Who Makes the Motion Graphics at Treehouse?10:34 with Craig Dennis
We caught up with the Treehouse Motion Graphics team, Ryan Creason, Michael Myers, and Jake Kemper, to ask them how they make their magic.
Hello, and welcome to the Treehouse Show. 0:00 The Treehouse Show is our weekly conversation with the Treehouse community. 0:01 One of the more frequent questions that we receive is about our incredible 0:09 motion design. 0:13 How do you all make those animations? 0:14 How do I get that job? 0:16 I had the rare chance to have our entire motion team together at a recent company 0:17 retreat that we had in Portland. 0:21 I sat down with them and 0:23 got answers to your questions about how they do their magic. 0:24 Creason, thanks so much for being on the show. 0:28 This is Ryan Creason, amazing motion designer here. 0:29 A question that we get all the time is what tools are you using to make 0:34 the motion. 0:39 >> It's called magic, you have to be able to, no, a program called After Effects, 0:40 that does the animation that's an adobe product, and we use Illustrator, and 0:45 sometimes Photoshop to create that set then we illustrate in After Effects. 0:50 So all within Adobe. 0:54 >> And you work with teachers alongside. 0:56 You get some instructions and you just kind of create from there? 0:59 Is that hard? 1:03 >> There's this one Java teacher that's pretty tough to work with. 1:04 But other than that, it's pretty easy. 1:06 No, I was just talking to someone about this the other day. 1:08 Ryan Carson was asking me about what it's like working with teachers. 1:10 And it's really fun getting in the early stages and 1:13 then kind of bouncing things back and forth. 1:16 And then figuring out like, what's a good way to visually represent something? 1:18 And for me, I haven't actually know that technical side broken down and then, 1:22 all way out an idea, they'll go back and forth and it's funded, 1:26 see where that evolves and takes out. 1:30 >> You do amazing work. 1:32 I love working with you specifically. 1:34 I know one of this, right? 1:38 And I think that you come with a programming background and 1:39 now you're putting this art on top of it in a way that you can explain. 1:43 So I think it's so cool that you're merging both of these worlds together. 1:48 How does that feel to be you? 1:52 To be able to use your skills in that way? 1:54 >> [LAUGH] So personally I'm a very visual learner. 1:56 Everyone who knows me knows that. 1:59 And that was the first thing that drew me to Treehouse as a student 2:02 when I was just learning. 2:04 It was like, I don't understand what this concept is saying, but 2:05 to see it personified and created within characters and objects and 2:08 the relations physically in front of me in these animations, that solidifies it. 2:11 There's some animations that I saw as a student, when I first started Treehouse, 2:16 I still remember like I just watched it. 2:20 So it's pretty cool to be able to do that. 2:22 >> Awesome, well, we want to say thank you for all yhou do and I have a question. 2:24 What's the weirdest thing that you've had to ever animate. 2:27 >> The weirdest thing I've had to animate. 2:31 I don't know about the weirdest, but the most complex one was for you. 2:37 The Goldberg machine. 2:40 >> No. >> And that was a blast so. 2:41 >> No. >> I would say maybe that's the weirdest. 2:42 >> Okay, yeah. 2:45 That was definitely a strange request and you'd knocked it out of the park. 2:46 So thank you. 2:49 Thank you for that. 2:50 What is something that people watching your emotion wouldn't know about you, 2:51 would not know? 2:55 >> My hobby is, at night times, I stream gaming on Twitch TV. 2:57 So it's like, Monday through Thursday, kids are in bed, my wife and 3:02 I will watch some Netflix, we hang out. 3:06 And I got to the computer, and I stream at night, so it's awesome. 3:08 >> You stream yourself playing video games? 3:11 >> Yeah, and people actually watch it. 3:13 I don't know why, but they're there. 