Women’s Day Special VFX Interview – Magdalena Modzelewska, Character Artist, Platige Image
March 8, 2020 – March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD). This day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911. The day is not country, group or organization specific – and belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. It encourages everyone around the world to make International Women’s Day their day and do what they can to truly make a positive difference for women.
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. For more info visit at www.internationalwomensday.com
Today, Magdalena Modzelewska talks to VFX Online about her experience as a woman working in the VFX and Animation industry.
// From Magdalena Modzelewska, Character Artist, Platige Image
How do you describe yourself professionally?
I am currently a character artist. I graduated in interior design and architecture, and came to what I do now from interior design for Rovese, through prop modeling for Evermotion, to character modeling and cloth simulation in Platige Image.
What sparked your interest in visual effects?
I’ve always loved art. In college, I didn’t only absorb design but also learned all kinds of soft. I fell in love with animated movies, which I watched with passion and decided that I also want to create something similar. I can’t express the emotions that accompany me when I watch how the characters that previously were just figures start to move thanks to our talented animators.
How did you enter in this industry?
I have created several hundred models for Evermotion. I wanted something more, so that the models would not only stand in the interiors designed by the architects, but also that they would move and become part of the new beautiful world of 3D graphics. I’ve perfected my cloth modeling skills, so then I started creating a portfolio to make my dream come true and join Platige Image, the best studio in Poland. And here I am, a proof that dreams do come true!
What is it like to be a professional, working woman in your line of work?
Personally, I am surrounded by men who think more objectively than women. This makes them very easy to get along with at work. Also, it’s nice to be one of the few in this group.
Which is your favorite film in VFX and Animation and why?
Definitely Ratatouille! Why? Because for me, it all started with this movie. Everything is perfect, from concept and story to models and animations to lights and look dev. Absolutely perfect.
What was the Best VFX/Animation project you worked on?
I think I created the best characters for APEX LEGENDS: Stories from the Outlands. I learned a lot on this project, but I remember my first character the most. I was a junior then. A week after coming to Platige, the head of commercials tasked me with creating this character called Lens, for an advertisement promoting Multikino. They told me that a senior modeler would do it in the same time, and for me this would be an exercise. This gave me a sense of security, but of course no one else worked on this and my model was actually final. I was given advice, others believed in my abilities, and thanks to this I did as well. I am still proud and grateful for the trust of Cezary and Paweł.
How has your experience been working at Platige Image?
I was very stressed right before I started my first day, especially since I had never worked work in this position. Platige gave me a chance that I wanted to take advantage of and show that they were not mistaken in investing time and money in me. I came to the wonderful and brilliant team of PIpost (Platige Image postproduction). I am very happy that I started in this department. Now I’m in the modeling department, but I’m still doing conceptual work and some other things for commercials. These come with a lot of cool and creative challenges, and interesting fairy tale creatures. Platige gives people a chance and teaches many wonderful things. In fact, we all share knowledge. I learned the most by working with great people and having demanding supervisors.
Which direction would you like to take your career in the near future?
I would like to deal with characters comprehensively, not only in the area of modeling and shading, but by creating hair and fur, simulating cloths, rigging. Recently, I started making my own short animations, with cloth and hair simulation. I create a lot of cartoon characters as I would like to work for my biggest inspiration, the Pixar Animation Studio, in the future.
What is your International Women’s Day Greetings Message?
Don’t be afraid to try to make your dreams come true. Bet on what you love to do. Remember that work is 1/3 of your time, so make sure to use it for your passions.
We would like to thank Magdalena Modzelewska for the great interview, and if you like to know more about her, check out her LinkedIn.