An old and tired farmer who owned a lot of ducks is visited by a young customer who treks across fields to buy a duck from him, but he has none to give. He doesn’t know where they’ve gone. It turns out all the talented ducks have left to join Flying Duck Studio Lab.
Based in London, Ploy is an experienced Motion Graphic Designer and Animator with over 10 years of expertise in the field. She possesses excellent skills in 3D, which adds value to our efforts to promote diversity in traditionally male-dominated areas. Ploy particularly enjoys working on complex and innovative projects that require unconventional approaches. When she’s not working, Ploy loves to indulge in console gaming, read comic books and fantasy novels, and spend time with her furry feline friends.
Matthew Williams is a highly talented composer and sound designer, who has been nominated for a BAFTA award. His work spans across a wide range of mediums, including Film, Animation, TV, Interactive, Theatre, Radio, and Audiobook. We have had the pleasure of collaborating with Matthew on various projects and have always been impressed with his ability to deliver innovative and exceptional creative solutions.
Ploy was approached by Flying Duck Studio Lab to create an animation to promote our launch. We gave her the freedom to create anything she desired, as long as it had some loose connection to either our logo or ethos.
For this project, Ploy followed a similar process that she uses for her personal projects. She began by coming up with a basic idea and then fleshing out a story. Next, she headed to Pinterest and looked through all of her boards for inspiration to create a moodboard, organising inspirations into different categories like style, colour, shots, general inspiration, etc.
From there, Ploy made sketches that she transferred to her computer and made a boardomatic from. Here, she could start to see how the pacing of the piece and the musical style were working together.
The animatic was where Ploy really started to concentrate on the placement and composition of the shots. After she was happy with everything, she moved onto the animation before texturing and final colour correction.
3D & Cinema 4D
Using software such as cinema 4D, after effects and Procreate, Ploy built the world of her film in 3D animation starting with very simple hand drawings on paper.
Software: Cinema 4D, Arnold, After Effects, ProCreate
Having Ploy as a member of our collective, fills us with immense pride. Her work is simply brilliant and of the highest standards, especially when it comes to animation that is edgy and unique. Her latest piece is our very first Ident, and we are beyond thrilled with it. We are extremely excited about the film and absolutely love it.
Q: Why did we pick Ploy as part of the team?
FD: Ploy is a friend of Alixe’. Their friendship and collaboration date back to 2019 when they became each other’s accountability buddies in Motion Hatch’s Client Quest Course. They bonded over shared ideas and values. Ploy was a big supporter of the studio from the very beginning. She is a great animator with a large variety of skills. We love that she is also a great technical 3D animator. We’re always pushing to bring more underrepresented talent to the forefront, and Ploy is a great example of a strong female animator, breaking barriers and always challenging herself with new techniques, ideas, and projects.
Q: How did you start in the industry?
P: I started as a runner and worked my way up through the ranks in various companies. I’ve worked as a media encoder, machine room assistant, smoke assistant, web designer, presenter, edit assistant, junior motion designer, motion designer, and finally senior motion designer before going freelance. Every position I took was always with the goal of eventually becoming a motion designer. I’m very grateful for all the information and training I’ve picked up along the way from the people that were kind and generous enough to give me their time and share their knowledge.
Q: Tell us about your career
P: When I got my first job as a motion designer, I needed to ingest supplied motion projects and recreate graphics that were only supplied as movs. This was great training for anyone as a junior because I had to work out how things were made by a lot of experimenting. I then moved into a creative agency where I made motion graphics for film and TV trailers, cinemagraphs and moving posters for social campaigns, and graphics for sizzle reels, with the occasional title treatment animation that ended up being used in the actual film. It’s pretty awesome when you hear that.
I went freelance when a friend of mine said she needed someone to cover her position for a month while she went travelling. I jumped at the opportunity and have never looked back. I’ve been freelancing for five years and still love it.
Q: What would you say is your greatest strength?
P: My early career in motion design was mostly 2D work, but then I started to move into 3D work. I would say nowadays I do 50/50 2D and 3D work, and my skill set is relatively balanced between the two. My speciality, and the reason most of my clients come to me, is because I have skills and experience in many different areas, so I can tackle a variety of different briefs that require many different techniques.
Q: Whose work do you love?
P: State. Their work is so attention-grabbing and disruptive. I love how much energy they create in all of their work, and it always looks so simultaneously polished and grimey. They have an amazing look and style in all their projects, and they even handle comedy so well. They’re a brilliant studio.
Q: Do you have any hobbies/activities that you feel improve your creativity as a motion designer?
P: I’m a massive gamer, although I can’t game as much as I’d like to due to stupid grown-up responsibilities. I do think that gaming and reading fantasy and sci-fi books really help me build inspiration that I can draw on for any project. I’m also the biggest Pinterest fan. I would spend all day on Pinterest if I could. I have a million boards for different types of inspiration.
Q: Tell us why you accepted being part of the collective of Flying Duck.
P: I’ve known Alixe for almost as long as I’ve been a freelancer, and not only has she given me sage advice along the way, but she has always had a great work ethic when it comes to running her company. I felt very touched when she asked me to become part of the collective for Flying Duck.
Q: Talk about your ident, where did you get the inspiration?
P: Flying Duck Studio Lab wanted me to come up with an animation to promote their launch. They said I could make whatever I wanted as long as it was loosely connected to either the logo or their ethos. A common autocorrect for “f*ck” is “duck,” so I decided to play on that. There’s a funny image I have seen on the internet about a field of f*cks, and how this person has none to give. It always makes me chuckle, so I thought I would use this as my inspiration for this animation.
Q: Could you explain a little bit about the process and the technical challenges?
P: For my personal projects, I tend to follow a similar process each time. I come up with a basic idea, then flesh out a story. Next, I head to Pinterest and look through all of my boards for inspiration and ideas that could be useful. I tend to pin stuff that might be loosely related because you never know what could spark an idea or help with a problem later on down the line. Then I use PureRef to create a moodboard, organising inspirations into different categories like style, colour, shots, general inspiration, etc. From there, I tend to make extremely crappy sketches that I transfer to my computer and make a boardomatic from. Here I can start to see how the pacing of the piece and the musical style are working together. I’m awful at drawing, and I don’t want to limit myself to my terrible skills with pen and paper, so the boardomatic is usually a very rough guide. The animatic is where I really start to concentrate on the placement, and composition of the shots. After I’m happy with everything, I move on to the animation before texturing and final colour correction.
One of the biggest technical challenges for me, even though it’s a very small part, was the dynamic movement of the poncho that the girl is wearing. Halfway through making the animation, Maxon updated their cloth dynamics, so I had to go away and learn that before coming back to Field of Ducks and making the animation with the new system.
Q: And last but not least, what projects are you involved in now if you can talk about them?
P: I’ve got three personal projects that I’m more than halfway through and just need to find the time to finish! One is a looping scene of a witch’s bedroom; one is inspired by a photograph I took in Hoi An, Vietnam, and the other is a homage to one of my favourite games ever, Final Fantasy X.