While the architecture and 3D art were traveling harmoniously together, somewhere between the moon and Mars, a group of “mad astronauts”, decided to create some unique pieces of ART. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the Motiv’s interview on VWArtclub.
Hello guys! We are really glad to have you on VWArtclub for an interview “behind the curtain”. We have noticed that you are growing year by year and you have already created several great projects around the world. Let’s start this interview with a few words about your studio’s story.
So Pawel, would you like to share with us your studio’s history? When, how and why did you begin building this great team?
Thank you for the introduction and having us on VWArtclub.
The whole story started pretty simply, working as one man army from a small rented apartment. In the beginning, I was focused on my own school projects but after some time I started working with local architectural firms. We did a couple of successful competitions together concerning design and of course CG presentation. I remember one of my first projects being completed in a car, working on two laptops, and rendering while driving so I could get it done before the business meeting. Crazy days!!!
Initially, I didn’t plan to start a studio, but before graduation, it became obvious that this was the only thing I would do. I always focused on quality and new techniques or old techniques used in a totally new way. No plugins, no digital or actual schools were available so we felt as if we were discovering new worlds back then. Grass creation was a challenge!
After some time I realized I was unable to deal with all tasks, production, contracts and paperwork so I rented our first office, set up just one desk in a large open space and spread the word. Many people helped- special thanks to Dima Belozertsev- and after another year or two the team got stronger and Motiv learned how to manage projects properly and maintain quality. That was the hardest part. We were literally working 24/7 but it paid off.
Now we really have great projects and a good working system where we have time for work and fun. The atmosphere is amazing right now and I’m going to work harder to maintain that.
We noticed that during these past few years, you have expanded the company beyond the borders of your motherland Poland by opening new offices in several countries such as Australia, France and Maldives. Why did you make that choice? More clients, different types of projects or just a desire to conquer the world?
We create worlds so why not rule even just one?
Seriously, it evolved very naturally, starting in Poland and slowly reaching out to other countries. In the beginning, I had a lot of projects in France so firstly the idea was to open a branch and have support on-site since I do not speak French and that was very often a problem while discussing delicate details. As a result, we started a new society registered in Bordeaux which functions very well and is also starting to grow rapidly. Same situation goes for USA and Australia. Maldives is another story - as an architect, I actually designed a resort which is close to being completed.
I never wanted to give up architecture and this job opened a lot of doors in various fields. We worked on the construction, logistics, supplies… It is insane but I am very proud of how things are coming together now and our rendered vision becomes real.
Do you think that Motiv’s evolution has a finish line and is it possible to keep your high-quality standards, inspiration and so on, forever? What exactly do you think will push your team’s buttons in order to keep it rising?
That is a tough one. When you expand your team the quality may or will drop. To avoid that, we figured out a few tricks and standard procedures which every new teammate has to learn during the first three months of the adaptation period.
I also tried to expand too fast as well and that was a disaster because we just couldn’t work efficiently and we were forced to work overtime to catch up. Actually, we were much slower than if we were working in a smaller group. I am mainly focused on art and general business so at one point I realized I needed help to organize the office daily life and thus I hired an office director who after 3 years became my partner.
Motivation is the key to keep improving yourself. I want to focus on beautiful projects rather than mass production and make sure my team has all the tools and technology available. It is an amazing reward when your team is learning and every individual has different skills which we try to discover and support. It doesn’t have to be related to CGI; sometimes it’s dance, sometimes it’s photography… It doesn’t matter, it makes us more creative.
Some personal questions for you Pawel! How important is the fact than apart from an architect you are also a 3d artist as well? What type of projects do you prefer working on and what makes you feel more creative? Except for the concept design do you have time to work on the renderings, like the good old days?
That has been my problem from the very beginning; standing somewhere between architecture, CGI and film production. I think that architecture gave me a good sense of visualization, it is easier to understand the client’s expectations especially when you know the design and construction process and understand that your client usually has another client.
Currently, I prefer large scale projects. I think mainly because I spent almost a decade working on smaller projects but the thing is that each project has unique parts and I used to say "we should treat each task as if it were our last one, so we’d better make it right". I usually give directions for the shots and make sure they are balanced, composition, lighting. Sometimes I make a simple sketch to be followed in 3D or a set of sketches while preparing a storyboard. Very often I take care of post production of still images and animations. I find very creative the combination of 3D and real action footage, tracking the shots, going back to 3D software and back again into a composition for final results.
Unfortunately, I do not have much time to go through the whole creation process but there are some projects which I grab from the pipeline just for myself. I miss the good old days but I also hope that in a few years I will have more time to focus on what I love.
Hi Patryk! Could you describe your career path to us in a few words? When did it start and how did you
get involved with Motiv Studio?
Hello VWArtclub and thank you for having us on your website. It is always great to see nice, commercial projects. We really appreciate that you draw attention to big scale projects. They are usually harder to showcase in social media as people pay more attention to one main image rather than a set but you made it possible- well done!
