As I kid I wanted nothing more but to become an inventor when I grow up. My hero at that time (and perhaps to this day) was Prof. Grumpy. (I have a TEDx talk about that subject and how it led me to After Effects – http://tinyurl.com/aewgpus).
My parents sent me to a music school which oddly enough got me into programming. From there I moved to more dynamic areas like websites, graphics and video editing where effects of ones work could be seen almost instantaneously. But I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t really draw or paint – I have no manual skills, so when I was viewing myself as a designer I felt bitter. It’s only when I found After Effects I came to peace with myself, my work and my mission in life (if you wan’t to call it that).
Even though I still can’t draw or paint I can easily lead an artist or the entire team into a creative and exciting direction, and then I can make any vision possible through the use of my deep understanding of internal graphics processing and the ability to think like a machine.
After Effects is the only tool that allows me to use the ponential of my skillset through the use of expressions and scripting, which is my most favorite feature of After Effects. I may not be able to draw a mountain or a car, but I can use expressions to create dozens of little snippets of code (or big complex scripts) to “tell” After Effects what a car or a mountain is and let it do the heavy lifting. All without any keyframes.
At some point I started to share my knowledge by online tutorials and I found that people were very interested in what I had to say and how I do my work, and that lead me to a second career of an educator and “Ambassador for Curiosity” – pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and solving problems most people don’t even realize exist yet.
It’s been a wonderful journey so far and I hope for it to take me even further.
Jerzy Drozda Jr (a.k.a. Maltaannon)
My Reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzZRehFCoY8