Chris & Trish Meyer

What were you doing in 1993? Β Chris & Trish Meyer were pioneering the use of Adobe After Effect for motion graphics. In part 1 of this extended interview, Chris and Trish discuss the rewards and challenges of being some of the earliest adopters of After Effects, and how that lead to a full-time career presenting, teaching and authoring the popular books.

In part two of this must-see interview with Β Chris & Trish Meyer, Chris and Trish talk about the transition from book to web publishing via theΒ ProVideo Coalition, live presenting, the price of training and downside of free content on the web, getting inspiration away from the computer and balancing technical knowledge with design skills, plus plenty more.

Discuss
  1. swaroop
    Reply

    Its amazing i enjoy so much …Chris Meyer is really guru of AE.my first lesions of AE i get from them on lynda.com.i saw they can explain really in detail.which easy to understand.this is amezing !! thanks John sir..because of you we meet the great people in industry..thanks.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Swaroop, it wasn’t that many years ago that I met Chris and Trish myself. I remember seeing that at NAB in Las Vegas and thinking “wow… it’s really them!” πŸ˜‰ best, John.

    • Chris Meyer
      Reply

      “i saw they can explain really in detail.which easy to understand.”

      I think a lot of that comes from teaching “live”: You get to see whether or not people are understanding your explanation (whether they are writing down notes, or giving you a blank, puzzled stare), and as a result you either know that explanation connected, or you need to find a different way to explain a concept. I keep those faces in my mind when I record video training…

  2. adam taylor
    Reply

    another great chapter to a fascinating series.
    My first AE book was by Chris & Trish, so it was great to hear about how they got to their position within the industry.
    I completely agree with Trish that books can’t be replaced. I find you need both videos and books to provide a more comprehensive, holistic reference.

    And on the subject of synths…how could you all forget to mention the synth gods – Kraftwerk!

    keep up the good work, all of you

    adam

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      That’s right Adam, I’m a big fan of Kraftwerk… “she’s a model and she’s looooking good” πŸ™‚ best, John.

    • Chris Meyer
      Reply

      Actually, Ultravox was one of my inspirations for 3D and motion graphic design. They did a tour where they painted all of their instruments and set pieces gray, and used lighting to give them color throughout the show. That has inspired me to texture a lot of my 3D elements to be white or gray, and use lighting to colorize the scene. (It’s a variation on using colorful abstract footage blend-moded on top of other footage to add lighting to those shots.)

      • John Dickinson
        Reply

        That’s so cool Chris.

  3. Boreale
    Reply

    Chris and Trish, I love you !!!!! πŸ™‚

    Within 2 days on After Effects I felt in love with it. Having read something about your Master Class AE book, I bought it and began a 6-month journey spending all my free time learning AE with your awesome book ! πŸ™‚

    That was 3 years ago. Your book is now full of post-its and handwritten remarks, and remains my main reference.
    I’ve learnt other softwares since then (FCP, Motion, C4D now) but I’ve never seen another book which could be compared with yours. It remains unique !! πŸ™‚

    By the way, at the time I was working for TV sets and sceneries design (real 3D ones), and I’m now working more and more on computer with my beloved software.

    So, “Thanks” seems a tiny word to say a lot… πŸ˜‰

    I can also add that you’re a great example in another field : I’d love to find a guy with whom I could share my love for motiondesign, and with whom we could build something together in this field…

    πŸ™‚

    • Steve
      Reply

      And wouldn’t I like to meet a “Motion Girl” as well. I’d even consider losing the red suit!

    • Chris Meyer
      Reply

      “I’d love to find a guy with whom I could share my love for motiondesign, and with whom we could build something together in this field”Β¦”

      It’s interesting how many people come up to us and say they can’t imagine with their significant other. For us, we can’t imagine _not_ working together. It’s great when a couple understands what each other is going through, can help the other one out, etc.

    • Trish Meyer
      Reply

      I keep telling Chris he’s the best husband I ever had… πŸ™‚
      You’ll find that special partner too. Maybe Motionworks needs to add on a dating service?!

      • Boreale
        Reply

        Well, I wouldn’t ask John’s australian website to help me find such a motiondesign guy here in Paris ! Would be somewhat crazy I guess !
        (but what about an australian guy ??… Australia must be a beautiful country… πŸ˜‰ )

        • Robert Morris
          Reply

          Be careful what you wish for… hehee.

