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Clint Jones: A Lifelong Creative Journey

Still from Video Made by Clint Jones in Unreal Engine

Clint Jones: A Lifelong Creative Journey

Creative inspiration ran deep throughout Clint’s family, giving him a lifelong passion that has infused his career on YouTube and led him to help educate the next generation of content creators.

“It started when I was three years old,” recalls Clint Jones, YouTuber, VFX artist, 3D animation artist, and educator. “I was always drawing, coloring, building with Legos – always something creative!”

Creative inspiration ran deep throughout Clint’s family; his father was a drummer so music was always present in the house. “Because of my dad, I also love music. It’s another big part of my inspiration. Creativity was pulsing through my house as a kid!”

It wasn’t long before Clint’s inspiration shifted to video and content creation. “I grew up in the Chino Hills area of California. Right when I was about to start 9th grade, my family decided to move to Atlanta for my dad’s job. But before I moved, a friend of mine came over with his mini-DV cam and started showing me how it worked. He started doing these cuts, and showing me how to cut from one scene to another – the basics of editing. My mind was blown!”

His friend then made what seemed to be an off-the-cuff remark, “You know, you have this free software on your PC called Windows Movie Maker.” Clint’s father had built him a PC – his dad was technical that way too – but he had no idea that this magical video editing software was sitting right there, waiting for him to discover it.

“You mean to tell me I can film stuff, and then edit it on my computer?” Clint recalls thinking. “That was it for me. I started filming everything. I mean, it was super grainy, noisy 480p stuff, but I loved it!”

“You mean to tell me I can film stuff, and then edit it on my computer? That was it for me. I started filming everything. I mean, it was super grainy, noisy 480p stuff, but I loved it!”

Clint Jones

“I wasn’t really into movies, but I was big into Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, so I was always filming these fight scenes – and a lot of Tom and Jerry style scenes. It was fun!”

Clint also had another inspiration as a kid – the military! “I wanted to be a Marine so badly! I would even patrol the neighborhood with my Air Soft BB gun. But then I started thinking, ‘How do I add a muzzle flash to my videos?’ So I started experimenting and discovered that I could export a frame of video to Photoshop, add a muzzle flash, and then bring it back into Movie Maker. That was a game changer and it opened my eyes to motion graphics.”

But then Clint had to make the move to Atlanta, starting over. He had no friends to collaborate with or shoot videos with, so he decided to pour himself into learning as much as he could. “That’s when I discovered Video Copilot! I had never seen effects this good before. I became obsessed with Andrew Kramer!”

Fortunately, at his new high school in Atlanta, he took a digital media class and started meeting a whole new group of like-minded creatives. They became his lifelong friends. And they started filming again. Stupid things. Shorts. Just having fun. And then in 2006, he discovered this new platform for posting videos. A site called YouTube.

“I was there from the beginning! Before YouTube, I was just posting my videos to MySpace. But when I started my YouTube channel in 2006, I started getting a lot of views on these effects tests I was creating. I was also a huge fan of Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch, who ran the freddieww channel together. And over time, we developed an internet friendship because Freddie and some other people on YouTube were also watching my stuff and commenting. We actually met in person finally at Comic Con, and in fact, that’s where I met Sam and Niko – before they were Corridor Digital! I quickly became a part of this friend group of all VFX artists, filmmakers, creatives who wanted to tell stories, it was amazing!”

Clint Jones Using Motion Capture to Animate Optimus Prime

Clint Jones Using Motion Capture to Animate Optimus Prime

“I was still in college working on my DMA when Freddie said to me, ‘do you want to come to LA and help us on our videos?’ So I packed my ‘89 Camry and left Georgia for LA! For the next 7 or 8 years, I was working closely with Freddie and Rocket Jump, Corridor Digital, and even on my own stuff. It was an amazing experience! It was only three years ago that I decided to break out on my own and start my own YouTube channel where I dove deep into 3D art  – not just VFX. I also really started leaning into the education side of things. I also love traveling, exploring, and getting lost. I also developed an interest in photography and creating worlds with my imagery. So it was a natural progression to Unreal Engine. It’s the most complex tool I’ve ever used.”

Since rebooting his channel four years ago, Clint has been spending much of his time diving deep into 3D animation tutorials and how-to videos, and building a worldwide community around it. In fact, twice a year, Clint holds a 3D Community Challenge, in which he gives every participant a 3D template to create a project with a month to complete it. Thousands participate from all over the world, and the top 5 winners receive prizes from the dozens of sponsors he lines up to support the participating artists. It’s a lot of work, but it’s Clint’s passion – one of them! He and his wife – on an inspirational, creative whim – traveled to Japan where they are recreating all of the popular Japanese tourist attractions…using Legos! “I’m not sure how it will turn out, but I’m hoping to launch a whole series of tutorials on the efforts and techniques that it takes for a project of this magnitude!”

Discovering Puget Systems and Leveling Up

With all of this going on and the intensity of all of the projects Clint is working on, it was becoming ever clearer to him that his current workstation was just not up to the task. It was time to level up.

“I learned about Puget Systems from my time at Corridor Digital; I loved those systems so much! I figured if I’m going to embark on all of these projects, I’m going to need to start with a great system. Puget Systems – it’s a no-brainer!”

“I worked closely with DJ Bailey and Oscar Tirado from Puget to help me build the perfect PC. In fact, I was so inspired that I posted a video to my channel called ‘What Digital Artists Need to Know About Hardware’ using a comparison to a kitchen and all its cooking tools as a metaphor to help explain it all. It was a lot of fun (and it’s racked up nearly 200k views to date)!”

“But the key is, with my Puget Systems workstation, I don’t have to worry anymore…about anything! With my old rig, I was constantly troubleshooting – what a waste of time! But with my Puget Systems workstation, I have forgotten about troubleshooting. I don’t have to think about it, I can forget about it and focus on my work, my creativity! I feel like I have everything I’ll ever need!”

And that’s the key: when you have a workstation that does its job so well that you can actually forget it’s even there, you know you’ve done your job for the customer. 

“Recently I downloaded the Matrix Awakens Demo Project, which is approximately 60 – 100 GBs of data from Unreal Engine. That would be unthinkable on my old system. It’s an insanely big file, but not for my Puget Workstation. It just runs like it was nothing!”

“It’s a beautiful piece of gear that simply allows me to do my work, I don’t even have to think about it. My Puget Workstation just lets me focus on whatever insane project I’m working on without worrying about my computer exploding!”

Clint’s System & Apps He Uses to Put Puget Through Its Paces

Clint Jones Old and New System Specs

As we’ve discovered, Clint covers a lot of ground and has a lot of passion projects that have him tapping a number of CPU- and GPU-intensive creative applications. Here’s a short list of some of the applications he relies on every day:

  • Unreal Engine
  • Cinema 4D
  • Reality Capture
  • After Effects
  • Photoshop
  • Lightroom
  • DaVinci Resolve (editing in 4k)

To learn more about Clint Jones and to watch his 3D animation tutorials and how-to’s please visit his YouTube channel here. For more information on Puget Systems and our Recommended Systems for Post Production and 3D Animation, please check out our Content Creation page.

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