Clearhead | Creating experiences with Cinema 4D and more

Clearhead is a creative content agency in the UK focused on crafting quality work that empowers their clients to engage their audiences. The values that drive them – creativity, honesty, trust, hard work, and results - are pretty similar to ours at YellowDog. We caught up with Sam Debock, the studio’s Head of Post Production, to find out how what they mean by ‘their style’ and learn more about their production pipeline.

Mixed arts

I’m the Head of Post Production at Clearhead, with experience in motion graphics, design, and VFX. My role entails a lot: from film to print, from VFX to 2D illustrations – I definitely spin a few plates!

Clearhead love taking on new experiences and learning fresh approaches; the team prides itself on being multi-disciplined. That said, we all have our individual specialities – whether that’s in post-production, editing, motion design, or VFX – everyone has their favourite and that really helps us to win and produce exciting work.

The proof of results

I love working with such a broad range of clients on many different projects – it’s hard to pick a favourite! If I had to choose one that I think most fondly of, it would be the time that we were challenged to produce the world’s first high production value narrative, using 360 video content. It formed an integral part of the brand new game app, Zombie Gunship:

It was a hugely rewarding project to be involved with, for us and the client, and the social engagement results speak for themselves:

  • Over 1.5 million views within 3 months of launch
  • 20,000 social shares which hit engagement targets
  • 500 social comments which drove interaction and positive feedback on the promo

We’ve won the pitch, now for the pipeline. 

Once the client is happy with our plan of action we make their idea reality by turning to a range of familiar tools. For modelling, Maya is my go-to; my background is in architectural visualisation and I learnt Maya in University, so it is the tool I’m comfortable with and as people say: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

For most animation, we use Cinema 4D (C4D). C4D is easy to use but that’s not underselling it at all; a lot of people can vouch for how powerful it is. I used to use Maya and V-Ray for everything but because we are more film based, C4D sits more comfortably in our portfolio. C4D has a good crossover between motion graphics, 2D, flatter looking images, and even MoCap on a few projects. The Maxon modelling software just suits us and we can push it into different areas of our varied pipeline.

When it comes to render engines, the physical engine in C4D is a nice fit too: there are two reasons for this:

  • We don’t have to pay out for another software package when it comes to our render engine.
  • We can optimise it well enough to deliver on time without compromising quality.

Rendering delays? Enter, YellowDog.

When it comes to rendering C4D, I mention the process early on to prepare our clients; it could ruin a delivery schedule if they or we are underprepared and we ensure that never happens. Rendering is a “behind the scenes” process and it is too easy for its importance to be overlooked.

We don’t have infrastructure to render in house all of the time and we don’t want to buy lots of equipment that might not always be used, so using YellowDog has made sense for us to hit deadlines and control costs.

YellowDog was first mentioned to me by an academic – he was intrigued by their disruptive approach and how it could offer something different to a render farm.

The smoothness of the service YellowDog offered was seriously impressive which benefits both us and our clients. Planning is key in my role so rendering with YellowDog gives our clients a delivery guarantee with less pressure on us. The less time we spend worrying about long project rendering times, the more time we spend creating quality content.

Finding style

At Clearhead, we’re young (ish!) and always trying to make seriously cool stuff. We love working with clients intent on taking a creative risk. Content creation is changing and we believe that simple product visualisation can become stale; creating experiences is something that is fresh and challenging. This approach isn’t necessarily for everyone but we remain committed to rising to the challenge wherever possible.

We celebrated our 10th birthday this year, we’re recognised as a top employer, and we’re in the middle of building a new, fully customised studio – it’s very exciting! The planned move is April 2019 (fingers crossed) and I can’t wait to work in a space that is built around us and our creative goals.

I’m not exactly sure how, but we’ve struck the perfect balance between being fun and working our asses off! With our 10-year milestone under our belt, we’ve found our style and we’re sticking to it.

We are excited to see where Clearhead will go next, with a little help from YellowDog for their Cinema 4D rendering ofcourse.

Find out more about YellowDog rendering for Cinema 4D

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