Who am I?

Hi, I’m Peter. Great to meet you!

Peter Furstenberg

I am a South African freelance Multimedia Designer and Developer. My career span more than 20 years in multimedia and digital design.

As far back as I can remember I’ve been coding my whole life, starting around the age of 7. My interest turned to graphic design in my teens and I decided to study Graphic Design after high school. During my studies, I discovered animation and motion graphics – a relatively young art form at that stage in South Africa, and I was hooked. I loved creating motion on screen! In my 3rd year, around the late 90s, I got the opportunity to work with the IEC on the national elections. I got a break by designing art for the elections in 99 – some of these designs are still used today.

Early Career

In my early career, I worked at O’MAGE, one of the biggest events companies at that stage in SA, where I had the opportunity to work on a vast number of major brand launches, particularly in the motor vehicle industry. I’ve worked on most vehicle brands including, BMW, Mini, Daimler Chrysler, Toyota, Mazda and Audi, to name but a few. I also worked on other brands such as SAB (South African Breweries), Hewletts, Goldcrest and many more. During my time at O’MAGE, I had the opportunity to learn from the best – both from a graphic design point of view, as well as cinematography, being involved in many shoots. My main focus was on graphics for events, which included title sequences, transition effects, multi-screen presentations and visual effects.

I decided to leave O’MAGE in early 2003 to start my freelance career and have been freelancing ever since. I created a company called Shine Interactive, still operating as an interface between myself and clients. It was during my early days as a freelancer where I got thoroughly reacquainted with programming through web development, using PHP and MySQL – a skill I still use to this day to create backend servers.

I’ve worked on many animation and motion graphics projects over the years, becoming especially skilled in asset generation, modelling and texturing.

I got involved with the Million Dollar Pigeon Race around 2004, creating the first draft of what would become the major backbone operating the race today. Now more than 16 years later, and a few iterations later, the admin software still operates the race.

I’ve tried my hand at various projects, writing a web authoring tool called FlexiShell (well I realise now I bit off more than I can chew), not unlike what WordPress and Gutenberg are today. Obviously a much, much more primitive version, but it worked. The sheer scope of the project lead me to eventually abandon it, but the lessons I learnt through it still remains to this day.

The last few years

My adventure would lead me to meet one of my best friends, Brett Lindsay through working on one of the seasons of PopStars South Africa. I created some admin software for the production, hugely increasing the efficiency of dealing with thousands of contestants. It was networked, so if an interesting character appeared in the audition lines, the production crew could immediately be informed and by the time the individual ended up in front of the judges, they would already be briefed.

Another major opportunity came my way, where I co-created the system behind the South African Million Rand Money Drop (We did a Nigerian season at the same time) in conjunction with Julio Costa. This was one of the first game shows in South African television history where so many technologies came together to make it work. It was the first time more than 8 display screens where syncronised to create a spectacular studio set. It was the first time triggers straight from the software were used to trigger lighting effects as well as audio queues. Trap doors and scales integrated seamlessly into the system to complete the complex system.

After Money Drop and PopStars, together with Brett, my attention turned to game shows. I worked on games for Kishubile (Friends like these), Is that a FACT and later Die Kliek (Which has won the best game show in SA recently), furthermore I designed the software for Die Superskool and Blitsbrein – another hugely popular game show in SA. I also created the buzzer software for South Africa’s got Talent.

I got to work on many exhibition activations for a number of clients like Calpol, Huggies, Afrox, Toyota, Engen and many more over the years. With activation space games, clients started enquiring about mobile games, which lead to the creation of Fruit-full and Tru-sort for Tru-Cape. I also created some of my own games such as Blokaspaai, a very popular crossword game, in conjunction with my brother.

Working on all these productions taught me many valuable skills over the years, especially UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) design, sound design, advanced C# skills and OOP principals, asset generation and mobile game implementation, to name but a few. They pull together all my abilities as a designer and unite skills from code to animation and everything in between.

Other Passions

Initially, as a hobby, photography caught my eye. I started experimenting with portrait photography as well as male form photography. Another passion is studio photography, especially packshot and food photography. I shoot under the banner Blaze Photography. That expanded into videography to the point where I now film and produce a YouTube show, BlockBlaze, on a weekly basis, combining another passion for LEGO.

Speaking of LEGO – besides it being a massive passion and part of my life, I am also a LEGO Serious Play facilitator. But more about LEGO another day. Visit BlockBlaze to get the full picture of my addiction to the little bricks.

Well, in a nutshell, this is me!