Category: Mograph Published on Saturday, 10 September 2011 Written by Adriene Hurst
Tim Clapham is a motion graphics artist, animator and visual effects artist who
channels his work and skills through many avenues.
|He runs his own company, Luxx in Sydney, specializing in broadcast and commercial projects. He works as a freelance artist as well as on other teams’ projects. On his website he maintains a blog with links to projects and other motion graphics and effects work from all over the world. Best of all, the site contains an archive of tutorials he has developed himself for MAXON Cinema 4D, After Effects, Trapcode Particular and other software. He also does beta testing for these and other applications.
Tim is compelled to share his knowledge and experience for several reasons. He feels that his opportunity to test software and become a part of the development process is a privilege. “Also, since my launch into the digital media industry, other people have shared what they know and benefitted me. It’s only fair to share back,” he said.
“Having close contact with the programmers is a great resource for my work. I can explain to them what is going to benefit my workflow and the projects I’m working on. At the same time, I get early access to learn it inside out before it is released. If I get stuck on something, I have the programmers close by to help me out. All of this helps me understand it well enough to pass on tips and techniques to other people.
He started beta testing for MAXON after someone gave him a contact at the company at the time Cinema 4D R8 was in development, and he simply enquired to join the beta team. Since then he has worked in particular on two of the modules, Thinking Particles and MoGraph, which is particularly well-suited to the type of work he does.
One reason he likes Cinema 4D is because it is relatively easy to use and to pick up. It is accessible to those with limited animation experience but has considerable depth. Once artists are past that beginning stage, they can recognize and make use of its complexity.
Tim studied video and film at university in the UK, where much of the course work was shot on film. He was also shooting traditional animation on 16mm, so his initial training in editing was linear. He only learned NLE applications like FCP and Premiere Pro after leaving university.
He started working in 3D with Infini-D. From there he learned to use Lightwave and tried Cinema 4D when it came bundled with the first version of Final Cut Pro, and carried on with it from that point. For a while, he and a partner ran a company called Hypa. When the partner left to pursue other work, Tim opened Luxx.
Luxx takes on projects entirely, or Tim works within the client’s team as a technical director or general 3D artist. “This lets me mix with several types of creative groups and people, and provides inspiration. Sometimes I do fall in line as a purely technical team member but more often I have a chance to contribute creatively to concepts. For example, I’ve recently been working with Umeric, another studio in Sydney, on commercials with director Ash Bolland. He has a strong vision for each project but remains open to input from any team member.”
Luxx has just won a Bronze Award at Promax 2011 in New York City for Animation and print artwork created for HBO Asia's Summer Blockbusters Movie campaign. Into the future, education and tutorials will remain a focus but his real goal will remain creating and working on different kinds of projects.
Lately, while he is busy with work, he can’t do as many tutorials but adds at least one item per month, even if it’s just a tip. He believes that working on real projects is the only way to genuinely learn an application. “As I work, I make a note of small items I learn and then share these or base a tutorial on them. Having real issues and client goals gives you no choice but to work through problems, while trying to explain and share the discoveries I make as I work reinforces what I’ve learned and gives me a chance to explore further. They fuel each other.”
Tim said, “Combining work with education is something that I think a lot of professionals are doing. Likewise, the opportunity to work with different teams exposes you to fresh, changing talent. Combining this kind of working life with training also gives you the chance to reach out to a lot more people. In my experience, training has benefited me by offering exposure and the possibility to network with individuals I may not have had the chance to meet otherwise.”