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IT'S ART magazine news : digital art, animation, 3D, 2D, Video, Games, Software and more

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It's art : Can you speak about Realtime:UK, the studio’s history? Your specialities?

RealtimeUK : We started back in 1996, 3 illustrators out of University with little CG experience but eager to learn & make cool stuff. Selling our service to potential clients early on was tricky - most didn't know what 3D was! But through targeting projects which would look good in our reel rather than make the bank manager happy, we soon raised our profile and were able to expand. One of the key growth strategies was to look at gaps in our own abilities and bring in artists to do the things we weren't great at. We knew we wanted to create amazing cinematics early on, but it took a few years to assemble the team we needed to make this a reality.We do like variety here, so as well as game cinematics we also work for ad agencies, car manufacturers, TV production companies, pretty much whatever takes our fancy - if the work's interesting then we're up for it!

18 months ago we moved into our new home, a barn conversion in the countryside designed by ourselves. It's a great location for a studio, nice and peaceful - well, on the outside anyway! We've even got cows for company!

I.A. - How many people are actually working at RealtimeUK?

RTUK : We're pushing towards 30 in-house at present, but still looking for more. We've got a good mix of talent in all areas - from those who started as traditional artists and hadn't used CG, to experienced 3D professionals, plus directors & producers, all with a desire to create the best work possible. With the quantity of work constantly coming through, we're always on the look-out for new talent.

I.A. - Can you name some major cinematic you’ve done in the past?

RTUK - The original MotorStorm concept movie from E3 2005 is probably our most well known cinematic, and since then we've produced 3 more for the same franchise. Even though we weren't able to promote our MotorStorm work for a while, the experience & result it gave us massive confidence in the team we'd put together. The Juiced2 intro movie was fun experience, pushing our vehicle animation skills while also developing high end CG characters in a Fast and the Furious meets Gladiator scenario!

Concept movies can be really enjoyable, they tend to provide a level of creative freedom you don't get with marketing trailers, but as the game is in an early development stage you generally can't talk about or show your work until the game goes public. We've got quite a back catalogue of movies under wraps, some of which unfortunately may not see the light of day, but the next big one (finished back in Aug) is expected to go public around Feb 09...

I.A. - What was the most difficult one? Why?

RTUK - They all have their own challenges, which is probably what attracts us to the projects in the first place! The original MotorStorm had extensively animated ground rutting & mud splats - the sort of thing game coders may spend a year on, but we had a few weeks. MotorStorm2 needed a dense deforming 3D jungle, the poly count of which was the highest we've ever created.

I.A. : Are there some you’re mostly proud of? Why?

RTUK : I believe you need some time to pass before you can look back and feel really proud of a movie. You get so deep into a project that when it ends you can't really appreciate what you've done. Stormbirds gives us that nice warm glow now, and I'd say MotorStorm definitely as it was the 1st big one, even if it is quite dated now. But also the Buzz! movies, we've created around 15 intros, TV spots and numerous box covers for SCEE.  These have featured everything from Monkeys to Dinosaurs to Robots & of course, Buzz himself who's voiced by Jason Donovan. We've had a lot of control over the narrative so feel a high degree of brand ownership & responsibility. Plus they're fun to make and bring out the juvenile in us all - particularly with Monster Rumble