Funny music video

Just a quick little post – check out this music video. If you’ve done any kind of motion graphics or After Effects work you’ll find it reall funny. Besides that though, it’s really well done!

Thats it.


Don’t thank me, pay me.

I get a feed for freelance jobs in the design and video industry and every now and then some job posts come through that I just can’t believe. I read one such post today and I’m pretty shocked to say the least so I thought I would share so that the 3 of you who read this blog could be enlightened.

Hi! we are London based Internet media company. We are launching a new web series uncovering London’s Internet and Technology industry. Over the next three months we will be traveling all around London conducting interviews with startups, entrepreneurs, VC’s, journalists and pretty much everyone involved the London technology industry.

We are looking for an intelligent student or graduate videographer to join our young team as a director, setting the creative tone for the series and helping out with everything from booking interviews, filming and editing and getting the content published within the same day.

This will be a demanding role and you will be expected to be flexible with timings, for example you won’t have to be in the office at 9am every day, but you will be expected to do some evening and weekend events, filming and interviews.

This will be a full time role and you will be paid for your time Approx £800 per month.

You must have your own equipment, HD camera (Digital SLR Cannon D5 welcome) and Macbook Pro with Final Cut, plus pag light.)

You must have green screen and motion graphics experience.

You must want to go the extra mile and get stuck in, we want you to be passionate about all things video and all things Internet.

You must be web savvy and know the ins and outs of YouTube, Vimeo etc.

This will be an incredible experience to meet and work with some of the UK’s top entrepreneurs, you will be exposed to people who are doing amazing things and in return we want you to be amazing!

You will be interviewed over the next few days and ready to start next week.

To apply please send us a paragraph about yourself, a CV and a 30 second video telling us why you think you should get the job.

Are these people for real? Did they actually read what they posted? Let me put this into perspective with a little breakdown:

Here’s what these people are looking for in the person they want to hire:

  1. student or graduate videographer (meaning you are spending or have spent thousands on an education)
  2. helping out with everything from booking interviews filming and editing and getting the content published within the same day (film, edit and publish content to the web all on one day – seriously!? Oh, and you’ll see below that this includes keying and motion graphics work.)
  3. you will be expected to do some evening and weekend events filming and interviews (ok, it’s not 9-5, but come on! Film, edit and publish in one day sounds like a lot of evenings to me)
  4. You must have your own equipment Hd camera (Digital Slr Cannon D5 welcome) and Macbook Pro with Final Cut plus pag light (you must have your own equipment that you paid thousands for! Oh, and they don’t even know that it’s a Canon 5D or even how to spell Canon)
  5. You must have green screen and motion graphics experience (I don’t even know what to say)
  6. You must want to go the extra mile and get stuck in (even though they won’t be going the extra mile for you)
  7. You must be web savvy and know the ins and outs of YouTube Vimeo(Ok, this one isn’t such a big deal, but it’s still another thing on their list)
  8. we want you to be amazing! (I think that one was made clear already)

What do these awesome employers think all of this is worth? The princely sum of £800/month! For real!? Oh, and you will also get the massive bonus of “an incredible experience to meet and work with some of the UK’s top entrepreneurs, you will be exposed to people who are doing amazing things…”.

The sad thing is that these guys will probably get someone to do this job at that wage. Admittedly they may not get someone who ticks all the boxes, but they will probably get someone who can pull it off to some extent.

It’s a well known fact that freelancers (and creative industry people in general) are often asked to do work for nothing, or for crazy small sums of money, or for return favours, or recognition, or countless other crazy things. I think the real problem though is that there are those who do it. I am definitely guilty of doing such work in the past, but I don’t do it anymore. ‘Don’t thank me, pay me’ is a little motto that a friend taught me a few years back and I do well to keep it in mind. Does that mean there is no place for free work. No. I don’t think free work is out of the question, but I think exploitation should be. Free work for charities or similar bodies can be pretty rewarding and free work that leads to real paid work or quality networking that in turn leads to paid work can also be good, but it requires real discernment to pick out the right jobs.

Anyway, I guess I’m just venting since that post really irritated me. Think before you work for free (or for stupidly cheap) and remember, ‘Don’t thank me, pay me’.


Damn Volcanoes!

Our bags are packed and we’re all ready to leave on our big 6 month long trip, only to find out that all flights out of London have been cancelled due to volcanic ash floating over the UK from Iceland. The day we arrived in England they had the most snow they had had in 18 years and the day we plan to leave there is volcanic ash in the sky. Pretty strange. If you’re wondering why planes shouldn’t fly when there is volcanic ash in the sky then you’ve come to the right place – I have created a very technical image to explain.

Apparently we could get a replacement flight on Sunday afternoon, but Monday is more likely.


My wife’s dad

I just finished a site for my wife’s dad – Terence Archibald. He is a bird and wildlife artist in South Africa and is flippin talented! If you have some time go check out the site. The site was a quick job that I rushed a little, but I’m happy with the result. My girl and I are leaving on a 6 month ’round-the-world’ trip tommorow, provided the volcanic ash flying over the UK from Iceland settles before then, so I needed to get it done before we leave. I will be teaking it over the next while, but it’s pretty much done. Below is my favourite painting from the site – seriously, how good is that!?


Creating a Light Wrap in Photoshop

In this tutorial I run through a simple way to create a light wrap in Photoshop to improve the look of photo composites. It’s a pretty quick run through, but once you know how to do it it’s easy to play around with to get the look you think looks best. It doesn’t work in every situation, but well worth knowing about.

I’ve also created a Photoshop action to make the task relatively automated. You can download the action below the video – it’s free.

A big thanks to Jon Reid for the shots I used in this tutorial!! Check out his site, his travel photography site or his blog – do it!

