THE MIGHTY TREEHOUSE NINJAS
Treehouse Ninjas brings to life finely crafted story-driven worlds. In other words, we create crazy good stuff for games, movies and hybrid visual entertainment productions. We are a team of CG generalists, focused on delivering top notch world-building services to the highest cinematic quality. Our ninja attitude allows us to perform in the hardest conditions while giving our clients maximum flexibility. We're expert shapeshifters, not tied to specific software or rendering standards. Our workflow and pipeline is crafted for seamless adaptation to any commercially-available or proprietary/custom technology and fulfill any technical spec or stylistic requirement, both offline-rendered and realtime.
We provide our performance principally as an independent team taking full ownership of a portion of the world being created. In most cases, what we start with is a backstory, an artistic style/direction, a story purpose, and whatever lore already exists for that world. Anything beyond that, like concept design, art explorations, but especially blockouts and greyboxing, is always very welcome but not indispensable for us to jump in. To put it down simply: it's never too early to have the Ninjas onboard, as we give our best when we can be part of the creative brainstorming and the design stage.
As fully fledged generalists, we work cross-department: we take our portion of the world from greyboxing to final completion, coordinating through all the overlapping disciplines and constraints that exist in any project, of any size. We also design ad-hoc reviewing procedures to ensure all checkups and syncs are performed with the many disciplines involved.
Depending on the case, we can work as a full-power extension of an already established bigger art team, syncing all communication channels and project tracking systems just like if we were one thing together, with the goal of supporting the project by shifting some of its weight on our shoulders. However, what we never do is to work crunch-style joining projects in "ambulance mode" during the late push stages. We invest first and foremost in long term partnerships that can also fuel the artistic and professional growth of our Ninja Team, making sure we always have fulfilling challenges and fulfilling ownership over them.
We proudly surf the wave of the smartest technology and tools our industry offers, making the most out of being a small and independent company (hence flexible). On top of this, our creed regularly worships the Holy Oracle of Impeccable Professionality and the Unholy God of Fun pretty much equally, but most importantly we believe in the magic of using visual stimuli to take an audience/player into worlds of wonder.
However, if this romantic stuff is not for you, and you'd rather have a bullet point list, click here for our list of services.
Before Treehouse Ninjas, we've been around a lot. First, we've learnt how the small studios optimize their resources to flexibly adapt to everchanging types of fast paced deliveries. Then, we've learnt how middle size studios cope with growth and set their tools and workflows up for scalability. Then, we've learnt how the huge studios deal with the big-budget projects, how they distribute the workload and ensure communication and consistency across many people and multiple departments. Finally, we learned that all of these experiences have common denominators that we can use as a foundation to be independent and face today's renaissance of computer graphics and immersive storytelling.
co-founder & creative director
co-founder & creative director
Mauro is a movie industry veteran who has given prominent contributions to many Hollywood blockbusters as a senior technical director, sequence lead and art director, working for the most prestigious vfx and animation studios across the planet, including The Walt Disney Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Sony Entertainment, Image Engine, Aardman, to name a few. His work appeared under world-class labels such as Warner Bros, Paramount, Blizzard, Disney, Universal, Sony Pictures, Lucasfilm.
He's the core of our quality-driven spirit, taking care of future proofing the company, while ensuring our visuals are always kept top notch.
With nearly 20 years of industry experience, Mauro's ninja skin boasts scars from many battlefields, bringing the best of several worlds, injecting energy into everything we tackle collaboratively.
co-founder & managing director
co-founder & managing director
Zoltan is a game industry veteran and award-winning producer (VES award for Outstanding Real Time Visuals in a Video Game).
Through the last two decades he has been in charge of art teams of different shapes and sizes, bridging communication across artists, managers, clients and outsourcing partners.
From lead artist to digital art manager and producer, Zoltan has been covering high profile roles on many acclaimed franchises, working for different leading studios, such as Crytek and Digic Pictures.
He controls the organizational and sustainability aspects of the company, his long time industry experience gives structural solidity to the planning and execution of all our deliveries, guaranteeing our growth plan and vision is fulfilled both as a company and as a team of people.
Treehouse Ninjas was created fundamentally as a response to the need for creating an independent working environment free from those bad practices that by now are quite calcified in our industry, especially in the huge corporations. More precisely, we thought it doesn't have to be impossible to enjoy the prestige of working on AAA videogames or hi-end movies while still having a balanced professional life that also leaves proper space for all the other things that a person might love in life.
This is realistically easier said than done, for many reasons. In fact, it's a concept that's heard literally everywhere everyday, but it's certainly not seen as often as it's heard. It can be a fun industry but it's also a tough and very competitive one, where standing out requires smart thinking and commitment.
So we knew that achieving our goal would have required extreme dedication and bold choices: taking risks had to be part of the recipe, since after decades of experience working in the industry we knew that the right answers were not behind doing things like everybody else did before us, but we had to do things our own way, sometimes very much swimming against the current.
When delivering a project, especially with top-quality expectations, there is a fine line between mechanically rushing after the deadlines or fulfilling them prioritizing people's growth and considering the deliveries as the natural consequence of nurturing the team happiness on the project.
You can have a happy client while your team is unhappy, but we believe that with a happy team you cannot have an unhappy client.
We decided to invest in procedures that would prioritize healthy and constructive communication, with a focus on personal growth and proactive collaboration in the team, considering the leaders not as the pillars to rely on forever, but as the makers of the future leaders. With the ultimate goal of having only collaborators and no hierarchy. This required fostering everybody's creative communication skills and team sensibility while keeping it strictly bullshit-free, as life is not always sunshine and rainbows: what we do requires discipline and organization, and we know that the winning teams really come to maturity through the rainy days.
With the years passing, we realize that our formulas did work: our team members encourage each other to explore out of their comfort zone and support each other on a daily basis. If you were to visit us, or join the team, it would take some serious effort before you could identify any 'boss' at all. And, as we carry on, we keep our eyes open to the future, to how people change, to how the industry evolves, and we keep on fine tuning the process as we grow this nice and resourceful collective of artists.