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Loose in the Asylum

U.K. animation startup looking good for young duo By Stephen Schleicher
While the animation industry in the United States seems to fluctuate on a monthly basis, one often wonders how companies are doing in other parts of the world. Recently, Digital Media Online had a chance to talk with Robin Konieczny, and Matt Westrup of Asylum3D in the United Kingdom. What is most interesting about Asylum3D is these two animators are still fairly new, with several animation credits to their name.

Digital Media Online: Looking at your website, and demo reel, you have really started to generate a buzz in the animation community, tell us a little bit about your company, and how long you have been around.
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Robin Konieczny: Well Asylum3D is an odd one really, as we are not strictly a company; we are two freelancers, who work as a team under the name Asylum3d. We do freelance work for other companies, and also do work as a normal standalone company, if that make sense. We have been going professionally since January of this year (2001). We are still beginners really.


DMN: What are some of the projects Asylum3D has been involved in recently?
Robin Konieczny: Recently we completed work on Robbie Williams Video, "Let Love Be Your Energy". We did texturing and lighting for Passion Pictures. We also did bottle texturing and lighting for Snapple Drink ads.

Other work we have done for Passion Pictures include B.M.W. Mini work, movie and TV ads, and some match moving for some of their projects.

We just finished a 30 second TV ad for Spanish television for P.W.I., which was a bit of a hoot.

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DMN: How is the animation industry in the U.K., and the rest of Europe?
Robin Konieczny: Thats a tough question to answer, as from our perspective its very good at the moment. I couldnt tell you whats happening in the States but there seems to be quite a buoyant but very competitive scene here in Europe.

Its a funny business because when your on the outside, it seems like there are thousands and thousands of people doing this stuff, but once you get involved, you suddenly realize that there are just a few key companies in each Country doing the good stuff.

DMN: Do you find attitudes toward CG animation different in the United States than the United Kingdom?
Robin Konieczny: I cant really comment on this, as I have never worked in the States. It seems that the companies in the United States of America break the respective jobs down more, so if you Model, thats all you do. In the U.K. it seems that you are expected to be able to turn your mouse to more things, although I think this is more to do with the size of U.S. and European houses.

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DMN: What tools do you currently use to complete your animations?
Robin Konieczny: NewTeks LightWave 3D, is our main tool, which we have running on Macs and PCs. We are mainly running on Macs though. Maxons Bodypaint3d and the ubiquitous Adobe Photoshop are used for texturing. Then we use Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premier for compositing and putting the whole thing together.

We chose LightWave for its ease of use and the fact that with just a couple of people you can turn out feature film quality work. If you are making shorts or ads, then nothing else comes close, especially if you use it in tandem with Messiah from PMG.

DMN: Are you working on any independent features or shorts that we might see in the near future?
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Robin Konieczny: Yes, we have some ideas that we are going to start working on very soon. Ultimately we hope to get the trailer, that is currently our demo reel, turned into a TV series. We have a treatment for it all worked up, and some interest has been shown already. We have the characters profiles all worked out and an overall plot synopsis. We are currently looking for backers or production companies to move the project along. At the moment what you see is what you get, but you never know. If theres anyone out there with a huge pile of cash they dont know what to do with, we are your guys.

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Related Keywords:Asylum3D, United Kingdom, Robin Konieczny, Matt Westrup, animation, 3D, LightWave, NewTek, Adobe, Photoshop, Maxon, Bodypaint 3D, After Effects, production, digital animators

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