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Dmitriy Glazyrin: Mondlicht Studios CEO interview

Dmitriy Glazyrin

CEO at Mondlicht Studios GmbH

Russian CG artist and Mondlicht Studios CEO Dmitriy Glazyrin shares his journey from Medical School ten years ago, to where he is today, offering advice and insights into the industry…

Dmitriy's Website

3dtotal

Thanks for talking to us today, Dima! Please let the readers know a little more about you and your work.

Dmitriy

Hi, my name is Dima and thanks for the interview! I have been working in the advertising industry for more than 10 years. When I started my career, I had no concrete plan for the future or understanding what exactly I want to do, so my career is like 10 years’ journey, and it’s still not finished!

This adventure began when I was a student at Medical Academy in a small Russian town. I wanted to earn some money and began to look for a job. I found a vacancy for a web designer in a local newspaper and decided to give it a shot. Of course, I failed, because I had no experience and skills at all. However, the studio offered me to participate in their projects and create additional concepts for the clients. If the client had chosen my work, I got the money. Pretty soon I realized that I didn’t like web design in general, only the images – every time I tried to make them better and better. So I started to dig in this direction, it wasn’t easy because there were no tutorials at all and the internet was incredibly slow. Anyway, step by step, I gained experience in 2D graphics, then I started to learn 3D at RealTime School. I used any possibility to learn something new and develop my skills.

Once I saw a vacancy at Platinum FMD website (a very famous studio in Brazil) and decided to write to them. I was very surprised when I got a job offer. In two weeks I was there getting my first experience in a foreign company. I’m still grateful to the people I was working with, they shared their knowledge with me and helped me to become a much better specialist.

During my career, I have been working with dozens of studios, including Lightfarm (New Zealand), Cream (Australia), RecomFarmHouse (UK), Western and Jack (Russia), and so on. I was participating in projects for household brand names, including Coca-Cola, Wacom, Netflix, Toyota, Ford, Lexus, Philips, Nestle, Lego, Adidas, and many others. But in spite of all my experience, there is always something challenging in many new projects. This is why I enjoy working in this industry – it never stops; every day it has something new to offer.

fishing town

3dtotal

Your portfolio is quite varied; with CG work, 3D modeling, and graphic design. Where would you say your passion lies?

Dmitriy

At the beginning of my career, I had a chance to work in different spheres – I created images for websites, and was a matte-painter in the movie industry, but advertising always was my true passion. When I was a child, I loved to look over advertising pages in magazines and waited for new advertising videos on TV. I was always wondering who was creating these beautiful pictures and videos.

3dtotal

Why did you choose advertising?

Dmitriy

For me, advertising combined the most fascinating parts of CGI but in stricter time frames. In this industry, you can work on short animation video, retouching, 3D modeling, post-production, photo shooting, or create a VR project. Advertising is always at the edge of progress and reacts to any new possibilities and trends immediately. In movie and game industries every project takes a lot of time and resources, but in advertising one person is able to handle a project. It is challenging, but it’s also very interesting.

Martini wine in countryside

3dtotal

How did the approach of advertising creation change for the past years?

Dmitriy

Static images for magazines, billboards and social media are still relevant today. However, the perception of CGI has changed – now it’s the essential part of the production, and not something new and experimental as it used to be some years ago. Moreover, CGI itself begins to develop the industry in a new way. You may notice more and more big screens with short (3-5 second) videos on the streets instead of usual billboards.

Social media, technological progress and new ways of communication with consumers caused additional interest in animation and motion graphics. New trends have appeared, including VR/AR applications which can be used very efficiently in many spheres. For example, I believe that interactive projects could be very beneficial for brands like IKEA.

Now you can use high-quality 3D models on your website and give your clients a chance to interact with them – to examine a car or a chair closely, change color or material, adjust the product to your needs or just play with it. Gradually, static pictures are yielding more interactive CGI products.

3dtotal

What should a person focus on to create a beautiful artwork? Are there some general rules, which work for any type of the image or 3D visualization?

Dmitriy

There are classical rules which were elaborated centuries ago, and we are still using them – composition, colors, lighting, perspective, and so on. These rules are fundamental, which is why they will never become obsolete.

However, there are some temporary trends. For example, a few years ago, everybody was obsessed with photorealism in CGI images, but now it’s not that hard to get a good result. And the idea of the image or any other CGI project again came to the fore. In other words, people got used to high-quality results and the idea of the project became the only opportunity to make your work stand out.

3dtotal

You have vast working experience in different studios and as a freelancer. What are the advantages and disadvantages of working full-time and as a freelancer?

Dmitriy

I really love how the industry is developing. Today it’s not important where you live or where you were born – you can work with any studio thanks to the internet, or get a job offer from any part of the world.

For me, a full-time job is very important because in this case, you get the opportunity to work with other specialists. You can take a lot from them and create fantastic projects together. To put this another way, full-time provides you with faster professional growth and more significant projects. Also, it helps you to develop soft skills which are vital if you are dreaming about a successful career.

At the same time, freelance has its own advantages. For example, you may decide what projects you want to participate, find out more about the pipeline in different companies and get all-round experience. But you should be ready for more responsibilities because you will also need manager, producer, and accountant skills.

There is also one more interesting option I personally like the most – contract employment. In this case, you get the opportunity to move to another city or country, stay there for 2 to 6 months, get new experience working in the studio with the team of professionals. After completing the work, you may get another experience in a totally different place.

strawberry ice cream

3dtotal

You and your colleagues launched your own studio this year. What type of projects do you have?

Dmitriy

Unfortunately, I can’t share with you the most interesting projects, because we are very cautious about NDA and our agreements with the clients. In general, I can say that we are working with any type of CGI: automotive, architecture, matte painting, digital characters, and so on. We are creating advertising of any kind, we work on post-production and 3D. Also, we are producing different types of interactive projects, including VR/AR applications.

3dtotal

Do you have a favorite process within your workflow? Favorite tools and software?

Dmitriy

I prefer Photoshop for 2D projects and 3ds Max and V-Ray for 3D. Besides, I have experience working with Cinema 4D, Octane, Redshift, and other similar programs. Also, I use a lot of special-purpose software, including Substance Painter/Designer, Marvelous Designer, HDR Light Studio, Realflow, and so on. For VFX, my choice is Houdini.

Hay tractor

3dtotal

Do you have a favorite image or project that you have worked on?

Dmitriy

The favorite ones are “Porsche - Underwater road” and “Mazda — Woodworker.” The project with Mazda was very exciting because we had to improvise a lot – we found joiner's studio to make photos, created real wood shaving and asked a 3D modeler to become a hero for the project (originally we planned to take photos of another person).

And the project with Porsche was awesome because I had freedom to create anything; I had no limitations at all! And when you have a chance to incarnate idea in a project, it’s always very challenging and fulfilling.

3dtotal

You currently teach at Unhide school and Skillbox online university. If you were to give an overview of your core advice for beginner artists, what would that sound like?

Dmitriy

Work, work, and work again. The industry is changing very drastically, which is why it’s so important to be able to react and adapt. With all this going on, the industry is notable for the opportunity to work in different spheres (advertising, movie industry, game development, digital) with the same skillset. That allows you to get various experience and look for the direction you like the most.

woodworker with car

3dtotal

What will you be looking at improving upon, and where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Dmitriy

Ten years ago I was a student at Medical Academy. If somebody told me at that time what would happen to me, I wouldn’t believe them. So it’s not important what I’m thinking about the future – it has its own surprises for me. I’m trying to live in the moment and make short-term plans. I prefer to have a chance to be amused by all the wonders of life.