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Renderfeed: Tell us a little bit about yourself and about your life as a designer in Barcelona!

(Marc) Hello everyone, my name is Marc Urtasun. First of all I would like to congratulate Renderfeed on their artist interviews; this is a great initiative!

I am 23 years old and I currently live and work in Barcelona, Spain. I just finished my college degree, but I’ve worked as a freelance designer for practically a year now. I am passionate about everything related to design and particularly about the 3D world, because of the infinite creative possibilities it offers.

What I like best about this job is that there is always something new to learn. I consider myself a very inquisitive and curious person who likes to explore and find new artistic references and artists to get inspired by.

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Renderfeed: What type of work do you specialize in?

(Marc) I am currently focusing on motion graphics and 3D design. As mentioned I only recently started doing this professionally and I have been trying to balance my professional work with my college assignments.

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Renderfeed: Did you attend any classes in college that helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

(Marc) I studied multimedia at CITM (Centro de la Imagen y la Tecnología Multimedia) in Barcelona, Spain. I tried to not miss any of my classes and lectures, but to be honest many of the things I learned aren’t really that useful for the work I do now. University simply shows you the tools and with any luck you find a good professor, but I think I learned much more at home, spending time in front of my computer.

There is a lot of information online in the areas of 3D, design, video etc. You only have to find the time to locate it.

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Renderfeed: What or who inspired you to choose a career in the animation industry?

(Marc) Initially I spend more time focusing on graphic design, but then I designed my first set of 3D animations and this made me realize the artistic potential of this line of work and how much I enjoyed working on animation projects.

Later on I did a traineeship at Limón Estudios (http://www.limonestudios.com/), a very dynamic and modern production company for which I still do work right now. At Limón I really learned much more about video than in college and this led me to grow increasingly fascinated by motion graphics, so that I eventually decided to make it my chosen career path.

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Renderfeed: What are some of the projects that you have worked on recently?

(Marc) Aside from my college graduation project I have been focusing on several small projects. With Limón Estudios I did some videos for the Vodafone shops (https://vimeo.com/99186160) and I worked on a spot for the new Peugot 108 (http://www.limonestudios.com/es/work/Peugeot108).

I am currently also working on a video project for EGM, an image and video studio, aimed at promoting a recently opened shopping center.

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Renderfeed: Is there a personal project that you are really happy with and if so, why?

(Marc) There is a specific project, “3D Street Art”, which I really like because it was the first time I actually tried to work on 3D typography. And it was actually my first C4D project, so I barely knew the ins and outs of the software.

What I did have was a clear idea of what I wanted to do. It’s not my best work and it doesn’t have a spectacular render. In fact, I would probably go about it differently if I had to design it now. Still, I was amazed at the many visits and comments I got for this project within the BEHANCE community (https://www.behance.net/gallery/4951511/3D-Street-Art). I really didn’t expect it and the positive feedback really encouraged me to continue working hard.

Another personal project I am really happy with is my recently released graduation project, named “Skills”

Renderfeed: Tell us how long it took to produce “Tellmebye”. What software did you use and what were the different steps you had to go through to finish the piece?

(Marc) The video for “Tellmebye” was a special case, because it was part of a project (tellmebye,com) that didn’t have a specific launch date. I worked on it for a few months and I was given great freedom in creating the animation. The creative part and the storyline we discussed amongst the creative team and it was actually quite easy to get to an agreement.

I used Cinema 4D and After Effects for the animation. First I modeled all the objects that I was going to need and I prepared them for the animation. Later I produced the animation and once I had designed all the movements, I started texturizing and lighting. Finally, once everything had been rendered I did the post-production with After Effects to position all the text elements and to adjust the colors so as to improve the aesthetics of the render. The last step was the sound design: I added some sound effects and adjusted the musical score so that it would match the animation.

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Renderfeed: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

(Marc) The truth is that I am just starting out and I hope that I can simply continue doing what I love. Slowly I’d like to develop my own style and in that sense I never want to stop doing personal projects, because that’s where you have the freedom to express yourself.

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Renderfeed: What part of designing is most difficult?

(Marc) If I am in charge of the whole project, I’d say that the most difficult part is the render, particularly when it’s an animation project. There are so many options and parameters to consider that it’s hard to optimize the process. Plus the render settings have an effect on the lighting and on the render time, which make it a really important process.

