Mon, 23 April 2018
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.
Sun, 15 April 2018
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
Sun, 8 April 2018
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.
Sun, 1 April 2018
This week’s podcast is another THU two-parter, recorded with Unity’s Josh Naylor and Angus Mackay, and Oculus Medium’s Brian Sharp.
As an evangelist for Unity, Josh has one of the best jobs in the world. He travels to global conferences and high-tech organizations — including NASA — to discuss the benefits of the Unity engine. In his three years at the company, he’s seen Unity evolve from a game development platform to a tool for research, entertainment and training, and he talks about how its ease of use, versatility and low cost have helped it build a passionate community of users.
One of the fruits of Unity’s success is VR modeling tool Oculus Medium. As its engineer and director Brian Sharp explains in part two, Medium was prototyped on Unity’s VR platform. Brian and Unity product marketing manager Angus Mackay discuss how they’re building a platform which feels familiar to artists, as well as the Inception-like conundrum of creating engines within engines, and the future of rasterization and ray tracing.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast168_JoshNaylor_BrianSharp_AgnusMckay_THU2017.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:02pm PDT
Sun, 25 March 2018
Six years ago, Chaos Group developer Boris Simandoff had a dream: that cloud rendering could be as simple as clicking a button. Today, that dream is becoming a reality, with fast and easy cloud rendering seamlessly integrated into V-Ray for Rhino, Revit and SketchUp — and more products coming soon.
In this podcast, Boris tells Chris how he and his team at Chaos Group overcame some of the headaches of cloud computing, such as security concerns and clunky interfaces. You’ll find out how CPU vulnerabilities were discovered as a direct result of cloud computing, and how preemptible machines cut the costs of rendering on the cloud. Boris also talks about his vision for the future, including potentially accessing thousands of cores from a simple machine.
Mon, 19 March 2018
A bottle of Trader Joe’s Blended Scotch Whisky fuels Chris and Dan Thron for this in-depth discussion of Blade Runner 2049. Like its 1982 predecessor, 2049 is an eye-catching and thought-provoking movie which tackles themes of identity, emotion and mortality in a dystopic, dysfunctional metropolis. And, like its forebear, it’s underperformed at the box office — although it’s clearly destined for cult status.
In typical Dan and Chris fashion, Blade Runner 2049 is thoroughly dissected, leaving no stone unturned and no replicant unretired. They talk about how the iconography, ideology and characters of Blade Runner are updated to reflect contemporary concerns. Dan discusses his work on the movie, its success in the visual effects category at the Oscars, and how it compares to competing sci-fi films Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The War for the Planet of the Apes.
There are inevitably a few spoilers, but Dan and Chris have some interesting theories about the film’s more ambiguous moments. By the end, you’ll want to step into 2049’s world again.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast166_DanielThron_BladeRunner2049.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 10:15am PDT
Sun, 11 March 2018
Chris and Lon jetted off to San Francisco to record this podcast with Adobe product manager Zoana Gee, and engineering director Ross McKegney. They reveal how they’ve created Adobe Dimension, formerly known as Project Felix, a clever box of tricks which marries photorealistic 3D imagery with Adobe’s trademark ease of use
Of course, 3D is notoriously complicated, and Zorana and Ross discuss the machine learning Dimension uses to build and configure 3D scenes from 2D images, and the role of V-Ray’s AppSDK behind the scenes. There are knock-on effects from this democratization of 3D: it cuts out human-shaped bottlenecks in workflows, and changes the way artists and designers interact with clients.
Listen to find out how Dimension fits into the bigger picture of Adobe products, and how AI and the cloud figure in its future.
Mon, 5 March 2018
Recorded at THU last year, this podcast features another awesome foursome of guests: Ludger Pfanz, from Karlsruhe University of Art and Design, Kelli Townley from Oculus Medium, and Ciaran Wills and Mach Kobayashi from Google Tilt Brush.
Ludger spent 25 years making documentary films about indigenous people around the world, before becoming a film lecturer. This knowledgeable and philosophical explorer is taking his passion for anthropology into new mediums, explaining how psychedelic drugs, cave paintings, and John Malkovich can help us understand the phantasmagoric worlds of VR.
Creating these worlds, and using VR as an artistic medium, requires a whole new set of tools — which is where Oculus’ Medium and Google’s Tilt Brush come in. In the second part of the podcast, Chris is joined by developers Kelli, Ciaran and Mach. They talk about the challenges they face in helping artists work in an infinite and scaleless space, and VR’s applications in filmmaking, game design, and architecture.
It’s essential listening if you want to know more about the fascinating possibilities of VR, and how it can help artists think outside the box.
Sun, 25 February 2018
Since Chris and Lon were in Sofia for a week to hang out at our headquarters in snowy Sofia we decided to sit down with the man behind the V in V-Ray. Vlado, no stranger to the CG Garage, spends some time with Chris to give our listeners a better idea about all the work going into the next version of V-Ray, and beyond. Many people already know a bit about these features, but there are also many other things you may not know about.
We discuss why the next version of V-Ray is actually called Next, how the actual core of V-Ray is being completely revamped, as well as some of the many exciting new features. We also tease some new features that are not still coming up such as a complete redesign of the frame buffer, and our very own cloud service, called V-Ray Cloud.
V-Ray Next beta is available today to registered V-Ray users of V-Ray for 3dsmax. check out all the following links for more information and more in depth looks at some of those upcoming features.
Sun, 18 February 2018
This week’s CG Garage is a special episode because I got a chance to sit down with Alex McDowell, the founder of World Building Institute and Experimental Design. You might have seen his name pop up in Fast Company and Wired from time to time, and it’s no mystery why they want to talk to him. On top of his current roles, which we’ll get into in a minute, this is a man who helped set up the Sex Pistols first gig, made music videos with Depeche Mode, led production designs on Fight Club, and designed the entire world, including all of its rules and attributes, for Minority Report. And it’s in that last point, world building, where he can really offer all of us - architects, filmmakers and general 3D artists- some serious food for thought.
Instead of thinking about stories and digital experiences like linear elements, Alex approaches his designs spherically, like you would a VR space. He asks questions like “What are the conditions of the world and what is going to drive it forward?” and then figures out how elements like different types of humans will define or navigate this environment. An elderly person, for instance, could live in the same world as a Olympian, but endure radically different challenges. And from what Alex has learned, as the challenges and context around your focal points change, so do the stories you can tell. With world building, storytellers are encouraged to consider more possibilities, which in turn, open up a greater understanding of the environments and characters they create.
At first glance, you may think this only works for feature films. But consider the 3D world’s most common thread: storytelling. Architects also tell visual stories full of context and character, only they do it through spaces. So imagine what happens when architects apply world building concepts to their art. Designs can be influenced by wider factors than form and function, including how different types of people will navigate the space. Using these concepts, architects can also consider how the mechanisms of the city, or even society at large, will change the experience they are offering, even if that change resides at a granular or subconscious level. As elements are defined, they compound, helping an artist (or your team) gain an elevated knowledge of any design that incorporates narrative.
It really can be quite powerful, and like I said, is not limited to a single field. I hope you’ll give it a shot.