Interviews that focus on the CG creative in visual effects, architecture and beyond. Christopher Nichols of Chaos Group sits down with directors, artists, photographers and developers for candid discussions on technology and art, all with a focus on computer graphics. Visit chaosgroup.com/cg-garage for more information and an archive of past shows.

Andre Matos is something of a hero at Chaos Group. He’s a proponent of V-Ray GPU and VRscans, which are part of the toolset he uses to create enormous eye-catching renders for sports car company Porsche. As a special guest at the Total Chaos conference in Sofia, he delivered a keynote speech, a masterclass on motor vehicle renders, and recorded this podcast with Chris.

Andre and Chris share some subtle tricks of the trade which can make good car models look great; from the lighting to the positions of the wheels, the angle of the car, and the headlight set up. Andre also talks about his early life on the Azores islands, how he got started in CG, and the advantages of a GPU-based pipeline.

If you’ve ever struggled to make your car renders or photographs pop, this podcast is for you.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast178_AndreMatos_Porsche.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:24pm PDT

Under their Studio Niskota moniker, Dean Niskota and Hrvoje Čop have become renowned around the world for their remarkable arch viz images and videos. At Total Chaos - where this podcast was recorded - the pair announced Polymachine, a new venture in a new office, which will transform them from arch viz specialists into a fully fledged creative agency.

Dean and Hrvoje tell Chris about their journey so far, beginning with their childhood friendship in Zagreb, to surfing the wave of Croatian tourism and single-handedly creating the country’s arch viz scene, to the pros and cons of their in-house, post-production-free pipeline.

You’ll discover how Polymachine will expand on the immense amount of knowledge they’ve already built, as well as a brief history of fluid sims, and Chris’ unusual link with Croatia and Zagreb.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast177_Dean_Chop_Polymachine.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 5:13pm PDT

Our pals from Corona played a big part at Total Chaos, delivering a keynote speech and numerous presentations. Founding partner and main developer Ondřej Karlík, and research and development partner Jaroslav Křivánek, also sat down with Chris to talk about what’s changed in the nine months since the partnership was announced.

Corona and V-Ray developers working together as a happy family has brought benefits to both pieces of software, with the companies sharing knowledge to solve problems, and Vlado even diving into Corona’s code to implement features. Ondřej and Jaroslav go into detail on the new technology which makes Corona fast and efficient, via exotic terms such as machine learning with Bayesian inference, heterogeneous media, and GPU rendering.

You’ll find out about upcoming features in Corona 2, and more background on Jaroslav Křivánek, the mentor who’s been instrumental in the creation of renderer.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast176_Ondrej_Jaroslav_Corona.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:49am PDT

Dan Thron joins Chris for another epic discussion of a groundbreaking movie — with special guest star Erick Schiele.

Steven Spielberg’s Jaws marked a turning point when it was released in 1975, blending believable characters and a relatable setting with an unstoppable monster. It built on movies of the time, like Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Godfather and Bonnie and Clyde, and heralded a new era of profitable blockbusters such as Star Wars, E.T., and Jurassic Park.

Dan, Chris, and Erick discuss pre and post-Jaws movies, from T-Men and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul to Blue Velvet and L.A. Confidential. They talk about how the Marvel movies could learn from Spielberg’s well-crafted storytelling and ponder what the Millennial equivalent of Easy Rider will be.

Listen to find out how Erick accidentally injured a film star’s mother, how Chris helped change the movie Splinter and stay tuned to the end to hear Dan’s thoughts on Ready Player One.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast175_DanThron_ErickSchiele.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:54am PDT

Avengers: Infinity War is full of wonderful things, but a particular highlight is Thanos, the movie’s purple antagonist. In this week’s podcast, Digital Domain’s Darren Hendler and Ron Miller join Chris to explain how they turned actor Josh Brolin’s nuanced performance into one of the most impressive digital characters ever to hit the big screen.

