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.

The worlds of videogames and VFX are colliding. Realtime rendering is changing the way movies are made, while blockbuster games borrow techniques and tech from Hollywood. No one knows this landscape better than Naughty Dog’s Josh Scherr, who’s worked his way from animator on PS2 flagship Jak and Daxter to co-writer of the epic Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

In this podcast, Josh gives Chris a comprehensive guide to gaming. He goes from its humble origins in the basements and arcades of the 1980s, through Hollywood's ill-fated attempts to piggyback the industry, to today’s ubiquitous, multifaceted gaming culture — and its superstars and controversies.

Hardcore gamers will get a kick from Josh's deconstruction of the design process, while VFX fans will find out how Naughty Dog creates cinematic visuals on limited hardware.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast134_JoshScherr.mp3
Category:Games -- posted at: 6:45pm PDT

Established in London in 1990, visual effects and post-production company the Mill has grown with offices in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, with over 200 employees in the later. Among those who made the jump to the LA office are  Head of 2D/Creative Director Chris Knight, and Executive Creative Director Phil Crowe.

As becomes apparent in this podcast, neither has lost their accent — or their cheeky British sense of humour. The BFFs talk about their first meeting at the prestigious Ravensbourne College in the mid-90s, then delve into the early days of VFX, when crazy characters at The Mill taught them how to use Flame and Henry. Chris and Phil come across as passionate and knowledgeable professionals who are as well-versed in episodes of Columbo as they are in visual effects tools.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast133_ChrisKnightPhilCrowe.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 12:02am PDT

Rendering is dead. Long live rendering. As computers become faster and more powerful, and 3D software becomes easier to use, rendering could be about to change dramatically. And it may even cease to exist as we know it today.

In this podcast, Chris gazes into his crystal ball with Chaos Group’s CCO Lon Grohs and Communications Director David Tracy. It’s an animated discussion which raises some important questions about the mass adoption of 3D creative technology. Will we see a proliferation of deeply terrible CG? Or will artists be able to realize their visions more easily?

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast132_TheEndOfRendering.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:04pm PDT

Multitalented VFX artist Alex Nice’s career began in the very early days of 3D Studio on a 386 computer — complete with vigorous turbo button action. After a rebellious phase as an amateur tattoo artist, he settled into a role as a 3D generalist at Sway Studio via a stint in courtroom animations.

Alex recently served as art director for innovative effects studio Magnopus, alongside previous podcast guests Sally Slade and Ben Grossmann. He’s also worked on matte paintings for movies such as 2012, Hugo, Elysium, Pacific Rim and a tantalizing upcoming sci-fi project.

He recently joined the Art Director's guild doing concept art and tells Chris how astounding it is to see his concept art come to life as a million-dollar film set, how VR has dramatically changed the way he works with directors, and they discuss future of the VFX industry in Hollywood and beyond.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast131_AlexNice.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 5:07pm PDT

Like Chris, Marientina Gotsis spent her childhood in Greece, growing up on a very limited TV diet of imported American shows and old movies. And, like Chris, Marientina has a strong interest in virtual reality, and how computer-generated experiences can help us experience the real world.

Coming from an artistic background, Marientina worked on the University of Illinois’ CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) in the mid-90s, a 3D-projected space which could simulate environments, and served as a precursor to modern VR. As tech got smaller and smarter, Marientina created a game-based experience to help people understand cognitive development, and used VR to treat ADHD and physical therapy

Marientina is a fascinating interviewee who has a sound theoretical understanding of VR and gaming, and how they can be used as real-world therapies. It’s an engaging discussion which covers everything from depictions of genocide in videogames, to the sky in different cities, to the perfect movie for 3D.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast130_MarientinaGotsis.mp3
Category:VR -- posted at: 4:33pm PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT