Tomasz Opasinski has become an exemplar for creative cinematic graphics and poster design. Over a 20+ year career he has contributed to over 560 entertainment brand campaigns for theatrical, streaming, and television, as well as campaigns for video game and interactive industries. Tomasz uses Cinema 4D in his toolset to create stunning graphics and posters
Here’s what he has to say about his work:
I adore entertainment and its intersection with technology: collaborate cross-functionally with product design innovation, creative production, marketing, analytics, content, and everyone in-between to rapidly prototype, design, launch, analyze and iterate.
In my four years at Netflix, I helped build the initial art direction and scaling systems for title promotion. I led creative excellence efforts across platforms for mobile, web, and TV. Collaborated and spearheaded cross-functionally on over 700 Netflix Originals, 100+ innovation projects and four Hack Day initiatives across various departments.
I also founded and led an award-winning entertainment advertising boutique, ImageMassive, specializing in graphics, creative assets and key art for theatrical, gaming and broadcast marketing.
As Innovator I see innovation two-fold; “blue sky” where I explore concepts, technologies, systems and tools not yet widely available and “applicable inventions” where I connect with partners and serve as a source of experience and expertise to ‘connect-the-dots’ for both foundational and future explorations, experiments, and A/B testing.
Personally, I practice traditional poster-making, large format digital graffiti, digital photography, ”organic” 3D modeling and hard surface modeling for conceptual compositing.
We are super grateful to Tomasz for taking the time to talk with us about his background, his working process and how he uses Maxon’s Cinema 4D in his toolset. We’d also like to thank Vicky Gray-Clark and Ambient PR for helping connect us with Tomasz for this profile.
Interview with Tomasz Opasinski
- Renderosity Magazine: How did you come to be an artist?
Tomasz: I always was. I just didn’t realize it, neither did my parents. My math teacher did… :) Since early childhood - drawing and painting were my escape, my safety zone, and my oasis. Growing up in a slightly “dysfunctional” family - art gave me an outlet to express myself or assist others with design needs. Since my first computer - Commodore C64 - every computer I had afterward was bought with money I made producing artwork on its predecessor.
Back in the days in Poland - this stuff was EXPENSIVE. I remember my grandma saying: “I got your this computer but I won’t be able to afford another one in the future - you have to earn it for yourself”. So I did. I was 9 at that time. I found my niche in designing “opening credits” for wedding videos. It was art and early tech mixing.
Life derailed me for a while into studying Navigation at the age of 15 but a few years later I came back to my groove and work in Advertising. Since then I divided my artistic life into commercial art and my personal art. These two overlap from time to time but have a specific set of rules and boundaries. I love what I do. I’m blessed for this to be my passion as well as a professional occupation. I imagine and I see what many do not, I experiment.
- Do you have any particular influences?
Tomasz: In my non-commercial work, I see the “Polish School of Posters” as an intelligent and clever approach to the form. No particular artists but as a movement and artform in general. I often compare this kind of art to Sudoku, a brain exercise.
- How do you get started on a piece?
Tomasz: Two ways: for non-commercial posters - I think of the main twist within the story and try to visualize it as a metaphor or… in reverse - where I get an idea and try to match it with the project. In any case of Experimental Art, photography, UX/UI, commercial work for brands I “see” the projects in my head and I follow with execution. It is a bit hard to explain but imagine the project that you’re working on as a blurry version of the final image… the more I focus on it - the more certain areas become clear. Almost like 40-50% of the initial blur becomes clear - then I follow with quick “comp” to have it for discussion with team members or clients. I rarely start with the sketch because rarely I can get access to desired assets.
- Tell me more about your “Blue Sky” and “Applicable Inventions” concepts.
Tomasz: Think of “Blue Sky” as a macro approach where “Applicable Inventions” would be a micro shot of the idea or process. “Blue Sky” ideas require a lot of convincing, negotiations, estimates - these are projects that are hard to imagine by many, requiring significant investments. “Applicable Inventions” could be compared to improvements to the system and iteration of the idea or solution. Example of “Blue Sky” may be: all walls in your home covered video-screen “wallpaper” and information or entertainment following you throughout. “Applicable invention” could be: hey, let’s replace plastic bags with paper ones. Does that make sense? :)
- How do you deal with mistakes or accidents in your work?
Tomasz: I do my best to learn from them and warn others of potential pitfalls.
- Why do you choose Cinema 4D as a tool in your creative work?
Tomasz: Ease of use, period. :) In advertising there is never enough time to finish or explore further - this is deadline-oriented environment and tools that are easy to operate and quick to generate desired product (render) are most welcome. It is not about rendering something once… it is about ease of revising many aspects of the project as well as rendering for large scale formats like “Out Of Home” applications: billboards, wall decals, etc. In my personal work - 3D is just the beginning of the journey, a base. I paint with it. Cinema seems natural to use.
- How do you see the role of the artist in these stressful times and how has this pandemic affected you and your work?
Tomasz: We have a very unique opportunity and responsibility - to visualize what is spoken or unspoken but known and pressing. This is how I “speak”, through art. My most recent Experimental piece is called “Upheaval” where is render streams within societies, their clash, and currents. At the moment most opportunities are on hold and this allows me to rethink my approach to who I am as a design leader and how to work with others keeping high standards in mind.
- Do you have any advice for a 3D artist or who is just starting out in the world of entertainment?
Tomasz: Hmmm… Modeling and rendering is one thing but COMPOSITING is what makes a difference. If I may: in parallel to 3D software exploration learn and explore applicable compositing tools like Photoshop or After Effects.
- And one “off the wall” question: if you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
Tomasz: Amelia Earhart …we both saw an opportunity starting with crossing the ocean.
-You can learn more about Tomasz at his amazing website opasinski.com. He also has a great Youtube station: Tomasz YouTube website.
-You can also find out about Cinema 4D, an amazing 3D application at the Maxon Cinema 4D website