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“We Are Safe Until Machines Can Create Feelings and Emotions”

CGI animation forecast

“We Are Safe Until Machines Can Create Feelings and Emotions”

Magdalena Zalewska & Nikita Shestakov


Founded in 2020 by artists Magdalena Zalewska and Nikita Shestakov – MNFST is a London-based creative studio, providing design and high-end 3D motion services. With unparalleled execution in CGI and animation, the duo has garnered recognition from high-profile clients, including esteemed brands such as Ray-Ban, Moncler, and Porsche.


Looking ahead, what major trends and movements do you think will define the digital art, CGI, and animation industry in 2024?

– Over the last few years, we’ve seen different trends and movements becoming more or less popular within our industry; hyper-realistic CGI mixed with live footage – FOOH (faux out-of-home – think the giant bags moving across the city streets), Metahumans as models, combining CG and AI, etc…

 – Quite like with fashion, they coexist, mix, and/or come and go away just to return ‘as the new cool thing’ (but as an improved version) a few seasons later. Obviously, with the technology getting better, hardware getting more powerful, and software abilities being improved with every release, 3D artists can push the boundaries of those trends and movements more and more every year. It is fascinating to watch as sometimes people push it in a direction you never thought of and that is also how many of us are inspired to keep going.

– We think the biggest trend, and one that is here to stay and evolve dramatically, is AI. It is something that scares and excites equally, something that I guess every studio will want to explore further as there is much more ‘magic’ to it than a few prompts on Midjourney… The question is, how can we improve our work, and our processes, by involving AI? How can we make it work for us rather than replace us?



With generative AI emerging, social media is filling up with visual content and competition over exposure is getting stiffer. How do you as an established studio strategize around all this content overflow?

–I think we are safe until machines can create feelings and emotions 🙂. Silly as it sounds but, as a studio, we are not big fans of the ‘competition over exposure’ concept as we believe that if you do what you love, you put emotions into your work and you evolve and get better over time, it comes through – people see it, your clients see it and maybe not with ‘one post and overnight’ but you will get what you aim for eventually.

Quality over quantity (and exposure). Always!


3d printed slipper zellerfeld MNFST studio


Beyond AI, are there technologies that you believe will play a role in reshaping digital art, CGI, and animation in 2024?

– Maybe not as much technologies as methodologies: we think that mixing live footage and CGI in new, creative ways will continue to evolve and grow as a trend. By this, we don’t mean a strict VFX approach to combining the two – it’s more ‘how can we make them work together in a quirky, creative way without trying to make the CGI look like real footage’.


We all loved the fantastic artwork you did for Zellerfeld. What was your favorite digital art project from last year?

– Thanks! Working for Zellerfeld was also one of our favorite projects of the year.

Other than that, we loved working on the Ray-Ban x Meta smart glasses, had a lot of fun simulating puffer jackets for Moncler earlier this year, and, most recently, snowy landscapes and controlled snow ‘avalanches’ for Guess. We also had a chance to work on some studio projects but this is something we’re keeping for the 2024 release (zip face emoji)



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Are there any upcoming or lesser-known studios that you think are worth bringing our attention to in 2024?

–We think that the people who really deserve a shout-out are freelance 2D/3D artists and sound designers. Here are some artists and musicians that we think are incredible at what they do and whom we enjoy working with or would love to work with in the near future – check them out and follow:

Leo Imbert (@stnleoo)

Ali Sahba (@alisahba_)

Nicolai Pulger (@nikolai.pulger)

Quim Amat (@quim.amat)

Chris Banks (@_c_b_n_k_s_)

Nick Chotkowski (@nickchotkowski)


AI forecast:

– Looking ahead to 2024, the digital art, CGI, and animation industry are poised for notable shifts. Firstly, immersive technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are anticipated to redefine the creative landscape, providing artists with new avenues for interactive storytelling. Secondly, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to play a pivotal role, enhancing creativity through generative algorithms and streamlining aspects of the animation production process. Finally, the rise of blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is likely to persist, influencing how digital art is monetized, authenticated, and traded in a decentralized manner. These trends collectively reflect a dynamic future where technology, creativity, and new business models converge to shape the digital art landscape.


Emi the Magic Fabric AI Oracle:
I’m predicting a major trend towards using AI to enhance the creative process. We’ll see more artists using machine learning algorithms to generate new and innovative ideas. And, of course, we can’t forget about the continued rise of virtual reality. I think we’ll see even more immersive experiences that blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds.


More reading:



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2024 Forecast for Materials

What’s Next in CGI and Animation

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