Double Up Studio on the future of 3D design

Lina Reidarsdotter Källström and Louise Silfversparre run a 3D animation and digital art studio. Here's where they reckon the industry is heading.
Double Up Studio 16x9 hero
What are the origins of Double Up Studio?

A. ‘We met at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm in 2017. We both had an interest in 3D and tried to incorporate it as a tool in everything we did. When graduation came around, we didn't want to stop working together, so we shook hands and said: “Let's start Double Up Studio.” It's a space where we can do what we love, jump into the world of 3D and continue to develop our skills.’

What's happening in the 3D design industry at the moment?

A. ‘It's slowly but surely getting more diverse, which is about time. And the industry itself has also been on an upswing, probably because clients are realizing its benefits. The process behind an animated video can seem extensive but, when you compare it to the planning, time and cost of producing a video with a full production team behind it, it's nothing.’

Is that because of software and tech developments?

A. ‘Tech has made it possible for more people to get into the world of 3D, regardless of their background or experiences. A computer no longer has to cost a fortune to be able to run the programs needed, and open-source software, such as Blender, basically makes it free to start learning the tools. As long as you've got a computer, a creative mindset and an internet connection, you can watch tutorials, get help in forums, get inspiration from others, and you're ready to go.’

Double Up Studio has a distinct visual house style. Is that needed to attract clients?

A. ‘Our niche is creating crazy and unexpected worlds and characters – and not, for instance, hyper-realistic VFX [visual effects] or clean product shots. We've heard we have a distinctive style, which is a compliment, but it isn't something we planned. It probably stems from the two of us being inspired by similar things. Sometimes it feels like we share a visual brain – one of us can describe something and we both see the same image. That being said, we mostly work within advertisement and branding and, when clients come to us, it's usually to create a specific “feeling”, so it's handy if you can adapt your style to fit the different needs of clients.’

What are some of the biggest 3D opportunities right now?

A. ‘The gaming industry!’ (See below.) 

What are the biggest challenges of launching a 3D design studio?

A. ‘We've never seen ourselves as business people. We want to spend our time making plastic-looking dolls, not calculate our taxes. But you need to take care of the business part as well. We've had to learn along the way, which takes a lot of time. One luxury problem we've run into is the lack of time to develop specific skills or play around with different software. That's why we love taking on projects that force us to learn something new, as it gives us an opportunity to add some new tools to our toolbox. A year ago, we also started working with an agent, who deals with client contacts, fees and contracts. The time and expertise she puts into that is worth a great deal to us. Thanks to her, we can concentrate on what we do best.’ 

3D opportunities

1. Look to gaming. ‘The opportunities [in gaming] are endless. Just like in the real world, games need architects, fashion designers and photographers to make it all come together. If we were to point someone in a direction, we'd definitely point them that way.’

2. Do a lot with a little. ‘With fairly small means, you can do big things in 3D. It doesn't require a giant design or advertising agency. Think of product images, for instance. Instead of hiring a photographer and renting a photo studio, a 3D designer can create a bunch of images with fewer resources.’

3. New clients, new skills. ‘We get excited when a client comes with a request that we're not sure how to tackle. When Swedish singer-songwriter Sarah Klang asked if we wanted to make a music video with her, we jumped on the job instantly, even though we had no idea how to realize her idea. It came out great.’

This article was first published in Courier issue 48, August/September 2022. To purchase the issue or become a subscriber, head to our webshop.

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