Member Sign In

Love Your Job Guest Blog #4: Animation at Bigman CGI

I’ve been asking member employees how they got into & why they love their jobs, so they can share their wisdom & inspire you. This is the fourth in a series of guest blogs from members:

Tom Painter Director at Bigman CGI explains how he got into Animation and why he loves his job:

I got into computers during the 8bit golden age in the 80's. I had a ZX spectrum and I would make little games with my friends, in those days even the arty bits would need be programmed in (there was no Photoshop back then!). I loved the ability to control every aspect of the game and do the design, the music, the artwork etc.

There weren't many formal education options in those days, but I studied art at college and computer graphics at uni, and when I graduated I worked in a number of specialised 3D modelling jobs in the videogames and film industries as part of large teams working on blockbuster playstation games, and big budget films like Harry Potter. I had my 'dream job', but I was highly specialised and felt like a small cog in a large machine, the urge to direct my own productions was calling me.

In 2009 I quit my job in London and moved down to Brighton to setup Bigman, the aim was to supply high quality animation and CGI, meticulously crafted to present our clients in an authentic way that celebrates everything that makes them special.

Now its 2016 and I'm thrilled to be still doing this, I love the variety of my job role. I spend my time split between being a creative director, and a technical director and there are constantly new challenges to overcome.

We work on a vast array of different projects across every sector you could imagine, including work for medical companies, financial services, non-profits and start ups.

Kazz Thompson, Producer:

Growing up I always used to wonder how people knew so many things about certain subjects. My friends who like football or rugby knew every single player in every single league. My friends who liked music knew every new band and every new song. My friends who liked books were likewise on top of all the new releases. I had a phase of following and playing football and I like music obviously but it was an effort for me to follow these subjects closely.

It was only when I had to pick my subjects for A-Level and my form tutor was trying to raise the student count for Film Studies (the previous year had only one student) that I realised what my passion was. It had been all along. It wasn’t an effort anymore to gather information about films and in particular animation. Every chance I got I made sure I could watch and write about animation. My student film involved a rather naive attempt at animation and when I went on to study film at University I again chose every animation subject I could and wrote a short film that I fully imagined would be animated and hope to make one day.

I think I am the person in my friendship group who someone would go to to ask about films and animation, just like one is the rugby expert, one is the music expert etc. I remember once I got a phone called from my friend and without saying hello she asked “What was the panther in the Jungle Book called?” Bagheera I replied after a moments thought. “That’s it! Cheers!” and she hung up. I later found out she was playing a quiz game with her little brother.

I am now surrounded by animation at work and can’t really believe my luck. I draw storyboards, edit images and get to suggest improvements to projects which I enjoy greatly and although I understand the basics of animation, I hope to learn more and put that knowledge into practice in the coming years.

In February 2016 I ran a series of Love Your Job Guest Blogs by members. Take a peek:

I'll be publishing a couple of Love Your Job blogs a month from now on - so watch this space for more inspiration!

About the author