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.

Al Quattrocchi is a man of passion and talent. From a young age, he’s honed his artistic skills via typesetting, movie posters and Grammy-winning album packaging. Along the way, he’s been taught by Jim Blinn of Blinn-Phong shading fame, worked with poster artist Drew Struzan and shaken hands with musical legend Art Garfunkel.

At the same time, Al has indulged his love for fly fishing, which grew from exploring the waters near New York. He tells Chris about what makes fly fishing so attractive to artists, his book about catching the elusive California corbina and how he gets involved with the fly-fishing community. Al’s Italian-American inflection and gift for storytelling make for an engrossing podcast.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast303_AlQuattrocchi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:26am PST

Versatile and talented software engineer Yining Karl Li has taken an unconventional but successful approach to his career. He sideloaded a graphics degree onto his business degree and he was inspired to create his own renderer, Takua, by Alex Roman's "The Third and The Seventh" and V-Ray's rendering quality.

He's also made leaps and bounds with the development of Disney's in-house renderer, Hyperion. Used to deliver large-scale environments for Big Hero 6, Moana, Zootopia and the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon, Hyperion sets itself apart with a breadth-first rendering approach, similar to the techniques used by V-Ray GPU. Karl discusses the intricacies of production rendering on increasingly powerful hardware, as well as the future of real-time and ray-traced rendering.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast302_YiningKarlLi.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:59am PST

You’ve probably seen Mike Campau’s work without realizing it. Over the past 20 years, this digital artist has honed his style and techniques to produce eye-catching imagery for brands including Under Armour, Chevy and Specialized, and characterful portraits of Tracy Morgan, John C. Reilly and Dave Grohl. He also creates personal work to experiment with new techniques or skewer social media and politics.

In this podcast, Mike tells Chris how he’s grown from usual inspiration as a three-year-old, to learning from car campaigns, to the tools and collaborations that make his work possible today. If you’ve ever wanted to make the jump to becoming a successful freelance artist, Mike has solid advice on how to get established and manage your work-life balance.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast301_MikeCampau.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am PST

CG Garage’s 300th podcast features a true superstar of CG: 3D Studio and 3ds Max team leader Gary Yost. After working for an Atari magazine, in the mid 1980s, Gary became involved in software, eventually overseeing the development of 3D Studio from its early days as a DOS package to its limelight-stealing Windows release as 3D Studio MAX 1.0. He talks about how his five-person team (including one barely out of his teens) worked from home in the early-90s to create this pioneering, game-changing 3D software.

Today, Gary is returning to his artistic instincts with a high-tech short film about the COVID-19 pandemic, using superpowered 360-degree cameras, 3ds Max, V-Ray and Chaos Cloud to produce an immersive experience. It’s fascinating to hear about Gary’s experiences in computing and entertainment over the past few decades. He’s a rare character who can combine creative energy and technical know-how with a knack for choosing the right people for the right roles.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast300_GaryYost.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:07am PST

Returning podcast guest Lou Pecora was inspired by the Haunted Mansion ride, Star Wars, Sinbad and his love of taking things apart to pursue a career in VFX. His first work was creating morphs for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and he’s gone on to work on big-budget movies and TV shows at Digital Domain and now Zoic.

In this epic discussion, Lou breaks down some of the challenges that he’s faced recently, from transforming a straitjacket into a man for Legion to a nightmare-inducing shot for Lucy in the Sky and COVID-19 shutting down production on Fargo. He also talks about how his career is progressing, how he’s stayed upbeat and kept himself busy during the lockdown, and he delves into the pros and cons of real-time production methods.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast299_LouPecora.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:55am PST

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