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.

With the podcast being just over a year old, it seemed like a good idea to take a look back at 2015 and see what had happened at Chaos Group. In this very casual chat, Lon, David, and Chris discuss a lot of the events we have attended, our Partners in Art, Chaos Group Labs project, Virtual Reality, the number of new products that we have released, as well as the many updated we have done. We hope that your 2015 was as fun and fulfilling as ours, and that everyone has a great 2016.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast53_YearInReview2015.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:05pm PST

Having known and been friends with David Stripinis for a very long time, this was the first time that I actually met David in person. Having worked on many major feature films including Avatar, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and Man of Steel, David is a long time VFX industry veteran, having focused a lot of his attention on virtual production, motion capture, and animation, while still reaching outside to lighting as well. He talks about his career, as well as give us his opinion on where he feels the industry needs to change.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast52_DavidStripinis.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 7:56pm PST

Doug Roble has been at Digital Domain longer than anyone else as he was one of the first hires. He is the Creative Director of Software, and has helped develop many major tools over his career there. Having won both a Technical Achievement Award and a Science and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he has now  joined the Science and Technology Council. We talk about his career and influences, as well as what he envisions to be the future of computer graphics and Visual Effects.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast51_DougRoble.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:23pm PST

Had an amazing opportunity to be a part of the 3D Symposium panel in Cancun hosted by Jeff Mottle from CG Architect. They agreed to let me record the panel and make it a Podcast. It is a great opportunity for all of you to hear some of the great conversations and discussions that are happening in ArchViz these days. Even if you are not part of that specific industry, you will mind many familiar themes across the different industries.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast50_3DSymposium.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 6:01pm PST

This week we speak to Tim Hanson of Max Depth. Tim’s background started in the early days of the web and has gone through many incarnations, from web designer, to editor, and visual effect supervisor. He has learned to adapt to his changing career quickly. Based on some of his own frustrations with learning tools, he has created his own resources through his website.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast49_TimHanson.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:25pm PST

Our final episode from Trojan Horse was a Unicorn features Scott Ross and surprise guest Allen Bolden. We talk about how much THU means to us, and about our vision of the industry. We also talk about how we feel we need to preserve the energy we have at THU and preserve it in a special way.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast48_ScottRossAllenBolden.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:35pm PST

Last week we spoke to Norman Seeff about his response to our discussion on the Uncanny Valley. This week, we spoke to Oleg Alexander, a member of the Digital Human League about his work at the Institute of Creative Technology and his response and feelings on Norman's point of view of the subject. We are also joined by Stephen Parker who is also a member of the Digital Human League.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast47_OlegAlexander.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

There are those moments in your life where you feel lucky to have met someone special. I got a chance to sit down with Norman Seeff one on one for over an hour which was was one of those moments for me. While many people may not know his name, everyone knows his work. He has made his fame through the most honest and real photographs he took of celebrities over the last several decades. He managed to capture so much life in each photograph that I felt compelled to ask him about the Uncanny Valley. His very diverse careers made him the perfect person to explore what is missing in the valley. The short answer is: consciousness.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast46_NormanSeeff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm PST

Alex Alvarez started the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games + Animation in 1997 when the industry itself had few resources to find talent. His motivation came from his own frustration of the current education system in the United States, and its lack of support for the arts, or art education. Today, Gnomon continues to be one of the leading schools for Visual Effects by keeping its enrollment small and selective, making sure that they can sustain the demands of a selective industry.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast45_AlexAlvarez.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:15am PST

Kevin and Snow Mack are both fine artist that met at Art Center. Kevin has a very long family history in animation and the VFX world where his mother and father both worked at Disney. Kevin, the self claimed reluctant VFX Supervisor, won an Oscar in 1999 for What Dreams May Come. Snow is an amazing and prolific artist that used her skills as a digital matte painter and many major feature films. These days, Kevin has focused his art in the medium that he always dreamed of: Virtual Reality. Together with Snow they have created Shapespace, an abstract, virtual reality, experience that defies description.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast44_KevinAndSnowMack.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:54pm PST

