User Preferences: Tech Q&A With 3D Animator Beeple

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Each week we chat about the tools of the trade with one outstanding creative to find out exactly how they do what they do. The questions are always the same, the answers, not so much. This week: Beeple. Click here for more User Preferences Tech Q&As.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Mike Winkelmann and I’m a graphic designer who makes short films and other sorts of pictures and whatnot for your face to be semi-dazzled by!! I have also released a series of Creative Commons live visuals that have been used by electronic acts such as deadmau5, Taio Cruz, Tiësto, Amon Tobin, Wolfgang Gartner, Flying Lotus and many others. You can actually download many of these clips for free at I also currently release work on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint.

What kind of hardware do you use?
Really the only hardware I use is a computer. I have a Canon 7D but it rarely makes it out of the case which is a fucking shame because it really is quite fun to play with… My computer is nothing special but a lot of people do ask me about it so you can actually see the full rig specs here.

instrumental video nine

What kind of software do you use?
Mostly just Cinema 4D and After Effects. I have also been using Illustrator a lot as that is what I’m currently doing for my everydays project.

What piece of equipment can you simply not live without?
My computer in general would be pretty hard to live without. Being on a computer for extended periods of time is such a huge part of my life, I couldn’t really imagine not having a job involving them.

Flying Lotus – “Kills Your Coworkers”

If money were no object, how would you change your current set up?
Well I’d buy a fucking huge ass render farm for sure. Maybe a really nice camera that can do very slow motion photography as well… I really love the things you can see with those.

Is there any piece of technology that inspired you to take the path you did?
I would say just the computer in general. To me I see it as just this crazy machine that has literally limitless possibilities. People have made insane fortunes with nothhing more than a computer. It’s sort of like the great equalizer.

Farked pattern

What is your favorite piece of technology from your childhood?
We got our first computer when I was in 4th grade… a 386 with a 40MB hard drive and 4MB of ram. I thought it was insanely sweet and have loved computers ever since.

What fantasy piece of technology would you like to see invented?
All technology is fantasy. If you told me that there was a magical gemstone you could hold up to your your ear and talk to a person thousand miles away I’d say you were an evil superwizard until I realized you were talking about a cell phone. If you think about any of the things we’re able to do now and 1000% take for granted it’s pretty mind-boggling.

That being said, I can’t wait to see where augmented reality takes us. Especially in terms of concert visuals and films I think there is gonna be some really insane shit going on. In the not overly distant future I can see us wearing “google goggles” type glasses and being able to see all kinds of crazy ass imaginary shit that isn’t there that will make daily life a crazy mix of virtual and real.

Read our in-depth interview with Winkelmann aka Beeple here.