May. 2015

What is Important to a CG Designer What is Important to a CG Designer What is Important to a CG Designer

Saito Yuuki/CGI Designer Visual Creative Division

Perfecting a model through careful observation and repeated corrections

Saito Yuuki

CGI Designer Visual Creative Division

Born in Sapporo City, Hokkaido and graduated from the Faculty of Business Administration at Kanagawa University, he is now a CGI designer in the Image Production CG Group. After working at several graphics studios including Studio 109, he joined Nippon Design Center in 2006. He works primarily in producing product advertisements, and is active in a wide range of production including the motion graphics for NHK program titles, and videos for the earthquake-resistant SE construction method.

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Hello. I am Saito Yuuki. I have been working as a CG designer since 2006. My job is primarily product 3D CG, and I am particularly skilled at producing product advertisements. At Nippon Design Center, I have worked with clients in a wide variety of fields. One of the most memorable involved the construction of an entire house. In a video introducing the technologies of NCN, a company which provides wooden frame construction systems utilizing earthquake-resistant SE structures, I assembled all the pillars, beams, and fittings which connect the lumber for one house. I have made CG for many different objects, but this was my first experience working from the design drawings of a house. There were many parts that required specialized knowledge, and I had to look up and understand each one while modeling and positioning the lumber and fittings to match the construction drawings. In order to create the feeling of reality that one cannot get from the drawings, I borrowed and photographed the actual construction materials. I carefully observed the knots which were in different positions and shapes for each piece of lumber, the marks created by welding metal, and other details, and used this information to correct and perfect the models. The work took around two months, and during this time, I focused exclusively on just this job. Careful observation and painstaking construction are the most important elements in creating a CG with the goal of being as real as, or sometimes even more real than, the actual object.

Before I joined the company, I worked in the Animation Division of Kaikai Kiki, which is led by Murakami Takashi. Although I had previously worked with CM, printed ads, and other advertisement production, I found the work creating animation for art pieces at Kaikai Kiki very stimulating, with a style like an artist’s studio, or a kind of laboratory where people are searching every day for new kinds of expression. During that period, I found time to see around 100 new and old movies every year, including animation and special effects features, and tried to absorb everything I could about visual expression. And to think that I graduated from the Faculty of Business Administration! I first had the opportunity to use equipment for film production in a media-related class that I took. That experience is what opened the doors to this world to me. I have not had any special training, but the fascination I felt at each new opportunity and repeated studying have allowed me to naturally acquire the skills of a professional. Because this is a field that is evolving rapidly, study is still essential for purposes including checking and acquiring new technologies.

Although there are companies which specialize only in video production, Nippon Design Center is an all-around creative company that includes graphic designers and photographers. Because we all work at the same company, we gain the very large advantage of being able to share techniques and work together to produce something. Working with a graphic designer to construct an image is a process that requires considerable time. As we create several test productions, being able to sit down face to face whenever we want to discuss something is a tremendous boost to the final quality.

I live with my wife and elementary school-age son. Previously I was always a night-owl, but since my son was born my lifestyle has changed. I return home at night at a reasonable time whenever I can, and I value the time I spend with my child son in the mornings. I leave for work after having breakfast and sending my child son off to school, and this puts me at the office one hour before the start of work. I know that I have now become a morning person, and I am able to work in the mornings with a completely clear mind. The camera which I bought when my child son was born has become my devoted hobby, and of course I also retouch the photos that I take. Although my life is centered on my child son, I feel that as a result I have developed a new style of working and living.

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