        • Trish Meyer
          Reply

          When I met Chris in 1987, I lived in Cambridge, England. He lived in Northern California. We communicated for a year over a 300 baud modem in plain text (this was before websites, before AOL, etc.) Considering how the world has shrunk since then, I wouldn’t limit your search to Paris!

          • Boreale

            Hi Trish ! πŸ™‚

            I appreciate your response ! πŸ™‚
            But I guess the problem is not that my search is limited to Paris : the problem is that the geek in me doesn’t really search at all !
            I guess my search should be a little more active… πŸ˜‰

            And actually, I’d Love to go abroad ! πŸ™‚

            Best,

            Lucia

        • John Dickinson
          Reply

          Hi Boreale, maybe an Aussie guy for you hey! Australia sure is beautiful πŸ˜‰ Best, John.

      • John Dickinson
        Reply

        Ha, I was wondering that too Trish… maybe we could call it “Date a Geek”Ε“! πŸ™‚

        • Boreale
          Reply

          Sometimes slight ideas thrown in the air can have big consequences…

          In that regard, I guess that looking for a job in Australia instead of working in France would make things a little easier ! πŸ™‚

          Well, why not !? πŸ™‚

          So, if some of you have some advice/insight/idea about how to make it, the direction I should take, the towns in which I should look for a job in motiondesign, or some general advice about this great and mysterious country… Let’s share it ! πŸ˜‰

          Thanks ! πŸ™‚

          • John Dickinson

            Hi Boreale, check out this link for jobs in Australia http://www.dlf.org.au Best, John.

          • Boreale

            Great !! Thank you John ! πŸ™‚

        • John Dickinson
          Reply

          Vikash maybe you should chat with Boreale πŸ˜‰ Best, John.

  4. James Wicks
    Reply

    Finally, a woman’s perspective!
    Good interview.

    Cheers to Chris and Trish.
    Best,
    J

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks James. Best, John.

    • Trish Meyer
      Reply

      yes, the “woman’s perspective…” – a nice way of saying I barely let Chris get a word in edgeways! (That’s what you get when you marry an Irish woman!)

  5. Serge
    Reply

    I realy enjoy this series…Great interview.

    Its true we could see things comming in the 80s and early 90s but there were so many hurdles…Those were exiting times though…computers were not the commodity they are now…Especially with regards to large files…storage, backup…just exchanging information was a nightmare. Who would have known you could one day have more than 1TB on a small usb hard disk….and 8 core machines….Rendering on a 90s machine was an exercise in patience.

    Ah, those were the good old days…

    • adam
      Reply

      not just rendering that required patience …my first mac had a massive 40mb hard drive!! Whenever i wanted to use Photoshop, i had to load it in from 12 floppy discs.

      • John Dickinson
        Reply

        Ha! I remember our first Mac cost 10,000 dollars and had about 8MB of RAM… jeez! Best, John.

        • Robert Morris
          Reply

          How about a Tandy 1000 with 256k of RAM… yes, 256k. Let’s bring back the 5-1/4″ disk that holds < 1MB!! Life was so much simpler back then.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      The good old days that seemed like yesterday! I remember installing Microsoft Word from 16 floppies! Cheers Serge. John.

  6. Dave Glanz
    Reply

    Wow – glad to see this interview. I’m very thankful for the books Chris and Trish have written πŸ™‚

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Dave, glad you enjoyed it. Best, John.

  7. Nick Campbell
    Reply

    Great as always, John. Chris and Trish taught me a TON about AE. Great interview!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Nick, you and me both πŸ™‚ Best, John.

  8. Jim Hines
    Reply

    My favorite TV show.

    All of my exposure to Chris and Trish is through there free .pdf’s on Art Beats. I have about 30 of them stored. One favorite that comes to mind is Projecting Video. Very cool. I’ll put the book on my holiday wish list.

    Thank you, all three of you.

    Rock on!

  9. DaxPix
    Reply

    What a wonderful interview, I thoroughly enjoyed that!
    CMG is the best book I have ever bought, I refer to it every week at some point or another. Wonderful people with passion, talent and skill. Thanks to Chris & Trish, and thanks for the great interview JD.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome DaxPix. Best, John.

  10. Ryan M
    Reply

    Perfect way to start off my day! I own three of Chris & Trish’s books and have learned a vast amount from their knowledge.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Ryan, Chris and Trish have a place in countless people’s motion graphics skill set for sure! Best, John.

