20 May 2024, 09:56
By Furniture News Dec 11, 2023

Orbital – aspiration, innovation, collaboration

Aspiration, innovation, collaboration – three words that summarise what CGI specialist Orbital Vision is all about, says MD Rob Walker… 

Based in Long Eaton, the UK Centre of Quality Upholstery Manufacturing, Orbital has been a constant presence in the furniture and interiors industry since the town earned that title. Being surrounded by over 60 furniture and interior businesses meant Orbital was first able to grow its client base locally, which over the years has led to multinational, and international, clients. 

Rob started his industry career as a photographer, and quickly learnt the limitations of the medium. Trying to showcase a product which consists of multiple shapes and sizes and comes in an endless array of fabric combinations is incredibly difficult – and perhaps, without a bottomless pot of money and time, impossible. 

A large job for Debenhams/Sleepeezee that consisted of photographing and Photoshopping together hundreds of SKUs was the nail in the coffin for photography for Orbital’s MD – and, after teaching himself the basics of 3D, and employing a CGI artist, designer and web developer, the Orbital team was born. 

Starting out as a team of four in a box room, Rob saw the likelihood of rapid expansion, and in 2018 moved the business into current studio opposite Harrington Mills on Leopold Street – and that team has only grown since, and now numbers over 20.

Rob Whotton, Orbital’s creative director, has been present from the start, working alongside Rob Walker to grow the team and business into what it is today. With a background in design, Rob has an eye for styling, which has proved invaluable in helping develop the quality of imagery the team creates, and assisting clients with web design. 

Sarah Pilkington, Orbital’s lead CGI artist and 3D manager, has also present since the company’s inception. Sarah entered the world of 3D in 2015 after specialising in the area in her final year at university. She developed her skills at Orbital, learning on the job (alongside a good deal of extra practice in her own time). Sarah, who is deaf, has not only grown her skillsets in CGI but has also overcome tough day-to-day challenges – from starting in somewhat of a junior position, she now manages 12 CGI specialists the largest team in the studio.

Alice Clarke, Orbital’s sales and marketing director, joined Orbital in 2020, after completing her degree in fine art, as a junior account manager, and has since climbed the ladder. With a diploma in digital marketing and a knack for organisation, Alice has helped develop the team, its processes, client base and sales.

“The Orbital team are recognised and respected within the industry for delivering exceptional photorealistic imagery and marketing services,” says Rob proudly. “From starting out in producing still imagery, we now offer our clients animations, 3D product configurators and endless imagery options. With the whole team being UK based, and a recognised BFM business, we love to capture the overall message of British furniture – we really are the best of British!”

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