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.

 

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

Of all the podcast guests thus far, Richard Edlund’s got to have the most amazing voice. He sounds so bassy and gravelly that he could certainly pick up a second job as a trailer voiceover guy.

Not that he’d need to. As he explains to Chris Nichols, his story includes throwing depth charges off battleships, designing Star Trek’s alphabet, driving San Francisco cable cars, making experimental movies, and even inventing the Pignose guitar amp.

Richard later turned his considerable talents to the visual effects industry, where he was nominated for 10 Visual Effects Oscars, winning 4 of them for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi. He went on to set up Boss Studios, an effects house which successfully made the transition from practical to digital workflows through its work on Die Hard, Ghost, and Alien 3.

Richard is now chairman of the visual effects branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he talks about the challenges modern effects pose to board members. It’s an awesome and fascinating 80 minutes - and we recommend turning the bass up to feel the full thunderous effect of Richard’s magnificent vocal chords.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast75_Richard_Edlund.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 10:08pm PST

While at FMX 2016 we spoke to Jonas Skoog from Bläck Studios located in Stockholm. He was also one of the speakers for V-Ray Days. He tells us about the great work being done at the studio, and how they have created a coalition of VFX studios to maximizes and load balance their resources. Jonas is also the Character Lead at Bläck and tells us about his passion for digital humans.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast74_JonasSkoog.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:59pm PST

Two graduates of the Filmakademie,  Andreas Feix and Francesco Faranna, talk to us about working on their short Citipati. It was nominated and won a VES Award this year. They also explained to us the unique and interesting education that they got which puts them in the middle of production and prepares them for the real world of post.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast73_Citipati.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:32pm PST

Janelle Croshaw, an outstanding Visual Effects Supervisor at Digital Domain, talks to us about her career as a 3D artist, compositor, and supervisor. Her credits include Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, Tron Legacy, Her, and more. We speak about how career took many changes, and the challenges she found taking a leadership role in visual effects as a woman.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast72_JanelleCroshaw.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 11:01pm PST

We speak to Blake Sweeney, the head of software at Method Studios. His long history at places like Industrial Light and Magic, Weta, MPC, and Digital Domain has given him a rich history in the world of Visual Effects. He speaks to us about what it took him to get to where he is, and what he thinks is important part in the future of VFX, including a lot about cloud rendering.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast71_BlakeSweeney.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 3:00am PST

After waiting a bit to release this podcast, Jacqueline Cooper is ready to unveil her VR project MonarchVR, just in time for Earth Day. She has spent many years as a career VFX compositor and decided to work on a VR piece with Edward Dawson-Taylor to bring awareness to the massive decline in the population of the monarch butterflies. We speak to her about her project, her career, and the different challenges and successes she has had. She also shared great stories about growing up in Los Alamos, learning from her father, and how they would compete in their wildlife photography.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast70_JacquelineCooper.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 6:26pm PST

One year since GTC 2015, Jeff Mottle of CG Architect and Chris decided to see what has changed in the world of technology and Architecture Visualization, now at GTC 2016. We speak a lot about VR and to see what has changed in ArchViz and VR in the last year. We also speak of Realtime vs Prerendered and what each of those means in terms of ArchViz. Lastly we speak about GPU rendering and how it has advanced especially in light of the news of the new P100 processor from NVIDIA.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast69_JeffMottle.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 7:12pm PST