How the creative mind works. By makers of CreativeMindClass — #1 Platform for Creating and Selling Online Courses.
In this interview, animator Eva Munich shares her journey of turning around her creative path and finding her unique style as a 3D character designer. She describes her move to London, her experience at the Pictoplasma conference, and how she landed a representation as a director with Greenhouse Animation. She also delves into her X-Files project, which she created for Lemonade Insurance, and explains her animation workflow and how she collaborated with sound designer Phil Brookes.
Eva also shares tips for visual artists looking to change career directions, such as finding the technique that best suits their ideas, embracing their uniqueness, and taking their "weirdness" seriously.
About seeking challenges and changing creative career direction
Before I moved to London in 2017, I lived in a small town in Germany and freelanced as an After Effects animator. There weren't many creative challenges, my skills plateaued quickly, and I got very frustrated.
Moving to London and getting to know all the lovely animation people here gave me a huge push. I felt like: "Damn, I'm running with the cool kids now - better crank up my stuff."
After visiting the 2019 Pictoplasma conference, I decided to become part of that world of quirky character designers. It became clear very quickly that my characters work best in 3D - something that I’m learning from scratch, which is hard but also very rewarding!
My work caught the attention of Greenhouse Animation, and I’m now represented as a director by them.
About the X-Files project and the secret of disappearing socks
One of the first client projects I did in my newly found style is the Covered by Lemonade clip.
Lemonade Insurance approached me to make a piece for their ongoing Instagram artist collaboration. Since the company is a content insurer, the idea of cute household items in trouble immediately popped into my head. That's how the X-Files project came to life.
I spent the last winter lockdown rewatching all of the x-files, so involving a classic alien abduction seemed obvious. But all the characters had to be in the same spot, in the end, to close the animation loop so none of them could actually get abducted - this is when I had the idea to have the washing machine pop open and the single pink sock flying up to the UFO.
While modeling the UFO and giving it little legs, I realized how everything could fall into place. The UFO has lost its sock and is retrieving it!
For me developing a fun story works best by combining different things that seem unconnected at first. To make something unexpected happen and to give inanimate objects a personality by sticking silly faces on them is the most fun to me!
About the animation workflow
My workflow always starts with sketches of the characters and a storyboard. I made it into an animatic for Lemonade to communicate the idea and timing. From there, I go into Cinema 4D and model all my characters. This is also where I test out materials and make style frames.
Once the animation in Cinema 4D is done, I switch over to After effects for compositing and finishing touches. The pink light beam, for example, is done with After Effects.
About the sound effects and working with Phill Brookes
It was the first job I did with a sound designer, Phil Brookes, and he really rocked it! His work lifts the whole clip to the next level and ties everything together perfectly! It was an amazing project to work on, and I hope to make many more like it!
We've talked to Phil about the process of creating sounds for the X-Files project. Read the interview with Phil Brookes.
At the moment, I’m learning more techniques for character rigging and how to make beautiful textures with Cinema 4D and Redshift. I experiment with combining 2D and 3D animation, and I’m excited to see where my character design journey takes me next!
Tips for artists on how to change a career direction
Some tips I can give to anyone wanting to change directions:
- Find which technique suits your ideas best and invest in learning that! Working in motion design feels like you need to know everything in every program there is. But that’s simply not possible.
- Take your weirdness seriously and never downplay it. Your weirdness is unique. Your artistic voice is unique.
- Embrace your ideas. Whatever it is that’s going on in your head, embrace it and make it!
Eva Münnich is an animator and illustrator based in London. As a visual artist, she creates cute 2D/3D characters. She studied film in art school in Germany and worked on all kinds of animation projects. After experiencing the lack of a creative challenge, Eva actively sought new possibilities to spread out her wings. Three years ago, she came to London to discover its striving, vibrant art scene, and she decided to venture into illustration and character design.