itmeJP Community


Daniel "My Graphics Guy" [Q&A]

q-and-a
daniel

#1

Hello! It's 8AM here (I'm in Sweden). I'm about to head out for my morning 50min bike ride for some exercise. Before that I wanted to start this thread.

Some background information.

I've been around JP since, almost, the beginning of the show Real Talk. I was there for the end of State of the Game and I've been here through all of RollPlay and forward.

2 years ago decided to do Twitch related work full-time and my life have never been the same again. A large part of that was JP's support and encouragement. I for sure wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for him. I do also believe in my own talent and have started mentorship program, I've started the development of a dynamic overlay tool and I work as a project manager with other large streamers from time to time.

I don't even know if anyone cares to ask questions but this came up in another thread:

So to kick all off let me start with answer this and I'll be as transparent as possible.
You might have already seen the first wireframing and idea stage from me, it was shown in a Patreon video. And that became the basis for early decisions.

We started of great with our first developer. We started working with Roll20 directly to get everything connected. During testing however communication our first developer disappeared. It was someone that I had found and worked with in the past but that apparently wasn't enough. No money was exchanged upfront so nothing was really lost besides time (but time is money).

I then found another developer (from this community actually) but that also meant that the process had to start over. We ran into a few hurdles with the Roll20 API but those have now been sort of sorted. At that time we we're close to Swan Song Live (at least the early planning stages) on top of that there was a bunch of stuff right before that.

For those that don't know I am the only one that does ALL of the graphics for everything JP related. The only exception are the logos for the different shows. And on top of that I have other client work that I need to attend.
With that said now that Swan Song Live is done more focus can be put on the dynamic overlay. I post things on my Twitter and I stream the creation of it live as well, at least graphical part. I think we are a few more sessions away from having that nailed down. That dosen't mean that it will all be done by then.

The next step would be to talk with the developer and see what can be done, then look at Roll20 and then get the development going. I'll be there to oversee but there's not much that I can do at that point.

We do not have a ETA on this since the graphical stuff is still being worked on. But I at least hope that this sheds some light on the question and that you can see that we are working on it. As for the graphical stuff I would say that we'll have something in the next week. However there's a possibility that a short JP deadline will appear and then that needs to take priority.

Let me know if there are any other questions about the dynamic overlays and I'll be more than happy to answer those or any other questions (within reason).


(NEOASH) #2

Hi there Daniel! I hope your bike ride went well :slight_smile:

My question is regards to you "doing Twitch fulltime." I don't know of many non-broadcasters who are doing Twitch as their full-time job/income....so, what's it like? Is there any difficulties in regards to dealing with streamers as clients? I know many streamers are quite frugal when it comes to expenses, has that been a challenge at all? Do you think there's room for others to do Twitch full time doing branding? or non-graphic type work such as channel/community management?
The good: What's most rewarding to you about doing this gig?

Look forward to any insights you offer!


#3

I know you! :smiley:

It was super scary to go full-time... but at the same time it was not really a choice but rather a reality. I had just finished my education so it was either that or try and find another job, and I had really grown fond of it as well.

As for clients. I started pretty high and kept that trend. In the beginning sure there were those that couldn't afford it but at the same time it was a matter of volume. I didn't get 4-5 client emails a week but rather maybe 1-2 a month. That did change over time as I made my own branding better and better. At this point when you search for "Twitch Branding" on Google I'm both the 2nd and 3rd choice? Why not 1st? Well that's taken only by Twitch itself. This means that I can say no and a no from the client doesn't hurt the business since there's another one right around the corner. Even at my rate I have a waiting list and that really only means that I can probably raise my quotes a bit more even.

So while streamer are frugal they do understand — or at least are starting to see — the value in having a proper brand. Today it's the least of my concerns as I'm only seeing an upwards trend. Both in revenue and in the amount, size and scope of clients.

There's for sure room for other designers. The main issue for anyone else at this point is that I have 5 years experience and not any experience but Twitch experience. If they want to get around that they need to niche a bit more and they can charge as much, if not more, for their speciality.

That's also why I'm starting both LiveSpace Networks and LiveSpace Mentor Program. Networks is a program where I've decided to pull together people that are experts in different fields. From Twitch musicians that make custom intro/outro music to Twitch alert specialists. LiveSpace Mentor Program are for those that are early on in their career — no matter if it's on Twitch our outside of Twitch — that I want to give guidance along the way. None of these involve working for free and there's no annual fee. People are taken in based on other criterias.