Get the Photoshop action:

When you use the action make sure you name the layer above the background ‘Subject’ for it to work properly…
When I learn how to reference a layer by it’s position in the layer order and not by it’s name I’ll do a tutorial on that too 🙂

Download as a ZIP file(.zip) - PS Light Wrap Action(zip) (1815)
Download as a 7ZIP file(.7z) -
PS Light Wrap Action(7zip) (1038)


CS5 yo!

So Adobe’s CS5 suite of apps is soon to be released. Some the stuff I’ve seen and heard about seems pretty impressive so it’s kind of exciting – the only problem is if you can’t afford the upgrade… We’ll see what happens in a few weeks time? If I get a few more jobs soon I think I’ll be taking the jump…


How to put realistic looking ‘prints’ onto T’s in Photoshop

Please excuse the long title – I couldn’t think of a shorter one. In this (my first ever) tutorial I go through how to put graphics onto a t-shirt using Photoshop.

I used to own and run a clothing brand that I started in South Africa. I did it for around 9 years before selling the company and one thing I found to be a real challenge and expense was getting samples printed up. Apparel is a volume driven industry so very small runs and sample runs are either expensive are very difficult to get printers to agree to. So I figured out a way to put print ideas onto garments in a realistic looking way using Photoshop and eliminate the cost of sampling where possible.

A digitally 'printed' TThere are two methods that I use. The first of the two methods is a lot more time consuming, but gives better results when you put the effort in and I find it is worth using when I’m putting together a nice printed catalogue.
The second method is the one I use most often because it’s really quick to reuse and it makes it super easy to swap out the graphics and it is the one I go through in this tutorial. If you put graphics onto t’s for clients as a means of pre-visualization before they do a print run or if you put graphics onto t’s for display on the web, as I do for a regular client who prints to order, then method 2 is the way to go.

Some of the things I go through in this tutorial are:

  • Making a T you can easily change the colour of
  • Dodging and burning
  • Non-destructive dodging and burning
  • Masking
  • Blend modes
  • Smart Objects
  • Smart Filters
  • Displace filter

Hey, if you liked the tutorial please tell others about it.

Thanks for checking it out!


So you want to know a bit about me?

Some say I have no neck, but I know I do because I can turn my head. And one needs a neck to do that. That’s science!

I’m married to an amazing woman called Lindsay. She actually exists in real life, which works out really well for me. She is also my digital friend on Facebook and Twitter though, just to make sure we keep our binary relationship strong and healthy.

I like to bodyboard and surf, but don’t get to do it nearly enough. I make graphic designs using a computer and I also design and make websites that usually end up on the internet for all the world to see.

Filmmaking is cool! I love filming and editing and I feel nice inside when I create motion graphics and visual effects and when I do compositing. I am really keen to travel around the world and make documentary movies and tell people about Jesus and I hope I get the opportunity to do that!

So to some up: I’m a Jesus loving super-nerd who married out of his league who would love to travel and make movies.

If you want to know some boring stuff about what I’ve done then keep reading:

I’m a self-taught graphic designer/web designer/video production guy. When I left high school a good few years ago I enrolled in College to do a graphic design degree, but I couldn’t finish all the required work and hold down a night time job so I had to drop out after 2 months when I couldn’t pay the fees.

I then got a job at a Quantity Surveying and Property Valuation firm as a trainee valuer. They were paying for my studies to become a qualified property valuer, but the work was brain-numbingly boring and tedious so I only stayed there for 10 months. In that time I saved as much money as I could and used the savings to start my first business.

Empty Vessel Creations (EVC) was the name of the clothing brand that I started with just R10000 ($1000).

My mother taught me how to sew and I did pretty much everything in the business. I did all the graphic and print design and also bought a screen-printing carousel and taught myself all the in’s and out’s of screen-printing like colour separation, making positives, exposing screens and printing. Also with the help of my mom I learned how to make patterns for garments and I can sew pretty much anything from a t-shirt to a pair of pants complete with pockets and zips etc. I did all the cutting out and eventually hired a seamstress who worked with me for 5 years. She was seriously talented. I also learned how to set up and fix the industrial sewing machines that I bought at an auction. Later I employed a friend of mine as the factory manager and he made sure everything ran smoothly while I focused more on design, branding and marketing.

I designed catalogues and had them printed and bound and went out to see potential stockists. Things went reasonably well, but I lived in a small town at the time so growth was pretty slow. The brand had some pretty devout followers and the garment quality was really awesome. The designs were pretty sick too. I ran EVC for just about 9 years and have since sold off the manufacturing side, but still own all the intellectual property rights for the brand. I’d love to start it up again, but the apparel industry is really tough – A lot of your capital sits in stock so you have to move stock to keep cash flow alive. The exact opposite of selling your time!

When I got married EVC didn’t really provide enough income so, using the skills I learned running EVC and making surf videos and videos for my church, I started a media design and video production company. My girl and I ran that together and did really well. We mostly did corporate video production, websites and graphic design for print. I got into doing some motion graphics and a little VFX during this time and that was definitely the most enjoyable part of our work for me. I still love doing that now.

My wife, Lindsay, and I then moved to London in the United Kingdom and worked there for 18 months. I worked as a web and graphic designer at a company called Chillisauce. After our stint in London we did a 6 month ’round-the-world’ trip on which we went to a bunch of great places and met some amazing people. I also got to surf some of the surf spots I’d been wanting to surf since I was in my early teens.

We now live in Johannesburg, South Africa where we run a small design business called Lonely Viking and work with some great clients. We are also very involved in our church, for which also I do a lot of the design, web and video work. Lindsay and I also sing in the band and I play guitar.

Feel free to contact me if you want to chat or have any questions. Unless you’re crazy, in which case I’d really appreciate it if you leave me alone.