Tetsuka Niiyama is a busy creative. He currently specializes in “LIVE-ACTION COMPOSITION” and “AESTHETIC DEPICTION” using computer graphics. Mostly, he stays engaged in various advertising businesses such as TV commercials and movies on Internet websites. In addition, he also works as a director of motion pictures. He was gracious enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions on his creative style and his favorite films. Read below for the full interview…
The majority of your projects involve an aesthetical approach. What advantages do you encounter by providing a clear-cut distinction between image-as-representation and other modes of existence of images?
Tetsuka: I work creating CG for mainly TV commercials in various genres like fashion, cosmetics and housewares. In many occasions, the client has a high demand for enhanced beauty work, and those experiences have really affected my artwork as an individual as well. Those discoveries that I found by creating artworks have in fact been reflected through work, and hoping that it will become an advantage of that synergistic relationship between “work” and “artwork.”
One piece that caught my eye, was HINODE. With this project you used rendering software that is used primarily for Architectural Visualization. Could you tell us a bit about your creative process with this video?
Tetsuka: The software I used were 3ds Max and V-Ray. I used these as my main software for my commercial work as well. To question myself on how and what I want to create, I have a habit of start creating what comes to mind. I just start working on it, although I still don’t have specific ideas. Then once I get to a point where I have enough pieces to shape that into a work piece, I will then re-evaluate it, and pick up the pieces for creating the final piece.
What is the learning curve for using such rendering programs?
Tetsuka: The rendering program will raise your empirical value technically and creatively by inputting the expression of the transparent texture and the complex color expression of rainbow colors that are created from the refraction of light into the work.
What is your own personal philosophy as an artist?
Tetsuka: It is to express my gratitude. I was born a human being, I can see, I can move my fingers, and create image in my head. There’s an environment for me to create work, to present it, and many chances lying ahead. I just want to accept these with great gratitude.
What do you like about working with big brands when creating commercials? Do you get much creative jurisdiction?
Tetsuka: When working on commercials for big brands, I always think how to send the brand message and at the same time catch the heart of viewers. Around that axis, and also with strategy, I have fun coming up with movie ideas aiming for the goal. Creative jurisdiction really depends on the client, but I don’t change my approach to achieve the goal.
Tell us a bit about the 3D Futura Show and why you chose ‘Exist’ to be specifically showcased. Do you experience any additional anxiety or pressure being included with other artists?
Tetsuka: One day, I got a notice that EXIST was selected. I was surprised, but was honored at the same time. There was no pressure of being compared with other great artists, since there was no other work that was similar to mine. However, if I was to feel the pressure by comparing the work, I will think that as another chance for me. I get excited when my work is shown on screen with other works.
I love the extra elements that you instill in your projects. After viewing your portfolio I really understood how much motion graphics and music are tied together. In your own words, how important is it for a motion graphic designer to have a sense of timing and rhythm?
Tetsuka: There are many discoveries when motion graphics and music are tied together. As for EXIST, CG and music were created simultaneously with the help of the sound designer. I first sent the rough cut to the sound designer, he then created a rough music, and then I was inspired by the rough music and came up with different images. I got some advice from him as to the movie as well, and we continued to expand our images together and as a result we were able to create what we wanted. The importance of timing and rhythm depends on the work, but for EXIST, it was necessary for the communication between the sound designer and myself.
What are some of your favorite Asian films?
Without evolving as an artist, we all can easily fall victim to failure by erosion. Are you at all concerned with developing projects that push boundaries, or do you just create what you feel is necessary?
Tetsuka: Rather than pushing boundaries, my desire for having fun precedes the idea of having fun with everybody by the use of CG. I want to challenge creating works or concepts that people will get inspired and feel the beauty of the work.
Do you have a busy 2013?
Tetsuka: You can count on it.
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