What software couldn’t you live without?

Just one? (That’s like asking a carpenter to choose one tool. Just using a hammer doesn’t build a house...)

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Whilst being an exchange student in Los Angeles, I was first exposed to motion graphics. After graduation, I returned to Sweden with the firm intention of heading my studies this way. After a move from hometown Visby (island of Gotland) to Stockholm the studies of commercial arts and typography prepared me to start my own business and to do freelance work for national television in ’94.

After that I teamed up with René Hedemyr to form SoftMotion, where I worked for 5 years. In 2000 the merging of SoftMotion and Trick formed Fido, where I am the Visual FX Director.

  What do you do for inspiration?

I get inspired by a lot of things, mainly by observing my immediate environment.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

www.vfxpro.com, www.praystation.com and www.ultrashock.com

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Managing a career and being a proud father of 2 boys. :)

  What software couldn’t you live without?

Just one? (That’s like asking a carpenter to choose one tool. Just using a hammer doesn’t build a house...) In that case I’d have to choose After Effects.

If I could add more: Photoshop, Illustrator, formZ, ElectricImage, Commotion.

I won’t even start to mention what kind of plug-ins that are indispensable, that list would just get too long.

Please note that these tools are *my* favourites. We are cross-platform here.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We do not speak about current projects until they are either aired or we have clearance to do so. We just finished a rather big project for Diesel where we made the costume for the Diesel character as well as all kind of props used in the campaign.

  Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

Motion Graphics: Imaginary forces, Physical characters: Stan Winston studios, Digital characters: Pixar Studios

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Way too much... :) We are in the progress of relocating the site.

  Who is your target audience?

Advertising agencies, production companies, post-prod companies and the Swedish film and TV industry. We also do a lot of event related productions, ranging from motion graphic design to making replicas of Space suits.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

*Being subjective as ever* -that would be the user interface part.

  What did your very first site look like?

Since we never could seem to find the time to design our first site, we just put up a bare-bones site that would be extremely efficient and quick to load. The main 0bjective of it was to give our clients an easy access to their ftp areas on our media servers for quick proofing of works in progress.

  Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

We are featured in "After Effects in Production" by Chris and Trish Meyers (ISBN 1-57820-077-6). We also manage some mail-lists, among them the After Effects list.

  What was the toughest thing you ever did with animation?

The toughest project by far would have to be a commercial we did in IMAX format. An earth to space zoom starting from ground level and ending up in space, framing the earth and the moon.

The sheer amount of data was almost overwhelming as it was rendered in full 4k rez, and had to be compensated for the spherical projection technique (round things could otherwise look elongated). The custom made texture maps where 1.5 gigabytes in different layers. Numerical precision was also tough...

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Flash really seems to be here to stay. I suspect that cross media integration will be tighter in forthcoming updates, making it easier to implement movies, 3D 0bjects and the like.

  How have you learned so many skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

If you start out by testing simple ideas and nail those techniques down, you will soon have a great "toolbox" of tricks to rely on when you are knee-deep in production and the deadline is close. Once you have the technical competence you can concentrate on the main 0bjective: to be original!

  What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man? :)

I’d go for the classic Trench coat, and add the special trick of having a pair of cut-off pant legs suspended by braces. :)

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Plan what you are about to do!

  It’s been a privilege, Mario, thanks very much.

My pleasure!

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