Hosted by Christopher Nichols, the CG Garage podcast is part of the Chaos Group Labs. We talk to our friends, find out what they are doing, talk about what we are doing, and generally look at all things that interest us including CGI, VFX, Design, Rendering, Raytracing, and any other CG Nerdy stuff.

For visual effects supervisor Jay Barton, a chance to work on the Fate of the Furious was a dream come true. As well as having over 18 years experience in visual effects, he’s a car fanatic who knows high-performance autos inside-out — literally.

Fresh from a visit to China, where DD’s presence is increasing, Jay chatted to Chris about his career trajectory, from creating animated videos of environmental catastrophes to win over juries, to big budget commercials and feature films at Digital Domain. Jay shares stories about his ad work for Bacardi, Pontiac and Audi, and VFX in Rock of Ages, 47 Ronin and the physically-based stunts in Fate of the Furious.

Jay’s a charming, charismatic guest who talks candidly about the fake-it-til-you-make-it nature of the early days of VFX.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast129_JayBarton.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 7:29am PST

The Immersive Reality in Architecture conference, which took place in Venice earlier this month, focuses on the application of VR and AR in the world of visualization and design. This panel discussion, led by CGarchitect’s Jeff Mottle, tackles the pros and cons of these emergent technologies.

CG Labs’ Chris Nichols, and Chaos Group’s CCO Lon Grohs are among the guests, as well as Patricio Navarro (ArX Solutions), Luciana Carvalho Se (Realities Centre London), Dan Harper (Cityscape), Christiaan Klaassen (DBOX) and Scott DeWoody (Gensler). It’s a  candid chat about the ways architects use VR, the practicalities of programing experiences, and how consumers and companies such as Apple are shaping the future of the medium.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast128_IM-ARCH.mp3
Category:VR -- posted at: 8:51am PST

Multiple Oscar winner, modern musical and box office smash La La Land has divided audiences. Is it a shameless and unsubtle Happy Meal of nostalgia? Or does it use cinema, musicals and popular culture as a launchpad to tell a human story of growth and transformation?

In this podcast, Chris and film buff Dan Thron (aka the Martini Giant) talk about the film’s successes and failings. In doing so, they discuss a range of other movies, from classic musicals Singin’ in the Rain and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, to modern classics Pulp Fiction, LA Confidential, Brokeback Mountain and Inception. It’s a fascinating discussion which examines our relationship with the past, and one which potentially reaches the same conclusions as La La Land.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast127_DanielThron_Lalaland.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:59pm PST

The untimely passing of revolutionary architect Zaha Hadid last year has left a big hole in the world of architecture. Filling it is Patrik Schumacher, now a principal at Zaha Hadid Architects, and one of the world’s most respected architects in his own right. In this deep dive into the theory and practice of architecture, Patrik talks about how architects preempted computer aided design in the 1980s, and how philosophy, nature, and mathematics are integral parts of the medium.

As the author of the manifesto of parametricism, Patrik examines the dogmas and taboos of this architectural movement, and how it embraces computer algorithms. He also discusses how he designs places based around how people congregate in them, and how VR and particle physics are instructing new ways of creating architecture.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast126_PatrikSchumacher.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 8:24pm PST

If you’ve seen Chaos Group’s showreel, you’ll be familiar with Unit Image’s work. The Parisian visual effects studio has created entertaining and witty commercials for Peugeot, Cartier, and Canal Plus. As it was founded by gamers, it’s also produced gritty trailers for AAA titles such as The Crew, The Division, and For Honor.

Fresh from their presentation at FMX, Unit Image’s slightly hungover Johanne Beaupied (Business Development and Production Management) and Dorian Marchesin (CG Supervisor) join Chris for this engaging podcast. Johanne’s background lies in games, from playing Doom at age six to working at Ubisoft, which has given her a unique perspective on the industry. Dorian, meanwhile, studied engineering but became drawn in to the world of 3ds Max. His love of cars - and V-Ray - meant that working on some of Unit Image’s productions has been a dream come true.

