CG Pro podcast
Our Co-founder and CEO Colin Urquhart recently joined the CG Pro Podcast team for a chat about high-end 4D performance capture and entrepreneurialism.
Appearing on episode 48 of the popular podcast from the well-known online virtual production school, Colin talks about his engineering background and his journey as an entrepreneur. From his passion for video games as a teenager, to his time at the Turing Institute in Glasgow, then his PhD in stereo photogrammetry at the University of Glasgow, Colin developed a strong entrepreneurial streak, becoming CTO of a university spin-out company in 2000. Though the company didn’t ultimately succeed, it set Colin on the path to co-founding DI4D, where we recently celebrated 20 years in business.
“You learn a lot from things that don’t work out, I think you learn more from failure than you do from success,” says Colin on the podcast.
Colin discusses his subsequent return to the university where he worked on a project to create ‘virtual clones’ — an early version of the digital doubles that we help to build today. As well as talking about the formation of DI4D with Co-founder Douglas Green, he also outlines some of the lessons he’s learned from his entrepreneurial experiences.
“There’s an impression that entrepreneurism is all about risk-taking,” explains Colin. “But no one takes a risk for risk’s sake. It’s all about finding and seizing opportunities, and mitigating the risks”.
In the podcast, Colin also gives advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, and explains the importance of pitching and how it can help them to develop their professional networks. Developing a market for a new technology is another area covered in the episode, with Colin highlighting the importance of persistence and getting involved in industry events like SIGGRAPH.
Also discussed in the podcast is our pivot from software and systems seller to a service business model, which enables us to work more closely with our customers. Colin touches on how we first established our relationship with EA and how we’re continually ‘pushing the envelope’, illustrated by our move from 3D to 4D capture with the DI4D Pro system.
Colin also gives some fascinating insights into DI4D’s film projects, including our work on Blade Runner 2049, and capturing the facial performance of renowned French actor Vincent Cassell. Speaking on the potential of AI in this space, Colin says: “I think it’ll be a long time before you can replace the performance of a really good actor — there’s just something special about what they can bring to a project.”