We noticed some awesome work using Yanobox Nodes posted on social media. We reached out to the creator Steve Richey to ask him about his background and what inspires him. He was also kind enough to share some images of his work using Nodes in After Effects.
How long have you been working in this career?
My career has really had two phases. I spent the first part, about 15 years, working in live television broadcasting. I created video graphics for news and sports programming, managed and trained production teams and shot a lot of news and sports, which I still do on occasion as a freelancer. The second part of my career, in art direction and post-production, began about 5 years ago.
How did you start out?
I began my career in broadcasting on the studio floor of an Austin television affiliate and quickly worked my way into the graphics suite before stepping out on my own as a freelancer. I split my time fairly evenly between broadcast graphics production and shooting content for the “Big Four” networks, as well as CNN, ESPN, Al Jazeera and the BBC.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be working as a graphics contractor for a company called Alchemy Systems, when they offered me an opportunity to be brought on full-time as an Art Director. I jumped at the opportunity because I was a little exhausted with the grind of freelancing and really eager to work with what I knew to be a fantastic creative team on more narrative work. We create high-end corporate safety training, in a studio environment that really takes creative freedom seriously. It is the best (smart, creative, supportive) group I have ever worked with.
What were your biggest success stories / projects?
Since starting work as an Art Director, I tend to enjoy directing (or co-directing, as is often the case) large production shoots. One of my biggest recent successes was directing a large project in the north of England with a UK cast and American crew. Besides the many design and storytelling challenges that come with any project, managing the logistics of travel, equipment, paperwork and client communications was especially demanding on this particular shoot, but ultimately very rewarding.
Similarly, I directed a shoot just outside of St. Louis where, though the logistics were not as complicated as shooting in the UK, we rented an entire grocery store and shot with over 20 actors for a week. Exhausting, intimidating, but, again, a personally and career-rewarding experience.
In 2015, along with Alchemy Creative Lead Josh Cunningham, I co-directed two projects that won Marcom Awards. One being a live action narrative piece about making smart, safe choices at work, that, as part of a larger program, has been very well received and popular with clients (at last check, over 600,000 unique views on Alchemy’s content management system). The other was a 3D character comedic animation piece about fire safety which ended up being a massive and lengthy team effort. Besides being proud of how the final animation turned out, I also gauge success on that particular project as having learned a lot by trial and error of “what not to dos” on similar, future projects.
A couple of very personally rewarding experiences were participating in CreateAthon in Guelph, Ontario in 2015 and Austin, Texas in 2016. We teamed with local design students (Conestoga College in Guelph and Texas State in Austin) in 24-hour marathon events to design marketing collateral for local non-profits. They were whirlwind events, but everyone had a blast, I think, for good causes. It was refreshing to be surrounded by the talent and energy of the design students.
How did you hear about Nodes?
I initially heard about Nodes a couple of years ago when reading an article about Jayse Hansen and how he uses it in his feature FUI work. I was inspired and it planted on my radar. I just needed the right project to come along to try it out.
How long have you been using Nodes?
I have only been using Nodes for a couple of months now, but I can say, it is one of the most powerful (and fast) video design tools I have ever used. Its speed and intuitive UI allows me to concept in near realtime within After Effects.
What are you using Nodes for right now and how do you plan to use it in the future?
I would consider myself a novice at this point with Nodes, having only used it for such a short time, but the learning curve is not steep. The UI is well thought out and the presets are fantastic starting points. I was making cool looking stuff within a few minutes of opening it up for the first time. I am currently using it on a client project in which the brief required a lot of visually dynamic interconnectivity between key text phrases, photos and other design elements. Nodes seemed like a good fit for this project and that was my motivation to finally try it. I now wish I had bought it much earlier, because coupled with Cinema 4D and Videocopilot’s Element 3D, Nodes has quickly changed the way I concept and design and will continue to do so as I get quicker and more familiar with its functionality.
I create and share abstract desktop wallpapers in an ongoing personal project. My last few uploads have featured Nodes heavily as I work to increase my speed and familiarity with the UI and presets. You can view, download, share the wallpapers here on Dropbox.
We’d like to thank Steve for taking the time to share his story and his amazing work. We are looking forward to seeing what Steve will create in the future! You can find Steve on Twitter and on the Web.
Yanobox Nodes is being used by many talented artists on a number of great projects. Previously, we have looked at screen graphics in motion pictures such as Ender’s game, Planet of the Apes, Earth to Echo, The Avengers and Transformers: Age of Extinction.