Interview with Florent Zunino

Published on 07/16/2018

Florent Zunino is a Motion Designer & Art Director from Paris, France. with 2 years of industry experience. He likes to work with Cinema 4D, After Effects, Substance Painter, 3D coat, Marvelous, World Creator and DAZ studio.

What led you intto the CGI/3D? Tell us your story.

I had study Applied Arts in high school, then Graphic Design in a 12th Grade and finally Motion Design with a Bachelor. I didn’t really know in which field I wanted to focus until my last year of school.

As long as I can remember, I always drew and painted, although I was not really good, but at the time it was the only tool I had to be creative.
Then I was able to get my first camera, and photography became my main tool of expression and experimentation. It’s what is led me in this field for sure, but ironically by lack of time due to the school work, and the city environnement I gradually stopped…
Finally two years ago, I’ve started dig in 3D softwares, and with them I’ve get the same feeling I’ve had with my first camera, but now with compositions and universes, that I could only dream of before. CGI are such a pleasure to work with, as there are limitless to be creative (except my imagination, my patience and the power of my workstation).

I’m currently working at Biborg, an Agency specialized in digital advertising for the entertainment industry with clients such as Netflix, Playstation, Ubisoft, Warner Bros… I’m working there as a Motion Designer & Art Director, and if needed as a kind of 3D generalist.

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Where do you go to get inspired? What/Who inspires you?

It will not seem original but the basic answer « everywhere » is for me completely true. We are surrounded by inspiration.

Sometimes it’s just come from an ordinary thing I saw, from a shape in the subway to a lighting on a wall. From Books, Video Games, Movies and series too, I go to the cinema once or two a week and binge-watch a bunch of stuff on Netflix. Most of the time it give me some mood that I try to re-interpreting. Of course others artist are also really inspiring by their dedication and work, such as Ash Thorp, Raoul Marx or Peter Clark just for naming a few…

So, basically and literally, everything inspires me and I try to keep a track on my phone and notebook whenever I had an idea.

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How does a typical working day look like?

By week time I waking up around 8AM, and start my day by drinking still water and eat some “pain au chocolat”. Listening to some music, scrolling through my social feed.  Then, going to the agency, I checking my mails and start working.
At mid time I quickly eat for trying to work on some experiments and side project. Then I repeat stage 2. In the evening I try to spend again few time on my sides projects too.

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What does your workplace look like?

Here is my personal workplace in my small flat in Paris, most works I publish are made here in my spare time.

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How do you stay motivated in this industry?

More than a task I think it’s a need, because being up to date gives me new creative possibilities. There is always a new software, a new plugin or just a new technique that can be a time saver, or even a game changer. So even similars projects could be approached in a completely different way because there always a new or better way to do. It’s both challenging and stressing but personally, technicality is a drive part of my creativity.

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What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

As I already say, by the time I was really passionate by photography, it was the medium that allowed me to think about composition. Even if I’ve sold my main camera it’s still a passion I have, I still keep shooting stuff with my phone and I planning to restart more seriously soon. ( http://florentzunino.tumblr.com/ )
Going to the cinema  or reading a great sci-fi book is something that I enjoy a lot. I also play a lot of video games, mostly FPS or Strategic game. I find them really inspirational and relaxing but my main problem is that I can’t play if y render some 3D. (That the main reason I don’t render a lot of animation actually haha)
Beside this, I really like going to a walk, hiking and getting lost in the forest. Being in peaceful and wild environment it’s something that I miss a lot since I live in big cities.

How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?

Don’t be like me! I’ve a lot of issues finishing my side projects, by lack of time or motivation. I’ve SO MANY projects started, some are just started, some are almost finished but every time that I’m near to published them, I find something to modified, resulting and endless backwards and forwards. It’s a naughty default I have wich lead me to always switch to one project to another without really moving forward. For this reason, some projects end in a mix of boredom and hate, where I always doubt between making the final animation or starting a new idea.
So now on, I try not to only publish big, final and perfect projects as I planned in the beginning, but also smaller ones, such as experimentations, bunch of styles frames, a small part of the final animation or even just stills. And for my upcoming projects, I’m gonna try to have a detailed planning.

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What Software do you use to create your artwork?

If I’d to only choose two of them, it will be Cinema 4D & After Effects. They are the softwares I use 98% of my time.
But of course, I also use Illustrator a lot and all the Adobe suite, Substance Painter, 3D coat, Marvelous, World Creator, DAZ studio…

What Software do you want to learn in future? And why?

Houdini for it’s procedural and infinityless power, I’m always amazed by all the possibility of this software, as well the procedural workflow could save me so much time too!
In a other hand, I wish I could put my hand on Unreal Engine because of the real time approach. The latest demo blow me away and show what the future will be so I hope I will not miss the boat.
I just need to add six more hour to my days now.

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Which books would you recommend to the read?

I have so many, but here are the last two books I read, both are really inspiring: Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles DUHIGG, Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. But if you haven’t, you definitely should take a look at Isaac Asimov and Dan Simmons novels book.

What music do you listen to while working?

I’m always listening to something when I’m working, it’s help me focusing but it’s not always music. I rotate between pop-rock-electro musics and cinematic music. But most of the time I listen to various of podcasts, from design to myth & sciences, or even watch random videos to tutorials.

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Any advice for new Artists?

m, I’m still feel like a beginner, but that’s what I’m trying to keep in mind: do what you like and experiment a lot. Try to find your own style and focus on it, don’t follow the trends especially on social media even if it’s looks to run better. Stay motivated and keep learning, always. And the most important it’s to also take free time to have a break and not to burn over time!

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