Bringing Stories To Life – An Interview With One Of Our Animators

Creating videos is what we do here at Propulse Video. We are a team of experts that is passionate about creating engaging videos and making sure to get the best results for our clients. Especially when it comes to animation, we are striving for results that captivate viewers and fascinate the audience. For this post, we sat down with one of our great animators, Miki, to talk about animation and work at Propulse Video. He gave us some great insights into life as an animator at Propulse Video. So without further ado, here is the in-depth interview with Miki.

What is your name, where are you from, and what do you do?

My name is Miki, I’m from Calella, a town near the sea, and what I do is 3D animation. I mostly create and model things, and then I do the lighting, textures, and animation. I’ve been working at Propulse Video for two months now.

How did you get to Propulse Video?

That’s a nice story. I applied five years ago for an internship in 2D animation, but it didn’t work out. Then one day I was in the street in my town and I saw a friend from my school who is working for TransPerfect as a recruiter. So she told me there is actually an offer about 3D animation and I should send my resume! I didn’t actually know it was Propulse Video at first, because she only told me about TransPerfect. So that is the second time that I met Propulse Video.

What makes Propulse Video special for you?

For me, working at Propulse Video is an opportunity to create animations. I come from a job that was more focused on creating non-animated pictures in 3D, and I would like to focus more on animation. Also, I enjoy creating things for social media, graphics, proposals, and all that. So that’s why I really like working for Propulse Video.

Can you tell me a little bit about your first impression of Propulse Video?

I had so many impressions. Like one thing I really like is that we have small meetings everyday in the morning and the afternoon with the whole design and animation team to catch up on each other’s projects. So I had a nice impression with that because it shows to me that the projects are well-managed.

How would you describe your work in the animation process?

The process varies depending on the client and their needs. We usually have a script, and then a storyboard. The storyboard is like the script, but with illustrations in it to indicate the types of shots that will be in the video. What we do then is create a graphic proposal (a first look at the design of the video). When that is done, we make a full sequence, which is like the final result but only in pictures and frames. The full sequence is not animated. It’s used to show the clients the look and feel of the video. After this is approved, we start with the animation. First we create the gray animation, which is like the animation but not rendered. When this is done, we do the final touches like lighting and all that.

So the animation itself actually comes very late in the process?

Yes! One side of the animator’s job is to work on full sequences, creating the look and feel, the design, and then on the other side you work on the animations, modeling and creating animated videos. It’s like working in two different ways. The full sequence is made to show the look and feel. And if you have this approved, everything after that is based on the full sequence, including lighting, textures, and so on. So that is when the actual animation is done.

What’s the trickiest part of animation?

There’s some animations that have some extra effects, or you have to coordinate an animation of some objects cooking in water. When you do something like that, it can be difficult. Then sometimes you need to change the rhythm of all the effects. Then it’s quite difficult to pick everything you’ve done as a special effect and change the rhythm. It’s not that hard to do a simple water effect, but maybe if you want to do something more particular, or another liquid, that’s the part that can get complicated, having a reference and trying to copy that.

What do you like the most about your job?

I enjoy my communication with my colleagues a lot. That’s a nice thing because communication is necessary to do a nice job. Talking fluently with your colleagues and coordinating with them, all that is important. It is fun to work like that. Because we have our nice moments, and we’re creating things, it’s great. 

When it comes to animation, lighting and texturing are some of the things that I like the most. In the post that we did for Instagram, lighting was my favorite thing. I’m always learning about this, because I know the combination of good lighting and texturing can be fantastic to achieve really photorealistic results. For me, they are like the most important parts of making a photorealistic image.

Can you tell us a little bit about the background of the Instagram post and how you came up with the idea of a room?

So, the idea was to create a result that expresses a little bit of a familiar feeling. Like I’m at home, in a nice room. And that’s also because we now have a hybrid situation, so your home is often also your office. So for me the proposal of this scene was that I wanted to make a nice lighting, a little bit of fantasy. 

And the animation for me is an important part of that post, because it’s like an empty room, and then all the things are coming together. It’s like an equation. You are creating a space from an idea, and ideas are creating all rooms.

Can you think of any fun fact about about animation? Something about animation that you wouldn’t expect if you don’t know animation.

Yeah! Let’s talk about textures. There are two ways of texturing: You can just put a material on an object in the scene. But that way, you can find that later the textures are not detailed and you have like pixels. So if you want to get a good, photorealistic texture, you have to unwrap the object first to prepare it for texturing. That’s one of the things that I was fighting with before. Learning to unwrap is a difficult thing, you really need to study the whole process well and understand the basic concepts about it. So that’s about texturing.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start in animation?

Well, I have some friends that want to start in animation. The advice that I’ve given to them is that they have to know a little bit about the different industries. Not all animation is the same, It depends on the sector. It’s not the same working in the video game industry or working in the advertising industry. And when you know the market you want to work in, look for some references and start creating! 

When I was starting up, I was doing my portfolio and I discovered that I would like to go into the advertising industry. So I looked for the designs of some companies and I discovered that they went with photorealistic designs and then I started to search for some images, some art from other companies, some photorealistic results. And like that I found out about what’s in demand now in 3D.

Thank you so much for this great interview! Do you have any closing thoughts?

I’ve been here for two months and it makes me happy to know that I will be here for some time. I want to take that experience to learn more things, meet the people, my colleagues, and learn more about the creation process at Propulse Video. 



If you want to find out more about animation and how a video can help boost your company, contact us now!

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