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 chaosgroup.com/cg-garage for more information and an archive of past shows.

It’s been 18 months since Chris recorded a podcast in-person, but he’s back with a bang — and the pop of a Belgian beer cork. His guest is Belle van der Woodsen, a talented arch-viz artist whose career has taken her from Europe to the US and the Middle East. At the same time, her work has developed a distinctive, tranquil style.

Belle talks about what it takes to be an arch-viz artist today, including the expectations to be active on social media and how technology such as Corona's LightMix helps perfect her images. She and Chris also talk about how Inception inspired her career, worldwide architecture styles, and why she loves depicting home comforts.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast352_BelleVanDerWoodsen.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 11:28am PST

Three years ago, Beauty and The Bit made an enormous splash in the arch-viz world with “Landmark,” an atmospheric, anamorphic short film that homaged auteurs such as Scott, Kubrick, and Villeneuve. From here, the Spanish creative studio has worked on imagery and animations for studios including Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Bjarke Ingels Group, and Perkins & Will.

In this podcast, Beauty and The Bit’s CEO, Victor Bonafonte, joins Chris to tell the studio’s story, from his beginnings in architecture to finding artistic inspiration at THU festival. Victor also talks about how arch-viz has evolved into its own art form, how he learned the rules in order to break them, and how the future of CG ties in with his ambitions.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast351_VictorBonafonte.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 7:53am PST

CGarchitect has established itself as a go-to website for the arch-viz community, giving talent a platform to share their work with recruiters and studios, as well as serving as a blog, forum and gallery. But, as CEO and Founder Jeff Mottle explains, now 19-year-old the site needed to move with the times and reinvent itself.

In this podcast, Jeff tells Chris about the super-powered new CGarchitect, which launched in May this year. Jeff reveals how he trained its smart AI to pick the best images among the thousands submitted without ignoring more abstract works. He also sheds light on how its new subscription, recruitment and content creation features work, his plans for the site's future and the data it’s collated, and managing the increasingly momentous CGarchitect awards.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast292_JeffMottle.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 9:04am PST

Matthew Bannister has been a key player in the evolution of arch-viz. Having founded arch-viz studio DBOX in New York in the mid-90s, he’s watched the medium grow into an industry unto itself, borrowing techniques from VFX — such as greenscreen, depth-of-field and helicopter shots — to create awe-inspiring work. 

But, as Matthew explains, the arch-viz business has become a victim of its own success, with social media accounts reposting artists’ work without giving credit. For this reason, Matthew has founded The Credit Revolution, a movement that seeks to remarry artists’ titles with the artwork they’ve poured their blood, sweat and tears into. Matthew also talks about how his musical project, The Beautiful Fear, has helped him tackle personal demons.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast280_MatthewBannister.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 8:28am PST

Michael Golden’s winding career path has taken in philosophy and creative writing degrees, charter fishing in Alaska as well as work for celebrated New York arch-viz studio DBOX and a role as Head of 3D for timesaving worldbuilding asset company KitBash3d. Today, Michael runs arch-viz studio Three Marks while indulging his love for fantasy and sci-fi architecture and sculpture via his Droquis alter-ego.

Michael is full of sage-like wisdom on how to create great arch-viz. His more holistic approach to creating imagery makes it easy to get clients on board with projects while maintaining creative control. He also discusses why a bad photorealistic image is worse than no image, reveals the subtle details that breathe life into renders — and explains what we can all learn from Japanese comic books.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast274_MikeGolden.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 8:25am PST

Recorded at the American Society of Architectural Illustrators' “Architecture in Perspective” event, this week's podcast is a panel discussion on architecture and imagined environments. Taking part are The Lion King and AR Wall CG Art Director Joy Lea, 3Marks and KitBash3d's Mike Golden, Luxigon founder Eric de Broche des Combes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens concept artist Nick Hiatt, Architectural Visualization Artist Isabella Eckmann, and Gensler's Creative Media Leader Megan Lubaszka. And, of course, the whole thing is moderated by CG Labs' Chris Nichols.

