Mon, 19 December 2022
Taylor Moll has worked on a string of hit animated movies, including Happy Feet, Shrek Forever After, and Rise of the Guardians. Recently, she founded the feature animation department at London-based effects studio DNEG, whose projects include Ron’s Gone Wrong, Entergalactic, and the Unreal animated short “Mr. Spam Gets A New Hat.”
In this podcast, recorded at THU, Taylor shares some of the important lessons she’s learned throughout her career, including how to respect people and deal with difficult situations. She talks about being a female VFX supervisor in the mid-00s and how her experiences in the workplace made her a better supervisor.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast406_TaylorMoll.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:30am PDT
Mon, 12 December 2022
Visitors to this year’s Trojan Horse was a Unicorn digital arts festival in Troia Portugal were wowed by Aoi Yamaguchi’s opening performance, in which the artist created beautiful large-scale calligraphic figures in response to pieces of music.
Chris caught up with Aoi and discovered more about the ancient art of calligraphy, including its range of 2,000-plus characters, the importance of the tools she uses to create them, and its role in the digital world. This isn’t just about writing, though — Aoi talks about overcoming her fears, following her dreams, mastering an art form, and expressing herself. There are lessons for everyone here.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast405_AoiYamaguchi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:19am PDT
Mon, 5 December 2022
How do you make a modern theme park ride? Framestore’s Eugénie von Tunzelmann has the answers. As the Head of VFX for the studio’s rides department, Eugénie has contributed to some incredible rides, including the Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure.
Eugénie talks about how her experience on movies including Interstellar and Batman Begins has fed into attractions, which sit somewhere between VFX, animatronics, engineering, and theater. She talks about some of her favorite rides, including Avatar Flight of Passage and Revenge of the Mummy, and offers her thoughts on the more interactive and personalized experiences we’ll have at the theme parks of tomorrow.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast404_EugnievonTunzelmann.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41am PDT
Mon, 28 November 2022
Opening or closing credits have become a key part of the cinematic or televisual experience. In just a few minutes, these mini masterpieces have to convey the essence of the film or TV show in terms of its vision, music, and characters, and they serve a legal requirement in listing its cast and crew.
Joining Chris this week is Karin Fong, who tells the story of how she became title designer for an array of productions including Spider-Man: No Way Home, Cowboy Bebop, Boardwalk Empire, and many more. She delves into how titles fit into the production of a film, how she makes artistic choices, and reveals how credits have become a powerful marketing tool in the age of the internet.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast403_KarinFong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am PDT
Mon, 21 November 2022
Crafty Apes’ Sean M. Ritchie and Chris Cook have seen changes in the VFX industry first-hand. The CG Supervisors both began their careers in architectural visualization before moving into VFX for movies and TV including The Walking Dead, Gravity, Once Upon a Time, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, and Dune.
Now, Sean and Chris work at Crafty Apes, the prolific VFX studio that’s delivered effects for Spirited, The Orville, Star Trek: Discovery, and many more. Sean and Chris shed light on what separates Crafty Apes from other effects houses, the effects of the pandemic and streaming on the industry, and how they nurture young talent. They also discuss the pros and cons of new technology such as real-time engines and AI-driven art generators.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast402_CraftyApes_02.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:13am PDT
Mon, 14 November 2022
How has rendering evolved, and what does its future hold? In this podcast, Pixar’s Dylan Sisson answers these burning questions, covering everything from Toy Story’s and Renderman’s beginnings in the mid-80s to the way Disney is now using AI to generate visuals, and even hone scripts and analyze audience reactions.
Dylan also discusses his background in Macromedia Director and CD-Roms, how Moore’s Law and Blinn’s Law have both proven to be true, and Pixar’s championing of the USD format. It’s an interesting episode and one which poses another question: What role will human beings play in the creation of future art and entertainment?
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast401_DylanSisson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am PDT
Mon, 7 November 2022
Break out the Martini, the CG Garage Podcast is 400 episodes old! To celebrate its quatercentenary, Chris has attracted a very special guest star: director Scott Leberecht, whose new documentary, Jurassic Punk, explores the impact VFX pioneer Steve Williams had on the movie industry via films including The Abyss, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, and Spawn.
In doing so, Scott sheds light on the turbulent history of VFX, including how studios present themselves and their work, the knock-on effect of Jurassic Park on movies, and how Williams’ creative genius and outspoken personality caused friction with the corporate world.
