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Brilliant Sci-Fi with Renato Marques
Renato Marques is a designer, motion graphics artist, 3D artist and director with some pretty deep roots in creative design and content creation. With over a decade of experience in his craft, Renato has tapped into his passion for visual arts to create visually stunning designs for brands, studios, artists and directors. He continues to explore the tension between design and art. And his work speaks for itself.
FxFactory spoke with Renato recently, exploring Renato’s experience, his workflow, the tools on which he relies. Renato was kind enough to share his thoughts on Yanobox Nodes and its use on his latest project, Brilliant, a visually stunning sci-fi short by renowned director, Keith Rivers.
Tell us a little bit about Brilliant and your role on the project:
My goal on this project was to ultimately create an aesthetic that matched Keith’s vision for the film. So I was responsible for creating style frames, R&D, animations and composites, while working together with the talented team from Workhouse Creative. The process was overall very organic, where I could spend time geeking out over technical issues as well visual dynamics and coherence.
How did you get this cool project and how much time did you have?
I was a partner at Workhouse Creative for a couple of years, but now I'm working at MILL+ LA. So while everyday collaboration is no longer possible, I still feel very in touch with what Workhouse is creating. They were my representatives in North America and after a couple of interesting projects we had created together, Keith asked me if I wanted to be a part of this proof of concept short film. Without hesitation, my answer was a resounding ‘yes!’ Mainly because the project is fantastic, and I’m always fascinated by Keith’s vision. He always works with incredible insight into the greater idea, and that is something I truly appreciate. I love all the creative insights and concepts of new and emerging technology, so I was very happy to contribute to the project.
How much time did you invest in this project?
Before I joined The Mill, I worked with Keith on Brilliant for about 3 months. I was helping design specific shots, working my sorcery in a number of different situations. Now that my work on Brilliant is complete, I’ve since moved to Los Angeles to work as a senior art director at The Mill+. Now I’m working alongside Paul Mitchell, Andrew Proctor, and many other talented artists. They’ve been keeping me busy on more amazing projects.
What tools did you use on Brilliant, what was your workflow like?
I like to explore new software and techniques, the process allows me to discover new, fresh aesthetics. I’m a sucker for exploring new technologies, it’s what probably contributes most to the work I create. I don’t like to repeat methods or to have a closed development process - that would limit my vision. What I really appreciate is to be able to surprise myself throughout the process and deliver the best, freshest result possible. It’s a very intense way of creation; you’re always investing all you can. And that is exactly what happened with Brilliant.
What shots did you use Nodes for in the project?
I used Nodes for almost every shot, especially in the creation of the UI designs. I would use it to add something extra to the shot and create extra details. Sometimes you don’t even notice I’ve used it, but I’m sure you feel the difference on the detail of the shot with and without Nodes.
How long have you been doing this? How did you start?
I’ve been on this fascinating journey for more than a decade. It has been an interesting one, but now I’m really starting to enjoy what I’ve achieved, and I’m looking forward to see what the future holds.
Since my early days, I’ve always had a passion with visual arts - even before college. I wanted to be a painter, from plastic arts to design. The more I learned about design, the more I realized that cinema and photography were closely connected with the design process. Once I started seeing motion graphics projects, I knew that I wanted to learn that trade. After that, I began to discover new ways to create visual concepts with a fresh aesthetic.
When I finished my degree in Communication Design, I started working at EURO RSCG, now known as HAVAS, at the web design department. I soon came to realize that web design was not broad enough for me to realize my passions.
After that, I started working as a motion designer at Dub Video Connection, at the time they were the Portuguese pioneers in motion design.
Soon after, I was featured in a tailor piece for the 100th issue of IDN, which was a huge milestone for me (I still take great pride in that short graphic film).
In the following years, I worked at the best and biggest post production facility in Portugal, Light Film. I was working as a freelancer for studios like Good Evening, Rapt Studio, SMI Entertainment, Stardust and Raid Films. I was also fortunate to collaborate with musicians like Histibe & Balkansky, where I directed and created the videoclip that was featured at Vimeo Staff Picks.
I then started my collaboration with Workhouse Creative, which was an excellent experience. I created some fantastic stuff with them, like the Human Rights project, which at the time, marked the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was featured in Stash, among several other publications.
At some point I decided to create my own studio, where I could finally dedicate all my time to my passions; directing, creating and exploring new territories. I was able to work with some fantastic brands like Microsoft, Mercedes, Audemars Piguet, Nike, and I still have time to dedicate myself to projects like the Pause Festival and of course, Brilliant.
It was a fantastic experience, not only because I believe in Brilliant as a possible feature film, but also for the challenge.
With all of this going on in my career, I was invited to come work in Los Angeles at The Mill + as a senior art director, and – needless to say – it’s been an amazing experience.