Among the topics discussed are the representation of space and storytelling in new mediums, the business of visualization and what different CG industries, such as arch-viz, VFX and gaming, can learn from one another. This lively debate is full of insight into modern creative methods and you'll discover what still images can do that VR can't (and vice-versa), the vast differences in cost between architectural and marketing VR experiences — as well as the importance of minigolf.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast251_ASAIPanel.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 10:53am PST

WeWork has become one of this decade’s biggest success stories. This New York-based firm offers flexible shared workspaces for anyone from freelancers to large enterprises, complete with health insurance, an internal social network and events. Its approach has helped businesses thrive, and its model has rolled out to 738 locations in 39 countries with more than 13,000 employees.

Two of those employees are Jake Williams (Creative Manager) and Greg Rogers (Head of Visualization), who are responsible for visualizing the company’s upcoming workspaces. In this podcast, recorded at the Total Chaos conference, Jake and Greg tell Chris how their team has grown exponentially alongside WeWork and The We Company; how working in-house compares to working for an external architectural visualization agency; and they discuss the technology they use to turn around beautiful images in astonishingly short periods of time.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast232_WeWork.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 12:13pm PST

Homelessness is a growing issue in Los Angeles. The number of people without anywhere to live increases every year, but at the same time, the city is building conspicuous billion-dollar high rises. Architectural illustrator, filmmaker and returning podcast guest Craig Shimahara believes he’s found a way to help solve this complex and oft-overlooked problem.

Craig’s mission begins with Architecture of Hope, an upcoming feature-length documentary which explains the root causes of homelessness, tackles common misconceptions about the homeless and reveals how architects can help create attractive and practical housing to help people off the streets.

This altruistic, optimistic podcast is sure to open your eyes — and your heart — to an unseen crisis.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast224_CraigShimahara.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 9:30pm PST

Joining Chris for this podcast are Brick’s CEO András Káldos, Chief Development Officer Attila Cselovszki, Product Development Specialist Péter Sárhidai — and a bottle of Pálinka, Hungary’s favorite fruit brandy.

As András explains, Brick Visual was founded in Budapest in 2012, among the perfect storm of a financial crisis which resulted in a surplus of unemployed architects. The company was able to compete with international arch viz studios thanks to its low prices, and after a trial-by-fire debut project, it’s established itself in the premier league.

But, as Peter explains, incredible architectural visualization for firms such as Snøhetta and SOM is not all Brick does. Its research and development department is dedicated to exploring solutions for age-old problems such as managing distributed rendering, and the new worlds of AR and VR.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast187_Brick.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 11:53am PST

In this podcast, Chris is joined by Neoscape's Evan Buxton and Bryan Holmes, as well as former Neoscaper - and now Chaos Group CCO - Lon Grohs. The innovative Boston-based studio has been on the podcast wishlist for some time, and it's peppered with amusing anecdotes about when Evan, Bryan, and Lon worked together.

The podcast also features some great advice on running a modern arch viz company, including how Neoscape has adapted to a rapidly changing market by working with developers rather than architects and now has to compete with companies such as Facebook and WhatsApp for VR-savvy employees. The topic of video games comes up frequently, especially in relationship to storytelling in arch viz and VR.

You’ll find out about Evan’s paintball ballsiness, and why you should never let Lon in your brand new car.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast184_Neoscape.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 10:53am PST

Creative studio Squint/Opera has many talents: as well as creating playful, story-driven arch viz films it has produced kids TV series Messy Goes to Okido, and it even runs a bar in south-east London. Recorded at Total Chaos, this podcast features three of the company’s 3D artists: Michelle Obayda, Camille Lymer, and Zlatina Pancheva

Drawing from their experience working with Bjarke Ingels (BIG) on the incredible Spiral skyscraper in New York, the trio tell Chris about how they combine 3D, motion graphics and live action footage to create charming, humorous videos. They discuss how they took a more tactful approach to BIG’s The Dryline, an ambitious project to protect Manhattan from flooding caused by superstorms like Hurricane Sandy.

