Interview with Midge Sinnaeve

Midge Sinnaeve a Pixel Wizard from Antwerp, Belgium with 9 years of industry experience.
He likes to work with Linux and Blender

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

Form a young age, I’ve always been interested in movies and VFX. When I was growing up, learning Photoshop, Poser and Bryce 3D really got me in to computer graphics in general. As a teenager I would make lots of 2D artwork with 3D elements brought in from Poser. After a few years I got my hands on a copy of Cinema 4D played with 3D on and off, but never really dove in to it until college.

Towards the end of my college career I switched over to 3ds Max to prepare for an internship at an animation studio where I would do VFX and environment work mainly for animated films. After that, I moved on to a studio that was mainly doing motion graphics. While working there, I also started freelancing in my free time and ended doing work up in the archviz space for a while.

Currently, I’m a full time freelancer and having a lot of on working an all kinds of projects.

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

Honestly, pretty much everything. I believe you can find inspiration in almost anything, so I’m constantly looking around at patterns, textures, lighting. etc. I try not to look at social media too much, because I want to try and develop my own style as much as possible.

How does a typical working day look like?

I’m lucky enough to work from home, so after breakfast I move in to my office and start working away at whatever project needs my attention that day. I don’t really keep regular hours though, so depending on the project I’ll either work during the day or at night. At night, I find it easier to focus are there’s less distractions.

What does your workplace look like?

A little messy. ­čÖé I’m always working on a lot of different things, but professionally and in my free time, so there’s all kinds of equipment in my office I’m experimenting with.

How do you stay motivated in this tough industry?

I make sure to have enough time for personal projects. It really helps with creative fulfillment and pushes me to try new things and not get too stuck in to a creative corner.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

Computers and IT in general, actually. I love building my own rigs and tinkering with workstations and servers. There’s so much to learn and being able to support your own production pipeline from start to finish has a lot of advantages. Outside of that, I’ll make some music occasionally, which serves as a nice creative release.

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

Social media management tools! Websites and apps like Buffer or Hootsuite offer free accounts with which you can manage a few social media profiles all at once and schedule posts. That makes things a lot easier and I can prepare stuff in advance to busy periods, which is great. Other than that, I try to keep the amount of platforms I use limited, otherwise it’s just too much to manage on my own.

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

Right now, my main weapon of choice is Blender. After getting in to it a few years ago, not only did I find a great application that really aligns with the way I create, but the whole open source and free software movement really resonates with what I believe in and adds to the experience of using it.

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

Once the right project comes in, I’d like to dive deep in to Houdini. That being said, parametric modeling is also something that’s coming up currently so even Freecad is on that list.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

The „culture“ series of sci-fi novels by Iain M. Banks.

What music do you listen to while working?

All kinds of stuff! I’m not particular to one genre or the other so it ranges for weird ambient electronic music and IDM to stoner rock and metal. I also tend to watch movies and shows while I’m working sometimes.

Any advice for new Artists?

Dare to fail. Really, it’s up to you personally what you post online and don’t. So try stuff and suck at it. I start a lot of projects that never really get finished and that’s OK. You might learn a new technique from it that you use in another project that brings it all together.

Oh, and relative comparison. What I mean by that is that we generally look at things like movies and tell ourselves „I’ll never be that good.“, while forgetting they’re made by a team of sometimes hundreds of talented and experienced artists. That’s crazy and doesn’t make any sense! Try to let that motivate you instead and maybe try to work with others on projects.