Back to our story- we met with Pawel more than 4 years ago when I was studying IT. We started helping each other. Everything started from CGWorkshop website. We split our responsibilities in a similar way to this right now. Pawel was responsible for content and training whereas I was doing everything else - from everyday website maintenance to some events organization, rebranding etc.
When MOTIV started growing we decided to start cooperating with MOTIV rather than CGWorkshop. We started hiring more people and tried to organize everything from the beginning. It was pretty hard to find simple and ready solutions to run CGI studio. Especially in terms of project management and cooperation in a larger team. Right now we are still upgrading our approach but I think that we will be able to tell after a few years- everything is running smoothly and it needs some small improvements as always but we are happy where we are.
As a director focused on management and design, do you offer your opinion on all Motiv’s projects or the work is separated? Would you like to tell us more about a project that you have really enjoyed? (Please feel free to describe the know-how of the designing process and maybe why you enjoyed it more than other projects)
We had a number of interesting projects that we all really enjoyed or at least I have.
I would not like to judge specific architecture or clients as every single project is different and has interesting parts! However, I remember some aerial shots we did for the Australian project “Monarch”. We were asked to create a few aerial still images of Melbourne CBD. We knew from the very beginning that we will also be doing the movie of this development. That is why we decided to make everything, literally everything in 3D. From small details like railings on the highway to big skyscrapers in the background. We printed a large map of Melbourne, put on the blackboard and signed off buildings and streets. It was really amazing. I had never seen such a scale city visualization in full 3D before. Our client was really happy with the job and so were we. A few weeks after this project we got back to scenes and prepared a nice movie with our friend Paul Giggle. It was great fun and an amazing result.
What are your plans and how do you imagine Motiv’s development in the future? Is it a characteristic of your personality to set goals or do you prefer to let the universe decide for you?
Well, I hope that we will expand more to Australian and USA markets. We would love to have more animations/movies. We see that clients are looking for a more cinematic approach rather than simply fly through animations. We have some nice examples showing our skills in this topic but it would be really nice to have more.
I am rather a type of person who is looking for new goals and I would definitely not leave this to the universe. We need to help universe sometimes.
Hi Sebastien, or even better… Bonjour Monsieur le Directeur! Comment ça va? First of all, we would like to ask for your general view on the architecture in France. After hundreds of classical design years, the transition to modern architecture seems to you like a break or is it crucial to speak about the future, leaving the past behind?
Hi VWTeam and thank you for this interview and…. Je vais très bien, je te remercie.
It is true that architecture in France is getting more and more modern, we can feel this trend in design, materials and so on. Some architects successfully proposed a new aesthetics of the buildings by integrating them into the urban context. During our work, we collaborated with major architectural firms, in different locations- from small house renderings to cosy villages to films for "Reinventer Paris".
What happened there and how did you decide to join Motiv’s Team? What do you enjoy more while travelling in this spaceship?
As a graphic designer, I followed MOTYW projects. We met three years ago and found out that we have the same ideas for company management and style of work: to work hard, to demand a lot from oneself and offer the best quality. Therefore, we decided to open an agency in France and thanks to this, I jumped into the spaceship.
What I like most about our agency is the passion that drives us. We all bring our know-how, experience and we take pleasure in working on really beautiful projects around the world.
In the About section of Motiv website we noticed that Pawel is a coffee addict, Patryk is a tea addict, Jeremy is a wine enthusiast but Sebastien doesn’t have any kind of addiction. He is just well organized and passionate about CG world! Is this really your addiction? Please feel free to share your thoughts about 3d art with us.
A coffee addict and a wine enthusiast at the same time- I am from Bordeaux, wine capital…
The most important thing for me in 3D is balance between technical and sensitivity. Whether in architectural visualization, video games, visual effects ... for several years, the software has been evolving enormously. We can do things hardly imaginable a few years ago. These are important tools, necessary to work. Image composition, atmosphere, the story told through a movie… these are the traditional things which have been the same since the beginning. These are also the hardest to learn. Everybody can learn to use tools and software, but not everyone has the same sensitivity and eye.
As a manager of Motiv French office, what is your goal about the future? Do you think that this team is flexible enough in order to design projects with several styles around the world, or should it select a specific style which will characterize Motiv design during the next years?
My goal is to grow and, at the same time, constantly improve our quality. We have also developed augmented reality solutions- application, which I would like to promote. I think that this kind of products might become more and more popular. I believe that our clients like our unique style and approach. It is important that we keep the style that characterizes our company and it doesn't matter whether you work with our France, Polish or Australian office.
Well Motiv Team! We would like to thank you a lot for your participation on VWArtclub and the time that you have spent in order to share your thoughts about 3d art and architecture with us. Could you please stop the ship now because it’s time to return to the simple reality…Of course until your next, mind blowing project! Let’s close this interview with your motto:
"Work hard or get lost"
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work"
“Bien fait, c’est mieux que bien dit”