Nick Campbell

Relatively new to the online training scene, Β Nick Campbell has quickly established himself in the After Effects world, with his popular site Greyscale Gorilla. In this episode of Unplugged we discuss how Nick got started in the industry, his view on the benefits of university, and the challenges in his early freelance career. We also discussΒ our similarities in tutorial style, developing design skills on the job and of course Cinema 4D, plus plenty more.

Discuss
  1. rob redman
    Reply

    Great interview Nick and John. I love this series Nice to hear my name mentioned too).
    Looking forward to the next one.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hey Rob, thanks for the support. Best, John.

  2. rob redman
    Reply

    Actually I’m working on a Vue & C4D tutorial at the moment. Should be ready in a few days.
    Anybody else with a question email me. Let’s not hijack the comments πŸ˜‰

  3. Lucy
    Reply

    NICK U ARE THE BEST U ARE THE ROCK… my GURU C4D and AFX

  4. AMATEUR
    Reply

    Ha Ha Ha, cool I learn a lot of Gorilla
    The word is: Inspire
    Sorry for DK, happy for more content on GSG πŸ™‚

  5. AMATEUR
    Reply

    Rob, did you do in the future more tuts for vue extream?

  6. AMATEUR
    Reply

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome.

  7. rob redman
    Reply

    I think the lines are too blurred here.
    A scripted pixel perfect tutorial is only good for producing a replica or for learning what buttons do what. This has it’s place but more at the start of someones learning curve.

    Once you know the software an unscripted tutorial is so much more helpful, as you get to see more of the why’s and what if’s. Yes you can sometimes get a few too many ‘er’s and ‘um’s (I’m terrible for it) but you also get to see how the person is thinking and how they solve problems. Granted in a tutorial the problems are likely to be very small but getting to grips with how to attack a project is vital to become not just a good designer but a productive and efficient one.
    At the end of the day it’s all about deadlines and getting paid.
    Learning the tools is easy; read the manual.

    Learning some theory and workflow is much more useful.

    Anyway, that’s my take on things and I for one like Nick’s style and am really excited about putting something together with him.

    Keep your eyes peeled…

    Rob

    • Jim Hines
      Reply

      There is no need to “script” every word but certainly if you’ve sat down to record a tut you already know where you are going with it. There must be something specific you are trying to share. Getting there in a semi structured efficient fashion so as to conserve on time and not needlessly confuse those you hope to enlighten would be in my minds eye a reason to have a rough outline in front of you. I can fiddle with the knobs with out watching a tut.

      Again only a jackass would fault anyone for producing a “free” tut. But if you were to buy training – as a consumer – I would prefer a lean and clean presentation.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Rob, I’ve been working on removing ums and ers from my presentations. As presenters, working on improving our delivery is just as important as showing great techniques. Only the keenest students will watch a 30 minute tutorial if the presentation is “painful” to watch! The sweet spot is being able to present theory and workflow together in a relaxed, informal but highly organised way. Cheers, John.

  8. Luispostfx
    Reply

    Cool man… I really Like this series… Wonder if you are gonna interview some day people like George Lucas, James Cameron or the Wachowski Brothers that would be Sweet!!!!!!!!!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Think big hey, I like that idea! Best, John.

  9. Joel Lisbona
    Reply

    Yeah Man, the game is changing and John Dickinson, Nick Campbell and Rob Redman are leading it. Nice interview, by the way John, do you write something before recording? Or is all improvised?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Joel, I usually have some idea of what I want to ask but improvisation is also important because it makes the chats truly spontaneous which I think adds to the appeal. Best, John.

  10. oli
    Reply

    Cool JD & Nick ,
    Very inpiring

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Oli. Best, John.

  11. John Dickinson
    Reply

    Hi Ahmed, glad you liked it, thanks again for telling us. Best, John.

  12. John Dickinson
    Reply

    Thanks Vikash. Best, John.

  13. Stan
    Reply

    Nick very funny man )
    respect from seberia ! guys you are awesome! thanks a lot!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Wow I never considered you might be using After Effects in Siberia, that blow’s my mind! Best, John.

  14. Jim Hines
    Reply

    Hmmm!? Well I hope there is room for dissent here. I’m one who would actually prefer a “scripted” tutorial.

    Obviously it’s better if it’s not so easy to tell if it’s scripted but it’s so much more frustrating for me if the teacher is “disorganized” and it is so hard for anyone to be judicous with time while speaking extemporaneously. So few can pull that kind of thing off. I don’t mind the written tut either. For me the perfect tut comes in at under 5 minutes. As a student who is a nearing intermediate level (despite the plethora of tuts I’ve watched – should be expert by now) I’m not looking to recreate the tutorial project. I just want to see how the artist got there and what elements comprise the effect. I think the recording software helps a lot. For instance Jon, your software indicates on screen what buttons your pushing. That saves a lot of tedium in repetively hearing how to make a solid or pre compose or make a duplicate.

    This guy Nick is obviously talented and I think his site rocks but I find him to be one of the more difficult tutorialists to sit through. My mind wanders and I start fiddling about. This is not a knock on him. Please don’t take it that way. He’s providing a tremendous service and if he or anyone else for that matter has something relevant and new to share and show, ultimately I don’t really care how they present it. I’ll watch. For instance Nick you did one called “Pixel-Perfect Camera Move Transitions” which was awesome and even though as a student I found it difficult to get through I’m still so grateful you made it and I want to thank you for that now.