The Squint/Opera team also talk about working on Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One, how they've adapted their unique style to virtual reality. It’s a fun and engaging podcast, and it makes Squint/Opera sound like a great place to work.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast183_SquitOpera.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 12:09pm PST

It’s not hard to see why Karim Mousa has become one of the world’s most respected arch viz artists. His renders and animations for Zaha Hadid, KPF and MVRDV are cinematic, realistic, and spectacular. In this podcast, recorded at Total Chaos, Karim tells Chris how he’s carved out a career among some of the best in the business.

Karim and Chris have a lot in common: both have lived in the vibrant city of Cairo, and both pursued arch viz careers. After spending time in Dubai, Karim swapped sand for snow and traveled to Bergen, Norway to work for creative studio MIR. Now, Karim is back in Cairo, where he continues to create eye-popping imagery and videos.

It’s an engaging, energetic listen. You’ll find out how approaches to architectural visualization have changed over the past few years, the differences between middle eastern and western projects — and how Karim’s love of Taekwondo inspired him to create an incredible series of images.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast181_KarimMoussa.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 8:01pm PST

Under their Studio Niskota moniker, Dean Niskota and Hrvoje Čop have become renowned around the world for their remarkable arch viz images and videos. At Total Chaos - where this podcast was recorded - the pair announced Polymachine, a new venture in a new office, which will transform them from arch viz specialists into a fully fledged creative agency.

Dean and Hrvoje tell Chris about their journey so far, beginning with their childhood friendship in Zagreb, to surfing the wave of Croatian tourism and single-handedly creating the country’s arch viz scene, to the pros and cons of their in-house, post-production-free pipeline.

You’ll discover how Polymachine will expand on the immense amount of knowledge they’ve already built, as well as a brief history of fluid sims, and Chris’ unusual link with Croatia and Zagreb.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast177_Dean_Chop_Polymachine.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 5:13pm PST

In this podcast, Chris talks to Corey Harper and Ramy Hanna, the co-founders of Tiltpixel. This Houston-based arch viz company has gone from two people working from home, to a thriving office filled with the latest kit - and lots of LEGOs.

Corey also serves as the 2017 president of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI), a role which will be filled in 2018 by Chaos Group CCO Lon Grohs. Corey talks about the history of the society, its Architecture in Perspective event, and this year’s unusual winner of the prestigious Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize.

The duo also discuss how they balance client expectations with artistic freedom, death-defying flights around Houston with crazy helicopter pilots, and using cutting-edge tech such as drones, 8K 360-degree cameras and green screens to create VR experiences.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast150_Tiltpixel_01.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 5:30pm PST

Here’s another pair of podcasts Chris recorded at this year’s THU festival in Portugal.

Kevin the Dane:
The first podcast features Kevin Gøhler, better known as Kevin the Dane to V-Ray fans thanks to the tutorials and reviews on his popular YouTube channel. He also works as technical director at architectural visualization company Dimension Design ApS, and he’s currently designing his own VR video game.

Pedro Fernandes, Arqui9:
Like Kevin, Pedro currently works in arch viz, as founder and creative director of the renowned Arqui9 visualization. He returned from the UK to his native Portugal especially for THU.

Both recordings are testament to the power of THU in bringing like-minded and talented artists together. Among other things, Kevin talks about how to build the brand of a YouTube channel, while Pedro dives into the deep end of the theory behind architectural visualization.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast147_KevinGoehler_PedroFernandes.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 7:33pm PST

Visualization company ArcMedia has just reached its 15th birthday. To celebrate, Founder and Managing Director Brett Fisher and Creative Director Ben Bancroft joined Chris for a few beers at the D2 conference in Vienna.

Naturally, Chaos Group’s acquisition of Render Legion and Corona comes up, but Brett and Ben highlight an unexpected benefit of the move. They also talk about ArcMedia’s beginnings in visual effects, and its subsequent switch to arch viz, interiors and even luxury yacht renders.

