Outlook 2015: Maxon's Paul Babb - Audience sophistication will push creativity
Paul Babb
Issue: December 1, 2014

Outlook 2015: Maxon's Paul Babb - Audience sophistication will push creativity

Paul Babb
Maxon US
Newbury Park, CA

Examining the trends in 2015 that will impact post professionals, I decided to start by taking a look back. When I was young, choosing a career in art was considered impractical, if not exceedingly irresponsible. History’s painters are infamous for leading poverty- and grief-stricken lives. 

Until the invention of mass production print, the majority of art produced had mainly one purpose — to be appreciated. In the 19th century, the explosion of visual communication led to the creation of art with an objective — to convey information, or sell goods and services. It opened new career paths for artists. 

When I introduced Cinema 4D into the US market in the 1990s, the majority of 3D was being done for VFX. The applications and hardware were out of reach for the average user. But there were new mediums developing and the tools to deliver content were becoming more affordable and easier to use.

The cutting edge elite did not easily accept these tools. Certainly these applications could not possibly be as powerful. But motion graphics was emerging as a new art form, and I recognized early on there was growing demand to incorporate 3D into the medium. Maxon focused on developing seamless integrations with the tools motion designers were using.

In the 1970s, there were three major TV channels. Station IDs were simple, consistent and rarely updated. MTV introduced a new style of on-air branding in the 1980s. Gradually, outside firms were hired to push the boundaries of creativity and network IDs were constantly refreshed. Hundreds of cable channels emerged. Soon, there will be millions, as the Internet becomes a viable broadcast medium.

In 2015, artists will continue to be challenged by tight deadlines and budgets, as well as global collaboration. The necessity to attract an increasingly-sophisticated and saturated audience will push the boundaries of creativity. The tools will have to be more efficient and flexible. New areas for creative expression will emerge and established mediums will continue to grow, especially in the areas of digital signage, virtual reality, interactive stage design, and others. Best of all, parents no longer need to despair when their child chooses a career in art.