The search for the divine imprint — the origins of Greypixel II.

József, what were your first creative experiences, how did you get involved in this world?

I loved playing Lego all my life, but it got really serious when I realised as a teenager that I could have any building blocks I wanted in the virtual space. There are no limits, only my skill and perseverance can set the boundaries.

To this day, I can get lost in working on a single detail for days. If I see and notice something exciting, I sometimes spend too much time on it.

I'm fascinated by creation, I'm fascinated by the way worlds can be built from nothing, worlds that can be explored and experienced.

They say that the divine imprint in man is that we can change the world. We can create and destroy. We can destroy nothing permanently, and we can create nothing for eternity because we can't get there, but we still try. I believe that this creation process satisfies a deep desire within us, one that is fundamental to our humanity.

When I work, I'm kindling this spirit. I am fascinated by the ability to create something out of nothing. In virtual space, it's even more tangible. True, our creations are also more ephemeral, but they really do come from nothing. We arrange a cascade of information into systems, through billions and billions of mathematical operations, they eventually come together into shiny pixels that evoke emotions in people.

What is this if not magic?

I continue to gaze with wide and sparkling eyes at the creators who dazzle the world with their imagination and talent time and time again. All the while, I am proud that over the years, our team has dazzled and delighted others with many of our many.

How did your dreams become a way of life, a livelihood, a self-fulfilment?

I learned most of what I know without reliable internet access, primarily through experience, trial and error and reason, and then the era of online forums began.

Shading, the realistic rendering of the look of materials in virtual space, was an area in which I became very immersed, and at a very young age I became an expert, and I was happy to share my knowledge with others. One of the central platforms on the Hungarian web was ArtistPub, where I met a guy who became a good friend and later a founding partner.

Ákos was an amateur artist like me, creating sophisticated images and dabbling in technology demos. The conversation between the two of us was in the shape of open forum posts, where many people exchanged ideas at the time. This creative forum sometimes organised meetings in the capital. I think it was at one of these pubs that I met Ákos for the first time in my life. Not only with him but also with many others with whom I may have had long conversations for hours before.

I was always more interested in the technical challenge than in the implementation. I got bored of it after the first few steps. Once I saw that I could get it done, I went after the next challenge. Ákos, on the other hand, saw projects through. I always found out exactly why a solution worked or didn't work. I think Ákos was more instinctive than that, but what he created always worked, and that was the point. I always appreciated his work.

A few years later, he got an assignment that he couldn't have done on his own, and I was able to bring my skills on board to help him out. Just in time, because I was looking for a change in my life. And I got it.

Alapítói interjú

What kind of challenges have you faced as founding partners?

We have just paid the lawyer and we were hoping that we would quickly be able to generate revenue to pay for the rest of the financial requirements of incorporation in time. To this day, I am grateful to Neil Horner, an independent film producer in England, who trusted our enthusiasm and our personalities enough to entrust our newly formed team with a serious VFX job that pushed the limits of our knowledge and capabilities.

Our options were very limited. To be able to do the job, we borrowed money from our parents to buy our first pieces of hardware, tuned specifically for the job.

The computers were packed on top of a low cupboard, with no casing, one motherboard at a time, calculating for our first serious animations for days on end. When we had a scene ready for computation, I would run past the machines with a screwdriver in hand, touching the pinouts of the motherboards to the metal, switching on our makeshift render farm.

In retrospect, it was a miracle we finished on time, and the quality of the work delivered was nothing to complain about. We did it partly out of passion, partly for the joy of the challenge. I think that's why we did so well.

Apart from our hobbies, neither of us had any real experience of how to build a company. We were sure that we wanted to create a relaxed and informal environment in which we ourselves would enjoy working - and we created and have maintained that ever since.

We've been pondering the name for a few days and then went back to one of the first ideas. In our name, the word Workshop, which was later slowly dropped, was somehow an attempt to suggest that we were not trying to build a strict, classical company. This is a creative community, a collaborative platform where everyone would enjoy contributing their expertise and curiosity to create beautiful things together, and not least to make a living from it.

What do you think is the reason why you two can work together well, enabling the growth of the Greypixel?

Ákos and I see the world from a different perspective, we have different habits, which probably helps us a lot to work as an effective team. I often think about how we never really had a real fight over the years. I always felt that Ákos knew exactly what to do, where to do it and how to do it, and since he never really criticised me too harshly, I felt that I could find and carry out my own tasks in a similar way.

Even though we have very different personalities, we have an entertaining intersection of interests. These are all deeply layered topics, you can't easily talk about them with anyone.

Our goals and vision for the company are very similar, so I've never had to fight for my interests with him - luckily we're always pulling in the same direction.

We are both passionate about architecture, and Ákos has even gone as far as getting a degree in it. We are also both keen photographers.

What do you notice has changed since the start of your business journey?

The main outlines of our goals have remained unchanged since the founding, we have stuck to our values very well.

A passion for technology and architecture has always been important, as pursuing what's new.

We have never lost sight of and appreciate the fact that we make our living doing something that entertains and uplifts us.

We've built a team, and we've partly achieved our goals. We have optimised our technical solutions, we have increased our efficiency, and we have a stable background. We can now focus on areas that were not obvious in the past. This is reflected in the structure and organisation of the company, in the professionalism that is felt externally.

There is practically no project that we have failed, we have always made a dedicated effort to deliver work that we are proud to take on. If the bar was twitching as we made it through, it was mostly because of circumstances outside our control, and our clients were aware of this.

I would sum it up by saying that we have matured, while also managing to keep our values.


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