Interviews that focus on the CG creative in visual effects, architecture and beyond. Christopher Nichols of Chaos sits down with directors, artists, photographers and developers for candid discussions on technology and art, all with a focus on computer graphics. Visit for more information and an archive of past shows.

A passion for animation and computing landed Andrew Gordon a job at Pixar just after the release of Toy Story, the first of many mega-hits for the studio. From here, he helped bring some of the studio’s most famous characters to life: Toy Story 2’s Prospector, Mike from Monsters, Inc. and Edna Mode, The Incredibles’ fashion designer. Today, Andrew has taken his experience from Pixar to DNEG, where he heads up the London VFX studio’s feature animation team.

In this podcast, recorded at THU, Andrew tells Chris why Pixar movies are consistently brilliant. He talks about the playful office culture, mentorships and constructive criticism that bring out the best in employees, as well as its deft approach to storytelling, character development and filmmaking. It’s the sum of 20 years’ experience, with industry leaders such as Brad Bird, Ed Catmull and Pete Docter, packed into an hour-long podcast.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast252_AndrewGordon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36am PDT

Recorded at the American Society of Architectural Illustrators' “Architecture in Perspective” event, this week's podcast is a panel discussion on architecture and imagined environments. Taking part are The Lion King and AR Wall CG Art Director Joy Lea, 3Marks and KitBash3d's Mike Golden, Luxigon founder Eric de Broche des Combes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens concept artist Nick Hiatt, Architectural Visualization Artist Isabella Eckmann, and Gensler's Creative Media Leader Megan Lubaszka. And, of course, the whole thing is moderated by CG Labs' Chris Nichols.

Among the topics discussed are the representation of space and storytelling in new mediums, the business of visualization and what different CG industries, such as arch-viz, VFX and gaming, can learn from one another. This lively debate is full of insight into modern creative methods and you'll discover what still images can do that VR can't (and vice-versa), the vast differences in cost between architectural and marketing VR experiences — as well as the importance of minigolf.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast251_ASAIPanel.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 10:53am PDT

User experience is an under-appreciated but crucial aspect of modern technology and software — particularly in the field of video games, which have to introduce complex ideas without intimidating players. In this week’s podcast, Chris is joined by UX Director, Celia Hodent, who put her PhD in psychology, specialized in cognitive development, to good use in helping create Fortnite

Celia explains how user experience helped make military aircraft safer and how it’s been a fundamental part of gaming since the days of Super Mario Bros. Using examples from casual titles such as Candy Crush to the notoriously tricky Dark Souls, Celia explains how games teach skills and use interaction to build worlds and reward behavior. She also gives excellent reasons why kids shouldn’t play games outside of their age rating, and why culture is more important than gender when it comes to game design.

Whether you’re a gamer or not, you’ll undoubtedly come away from this podcast with a new perspective on the design of just about everything.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast250_CeliaHodent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am PDT

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a critical and box office success on its release last year, garnering critical praise and even an Oscar for its vivid, touching and inventive take on Spidey’s origin story. In this podcast, co-director Peter Ramsey tells his own tale of going from a humble, blue-collar upbringing in South Los Angeles to co-creating one of the best-animated movies of all time.

Peter tells Chris about the movies which inspired his career, including Star Wars, The Seven Samurai and ET. He also discusses how early experiences working with Francis Ford Coppola on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and second-unit-directing Tank Girl came in handy in the world of animation, and the happy accidents which led to his directorial roles on Rise of the Guardians and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It’s one of the most inspirational podcasts you’ll ever hear; Peter’s free of ego and still looking at cinema with wide-eyed wonder.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast249_PeterRamsey.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 10:48am PDT