Artist Spotlight: Teddy Gage, Problem Solving with Mocha Pro

Teddy Gage is an Emmy-nominated VFX and motion graphics artist. He’s also self-taught. “I learned Adobe After Effects on the job,” says Gage, who has always been interested in VFX. “I created a bunch of spec work in my spare time as an assistant editor and started getting jobs with the reel of work I had put together for fake companies.” Now with over a decade’s worth of experience in all facets of production and post, the Brooklyn-based artist recently launched Shotgun, Inc., an independent full service post-production company. His portfolio includes music videos, films, TV commercials, and internal corporate projects.  “I really enjoy the ‘one for the meal, one for the reel’ school of thought and don’t try to limit myself,” continues Gage. “Every project is a chance to learn something and solve a cool challenge.”

His proactive, positive attitude allows Gage to take projects on from start to finish. He often tackles the offline edit, VFX, and color correction like in the Pizza Hut social campaign featured below. “Mocha has been a core part of my workflow since discovering Mocha AE bundled inside Adobe After Effects CS6,” comments Gage. “I’m not sure I could do my job without it. Ninety percent of the VFX work I do would be impossible with other tools.”

Gage recently upgraded to the Mocha Pro 5 plug-in for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. (He had previously been using the MochaImport+ script inside AE along with the stand-alone version.) “The plug-in has been a huge time-saver. It’s incredible to have **Mocha’s **features directly within AE,” remarks Gage. “I can’t overstate how much faster it is from a project management perspective. When you add in the GPU-accelerated tracking, it’s saved me so many hours under tight deadlines that were better spent on another part of the pipeline.” The speed increases inside the latest version of After Effects CC 2017 have also helped streamline his workflow even more.

“The plug-in has been a huge time-saver. It’s incredible to have Mocha’s features directly within AE.”

Mocha Pro does the most heavy lifting in my studio for the planar tracking and the mask tools,” says Gage. “I am often amazed by how little effort it takes to track and stabilize objects that I thought were a lost cause.” In addition, Gage relied on the object removal module to clone out the puppet rig and used Mocha to swap out a performance. “We had to add the lip-sync performance of one take onto the body puppetry of another, and Mocha made that easy,” adds Gage. “The Mocha Pro 5 plug-in is one of the most powerful tools you can use inside After Effects because it works alongside every other part.”

Always a learner, Gage has even added 360/VR VFX and Cinema4D to his repertoire in the last two years. And he can’t wait to test out more features in Mocha VR. “At my core, I’m a problem solver,” ends Gage. “There’s something so satisfying about overcoming the challenges of every job. It’s never the same problem twice. You’re always on your toes doing something different. All you need is a good attitude and reliable tools. I really appreciate how Imagineer engages with the community, offering fantastic customer service and personal connections. I also love the tutorials and training on the site. It’s always very easy to figure out how to do something I need for a new project.”

Visit Shotgun Post.

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