CG Generalist and animation artist Nigel Schutte showcases some of his work with us. Enjoy and happy Tuesday!
Who is Nigel Schütte and what do you do?
I am a senior ( I have the receding hairline to prove it) CG Generalist at Clockwork Visual Effects, an awesome animation studio in Dubai. I work from my home studio in Centurion, though I do travel to Dubai quite frequently, where I spend weeks or months working from the main studio on various CG commercials. I am self taught in the dark art of 3D. After some misadventures in graphic design, I was introduced to Lightwave 3D in 2001, my software package of choice. I was contacted out of the blue one day in 2005, after a local studio had seen my work online, and invited to come see how they do things. One thing led to another, and I landed my first job in this industry. I have now been working for an international studio for the last 6 years, doing commercials for various industries, including the motor, toy and gaming industries.
How would you define your style or art?
I don’t have a particularly artistic background, I’m more of a technical artist, so I don’t really have a style that defines me, or what I do. My industry requires you to conform to whatever the client/agency wishes to see on the screen, so it helps to be flexible, and have various tricks in your arsenal to achieve a desired look or effect. When it comes to personal work, which there is precious little time for these days, I have an appreciation of photorealism. I’m always looking for ways to fool the eye into believing that what you see, is real.
What inspires your work?
My salary at the end of the month 😀 Kidding!
Lately, my personal work has been inspired by a connection to my youth. I’ll see something that sparks a memory, which in turn makes the child in me smile. I’ll then pursue that. It keeps me young, and enthusiastic.
At the moment, I’m enjoying some down time in between projects. I’ve spent those precious few days finishing up a personal fan art project I started in late 2012.
One of the more interesting projects I had a considerable hand in recently, was a duet of commercials for Angry Birds Star Wars; their Jenga games. I managed that project from South Africa, directing an animator in the Philippines, doing my lighting and texturing, and then consolidated everything on our network in Dubai for rendering on our renderfarm, while fielding changes from the production chain of command, which included Rovio, Hasbro and Lucasfilm. It was quite a daunting project, and many late nights were needed by the team before it was delivered. It pushed me to my limits, but I rose to the challenge. It was a defining moment for me, and I look forward to the next challenge.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Be prepared to sacrifice a lot. It’s a difficult industry, especially in today’s economic climate. It’s definitely not a 9-5 job. That said, it can be really rewarding. There’s nothing quite like that moment you see your very first commercial on tv.
Never rest on your laurels, keep pushing yourself to do better than your last best effort. Keep moving forward.
Learn to take criticism, because no matter how good you get, it’s somebody else’s job to find fault, even if what you do is perfect. A thick skin, and cool head will serve you well. Remain grounded, don’t let your ego run away with you. When you work in a studio, you work as a team.