Justin Rotolo

Justin Rotolo

Lecturer and paper coordinator, Te Rewa o Puanga - The School of Music and Creative Media Production

Justin Rotolo has been working in the animation, visual effects, and post production industry since the late 1990’s. He started his career at Blue Sky Studios working as a junior animator for Ice Age and most recently worked as a character setup artist at Sony Pictures Imageworks before joining Massey University in Creative Media Production. Justin has worked a variety of roles in post-production, generally specializing in digital character and crowd production at the industry’s biggest and best VFX studios in the US, UK, and Canada. Justin continues to develop artworks using a range of mediums. His artworks have been exhibited at galleries in Oceania and North America.

  • Expertise

    3D computer graphics and animation; visual effects and compositing; post-production techniques; pre-production planning; fine art.

  • Research Highlights

    Rascal Art Event Group Show, 2014 (exhibiting artist)
    The pieces in this group show are expressions of cathartic art and they seek to explore working with one traditional medium and one new digital tool. First, ink and quill were used to create two unique pieces. Collectively, the pieces are dark and terrifying in their morbid presentation of then current affairs and the artist’s state of mind. Referencing the art of some some of the world’s most famous illustrators including Ralph Steadman, Gustave Dore, Al Hirschfeld, and Edward Gorey, the pieces find their visual influence. The third piece showcases the combining of advanced digital tools which were used to 3D scan the human figure and then manipulate the resulting mesh in a 3D software package. The geometries were then lit and rendered using advanced rendering software and then coloured with a digital paint programme. The digital element was printed and I used ink and quill to visually unify the piece with the other two, creating one cohesive set of works.

    Consternation and Applause, 2013
    In the early 2000s, I photographed night-time New York City streets using several rolls of 35mm slide film and a long exposure. Over a dozen years later, I scanned the photographs and the resulting images compelled me to work with them digitally. My approach to working with the slides was exactly how I would approach a painting. Preferring to work and visualise forms subconsciously, a narrative and theme began to take shape after a number of enhancement and refinement passes. Referencing the body of work produced by great surrealist artists and thinkers such as Salvador Dali and Max Ernst, to lesser known geniuses such as Pailthorpe and Mednikoff, the artworks were allowed to develop without being filtered through the sieve of conscious thought. After a number of iterations, the artwork finds structure and narrative through process rather than premeditated planning.

  • Qualifications

    BFA (The School of Visual Arts)

  • Professional Affiliations

    Visual Effects Society