Profile: Scotland's Axis Animation

Profile: Scotland's Axis Animation
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

August 26th 2009 at 8:30AM

An overview of the discipline-spanning studio

Year founded: 2000

Headcount: 35

Key staff:
Richard Scott (MD and executive producer)
Stuart Aitken (MD and CG supervisor)
Wiek Luijken (director)
Dana Dorian (director)
Debbie Ross (senior producer)

Previous projects:
Killzone 2, Motorstorm Pacific Rift, Fuel, Colin McRae DiRT, Racedriver: GRID, Rogue Warrior, Brink, Mass Effect 2, Crysis, Crysis 2, Thrillville Off The Rails, Heavenly Sword, F1 2009, Pure, Operation Flashpoint 2

While broadcast and commercial audiences may have come across much of Axis Animation’s handiwork, it is the game buying public that are perhaps most familiar with the Glaswegian studio.

Games remain the cornerstone of Axis’ business, and as a result the CGI specialist boasts an impressive CV, having worked on a number of titles renowned for their technological muscle. The likes of Killzone 2, Heavenly Sword, Crysis, Mass Effect 2 and Pure have all courted aesthete’s affections, and in each case Axis must share some of the credit for the games’ reputations.

Founded in the opening months of 2000 as a division of Scottish game developer Vis, Axis has expanded gradually, and now employs 35 staff.

“Creativity, craftsmanship and attention to detail are at the heart of the Axis,” says MD Richard Scott. “Delivering these visions are our talented teams of producers and artists who ensure quality and innovation and come from a diverse range of backgrounds.”

Axis became independent from Vis in 2005, and has now grown to the point where it has formed its own division, Flaunt, which now handles the studio’s creative services in the advertising sector.

With expansion comes an ever-increasing skill set, and now the studio’s offering includes hand-drawn animation, CGI, live action, stop motion, Flash animation, photography and illustration.

So diverse has the Scottish specialist become, that it is even developing its own children’s television series, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of time to devote to game developers.

“Our most recent projects were two trailers for new titles from Bethesda – Brink and Rogue Warrior,” reveals Scott.

Trailers aside, Axis has developed a deserved reputation for its efforts with pre-vis, but Scott is keen to point out that such projects are only one string to Axis’ bow.

“Pre-vis videos are only a small percentage of our work; most of what we get asked to create is for marketing and promotional purposes,” says the MD.

And as for the future of Axis? “Real-time is something we are looking at very closely for the future. We are already working on a number of real-time cutscene projects and we want to make sure we can take our vision for excellence into this area of our work as well,” concludes Scott.

CONTACT:
Axis Productions Limited
Suite 225 Pentagon Centre
Washington Street
Glasgow
G3 8AZ

W: www.axisanimation.com
E: enquiries@axisanimation.com
T: +44 (0)141 572 2802
F: +44 (0)141 572 2809