What is your name and your current occupation?
Peter Quinn, Art Director at BLINK in Vancouver.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Before getting into animation, I was a pizza chef in Pizza Hut. In fact, I still make fresh dough twice a week for the best homemade pizza you’ll ever have.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Panasonic SD Extreme challenge,Having to make an SD card into a charming and entertaining character has its challenges, but I think we nailed it.
Intematix ChromaLit LED lightbulb. From a mograph perspective, this was a delight to work on. I spent days trying to balance lighting, luminosity and global illumination settings, and troubleshooting Ambient Occlusion passes, but when it all worked out, it was really nice to see the virtual LED lightbulb really lighting the scene as it does in real life.
Staples, Recycle for Education Contest.
Staples, one of our clients, wanted to attract some attention to a contest they’re running in Canada, giving away computers to schools. There’s an environmental aspect too… the winner needs to prove that their school recycles, turns off lights etc… the brief was for a kinetic type animation, but I ended up adding a few extra layers.
BLINK & Yule Miss it. (Christmas video)
There aren’t many times in a year where I get free reign, with no clients are breathing down my neck. So, what do you do when that happens? – You go to the store and buy paper, wire and paper fasteners to make puppets.
How did you become interested in animation?
Ever since destroying a french text book in school with a bespoke stick-man-car-crash flip book, I’ve been interested in animation.After falling in love with Flash, then ditching it for After Effects, I was hooked. As I got more involved with 3D, I really started to develop the craft.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Northern Ireland, but now I live in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Just this week I became a Permanent Resident, thanks to a delightful Canadian girlfriend. I started working in an advertising agency in Belfast right after college, then upgraded to Digital Media Team Leader at a nice place called Whitenoise, where I got to stretch my wings and develop what I do, in the company of some very talented people.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Typically, I’ll start with 11 minutes of Facebook, 2 cups of coffee, then ABSOLUTE HELL FOR 8 HOURS, then relax. Our studio in Blink is a mix of broadcast and agency work for some excellent clients like Panasonic, Staples, Kodak, Iomega, Sage, Telus and everything betwixt, so I’ve got a very varied workload.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
“My Power, My Pleasure, My Pain”, to quote Seal, are the clients with big expectations and short timelines, but it’s this opportunity, and the motivation to produce better and better work, that I have a love-hate relationship with.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
For Hardware, I’m embarrassed to say that I currently work on an iMac, while we are forced to wait on the next generation of Mac Pro.3 screens, a Wacom. For software, I spend most of my time with After Effects, with a constant flirtation with Cinema 4Dand various tracking programs.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The most difficult thing for me is hardware speed.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
At a big Maxon party for Siggraph here in Vancouver, I bumped into Nick ‘Greyscale Gorilla’ Campbell a few times, where I joined the queue of aspiring young motion designers for a blurry iPhone photo and 2.5 sentences about how great 3d things are.
Any side projects or you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Currently on the side, I’m working on a piece for a Skiing/snowboarding collective in Colorado, using the new 3D camera tracking feature in After Effects CS6 which I’m finding particularly brilliant.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can open a box of matches, light the match, and put it back in the box with my toes.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Anytime I get a keen intern or junior, I always point them in the direction of tutorials and convince them to invest the time, don’t waste time, learn by doing, and make lots of terrible mistakes.