Posts by felt_tips

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Oh dear, I feel an essay coming on…. :-)

The hand-picked by Envato / platinum project thing is difficult. With Envato’s current user base, I’m not sure it would work. There’s such high quality to be found across the marketplace that I wonder if a new price category as suggested might not sound the immediate death knell for any item in it. I certainly wouldn’t want my items to be guineau pigs for a scheme like that.

I think that Envato has four pressing issues regarding attracting more quality authors.

Maintain a base under prices

Firstly, having been part of bringing the perceived pricing of motion graphics to its lowest level in its history, I think Envato now has to be part of putting a solid base under prices. This concretely means putting prices up to keep the real value of items the same. Prices need to be adjusted upwards to counter the falling buying power of currencies (inflation) and to counter the rising quality level in the marketplace. Otherwise the demand on authors’ time automatically goes up. More quality, same price, anyone? No… it doesn’t add up! There has been some move in this direction lately and this has been very reassuring that Envato is aware of this issue and prepared to do something about it. Envato needs to be seen to be supporting authors (and the industry at large).

Fairness and Visibility

The second issue is fairness. At the moment, the whole system is geared towards making a handful of wealthy authors, while the rest see most of their hard work go to waste. This seems to have gotten worse. Once upon a time, featured items were featured regardless of their sales. These days it seems that items are featured later in their life once they have proven their sales potential. The star rating system is pretty much as flawed as it ever was. Now the author knows for definite when he/she has received an unfair rating, but can’t do anything about it. The new “trending” might help somewhat to make lesser selling items more visible; time will tell. The tough job here is to be fair, while not acting to the detriment of those authors who are already doing well, and while giving the buyers what they want ( a quick and easy route to high quality, popular, tried and tested items ). I think there could be more done in this area. That kind of brings me on to…

Bring in more buyers

The third issue is to bring in more buyers. I think that the market is really saturated with authors and projects. The projects grow cumulatively and the rate of growth seems to remain unchecked. The buying base appears to be growing too, but ultimately if a higher number of projects are to cover their time input cost, that means a higher buyer/author ratio. What’s most important is to convince new markets that they need After Effects templates, motion graphics or stock footage. I think that new and interesting advertising strategies, cunning targeting of those new markets, more work on the perception of quality, a higher visibility in a variety of media and so on will help. As Adobe’s Creative Cloud starts to take hold, there is an emerging market of people who have After Effects available to them, but don’t know how to use it. Do they know that a template could be the key? The number of people who work professionally in moving image is exploding. Do they know that Videohive also sells tools that can help them out? And are these constant bundles really doing anything to bring in more of the right kind of customer, or are they simply serving to drive down the price and quality perception? Surely Envato can think of some better ways to market themselves than perma-discounting. What about competitions for buyers? Best use of a Videohive item? The winners get $2000 to spend on the market places and their work can be used in promotional case studies for Videohive. Why not? What about an utterly awesome Videohive showreel? A 2 minute edit of the best that Videohive has to offer? Now that’s something that I would stop to watch if it popped up before a Youtube video!

Wider price differentials

Four. The platinum project thing would possibly work well in opening up a new market, but I think it’s something that could change more gradually. It requires work on improving the overall quality perception of Videohive before you simply whack the prices up for a small number of items… and where do you draw the border? There needs to be a sliding scale, and I think one of the things that could happen first is to lift the restrictions on price differentials. Imagine walking into a car showroom that had Videohive’s flat pricing scheme. All cars are about the same price regardless of size, features, manufacturer or quality. As a customer, we’d lose our first point of reference for the quality of the item – its price. Okay, at first we’d say “Yum, yum a Porsche for $20,000”, but over time, Porsche would stop producing the quality or they’d go bust. What’s more the high price tag, that is part of the perception and allure of a Porsche, would start to get lost. Sure – it may be a brilliant car, but if everyone’s got one, it loses its veneer of exclusivity. Anyway, you get my point…

Whereas at the moment an After Effects presentation ranges from around $20 to $40, they could range from $20 to $100 based on their quality and complexity. Certainly there are projects out there that have at least 5 times higher time input than others (those that use 3D, for instance), and whilst it’s hard to put a figure on qualitative value, I’d say that some projects are 10 times better from a design and execution point of view than others. If this were the case, you might find that the buyers-with-a-budget start searching not by Sales (probably the immediate reaction of most buyers to the flood of content), but by Price – and indeed, starting with the higher priced items, because those items would represent the highest quality. Coming back to my earlier example, the buyer would effectively be walking into the Porsche showroom, not the Skoda showroom. At the moment, the lack of price differentiation is making this type of strategy for narrowing down the field pointless, and proving to be a powerful disincentive for many authors to even considering certain types of complex project.

