Sunday, 6 May 2007

Interview: YIBI(aka E.B.)

I recently stumbled upon Yibi's work at the CG Society forum where he posted a haunting short called Palingenesia about the cyclical relationship between humanity and technology. Looking into his background, he has an eclectic body of work both personal and professional ranging from the whimsical to the experimental.

Born and educated in Shanghai, Yibi worked for the large broadcasting station Motion Magic Digital Studios from 2000 to 2003. He later went on to gain a Masters degree in Screen Design from Kingston University in the UK creating short films during his study which have played at numerous festivals. Yibi is now working at Red Bee Media in London.

How did you get into graphic arts and what in particular drew you to this field?
I was once into 3D character animation very much but spent too much time on crafting. Motion graphics techniques however provided a reletively quicker way for me to speak in my own language. That is another reason that I started my career as a graphic designer.

What/who are your influences? And how did growing up in Shanghai shape your work(if at all)? Many people are my sources of inspiration… from Saul Bass to Kyle Cooper…But I would say any great work could influence me in one way or another.
Shanghai is a very delicate city. The local culture did help me growing up, giving me a pair of fine eyes.

"...I will do some detailed artwork first to see the potential in stills..."
From idea to finalisation of an animation, what kind of workflow do you employ now and how has your workflow changed/improved over the years?
From the moment I first started doing animation work, I have always been trying to improve my workflow, not only for my own projects but also commercial jobs. I can’t remember how many steps I took to shape my current flow, but it’s certainly been a long way.

Now, if I pick up on an idea, I will do some detailed artwork first to see the potential in stills, then sketch down some fairly complete storyboards. Normally I will start to create things based on all my artworks, or more directly take photos or find the right materials. Once I have most of my elements ready, I will begin to craft my piece.

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