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.

Chaos Group is no more; long live Chaos! In this week’s podcast, Richard Pay from design agency Uniform and Chaos’ own Melissa Knight talk us through the year-long process of reinvigorating the computer graphics company’s presence to reflect the increasing diversity of its products and customers. 

Rich explains why a brand is far more than just a logo, and how Uniform has united Chaos’ previously fragmented elements into a more cohesive and colorful whole. Melissa also talks about the advantages of simply being called Chaos, the huge amount of work that went into the rebrand—and reveals a planetary secret hidden in the new logo.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast316_Richard_Melissa.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36am PST

This week’s podcast guest is a true visionary in the CG world. Ash Thorp came from a humble background and perfected his artistic skills via a year-long stint at film title specialist Prologue. Since then, he's contributed to Ghost in the Shell, Ender’s Game and Captain Marvel, while pursuing his love for cinema via personal projects including Ghost in the Shell homage “Project 2501,” electric Ferrari concept “Evinetta” and short film “NONE.”

Ash offers invaluable advice on avoiding creative blocks, the importance of collaboration, getting great performances out of actors, and dealing with criticism and social media. It’s an honest and inspirational discussion and, touchingly, Ash hasn’t lost any of the humility he had at the start of his career.

Direct download: 315_AshThorp_finalmixdown_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am PST

Christian Debney’s incredible career began awesomely and has only become more awesome: his first job was building lightsaber props for Star Wars: Episodes I and II. After learning 3D for his own short films, he created VFX for Farscape, directed music videos, made animations for the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, set up a VFX firm and second-unit-directed little-known but much-loved Australian comedy Swinging Safari. Phew!

Now, Christian is putting his 20-plus years of experience in the movie industry to good use as VFX supervisor on sci-fi thriller Ascendant and as director of three films (one in VR) and a documentary. In this podcast, Christian talks about his career so far and shares tips and anecdotes about how he’s learned to create great work within budgetary and time constraints.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast314_ChristianDebney.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:41am PST

Andrew Murdock is a man of many talents. His career began in a recording studio, alongside Chris Isaak, and he went on to join Mondo Media to work on gaming projects including The Daedalus Encounter and Westwood’s Blade Runner. After founding his company, Lots of Robots, he created his own short films, beginning with “Rocket Pants,” while producing scientific animations for National Geographic.

Today, Andrew still creates his own short films and he’s recently joined forces with 3ds Max creator Gary Yost on his “Inside Covid-19” VR project. Andrew discusses his independent approach to his projects’ sound and visuals, his passion for Chaos Cloud and tyFlow, and Automatron, his character animation plugin for 3ds Max

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast313_AndrewMurdock.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:15am PST

Over the past 30 years, Habib Zargarpour has helped create some of the most innovative and iconic VFX shots in cinema and pioneered virtual production. Beginning with The Mask’s eye-popping protagonist, Habib went on to instigate Twister and The Perfect Storm’s freak weather conditions, race pods for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and use game-engine technology to build The Jungle Book and Blade Runner 2049’s captivating worlds.

Today, Habib works as head of film development at Digital Monarch Media, a division of Unity Technologies. He deep-dives into how he helped director Denis Villeneuve and DoP Roger Deakins explore LA 2049’s wastelands, and details the physics of pod racers. For VFX fans, this podcast is a treat from start to finish.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast312_HabibZargarpour.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 11:11am PST

This week’s podcast guest is Robert Durnin, a talented and agile technical director who can turn his hand to just about anything. He’s perfected pipelines for movies including Pan’s Labyrinth, The Mist, The Amazing Spider-Man and Tron: Legacy, and polished in-engine cinematics for Batman: Arkham Origins and Crysis 3. He's also helped build content for the Leia 3D holographic display and worked out how to create a theme park-size XR experience.

Robert talks about his career so far, the numerous companies he’s worked for, including Digital Domain, The Mill and Magnopus, and how he’s wrangled multiple content creation platforms into working with one another. He also discusses some of the fun challenges he’s faced, and the computer-vision AI training he’d like to tackle in future.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast311_RobertDurnin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:13pm PST

Intopolis aims to turn video game conventions on their head. Players assume the role of an art historian from the distant future, tasked with finding patterns in detailed, otherworldly artworks. In this podcast, the extraordinary talent behind the game, Kirsten Zirngibl, gives a fascinating glimpse into how she’s translated her imagination into a tangible, explorable world.

Kirsten discusses everything from her childhood in Ohio to her experiences working for companies including Google, Riot Games and Wizards of the Coast, as well as the real-world and virtual influences that have helped create Intopolis’s psychedelic visuals. She also offers insight into the array of technology she’s using to build her game’s environment, and gives her thoughts on why bright, positive worlds have never been more tempting.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast310_KirstenZirngigl.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:35am PST

In a little over a year, Mondlicht Studios has made a global name for itself in CG advertising projects. Its large-scale, award-winning images for Netflix series literally wrap around buildings, and it also provides animation, retouching, AR and VR services. Here, co-founders David Schaefer and Dmitriy Glazyrin tell Chris the story behind the studio.

You’ll find out about the technology David and Dimo use to create 95MP images, how media and advertising are moving away from stills and into animation, and how new AI tools make their lives easier. They also share some useful tips they’ve picked up from working in automotive CG and photography, and talk about how they add character and story to their images.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast309_MoonlichtStudio.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:37am PST

Bilali Mack has always wanted to tell stories. Originally hailing from West Africa, Bilali was at Emerson College in Boston when he realized it was easier to make movies with computers instead of cameras. After graduating, he worked on Coca-Cola and BMW commercials, where he developed an affinity for Flame, Autodesk’s VFX and finishing software.

Today, Bilali is taking his experience to the next level as a VFX supervisor on feature films and TV series, including Let Him Go and Power Book II: Ghost. In this insightful and animated discussion, Bilali talks about the pros and cons of working with Flame, the creative differences between VFX for commercials and features, and how he directs smoke and blood to enhance the narrative. This podcast is a perfect upbeat start to 2021.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast308_BilaliMack.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31am PST

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