A shift in focus with Sebastian Baptista

Anyone fondly reminiscing the early 2010’s will almost certainly remember Sebas and Clim. This dynamic duo came out of nowhere and was creating work that, at the time, could rival most big studios. While this was by no means the beginning of the 2D wave, this era very much represented the changing landscape of our industry at the time. 2D was steadily gaining momentum and the accessibility of the medium meant that “success” was that much closer and within grasp, for anyone. It was a fun time!

Then, as quickly as they came, Sebas and Clim went their separate ways.

In this Motionographer exclusive, we had the privilege of catching up with the one and only Sebastian Baptista to find out what he’s been up to as well as the new direction his work has been going.



First, how have you been?

Hi! I’ve been really good lately, lots of fun projects.

I feel like so much has happened since London and the Sebas and Clim days. Can you bring us all up to speed?

I lived in Barcelona for 3.5 years now. After we decided to end the studio I took some time doing not much and then I worked on some motion studies for the new Google logo. Lots of different animation test for the Google dots. After that I’ve been doing different projects, some small, others a bigger and others I’ll never show, hehe. I just wanted to chill and focus on my personal life. I spent more than 10 years enjoying life but almost always driven by my career. At that time I was 30 years old and lots of things happen in your head about your future and past. I was more excited to be at home early to cook and have dinner with my girlfriend than staying in the studio working on some keyframes. Luckily I managed to balance a bit better work and personal life now.

In your recent talk for Faux Images, you touch on the homogenous state the industry is currently in. To some degree, we’re all responsible for this but can you tell us how this has affected your outlook and work?

I love chocolate but I can’t eat a whole bar in one go. Same with references and what other people do, I think it’s too much now. I’m not condemning it, it’s great! More and more people are doing a great job, it’s just me (and many more) who feel overwhelmed. At the moment I’m returning to check more stuff but I remember in 2006/2007 when in motion graphics it was Motionographer and maaaaybe something else, it was easier. Now you have sooo many channels of information, it’s amazing but it’s also a lot to deal with.

Burnout is something we all experience at some point. Do you have any advice for those who may be experiencing it right now?

I believe my burnout finished just a few months ago. I feel motivated, with professional projects but also with some personal ones I have in mind as soon as I get some free time. That’s why I believe it’s over but I don’t want to take it by granted and say something wrong. In any case what I felt it was the most important thing was to inform myself about it, to admit it, to not feel guilty for such a weird (and bourgeois) issue and to talk about it. There’s a huge before and after Faux Images talk because I did exactly those things. That’s my biggest advice.


Full credits below

Without generalizing too much, SnC was very much known for great 2D animation. One thing I’ve loved about your recent personal work is that you seem to be exploring 3D more and more, can you tell us a bit about this?

Well… I made a few live action shootings (or mixed media, or real motion, don’t know how to name it) with Lobulo before submerging into 3D. I’m always trying to put myself to uncomfortable situations, I love to research and learn something new every time. I get bored easily if I have to do the one same thing over and over. The latest projects are 3D but the next ones can be something else, I like to think I’m a creative director focused on animation. I’m not an art director so… I try to bring the style that fits the best to the story (and budget, hehe).

Have these changes affected your workflow at all? 

Not much really, more render times, for sure, but I start every project as usually: analyzing the script, sketching something impossible to understand for others, then some mood boards and refs, storyboards, animatics are sacred and then into the heavy production. I work in 3D since ages, most of SnC projects had 3D involved but we wanted to make it feel 2D.


Full credits below.

Where do you see your work going from here? Anything on your wish list you’re dying to try out?

I’m dying to make a music video for my favorite artist. I can’t say the name cause I’m scared someone else will steal it, ha! As soon as I get some free time I’ll start doing some test so I can try sell it to him (“him” is the only clue I dare to give). It will be something completely different I did so… another opportunity to freak out one week before deadline :P Let’s hope it becomes real.

Any parting advice?

Do what you love…

… I’m joking, my best advice is to get an accountant to keep your numbers clean and enjoy life.

At first, I thought the question was “any partying advice?” and I already have the answer so… why waste it? There it goes: After 25 years old stop buying cheap alcohol. Hangovers are directly related with quality booze. You’re welcome.


Yellow – Colorscope

Created by Sebastián Baptista

Producer: Sarah-Grace Mankarious
Writer and Narrator: Dr. James Fox
Music: Giacomo Smith
Sound Design: Bryan Stone

Special thanks to: Andy, Pini & Javi

Janus from Kiasmos – My favorite music memory

Directed and created by Sebastián Baptista

Illustration & Design: Elda Broglio
Modeling & Rigging: Morphika
Texture Patterns: Caro Carballo
Render, shading and magic: Andy Reisinger

From “My favorite music memory” series
Creative Direction: Alex Julià
Original idea: Joan Pons

Thanks to: Andy “The guru”, Pol & Device, Eze Pini, Fabian, Aimarr and Paola.
Janus & Kiasmos, Erased Tapes Records, Kobalt Music Group

The Gift Hotel

Client: Massimo Dutti
Idea & Direction: Six N. Five
Agency: Six N. Five
Art direction: Six N. Five
Animation & Direction: Sebastian Baptista
3D design: Six N. Five + Diego Diapolo
Products photography: Dimitri Daniloff
Music & sound design: Aimar Molero
Production: The Mushroom Company

Special thanks to Pedro Veneziano in the 3D design process.

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About the author

Joe Donaldson

/ www.joedonaldson.tv
Joe Donaldson is a director, designer, and animator who worked on Motionograpgher from 2014-2020. Previously, he was an art director at Buck. Over the past decade, he's lived and worked in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles and has directed work for clients such as Apple, Google, Instagram, The New York Times, Unicef, Etsy, and The New Yorker. In addition to his creative work, in 2018 he started Holdframe. He's now working as a professor at Ringling College of Art and Design and when not teaching he can be found spending time with his family or out running.