|A Creative COW Product Review |
| ||Jim Harvey |
New York, USA
©Copyright 2007 Jim Harvey and Creativecow.net. All Rights Reserved
|Article Focus: |
In this article, CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey takes a look at Andrew Kramer's latest offering: Riot Gear. Riot Gear is a collection of 150+ visual elements including paint, ink, grunge , tv noise, and much more.
*Regulars here at CreativeCow will instantly recognize the name Andrew Kramer. The Southern California Based Motion graphics guru has been a contributor to the Cow for several years and has penned some excellent tutorials for the readers to learn from. He has also created some very nice software packages that can help not only aspiring filmmakers, but established graphics professionals as well, to craft superior comps with a minimum of fuss and headaches.
Andrew's latest offering, RIOT GEAR is a real treat for those who want to put together something just a little different, just a little more organic and with just a little more WOW! Factor. This unassuming little package is chock full of all kinds of brushes, backgrounds, and animations that allow you to produce amazing organic titles, motion backgrounds and effects.
At first glance, it may appear that there is just a bunch of clips and alpha channel bits and bobs that make no real sense. That's where you'd be wrong! Thankfully, Andrew has included 5 excellent tutorials that give us a clue as to what is ticking inside his very creative head. Don't assume that he is going to give away the whole store here though. The tutorials are just a little taste of what is possible with RIOT GEAR.
The disk is broken down into folders, each of which contain specific graphic elements that you will use to create the most amazing comps. The basic structure goes like this;*
Andrew has taken the time to assemble some very sophisticated (as well as some very basic) elements that will allow you to snap together a comp in very little time that will have your clients eyes popping. With the cost of motion graphics going through the roof, due entirely to the amount of time that people spend creating them, Andrew has come up with a way for us to maximize our creative “punch” while minimizing the amount of time we have to spend developing it. Here's a quick example;
Now I put this together in just about 5 minutes without really delving into the capabilities of the suite. If you have the tiniest bit if creativity in you, you will be making mind blowing comps in very little time. Andrew doesn't let us flounder around either. He has several really nice (but basic) tutorials that are included that will get you up to speeed on just exactly how to use the bits and pieces of RIOT-GEAR. Once you see all the different possibilities, you can start to branch out and create your own look and style. That's the beauty of this collection. There isn't any “RIGHT” way to do things. There are enough elements here to keep most of us busy for quite some time. And you WILL be kept busy. The elements supplied will keep drawing you back to try "just one more thing". Yes, you'll lose a lot of sleep with this package, but your clients and your ego will thank you for it.*
*Click here to see what I came up with in about 5 minutes.
If you want the tutorials and follow along with them, you will be crafting front ends, tags, trailers and organic elements that you had only dreamed of before. Add some of these effects to your next music video for a totally unique look that will impress the most important people, Your Clients.
The effects specifications are high end too.
Right off the box we see that Andrew has set up the files so that they will work in any project that you might be working on.
Here are the specs;
Video Format: NTSC & PAL, HD or SD
Video Frame Size: HD 720p 1280x720
Frame Rate: 60 fps Paint Splatter and Ink FX, 30 fps TV Noise
File Format: QuickTime 6 Movies & JPG Images
Pre-Matted Grayscale Effects and Color Grunge Textures
I totally enjoyed working with the files, the all integrated perfectly into whatever I was creating. I need to spend a little more time seeing all that's available as this is really a HUGE collection. The one danger that I can forsee is that you can get yourself lost simply by the vast amount of elements that you can choose from. Kind of like the free toppings bar at the ice cream shop...What? You never combined Chocolate jimmies and crushed oreo's with m&m's and hot fudge? Yea sure....
For the cost of that special Sundae that I make over at Zimmerman's Ice Cream Shop, you can stay slender and have Andrew's Riot Gear instead. Believe me, you'll feel much better in the morning.
I have to give this one 4 cows. For a newcomer, it might be a little daunting at first, but the results will be worth the time invested. For experienced motion graphics artists, this will be a very welcome addition to their arsenal of tools. While the 5 included tutorials are excellent and informative, I would have liked a couple more tutorials packed into the program or at least a couple more on the web site. Regardless, you should pick this one up as it will really make your work stand out.