What’s impressive is that even after 400 episodes, Chris is still uncovering fascinating new stories and exciting perspectives on VFX — and there are sure to be plenty more.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast400_ScottLeberecht.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:24am PDT
Mon, 31 October 2022
Could Muse’s “You Make Me Feel Like It's Halloween” become the soundtrack for the spooky season? The legendary rock band’s song is packed with references to classic horror tales, and the music video brings the lyrics to life (or should that be death?) with a spooktacular trip into a deeply haunted house.
In this podcast the video’s director, Tom Teller discusses the creative process behind the promo, from collaborating with the band and coming up with ideas, to its final execution with V-Ray rendering. Tom also talks about founding his company, Frame 48, finding clients, AI and art, and his exciting upcoming projects with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast399_TomTeller.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:34am PDT
Mon, 24 October 2022
What does it take to produce an animated movie? In this podcast, Chris meets talented and ambitious producer Jinko Gotoh, who has been a driving force behind pioneering, Oscar-nominated films including Space Jam, Dinosaur, Finding Nemo, The Illusionist, Klaus, and The LEGO Movie 2.
Jinko discusses her journey into movie-making, from being inspired by Lady and The Tramp and Astroboy to learning computer programming, starting a production company, and then shifting into the film industry. She talks about how technology has changed, and how her immigrant background and coding knowledge have helped her prolific career.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast398_JinkoGotoh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24am PDT
Mon, 17 October 2022
Strap in for a tour de force podcast episode. Mikal Vega’s inspirational story begins in small-town Ohio, where he played Dungeons and Dragons and made movies with his grandma. After serving in the military, he received a break into movies via a role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. From here, Mikal’s combat experience and creative skills landed him directorial roles on mocap for games, including Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Diablo 4.
Mikal talks about how spiritual awakenings have helped him through tough times, his discovery that destruction and creativity can achieve the same end goal, and how he’s passing what he’s learned on to others via his Vital Warrior project. Listen for advice on how to get ahead in the creative field — as well as how to deal with whatever life throws at you.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast397_MikalVega.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:16am PDT
Mon, 10 October 2022
This week’s podcast guest is truly inspirational. By the age of 20, Zhang Jingna had won bronze for air rifle shooting at the Commonwealth Games and broken records in the sport. After moving into photography, she immediately picked up clients including Mercedes Benz, Canon, and Wacom, and produced fashion editorials for magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.
In this podcast, Zhang talks about her passion for Manga and how it influences her photographic style, as well as the techniques she uses to create her distinctive aesthetic. She also discusses respect in the industry, revealing how models can have a tough time, as well as how she’s learned to deal with criticism, and her feelings about having her work copied by other artists and emerging AI algorithms.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast396_JingnaZhang.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21am PDT
Mon, 3 October 2022
Taking part in a CG Garage podcast has been on Oliver Markowski’s bucket list for some time — and with good reason. The self-proclaimed VFX geek has a lot to talk about in this lively and honest conversation with Chris, from his work on movies including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Spectre, and Black Panther, to how new file formats and pipelines are making it easy for vendors to collaborate on visual effects.
Oliver reminisces about his early days in computing and VFX, when 3D Studio came on 40 floppy disks and you needed a whole book to learn how to use it. He also discusses the pros and cons of a career in VFX, from SIGGRAPH 2007’s infamous Autodesk party to the importance of taking occasional breaks. Finally, Oliver discusses the incredible neural rendering technology he’s looking forward to.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast395_OliverMarkowski.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:53am PDT
Mon, 26 September 2022
Angie Jones’ passion for character animation has fuelled a career that’s taken in some of the world’s biggest movies and games. Beginning with the groundbreaking videogame Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey, she’s gone on to animate a variety of characters for Stuart Little 2, X2, Freddy vs. Jason, Stealth, Pan’s Labyrinth, Red Dead Revolver, Bloodshot, Fortnite, and many more.
Angie is full of hilarious insight and deep knowledge in this rundown of her career so far. She talks about how she switches between sweet and deadly projects, showing old-school animators how to work with cutting-edge technology, and her most challenging shot, which involved a stack of Smurfs, Hank Azaria, and a vortex. Angie also discusses her prolific teaching career, and what it’s like to be a female animator in male-dominated cultures.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast394_AngieJones.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 9:30am PDT
Mon, 19 September 2022
An epic career deserves an epic podcast. During Garman Herigstad's 35-year journey in CG, the Houdini wizard has traveled to over 30 countries and worked on everything from real estate commercials in Bangkok to Disney videogames and Hollywood movies. At the same time, he’s taught at prestigious institutions, including Savannah College of Art and Design and Gnomon, and he even completed his most recent degree in his 60s.
