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Best practices when working on videos that often require small tweaks after client feedback?

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Casey Labatt-SimonBest practices when working on videos that often require small tweaks after client feedback?
by on Feb 17, 2016 at 7:05:01 am

I'm fairly experienced working on small personal projects on after effects, but I recently undertook my first professional project, making a 30sec long animation for the company that I work at. It was enjoyable, but a big problem I ran into throughout it was that I would often have to take hours to make just a few tweaks. After a round of feedback, let's say they wanted one section to move a little differently, and that change affected the speed at which things happened. I then had to go through and adjust tons and tons of other keyframes to compensate for the change I just made.

I'm beginning work on the second animation for this company now, and I want to avoid that excruciating process. I'm completely self taught in AE, so I feel like I might be missing some basic best practices to avoid this type of problem

If anyone has any tips, tutorials, or videos on this kind of thing that would be great! I'm guessing I just need to get smarter with using precomps or something, but maybe it's more than that.

Thanks for any help!


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Kalle KannistoRe: Best practices when working on videos that often require small tweaks after client feedback?
by on Feb 17, 2016 at 7:31:53 am

Maybe far from a "best practice" but precomping the whole thing and time remapping to adjust overall length can be significantly faster than adjusting keyframes on every single layer.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Best practices when working on videos that often require small tweaks after client feedback?
by on Feb 17, 2016 at 4:33:03 pm

It sounds like things won't change very much for you, sad to say. The reason -- approval by committee. People who have no knowledge of the effort behind the animation and perhaps lousy taste are dictating changes.
If you can reach out to other people in your organization, particularly those involved in print, ask them how their work is approved. I think you will find it is NOT done by committee.

"Well, more points of view make for a better effort," say those on the committee. That's true... AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PROCESS. When it's not particularly sexy. When they actually have to put forth IDEAS rather than opinions. Any dolt can have an opinion. It takes smarts and creativity to offer up workable ideas. Also effort. This group has to come prepared with all the information you need to begin your task. They can't blow it off.

Remember the mantra of people who create multimedia in all its various forms. "You can have it good. You can have it cheap. You can have it fast. You can only pick two."

The unqualified people judging your work will greatly impact that mantra. They are the ones who will influence which two of the above will eventually win out.

Once you have your set of workable ideas established by the larger group, its work is done. The group approving your work is much, much smaller. It has a vested interest in the success of your efforts, and not just "input". There are far fewer non-sensical changes that would be made.

You're stuck in a disfunctional company culture. You've got to change that culture FAST or you'll be driven nuts and consistently miss deadlines if you can't.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your unenviable situation. I've been there and it's no fun.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Larry DeGalaRe: Best practices when working on videos that often require small tweaks after client feedback?
by on Feb 19, 2016 at 2:36:52 am

[Dave LaRonde] "You're stuck in a disfunctional company culture. You've got to change that culture FAST or you'll be driven nuts and consistently miss deadlines if you can't."

I must second Dave LaRonde's argument.

The blame will lie with you even when you maintain a high degree of professionalism and you do everything technically correct. You have to consider whether your compensation is worth maintaining that client. $300 an hour for a psychiatrist much exceeds your $x0 an hour editing.

Wish you all the best. Believe in your talent and your dreams.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4425233/


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Walter SoykaRe: Best practices when working on videos that often require small tweaks after client feedback?
by on Feb 17, 2016 at 4:57:23 pm

Change management is one of the hardest parts about successfully delivering a project like this. It's helpful to try to plan ahead, identifying which elements are most likely to change, and working to reduce the number of other elements dependent on them.

Where appropriate, I like to deliver an animatic as my first pass: essentially, a timed storyboard, without full style/animation. This lets us hit on issues of pacing early on, before changing them becomes difficult or expensive.

I also like to work in self-contained sections to reduce the impact of a change. An edit may require adjusting lots of keyframes within its section, but just sliding other precomps in a master Ae comp, or clips in an editorial timeline.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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