Meet Ole Sturm, creator of Orbital 3 and Marble Earth

Q. When did you begin animating? (Or how long have you been animating stock footage?).

I started in computer graphics and animation back in 1990 when I completed a computer graphics course in Munich. Initially it was just desktop publishing but I soon got drawn into the animation side of things and in 1995 started animating for playback graphics on Mission: Impossible. More films soon followed and in 2000 I took part in a recce on the USS Stennis aircraft carrier in San Diego, where we were researching screen interfaces for Behind Enemy Lines. This research led to my first contact with Artbeats with the idea to produce the Control Panels 2 product, back in 2004.

 

Q. What is your favorite subject to animate?

I love the Orbital 2 and Starfields 2 series. I’ve always been a sci-fi fan so anything that gets me into space, even if it’s just on a screen, is sure to get my attention.

RBL212 - Space satellite above thick clouds of Earth's atmosphere

RBL212 (from Orbital 2)- Space satellite above thick clouds.

STA203

STA203 (from Starfields 2)- A red planet shadows three glowing hexagons.

 

Q. Which computer and software do you prefer for animating stock footage?

Currently I work on a late 2013 MacPro (the trashcan model) with the highest specs available, including 64GB of RAM. The software I primarily rely on consists of After Effects for the compositing and 2d animation side of things and Cinema 4D for the 3d side of things. On the periphery I use Photoshop and Illustrator and a host of plugins such as Trapcode’s Particular.

 

Q. What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

I think that would have to be RBL114 or STA216  I just love the serenity of those two shots. I listened to a lot of Vangelis (yes, including Blade Runner) whilst working on these two compilations.

RBL114 (from Orbital 1) - Sunrise over Earth's horizon as if viewed from space

RBL114 (from Orbital 1) – Sunrise over Earth’s horizon as if viewed from space

STA216 (from Starfields 2) - Drifting through a star field toward a glowing band of golden clouds

STA216 (from Starfields 2) – Drifting through a star field toward a glowing band of golden clouds

 

Q. What advice can you give to animators who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

Find a subject that inspires you and the rest is easy. Working on Orbital I found that 8 hours would pass and it felt like 2 or 3 hours. It was just Zen-like.

 

Q. What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to animate?

I wish I’d had my new computer when I was animating the Starfields product – playing around with that many particles was really tough on my old MacPro (late 2008 model) and there were times when I just wanted to give up – it… was… that… slow……. I’m thinking of getting Phil interested in a second batch of starfields and have got my eye on X Particles for Cinema 4D.

 

Bonus Questions:

1. What’s the last movie you saw in a theater?

I don’t make it to the cinema very often unless it’s with my 8 year-old son – I think the last one was Turbo. My wife and I are booked to go see Gone Girl though

2.  What’s your guilty pleasure TV?

The Walking Dead and documentaries – the other night it was Stonehenge Empire.

 3. What’s your favorite gadget/app?

Hmmm, after being a complete app addict when the first iPhone came out I’ve now settled down to mostly using my phone and iPad for reading news to which end I rely on Zite, Flipboard and Feedly. Oh, and Plex, I love watching movies on my iPad.

 

About Ole Sturm:

Ole and his son Per at the British Museum during their June/July holiday

Ole and his son Per at the British Museum during their June/July holiday

 

With a background in fine arts (majoring in sculpture) Ole has been working in film and various computer graphics related industries since 1987. His career path began in London working in visual effects and then moved to film production, props and set-dressing in South Africa. Moving to computer graphics and animation was a natural progression once the tools reached the mainstream.

In 1996 he co-founded Bionic Productions – based at Pinewood Studios, Bionic provided interfaces and playback graphics for feature films including Mission: Impossible, The Saint, Daylight, The Jackal, Lost in Space, M:i-2 and Behind Enemy Lines.

In 2001, he and his wife moved to Melbourne where he create video content for a large variety of clients and applications as well as working as a freelance designer, animator, editor and compositor.

 

Review Ole Sturm’s footage here

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