3:14 >> How can I watch it? 3:16 >> [LAUGH] Whoa, if you go to your web browser. 3:17 >> Yes? 3:21 >> I'm just, twitch.tv/gobbles_RC. 3:22 >> You'll see me there tonight. 3:25 >> Michael Myers, thanks for being on the show. 3:27 >> Yeah, thanks for having me, Craig. 3:29 >> The students love the motion work that we do on the site, 3:31 you do such amazing work. 3:34 I would like to, how did you get into that? 3:36 How did you get into creating motion? 3:39 >> Well, I guess, initially, I've always had a pretty big interest in illustration, 3:43 which was kinda my background. 3:47 And I thought it would be cool to kind of pair that with animation, 3:49 which is another, I guess, love of mine growing up as a kid. 3:52 Like watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all that. 3:55 I was like, it'd be fun to make stuff move. 3:58 So I kinda got interested in that. 4:00 And a job out of college, I got hired on to do some illustration and 4:02 animation work and so, [LAUGH], I got involved in how to animate essentially. 4:08 I took a course in college about it like, 3D animation, but 4:14 then really got to learn on the job at my first career job. 4:18 So yeah, I was able to take that and then use it when I got to Treehouse. 4:21 >> Cool, and that's awesome. 4:26 We're so glad to have you here on the team. 4:27 You made so many cool things. 4:29 I was wondering what has been, maybe, 4:30 the weirdest thing that you've ever had to animate here? 4:33 >> The weirdest thing? 4:35 Man. Where do I start? 4:36 No, [COUGH] I don't know. 4:38 >> One of things that I know that you had to do is I had in my script one of our 4:41 characters give each other a high five. 4:45 And they don't have hands. 4:47 So yeah, that' s interesting. 4:49 So, yeah I had to make two noodles slap each other. 4:51 >> [LAUGH] >> So yeah. 4:54 No, just that was tricky, but I think just through like 4:55 using some animation principles, you kinda get the feeling of, yeah. 4:59 This noodles are actually high fiving each other. 5:02 So that's. 5:04 >> [LAUGH] It's amazing. 5:05 I love that scene when it happens and they do high five and they are noodles and 5:07 you just, you embrace the noodle. 5:11 >> It's a big part of just you gotta embrace the noodle. 5:12 >> [LAUGH] >> The animating itself. 5:15 >> Students at home are probably now super interested in you. 5:18 What is something about you that they won't know just by watching your work? 5:22 >> I think one of the biggest things is that I've got six kids at home. 5:29 So I've got lots of distractions going on and so 5:33 I guess the big thing would just be I figured out how to manage distraction. 5:36 And that's I think a big part of being successful as a remote employee, too, 5:41 as being able to know when to just zone in and really get some work done. 5:46 I don't know. 5:50 It's tough and it's hard to not wanna be involved with what's going on at home, but 5:51 yeah, it's pretty interesting. 5:56 And I think it does kinda shape, I'm still a kid at heart. 5:58 And so having kids, it's kind of a bunch of friends at home, which is pretty cool. 6:01 So yeah. 6:06 >> Thanks so much for being on the show. 6:07 We're here in gold chairs with Jake Kemper, motion designer. 6:09 >> Hello, I do a lot of the animations you see on the courses. 6:12 >> You do. And they're awesome. 6:15 I love it and the students love it. 6:17 Jake, what tools do you use to do the stuff that you do? 6:19 >> We design in Illustrator. 6:24 We use all Adobe tools for designing Illustrator and 6:25 move those in After Effects and animate. 6:29 And on occasion we do stuff in 3D for a lot of VR courses and things like that. 6:32 But traditionally, we just do Illustrator, keep it clean, move it to After Effects, 6:37 animate it clean. 6:42 >> Cool, awesome. 6:43 And then, how did you actually get into that, I don't know if, I didn't know that. 6:44 >> Well, originally I went to school for film and video production. 