TIP: Online frame-by-frame scrubbing

What's up! So, in my last blog post just a couple days ago, I said this: "I think it's important to really examine the work that inspires you - tear it apart, figure out how it was done, scrub through it frame-by-frame." After I published that post, I realized that there is an insanely simple, stupid little trick to be able to examine work that is published to Youtube and Vimeo, and maybe I should throw it out there for anyone that isn't already aware of it.

First, a little history. I've been in the habit of scrubbing through motion design work frame-by-frame since probably 2006 when I got my first industry job at a rinky-dink little studio in Ohio. Back then, we had to find ways to download videos from the internet (through buggy little browser extensions), just so we could open them up in Quicktime or After Effects and step through the frames to really dissect the work and understand how it was done.

Fast-forward to today, and you can achieve frame-by-frame scrubbing right from within the Youtube and Vimeo web players. Now, for all I know this option has been available for the last 6 years, but if you're like me and didn't realize you can do this right in your web browser, then you'll find this tip extremely useful. So here's how it works...

Youtube: Pause the video and use the comma and period keys to frame step.

Vimeo: Pause the video and use shift+arrow left and right keys to frame step.

That's it. I know, it's insanely simple, but I've found using this method of examining other work (especially frame-by-frame or really fast-paced animation) is extremely helpful in learning how things are done, and may help you add some new tricks to your repertoire.

Try out frame stepping (shift + arrow keys) through this awesome animation from Fluor below, and you'll see how useful it can be!