Ben Pretorius: From Vision to VizForm
Chance favours the connected mind – and for the Vizform founder, Ben Pretorius, chance favoured his talented, dedicated passion for 3D architectural visualisation. Vizform has grown from strength to strength and has delivered on its promise to provide excellence to their clients. Vizform, with Ben at the helm, has grown to become a bespoke 3D architectural studio with no signs of slowing down.
Ben’s journey began long before he entered into the industry, with his first creative memory in his first year of school. While others focused on getting the perfect stick figure, Ben focused on his fascination with shadows and in-depth drawings of the anatomy. From the age of seven, his meticulous detail was present in every project – big or small – with his love for drawing growing with every new challenge he encountered.
After many years of continuous drawing, experimenting and refining his skills, Ben discovered a software called Blender in a gaming magazine. Although complicated and entirely new to him, he completed his tutorials and submitted an image to the magazine. The picture was widely praised, published and won him his first competition. The experience catapulted Ben into action, and shortly after he dedicated most of his time creating a wide range of images.
Although an evident genius in his field, Ben did not join the industry immediately. It was only in 2009 when he decided to take a year and compile a complete portfolio, which he later sent out to many companies. Although widely distributed, no company was able to justify the risk they would need to take if they hired an artist that they did not know, especially an artist not based in their area.
“Moving to Johannesburg was a risky decision, but it was the best decision I could make at the time. I loaded my old car with all my belongings and moved to Johannesburg. I had no job waiting for me, but I knew it was a risk I needed to take.”
Freelance work was easy enough to find, but to make it in the industry, Ben needed more. He needed to cultivate his talent by improving his skills and gain more experience, to distinguish himself in the industry. Ben was able to achieve this when he started at Burn. Burn was one of the largest studios in the country at the time and offered him the opportunity to prove himself.
“They took a chance on me as I had no software experience. I needed to work exceptionally hard to prove myself and prove that they had made the right choice by investing in me. Although I did not have the right software knowledge they required, they saw my meticulous attention to detail and my passion for working with 3D”
Within the first three months of employment, Ben was promoted with a substantial salary increase and within the first year, he was managing his own team. His success at Burn only multiplied, when, after only two years, Ben became the primary project manager of the studio. The experience only fuelled Ben’s desire to compete internationally and to expand the business to include a more extensive portfolio. With a growing vision, Ben resigned and joined the 3D department in AdMakers where he spent the following two years.
“I had to believe in myself – starting with only one client reawakens ones passion and resilience to work harder every day. I started this venture to not only deliver an excellent product to my clients but also to create an environment where employees were happy. 3D artists are completely undervalued in the industry, and I hope to give them an environment where they are valued so that we can continue producing exceptional products.”
Ben recently attended the d2 conference – find out more here