Expert's words: Pierre Auriac, associate managing director at Néomonde

Pierre Auriac put his creativity to the service of many fields for more than twenty years: advertisement, industry, architecture, cosmetics, music, local communities…. As a co-managing director for Néomonde, he worked for prestigious brands such as L’Oréal or Ariane Espace but also on more ambitious projects for the Principality of Monaco or even the Lascaux caves for instance.

It seems that versatility is a key skill at Néomonde. Could you explain to what extent this is a strenght according to you?

We have indeed worked for many different areas over the years. All these areas are interconnected. Thus, the time spent into mastering a tool has always been an added value on another scope of application. When we were asked to create a particles animation for the final picture of Calogero’s tour in 2015, our experience in this industry was clearly helpful. Similarily, the next year, our experience with architecture and urban planning rendering technics helped us to create some images for Zaz’s tour.

Last but not least, this versatibility prevents you from getting bored after more than twenty years in the business. The change of fields at almost each project is a great chance for us, so far we met many remarkable people, at the forefront of their speciality. Helping them to display their projects and displaying what we have designed for months or even years is truly magical. Beyond the talent and the method, « showing to others » is what our work is all about.

You’ve created 3D images for more than twenty years. What’s your opinion about its evolution?

The early days were tough as we were more providing technical knowledge rather than really executing projects. Hence when it was time to concretize the project, we were competing with artists that were able to win the bid but not to achieve them. Thus, our customers were already sickened by 3D prior to finding reliable studios. Nowadays it is different, the necessity of 3D isn’t to be proved anymore so most of our customers are convinced from the beginning. However, we still need to indicate them how 3D can enhance their project. The hardware has also improved a lot. I started working with the boom of CG artists modelling on computers whereas they needed expensive workstations back in the day. It allowed me to be safe in terms of expenses. Moreover, thanks to the use of render farms I don’t have to worry anymore about the quality nor the length of my animations because I always include a “render farm line" in my quotations. The rendering time isn’t a setback anymore and this is a great advantage for our variable geometry structure.

What would be your advice for a young CG artist who would like to launch its own agency nowadays?

It is exactly like making a movie. A pen, some paper or OpenOffice doesn’t cost you anything. You have to write a good scenerio, take some time to create, recreate and finalize it. Regarding the launching of an agency, you have to do a lot of thinking, to confront your thoughts with considerate and skilled people. But in the end, you will be the one to decide: who is it for? (customers); Who do you want to work with? (subcontractors, coworkers, employees); What tools? (software, hardware, in-house or outsourced solution, buying or renting). The list is quite long but it is crucial to take time before jumping into the fray just because you’ve graduated and you have a powerful computer. Among all these questions, the most important is finding out who you really are and in what area you feel the more confortable. Nowadays the schools are training their students as specialists whereas I was trained as a generalist. Obviously there are some areas that I don’t master but I don’t prevent myself from working in these areas. Perhaps one day, I will need these skills and it is always a good thing to get acquainted to new things.

Also, keep some time to do some technological monitoring. It can be tricky when you are on a rush or when you have a tight deadline but it is crucial not to become restricted because of outdated solutions. You will have to be ready to reconsider what you know and what you think while trusting your own worth.

And this is not easy every day :)

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