In a regular feature each fortnight, Caerphilly Observer is profiling a business based at the Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise. Welsh ICE is a hub for new businesses at Caerphilly Business Park and is currently home to around 60 start-ups. This week we look at Bomper Studio.
Seeing is believing and in the modern world, imagery and visuals are king.
In an era of high-definition and ultra-fast internet connections making things look good has never been more important.
Welcome to the world of Bomper Studio.
Started by 34-year-old 3D artist Emlyn Davies, the studio specialises in computer generated imagery – better known as CGI.
From the package designs on a tin of Cadbury’s Roses to the latest handheld vacuum cleaners, creating pin-sharp visuals is no longer the domain of photographers.
Emlyn, who originally hails from Penpedairheol, explained: “We are a computer generated imagery studio creating images for stills and animation. We also do branding and design work.”
A product design graduate of Glamorgan University, now the University of South Wales, Emlyn was thrust into the world of 3D after winning a student competition.
He said: “After winning I was offered a job with Cadbury’s design studio and I freelanced there for ten years.
“I worked on everything from Dairy Milk to Bertie Bassett with all things CGI creating packet shots for the product and also creating the illustrations.”
After Cadbury was bought by American conglomerate Kraft Foods in 2009, changes to the design team eventually led to Emlyn deciding to move back home to Wales from the chocolate company’s Birmingham headquarters and start his own business.
With a Caerphilly-born wife and a four-year-old daughter, who he wanted to grow up in Wales, the pull of Hiraeth was too much for Emlyn to remain in England.
Now living in Caerphilly, Welsh ICE proved the perfect place to start Bomper Studio.
Keeping with the homecoming theme, the studio’s name was inspired by school playground slang.
Emlyn said: “It just popped into my head one day and it was a word that we could ‘own’. So many companies have titles such as ‘Imagination’ and I wanted something unique.
“We started trading at the end of January and set up as a limited company last month.
“Being at ICE has been great. It’s quite relaxed and not corporate and it’s been great to share ideas and information with everybody.”
With clients including Cadbury and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline incoming work is not in short supply.
The next step for Emlyn is taking on a staff member to grow the studio – something he has already started work on.
Being a 3D artist though, there is a need for some serious computing power.
Rendering a virtual computer image can take a significant amount of time if there is a lack of computer processing power.
Being on the doorstep of Cardiff however means Bomper Studio has access to HPC Wales – a Welsh Government-backed organisation which offers high-end computing power to small and medium sized businesses.
Emlyn said: “A detailed image can take days to render, but on HPC’s machines they can render in a few hours. It’s a great resource to be able to tap into.”