Darren and Ron break down the steps of creating Thanos, from the accurate capture of Josh Brolin’s face, the on-set techniques to record his movements and expressions, and the extra work needed to translate everything into a photorealistic CG character. They talk about the numerous systems and human beings involved in this two-year process, as well as the ethics of digital performances and characters. You’ll even find out what color Thanos’ blood is.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast174_DarrenRon_DD.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 3:15pm PDT

Steve Blakey has been in visual effects since 1989, beginning with animated logos and commercials in New York, and then moving to Los Angeles to work on movies. He and Chris first met at Digital Domain, where they worked on disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow.

Recorded over a bottle of whisky, this podcast covers everything from the megabucks contracts digital artists could command in the early days of CG, to the beginning and end of Digital Domain’s infamous Martini Nights, to the rapid evolution of CG software features starting with grouped objects in Wavefront.

Chris and Steve offer some important words of wisdom to young people working in the field, and Steve sets up an intriguing story involving DD co-founder Scott Ross. Hopefully we’ll hear more on this in coming episodes...

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast173_SteveBlakey.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:57pm PDT

Jesse James Chisholm’s illustrious movie career has spanned work from The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons to upcoming Marvel blockbuster Ant-Man and the Wasp. Along the way, he’s done everything from sweeping set floors, to supervising effects shots alongside legendary directors David Fincher, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg.

In this candid podcast, Jesse reveals all about the pressures of working on set on projects that can cost $300,000 a day. He shares some incredible anecdotes about stars such as Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman and Brad Pitt. You’ll hear about some of the cool parts of his job, like hanging out of helicopters over a closed-down Chicago to get shots for Suicide Squad, and how major sequences in Black Panther and Ready Player One were achieved.

Despite his awesome job and daily brushes with fame, Jesse acknowledges how lucky he is to do what he does, and discusses how he juggles his globe-trotting role with his young family.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast172_JesseChisholm.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 10:23pm PDT

Colin Green took the computer graphics skills he learned from his architecture education to help start Pixel Liberation Front. While the company is no longer around, it was one of the first to focus on envisaging movies with an art form known as previsualization. Colin talks about how previs was pioneered in films such as Fight Club, Panic Room, and Minority Report, how it’s become an essential part of the filmmaking process today, and how it’s forming the backbone of what is becoming virtual production.

Chris and Colin talk about some of the challenges of previs, such as how it can influence choices without locking people into them, and its effects on post production. Colin also mentions the huge respect he has for directors like David Fincher, who use previs to better communicate their vision to those around him.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast171_ColinGreen.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 10:59am PDT

If you’ve played any AAA videogame in the last few years, chances are you’ve seen Allegorithmic’s tech in action. Headed up by Sebastien Deguy, the company’s Substance Painter and Substance Designer help artists create and fine-tune realistic textures which aren’t repetitive or obviously procedurally generated.

In this podcast, recorded at the Vertex conference in London, Sebastien tells Chris how a single mistake lead to the founding of this fast-growing and innovative company, which is branching out into visual effects and architecture. He also talks about the little tricks Allegorithmic uses behind the scenes, the future of the software, and even how we can understand the universe through mathematics.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast170_SebastienDeguy_Allegorithmic.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:56pm PDT

Rob Redman is a man of many skills: motion graphics and 3D art, guitar and amp building, “The Cinema 4D Guy” on social media. In his current role he edits 3D World magazine, and helped conceive and organize the Vertex CGI event in London — which is where Chris delivered a keynote speech and recorded this podcast.

In this chat, Rob talks about how he and his team have created a unique and all-inclusive gathering for London’s well-storied visual effects industry. He also discusses his role at 3D World magazine, the challenges of translating 3D workflows to a 2D page, and its relationship with social media, its online presence CreativeBloq, and its sister title 3D Artist.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast169_RobRedman_Vertex2018.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 6:57pm PDT