An old friend of Dariush Derakhshani, Nozawa Tetsuya is the CEO of Guncy in Japan, a new company focused on bringing tool sets to a Japanese workflow and pipeline. The interview was translated so that it could work for both English and Japanese speaking audiences. We find out a great deal about his past, as well as the the kind of projects and work people can expect as a CG artists in Japan.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast43_NozawaTetsuya.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:44am PST

Our second podcast from THU 2105 features two great artists. Jose Alves da Silva and Andrew Hickinbottom. Both have a love of character, have an amazing sense of humor, are great friends, but live in very different styles. We talk about their inspirations, and about our love for THU where we all became great friends.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast42_Jose_and_Andrew.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 2:36pm PST

Lon Grohs and I talk to Kim Baumann Larsen, a licensed Architect and 3D artist for 20 years from Norway, about his experience in Virtual Reality. Kim has been working in the VR space since the early 90s. So when the new wave of VR happened a few years ago, he was ready. With all three of us coming from architecture we decided to talk about where we see how VR fits in the architecture world. We talk about all the challenges, different flavors, pitfalls, of this new medium..

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast41_KimBaumannLarsen.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 8:30am PST

David Prescott will kick off the first off a series off conversations we had at Trojan Horse was a Unicorn this year in Troia, Portugal. I first met David 13 years ago when we both worked at Digital Domain. We talk about his journey from South Africa to DD and Dreamworks. As a seasoned veteran, David has a great ability to balance logic, perception, reality, and inspiration. These ideas are what led to his talk at THU called: "Perception, Problem Solving, and Finding Inspiration in the Default World."

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast40_DavidPrescott.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 4:13pm PST

Blur Studio has always been a good friend of Chaos Group, but we were still lucky to be able to get Tim Miller, one of the founders of Blur, on the podcast. Tim is in the middle of directing the upcoming film Deadpool, due out in 2016. We talk about what it is like to get your first big feature film directing gig at age 50. We also have a very honest talk about running a studio like Blur, a very unique and creative place. Tim has a very different philosophy about how to run a studio which for the most part has been a huge advantage for them. But he is also honest about the mistakes he has made and owns up to them.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast39_TimMiller.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:01am PST

My first real job out of Architecture School was at Gensler back in 1997. This year Gensler is celebrating it's 50th anniversary. I have very fond memories of my time there. This year, while at Siggraph, I ran into Scott DeWoody and Alan Robles who are now looking at a lot of new technology within the company. I figured it would be a great time to see what they are doing and help me see what has changed at Gensler since I left 14 years ago. We discuss VR, cloud rendering, real time raytracing, and a lot more.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast38_DeWoody_Robles.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 3:50pm PST

Wes Ball is best known as the Director of The Maze Runner and the upcoming sequel The Scorch Trials coming out September 18th 2015. After letting us know that he enjoys the CG Garage Podcast on Twitter, I invited Wes to be a guest. He agreed right away and sat down with us in the garage in Culver City. As a big Lightwave and Modo user, he loves CG and has used it for many of his own projects. We discuss how his career started right out of film school and how he had one of the most amazing weeks anyone in Hollywood could every hope for.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast37_WesBall.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 4:03pm PST

While at Siggraph we sat down with Kevin Baillie from Atomic Fiction. We speak about his interesting career starting on the Skywalker ranch, which, after a few extra stops along the way, led him to start Atomic Fiction with his childhood friend Ryan Tudhope. Kevin and his company are not shy of trying new things. While most people think that eventually people will possibly be rendering on the cloud, they have already been doing it for 5 years. He talks about how the company led over 600 shots on Robert Zemeckis's The Walk rendering on the cloud and with V-Ray for Katana.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast36_KevinBayley.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 2:06pm PST

We sit down at Siggraph 2015 to talk to Senior Compositor Shahin Toosi about how he has spent the last 2 years pushing V-Ray for Nuke. Based on his self admitted addiction with the product, he explains how having that level of rendering power inside of a composting package opens the doors things to people may not realize is possible.