Johanne and Dorian talk to Chris about how they get lose themselves in game universes both professionally and in their spare time, Unit Image’s Scan Engine tech, and the French film industry.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast125_UnitImage.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 3:20pm PST

Chris’s input into this year’s THU digital arts festival has resulted in a focus on architecture. As prep, he invited prospective speakers Keely Colcleugh and Fredy Castellanos, from creative visualization studio Kilograph, to the podcast studio.

Founder and CEO Keely dropped out of the prestigious Rice University to work with renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, and her multidisciplinary career has covered design (For Bruce Mau) and VFX (For PLF). Fredy, meanwhile, left his native Colombia to work for Vyonyx in London, and now serves as Kilograph’s art director.

It’s an energetic podcast which covers everything from Thom Mayne and Frank Gehry’s influence on the teaching of architecture, to virtual reality and videogames. Chris and Keely share some great anecdotes, too, including telegrams from universities, “The Liquids” spouting mathematical nonsense, and the role of wheelbarrows in arch viz movies.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast124_Kilograph.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 9:24pm PST

An early start in stop motion 8mm film making propelled Aaron Sims on a career trajectory through Hollywood. He assisted with the gooey practical effects for cult 80s movies such as “From Beyond,” “Evil Dead 2,” and “Gremlins 2.” The sleazy, show-stealing worms for “Men in Black,” were created by Aaron, and he applied his knowledge of prosthetics and puppetry to the CGI robots in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.”

Now Aaron heads up Aaron Sims Creative, a concept art and VFX company which has designed creatures and locations for movies such as “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Logan,” and “Wonder Woman.” In this entertaining podcast, Aaron talks about creating the terrifying Demogorgon for Netflix series “Stranger Things,” choosing between practical effects and CGI, and the importance of always moving forwards.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast123_AaronSims.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 3:18pm PST

The FMX digital arts festival in Stuttgart, Germany, forms a bustling backdrop for this live podcast. Host Chris is joined by Chaos Group’s co-founder and CEO Vladimir “Vlado” Koylazov, and Dabarti’s Tomasz Wyszolmirski, whose feedback has been instrumental in the development of V-Ray GPU.

Vlado talks about how GPU computing has evolved, and reveals V-Ray’s new game-changing hybrid GPU/CPU features. Then questions come thick and fast from an audience hungry for free V-Ray t-shirts. The subjects Vlado and Tomasz cover include adaptive lights, compatibility for Psyops’ Cryptomatte, fur and memory limitations, cloud computing, and how game engines are influencing the development of V-Ray. 

As with all live our live podcasts, this is a particularly engaging and enjoyable listen. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to subscribe to the podcast, and check out previous recordings.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast122_Tomasz_and_Vlado.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:25pm PST

Sweden’s long, harsh winters compelled Johan Thorngren to pursue creative endeavours, and after a stint in advertising he accepted an enviable position with ILM in San Francisco.

As a generalist, Johan’s job is to pick up VFX shots which don’t fit into the typical pipeline. His workload has increased from a handful of shots on movies such as Star Wars: Episode III, to thousands for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In this podcast, Johan talks about changes he’s seen in the visual effects industry over the past decade, creating the almost full-CG Leipzig airport battle for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the wide range of software ILM has at its disposal to create stunning VFX shots. Chris and Johan also discuss the popular press’s opinion on CGI in movies, and invisible effects.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast121_JohanThorngren.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 4:17pm PST

Architect Thom Mayne should need no introduction — but here’s a potted history for the uninitiated. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Harvard, Thom co-founded Morphosis Architects in 1972. This experimental studio rejected contemporary ideas of architecture, instead using metal and concrete to create angular buildings which reflect their purpose and surroundings.

Despite his importance in revolutionizing the form, Thom modestly admits that no architect ever quite feels like they’ve mastered it. He talks about how Nietzsche, Darwin and Freud changed architecture in the early 20th century, and how computers and 3D printing have changed it in the 21st. He also goes into how unique architecture is as an art form and medium, especially in the way it’s taught and learned. By the end of this absorbing podcast you’ll be as passionate about architecture as Thom is.

Morphosis [https://www.morphosis.com/]
How architecture can connect us: Thom Mayne’s Ted Talk [https://www.ted.com/talks/thom_mayne_on_architecture_as_connection]

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast120_ThomMayne.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 1:21pm PST