Garman recounts his humble beginnings in greetings cards, through to economic highs and lows in Asia. He talks about his VFX work, including researching global weather patterns for a time-lapse sequence in The Time Machine, immersing George Clooney in Houdini-generated water for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and working on Black Adam. Garman also shares valuable lessons on managing time and the importance of keeping notes. The episode ends with a particularly touching story of what inspired 52½ Feet, his autobiographical screenplay.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast393_GarmanHarigstad.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 3:13am PDT
Mon, 12 September 2022
Mio Markovic’s creative, production, and tech skills have resulted in some of the best animated TV series of recent years, including Voltron: Legendary Defender, Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, and Fast & Furious Spy Racers. But Mio didn’t just jump into animation: he had already risen to a high level in the advertising industry and, like Chris, had worked on large-scale architecture projects.
Mio talks Chris through his career and reveals how his earlier experiences enabled him to change tracks and take criticism with confidence. He also breaks down the process of creating a DreamWorks TV series, from the initial idea to assembling a team, creating the characters and worlds, and working with vendors to complete the show. If you’re thinking of changing careers, Mio’s knowledge could be just what you need.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast392_MioMarkovic.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 7:39am PDT
Tue, 6 September 2022
Over the past five years, Love, Death & Robots has completely resculpted the landscape of animation, feeding Netflix viewers bite-size chunks of violence, sex, and gore. Supervising Creative Director Jerome Denjean is a key player behind-the-scenes, giving Love, Death & Robots’ talented directors the freedom to execute their visions (literally!) while ensuring that each episode fits in with the series' overall vision and tone.
In his second podcast with Chris, Jerome breaks down some of the amazing episodes in series three: David Fincher’s “Bad Travelling,” Alberto Mielgo’s “Jibaro,” Patrick Osborne’s “Three Robots: Exit Strategies,” and Emily Dean and Polygon Pictures’ “The Very Pulse of the Machine.” Jerome also reveals how episodes are researched and produced, and how Japanese animation has influenced their direction.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast391_JeromeDenjean.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:48am PDT
Mon, 29 August 2022
VFX supervising Stranger Things is the latest in a series of remarkable achievements for Justin Mitchell. After trying his hand at acting and lighting, Justin moved into animation and VFX, scoring credits on Charmed and Final Destination 2. In 2008, Justin joined Scanline VFX, where he’s worked on a succession of incredible projects, including 2012, Super 8, Iron Man 3, Tomb Raider, Cosmos, and The Nevers.
Justin talks about how he’s seen the industry shift since he started working in it, with Scanline expanding from 10 to 1,300 people, and the emergence of streaming platforms, virtual production, and artificial intelligence. He also reveals how he’s learned to lead a team and explains how he uses Scanline’s proprietary software to create and revise shots according to directors’ wishes.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast390_JustinMitchell.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:35am PDT
Mon, 22 August 2022
Mike Romey, has an incredible talent for uniting the creative and technical aspects of productions. Before he’d even landed a full-time job, he’d already animated an advertisement, set up a curriculum, and created an interactive CD-ROM for a laser printer (yes, this was definitely the 90s). Then, his career took in successively bigger projects, from planetarium shows and Time Square electronic signage to content for Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Today, Mike has taken his talents to FuseFX, where he’s rebuilt the VFX studio’s pipeline with cutting-edge software and smart integrations. In this deep dive into his career, Mike reveals how he’s constantly innovated pipelines and tackled some (literally) huge challenges. He also talks about how he pioneered a virtual production system at Zoic Studios for TV series V and Once Upon a Time, and gives his thoughts on new trends in the VFX industry.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast389_MikeRomey.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:15am PDT
Mon, 15 August 2022
Isaac Irvin’s incredible VFX industry adventures have taken him across countries and over oceans. From enthusiastic beginnings at Texan TV stations, he moved to Scotland to work on TV series and game cinematics, before returning to the States to flit between studios including Digital Domain, Method, Marauder, and Psyop on projects such as Speed Racer, Iron Man 3, Robocop, and more.
Today, Isaac has taken his big-screen VFX experience to the fast-paced, tech-heavy world of commercials. He talks about evolving from the limitations of software in the early days of VFX, to Real Steel’s perfect pipeline, up to the seemingly limitless possibilities of real-time rendering. He also talks about a nerve-wracking meeting at DD, and how he joined a particular VFX house at exactly the wrong time. Isaac is open and funny, and it’s clear that he’s lost none of his initial enthusiasm for all things VFX.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast388_IsaacIrvin.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:56am PDT
Mon, 8 August 2022
As an executive at Disney in the 90s, Bob Bacon witnessed the rise of CG, supporting the production of increasingly big-budget blockbusters, including Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Lilo and Stitch. He then joined Elton John for Gnomeo and Juliet and moved to Paramount for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water.
Now, Bob is Head of Studio at Virtue Animation, a Web3-based company inspired by his time working for the late Kobe Bryant. Bob details how the traditional animation studio system works, how fragile it can be, and how he’s continually innovated new workflows that can deliver both creativity and cashflows. He finishes with insight into how NFTs and crypto are revolutionizing and democratizing the entertainment industry.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast387_BobBacon.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 10:32am PDT
Mon, 1 August 2022
Sean Devereaux has fulfilled his childhood dream of making movies, and he started and sold a software company along the way. After being inspired by a viewing of The Wizard of Oz, Sean got a break at Digital Domain thanks to fellow alumni Jonathan Egstad. After working on movies including How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Vanilla Sky, he returned to Boston to found Zero VFX, which has created shots for American Hustle, The Equalizer, and Patriots Day.
Sean also discovered the financial and practical benefits of cloud computing, leading to the development of Zync, which was subsequently bought by Google. Sean reflects on his incredible career with contagious enthusiasm and a knack for storytelling. He recounts some great stories involving directors Peter Berg and Antoine Fuqua, and reveals how his work ethic helped him get hired by Digital Domain. He also reveals some of the important life lessons he’s learned, from how to balance creativity and finances, to how to deal with directors.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast386_SeanDevereaux.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:44am PDT
Mon, 25 July 2022
After getting on-set experience for a Canadian TV series, Mathew Giampa picked up compositing roles on White Noise 2, Sucker Punch, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Green Lantern, and more. He then moved up to progressively more challenging VFX supervision work on The Joker (yes, there were visual effects in that movie!), Black Widow, The Suicide Squad, and the Cowboy Bebop TV series.
Mathew talks about the joy of invisible VFX, moving between studios and countries to further his career, and some of the incredible projects he’s worked on. He also dispels some of the myths about the importance of color accuracy and security when working on Hollywood productions, and offers a compositor’s perspective on virtual production and real-time.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast385_MatthewGiampa.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 2:31pm PDT
Mon, 18 July 2022
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast384_BillPlympton.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 9:38am PDT
Mon, 11 July 2022
Thinking about starting your own VFX company? This week’s podcast guest, Marc Morissette, has done just that. After gaining experience and friendships at Digital Domain on projects including Peter Pan and Ghost Racer, Marc returned to his native Canada to form his own studio, Cluster. The company has taken on a variety of CG work, from a VR version of the Universal Studios globe for The Mummy to product shots and digital de-aging.
Marc explains the reasons behind starting Cluster and his vision for the company. He also talks about how the VFX industry changed when multiple vendors started working on the same shows, and the effects of the pandemic on smaller studios. Finally, Marc discusses how real-time technology will transform the future of filmmaking, and its advantages for smaller studios.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast383_MarcMorissette.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:31am PDT
Tue, 5 July 2022
This week Scott Kirvan shares his unique and in-depth understanding of the VFX pipeline, from on-set supervision to rendering the final frame. While working as a VFX programmer at Blur Studio, Scott developed Brazil R/S, the early ray-tracing renderer used on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Sin City. That’s not all — he also VFX supervised movies including Swordfish and Jeepers Creepers. And he’s started Slaughter County Brewing, a successful craft beer producer.
After a hiatus from the entertainment industry, Scott is now back on-set for I’m a Virgo, the upcoming Amazon TV series from Sorry to Bother You director Boots Riley. Scott reveals how he’s embracing a new suite of tools for VFX production, including real-time engines and virtual production technology, to get talent to believe they’re interacting with a 15-foot-tall teenager.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast382_ScottKirvan.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:23am PDT
Mon, 27 June 2022
Eddie Smith is a MacGyver of the VFX industry. Over his career, he’s figured out how to unveil the president as the bad guy for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, explode characters into cubes for Tron: Legacy, destroy planets in Ender’s Game, all the way up to some spoiler-ific effects for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
Eddie’s weapon of choice for VFX is Houdini, SideFX’s versatile node-based effects software. Eddie breaks down some of his favorite work and reveals how he’s often charged with figuring out the best way to tackle complex scenes. He also talks about how effects software has changed in his 14 years at Digital Domain, and the future for the industrious effects studio.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast381_EddieSmith.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 2:57pm PDT
Tue, 21 June 2022
Originally from Bulgaria, Ioanna Ivanova was inspired by Pixar and Tangled to pursue a career in CG. Having studied at Bournemouth University in the UK, she subsequently moved to London where she works for INK, the inventive creative studio that’s rendered everything from funny furry planes to amazing Maseratis.
In this inspirational podcast, Ioanna talks about the importance of networking and meeting people, and the benefits of working for smaller CG studios where you can have more creative input. She also discusses what INK’s been up to lately, including medical equipment visualization and a pet project she’s masterminded herself.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast380_IoannaIvanova.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:23am PDT
Tue, 14 June 2022
There’s a surprising amount of tech in Laika’s movies. The Portland, Oregon-based studio still makes use of its intricate hand-crafted stop-motion techniques, but it's increasingly augmenting them with CG elements, 3D printing, and even virtual production. Jeff Stringer, Laika’s director of production technology, reveals the advantages of combining the physical and the digital.
Jeff also talks about his career in the entertainment industry, from his early days in theater projections to software sales, Atari arcade games, Starship Troopers, and Digital Domain, all the way up to how he got started at Laika. He gives some amazing insight into how a successful studio is built and run, and reveals how Laika is pushing its pipeline forward again with Wildwood, its next production.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast379_JeffStringer.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:51am PDT
Mon, 6 June 2022
Adam Sidwell is pioneering a new generation of entertainment. His CG career began working with Chris on I, Robot, and he went on to create effects for movies including King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and Warcraft: The Beginning. Now, Adam has taken his modular approach to VFX into real-time to create AR, VR, and online content featuring Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and Kaskade, through to Sonic the Hedgehog and Georges W. Bush and Clooney.
In this podcast, Adam breaks down the story behind Future House Studios, the company he founded to create immersive, interactive experiences. He also talks about the pros and cons of working in real-time, the metaverse and NFTs, reveals why some shots in Avatar look better than others — and discusses making The Weeknd lick a frog.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast378_AdamSidwell.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:09am PDT
Thu, 26 May 2022
CGarchitect has become a massive part of the global archviz community. The all-in-one site incorporates LinkedIn-style job listings, the latest industry insights, and a super-smart AI-powered gallery that curates impressive renders from thousands of submissions. And now, CGarchitect has become part of the Chaos family.
In this podcast, Chris is joined by CGarchitect founder Jeff Mottle as he prepares to pass the mantle of running the site to Chaos’ Director of Creative and Communications, Lon Grohs. Jeff goes into detail on why he founded the site, how it works, and the exciting next steps for his career, while Lon talks about the future of CGarchitect, what it means for its community, and its first major change: to a completely free model for all users.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast377_CGArchitect.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 8:10am PDT
Mon, 23 May 2022
Darin Grant is back! And a lot has changed in the three years since the Animal Logic group chief technology officer and general VFX genius last recorded with Chris. As always, Darin offers expert industry insight into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on working from home, cloud computing, and how digital content is created and consumed.
Darin also details his role as director of the Electronic Theater at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference. You’ll learn about some of the stunning and deeply moving entries in the computer graphics showcase, plus what physical and virtual attendees can expect. Listen to find out Darin’s interesting idea for blockchains, and to find out how Animal Logic is refocusing its VFX work on animation via movies including Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Super Pets.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast376_DarinGrant.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:15am PDT
Mon, 16 May 2022
Is Huxley the new Star Wars? This week, Chris chats to Ben Mauro, the film and game concept artist who single-handedly created Huxley, a comic book set in a richly detailed post-apocalyptic sci-fi universe. Thanks to the power of NFTs, Huxley has evolved beyond the pages of a graphic novel into something far bigger, with a film from Marvel producer Avi Arad in the works, plus trading cards, a potential TV series, and much more.
Ben talks about the incredible journey of Huxley, from how he found motivation and inspiration to single-handedly create the comic book, to how NFTs have empowered him to focus on the project, to its exciting future. Ben also shares his savvy knowledge of how NFTs work and gives his thoughts on how big media franchises are cashing in on their astonishing rise, as well as explaining how to avoid rugpulls.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast375_BenMauro.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:38am PDT
Mon, 9 May 2022
Joining Chris for this week’s podcast is Matteo Santoro, an energetic, enthusiastic, and versatile filmmaker who might just be revolutionizing the way movies are made. After graduating from art college, Matteo created opening titles and VFX for film including The Incredible Hulk, Aliens vs Predator - Requiem, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. At the same time, he created his own sci-fi IPs, including the short film Offline and the feature Higher Power.
