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Failbench

Joe Clay | Jun 19, 2018

If you're following us on Twitter, you've probably seen that we've started a Twitch account. After trying to find a channel name that worked and wasn't taken, I kind of took a different direction taking inspiration from this Simone Giertz TED Talk. Workbench is a place where we basically go to work and show you the results of that work. But Failbench is where we put in the time to figure out just what we're doing and showing you all of the fails along the way. It's a place where we might not know all of the answers, but we'll do our best trying to find them.

While our main tutorials will always be quick and to the point, I think it's important for you guys to see that sometimes developing this stuff takes way longer, and it's not always perfect. As the YouTube algorithm has become a mindreader, I happened to stumble upon this video by Andrey Lebrov that sums it up perfectly—I struggle too. We all have our struggles—even our idols—and even when we succeed we feel like imposters.

Failure and struggle are more important than anything in life. Everything comes from failure. Failure is our greatest teacher, and it ensures we succeed and help others to learn from our mistakes too. This is why I stress for you to always go out and experiment with your tools. I've had people ask me to basically spoonfeed them my tutorials. But success doesn't work like that. Copying me won't make you better than me.

I've been using After Effects for about 15 years now. I've experimented a lot. And I've failed a lot. Thankfully that experience can see me through a lot of things. But I still fail. Sometimes I know exactly how to build something and sometimes I spend hours figuring something out—like the way I built Tutorial 126: Number Crawl. I initially intended that to be my first stream but it took so long I never uploaded it.

I'm still learning to show that side on stream. Sometimes I make a mistake that I normally wouldn't because I'm trying to multitask and be entertaining, and that's kind of embarrassing. But who hasn't done that? In these days of our insta-culture, our society demands that we present our lives and ourselves as perfectly infallible. Our currency has become likes, views, and subs. And while being perfect and admirable certainly gains those things and can be a relative gauge of our success, I think we need to take a step back and embrace that failure. I'm not perfect, and neither is anyone else. I've just failed so many times that I figure things out quicker. Don't look at your idols' perfect work and compare it to you. You don't see their failures unless they choose to present them.

So come along and check out our failures. Let's learn and grow together. And definitely join us on stream if you see that we're live. Even if we're working on something else, ask questions and interact. Interaction helps me. Otherwise I try too hard to be entertaining!

Hopefully soon we can figure out how to get both Sev and me on a stream too. Collaborating on making last week's tutorial frames would've made a great stream, so we're hoping to get something like that going. We just didn't think of it until after we were done because we're dumb.

So follow us on twitter @workbench_tv and hopefully I'll remember to send out the notification that I'm live when I actually start. That was a fun fail I did on the first Twitch streams. Today, I remembered but I didn't remember to record the stream. Thankfully, Twitch lets you download it if you're archiving. Always remember to turn that on. That's a great mistake to avoid. Find more mistakes to avoid in the latest stream below.