We recently spotted a commercial on YouTube for ROC, an international producer of skin-care products. The commercial was created in Blender by Gecko Animation Limited and was aired on UK television. We contacted Jonathan Lax to learn about his studio and about how Blender fits into his workflow.
My name is Jonathan Lax, I'm 24, from England and I formed my company Gecko Animation Limited after recently graduating from Sheffield Hallam University. I was originally introduced to Blender at around the version 2.23 and enjoyed using it as a hobby while at school. During my time at Sheffield Hallam University I helped organise a Blender learning workshop to get 15-16 year olds interested in higher education and gave a talk about Blender at the Sheffield 'Lovebytes' Digital Arts Festival in 2005. That workshop has continued to run every year since, with Blender now permanently installed at Sheffield Hallam University.
Before forming Gecko Animation Limited, I worked freelance as a CGI Artist and worked on several productions using Blender in collaboration with Two Rivers Animation Partnership. This included a very successful production of a commercial for ROC that was done almost entirely in Blender. I modelled the product in Blender using the brilliant Subsurface tools and rendered it using Yafray. The cream, however, was not done in Blender along with the post-process effects. Since then at Gecko Animation Ltd I have worked on several other productions that can be seen at www.geckoanimation.com, all using Blender at some point during production. I will add further detailed descriptions on the site describing how Blender was used in each.
I use Blender mainly due to the fantastic community surrounding it that has often helped me, especially the BlenderArtists Forums, BlenderUser.co.uk, and BlenderNation. The constant development and advancement of Blender is exciting to see and one day I hope to contribute. At the moment, here at Gecko Animation Ltd, I'm working on an animation short, using Blender as a base for my entire production pipeline.
Have a look at Gecko Animation's portfolio which includes samples from work for other clients such as Wella and Philips.