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The Past and Future of Motion: Simon Robson on AI, Evolution and Staying Curious

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Join us as we chat with Simon Robson, a wizard of the motion design world. From the early days of pixel pushing to the AI-augmented present, we think Simon’s creative journey is down-right inspiring.

We encourage you to listen to the podcast above (or via your favorite podcasting app), but here are some of our favorite takeaways from the chat:

Flashback to the Early 2000s

Remember when YouTube was just a twinkle in the internet's eye? Learning motion design back then was a Herculean task. No tutorials, just a hefty After Effects manual and a thirst for knowledge. It was in these early days of the 'net that Simon would go on experimentation marathons—12 to 18-hour days of creative exploration. And back then, there was a healthy mix of analog design mixed in with that experimentation. The tools had limits, but within those boundaries, creativity flourished.

And then came MK12 -- the trailblazers who shaped the genre. Their work wasn’t just cool – it was next level. "Discovering MK12 was like going to the Moon," Simon recalls. They were the style-makers, the trendsetters, the ones we all wanted to be."

MK12: Untitled 02: Infinity

Commercialization and Creativity

Today, learning motion design is much more accessible, thanks to online tutorials and providers like School of Motion. But with accessibility comes a challenge – staying original and fresh in a sea of sameness. As motion design became more mainstream, the industry shifted. "Because it's so easy to learn, there's enough bread-and-butter work for motion designers," Simon points out. But the true art lies in balancing client work with personal exploration.

Simon talks about a "Houdini way of thinking" in motion design. It's about letting software capabilities inspire artistic ideas, leading to visually stunning work.

Simon Robson: ECU - Made Here:

The Houdini Mindset and Collaboration

Collaboration has been paramount in his professional journey. Simon recalls moments when unplanned ideas from his team made it into a final product, enriching the work. It's in this spirit that he shares how he really values diverse perspectives and collaborative creativity. He’s open to ideas, even if they deviate from his vision, believing that the best outcomes emerge from collective input.

Simon Robson: Swinburne University - More Than a Piece of a Paper:

Education, AI, and the Future

The role of traditional education is evolving—in motion design, your work speaks louder than your educational background. A strong showreel and personal passion are your true credentials.

Simon sees AI as a tool that will enhance, not replace, the creative process. "Knobs will come back into our control," he predicts, envisioning a future where AI serves as an extension of the artist's vision. Despite AI's advancements, the energy and the message is irreplaceable. "What resonates is the energy... the humanity behind that image."

Simon urges artists to embrace curiosity and optimism, especially in the face of AI's evolution. "Stay curious, stay optimistic, grow your network, keep looking broadly," he advises.

Simon Robson: reMarkable - Get Your Brain Back:

Understanding Oneself: The Key to Creative Confidence

We wrap up the chat with some self reflection. Knowing oneself leads to confidence in one's work. It's about glowing with the knowledge of who YOU are.

So there you have it, folks – a deep dive into the mind of Simon Robson. From the analog days to the digital dawn, it’s been a journey of constant learning, evolving, and staying curious.

Get more of Simon:

Dive into real-time 3D with our Unreal Engine beginner's course by Jonathan Winbush. Master importing assets, world-building, animation, and cinematic sequences to create stunning 3D renders in no time! Perfect for motion designers ready to level up.

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Unlock the secrets of character design in this dynamic course! Explore shape language, anatomy rules, and motifs to craft animation-ready characters. Gain drawing tips, hacks, and Procreate mastery (or any drawing app). Ideal for artists seeking to elevate their craft.

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Elevate your freelance motion design career with our guide to client success. Master a repeatable method for finding, contacting, and landing clients. Learn to identify prospects, nurture leads, and develop a thriving freelance philosophy amidst chaos.

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Rev up your editing skills with After Effects! Learn to use it for everyday needs and craft dynamic templates (Mogrts) for smarter teamwork. You'll master creating animated graphics, removing unwanted elements, tracking graphics, and making customizable templates.

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Stand out with Demo Reel Dash! Learn to spotlight your best work and market your unique brand of magic. By the end, you'll have a brand new demo reel and a custom campaign to showcase yourself to an audience aligned with your career goals.

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Illuminate your 3D skills with Lights, Camera, Render! Dive deep into advanced Cinema 4D techniques with David Ariew. Master core cinematography skills, gain valuable assets, and learn tools and best practices to create stunning work that wows clients.

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Master After Effects at your own pace with Jake Bartlett's beginner course. Perfect for video editors, you'll learn to create stylish animated graphics, remove unwanted elements, and track graphics into shots. By the end, you'll be equipped for everyday AE needs and more.

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Revolutionize your Premiere workflow with customizable AE templates! Master creating dynamic Motion Graphics Templates (Mogrts) in After Effects to speed up your team's work. By the end, you'll craft easily-customizable templates for seamless use in Premiere Pro.

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