6:48 I worked on, actually, a couple movies. 6:54 And it turned out I was not one to run in the fields with production gear. 6:56 >> [LAUGH] >> And I've always liked art. 7:00 So what I went ahead and did was I went and 7:02 took another major in graphic design, learned 3D, learned 2D, 7:05 ended up getting a really awesome apprenticeship at Fox TV stations. 7:10 >> Fox. 7:16 >> Yeah, the Simpsons Fox, not the news Fox. 7:17 >> Okay. 7:19 >> And then from there I worked really hard for about 12 years and 7:20 became the art director for the east coast. 7:24 And just started looking for something different. 7:27 Decided I really didn't want to work in TV anymore, 7:29 cuz it was starting to get a little rough and tumble. 7:32 And I was wanting a calmer job, less hours than working 24/7, 7:35 cuz that's how long the TV is on. 7:39 >> Right, never stops. 7:41 >> Yeah, it never stops. 7:44 It was ridiculous. 7:45 So basically I left there and came to Treehouse, and have been happy ever since. 7:47 >> Awesome, and we're so glad to have you here at Treehouse. 7:51 One of the things that I like to ask is what is the weirdest thing, 7:54 weirdest motion that you ever had to design. 7:58 >> Well, there's been some weird stuff. 8:03 But the one I remember the most because it was the most difficult and strangest one, 8:06 was taking a former teacher, animating him, sticking him on a Segway. 8:11 And having car parts in a factory, building a car behind 8:16 him while he tools around on a Segway and explains stuff for about 15 minutes. 8:19 >> I'm assuming this was Gabe. 8:24 >> That was Gabe's course, yes. 8:25 And it turned out I must say, rather well. 8:27 >> Yeah, it was beautiful, it was beautiful. 8:29 >> But it was like okay, you wanna go ahead and be on a Segway, that's cool. 8:31 >> [LAUGH] Awesome. 8:37 You gotta get it someway, right? 8:38 We gotta get on the Segway somehow. 8:39 >> Yeah, you gotta get on the Segway. 8:41 Segways are amazing. 8:42 >> [LAUGH] Yeah, okay, so people have watched your amazing motion. 8:43 What is something that they don't know about you, about Jake Kemper. 8:48 >> Well, I have a lot of hobbies that cost a lot of money. 8:53 And I usually don't fulfill my dreams with them very often. 8:57 I've recorded music. 9:02 I've done DJing. 9:04 I've gone ahead and tried to do VR. 9:07 Turns out programming for VR is very difficult, so that wasn't for me. 9:10 So now I am 3D printing and sculpting in a program called ZBrush. 9:14 And I think this one is gonna stick. 9:19 >> Well, that's awesome. 9:21 What are you making in this. 9:22 So you're designing and then actually creating. 9:24 >> Yeah, I'm sculpting it a typical ZBrush is like a real sculpting 9:27 >> So you sculpt it, you prepare it, and 9:32 you print it. 9:35 And right now I started that about a year ago and 9:35 I've discovered I have to do a lot of things. 9:37 I have to learn a lot of anatomy. 9:39 I have to learn how to read people's faces and recreated them. 9:41 If I wanna create say, a Sylvester Stallone, which is probably the best 9:43 likeness I've done yet, because a likeness is a lot harder than a fake person. 9:48 And I'm just enjoying it. 9:53 It's really fun. 9:54 Making it in the computer and then printing the thing up and 9:56 holding it in your hand and going, that's mine now. 9:58 >> Wow, that's awesome man. 10:00 That's really cool. 10:02 >> Next step is I gotta make molds and sell them on Etsy. 10:03 >> There you go. 10:06 Jake Kemper on Etsy, /Jake Kemper. 10:07 Do you have an Etsy name already? 10:10 >> Not yet. 10:11 But I'm on Instagram at J_Kemper. 10:12 >> Do it. 10:15 Thanks for watching the Treehouse Show. 10:21 To get in touch with the show reach out to me on Twitter or 10:22 email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:25 See you next time. 10:27 I've included more information about the team and their side projects in the notes. 10:28 Make sure that you give them a high five. 10:32
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