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Office tale of Aixsponza

Office tale of Aixsponza

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you, your current job, in which city are you located: 

Aixsponza is a CGI studio located in Munich, Germany which was founded in 2006. We do 3d and visual effects for television commercials, on air design and trade shows. The studio started out as a freelancer collective which quickly grew into a proper studio in an organic natural way. Over time the jobs we did grew bigger and bigger and Aixsponza grew along. So there was no forced establishment of a studio but rather an easing into the situation which might also be the reason for the relaxed, layered back and friendly working atmosphere were it’s more like friends sharing a space together to do what they love and not an actual workplace.

A word to define what kind of worker you are : 

As a mid sized studio we try to keep as much of the wild and unregulated work philosophy of our starting days as possible while still maintaining a professional workflow and pipeline. We’ve got very flat (close to none) hierarchies and are proud of our peer-to-peer based workflow where there’s no need for a big boss to step in and put his foot down to exercise his authority. We are a group of friends who happen to run a successfully studio

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..) 

At the core of our workflow sits Cinema4d and around that we built our pipeline over the years. We use Houdini for effects, WorldMachine for digital landscapes, ZBrush and 3dcoat for sculpting. As for render engines we do a mixture of vray, Octane and Arnold. In compositing it’s either AfterEffects or Nuke for us.

What does your office space look like? 

We’re working in a converted apartment in downtown Munich. This provides a nice and cozy environment to work in which also offers enough space after tearing down a few walls and joining various apartments and flats into one big office space. The location in the center of the city and a vibrant night life area makes sure that we’re still in tough with the “real” life that goes on on the streets even when working long hours.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ? 

That varies from artist to artist. In general we’ve got the rule that music is just to be listened to via headphones to not disturb anything. There’s artists not listening to any music at all because it distracts them during difficult tasks. Other listen to music non stop – genres are very video throughout our employees.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ? 

As a company we’ve got a few project management tools running. The two most important ones are Basecamp as an online management tool to organize more specific tasks of a project and Moco for working time and budget management of our projects.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ? 

Good planning is really the key. Try to make sure you’ve got enough people on a job so the need for excessive overtime does not arise. This keeps everyone happy and at the end of the day you’ll get a better product done in less time with the people working on it being more happy.

You’re better than your colleagues to : 

As a company we always try to deliver the best quality for the budget available. I think our down to earth working ethics help with that and in general we are very very passionate about what we’re doing.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ? 

It is cheesy – but if you try to make money with your hobby they’ll pay you to play and you’ll also be good at whatever you do as you love our job.

What is your best tip for saving time ? 

Switch off the internet

What is your routine start and end of the day ? 

Coffee for a start, filling in time registration for the end

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without? 

My camera cause no matter how good phone cameras will get, there’s nothing better than holding a real and heavy cameras body in your hand to consciously take good pictures and not just snap away cheap ones.