NAB 2015 made me rethink what a “Stock Element” is, and why Style Elements are quite simply the “Plug-in Preset”, without the Plug-in.
My NAB was totally crazy this year. I was not only there in a writing capacity, but I was also there demoing for a couple companies, one of which was Rampant Design Tools. If you’re not familiar with them, they design “Style Elements” for you to use in your Non-Linear Editors or motion graphics applications, to avoid the pain of learning a plug-in, when you’re on a deadline.
My demo for them was a bit of an interesting one. My weeks leading up to NAB were crazy. My family went to Cuba for my wife’s birthday two weeks before I was to head off for Vegas, so that gave me a week to prep things for both sets of demos that I’d be doing. I sat down the Sunday I got home and started thinking about what I wanted to show off, and I started getting ideas in my head about giant balls of fire revealing text, and all kinds of other crazy things, and then I saw Monica Daniel post on the Rampant Design Tools Facebook page, about how she was going to be demoing about how she uses RDT elements to change the tone of a story.
So then I started thinking “Well, I better come up with something just a cool, so I can keep my demo interesting.”, and then it occured to me. That was the complete opposite of what I SHOULD do. As cool as it would have been to show fire and smoke and lens flares (which I did show, by the way), I thought it was more important to talk about the misconception in regards to using Stock/Style Elements. Most people immediately write them off as being inferior to Plug-ins, and that’s where I competely disagree. In many cases, I find Rampant Design Tools elements to far exceed what plug-in can do for me. I work on many Hollywood commericals up here in Canada for the French Canadian television market, and one movie I just did a ton of spots for was Mad Max: Fury Road. Trust me, there was a ton of fire elements in the commercials, that I need to recreate, or rebuild as close to the original as possible. When you have less than eight hours rebuild a spot in french, and make it as exact as the English counterpart, you don’t have time to mess around with plug-ins. I need fire, and I need it now. That’s where, for me, these elements really shine. For my demo, I wanted to break down that barrier, and show people not only do these elements look great, but their very affordable and dirt simple to use. I like to describe these Style Elements as Plug-in Presets, without the plug-ins. I think I did a pretty bang up job of showing that at NAB 2015.
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