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.

Chris’s guest this week is Neil Huxley, a director whose story is worthy of its own movie. Early exposure to The Terminator inspired Neil to follow a career in the film industry but fighting back against bullies at his South London school almost lead him off the rails, until his bouncer-artist dad intervened. In a spectacular comeback, Neil studied multimedia at university and graduated with a first-class honors degree thanks to his short film.

Recorded ahead of his talk at THU, Neil recounts how his career has taken him through title design for movies such as Watchmen and Gamer, creating holographic displays for Avatar and on to Digital Domain offshoot Mothership and then production company Ruffian to direct spectacular and well-received videogame cinematics, including an epic interactive trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Now, Neil plans to make a feature film that will take him back to the South London locales where his tale began.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast244_NeilHuxley.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 10:26pm PST

Over the past 25 years, NVIDIA has gone from gaming hardware specialist to a major player in CGI, automotive technology and even healthcare. In this podcast, Director Ankit Patel joins Chris to reveal how huge innovations in GPUs and AI have helped the company become ubiquitous with fast, smart computing.

It serves as a great little explainer on the world of GPUs, how they have to be configured to work with numerous APIs and processor architectures, and the bottleneck whack-a-mole developers have to play as hardware and software advances. Ankit also goes into detail on NVIDIA's OptiX and CUDA APIs, how the company balances performance and power consumption on notebooks, and its groundbreaking research in machine learning.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast243_AnkitPatel.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:04am PST

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Cobus Bothma has gone from industrial designer to architectural visualization artist to one of the most important players at Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). Having helped create the international architecture firm’s mile-long Abu Dhabi airport — and managed its enormous data set — Cobus now serves as director of applied research.

In this podcast, Cobus tells Chris how the company seamlessly manages data and projects across its nine global offices — and a tenth virtual one. Other topics include how Chaos Group’s Lavina real-time rendering engine represents a paradigm shift in the way architects create imagery, why Hololens has become the tool of choice for visualizing designs at KPF, and computational design, machine learning and sustainability.

Cobus is a visionary with an ear to the ground, and his insight into the future of technology and architecture is unparalleled.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast242_CobusBothma.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 11:22am PST

This week’s podcast features a true pioneer of modern cinema: Robert Legato. He’s worked with directors such as Martin Scorsese, Neil Jordan and John Favreau as a second unit director and VFX supervisor, but he’s also helped bring traditional techniques and technology into CG filmmaking. Crucially, he did it in a way that directors and cinematographers can understand, and his hard work has been rewarded with Oscar wins for Titanic, Hugo and The Jungle Book.

Robert also has a wealth of on-set experience, and he tells Chris about everything from shooting miniatures at his house for Star Trek: The Next Generation to helping renowned cinematographer Caleb Deschanel lens the all-CG world of The Lion King. He reveals the qualities you need to be a good director, how to shoot and edit to evoke styles and emotions — and the difference garlic can make to a film shoot.

Rob is a humble, professional character who is happy to talk about his flaws and how overcoming them has benefited the industry. It’s pretty much a complete film school degree delivered in 76-minutes.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast241_RobLegato.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 10:58am PST

One year after his lively appearance on Episode #190, Shader Wizard Zap Andersson is back — and this time he’s talking all things Open Shader Language (OSL). Now a fully integrated part of 3ds Max’s viewport, this open-source language makes it quick and easy to use shaders across multiple rendering platforms, and tweak and develop your own. Zap discusses the development of OSL and how he put it to use via a 3D fractal, as well as revealing some neat 3ds Max tricks.

That’s not all. Zap also tells Chris about his experiences at this year’s SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, including his thoughts on facial animation and how machine learning could help us cross the uncanny valley. He also discusses his meetings with renowned VFX YouTubers Corridor Digital, how he’s developing his Android app Slightly Annoyed Rodents — and even arm wrestling Chaos Group’s Co-founder, Vlado Koylazov.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast240_ZapAnderson_2019.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:08am PST

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