Interview - Nitroglicerina


Ariel Costa
Creative DIrector/ Partner Nitroglicerina

São Paulo – Brasil

Hello and thank you for taking the time to talk to us. 
Do you usually collaborate with advertising agencies or other production companies? Do you find it difficult to work on “somebody else’s vision”?
Yes, the majority of our work is based on collaborations with advertising agencies. We’ve already done a lot of projects with other production companies. I think that working on a project with somebody else’s vision is the biggest challenge for all designers and animators. But we get paid for that…. That’s our mission! Every day we try to find a way to make ourselves and the client proud. Sometimes we are, sometimes we're not…..but, in the end, the client always needs to be happy!
What programs/plugins/scripts do you use? 

we use the powerful after effects and Cinema 4d for some of our motion graphics projects. For projects with 3D characters and heavier stuff, we use 3d max or Maya. And for some scripts, it depends on the project….but we used to find some cool ones at AESCRIPTS (
How do you keep up with all the changes in technology? Do you think the game tools are catching up with the art tools?

I’m not a nostalgic guy…. I think that the technology is here to help us. About the game tools, I don’t think they are catching up with the art tools. The game tools are completing the art tools, they are becoming one… to help us out and to save a lot of our time, just like MOTION CONTROL does! This is a huge and good thing.
How involved is the interview process at Nitroglicerina? With the market becoming more and more competitive, what do you believe is a must that an artist has in his portfolio or skills?
Our interview is pretty simple. It takes long enough to see if the candidate is in love with this kind of work. Passion is a great quality. A good knowledge of design and art is more important than any software, because anyone can learn software, but a good vision….that is really hard to get. 
Zé Gotinha looks great. What were the challenges on this project? Can you give us an insight on the process, the goals of the project and the difficult parts?

Thanks….we’re glad you like it. Zé Gotinha (Joe Little Drop) was one of the big challenges that we had faced in the studio…The main reference was Toy Story, and we only got 20 days to make the 30 seconds piece and print for the campaign. It was insane! Thank God the client didn’t make several changes along the process. Of course we didn’t get to the Toy Story level, we know we could have made some improvements to the animation if we had more time…. But we’re glad with the end result. The client was happy!
What were some of the challenges on Alphabetic?

Alphabetic is a personal project…I got the initial idea when I was spending long periods of time working on “Someone else’s vision”, and I really wanted to work on something by myself, to put myself in front of problems I want to have. My goal was to create something new, explore more colors and have some fun with After Effects curves! I think artists should take a break to create something for themselves…. It’s good for your brain, and good for your soul. 
How about the challenges on the MTV promos?

Doing stuff for MTV is always fun! Because they hire you for your creativity, so they give you the key of freedom, which is good and bad at the same time…hahahaha. It's good because you’re able to try everything you want, and bad because you might never be satisfied with the final result… could turn up to be an endless project. You know that feeling: I should speed up the animation on that layer or  maybe I shouldn’t use so much yellow…. 
What is the typical starting point in a 3D/VFX project? How long does it usually take?

Every project should start with brainstorms, mood boards and stuff like that. This is one of the most important parts of any project. And time is kind of relative here…the next important step is  to make sure the client and the producers will follow the same idea. 
What other supporting departments do you typically involve on an average project? How large does this list grow when you’re working on a 3D car commercial like Audi Q7?

We are not a huge studio, we are a small one….and we prefer it this way. We believe that the bigger you are, the bigger the  problems you might face during the production process. Being a small studio allows you to have a better control of the whole situation. It’s easier to keep everyone thinking together and stay on the same page. We're small but that doesn't stop us to follow a "big guy's" production process. We have producers, designers, 2d animators, 3d animators and postproduction, basically the same structure for all projects.
How do you start working on a 3D project Telesena Restart? Do you use references or just imagination? 

Telesena is a lottery product…They wanted to approach teenagers in order to expand their target. So they called the Brazilian band Restart.
They have a great look with sparkling colors so we took our researches to Argentina's design. They are so colorful…and very talented …I love their art.
Do you use the same techniques from one project to another? What is your company’s strongest point (motion capture, storyboard, modeling, sketching, rendering, environment, maps, animating)?
It depends on the project. We always try to make the next project different than the previous. Sometimes we just end up using the same technique… I think it’s because we created a Studio Nitro” style, you know? But we’re constantly trying to explore different sides of design. I don’t think we have a strong point….Actually I don’t want to make any of my departments jealous  …hahahaaa…It would be a war here!
But I believe that we’re very comfortable doing motion graphics pieces! Not VFX, Not Live actions…..but motion graphics. 
Was there ever something you wanted to do in a project and couldn’t? (Technology wise) Which design do you believe was the most difficult to achieve?
I think that collaborative designs are really difficult, because they are really specific.

Which render engine would you recommend?
VRAY it is!
How important is it to have a proper education in this field?
If you have a proper education in this field….you won’t waste your time trying to figure out how the industry works.  But I believe that this field must be explored by steps. If you’re just starting, take you’re time, study hard and you’ll get there…for sure!

Do you still find time for projects outside the advertising industry? What do you have up your sleeve for future projects?
Yeah!!!!! Alphabetic was one of this projects. I’m about to start a cool project with Lloyd Alvarez from Aescripts. Really soon I hope to come back with more details.
If you had the opportunity to spend a day with anyone from this industry, who would it be?
Adam Gault ( or Carlo Vega (