CG Chatter 025: Motion Graphic Designer Tim Weidelman

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Welcome to the CG Chatter Podcast episode #25! In this episode I chat with Tim Weidelman, Motion Graphic Designer.

Tim is based in Chicago and has created motion graphics and animations in many styles over the years, for clients including Gatorade, MeTV, and Opportunity Lives. Tim started his education working on actual physical film, and has a longstanding love of classic and silent films. This natural/organic film aesthetic has worked its way into many of his own projects, and I really enjoyed hearing about how he gets his animations to look less “CG”.

Some other topics we get into include Tim’s creative process, tips on good client relationships, and working from home as a freelancer. Enjoy!

Episode Guide:

  • 1:40 – What Tim does as a motion graphic designer
  • 2:45 – Tim’s childhood as an “indoor kid”
  • 3:31 – Watching “Movie Magic” as a kid and subscribing to various VFX and CGI magazines
  • 4:25 – His film school experience and why film production wasn’t the perfect fit for him
  • 5:27 – Tim asks me about my own education
  • 6:06 – Starting art school doing classic film editing, right before digital video took off
  • 7:16 – Tim started getting more into digital art in his early 20s
  • 8:02 – The nearly unlimited potential of computer graphics
  • 8:53 – The physicality of working with actual film and what Tim misses about it
  • 10:51 – How his work with film and as a projectionist has influenced and informed his style
  • 12:08 – Motion graphics can sometimes look too sharp and clean
  • 13:07 – Ways to help improve motion graphics render quality
  • 14:22 – The case against striving for animations and games that photorealistically replicate real life
  • 15:57 – Being aware of how nostalgia can inform someone’s work
  • 16:59 – How Tim ended up at film school
  • 19:01 – Tim’s computer animation class in college that ironically didn’t go so well
  • 20:36 – Chicago’s great motion graphics scene
  • 22:29 – You can teach yourself so much by simply learning online
  • 23:24 – Advice for students on ways to get involved with a community and find new work
  • 25:28 – “No one wants to work with a jerk”
  • 26:56 – Thinking of yourself as a craftsperson as opposed to an artist
  • 28:21 – Take gigs outside of your comfort zone
  • 29:55 – Tim asks me about my 3D training and we talk about education in general
  • 33:11 – Tim’s work on “City” (see image below)
  • 34:04 – Selling clients on doing something 3D
  • 34:39 – What Tim likes about working under tight deadlines and time limits
  • 36:39 – Tim’s work on “Deloitte” (see image below)
  • 38:29 – His process for figuring out a project’s look and feel, starting with mood boards
  • 39:59 – How he makes mood boards
  • 42:18 – Thoughts on freelancing and working from home
  • 43:51 – How Tim got into motion graphics
  • 44:37 – His time in broadcast at MeTV
  • 46:34 – Transitioning to freelancing full-time
  • 47:19 – Having a pet can be great for work-at-home freelancers
  • 48:34 – Getting to structure one’s life around hobbies
  • 50:04 – Tim asks me what I do outside of my own work
  • 50:41 – Some banter about weddings, marriage, and rings
  • 52:40 – Tim’s work on Emmi Chen’s Music Video (see image below)
  • 56:10 – Tim’s work on Gatorade projects (see images below)
  • 57:46 – What it was like working with such an established brand
  • 59:10 – Tim’s work with Opportunity Lives (see image below)
  • 1:01:26 – Learn to work as efficiently as possible, and don’t create a lot of detail where it won’t make a difference
  • 1:02:30 – The value of not having time to second-guess yourself
  • 1:03:24 – Taking vacation and managing multiple deadlines as a freelancer
  • 1:05:40 – Tim is always up-front with clients about what he’s able to do in a given timeframe
  • 1:07:21 – Ways to maintain a good work/life balance, particularly when working from home
  • 1:10:21 – What Tim likes about Dungeons & Dragons, and how to get into it
  • 1:13:24 – Advice for launching a computer graphics career
  • 1:14:42 – Be sure to do non-animation things and seek out new experiences – these are just as important to fueling your work and aesthetic
  • 1:15:51 – The college motion graphics experience
  • 1:17:21 – How best to utilize online resources
  • 1:21:01 – The origins of “Tiny Cinema”, Tim’s Twitter handle
  • 1:21:29 – Tools & techniques that Tim’s digging at the moment

Episode links:

Featured Work from the Episode:

"City" Tim's Role: Personal Project, modeling, animation

“City” (Personal Project)
Tim’s Role: Modeling, Animation

Internal 2m Video for Deloitte Hiring Practices Tim's Role: Design, Animation

Internal 2 Minute Video for Deloitte Hiring Practices
Tim’s Role: Design, Animation

Music Video for Emmi Chen Tim's Role: Design, Animation, Editing, Direction

Music Video for Emmi Chen
Tim’s Role: Design, Animation, Editing, Direction

Watch the music video here

Gatorade Player of the Year Video Series Tim's Role: All Design, Modeling, Animation

Gatorade Player of the Year Video Series
Tim’s Role: All Design, Modeling, Animation

Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards (live ceremony) Tim's Role: All Design/Animation

Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards (live ceremony)
Tim’s Role: All Design/Animation

Opportunity Lives Explainer Video Tim's Role: All Design/Animation

Opportunity Lives Explainer Video
Tim’s Role: All Design/Animation

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