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Colorbleed Animation Studios interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: http://colorbleed.nl (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 28th November 2013

Colorbleed is a fresh animation studio founded by the makers of the critically acclaimed short film, Mac 'n' Cheese. We chat to Gijs, Tom and Roy about the studio and ask them for advice!


3dtotal: Thanks for taking the time to chat to us. Can you kick us off with an intro to the Colorbleed crew - how you all met and how the studio was born?

Roy Nieterau: We - Roy Nieterau, Tom Hankins and Gijs van Kooten - all know each other from our studies in 3D Computer Animation and Visual Effects at the Utrecht School of Arts. As classmates we learned what each others' skills were and we wanted to create a graduation project together - so we did! That's when we made Mac 'n' Cheese, which in turn kick-started our company with the hype that got created when it was released.

3dt: What's the aim of Colorbleed - what are your core values and motivations? Any particular goals for 2014?

Gijs van Kooten: We want to mostly focus on creating fun content. And have fun while doing it! We have been sort of lacking in this respect while getting our company running. Most time was spent on doing, dare I say it, dull commercial projects so we could buy our hardware, pay for licenses, and basically get the whole show on the road. This year we managed to churn out two short films - Mac 'n' Cheese 2 and the music video I'm Right Here - so we're going in the right direction!

This is not to say all commercial stuff we've done was dull - we just hope to get to a point where we can do more character-driven commercial jobs and give them more of our own twist. And of course figure out a way to produce our own short films in between...

A short but thrilling ride that received over a million views in a month - at least half of the positive viewers' responses were beyond any of the team's expectations!

3dt: Can you tell us what you're working on at the moment and give us a quick walk through of your studio's pipeline for animation projects? What software do you use and do you create your own proprietary tools for specific tasks?

Roy Nieterau: We work with a variety of software packages, like Maya, ZBrush, Fusion and the Adobe Creative Suite. Since we're very focused on streamlining our workflow we've been creating our pipeline alongside using the tools. This started as small scripts to help with repetitive tasks to our current publishing/folder-structure system in the projects. Also transferring data from steps in production process is automated.

"We always have a drink at the end of a project. Gijs gets drunk!"

3dt: What is a typical day in the life of a Colorbleed crew member like?

Gijs van Kooten: Generally very little free time during projects! But that's probably the same for most studios? We start at 10 o'clock in the morning and work till about 6:30PM. Of course this doesn't hold up at crunch time. We don't have an official lunch break either. This is mostly due to the fact that we don't have a dining table yet!

In-between projects we spend our time at honing our personal skills (mostly related to 3D!) and doing small projects with our interns. We celebrate interns leaving, and we go out to animation festivals whenever we have the time to do so. Also, we always have a drink at the end of a project. Gijs gets drunk!

"Don't be afraid to give your thoughts on a certain matter as long as you're helping the project with it"

3dt: Can you share any advice on dealing with clients - what are the key things a freelancer/small studio should keep in mind when pitching to and working for a new client?

Roy Nieterau: This is a hard question. I think it's important to aim for the best quality for whatever project you do. At least that's what works for us, because that's what makes us happy. We're all in it to create new creative art and if we can put that passion into our commercial projects that is what really allows the project to pop out among other commercial projects. At the beginning it's hard to find the clients that are willing to trust your knowledge and creativity; I think that's because you're new on the market. Though don't be afraid to give your thoughts on a certain matter as long as you're helping the project with it.

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