  11. rob redman
    Reply

    Nothing to say but another great interview.
    Thanks John,

    Rob

  12. Ethen Asad
    Reply

    I really enjoyed the interview. Thanks Motionworks..

  13. Trish Meyer
    Reply

    Thanks Harry, I do enjoy the hands-on classroom environment the most. Nowadays Chris and myself often tag-team teach, which is double the fun! I travel around for hands-on classes; would love to find a place in London or Amsterdam next August if anyone is game (gotta pay for those European vacations somehow!). Not to mention Sydney in the Spring of 2011!

  14. digitalove
    Reply

    awesome interview, and thanks for the free 7 day trial for Lynda.com πŸ˜€

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome, enjoy the training πŸ™‚

  15. Robert Morris
    Reply

    This is awesome! I owe so much to these guys. I, too, came across the second edition of “Creating Motion Graphics” as I was first learning After Effects, and once I flipped through a few pages in the book store, I could immediately tell this book was the perfect tool for learning the program. On the spot, I bought volume 1, volume 2, and the “AE in Production” companion. I took them home and literally absorbed every word in them. And to this day, they are still a valuable resource that sits on my shelf. It’s funny that you mention the technical section about 2:3 pulldowns and such… I think if I lay my books on a table, that is the section it would open up to because it’s so worn and creased there. LOVE you guys and how easy and FUN you’ve made learning the program. And thank you, John for this incredible series.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Robert.

  16. Jaffe
    Reply

    Two words John. Thank You.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      2 words Jaffe “You’re welcome”… oops that’s 5 words too… no 10 words… no 13 words… doh!

  17. adam
    Reply

    thats five words!

  18. John Dickinson
    Reply

    Hi Vikash, I show you guys what I create at work and lately that’s plenty of action, horror and boxing. If something in a different genre comes up I’ll be sure to share it πŸ˜‰ Best, John.

  19. Roy
    Reply

    Hi John,

    What an abrupt stop at the end… Can’t wait to see part 2! I was glue’d to my chair once again, watching your very interesting interview with Chris & Trish. Lovely people.

    By the way, I’m a little jealous because it’s summer now in Australia. πŸ˜› Greetings from the cold and rainy Netherlands.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Roy, the interview was too long for one part so I split it in the middle ;o) Best, John.

  20. Steve
    Reply

    I’ve still have my original book from 98/99 (bookmarks & dogeared pages intact). It came with a cd of ‘goodies’: templates, projects & plug-ins(free glow!). I remember thinking that I had the inside track learning their tips & tricks — especially w/the newer tutorials that came out in DV magazine(couldn’t quite afford Brian’s tapes).

    I still use a lot of their recipes & it was definitely nice to see them again. They deserve alot of respect plus they bring a sense of camaraderie & history to the AE community.

    Thanks, John.

    :Steve

  21. Andre
    Reply

    I’m kinda flattering myself comparing myself to this funny and creative couple,but I drove the same road from music production into the world of motion graphics and after effects pretty smoothly I have to say.Coincidence or just creative mind working the same paterns…
    By the way I still have tons of articles and pdf files from DV.Great stuff.Nice people.Definitely Guru.And you,John,my friend,have to be less shy.
    You definitely are modern MegaGuru.Your series of MILG 6 are mindblowing!!!
    Also thank you for this unplugged series as well.Watched them all.For people who live and breathe this industry,seeing these wonderful people(and not only hearing their voices) is totally like it is for most people meeting Michael Jackson alive(!).
    πŸ™‚

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Andre, It’s great to hear you are really enjoying the series!

  22. Eddie Yepez
    Reply

    Wow, this was amazing! I remember asking my parents to buy me the first edition of the book from one of their trips and bring it for me to Ecuador. Those days the internet didn’t have as much information as now an for a young guy in a third world country was very hard to find the right path to follow. I just want to say thank you to Chris and Trish for being the best teachers I had. I really hope you could come to Ecuador one day and share your knowledge with us.
    Of course thanks to John for such a great series.

    • Trish Meyer
      Reply

      Thanks Eddie, I’m glad to hear we helped you on your path. It’s easy to forget how people in every corner of the world fell in love with After Effects, and yes, it’s so much easier now to keep in touch through the web. In the very early days, the only good forum was the “CoSA Cafe” on AOL.

  23. Kobi
    Reply

    Great show!
    I love the interview with all the different industry gurus.
    Truly inspiring work John. Keep’em coming!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Kobi. We’ll have plenty more great guest in 2010. Best wishes, John.

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