(Sorry, once I get my teeth into a topic, I can’t stop).

Thoughts?

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Like this.

L = thisComp.layer("whichever layer").effect("Layer Controller")(1);
thisLayerPos = L.position; //for example

Note: Don’t use .value for a layer control (as I usually like to do for other controls). Bit of an inconsistency in Ae, this one!

If you want a more specific answer, you’ll need to be more specific about what you’re trying to achieve.

And can you post it in the expressions thread?

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

At first, I was thinking that there’s actually a good cross-fertilisation, but the more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps they don’t belong together.

But should motion graphics be with templates or with stock footage?

And who keeps the Videohive name? Or does it become Mograph Mountain? :-D

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

This is a great post! I really love going back to roots and see how people found out things out of a problem and used it into their advantage.

Go and read up about how they used to do blue-screen on film. You’ll love that!

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Just don’t go changing the logo. :-)

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Personally I was in a bicycle accident with a car back at the end of June and my right arm had been in a cast and unable to use a computer at all. So my reason is a little different why I’ve been absent.

Bad luck, man. I wish you a speedy (rest of the) recovery.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Plac put his finger on it. The allure of a passive income is indeed strong, but the risk/reward ratio is getting worse. Basically, for experienced, saleable mograph people the equation no longer adds up. This glass quality ceiling has always been here at Videohive. The added volume has been pushing it down. The recent price rise will push it up a little again. It’s a constant give and take.

But here’s the harsh reality – my last project took me about three weeks and has currently earned me under half of my freelance day rate. That’s not only 14.5 wasted days from a financial point of view, put a pretty big kick in the teeth from a psychological point of view.

The days when a file you could put together in an afternoon would sweep the floor with the competition are long gone. Of course you might get lucky and have a best seller, but whether you do or don’t seems so random that I think people are looking for low effort, low input projects that you could regard as their stake in the lottery.

So from a personal point of view, I’m making a project every now and then to keep my hand in here, and because I like the community, but that’s about it.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

It’s essentially a nice idea, but the execution lacks for me.

It’s extremely repetitive in its set-ups, the cuts to close-up etc. How about varying and building the idea a little? How about teasing the audience with the concept a little bit before you show it in all its glory? How about building on the parallax idea a bit?

Also, the camera moves are some of the clunkiest I’ve seen. I’d sort that out first, before you resubmit.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

I think the project’s pretty good actually.

From a design point of view it’s nice. For me it stops short of being great, but it’s good and I like the colors. Certainly no grounds for rejection in any case.

The movement lets it down a little for me. The animations in feel a little bit default – the movement’s not beautiful, and doesn’t have much personality. The camera animation feels like it was phoned in… the movements are so nothingy. I guess they’re just there so that something’s moving and to me that’s a problem. If the camera were moving deliberately to focus on one part of the set up, or if there were cuts to close-ups of parts of the shots. Everything is a wide shot, with the same lens, doing the same thing. It does get a bit repetitive. I think that if I were to rejig this template, the first thing I would do would be to introduce more variety in to the camera angles. You’re making a film, so think like a film-maker.

In some respects, from this rejection you can conclude that a template needs more movement, more depth of field, more, more, more stuff. But I think this leads to overloaded design a lot of the time. That said, if you’re going to do minimal, every element needs to be just so – well thought out, conceived with a reason and perfectly executed.

What I suspect is that your template is similar to other ones out there, but not quite as good – and it appears that these days that’s grounds for a rejection. There’s just too much stuff on Videohive.

Regarding the chain of rejections, I personally see very little change from version to version. Certainly nothing of any great significance, so I guess your template’s just getting rejected for the same reason time and again.

Summing up, it feels to me as though the rejection is somewhat unfair. Particularly the soft reject at the beginning. It would be nice to see some co-ordinations so that we stop seeing these soft rejections become hard rejections and authors having their time wasted.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Hey guys,

I just discovered this new script on aescripts.com

http://aescripts.com/pt_opensesame-server/

Basically, it allows you to edit templates via a webinterface, so you could automate the (simple) customizations of AE projects and let users without AE and without any AE knowledge customize your templates.

This is not very new, I have seen websites with such a function in the past. But they all did not live up to their potential.

This could change the whole template market, as it is no longer restricted to customers who own the software and are willing to dig into a maybe unknown program to get their one logo reveal. Clients without any video-knowledge will be more interested in templates. There will be possibilities to see a preview of the customized piece before you even bought the template.

If videohive would implement such a function, I can imagine a much larger userbase will buy our works.

What do you think?

This one has come up before. If it’s offering access to the software without owning a copy of it, then it’s specifically not allowed by Adobe’s license agreement.

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