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.

Warning: This podcast contains explicit language.

Among the many pleasures of Love, Death & Robots, “The Witness” was a particular standout: Its mind-bending story and vivid art style combined to create a unique and challenging short film. In this inspirational podcast, director Alberto Mielgo breaks down the making of the project.

You’ll find out Alberto’s influences, from Tintin to Disney to Blade Runner and the films of Éric Rohmer. He also talks about blending simple 2D and advanced cloth techniques to achieve “The Witness’” distinctive look, the inspiration behind its story — and his ambition to make animated movies that are regarded in the same light as live-action features.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast273_AlbertoMielgo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am PDT

Large-scale realistic cityscapes have never been more important — whether they’re for blockbuster VFX, open-world videogames, architectural planning or even training self-driving cars. This week’s podcast guest, Matthias Buehler, is an expert in generating realistic urban environments thanks to his work on the CityEngine procedural city modeling software.

Matthias talks Chris through his career, from learning about architecture from industry legends such as Hani Rashid and Greg Lynn, to his work building CityScape into VFX company Scanline’s pipeline, to his new CG city-focused company, vrbn. It’s a fascinating conversation about the methods and rules that we can use to effortlessly create realistic CG metropolises.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast272_MatthiasBuehler.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:19am PDT

Over the past 12 years, V-Ray GPU has been developed alongside the CPU renderer to take advantage of increasingly powerful and specialized hardware — and now it’s coming of age. Joining Chris this week is Alex Soklev, whose passion for ray tracing has propelled him to the position of Team Leader in Chaos Group’s V-Ray GPU team.

Fresh from his online GTC presentation, Alex breaks down the components that make V-Ray GPU such a versatile renderer. He goes into detail on integrating the Optix API to make the most of NVIDIA's latest RT cores, explains how clever technology such as out-of-core and on-demand rendering help keep GPU ray tracing fast and efficient, and gives a thorough breakdown of how static, dynamic and evictable geometry can keep rendering fast and efficient. 

It's a perfect refresher on ray tracing techniques — and you'll find out why V-Ray GPU can handle any scene no matter how much GPU memory you've got.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast271_AlexSoklev.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:51am PDT

Pixar’s unique fusion of cutting-edge technology with storytelling has changed the face of cinema and given us some memorable movies along the way. A key player behind-the-scenes has been Esdras Varagnolo, who contributed to lighting and compositing on Pixar movies including Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2, as well as shorts “La Luna,” “Piper” and “Lou.”

As Esdras begins a new chapter in his life, at David Ellison’s Skydance Animation, he reflects on the technical innovations he’s helped make possible, from “shampositing” at Digital Domain to integrating deep compositing and Katana at Pixar. He reveals how Pixar uses its short films as testbeds for new technology, how Incredibles 2’s production schedule was slashed by 12 months and the fascinating reason why the company’s early characters had that iconic eye glint.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast270_EsdrasVaragnolo.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 11:27am PDT