Now, Matteo is working on SIFT, an ambitious sci-fi feature film constructed through NFTs, allowing fans to own parts of the movie and even shape its direction. Matteo discusses SIFT’s richly detailed world and how he built a practical robot to inhabit it. He also talks about The Sunflower Kid, a series of NFTs that aim to raise money for charity and promote world peace.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast374_MatteoSantoro.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 9:06am PDT
Mon, 2 May 2022
Judith Crow has seen both sides of the effects industry. After developing an enthusiasm for coding, she worked her way into Digital Domain, where she pioneered visual effects for Interview with the Vampire, Apollo 13, Titanic, and Fight Club. Then, she switched sides and took on a role with Houdini developer SideFX.
In this podcast, Judith talks about everything from her early days in community arts curation to how she got her foot in the door at Digital Domain and created visual effects for major Hollywood movies. She also discusses Houdini’s meteoric rise from particle-specialist to do-it-all VFX software, revealing some of its more interesting use-cases and plans for its future.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast373_JudithCrow.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:42am PDT
Mon, 25 April 2022
This week’s podcast guest, Barbara Ford Grant, is particularly inspirational. Barbara’s pursuit of fine art led her into VFX, where she worked her way through companies including DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Digital Domain, Walt Disney Studios, and immersive art platform Meow Wolf. She carved an enviable career path during this time, from digital artist to chief technology officer.
Today, Barbara is president of Prysm Stages, a state-of-the-art virtual production facility, and she’s just become the first female chair of the Sci-Tech Oscar Awards Committee. In this podcast, she details her career and how she’s continually pushed VFX technology and pipelines forward. She also reveals why HBO’s content is so good, what exactly Meow Wolf does, and the changes needed for women to thrive in the VFX industry.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast372_BarbaraFordGrant.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 8:57am PDT
Tue, 19 April 2022
Founded by Christoph Bolten in 2007, Recom Farmhouse has become a go-to studio for automotive and product shots. The London-based studio has provided head-turning CG and retouched imagery for companies including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, while indulging in off-beat passion projects such as a moon motorcycle and an update of Back to the Future’s Delorean.
Christoph and managing director Richard Levene recount their adventures in photography, from Christoph traveling the world and getting paid a fortune with a leading photographer, to Richard’s disastrous early shoots. They also shed light on their creative processes and how they’re adapting to a new age of cinemagraphs, and reveal what not to wear on shoots and how to photograph cars.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast371_RecomFarmhouse.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:34am PDT
Mon, 11 April 2022
After being inspired by Star Wars to pursue a career in VFX, Andrew Orloff became a technical director on South Park and worked on Joss Whedon’s (un)holy trinity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. After founding Zoic Studios, he’s gone on to serve as VFX supervisor and creative director on some of TV’s biggest shows, including Once Upon a Time, The 100, Fringe, and For All Mankind.
In this podcast, Andrew talks Chris through the evolution of VFX technology and techniques, from huge Silicone Graphics workstations and renting blade servers to the latest real-time technology for pre-viz and VFX and cloud rendering. You’ll find out how tax incentives work when most of your team works from home, how he collaborates with creatives on big shows — and he answers the burning question of whether working on streaming series is more like TV or film.
April is Autism Acceptance Month, and Chaos is highlighting some of the upcoming graduates of Exceptional Minds, an academy and studio for neurodiverse young adults. This week, we have Andrew Rosengard, who will be graduating with an emphasis in VFX. You can check out his work on Creatively.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast370_AndrewOrloff.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 10:45am PDT
Mon, 4 April 2022
Richard Scott has been rocking the world of CG for more than 30 years. He began his career in graphic design, moved into 3D for broadcast and commercials, and then got involved with cutscenes for the games industry. He founded Axis Studios in 2000, and it’s steadily grown to a team of 400 people working on VFX and animation for movies, TV, games, and theme parks.
Richard discusses his history in CG, from Quantel paintboxes and Lightwave to modern workflows. He also talks about his involvement in the Scottish animation scene, Axis’ “The Tall Grass” segment of Love, Death and Robots, and its upcoming animated feature film — which employed an animation supervisor based in Australia.
April is Autism Acceptance Month, and Chaos is highlighting some of the upcoming graduates of Exceptional Minds. This week, we have Mina McCauley, who will be graduating with an emphasis in VFX. You can check out her work on Creatively.To learn more about Exceptional Minds, visit exceptional-minds.org or find them on social.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast369_RichardScott.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 4:14pm PDT
Mon, 28 March 2022
A lot has changed for Sonja Christoph since she last guested on the podcast back in 2019. A significant birthday prompted the talented CG generalist and matte painter to go freelance and start teaching her skills. At the same time, she’s working with her husband on a new mobile game — which has the potential to branch out into other mediums such as animation and graphic novels.
Sonja discusses the ins and outs of going freelance and working on her own IP, including how she’s learning new programming languages, completing paperwork to start her own business, and using tools to create content and capture motion. If you’re thinking about joining the great resignation and doing your own thing, this podcast is a great place to start.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast368_SonjaChristoph.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23am PDT
Mon, 21 March 2022
Jill Smolin has seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Early computer graphics techniques on Amiga computers. CG breakthroughs at Digital Domain. Mind-blowing stereoscopy techniques in filmmaking and the advent of ultra-high-definition streamed content. All these memories will be discussed in this podcast.
Jill also talks about her background in theater and how a Canadian CG character drew her into the world of VFX, where she worked and taught Gnomon, Cinesite, Digital Domain. Jill also became important behind-the-scenes as a volunteer at SIGGRAPH, bringing in top Hollywood talent to discuss how they advanced VFX.
It’s a touching podcast in which Jill demonstrates an in-depth technical knowledge coupled with a genuine fondness for the many people with whom she’s worked.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast367_JillSmolin.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 11:45am PDT
Mon, 14 March 2022
KitBash3D has become massive. What started as an easy way to provide concept artists with ready-made 3D assets has become an essential resource for movies and video games. KitBash3D now contains 10,000 assets in 75 kits, ranging from real-world locales to sci-fi cities, fantasy worlds, and gravity-defying spaceships. It’s even been named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative gaming companies in 2022, alongside Microsoft, Roblox, and Epic Games.
In this podcast, KitBash3D founders Maxx Burman and Banks Boutté discuss their company's phenomenal success. They talk about the challenges of managing their growing collection of assets and reveal how they dream up and create the next kit. They also discuss their software's vital role in the metaverse and give some hints about big upcoming news for KitBash3D.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast366_Kitbash3D.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:14am PDT
Mon, 7 March 2022
Stine Sørensen and Jonas Ussing have got your VFX needs covered. With a background in animation, Stine is able to create and rig characters, while Jonas can handle the 3D pipeline. They’ve worked on everything from award-winning games to Hollywood movies to frenetic videogame trailers. But, they also happen to be a husband-and-wife team with two children.
In this podcast, Stine and Jonas — aka Space Office VFX — talk about how The Little Mermaid and The Empire Strikes Back inspired their careers and the differences between movies made in their native Denmark and the USA. They also delve into how a fast internet connection and Chaos Cloud have made it possible for them to work with freelancers from a rural location in Denmark.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast365_SpaceOfficeVFX.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 12:56pm PDT
Mon, 28 February 2022
This week, Zap Andersson returns to the CG Garage podcast — and he’s brought a whole new theme tune with him. Nestled among Klein bottles, Nixie tubes, and Kung Fury posters, Zap reveals his latest passion: streaming live music sessions on Twitch, and tells Chris how it’s given him a new approach to the creative process.
Zap also delves into new open-source standards in computer graphics, such as OSL, USD, and Material X, and details the methodology behind his advanced wood shader. It’s great to catch up with Zap and hear his tales of surviving COVID-19, as well as some of the workarounds he and Chris made in the world of pre-raytraced VFX.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast364_ZapAndersson.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:33am PDT
Tue, 22 February 2022
Episode 363 - Mariana Acuña Acosta — Senior Vice President, Global Virtual Production and On-Set Services, Technicolor
Aliens and The Terminator inspired Mariana Acuña Acosta to get into movie-making — and now, she’s on the cutting edge of new production methods. After working on movies including The Day After Tomorrow, Planet Terror, and Green Lantern, Mariana joined Foundry’s Media and Production department. She then founded JoltVR to create virtual reality experiences, and Glassbox Technologies, which specializes in the unique toolset used for virtual production.
Mariana talks Chris through the past, present, and future of filmmaking, from rubbing shoulders with stunt people on-set through to the enticing promise of creating movies within the metaverse. She dives into the Glassbox’s Dragonfly virtual camera, which enables directors to explore sets and shoot films in virtual environments. She also offers her thoughts on how gaming companies are changing the movie-making process.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast363_MarianaAcuna.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 7:15am PDT
Mon, 14 February 2022
Volume capture is fast becoming one of the easiest and most practical ways to transform real people into digital assets. Pioneering this new field is Metastage, a company that captures performers on a state-of-the-art stage and then turns them into 3D content that you can play back as AR and VR experiences on even the most humble hardware.
