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by Piotr 2002
article - pixel perfect

What does Pixel Perfect do next ?

Jason Saunders kindly allowed us to "interview" him on the 2nd April 2003. This is the full transcript from the conversation:

B: Jason, tell us a little about yourself:

J: I am 33 and live in Wimbledon Village, London, with my wife Rosanna. I play as much tennis as i can to stop my knees from joining up.

B: How long have you been using Real ?

J: Ooooh about 12 years on and off I guess. As with many of today's Realsoft users, I started on a humble Amiga 500 with Real3D. Steadily threw thousands over the years at Amiga technology before the PC caught up. I must get round to selling it all one day. PAR anyone :)

B: We have all seen the honeymoon shot of you newlyweds on the beach, you better give us the rundown on that infamous honeymoon (not too much detail pls) ;)

J: A bit of self indulgence eh.... ok. Rosanna and I decided we wanted a totally private, romantic wedding away from our families. We both come from broken dysfunctional families and figured a family wedding day would be one big bun fight. We picked an island called Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos. A private island with one hotel and nothing else. Perfect tranquillity. We were married under a tiki hut on that white beach in the picture and spent our honeymoon there too. it was really wonderful.

B: Whats your background Jason, what fields have you worked in ?

J: I studied art and design at Chelsea Art College then went into TV Graphic design for two years with English Pockett, working on TV Commercials and programme titles. Then worked for the Moving Picture Company, with the film production and post production departments. I moved to Stak Films for 3 years as a production manager, filming mostly commercials. Finally I turned my hobby (Animation) into a job and set up Pixel Perfect.

B: Can you tell us a bit about Pixel Perfect ?

J: I set up Pixel Perfect around 1994. Had a pretty slow start, as I was on my own and trying to offer 3D animation in the TV advertising domain. It was tough if you weren't based in Soho with several Quantels and SG's. I got a few TV slots, my biggest success (financially, not creatively :) was a 30 second tv commercial for Barclays Bank in Kenya. It featured famous buildings around the world made out of paper, folding and unfolding in an origami style. I stumbled into Architectural walkthroughs and Visualisations with my first contract being a walkthrough of the London Stadium in Hackney. It was a 60 second sequence and took over 3 weeks to render. I have worked on various corporate projects, but in the last couple of years have turned to concentrate on visualising realistic environments.

B: You have a reasonably new website, care to insert some gratuitous self promotion about that here, and tell us how you made it ?

J: Sure... how's that for gratuitous :) ...umm well I designed it in Realsoft3D and Photoshop, structured in Fireworks and Flash, then finished off in Dreamweaver. I recently updated my gallery section with some new GI images.

B: You say you do commercials and visualisations, does this mean you prefer to do 3D work ? What sort of work do you enjoy doing (illustrations, 2D, composites, animations etc)

J: Yes I love 3D best. I still get a kick out of starting with a blank screen and building an image or animation. Its an extension of what Photography or illustration is to many as the scope for movement and change is huge. As the conclusion of the dear old Sculpt 4d manual commented (my first 3d program), 'your imagination is your only limitation'. (That's what I tell my clients when their ideas look crap :) A bit of an exaggeration for the abilities of Sculpt 4d, but it gave me the impetus to learn and improve. I would love to spend more time working on character animation, but currently I am pushing my visualisation skills and really enjoy it.

B: Do you use any other software besides Realsoft 3D ?

J: On the 3D side, no not really. I have stuck with Real and Realsoft3d as it offers a different quality render to other programmes out there. I have nearly jumped ship a few times, but we all know the pros and cons of different tools. None are the perfect single choice yet. Photoshop, Afterfx, Macromedia, oh and occasionally Word when I'm feeling dangerous.

B: Why do you use Realsoft over other 3D apps ?

J: I believe it offers one of the best rendering engines, Raytrace and GI. There is stiff competition out there now, but Realsoft is still my favourite. The workflow for me is the best by far. Its intuitive GUI is excellent and saves me lots of time in a production environment.

B: Can you give us a brief workflow for a typical job of yours:

J: Ok, here's an example of a site in Brighton I recently completed:

You can see the two photos supplied by the client (which are pretty bad). I was also given plan drawings and some dodgy 3D render guides by the architect. I constructed the design in realsoft, textured , lit and GI rendered, then did some major compositing and tweaking with the photos. Finally I montaged the 3D render with the photo and supplied it digitally to the client via a download. Now I wait to see how badly the brochure people have cocked up the colours when its finally printed. Dear old CMYK...arrrgggghhhhh

B: Do you create all your own objects or do you make use of libraries such as RPC or ?

J: All bespoke builds by me for my client. Except one object I bought years ago for the Barclays Commercial. I got a Statue of Liberty from Viewpoint for £500 (Ouch) as I did not have time to build one in such fine detail.

B: Is Realsoft's support important to your workflow ?

J: Yes I find the support essential at times. From the User-list and Beta-list to Vesa, Juha and dear old Andy Jones. I see myself as more creative than technical, so sometimes need help on the VSL side of things.

B: Do you have any interesting projects underway now that you care to tell us about ?

J: Just embarking on a big pitch with a design agency, to hopefully land a huge contract with a large house building company in the UK.

B: Do you have any pet projects that you would like to do but cannot for one reason or another ? (too busy, too hard, no time)

J: Don't we all....never enough days in the damn week. Yes, I would love to get started on my mini WW2 screenplay, that's been in my head for oooh about 6 years now. Damn those bills.

B: What sort of features would you like to see integrated into Realsoft 3D ?

J: A better key framer, especially improvement on animating complex skeleton hierarchy rigs. Separation of animating skeleton translation from individual joint angles, creates posing headaches at the moment. There are work arounds, but I'm looking at fast workflow solutions. The hair / fur feature will be nice and I don't think it will be long now. I am most interested in the GI improvements at the moment.

B: And finally, is there anything you wish to say to the RS community ?

J: Howdy. Keep up the great efforts by all the RS folks. Its a very generous user base, with lots of helpful advice and goodies that surpass many other user lists out there. The freebies and user support is and has been vital to many of us over the years. I hope everyone has a great year ahead and wish you all safe and well in this battling world we are living in.

All the best ... Jason

Jason, thank you very much for taking time out to talk about Pixel Perfect with us. We all wish you the best of luck with future work.


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