Studio Interview with RealtimeUK

Studio Interview with RealtimeUK

We had a blast sharing news about RealtimeUK’s SMITE project, now we want our audience to experience first hand how amazing these guys really are and the mind blowing work they’re doing. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did! Scroll down to see their mention about recruiting new people, good luck!

RealtimeUK – Games Showreel 2016

Please tell us about RealtimeUK and what it is all about.

We’re a CGI Studio and ever since opening in 1996 we’ve had the desire to create some of the most exciting marketing films in the world! Nearly reaching or twentieth year, we are so proud to say we’ve done exactly that and are now known for our cinematic games trailers; the latest being SMITE ‘To Hell & Back.

Our passion for achieving the highest levels of image quality, characterisation and engagement on every project has become part of our DNA and is at the heart of each and every individual of our incredibly talented team who quite literally go above and beyond to make it happen. Everything we do is underpinned by our high quality production; marrying an extremely creative approach from some of the most gifted creatives to the most advanced tech savvy people in the industry.

Quite simply, we are passionate about creating inspiring commercials, marketing trailers, VFX & CG imagery.


What is the Team Environment like at your studio? Do you have any quirky office traditions?

We’ve got a pretty fun working environment so we’re always up for a lunchtime ping pong match. Every Thursday afternoon we all down tools for treats (thanks to Heather our Office Manager!), most recently it was pancakes of course. Every Friday we break away from the studio for a pub lunch. Tony (our managing Director) took us out last week to celebrate some very exciting new developments and finishing SMITE ‘To Hell & Back’



What are some of the key strengths of RealtimeUK that makes you stand out from the rest?

Firstly, our team! We have the most dedicated team of artists and directors who really are passionate about what they do. Every creative, every shot, every effect is pushed by each of our artists and sometimes even further than we could have imagined! That’s what takes us to the next level.

Secondly, we benefit from having some hugely talented generalist here in the UK – it feels like the UK tends to turn out a very rare breed of artists that can be at the top of their game in more than just one niche within the production industry. And on top of that, certainly the amazing Northern work ethic and level of commitment!


What is the scope of growth for an employee just starting out at RealtimeUK?

I think it’s fair to say that new employees get a crash course in what it’s like to work in a commercial studio. From the outside, animation and vfx can look like pretty slow processes.  But up close, people are generally amazed at just how much is achieved in a day.  When juniors start at RealtimeUK, the pace of work and the level of responsibility can feel overwhelming.  But we do everything we can to cushion them during this introduction to the commercial world and help them acclimatize. Within six months, artists will be assigned their own tasks. Whether these are assets to model, effects to develop or shots to finish.  While they’ll have plenty of support and guidance, they will need to deliver.  We need artists that thrive and prosper under pressure.  From there the sky’s the limit.  Senior Artist, Lead Artist, Head of Department, Director, it all comes down to the capability of the individual.



Please tell us about some of your greatest achievements to date that you feel made a difference in your journey as a successful studio?

Over these past 20 years we’ve been involved in a diverse range of areas from Automotive animation projects for international motorshows to TV commercials. But video games trailers have always been at the heart of production work! We started life creating more stylised animation for what were called FMV’s (Full Motion Video) sequences generally used as an intro to a game but quickly moved into more life-like work within a niche of driving games. Our marketing animations for the driving/racing niche allowed us to develop our strong cinematic skills as well as our VFX. Over more recent years we’ve focused on creating high-end stylised and life-like character trailers and telling stories through expression. Our latest cinematic trailer for SMITE ‘To Hell & Back’ launched ahead of the 2016 ‘SMITE World Championships’ e-sports event reached over 2 million views in just 2 weeks!


What inspires you every day to make the awesome visuals that you create?

We see every project is an opportunity to demonstrate what our team is capable of.  Fundamentally, that’s what drives us.  Every day we strive to be more creative, to develop new skills and refine our processes.  It’s not just about being artistic, it’s also about being commercial.

It’s an extremely fluid industry and no one can afford to sit still.  New technology emerges daily and we need to keep on top of it.  Every project brings new demands and new challenges.  Challenges require us to find new techniques, and those techniques develop into new skills.

So what inspires us?  Learning, developing, honing new skills and showing the world what we can achieve.


You are currently running a recruitment drive – please tell us about the roles available and where we can read more about the roles that need filling?

We’re always on the search for world class talent to join our team either full time or freelance, and since we’ve started working with some of the biggest car brands in the world (can’t name names) our Automotive department is expanding at a rapid rate! Always feel free to send us your showreel



What are some tips you can give the artists that will be applying to RealtimeUK?

Keep your demo reel short. Keep it concise and if you contributed to a larger piece of work, make sure you have a breakdown that details what you were responsible for. Demonstrate that you can take direction and that you can work from reference.

Content that is recognisable from tutorials doesn’t prove much other than that you can copy settings.  Test renders don’t carry much weight unless they’re within the context of a shot.  Everyone tells you to start with your best work and this is great advice.  But they should also tell you that that’s where you should stop.  So many demo reels start with a great shot but then show progressively poorer and poorer examples of work.  Keep it short and only show the very best.  Nobody in this industry is impressed by quantity.

Stay a Generalist for as long as you can. There is a move away from pigeon-holing artists into single roles.  Being amazing at one discipline isn’t enough anymore.  If you want to be a great animator, learn the roles on either side of animation.  Learn to rig, learn to light and render.  The more knowledge you have of the whole process the more useful you’ll be to a studio.  Everyone knows the saying “Jack of all trades and master of none” but few people know it continues “though oftentimes better than master of one”.


Do you have any other links we can include that our readers can follow RealtimeUK online and stay up to date with all your news and events?

We most certainly do! You can follow us on:

Twitter: @RealtimeUK

And you can keep up to date with our social goings on, on our blog:

Neal Strydom

Written by Neal Strydom

Co-Owner of Pixelsmithstudios. Specialising in creating content for digital platforms Working fulltime in marketing & Advertising Always meeting new talent

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Co-Owner of Pixelsmithstudios.
Specialising in creating content for digital platforms
Working fulltime in marketing & Advertising
Always meeting new talent