When you work with Photoshop you design in a much more straightforward way than when dealing with a 3D software, where you have to follow a much lengthier process. So you better have a clear idea of the results you want to achieve. To me the render is often like a barrier between the creative idea and the result and if it wasn’t for the limitations of the machines it would all be so much easier!

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Renderfeed: What part of our working day most makes you think: This is why I do this job!

(Marc) If your work is your hobby you don’t really ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Also, when I see the result of my work it is so gratifying that I don’t mind the hours I had to put in to get there. Or maybe it doesn’t even matter that I am putting so many hours in, because I actually like what I do.

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Renderfeed: Is it difficult to adjust your style to each client you work for? Or do you have an easy time staying true to yourself while fulfilling the client’s expectations?

(Marc) Normally clients choose you because they like your style and the videos you’ve done. The problem arises when the client also wants to push his taste – at the end of the day in a commercial video the needs of the client are what matters most. That’s why personal projects are important as a balance as they give you true freedom to create.

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Renderfeed: What is your greatest source of inspiration?

(Marc) My greatest source of inspiration is art and design, which I observe everywhere. I love to study the work of other artists. I like to see different ways of doing things, new styles and new trends. I also believe in the influence of movies on the audiovisual world. Nowadays with the internet it is really easy to find quality work.

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Renderfeed: What do you do when you get artist’s block and inspiration fails you?

(Marc) I do one of two things: I either start afresh or I park the project for a while and go back to it later. It is very hard to view your own work objectively, but it is important to do so. That’s why when you’re all blocked up it’s better to leave it for later and then you can look at it with a fresh perspective.

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Renderfeed: How tight are the deadlines in your line of work and how do you manage the pressure to deliver within short time frames?

(Marc) It really depends on the project but if I’ve got 2 days left to meet my deadline my current solution is to simply sleep less and get the job done.

Jobs without a precise deadline are the worst for me because they keep protracting in time and never end. I don’t like to work on the same thing for a long time because I get tired of it.

Renderfeed: What version of Cinema 4D are you currently using?

(Marc) Cinema 4D R13 (hoping to move on to R15 shortly!)

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Renderfeed: What Cinema 4D plug-ins do you use and why?

(Marc) I use 3 plug-ins: Nitro Bake, Magic Solo and VRay.

Nitro Bake (from nitro4d.com) is a powerful tool, which helps me bake my animations. It has served me well to save time and bake complex scenes.

Magic Solo is also from nitro4d.com. It’s a simple tool but essential to my workflow. It allows me to isolate an object within a scene simply by simply pressing a button. It’s very useful when you work with many objects in a complex scene.

Lately I have also experimented with VRay. I like the amazing render and texture results it yields.

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Renderfeed: Aside from Cinema 4D what other software do you use?

(Marc) I mainly use After Effects for post-production, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for design and occasionally Final Cut to produce a video or add sound to it.

Renderfeed: What are the main challenges to consider when rendering your projects?

(Marc) The famous flickering of shades has caused me quite a few problems. I also have a hard time adjusting the quality/time relationship in my renders, in particular if there are lots of shades and reflections to consider. I think I still have a lot to learn when it comes to optimizing my renders, else my projects will take a long time…

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Renderfeed: Do you choose to render your projects in-house or do you prefer to outsource your rendering process?

(Marc) Currently I have been doing my renders at home because my videos are short and I have enough time. I also worked on some big projects for EGM. They have their own render farm, which allows them to get their renders done on time.

Renderfeed: Have you used cloud solutions and if so what type of projects did you choose to render remotely?

(Marc) Not yet. But since I am trying to work on projects with higher quality renders I would love to try it.

Renderfeed: What factors would you consider when choosing an online render farm?

(Marc) The most important factors would be speed, price and an easy integration with Cinema 4D.

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Renderfeed: What kind of advice would you give other young artists trying to stand out from the crowd?

(Marc) Work hard! Show interest and curiosity about the world. Observe other artists and most importantly, again, dedicate as many hours as you can to your work. I personally love the famous “10,000 hours” theory. It’s actually obvious – if you want to master something you need to get the experience and that is only possible if you put in the hours!