Diamo il benvenuto su 3Dagain a Paolo Cogliati . Grazie per aver accettato la nostra intervista.
1) Ciao Paolo, vuoi iniziare a dire chi sei come hai iniziato ad appassionarti alla CG e dove ti ha portato?
Hi and thank you so much for having me on your site!My name is Paolo Cogliati, I am a CG character animator, and recently created the short “Serial Taxi” as a graduation film from Ringling College. I currently have the privilege of working on “The Boxtrolls” at LAIKA as a CG Animation intern among a studio full of talented people. I am originally from Rome, Italy. I have to say my passion for animation was always there from the very beginning. When I was approximately 8 years old, my parents bought me “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” on VHS. After watching the movie I decided bringing characters to life would be a pretty amazing job. Never regretted that decision to this day! At 8 years old I also moved to Tokyo, Japan due to my father’s line of work, where I lived for the next 11 years of my life. Living in Japan, surrounded by anime, really had the opposite effect that one would think: I grew tired of seeing it and started watching more and more American animation, naturally, Pixar, DreamWorks and Disney, making CG a newfound passion of mine. I bought my first “Maya for Beginners” at the age of thirteen.
2) Da una semplice passione ad un lavoro, che studi hai fatto per arrivare a questo?
By the time I was 16 years old, I had started to really look into where I could study animation. I am only 22 years old now, but back animation was not a career or job many kids my age were thinking of studying in college. Now with the online animation schools, and the amount of tutorials and fame that some animators are receiving it seems to have exploded into almost a fashion. But at the time, I had a hard time even trying to find out if CG animation schools even existed. I found out about Ringling College, and proceeded to study human anatomy and drawing from life in order to pass the acceptance portfolio required for the Computer Animation major. Once I was accepted to Ringling, we studied 2D animation, and then the software Maya for CG Animation. It was during my second year that I started hearing about the famous French school Gobelins. I found out they were accepting a small amount of students for an Advanced Character Animation Summer Workshop that took place during my summer break, which luckily, I was accepted to after applying. There, I met an ex Gobelins student, Max Maleo, whom co-created the famous short Burning Safari and soon later went to work at DreamWorks. Max was a great guy, and nice enough to spare some of his time to show me some tips and tricks on Maya while visiting. We kept in touch, and during my third year in college, before I accepted a summer internship, invited me to work on his film “BATZ” as a character animator at Kawa Animation Paris. Max ended up mentoring me for the duration of my stay. I learned more than I could ever imagine, and I am forever grateful for his patience and knowledge! Mentoring someone is a great gift to another. It prepared me for my own film “Serial Taxi” and helped me understand how a studio environment works.
3) Sappiamo che ora sei in LAIKA, uno studio affermato vuoi dirci come ci sei arrivato? cosa fai lì? e come è lavorarci?
Every year, different studios from different places come visit our university, among other colleges, to meet the students, give a presentation, and possibly interview potential candidates. The first few times interviewing with large studios like Pixar or BlueSky you are terrified. So scared of making a mistake! After a while you grow a little more accustomed and it becomes a great opportunity to meet people in the industry. Being my first time meeting anyone from LAIKA, I have to admit I was a little nervous, but after being greeted by pleasant faces and extremely nice people I almost forgot I was in an “interview”. We kept in touch amidst all the post-graduation interviews and talks, and received a call from LAIKA with an offer to join them for an internship. We will see where things take me from here! LAIKA is an amazing studio. I could go on about this for hours, but the great thing about this place is that with every movie they do, they constantly try to out-do their previous movie in terms of overall quality and look. The first time walking through the studio and seeing the giant hand-made sets, complex hand-crafted characters and the stunning props, made me feel like a child again. Everyone is extremely devoted and passionate to what they do, and the first thing that surprised me is that if you know how to do more than one thing, you are more than welcome to try and help in other departments too. I am in the RP CG Animation Department. We primarily animate the head and face of the characters in CG, which is then printed with 3D printers, processed, and placed on the characters as they are being animated in stop-motion. There are a few interesting videos from LAIKA on Youtube as to how they did this on ParaNorman if you would like to see more detail!
4) Paolo spiega ai nostri lettori che fa un character animator
I have heard many people describe character animators as essentially an “actor” through a CG character. Your job is to create a believable performance, the illusion of thought and life, into well, a lot of computer data! I guess I see myself more as an “observer”, I like to look at people’s movements, and try to see if there are any subtle things that would make the character even more believable. When you forget you are watching a cartoon, and start having emotional responses to something that doesn’t exist, you know the animator and the collective group of artists alike who worked years for you to see those characters did a great job!
5) A cosa stai lavorando in questo periodo e vedremo qualcosa anche qui in Italia?
In this particular moment I am completely focused on “The Boxtrolls” which will premiere in theaters on September 26, 2014. and the characters that I get to interact with here on a daily basis. When I come back home, If I don’t fall asleep immediately after animating for 8 hours, I try to work on my own animation tests. I recently finished one that I might post online soon. I have a few other short films that I wrote before Serial Taxi that I really want to make eventually, but having finished my short film only four months ago, It will be a bit before I start the next one! The Boxtrolls will come out September 2014, and you will definitely be able to watch it in Italy! Its an incredible movie. BATZ also will be released online very soon! So keep an eye out for that too! The teaser trailer is online if you would like a sneak peek!
6) Quali i tuoi software preferiti e perchè?
I primarily use Maya, Renderman, Photoshop and After Effects. Although I know a large number of other softwares, both CG, and Compositing based, I find myself most comfortable with these because I have developed a personal workflow between each. Until the updates that they do every year don’t affect my workflow, I think I will continue to use them on a daily basis!
7) Cosa ci riserva il futuro della CG?
I think the future is going to be exciting. You no longer need giant budgets to create high-quality films. I think the amount of original work, experimental animation, and more adult-themed animations will skyrocket in the years to come. Personally, I think films like The Goon, Persepolis and many others will double the animation market to create a very entertaining and profitable adult section within animation. And the students of today are creating work that can easily be mistaken for professional! Some of the short films I see, while a student and now that I recently graduated, continue to shock me. I always thought it would be fun experiment to make a fake trailer for a movie sequel and see how many people believe its real… but then again, it takes time and I assume being sued afterwards is probably not very fun.
8) Cosa ne pensi della recente crisi del settore dei Vfx?
The situation is definitely tough. I know a lot of talented people are finding themselves having to bounce from job to job, making stability a bit of a luxury. I know outsourcing is a large, contributing issue to this and while I do not have a solution, I think, and hope, that things will stabilize themselves as the economy as a whole improves.
LAIKA is an animation studio specializing in feature films, commercials and shorts. Travis Knight serves as President and CEO of the company, which is owned by Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight. LAIKA has produced two Oscar-nominated stop-motion films: ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009) as well as the CG short Moongirl (2005). LAIKA's next animated feature, The Boxtrolls, will premiere in theaters on September 26, 2014. For more information: www.laika.com.
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