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.

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.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast167_BorisSimandoff_VRayCloud.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 6:59pm PST

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 PST

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.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast165_Adobe.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:19pm PST

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.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast164_THU2017_07.mp3
Category:VR -- posted at: 11:18am PST

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