This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Alexandre Grynagier, an animator whose love for toys led him to spring his animations to life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
Hi! I'm a designer specializing in 3D animation. I live in Paris, where most French animation studios are based. I have a degree in industrial design, but was more attracted by comic book and arts, so animation, art toys and anything related felt like an obvious evolution.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I always loved toys, as I grew up, I understood this was not not only about kids, but also about conceptualizing ideas and working with them as if they meant to become real. Video games were a great source of inspiration as the characters allow the player to project himself in another world, but also become alive through the actions of the players. I like thinking of the characters I create as a blank piece of paper that others can color in.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
Shapeways offered me a way to fill the gap between design and reality, and the educational part of the site was very valuable for me. 3D prints are close to perfection and make complexity way easier to deal with. Given the fact I wanted my characters to be able to move as much as possible, the 3D process was the simplest way to develop a viable product.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I learned 3D using Maya as it is widespread in 3D animation. I always felt comfortable with hand sculpting, and 3D offered the possibility to make more viable and functional parts.
How do you promote your work?
Well...I don't. I'm just trying my best, but I don't pay much attention to business strategy, as I want to focus on the core of my work which is to design. Those who appreciate my work promote it for me and I thank them for doing so. And thank you by the way to Corinne Hansen who recommended me for this interview!
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
I love the work of Theo Jansen, and his Strandbeest creations as they are clever and unique. Novels and the web are a huge source of inspiration for me as I don't have much time to travel.
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
Technology and it's limitations are for me a starting point. Time is the issue as one life is not enough to do all the things this technology allows!