Q: Tell us how you got involved in the animation industry and how has this shaped your view on promoting 3D tools to the creative community?
PB: While attending graduate school at UCLA, I freelanced at many ad agencies. I worked as both a designer and copywriter. Upon graduation, I continued my freelance efforts while maintaining other pursuits. I believe the fact that I started out as an artist in the industry gives me an understanding of what artists go through every day – keeping clients happy, meeting deadlines, struggling with technology, etc.
I was first introduced to 3D animation software when I was hired by Electric Image. That was over 25 years ago, so I’ve seen the industry change quite significantly over the years.
Q: What is unique about MAXON’s approach to the market?
PB: I’d say putting the artist’s needs first and respecting their process are fundamental aspects of how we’ve chosen to speak to the market.
And, I have to acknowledge the efforts of our development team to not only stay in stride with today’s 3D technological advances but their ability to make complex features approachable and accessible to Cinema 4D artists. Making creative expression a seamless process in 3D is no small feat.
Q: What are some of the key principles you have used to successfully build community?
PB: Engagement is about having a conversation, not “marketing at ”our customers. Conversation drives everything. Engaging in an ongoing conversation not only facilitates collaboration, it cultivates community, which is essential to reaching a broader range of customers.
We’ve discovered the most amazing artistic expressions are often sparked by sharing the creativity of others. We love to inspire our customers by sharing what others are doing with Cinema 4D. And knowing that we are excited to promote our customer’s work is inspiring in and of itself.
Education is also vital to cultivating skilled 3D animators for our growing industry. There is a tremendous demand for talented artists. So we’re always looking for ways to shorten that learning curve; whether it’s through our own efforts with Cineversity (www.cineversity.com) or by assisting/promoting other online training resources, educational institutions and partners.
Motivation, like inspiration, drives the artist onward. Sometimes the newbie needs a reason to learn. Sometimes artists need encouragement to create. And there are times it’s necessary to persuade our most knowledgeable users to encourage others. It’s our job to motivate all of them to keep the market moving forward.
- What trends do you see in 3D and what excites you about the future?
PB: There’s never been a better time for artists. While artists will continue to be challenged by tight deadlines and budgets, there have been exciting advancements in technology and global collaboration. The demand for 3D animation in motion graphics continues to grow. Emerging public interest in areas such as virtual reality, digital signage, augmented reality and more – beyond the traditional film, broadcast and game niches — will require 3D content creation, which means unlimited opportunity for the digital artist.
- What excites you most about your exhibitor participation at NAB this year?
PB: We have the most amazing line-up of guest artists presenting at our booth this year. All you have to do is look at the roster of artists we have coming to the show (C4DLive.com) and you can see why I am so excited.
Of course, it’s always great to get that face-to-face feedback from customers as well as spend some social time together. MAXON is known for providing artist-friendly information to show attendees and for hosting incredibly fun events. The Media Motion Ball and our Pinball Party are annual mainstays of NAB.
Q&A with EJ Hassenfratz, Emmy Award-winning Creative Director at Eyedesyn and well-known Cinema 4D community member and trainer
- You have been a frequent guest presenter on the MAXON main stage at trade shows and special events around the world. What stands out about the Cinema 4D community experience and how this has this helped you grow as an artist?
EJ: MAXON has done an amazing job of fostering the C4D community by holding presentations at trade shows where top artists are made accessible to users and given a platform to freely share their passion, workflow and techniques that not only inspire show attendees but have turned into massive online events.
These presentations are a perfect representation of why the C4D community is second to none. The community’s strength is its culture of inclusiveness, sharing and helping one another and that’s what these events are all about. For me personally, it’s allowed me to learn so much from so many talented people because of the exposure to the knowledge and skill of the artists that are showcased at these events that I would never have had access to any other way.