Direct download: Podcast_Shahin_mixdown.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:40pm PST

Based on a request on Twitter, I asked Fausto to come on the podcast. His interesting background coming from São Paulo Brazil to working at Blizzard eventually led him to be a concept artist, now working at Lightstorm Entertainment. We follow his interesting and inspiring story.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast34_Fausto_De_martini.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 2:01pm PST

Legend 3D is well known for it's work in stereo conversion. Over the years, they have brought this to a new level that has enabled them to expand into the realm of VR. That is where Justin entered the picture. He explains why a stereo conversion house has a unique ability that allows for greater flexibility in creating VR content. Through several projects, he explains their learning process and the evolution on how their workflow is enabling them to create content from advertising to cinematic experiences.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast33_JustinDenton.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 3:41pm PST

Kirk and Christopher from A52 chat about their work at A52. We learn about the history of the company as well as some of the amazing work, including the Daredevil main title and Nissan #WithDad spots which got them nominated for Emmys this year. They are an extremely creative company which plays of their expertise in Directing, editing, and VFX.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast32_A52.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 3:29pm PST

Erik's background in Effects started way back as a director of photography in miniatures. Having done 8 seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Deep Space 9, he claims that he has done more shots of space ships then anyone else. His experience as a DP is what most inspires the people that work with him as a Visual Effect Supervisor today. In doing so, he has earned 3 Oscar nominations for I Robot, Real Steel, and Iron Man 3.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast31_ErikNash.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:16pm PST

Director Ruairi Robinson recently made the news when Fox picked up Leviathan, based on the teaser that he put out on the internet. Ruairi, a member of our Digital Film League, has a long history in filmmaking and CG. He was nominated for an Oscar for his short Fifty Percent Gray in 2002 and has produced several other great pieces such as his short Blinky.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast30_RuairiRonbinson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm PST

Rob Nederhorst is a veteran of the VFX industry. He has deep knowledge in compositing, lighting, 3D, 2D, as a supervisor, and even in programming. On top of that, he is also a teacher at University of Southern California. All this led him to his new venture Live Mentor. We talk about his history in the industry, and about his ideas behind the new project.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast29_RobNederhorst.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 10:41am PST

Dariush has recently joined Chaos Group as part of our education and documentation teams. I have known Dariush for a short time, but we quickly became great friends. He teaches at University of Southern California, and has written several books on Maya and MaxWe talk about his past, how he stepped into teaching, and about the education in general.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast28_DariushDerakhshani.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:02am PST

With Dan Roarty in Los Angeles for E3, we took the opportunity to meet up, have lunch, and record a podcast. Dan, who now works for Microsoft's Game division, has been working in the game industry for most of his career. He is also well known for personal work of CG portraiture. It is because of his work in this area that we invited him to be one of the original members of the Digital Human League, and work on the Wikihuman project.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast27_DanRoarty.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 4:46pm PST

Craig Shimahara, owns a fantastic Architectural Illustration company called Shimahara Illustration. We talk about his background and how he started at Gensler, and what has also led him to start to become a fimmaker. We discuss the idea of style and story telling, and spend a bit of time talking about new mediums such as VR.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast26_CraigShimahara.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 4:46pm PST

While at FMX, I had the opportunity to visit Luxx Studiosan interesting small studio that does some really great Visual Effects work. I sat down with Andrea Block and Christian Haas in their very warm and inviting studio to talk about their work. Besides the work on White House Down and Grand Budapest Hotel, we also talked about the feature animation that they are producing called Manou the Swift. They talk about their inspiration in making the film, as well as what it takes to get something like this to happen.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast25_Luxx.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 1:56pm PST

Paul Debevec's contributions to the CG field are well known. As the Chief Visual Officer at University of Southern California's Institute of Creative Technology, he has broken ground with technology in many different ways for over 18 years. He may in fact be the godfather of Image Based Lighting, and probably the person that enabled HDR environment lighting to be as essential as most people consider it to be today. In doing so, his team help create a variety of Light stages, which over time also became high res facial scanners. They even used this technology to scan the President of the United States. He is also a member of the Digital Human League, which is why ICT helped provide us with the data that we needed to get our Wikihuman project started.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast24_PaulDebevec_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:14pm PST

