Up for Discussion: Rerendered

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Justin McClure has launched a new website called Rerendered, which he describes as a “garage sale of pre-comps and random experiments.” In a nutshell: you upload your AE projects, people buy them, you make money. (You don’t have to sell them… but well, that’s kinda the point, right?)

I’m curious what you guys think about this sort of thing. I’m well aware of its negative aspects; I’m wondering about the positives.

  • Is this sort of thing useful to people in fast-paced production environments? Or does it essentially amount to clip art for mographers?
  • Have you ever used readymade precomps in a project? Did you feel dirty? Were you heralded for your efficiency?
  • Is purchasing a precomp from a site like this different than repurposing a precomp from an old project of your own?

Sites like Rerendered touch on sensitive subjects, most notably the issue of authorship, about which motion graphics artists are fiercely protective. That attitude is less prevalent in the interactive world, perhaps because its growth has been fueled by sharing (both consensually and otherwise) the code and design conventions upon which the web is built.

Conversely, the worlds of film and TV production are so wrapped up in issues of authorship that it can bring Hollywood to its knees. Is motion graphics on a continuum between these two extremes?

NOTE: I sat on this post for a while, but I’m genuinely curious about this. Thanks in advance for your thoughtful responses.

About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.

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13 Comments

Bearpig

As a fairly newcomer to AE and the world of motion, i’m interested in seeing how certain effects are made and studying precomps would be a cool way to understand them. But the ones on that site seem to be pretty standard things that wouldn’t take up too much time in creating yourself.

I think if more people decided to signup for it and provided certain precomps that could be used in widely different contexts, or if they had precomps that took a fair amount of time (nothing hard, just time consuming) then I reckon it’d be a good idea…

level2789

The sharing of precomps is an extremely useful resoource from which we can all draw from with no shame as long as we customize them enough (which is a fine line) to make them our own. Yes I’m sure we are gonna see a bunch of cookie cutter crap from the uninspired but as a whole this will push the art form of motion graphics light years ahead with individuals being able to build upon timeconsuming tasks that those before them have already laid the ground work for.

erikferna

Yah I dont think that theres anything negative about precomps. They are positive because they will push artists to think of designs and techniques that are NOT for sale; As long as clients demand fresh new work (which I think will always be the case), than rerendered will cause no harm to the industry at all. Im sure that nobody here takes pleasure in ripping off someone elses work, and if they do, they have a very short career ahead of them, haha.

babby

Bearpig and erikferna have summed up my thoughts. In terms of technical knowledge, beginners can see how things are put together, and even old pros stand a chance of seeing something used in a new way they hadn’t thought of. I’ve been going through some just reading the Collect Files reports looking for anything unexpected.

And the later point about pushing original work is one I agree with. Everyone here goes on about how Trapcodey Vector-blurry beds are thrown around like a cheap commodity, so why *not* take that to its logical conclusion and treat them accordingly?

zeniamai

There is really nothing bad about precomps.. It actually depends upon who is using it… Precomps can be convenient when you’re still fairly new to motion graphics. You can learn something new in precomps. But then at the end of the day, I’d have to agree with babby, nothing beats an orginal work of art. As motion graphic designers and as artists, its a fulfillment once you get to create something out from your own whims and hands… Thats the gratifying feeling of art…

Joe Clay

This is nothing new. Revostock has been doing it for a while now. I think this is just going to end up being a place that people new to the game go to, or clients that can’t afford a real designer but have a kid in college that they think can do it for them. Cheap post houses will probably hit them up to.

For people that really want to learn, it’ll be too expensive to buy their way into it with precomps—unless Rerender offers some free (and some of those really should be). I’d never touch the stuff for any reason other than to see how someone else did something and compare it to how I would have done it. I like to see how other people work sometimes as it can help to make things I do quicker, or get me to think differently about the way I work.

wil

depends on price. would i like the ability to see how an effect was done to repurpose it / learn from it for a future project? sure however i’m not going to buy a pre-comp for r&d if i can get a professional tutorial for a similar price.

as for purchasing to use, as is? no personal use for it and i’d hope others feel the same.

jim

When this comes to mind i cant help but think why pay when so many people are doing this sort of thing for free?
TrapcodePeople, Andrew Kramer,John Dickinson, Harry Frank , Chris Smith, Toolfarm ,Mograph boards and just about every software maker has presets for you to work with from all the big A companies.
How many precomps can you make before you see the same thing 5 times.
Even without precomps the style and overall theme gets “borrowed” for some other project.
I just think this type of market is well covered and no need to pay .
This is what Brianstorm in CS3 is for people.

arollnyc

It has long been tradition that artists copied their mentors or the “masters” as a way of learning technique. By downloading files for use, you do yourself a diservice by sidestepping learning the technique, not to mention the process of discovery. Their are plenty of sites out there that educate how to create, but i emphasize “how.” I’ve found you learn by doing. Besides, isn’t the concept more important? shouldn’t animation serve the concept first, and not animation trends. I’m all for streamlining the work schedule, but excellerating production at the sake of creative is just bad business.

lizc

yeah, its kind of lame that he’s charging some up to 30 dollars for things you can do with third party plugins and a little bit of tweaking. also, all the FREE tutorials that are out there (mentioned above, toolfarm, andrew kramer, etc etc) actually show you how to MAKE awesomeness using expressions and controls. maybe if these precomps were a bit more advanced (most people know that this stuff can easily be achieved with a particle emitter, and some changing of the controls) i would be impressed.

kurt

Good thing for rookies, bad thing for pros.

suprememoves

I can’t wait to see some of this stuff out there. The juxtaposition between the purchased element and the element added by the individual is usually hilarious. Seriously… you’ll see these precomps out there and you will laugh.

*Is this sort of thing useful to people in fast-paced production environments? Or does it essentially amount to clip art for mographers?*

Probably, however if they have souls they’ll stick out a few late nights and get it done right.

I wouldn’t call it clip art for mographers because in the end it isn’t motion graphic artists that use them.

*Have you ever used readymade precomps in a project? Did you feel dirty? Were you heralded for your efficiency?*

Hell no. If I ever purchase something like this I should hope I’m on my way to finding a different path.

*Is purchasing a precomp from a site like this different than repurposing a precomp from an old project of your own?*

Yes. Sometimes you run along down these tangents of exploration and stray away from the point- that tangent might be even bigger and badder than you can fathom at the time. It may be misdirected in it’s conception however there is still a place for it. Consider it a personal library of ideas, techniques, and/or process.

postProductionAddict

I think that sharing information is the key to greater inspiration.

As with any commodity people will pay if they perceive it as something of value. I purchase tutorial books and DVD’s they come with project files, how is this any different? Incidentally, Video Copilot is my favorite site to purchase from.

This can also easily be abused, in that a graphic artist can purchase the work, turn it around in one hour and claim it as their own. Of course the boss/client will then expect all projects to be turned around in the same amount of time from then on. They will then have screwed themselves and others by miss representing the time/cost of turning out a project. These people tend to have short tenures at their respective business. Time weeds out the abusers.

Don’t let fear keep you from sharing information. Hey, earning a couple of bucks goes a long way to helping quell that fear.

Comments are closed.