JP Enterprises’ Chelsea Roeser interviews Jason Ellwanger, Video Production Designer at JPE, about the art of videography.
Q: What do you do as Video Designer?
A: I work mainly on video and images such as 3D rendered product images, simple animation videos incorporating the 3D models, 2D animated videos, line art, and the like. I have worked on videos for Thomas & Betts and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) to name two.
Q: what is your favorite project you’ve worked on here?
A: I would say the T & B Superstrut video. I learned a lot while doing this project because I didn’t know everything I needed as I was building this video, so I had to learn a lot on the fly. I looked up videos online and learned how to use many more capabilities of Blender and KeyShot along the way. This project was challenging in this way, but it helped me to develop some new skills in my 3D and video arsenal. It was also my first time in some of the software I was using to work on this project where I animated and rendered the whole video out on my own.
Q: How did the ASRA April 2018 Conference video come about, that now has 1,000+ views and 25+ likes on ASRA’s Facebook page?
A: This project evolved A LOT as it was created. At first, our ASRA contacts sent over some ideas to execute and some images and stock footage, and we jumped off from there. We created a storyboard, and then I began animating the logo and laying out the video timeline. We designed the event logo prior to the start of the video and animated in 3D, and I arranged the stock footage, voice-overs, and images together, topping it off with different transitions and effects to form a complete video. A lot of these types of projects come with a starting point and a main idea, and then I am charged with developing the client’s ideas and making them come to fruition.
Q: What does it mean to render a video, in laymen’s terms, for us untrained individuals that don’t know much about this task/job?
A: Rendering an image means that you take a big mound of data and turn it into a pixelated image. Rendering a video entails pulling a bunch of already created images and making them all string together in a sequential order to create a video. Depending on how big the data files/images are, this could take an hour, to days on end. To put it in to perspective, the T & B SuperStrut video was around 900 frames and actually took more than 2 weeks to render each one of those frames.
Q: What kind of software do you normally use for creating/editing images/video?
A: I use Blender for mostly all 3D work like modeling and creating materials, and sometimes KeyShot. When working with video projects, I end up using Adobe AfterEffects and Premiere, also.
Q: What other awesome video/image projects have you worked on here recently?
A: I have worked on a few tutorial videos for Kennametal and some blown-out machinery 3D image renders for LA Turbine. Also, I have been working on a lot of 3D product images for Molex.
Q: Does anyone normally collaborate with you here at JP to complete these complex projects?
A: Marcus Grando and Steve Fleishauer, our business development managers, usually work with me to get quotes and work on that side of things. Many times, Lisa curry or Dan Skantar, our writers, will come up with storyboards and write the content for presentations, videos, text to go with images, etc. Our Art Director, Mitch Rhine, helps me with revisions and gives me input on many of the images I’m working on, for example, with Molex images.
Q: Tell me about your process when you get a new project working on images and/or video.
A: Basically, from nothing to something. For Molex, we were just given to opportunity to create a concept design. This was one of the first concept designs we’d ever worked on here, and we only had a couple of ideas to work with in the very beginning when we got this project into production. We started to mock up a technical drawing and sent those to the client. Next, we modeled out concept in the 3D software and rendered it out in a clay finish for the client’s review. After that, we created all proposed materials and applied the materials to each piece necessary. Finally, the textured rendered 3D image was approved and is now currently in market research.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job in creating video, images, etc.?
A: This job includes a lot of research and learning spontaneously. I enjoy that. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me learning constantly. It also feels good to get positive feedback, like with the ASRA project (previously mentioned above). It’s nice to know that people enjoy what I create, and are willing to share that information from my videos all over the internet. I like to see peoples’ reactions to my work.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: The most challenging part of working on the kinds of projects I do is executing a particular feature or function when you’re not exactly sure how to complete the task in the first place. It is challenging to figure out how to do something, but exciting when you finally do. It’s A LOT of trial-and-error. Many times, a couple of ideas are thrown out in discussions with clients, and I sort of have to go from there, with more input here and there from the client as the projects churns on through.
ABOUT JASON ELLWANGER
One of JPE’s most gifted graphic artists, Jason is also a musician and lyricist who has been the front man in a band. His imagination knows no boundaries. Jason is widely regarded as the healthiest eater at JPE.
Chelsea Roeser is a Project Manager and Chief Proofreader at JP Enterprises.