    So thanks to you both and this has just been my worthless two cents.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Jim, thanks for your comment. When I first started doing tutorials every word was scripted. And if you watch any of my early presentations, it’s easy to tell “β€œ they are very stiff. These days I have a few simple bullet point of things I want to cover, to keep me on track. I agree that tutorials should stick to the point, so for me the sweet-spot is a presentation that is focussed, informative and relaxed. I also edit my tutorials and e-Seminars to remove any unnecessary pauses, mouse movements etc. Devices like showing shortcuts and radars around the cursor are vital as well. It’s taken me a number of years to become comfortable with this form of presenting. Being strong technically doesn’t make you a good presenter – that’s a skill unto itself. Best wishes, John.

  15. owie
    Reply

    Again 2 of my heroes, thank you for sharing John, always glad to hear how your heroes started in this business.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Owie, hopefully that has inspired you! Best, John.

  16. Ivar
    Reply

    Thanks guys!
    I visit both your blogs daily, always full of great resources.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Great to know Ivar. We appreciate your support. Best, John.

  17. Zee
    Reply

    Nick Campbell!! very inspiring person.
    another great episode john.
    much love from Malaysia

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Greetings to you and Malaysia Zee, thanks for dropping by. Best, John.

  18. Matt - UK
    Reply

    Great interview again, I agree that a relatively “un-scripted” tutorial works well for alot of people i think.
    Sometimes you do realise there is a better way to do something, and extra workarounds instead of just the straight forward, really help to learn a workflow instead of just learning how to make something specific.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      It’s definitely a balance Matt: being to-the-point, but relaxed. I think if you pre-frame a presentation as Nick often does, by telling viewers that he may make mistakes (but that we’ll all learn from them) is an important style of presentation that has it’s place. The key is not presenting this way if you truly don’t know what you’re doing! Best, John.

  19. Daniele
    Reply

    Thanks John and Nick! I’m learning a lot from you guys! Keep on!
    Ciao!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welome Daniele. Best, John.

  20. Nate Tull
    Reply

    John, I sat here all day and watched every one of your interviews. These are so great! Thanks for doing these. Great guests. Keep up such great work man!!

  21. Amit
    Reply

    Wow, thank you John!, its really nice to know more about my masters!.

    Thank you John and Nick for your amazing work!

  22. John Michalec
    Reply

    I knew this would be a great interview from the start! It was really inspiring and it made me happy to hear the part about the college degree. I’m graduating with a Computer Graphics degree and there’s too much code going on! This interview really helped me out in that area and gives me hope lol. Love this series John…always looking forward to the next!

  23. Scott Fedor
    Reply

    Nice one John!

    I met Nick last year when a small group of us from my school took a “field trip” over to DK to sit down and talk with him for about an hour. He was totally friendly and cool, offering us advice on what to expect work wise and various suggestions pre-graduation. He even let us email him our reels for one-on-one feedback. Generous guy.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Scott, an amazing opportunity for you. Nick sure is an approachable guy. Respect! Best, John.

  24. Grischa Theissen
    Reply

    Enjoyed the interview!
    So much great stuff theses days on motionworks.
    And this unplugged series is such a great and unique idea!

  25. spenser
    Reply

    Hey John, thanks for all the GREAT tutorials and informative content. Im a fledgling designer, and have learned SOOO much from
    your site, along with greyscalegorilla, videocopilot and others. keep up the great work!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Spenser and good luck on the road to motion graphics mastery! Best, John.

  26. Rafael Guerra
    Reply

    Oh John, awesome interviews! Its like knowing everything about an idol with very good questions, and a great choice of artists! Keep it up, I can Β΄t wait for the next one.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Rafael, I’m glad you are enjoying the series. Best, John.

  27. Hafeez
    Reply

    Hi John,

    Gorilla is such a cool guy!!!

    I must say that this interview was little serious talk :-). Couple of points I wanted to agree to disagree.

    1. About the degree stuff. Maybe the creative industry doesn’t bother about degrees but I still feel it is cool to have a specialized degree from a school to add to the skills. At least in India, you can’t do without a degree πŸ™

    2. The tutorial styles? I think as newbies we would love any kind of tutorial style, only the end result matters. I would always ask “Did I learn something out of this tutorial?”. I think the style is what brings us back to the tutorials. For instance, the Digital Tutor’s Maya tutorials are so very serious, but I like it :-). And so do I love all your tutorials.

    Again for the record, sharing knowledge like what you folks do is such a noble thing.

    Bye,
    Haf

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Hafeez, I think what Nick was saying was that a degree is worthwhile but it’s not the only thing that will get you a job in this industry. Thanks for your insights. Best, John.

  28. Teb
    Reply

    Nick and John <3 my two heroes πŸ˜›

    Thanks for sharing this! πŸ˜€

  29. Scott
    Reply

    Another great one! Nick’s reel was a huge source of inspiration for me a few years back (the Creamy Orange stuff) and it was just very recently that I made the connection that GreyscaleGorilla was the same guy! (duh to me!)…

    Anyway again thanks John and Nick for another great one! (And Nick, nice Grados!! – which ones are they? πŸ˜‰ )

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Scott, glad you enjoyed our chat. Best wishes, John.

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>