Mettle Interviews VinhSon Nguyen, CreativeDojo
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VinhSon: I chose the word “creative” because it’s a generic name to describe my passion and content on the site. The “dojo” part gives a more authentic and memorable name to the site, and brings the oriental side of me, ha!
V: I personally don’t think I sound Texan, I believe my accent developed through learning English and Vietnamese at once as a child. I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world!
V: When I first started making tutorials, I used to talk very fast (and still do in some ways) due to all the pre-planning and constant retakes. After several years of practice, I was able to slow the pace of my tutorials down a bit and sometimes even improvise tutorials when I’m feeling great with my coffee. Now, I mostly do improvised tutorials with an occasional outline depending on the complexity of the tutorial.
V: Unfortunately, the internet tutorial world hasn’t changed much in my opinion, though it’s great to see many people finally get the concept of a microphone instead of Notepad.
V: 71 tutorials and probably 3 that I’m actually proud of! I never did imagine making this many tutorials when I first started as a hobbyist, but with all the support and positive feedback, the tutorials kept on coming. Some of my most popular tutorials include the “Dubstep Guns Laser Tutorial” inspired by Corridor Digital, “Breathe Life Back Into the After Effects Lens Flare Tutorial”, and “3D Transforming Logo Using ShapeShifter Tutorial”
V: In short, free time doesn’t exist in my book. Studying is a must, and tutorials are planned with time set aside for. Aside from making tutorials and learning, I enjoy photography, cinematography, and music. Piano is my instrument of choice, but I know the violin and guitar as well.
V: Eventually, I would love to get to the point where I could compose pieces for my motion graphics work. Currently, I mainly compose piano and orchestral pieces, as I’m a classical kind of guy.
V: Unfortunately, with society’s current attention span, I’ve noticed a lot of people stray away from long complex advanced tutorials and tend to enjoy the 2-5 minute basic tutorials. The best way to push out an advanced tutorial is to break the concept down into multiple parts or tutorials, something more digestible to humans.
V: No matter how many views you get, you will not pass those girls and make-up gurus on YouTube in the “How-to” category. All jokes aside, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned was to reach out and network. You can make millions of tutorials, but it’s no fun if you don’t interact with fellow instructors or educators. Have a heart of steel for criticism, be professional, and have fun!
V: Towards the end of 2011, I committed myself to expand more on my creativity and push my tutorials and assistance to the next level for the upcoming 2012 year. Ironically, during the first 2 months of the new year, Mettle reached out to me for some ShapeShifter tutorials, Aharon Rabinowitz gave me a shot at a tutorial for RGTV, I was accepted as a Tuts+ Premium Forum Moderator and was requested to do an After Effects course for Tuts+ Premium, and a bunch of other works came at me. Now I’m sitting here answering interview questions!
V: Get a mic, practice and prepare your tutorial, and enjoy what you’re teaching. Remember, when you’re teaching others, you’re also teaching yourself. You can never master something until you can teach it.
V: My pleasure.
Abstract Transforming Text Using ShapeShifter for After Effects
by VinhSon Nguyen
Important info: ShapeShifter AE (Mac version) for CS6 is currently in Beta. ShapeShifter AE (Windows version) is currently available. Any purchase of ShapeShifter AE for CS5 and CS5.5 will be given an free upgrade to ShapeShifter AE for CS6 when it is launched.