We recorded this podcast while at FMX in Stuttgart. We had a great conversation with Jörn Großhans a VFX Supervisor and Christian Zilliken a CG Supervisor at Mackevision. They talk about what it was like to start a VFX department there and all the amazing work they did on Game Of Thrones Season 4 and 5. You will also hear a bit from Kian Saemian who is the Business Development Manager.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast23_MackevisionP1_01.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:29am PST

Allan and I both started our podcasts around the same time. And while he and I have similar audiences, history, and friends, we were inspired by different motivations. At the age of 33, Allan has been doing visual effects professionally for 20 years. Besides his strong drive, he feels a strong need to give back to the community through his new mentorship program.  I had a great time talking to Allan, and I have a strong feeling that we will be joining forces a lot more when it comes to supporting our community.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast22_AllanMcKay_01.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:16pm PST

This week we talk to Ben West, a Creative Director at Framestore, and Director. His unique and interesting upbringing, combined with his strong creative education in both Architecture and Film School, led him to create interesting projects such as Fugu and Tako. Based on it's success, Ben has launched a kickstarter project to expand the story into a graphic novel form. He tells us about his past work, his passion for CG and VFX, and his creative process.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast21_BenWest_01.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:27am PST

Most people that work in Visual Effects have a story about a person that helped get them in. For me, that person is Eric Hanson. In fact, for a long time he helped a number of people make the transition from Architecture to VFX. He has a long history in VFX, and continues to be a strong advocate in it's education as an associate professor of practice at University of Southern CaliforniaGreg Downing and Eric founded xRez in 2006, which has taken extremely high resolution photography and applied it to a myriad of uses. We discuss his career history and find out about some of the very interesting projects that he has been involved in recently.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast20_EricHanson_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:34am PST

Scott Ross is an extremely important person in the world of Visual Effects. He was the general manager at ILM when they started to go digital. He also founded Digital Domain with James Cameron and Stan Winston. He later made great efforts to be an advocate for the visual effects industry based on his strong knowledge of how the business is run. Most recently, he has become an ambassador for Trojan Horse was a Unicorn, bringing world class speakers to that event.  We speak about his long and fascinating history, as well as what we each think is wrong with and how to fix the issues surrounding the world of VFX today.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast19_ScottRoss_01.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 4:38pm PST

Jonathan Litt has a long history in the world of VFX. We cover a large number of subjects in the podcast with Jon. From his first job at ILM, his work on the Matrix series, digital humans at Digital Domain, we even dive into his new passion for virtual reality. Jon offers insight into every part of the process.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast18_JonLitt_01.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 10:38pm PST

How often to you hear people say: "It was so much better in the old days of special effects, now it is just all done on computers." There is a perception that VFX is easy, and that we, the artists, simply push a few buttons and it is all done. One of the places I often hear this is a place I actually have a huge respect for: the Nerdist podcast. I'd like to call on our listeners to listen to this podcast, then help us let Nerdist know, as follow nerds, we need their help to teach the world to #RespectVFX.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast17_RespectVFX_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27am PST

We recorded this podcast while in San Jose California during the GPU Technology Conference. Sponsored by NVIDIA, the conference is made for developers that are advancing development on the GPU with CUDA. From Deep Learning to Raytracing, the conference covers a lot of different subjects. I went there with several of our developers from our main office in Sofia, including Vlado and Boris, who I did this podcast with. While you probably know who Vlado is, Boris is our product manager in charge of V-Ray Cloud and V-Ray App SDK. We spent the podcast talking GPU development, V-Ray in Motionbuilder, Kevin Margo's CONSTRUCT, Cloud rendering, and other technology.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast16_GTC2015_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:20am PST

Jeff Mottle, the founder of CGarchitect.com , has been a very strong voice for the ArchViz and Digital Design community since 2001. He also happens to be a good friend who I have known for years. While at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose this last week, we ran into each other. As I started to ask him about what technology he thinks pushes the ArchViz and Digital Design community, we decided to record a podcast about it. Jeff also took the opportunity to tell us about his new the CGarchitect Visualization Conference, which he is running through kickstarter. He explains more about it as well.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast_JeffMottle_01_mixdown.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 12:32pm PST

