Is there a project you wish have been done by you instead of your competition?
Yes there are, anything that is remotely sci-fi I am always in flurry to get my hands on as I’m a big fan, we recently had a Tron like animation that didn’t end up going forward that was a heartbreaker, but oh well there’s always the next one.
You have a good experience collaborating with some of the major studios in London. What are the worst business practices you’ve ever experienced?
I can’t really say we’ve experienced bad business practices, I’m not sure if we are just lucky or haven’t yet had our dose of bad luck, but I would say we haven’t really stumbled upon any major downfalls. The only thing I’ve experienced is in regards to it was with a foreign firm who wrote the following “we appreciate your artistic style, but we are merely looking for your firm to execute what we want”. That could be the worst one we’ve encountered.
“To execute what we want”!!! … Scott Ross, one of the legends in the VFX industry, in an interview talking about the collapse of the VFX business says something interesting – that only “maybe 15-20% of the digital workers are in fact digital artists”. The rest are, as he calls them, “digital manufacturers”. Further, his predictions are that in 10-15 years from now, “almost all of the VFX and animation work will be done outside of 1st world countries”. He’s painting a bleak picture for VFX industry, to which we are closely related.
These days, more and more clients decide to go with “Chinatown visuals” or to develop their own in-house viz teams in order to cut costs. Should we be scared of the future?
I don’t think we should be scared, it’s pretty much the day and age we live for everything. It’s up to us to influence and up our level to be able to compete.
One of my favourite documentaries is Jiro Dreams of Sushi and if you haven’t seen it, please do, it’s about life and I think it relates really well to mastering / conquering and practising your art form. Jiro’s restaurant is in located underground in a Tokyo Subway if memory serves me right, a modest space that only fits a handful of people. The prices are quite expensive in comparison to a middle class wage in Japan, yet, the restaurant is booked months ahead and you’ll be hard pressed to make a booking. Jiro’s mastery is so unique that it’s an artistic experience for the senses to eat the food he has prepared, from the sourcing of the ingredients to their confection, everything is meticulously studied and scheduled. Apprentices repeat simple recipes hundreds of times until they are perfect enough to serve. Now I think this relates really well to our field and why we might not have to worry just yet.
Your techniques and way of working are no a secret, you’ve been so kind sharing them with the community…they are just so damned difficult to emulate! We all use the same sources to scan for images – Google, private collections…hopefully more people will start using Gobotree in the future…What remains a bit of a mystery though, is how, in this huge ocean of information that surrounds us, do you hunt for the right references – of plants, skies, entourage- those that seem to perfectly to fit into your raw renderings like a glove? Is there a secret knowledge or a very special way of “seeing” (and finding) what others can’t?
There is no real science behind it, I’ve been using Gobotree from its inception and I’ve always been a keen promoter of it as it has helped in so many situations. It all comes down to experimentation, what I love about Gobotree is that it does have a certain randomness factor to it which really opens your horizons.
Sometimes I will be scouring the net for a certain image I have in my head and I find that by searching within the various related topics, there will be one image that immediately stands out and shouts “perfect fit”, it can change a whole image and really push things to the next level when your stuck, it can be as important as flipping your canvas or making it black and white.
Thank you for your time, Pedro! We look forward to seeing more inspirational stuff coming from your studio.
Thank you, it’s been a pleasure to answer your questions and do some mental jogging. See you sometime soon in a pub hopefully!