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.

SHoP Architects has made a name for itself in its native New York via distinctive projects including Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — and now it’s expanding globally via Uber’s San Francisco HQ, US embassies in Honduras and Bangkok, and an innovation hub in Botswana. To create these buildings, SHoP has embraced technology and started its own in-house visualization team.

In this podcast, Visualization Director Mengyi Fan and Visualization Associate Samantha Anderson join Chris to talk about the various methods SHoP uses in the design and development processes, from videogame techniques to simple illustrations. They also discuss clever technology that allows them to oversee construction over thousands of miles or simultaneously experience VR spaces.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast290_MengyiFan_SamanthaAnderson.mp3
Category:Architecture -- posted at: 8:23am PDT

Released earlier this year, V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max and V-Ray 5 for Maya represent a new generation of Chaos Group software that does more than just render. In this podcast, Product Specialist Alex Yolov and Software Tester Peter Matanov reveal the research and development process that’s expanded the capabilities of V-Ray.

You’ll discover how V-Ray 5 integrates the retooled V-Ray Frame Buffer, Light Mix, Light Path Expressions and the ACESCG color space, and how they make artist workflows more efficient. Peter and Alex also discuss how user feedback, testing on real-world productions and input from Vlado himself helped create this innovative new version of V-Ray.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast289_AlexYolov_PeterMatanov.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:37am PDT

Aron Hjartarson originally dreamed of being a rockstar — but he became more fascinated with CG and 3D. After founding a studio in his native Iceland he created commercials for Visa and Coca-Cola, but his understanding of software propelled him on a career path that took in Italy, London, New York, Iceland (again) and now Los Angeles, where he works as Executive Creative Director at Framestore.

In this upbeat podcast, Aron delves into the history, culture and politics that have made Iceland a literal hotbed of creativity. He also talks about working on Gravity and Contraband, the difference the lockdown has made to where we work, and his positive philosophy for the future.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast288_AronHjartarson.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:22am PDT

In the near future, we may find ourselves talking to and interacting with digital humans as if they were real people. They’ll be there to help us find clothes that fit, or to act as virtual assistants — and they might even take our places during Zoom calls. The architect of this new age is likely to be Hao Li, the former director of the Institute of Creative Technology (ICT) research lead who founded Pinscreen to create seamless, instant CG avatars.

In this podcast, Hao talks about how lockdowns and social distancing have fast-forwarded digital humans’ evolution. He discusses the technology his company uses to capture and create CG likenesses, and their subsequent roles in video games, fashion and VFX. Hao also addresses some of the ethical concerns that surround digital humans.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast287_HaoLi.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:29am PDT

Over the past few years, Blender has gone from niche software to a significant part of the CG landscape. The free, open-source 3D package has shed its geeky image and steep learning curve in favor of an accessible interface and simple workflows. And for anyone who wants to learn Blender, Blender Guru’s YouTube tutorials are the perfect place to start.

Joining Chris for this week’s podcast is Andrew Price — AKA the guru of Blender Guru. He tells Chris how he went from debt collector to a key player in the CG industry, how he found his voice as a YouTuber, how he’s taught Blender to prisoners — and why it’s better to model a park bench than a spaceship. He also talks about Poliigon, the CG asset site he founded, and the future of Blender.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast286_AndrewPrice.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:24am PDT