Last year Gina Adden, our Marketing Director, and I attended an amazing event in Portugal called Trojan Horse was a Unicorn. We enjoyed it so much that we felt strongly about supporting the event this year. We sat down and chatted with André Luis, one of the founders of the event, and Scott Ross, the Ambassador of the event. Even though the event is happening in September, it is nearly sold out. Make sure to enter the CG Society challenge for a chance to get a Golden Ticket for an all expenses paid opportunity to experience it for yourself.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast14_THU_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 1:47pm PST

You will quickly figure out that, not only is Lou Pecora a good friend of mine, but that I think he is one of greatest guys around. He has been been at Digital Domain for nearly 17 years. During that time, he went from working as a compositor on Super Nova to his first full credit as a VFX supervisor on X-Men: Days of Future Past, where he got nominated for an Oscar. True to Lou he remains humble and proud of the team behind the work.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast13_LouPecora_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:03pm PST

Many of you probably know who Vlado is, but I bet many don't know Peter Mitev as well. Peter is the CEO of Chaos Group and started V-Ray with Vlado in 1997. For a long time, the whole company was just the two of them. Today, while there are offices around the world, he has tried to make sure that the company maintains the intimate feeling from their early days. He has a passion for experiencing different cultures, talking to all the different industries, and seeing what makes them different and what they have in common.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast12_PeterMitev_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:03pm PST

When Mike Seymour told me that he would be in town for a bit following the Sci-Tech awards at the Oscars, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to hang out, talk about Digital Humans, and do a podcast. As one of the founders of FX Guide and FX PhD, he is at the center of both news and education in the world of VFX. So it was a pretty rare opportunity to turn the tables on him and have him talk about his own background and aspirations.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast11_MikeSeymour_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:17pm PST

After chatting and emailing Important Looking Pirates out of Stockholm for a year, I was super excited to hear that Måns Björklund and Niklas Jacobson were going to be in Los Angeles for the VES awards this year for their work on Crossbones. They talk about their past and what led them to start their company back in Sweeden, what it was like to start their studio there, and what has lead them to where they are now. It was great to see them and I can't wait to follow up with them and see what they continue to do.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast_10_ILP.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:09pm PST

It will be very clear that Graham and I are good friend, and that Jay and I have known each other for a while. Both Graham and Jay are from the Institute of Creative Technology, and have worked on facial scanning technology for a long time under Paul Debevec. They are both members of the Digital Human League and working on the Wikihuman project. It is a great conversation about all things ICT, virtual humans, Wikihuman, and more.

Direct download: CGGarage_podcast_09_Graham_Jay.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 4:45pm PST

There are several people at Chaos Group that have actual Architecture Degrees. We figured that since three of us happen to be in LA at the same time, lets have a chat about it. Corey Rubadue is the Director of our Baltimore Office, Lon Grohs is our Chief Commercial Officer, and Christopher Nichols is the Creative Director. We chat about our history, we chat about how the art of architectural illustration. We chat about how CG changed things and now has become the norm. We even chat about the future.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast8_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm PST

Darren Butler, a long time Blur artist, started his CG career in Archviz. We discuss his background, how he started, and what inspired and pushed him to where he is now a CG Supervisor at Blur. We talk about some of the more recent projects that he has worked on and how is architecture background had an influence on them.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast7_01.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:21am PST

Kevin Margo and Derron Ross have worked together for years, both at Blur, as well as on independent projects. With Kevin as Director, and Derron as an Animation Director, Actor, and even Stunt choreographer, they have both pushed what is possible when it comes to using technology to tell stories. Kevin is also a member of the Chaos Group Labs in the Digital Film League. We discuss their work together on Grounded, CONSTRUCT, and how they have tried to imagine how technology will grow to make the process of going from vision to product a smoother transition.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast6_02.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:00am PST

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