(NEOASH) #4

Very interesting!
Aha yes, I've noticed your ranking on Google Search results. That's incredible! I bet it leads to a lot of inquiries from streamers just getting started :stuck_out_tongue:

Your new projects sound very compelling. LiveSpace Networks sounds kind of like a one-stop-shop for all the needs a Twitch channel could have. I can see that doing well. Often the challenge is just knowing /who/ can provide certain services. Without knowing them, can't connect the dots between the broadcaster and service provider.

Thanks for the reply!


(VyRe40) #5

Thanks for making this thread!

Q: What's the biggest technical hurdle you guys have come across with the overlay, in your opinion?


#6

The one thing have always been space on screen. Once JP — keep in mind this was several years ago — gave me the chat message of the year while we still did overlays in 720p "What if we make it 1080 will that help?". :01jp:

Currently our biggest hurdle — and probably one we've always had — is readability from a distance or on smaller screens. That's of course what we're hoping to get better with the new dynamic overlay stuff.

One thing, that actually was solved by a viewer, that still remains until today is how we have the cameras around the browser window (bottom left, top left, middle and top right). JP got a MS Paint sketch on Twitter from a viewer — this was during the late State of the Game days — and since then we've been using that, or a similar setup.

The first time we tried doing animated overlays for Real Talk I thought that using video and images would be a good idea. Of course you could clearly see where they were "stitched" together. I tried to solve that for way too long. It did give me a lot of experience for when we tried animated overlays for Ehbon for the first time.

Also let me put this here: The days before Roll20 was a nightmare.

For a long time me not having a drawing tablet was big hurdle for me. In my eyes you can clearly pinpoint the moment I bought it and started to use it for overlays. To me it was night and day, and it's an investment I should have made a lot sooner.

Well that's more than one hurdle... but I guess they were all during different moments in time.


(WMfLy) #7

As a follow up to your post, I'm currently considering offering a drawing tablet to a friend for his birthday. The problem is I don't know much about it. Which one do you use and would you recommend (I know google is my friend, but I like having other people's opinion). My friend is a designer as well as an Artist (as in drawing) if that helps.

If I'm allowed a second question, how do you feel is the market for twitch branding right now? You touched on that in your previous post, but do you think it's too hard to go full time or that it's only growing?


#8

I'm using the old Wacom Intuos pen & touch Medium. There's a new version out by now that also has a medium version. To me it's the perfect size and it makes it more portable. It's not the best but it does what I need it to do.

With design I only use it to do quick sketches and notes. When I do the overlays I feel as if I'm missing a few programmable buttons, but might be that I never really got used to the radial on-screen menu.

When mine kicks the bucket I'll probably swing for the Pro version or the Cintiq.

I do see it growing. Even if smaller or medium streamers can't afford a lump sum they're ready to do installments. In some cases I've seen them have donation goals for it or save up for it. Streamers love what they do and they're ready to invest into what they love, both for themselves but also for their audience.

It will always be an uphill battle for anyone that tries their wings for their first time, but that's true in any design profession. What I can say is that there's currently a bigger need for specialists more so than generalists. I've specialized in a more modern design and I've also added more and more dynamic features in my packages. Part of it is also that I do have a lot of experience and with that I'm granted a lot of trust from clients. That makes my service fairly unique compared to others.

As to do it full-time... that takes guts. I saved up so that I could at least survive for a few months. I did have JP there from the first day I went full-time so there was some safety involved. I'm super grateful for that and how awesome he is.


(NEOASH) #9

Another question that came to mind:

What are your thoughts on broadcasters "rebranding" their channel? How often should they do it? Should it be a complete redo, or just a "freshening" up? What do they often do wrong during the process and what should they definitely focus on getting right?

Really curious on your take on that!


(TheDesec) #10

Wait. Full stop. Does dynamic mean it will change with the resolution that is being streamed? No way...


#11

I have a whole chapter written on this that I want to give out soon-ish.

Basically there's no right or wrong answer to it. Streamers go through changes in their life and in their streaming career. A complete re-brand is great when you — often as a smaller streamer — realize that you need to change direction or what you have never matched with your vision of the channel. Of course certain things can become outdated or just need a new fresh look. It's the designer job to also respect the old branding and at the same time bring the vision of the streamer out.

