At Altavia HRG we recognise that the collective contribution of the team is crucial to the business. But especially from those who make the extra effort to increase our level of service.
In recognition of the outstanding work, dedication, talent and innovative ideas he brings that empower Altavia HRG, Florin Iftimie is awarded as Stand Out Performer. We caught up with him to learn more.
What is your job title?
I’m a Senior 3D Designer at Altavia HRG.
How does it make you feel to be recognised in this way?
It’s a great feeling and gives you confidence in what you do. The fact that you’re appreciated makes you want to work even harder!
Tell us a bit more about your professional background?
Before I moved to the UK, I worked as a 3D interior designer. When I moved to the UK I started working within the retail industry and I’ve been doing 3D design for the last 18 years now.
How has your role evolved since joining the company?
It’s been a long journey and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I started as a midweight 3D designer and then moved to a senior 3D designer.
What does your typical day look like?
I work closely with our Creative Director to take an initial idea and interpret into a visual. I also consider the technical aspects such as how a particular fixture will be made. It’s my job to think about the materials, positioning and the overall function.
What skillset or qualifications do you need to be successful in your role?
Nowadays you can learn 3D design at university but when I started it wasn’t an option and much of it was self-taught. That was my experience into 3D and animation.
In terms of skills, you need creativity and passion for what you do. You also need to have the willingness to keep learning. Especially with technology and new software, there’s new features all the time so you have to be able to adapt to keep yourself on top of the game.
What do you wish more people in the business knew about your role?
Originally, I taught myself the foundations of 3D design, modelling and illustration using online tutorials and courses and then I learnt product visualisation and animation. As result now we have two new products we can offer to clients.
So you’re self taught?
Yes, the 3D skills I have, I’ve learned myself initially. But to be successful, its not just about product visualisation, rendering and animation. To begin with I had to learn more about photography and videography.
Everybody that works within this field will always say if you’re doing product rendering and 3D animation, go and learn a little bit of photography because it works in the same way. When I’m setting up a camera, I’m choosing a lens, although it’s a virtual lens, I’m choosing a lens in the same way a photographer would choose his own lens, lights, lighting colours and so on, so you need to you to have this knowledge. For instance, when doing product rendering, you’re basically recreating a photo studio in 3D; but with a real photo studio there’s limitations on how many lights you’ve got, how many soft boxes you’ve got to create various reflections, etc.
In terms of educating yourself, there’s loads of tutorials and online courses. With 3D there are no limitations.
That’s really impressive. Have these services been rolled out for many projects?
Yes, we’ve done product visualisation for Jack Daniels. We’ve also been developing more animations to create more dynamic presentations. More recently, I created the visualisation of the stands at TFWA Exhibition and Conference in Cannes for the Glenfiddich Perpetual Collection, which I animated. The 3D animated walkthrough was fantastic in terms of giving the client a real understanding of how the space would be utilized. We’re always trying to develop new ideas which just makes my role even more interesting.
Which project are you particularly proud of?
It would probably be the latest bottle I’ve rendered for the Jack Daniels Single Malt that was launched in Cannes.
This year, the projects at Cannes has been really big for us, collectively we’re all extremely proud of the work we’ve put and how well it has been received.
Away from work, how do you unwind. What are your interests or hobbies?
I spend a lot of time with my family. I usually go for a walk and take the dog out if I need to be on my own.
In my university days in Romania I used to do a lot of mountain hiking. In the UK, I’ve done Snowdonia and some in Scotland but in Romania, there are more options. I always enjoyed hiking up the Carpathian Mountains.
I also do a bit of cycling and swimming here and there. Ultimately, I think my favourite way to unwind is spending time, experimenting and building things in 3D. Some people like to watch movies or play video games, I enjoy creating 3D designs.
Do you have any mentors in your professional life?
From a design point of view yes, I’ve worked a lot with Paul Beynon, he’s a great Creative Director and I also work with Richard Allen daily who is a Creative Lead.
How would you describe your team?
It’s a great team! There’s a lot of talent in the studio and we’re very collaborative and supportive. We’re always learning from each other.
If you could have a career in anything else, what would it be?
To be honest, there’s nothing else I would do. You could say being a creative runs in my blood. I come from a long time of creatives. My great grandfather was a sculpture. My dad, his brothers and my mum were shop window designers. Back then they didn’t have the tools we have now, they would have to do it all by hand with brushes and oil paints. So I grew up in a very creative environment.
Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
Hopefully I’ll become a Creative Lead based solely on 3D design which is where my passion truly lies.