Back in school I had a teacher who taught mainly thru tutorials and books while another took more of a hands on approach. I enjoyed both and liked the option to learn in different ways. One major thing I will say is that both teachers made it a point to drill into our heads that due to the fact that technology is ever changing, we must stay current on our crafts. That means that we as professionals would still always be students in a way; always looking for new things to learn, new techniques, new tools that are released with higher version numbers and so forth. Learning is never over, if you want to stay a top in the field.
I have found that learning from others is a wonderful way to grow your knowledge base, thru tutorials, blog postings, and so forth. I am very grateful for my teacher showing me how to find and use tutorials to not just copy, but use as a starting point and inspiration. When I was in school I was criticized for being a frequent visitor of VideoCoPilot.net and using many of the tips and tricks Andrew Kramer provides as he goes through his video tutorials. As you will see even in my later tutorials I create myself, I use a lot of the same principles and ideas. This is because they are easy to adopt and work perfectly for the way I work in After Effects. Using a similar technique or idea to create your own unique project is one thing, while copying an entire project and workflow and simply changing colors or text is another; this is what some classmates could never understand.
I use many influences when creating my animations and motion graphic composites. Sites such as Video CoPilot, Red Giant TV, Creative Cow, AE Tuts and many others have all been so helpful I don’t know where I would be without the tips and workflows they provide. Over the past year I have even re-taught myself how to design and code websites thru CSS and HTML5. I have even got a pretty good grip on coding in PHP and designing custom WordPress layouts. All this has been just through searching online and reading blogs that cover different topics, which is pretty impressive since not more than a year ago I designed a site for a friend consisting solely of one large table of rows and columns with a flash header. For those who don’t know this is a huge no-no in web design today… at least it wasn’t done in frames!
In this post I wanted to show my support for all of these wonderful teaching sites that helped to educate me and I’m sure so many others long after graduation. I have gained invaluable knowledge that has enabled me to go above and beyond my original skill set. I continue to learn and find new ways of creating animations that “wow” clients and give them something they have never seen before, or sometimes even show them something they have seen before but with a new creative twist. One day I hope to have an equally extensive library of informative, creative, and unique tutorials that visitors use as learning and inspiration for creating something truly unique.
I am already in the process of laying out the foundation for my tutorials and coming up with topics I would like to cover, now all that remains is finding the time to create them and ways of incorporating the skills I wish to teach together with exciting projects. I am even in the process of looking into purchasing a specialized USB microphone so that my tutorials sound as professional as they look. Be sure to check back often for new updates and tutorials coming soon!