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I stumbled onto this video recently and it really is spot on. (Make sure to check out the video at

The animation is great, but what’s really cool is the content. How to stay creative is such a loaded and tough question. I think these 29 ideas are very powerful. I noticed a few of them have to do with writing things down and having a notepad with you at all times for when inspiration and creativity gel inside your mind.

One thing I’ve used recently for this is Evernote. It’s a free online tool which is basically like an online notepad. You can makes notes, copy links and stick inspiring photos on it. You can access it anywhere you have internet which has been really key for me. When I have an idea for a tutorial, a video, an inspiring design I want to save for later, or a link for a tutorial I want to watch some other time, I can just post those to my Evernote. I would encourage you to set it up and start writing things down when inspiration strikes.

Here is a list of the 29 Ways to Stay Creative by To-Fu:

1. Make Lists

2. Carry a notebook everywhere

3. Try free writing

4. Get away from the computer

5. Quit beating yourself up

6. Take breaks

7. Sing in the shower

8. Drink coffee (I personally think this is the main way to stay creative)

9. Listen to new music

10. Be open

11. Surround yourself with creative people

12. Get feedback

13. Collaborate

14. Don’t give up

15. Practice, practice, practice

16. Allow yourself to make mistakes

17. Go somewhere new

18. Count your blessings

19. Get lots of rest

20. Take risks

21. Break the rules

22. Don’t force it

23. Read a page of the dictionary

24. Create a framework

25. Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect

26. Got an idea? Write it down

27. Clean your workspace

28. Have fun

29. Finish something

Got any other ideas? I’d love to hear them!

In this tutorial I’ll show you another way you can utilize the .RPF sequence to make your C4D renders better integrate with After Effects. This time I’ll show you how to use the depth of field effect.

Need some quality textures to add to your library? Here’s some packs that are kickin!

1.VFX Workshops Textures

This pack has over 50 awesome textures, shot with a 5D. They come in 2K for free, and if you want more res they sell those for $2. Make sure to hurry over and download, it says limited time only!


2. Cracks and Rust from CG Tutsplus

These textures are really nice, the cracks are especially useful. I’m a sucker for some good old fashioned entropy.


3. Ground Textures

This is a tidy little pack of 10 images. Grass, dirt, stony ground etc. Should come in handy.


If you stumble on any other great resources, or have some you’ve made that you want to share, let me know and we’ll share them with the community!

I had a chance to interview Ian Wilmoth, who is a Maya character animator as well as an After Effects artist. He freelances in New York for studios like Psyop, Hornet, Superfad and Brand New School. He is also part of a collective called Dirt Empire.

What did you study at school?

Traditional animation, 3d animation

How did you get into your first job in the industry?

Through a friend of a friend from school looking for an animator, and having a demo reel ready to show

Tell me a bit about where you work and what they specialize in. Are you at a studio? Freelance?

I freelance mainly in the NYC motion graphics/short form VFX scene at shops such as Psyop, Hornet, Superfad, Brand New School, etc. I am also part of a collective studio called Dirt Empire ( where I work on personal projects or commercial gigs that for whatever reason aren’t being run through an established post shop, which usually turn out to be music industry related. We recently worked on the onscreen graphics for the Beyonce performance at the billboard awards, for example.

How long have you been in the industry?

Full time since 2006. Prior to that I worked in the games industry from the time i graduated the Rhode Island School of Design animation department in 1999.

What software do you use?

Maya, Photoshop, After Effects

How would you describe your style?

It varies from extremely hand made looking to completely invisible. I would say I tend to shy away from more clean and simple flat design oriented things in favor of something with an element of more coherent 3d space.

Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

Go to school for it. If you can’t do that, you’ll have to learn everything and put together a reel in your spare time, which makes a hard task harder. You will get much better face to face networking opportunities in school. Go to the best school you can get into. It can’t hurt.

Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

How important it is to network and do your best to not antagonize anyone who may later be in a position to recommend you. How unimportant it is to know every single piece of software. Learn a few things really well.

Are there any plug ins, tools or books that you have found recently that you would recommend?

I know its not that new but I’ve been having a lot of fun with particular and 3d space in After Effects lately. Its new to me.

Do you have any websites or books that you turn to regularly for inspiration and training? for After Effects tutorials, highend 3d forums or just google in general for maya questions.

What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

A talented artist. if you suck then the rest of it doesn’t matter. you can learn how to act professionally later on but if you have no innate talent you wont even get in the door. It’s very competitive.

If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

Getting paid to create my own personal animations 🙂

Special thanks to Ian for taking the time to share some advice with us. You can find him at


In this tutorial I’ll show you another example of how you can use the C4D Mograph Camera Shader. If you can think of any other cool ways to use the camera shader, please send me a link or drop a note in the comments. I would love to see some creative uses for this shader. Thanks!

In this tutorial I show you one way you can use the camera shader in Cinema 4D to produce the M.C. Escher “Droste” effect. There is a free plugin to make the “Droste” effect in After Effects here: My buddy Carl Larson made a tutorial awhile back showing how to use it. You can view that tutorial here:

I found some free 3D models that may be helpful to you.

1. A free model of a vending machine. The texturing is really nice giving it the look of a very grungy, old, worn out Coke machine. Looks awesome!

2. Another free office chair model, this one is called a “Snille” chair.

3. This site has a bunch of really great free models, including numerous chopstick sets, chopstick rests, saki sets and a tea set. They are nicely textured as well.

If you know of any other free models to share, please let me know!

In this crazy fast tutorial I show you how you can solve the problem of having a white texture when using the mo-shaders. If you don’t do this you will have to render each frame in order to see the color texture you apply. This is a huge time saving tip!

In this quick tutorial I’ll show you how to use the free Shadow Catcher plug-in in Cinema 4D to make realistic composites in After Effects. This plugin is really handy, so make sure to check out the tutorial. I’m excited to once again guest post over at Motionworks with John Dickinson.

Click here to view the tutorial:

Click here to get the free plugin:

Hey guys, I found 10 packs of grungy Photoshop brushes which are nicely made. What you can do it load the brush presets into Photoshop, create a document with an alpha background, and use the brush to create a document sized piece of grunge which has an alpha behind it. Then you can save that out and load it into Cinema 4D and use it in the alpha channel of a material to put grunge on your object. I show you how to do that in this tutorial: Enjoy the free brushes!

1. 15 Wicked Wings

2. Sponge Brushes

3. 10 Grunge Brushes

4. Splatter Brushes

5. 15 Dirty Grid Brushes

6. Watercolor Brushes

7. Coffee Rings

8. Paint Line Brushes

9. High Res Spray Paint Brushes

10. High Res Splatter Brushes

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