Joining Chris this week is Christina Heller, Metastage’s CEO. After working in media production, Christina co-founded VR Playhouse to deliver stunning immersive content and then took her expertise to Metastage. She tells Chris about the process of volume capture and its incredible advantages, including how it was put to use on a convention-defying commercial featuring Charli XCX.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast362_ChristinaHeller.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 12:25pm PDT
Mon, 7 February 2022
Katrina Salicrup’s story packs as many twists and revelations as a finely crafted thriller. After studying art, she worked as a Flame artist for companies including Method Studios, The Mission Studio, and Wieden + Kennedy. Following the birth of her daughter, her life took an unexpected turn, and she began writing as a hobby — which has grown into an award-winning podcast.
A natural storyteller, Katrina tells Chris about her make-or-break move to LA, some of the amusing shots she helped fix, and how she learned the tricks of the trade. She also details her new adventures in fiction, from early storytelling advice to going to the recording studio. You’ll find out what makes a Flame artist different from a compositor and why podcasts are the new movies.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast361_KatrinaSalicrup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am PDT
Mon, 31 January 2022
2022 began with exciting news: Chaos is merging with Enscape. Referred to as a slam-dunk for both companies, the business move will combine Chaos’ award-winning photorealistic ray tracing expertise with Enscape’s flourishing knowledge of real-time rendering. But what will it mean for the companies, their software, and their customers?
In this extra-special podcast, host Chris Nichols joins Chaos CEO Peter Mitev, Chaos CTO Vlado Koylazov, and Enscape CEO Christian Lang, to answer burning questions about the merger. The trio explains how they see the future of visualization, and how a combination of real-time and ray-traced rendering could blur the lines between arch-viz and VFX, reach a broader audience — and even power the metaverse
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast360_ChaosEnscape.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 1:44pm PDT
Mon, 24 January 2022
Peter Baustaedter’s Hollywood career is an adventure worthy of a movie. After cracking the demoscene in Austria, he took a chance and wrote to Digital Domain — only for them to offer him a job. From here, he worked on a string of movies with groundbreaking VFX: Apollo 13, Dante’s Peak, The Fifth Element, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Sin City, King Kong, and Avatar.
In this extraordinary episode, Peter explains the minor role Arnold Schwarzenegger played in his career, discusses the dangerous world of practical effects in the mid-90s, and reveals why the power kept tripping at Square Pictures’ Hawaiian production facility. Peter also talks about stepping up to become a visual effects art director and shares tidbits on using Unreal Engine to produce a major upcoming TV series from Amazon Studios.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast359_PeterBaustaedter.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 9:14am PDT
Mon, 17 January 2022
By day, Raf Grassetti works at Sony Computer Entertainment’s Santa Monica Studio, where he art directs the God of War games. But there’s more to Raf than epic videogames: he’s also carved a successful path in the world of NFTs, with his hyperreal sculpts becoming hot virtual commodities.
Raf talks about his NFT artwork and how he’s tailored pieces — such as his Crypto History sculpts of Elon Musk, Snoop “Doge” Dogg, and Beeple — to attract the crypto audience. Raf also reveals his approach to marketing and building a community eager for his next release. It’s a fascinating conversation that helps unravel and explain the keys to success in the world of NFTs.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast358_RafGrassetti.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:48am PDT
Mon, 10 January 2022
Mallory Yund always knew she wanted to work in the entertainment industry — and now she’s a post-producer on some of the biggest shows in the world. Beginning in Kansas, she moved to LA, where she slept on a couch (for three years!), worked in restaurants, and became an extra. After PAing on feature films, she worked her way into post-production, where her organizational skills and technical know-how helped her become a producer.
Today, Mallory’s credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Silicon Valley, Cobra Kai, and many more shows and movies. She tells her fascinating story, including how a major natural disaster indirectly changed her career path. Mallory also reveals her favorite parts of being a producer and sheds light on the rapid evolution of the technology behind TV series.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast357_MalloryYund.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am PDT
Mon, 3 January 2022
In this episode, we get a deep dive into the efficiencies of Goodbye Kansas’ pipeline, and how they grew their team from 4 to 12 TDs. Dan and Erik discuss how they started using V-Ray for Houdini, Solaris, and Hydra. They explain how USD is not just a new file format, but a complete change in the way people think about pipelines.
We get into a lot of technical details about the advantages of USD, including how it can carry a lot of different data including lighting and shading. We also discuss how today, pipelines are more interested in using and supporting open-source initiatives compared to how they used to have to write their own proprietary solutions.
It is a very technical discussion, but also a great way to kick off 2022 as we consider the future of the VFX pipeline.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast356_GoodbyeKansas.mp3
Category:VFX -- posted at: 2:40pm PDT