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.

The universal language of cinema has proved a constant in Pixar director Peter Sohn’s life, and with Elemental, he used it to tell a story close to his heart. Born in New York City to Korean parents, Peter’s mother fell in love with the visual storytelling of Disney movies. He then carved out a career in animation, starting with The Iron Giant and moving to Pixar for moves including Finding Nemo and Up, and making his directorial debut with The Good Dinosaur.

In this podcast, recorded at the View Conference, Peter discusses how his life experiences contributed to Elemental and helped inform creative decisions. He delves into the technical aspects of the movie, revealing how machine learning helped solve some of the surprising complexities of fire and water characters. It’s a moving episode, and one that affirms cinema as a powerful tool to express and share human emotions.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast_453_Peter_Sohn.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 7:49am PDT

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse left some big spider-boots to fill — but director Joaquim Dos Santos was clearly the man to fill them. With Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the director expanded the Spider-Verse in new and unexpected directions while, crucially, staying true to the first film’s tender and nuanced approach to character and story.

Joaquim reveals how his early obsessions with VHS and comic books led to his first break in storyboarding with Starship Troopers: Roughnecks, through to helming a golden era of US animation, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and Voltron: Legendary Defender. He discusses where he finds inspiration as a filmmaker, talks about the differences between working in TV and film animation, and gives his thoughts on entertaining a new generation.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast_452_Joaquim_Dos_Santos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36am PDT

As Illumination Studios' duck tale Migration prepares to take flight on the big screen, Chris had a conversation with its director, Benjamin Renner, at the VIEW Conference in Italy. Benjamin turned his passion for drawing into a career in animation via Macromedia Director and rose to prominence as co-director of the Academy Award-nominated animated movie Ernest & Celestine.

In this podcast, Benjamin offers a candid and insightful look into the process of crafting a 3D animated film in Hollywood, contrasting it with his experiences in 2D animation in France. He opens up about times when he’s felt nervous, and he reveals some surprising misconceptions about Hollywood movies. Benjamin is warm and honest, and his experiences will ring true with any creative spirit.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast_451_BenjaminRenner.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 7:56am PDT

Michał Misiński’s name may be familiar to regular listeners — this CG artist turned director helped previous podcast guest Ash Thorp create his Ghost in the Shell homage “Project 2501.” Michał is also a partner at Polish visual effects VFX studio Juice, directing videos for Porsche, Honda, Skoda, Dolby, and more.

Recently, Michał brought his talent and passion together for a music video that ties in with sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty expansion. Michał tells Chris about the process of shooting the music video, revealing how the team seamlessly blended CG and live-action, and made a physical actress look just like an in-game character. Michał also discusses the effects of big changes in the VFX and gaming industries.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast_450_MichaMisinski.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:29am PDT