It’s a laid-back, freewheeling conversation which nonetheless highlights some important points about working with clients, getting repeat business, and how Phoenix is changing the way they work.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast142_ArchMedia.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 7:19pm PST

The d2 Conference has grown from a humble meeting of 85 people to an indispensable event for arch viz studios and artists around the world. This year’s event was of particular significance; the industry’s leading lights celebrated Chaos Group’s acquisition of Render Legion and Corona Renderer.

In this short but sweet podcast, Chris talks to Fabio Palvelli and Jason Bergeron, the Italian and American brains behind this influential Viennese convention. They talk about the inspiration which lead to the conference, the joy of helping artists make connections and pursue careers, and how they’ve seen arch viz evolve and branch out into other mediums.

We’ll see you in Vienna next year!

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast139_D2Conference.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 9:40am PST

Chris’s input into this year’s THU digital arts festival has resulted in a focus on architecture. As prep, he invited prospective speakers Keely Colcleugh and Fredy Castellanos, from creative visualization studio Kilograph, to the podcast studio.

Founder and CEO Keely dropped out of the prestigious Rice University to work with renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, and her multidisciplinary career has covered design (For Bruce Mau) and VFX (For PLF). Fredy, meanwhile, left his native Colombia to work for Vyonyx in London, and now serves as Kilograph’s art director.

It’s an energetic podcast which covers everything from Thom Mayne and Frank Gehry’s influence on the teaching of architecture, to virtual reality and videogames. Chris and Keely share some great anecdotes, too, including telegrams from universities, “The Liquids” spouting mathematical nonsense, and the role of wheelbarrows in arch viz movies.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast124_Kilograph.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 9:24pm PST

In this podcast, Chris talks to Erik Altman and O’Brien Chalmers, CEO and president of Steelblue, along with Mike Brown. This ambitious San Francisco-based arch viz firm has proved itself a master of just about every visualization medium available, including photography, realtime renders, virtual reality and 3D printing.

They explain how these different techniques essentially do the same thing: tell a story. They talk about how they have to fill in the gaps left by architects and developers, and their work on San Francisco’s The Pacific apartment block, and its iconic Ferry Building. It’s an engrossing discussion about a medium which has inadvertently driven CGI tech forwards.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast117_SteelBlue.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 4:46pm PST

We first spoke to Craig Shimahara for Podcast #26, way back in June 2015. Since then, his film Masterless has debuted in Japan, and his architectural visualization practice Shimahara Illustration has gone from strength to strength.

On his second visit to the Chaos recording suite, Craig talks about all things VR. A lot of questions come up: Where are we in Gartner’s “hype cycle” of VR? How do VR experiences deal with scale? Is VR accessible to old, or short, or tall people? And how can we use it to tell stories?

Chaos Group's CCO Lon Grohs adds his thoughts to this engaging listen, which highlights some of the frustrations of a medium which is still finding its feet.

 

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast102_CraigShimahara.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 6:53pm PST

One year since GTC 2015, Jeff Mottle of CG Architect and Chris decided to see what has changed in the world of technology and Architecture Visualization, now at GTC 2016. We speak a lot about VR and to see what has changed in ArchViz and VR in the last year. We also speak of Realtime vs Prerendered and what each of those means in terms of ArchViz. Lastly we speak about GPU rendering and how it has advanced especially in light of the news of the new P100 processor from NVIDIA.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast69_JeffMottle.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 7:12pm PST

Had an amazing opportunity to be a part of the 3D Symposium panel in Cancun hosted by Jeff Mottle from CG Architect. They agreed to let me record the panel and make it a Podcast. It is a great opportunity for all of you to hear some of the great conversations and discussions that are happening in ArchViz these days. Even if you are not part of that specific industry, you will mind many familiar themes across the different industries.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast50_3DSymposium.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 6:01pm PST

Craig Shimahara, owns a fantastic Architectural Illustration company called Shimahara Illustration. We talk about his background and how he started at Gensler, and what has also led him to start to become a fimmaker. We discuss the idea of style and story telling, and spend a bit of time talking about new mediums such as VR.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast26_CraigShimahara.mp3
Category:Archviz -- posted at: 4:46pm PST

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