ARTIST * DENNIS RICHTER * GERMANY
Dennis Richter is 1979 born german digital artist and musician currently living at johannes
gutenberg city mainz near frankfurt. He has a background in graphic design studies and after
graduating M.A. in timebased media he continues to explore the boundaries of audiovisual
Who are the artists who encouraged you to create and why?
Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Max Bill, Joseph Beuys, Franz West, Josef Albers, Damien
Hirst. You can find cross-references to those artists all over my creations. I also feel influenced
by Alejandro Jodorowsky (movies) and Steve Reich (music / sound). All those feel essential
and somehow timeless to me and I think the principles they made use of will work out no
matter what future media will be like.
How did you find your own style to create your animation work?
I don't focus on a specific visual style and will pick the one that supports the idea I want to
realize best. I am hoping for interesting reactions and discussions rather than establishing a
For instance my so called personal jesus animation: It went viral and was widely discussed on
social media. But it was never about 3D-effects or the medium that was used to create it. In
fact most people thought it was a real shot of a production line – or at least wanted to believe
that. The reality of this didn't even seem to be important anymore. Comments were about postmodernism,
ethics, religion, mass-production, modern life. I never thought a loop that consist
of only 60 single frames would be able to trigger that much interesting thoughts and
How do you come up with an idea to make a video or a Gif?
Sometimes I stare at traditional art pieces and try to imagine how a digital artist would possibly
re-create the underlying idea or create a new context to it. Many of them are static images or
sculptures, so I try to find potentials of movement and animation – analyzing structures, lines,
poses. Some of the original pieces you can find as an existing 3d-scans online, so that can be
a great base to do something unexpected with. Another time I might start with a music
composition or sound experiment of mine – imagining what a visualization of the sound could
look like. It can create a strong connection between what you hear and see.
How important is it for you to experiment with softwares?
Experiments will let you find out what is possible within the computer. It can also lead to
unexpected results that you couldn't have been planned by precise sketching and thinking.
Experimenting will always extend your skillset.
Remember there are still lots of limitiations, especially if you are working alone having only one
computer available. That applies to 3D-animation software especially. Many situations can
make the computer reach it's limits and crash. A nice idea you just had can turn out to be an
effort of weeks or months to produce. So you might skip some ideas or try to make it fit into
your own technical limitiations and time budget somehow. There are methods to trick the eye
and use limited computer memory more efficiently.
However – too many artworks and animations that I see online are the only result of playing
around with new effects. This can lead to self-purpose and interchangable creations. Art can
be play and experiment too. But there has to be something unique or controverse about the
work so it won't be forgotten very soon. It's always good if you can tell a short story about the
artwork so there is something left when you take away impressive effects. A rough planning
that leaves enough space for further improvisation might turn out just great. Turning off the
computer more often to just think or learn more about traditional arts helps me to improve my
What are your future projects in digital animation and how do you think they will evolve?
I am getting deeper into 3D photogrammetry right now. Somehow it's a game-changer,
because the creation and texturing of photorealistic 3D-Objects inside the computer is an
artform by itself. Now you can transfer almost many real objects into 3D-space by just filming it
from different angles. Chances are good the results will come out more realistic than any other
object that you have been modeling and texturing within the 3D-software for days. It also
opens another door for digital artists: To be able to input things like hand-sculpted clay objects
to be used as 3D-models or real world materials to be used as displacement textures inside
the computer. Soon you will just need a smartphone app for the whole process.
Game-Engines will soon enable artists to create artwork in a more realtime-way so you don't
have to care about endless hours of calculation time anymore. Improvements like those will
help artists to concentrate in their overall artistic vision instead of working around technical
barriers. Nevertheless creation of digital art will possibly never be half as easy as non-experts
might think. Artists will always take full responsibility to every detail of their artwork and
creations of interest will always be based on artist's great knowledge of multiple disciplines,
that have been learned over many years.
What do you consider to be critical aspects for the success of a video animation or gif?
That depends on how you define success. Some artworks might get more attention within art
scene because they fulfill criteria of the current art-era we are living in.
Following the latest trends in design and animation might also lead to success. Going that way
can hold a risk that you lose focus of your very own artistic visions over time. That's because
you can be constantly rushing from one trend to another without self-reflecting. Many trends
got a pure stylistic or technical nature, while conceptual work seems to be timeless in many
cases. I hope digital art will get more known for it's conceptual work too, so it will be able to
break it's own cliche. Digital art is not a genre but just the medium art is produced within.
I tend to feel successful as long as I am able to continue and surprise my audience and even
myself sometimes. For me art is the opposite of freelance work where I got much rules and
other peoples likings to fulfill already. So art can be a place of freedom for me. If some future
artists get inspired by some of my work and be reminded of some traditional artist I studied,
that would be a great success too.