it, want to be in it or not -- perception is everything.
Lose that one and you lose the war.
Think otherwise and you do so at your own undoing...
But hey, I don't know anything and I don't have a track record which entitles me to an opinion...
wow...bet you never thought asking for a website critique would quickly turn into such a heated one? hehe, anyways it looks like a pretty well done flash site and the video transitions play pretty nicely. when i first saw the vending machine, before clicking on anything, i didn't think i was going to like the site. but i came around after clicking on a section and seeing how nice the transitions were done. the fake candy bar labels were done well too...almost too well, i didn't even realize they were mock labels at first.
i was hoping you, or anyone reading could give me some pointers on how bring transitions like yours into flash(not in the creative sense, in the technical sense). i am working on a flash site that will have 3d transitions which i've made using maya and aftereffects. the transitions are short and aren't too graphically intense, fairly basic 3d shapes. I dont know the best way to bring the animations into flash. i.e. importing a quicktime, importing an flv made from aftereffects, importing a swf made from afteffects? i haven't tried yet for these animations, but in the past i haven't had much luck getting clean looking flvs or swfs out of aftereffects.
sorry to make this so long. thanks for any suggestions/advice
I would export an uncompressed quicktime from After effects, and have flash do the encoding to FLV format.
You can embed the FLV straight into the flash timeline on the stage, and if you include an alpha channel from after effects, you have the option of including that in Flash (If you have Flash 8).
Otherwise just match the background in After Effects, to the background on your stage.
influx.hopto.org (temporary slow serving site!!)
if i make my quicktime from aftereffects how do i keep the alpha channel in the quicktime? b/c i think i'm going to do what you suggested...make a quicktime from aftereffects, and use flash 8 to make a flv with an alpha channel.
Export the quicktime using the ANIMATION codec and make sure it is set to "millions of colors +" (the default is normally just "millions")
When you import into flash, choose "show advanced settings", then choose the On2VP6 codec and tick "encode alpha channel"
Well execuited site there!
The concept isn't completely origional, but your animations and seemless transitions pull it off in a way I haven't seen before. As someone who works in flash a lot I'm inclined to say that some of the bells/whisltes are a bit overdone, BUT they do work together as a whole for this site.
I tried to break it navigation wise and couldn't. Well done there.
One final critic. The initial packaging of the site is quite nice, well thought out and pulled together, but once you get down into the content the "polished" look falls away. I'd suggest trying to pull more of the shapes, colors, style elements of the initial navigation into the rest of the site to give it more continuity and harmony.
Hope this helps.
As a newbie I find it quite interesting and I would like to ask you a few questions, that could help me for the website I'm programming for a cable manufacturer (look up http://www.toxxik.de/Blumen.mov for the intro)
How did you program the camera move? Real filming, AfterEffects and exported afterwards? Or is there a different way (3D)?
Where did you add the motion blur?
And what format do you use to export the video material? It looks very good and it loaded quite quick... While the intro I programmed is still about 10 MB...
If you could answer to some of my questions I'd be very grateful.