The same issues can be true for a larger streamer. A larger re-brand could have possibility of loss of viewership. However the goal of the re-brand should always be clear and setting realistic goals for that re-brand is equally important. Designers need to have an open conversation with the streamer on the possible outcomes of choices from a design perspective, it's their job to know that. If they can't then maybe they're not ready to run their own projects yet (and that's fine, that stuff takes time to figure out).

The biggest mistake, in re-brands, that I've seen are when the streamer adjust because of their audience/community and not for their own sake. The best re-brands are those that align the brand when they feel that what they currently have don't tell the right story or that it's currently not where they want it to go.

These are however more rule of a thumb than strict rules. Every streamer and every channel have different needs, problems and solutions. It's the designers job to see those and make it easier for both the viewer and the streamer to understand the brand.


#12

I wish this was the case :frowning:

What we're doing is adjusting so that it's as readable as possible from as many distances and screen sizes as possible. It's also needed to make things more visually clear and easier to digest for the audience. Took in a lot of feedback from the focus group that I had here.


(Chrisploitation) #13

As someone who's only had a vague idea of your work I have to say that it is really neat to get some insights to what goes on behind the scenes. Thank you for booting up this thread!

My question: Which is your favorite falafel joint in Malmö? I'm partial to Baghdad Falafel on Norra Grängesbergsgatan, but it feels like I've lost touch since it became so trendy with burger-restaurants here in town.


(THISSCHRIS) #14

Hey Daniel :slight_smile:

My Name is Chris and I'm a Motion Graphics Artist. Since I watch a lot of JP's stream I want to say that I really love your work. I think animated overlays are a big benefit. I was just wondering how this works. I know that I could render my stuff as a GIF file and import it into twitch alerts but to be honest.. GIF's do look like ass with their 256 colour restriction. So I guess what you're displaying are small video files with alpha channels? I know that I can import video files via mediasource into OBS but they won't trigger if someone follows or donates. Since I have absolutely no clue of the technical stuff I just wanted to know if you could give me a little help :slight_smile: Do I need special bot for this?

I would appreciate any help!

Cheers,
Chris


#15

Maaaaaaan. These burger-restaurants is the best thing to happen to Malmö.

As for falafel I'm bised to Jalla Jalla for that late night after KB, Babel or Inkonst.
On some days I do stick to Madina, I like that they have Iraqi bread instead of that regular stuff that every other falafel place got. Need to switch it up sometimes.


#16

I've really only done the animated overlays that goes before the different shows and not the main JP channel. That was actually outsourced. However both those and the ones I've made are all made as websites — pretty much. They're all hosted on servers that that we then can pull into OBS/xsplit.

The animations are a combination of videos (probably only the alert contains webM video), JavaScript and CSS. I know that what the main JP stuff is using is NodeCG. What I've opted for is using SimpleCMS so that I can have a backend that both me and JP can reach to do updates.

If you want to do something simpler without learning how to code and design — I would say try out muxy. There's a bit of code involved but it's pretty straight forward. If that's still too advanced I'm currently working on a tool that hopefully can replace a lot of, even high-end, custom stuff that streamers have. We're aiming for a end of march alpha release. Probably won't contain the alert stuff yet but it will eventually have something where you can build your own alerts with video, images and animations.


(Chrisploitation) #17

Hell to the yes. I could probably ruin myself both physically and economically because of Tommi's, Surf Shack and Casual Street Food.

Another question: Do you do speaking engagements/workshops and such regarding what you do? Because last night I might have told the Media-department in Malmö eSport about the cool stuff you do :itmejpexcite:


(THISSCHRIS) #18

First of all, thank you for the quick reply :slight_smile:
I had a look into muxy and I wouldn't mind a little bit of coding but it seems that muxy only supports .webm video files which do no support alpha channels either. If I for example have some custom animations which contain transparency, what would you do to make them work as alerts and stuff? I'm so frustrated right now because I just can't find anything helpful around the web :frowning:

Thank you very much,
Chris


#19

Haha thanks for the mention. I've done one speaking engagment and one workshop at a media school in Malmö in the past.

webM does actually support alpha. Just not the same way other video files do. You're going to need to use something like FFMPEG to get it working. I've done it in the past when xsplit introduced stingers. The videos in JP's subscriber alerts are using webm video files with transparency.


(Twitch: eyearcana) #20

How's life in Sweden?