Music and graphics have been the passion of Cesare Perniola - a digital artist based in Tuscany who goes by the studio name of Studio XS - since he was a teenager. Cesare's career started in 2D, when he used Photoshop to create website interfaces. In 2011 he founded Studio XS, embraced 3D and Motion Design and never looked back. “Now, as then, my idea is to progress with the changing technologies over time. I always want to create something new.”

As a boy, Cesare was inspired by directors including Ridley Scott, John Carpenter, George Lucas, James Cameron, and Rober Zemeckis. Obsessing over music videos and films, particularly sci-fi, Cesare always dreamed of being able to recreate the futuristic settings he saw on screen. This early fascination is now what encourages him to keep up to date with new technologies in digital design, and continue pushing the boundaries of the form.

His current work is based on the creation of textures and maps for 3D software that reproduces reality or a surreal future, such as organic patterns and fractals. He tells Talenthouse, “One of my latest works is "Space Beams - Dome Pack" where I made use of mathematical formulas based on geometry and recursion to create a series of fractal images at very high resolution (16K) for the lighting of three-dimensional environments.” 

 
 
 
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Describing himself as more of a 3D generalist, Cesare’s work can vary from researching and developing workflows to rendering software. He also makes sure to leave time for personal projects and creating resources that he makes available to younger artists for free. “If you want to improve you have to work constantly without excuses,” he encourages budding artists. “Update yourself. Try, experiment, make mistakes and start the loop all over again with even more effort.” He quotes a memorable phrase from the great Mike Winkelmann (Beeple):"Sit the f*ck down and do your work." Advice that many of us need to hear from time to time... 

In other projects, such as “Manta” and “CoRoma Virus”, Cesare uses immersive technologies to play with the surreal. In these projects he inserts animations created with 3D software into videos shot in iconic locations, synchronizing them using a motion tracking technique. Ever wondered what manta rays fluttering above the Leaning Tower of Pisa would look like? Well, now you know.   

 
 
 
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His preferred software is Maxon’s Cinema 4D, used to make 3D workflows more accessible for design, motion graphics, VFX,and AR /VR, in combination with Octane Renders by Otoy. “It gives a great photorealism effect and cinematic look to my creations,” he notes. Finding the software that best suits what you want to do, then playing around and getting to understand the fundamentals, is Cesare’s advice to those starting out. He recommends Blender or Cinema 4D as good places to start for budding 3D artists. 

As someone further down the line in his career, Cesare is keen to embrace the limitless possibilities for immersive technologies. “Augmented reality, for instance, gives artists a new canvas of creativity and allows the public to feel a more direct connection with the artist himself, reaching even younger people born and raised using digital devices,” he tells Talenthouse. “Potential barriers can only be overcome by technological progress. This is only the beginning, the future will be much more exciting.”

 
 
 
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Only technologically advanced societies can take advantage of the potential of human creativity, Cesare believes. “Technology unveils the power and potential of human creativity and imagination, coexisting and supporting humanity whether it be through film, documentaries, works of art or scientific innovations.” He adds, “considering technological progress as an obstacle to human creativity means misunderstanding its fundamental quality, the expansion of innovation and free rein being given to imagination.”

His best advice? “Try, fail, and start over again. Compare yourself with the community, experiment a lot, open your mind and push your creativity.” From there, you can’t really go wrong. 

Ready to push your creativity? Try out our new Spark AR creative brief for a chance to take home a slice of the $170,000 prize pot.

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