3DTotal : What is your favorite project to date?
Richard : Previous to opening Hatch, I would have said the Robin Hood campaign was probably the
one I was most proud of. They turned out just right – a perfect blend of personable characters, fantastic animation, gorgeous lighting and a wonderful story. I directed the three spots and they would have never turned out as well as they did without the exceptional talent of the team I was working with. Your work is only as good as the people you work with.Since opening Hatch, I would say that the latest Ford “Accessories” spot is certainly a favorite. I was able to creatively achieve exactly what I had envisioned and at the quality I had expected. Again, this could only have been possible with the help of my talented 3D team. We pushed ourselves pretty hard for this one but its difficult not to when you have such a cool concept made available to you.Our Kraft “Geyser” spot is also very close to my heart because we were able to develop a remarkably stylized world with awesome characters, each with a very distinct personality. Anyone who has followed my work knows that I love to create characters so this was a
sheer pleasure to work on.Finally, I should also mention that part of what made these projects so successful were the brilliant creatives we dealt with from the advertising agencies. Everyone was
always open to new ideas and it was clear from the start that each person was sincerely devoted to
each of these projects.
3DTotal : The Robin Hood and Kraft spots are wonderful; great character and style. Is this a style you enjoy working with? Richard :My absolute favorite use of computer graphics is to create fascinating characters – specifically cartoon characters, so it is no surprise how much I enjoyed these projects. There is something magical about producing a photo-realistically lit and textured character, with cartoon proportions. It’s visually intriguing to watch and it questions the mind as to why these characters look and behave so real but don’t actually exist. It’s no wonder that many of my personal projects involve still characters, all of which have quirky expressions and clever biographies that provoke the viewer into developing an imaginary past, present and future for them.
3DTotal : How much time do you get for personal projects at the moment? Richard :Unfortunately, I have less free time these days since I now spend more of it at Hatch. Despite that, I always have numerous personal projects on the go:
In 2005, I developed Depth Of Field Generator PRO with Martin Vicanek, a powerful Adobe Photoshop plugin capable of delivering high quality, sophisticated Depth of Field and Bokeh effects quickly and efficiently as a post process. Currently in its 3rd version, DOF PRO has become one of the best selling DOF post-processors in the industry. In November of 2006, I launched CGSphere.com, a 3D community website developed with Michael Kocurek and dedicated to the evolution of technical and creative 3D sphere design.The purpose is simple; to
create the most captivating and visually appealing sphere from a provided scene using a 3D program and renderer of choice.. The site was an instant success reaching 500,000 hits/day and featuring thousands of contributions from 3D artists around the world. CGsphere.com is currently a work-in-progress website and continues to be periodically improved throughout the year.
On top of that, I still put in a good three or four hours in the evening working on my own projects and characters, as well as site maintenance. Finally, I exercise regularly at the gym which I believe is extremely important for anyone in our field, since we end up sitting in front of a computer screen for
8-12 hours a day. 3DTotal : Do you have a good piece of advice for anyone wanting to start their own studio?
Richard :Make sure you have a solid business plan before putting anything into action.
Be certain you can trust the people you work with as you will have to rely on them and they will have to rely on you. Know how to resolve conflicts and issues in a mature manner as these will always be inevitable,
especially in a creative environment. Plan ahead so that you’re prepared and capable of taking on the workload that may potentially come your way. And of course, the most important advice of all I
could give to anyone in this line of work is that
hardware and software are completely irrelevant in this field unless you are a programmer. It doesn’t matter how well you know these tools or how many of them you know. What matters is how much creativity you posses and what you do with it. The computer is nothing more than another artistic medium, but a fundamental knowledge of art concepts such as color theory, design, composition, and anatomy are crucial in developing a successful career as a digital artist.
3DTotal :Thanks again Richard. It’s been good talking to you. Richard : It’s my pleasure, and thanks for the opportunity to share my insight with 3DTotal.com.