Computer Generated growth for Lancashire business

RealtimeUK is a CGI studio that produces 3D animations for video games, advertising, television and more. The company has completed projects for a number of well-known brands, including Aston Martin, Disney and Microsoft.

The company has recently opened an additional Manchester studio but continues to develop projects at its Westby studio, where it has been based since 1996.

Managing Director Tony Prosser is the company’s founder. We asked him about the origins of the company, why Lancashire has been a good base for the company and what advice he has for others who want to set up a successful enterprise.

Lancashire was a great place to start the business. Myself and some of my colleagues attended Blackpool Art College, which at the time had an illustration course renowned as being one of the best in Europe. There was a great talent pool in the area we could use. The relatively low cost location also helped us set up, establish and grow the studio, bringing us to a point where we could compete with competitors in London, New York and Paris.

In the last two years of my illustration degree, I moved from static drawings to animation and 3D production. I fell in love with it, but there were not very many studios pursuing 3D animation at that point so my career options were very limited. RealtimeUK was formed from my desire to create a studio that did the type of work I wanted to do.

Find a business area you are passionately excited about that has an identified, niche market opportunity. I found that a successful enterprise can be formed through a combination of these two things. We were lucky in that the work that we wanted to do had a conveniently large and diverse market.

We’ve had several grants over the years to increase the business size. A lot of this has been invested in staff training and building the studio in Westby. We most recently received a grant from Regenerate Pennine Lancashire to purchase new hardware.

Our service is continuing to grow and diversify in the videogame sector, and we are involved in some exciting broadcast projects, including the creation of life-like 3D characters for television. This sector has been helped by the tax breaks that were announced in April for animation production for broadcast projects commissioned with a UK animation studio.

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