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.

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Syndication

The visual effects industry is packed with people from the field of architecture, including our own guru and podcast host Chris Nichols. But Andy Waisler is a rare exception: after beginning his career in architecture, he was hired by Digital Domain to apply his knowledge to movies such as The Grinch and The Time Machine. But then he returned to architecture to hone his skills.

He’s an incredible character, and in this revealing podcast he shares the similarities between architecture and visual effects, and how this is going to become particularly important in the world of VR. He also talks about how he’s made tiny bathrooms feel palatial, and the clever, story-oriented design of Bad Robot’s Santa Monica offices.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast85_AndyWaisler.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 2:40pm PDT

One of the most fascinating aspects of V-Ray is the way people react when you tell them many of the images in the IKEA catalog are created with 3D software. It’s a definite wow moment, and people are often more impressed by than V-Ray being used in Hollywood blockbusters.

Behind IKEA’s use of 3D is Martin Enthed, the company’s Development and Operations IT Manager. Martin’s love for computers began in the early 80s, and before he worked at IKEA he sold software for Autodesk, and supplied Volvo with the first ever 3D rendering of one of its vehicles.

The crazy world of IKEA is the subject of most of this podcast, though. Martin talks to Chris about why the company has embraced 3D technology, how it’s trained its photographers to use the software, and how to develop software which puts cookies in jars. He also mentions the future for IKEA, which involves exciting AR and VR apps so consumers can see how the Mörbylånga table will fit into their living room.

And next time you tell someone that the IKEA catalog is mostly CG, and they don’t believe you, just point them to this podcast.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast84_MartinEnthed.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:46pm PDT

Tristan Salome and Matthieu Labeau of Nozon, hang out with us during Siggraph 2016 to talk about Presenz. The application allows for 6 degrees of freedom of pre-rendered content. The application now works for V-Ray and is in closed beta. This podcast gives people an insight as to what this application does and how it can fit into your needs.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast83_Nozon.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:34pm PDT

As one of the biggest advertising agency in the world, Saatchi & Saatchi has to have an intimate understanding of the products it sells. It’s even located its LA offices just across the street from Toyota’s offices, possibly so it can have first-hand access to car designs before they hit the road.

Michael Wilken, Saatchi and Saatchi LA’s director of 3D, joins Chris for this fascinating podcast. Both Michael and Chris have in depth understandings of automotive design and how to make amazing car renders, and they discuss running footage, character lines, and accessory combinations.

Michael also talks about the future of the advertising industry, including Minority Report-style customized ads based on your personality, and the exciting prospect of everyone knowing what it’s like to sit in a concept car—thanks to VR. It’s an engrossing chat, and by the end of it you’ll know all the trade secrets of (im)perfect car renders.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast82_MichaelWilken.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:55pm PDT

In 1979, George Miller’s directorial debut Mad Max shocked cinema audiences around the world. It existed at a perfect intersection of blockbuster and Australian new wave cinema, knitted together with a punkish spirit and comic book aesthetic. Its sequel, 1981’s The Road Warrior, heightened the action and established Max as a true action hero, while 1986’s Beyond Thunderdome explored the fringes of the franchise’s crazy apocalyptic world. After an almost 30-year-hiatus Max returned to the big screen last year in the universally acclaimed Fury Road.

For this podcast, living movie database Daniel Thron discusses what works and what doesn’t in this hugely popular and influential series of movies, whether Tina Turner can ever play anyone other than Tina Turner, and how the films’ tight edits and dramatic scores create horror and excitement.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast81_DanThron2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20pm PDT

Two time VFX nominee and member of the Academy, Bryan Grill of Scanline VFX speaks to us about his impressive career working from the ground up to be one of the top people in the field. His long career at Digital Domain and Scanline have been blessed with many great stories. He recently finished supervising Independence Day: Resurgence.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast80_BryanGrill.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 6:33pm PDT

Regular listeners will recognize Executive Producer Lisa Beroud’s name - she served as producer on a number of movies with Chris at Digital Domain, including TRON: Legacy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Oblivion. But, more than that, she made the intense working environment a lot more pleasant by employing masseuses and laying on decent food.

Lisa’s career began as a freelance producer in the world of commercials and music videos in the 80s and 90s, before she migrated into feature films via A52 and Digital Domain. She’s picked up a VES award for her work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and she was nominated for her achievements on TRON: Legacy.

In this fascinating discussion with Chris, the quietly confident producer discusses what, exactly, her role involves (a lot!), the peculiar smell of the Digital Domain offices, and the fragmented future of the visual effects industry.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast79_Lisa_Beroud.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:34pm PDT

 

Herzog & de Meuron is an architecture firm best known for its incredible glass and steel structures such as the Beijing National Stadium, The Perez Art Museum in Miami, and the Allianz Arena in Munich. The Swiss company has also dramatically repurposed existing space to create London’s Tate Modern and Serpentine Gallery.

But within Chaos Group, the company is more famous for its exhilarating and enthusiastic presentation on VR at the Shape to Fabrication event in London earlier this year. The presenters, Steffen Riegas and Mikolaj Bazaczek, marked an exhilarating finish to what had already been a great day.

Of course, Herzog & de Meuron needs to stay on the cutting edge of technology to maintain its status as world-renowned architects, embracing a pipeline which includes 3ds Max, Sketchup and Rhino. In this podcast, which is every bit as enjoyable as their presentation, the team talks about an approach which involves everything from hand-cut cardboard models to a cutting edge pipeline including 3ds Max, Sketchup, Rhino - and V-Ray. Of course.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast78_Herzog_and_De_Meuron.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 8:55pm PDT

Sally Slade. It’s got to be one of the best names in the industry - as Chris remarks, she sounds like a superhero. But the similarities don’t end there - her career has been the stuff that makes origin stories, from her beginnings in a small fishing village, to her acquisition of superpowers (She can speak Japanese! She understands CSS!), to fate intervening and yanking her from a transpacific flight at the last minute.

After getting a foot in the door at the industry via Digital Domain’s work on The Golden Compass, she’s gone on to work on suitably superhero movies G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Iron Man 3, and Avengers Assemble. Now she’s moved into a completely different world, creating augmented reality experiences for Magnopus.

In this epic podcast, she and Chris talk about augmented reality, holograms, and the LEIA 3D phone. She also discusses how she went to work for a whole year dressed as Indiana Jones, and how she plans to turn into a unicorn (for certain people) in the near future. Y’know, like a superhero.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast77_SallySlade.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:41pm PDT

It goes without saying that Disney is a huge, multinational corporation with fingers in an increasing number of pies: Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios have both been incorporated into the Disney umbrella, and it runs everything from cruise ships and TV channels.

An interesting offshoot of this is Disney Research. Headquartered in the Swiss city of Zürich, it specializes in creating computer graphics. It makes sense: Disney's cinematic output is now almost totally CG, and advances in technology can be passed directly onto feature films and animations.

In this podcast, Chris talks to Thabo Beeler and Pascal Bérard, who have made some pretty significant advances in digital humans. Including Derek Bradley who was not able to join the podcast, they are all member of the Digital Human League.  They discuss the surprising intricacy of human hair, the oft-underestimated importance of realistic eyeballs, the challenges of capturing actors who can’t stay still for long periods of time, and how their work has influenced different areas, including the Wikihuman project.

Also, Chris reveals that you can buy a Swiss Army Knife after you’ve passed Swiss airport security. Perfect for cutting up that Toblerone.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast76_DisneyResearch.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:22pm PDT