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
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
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
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
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, 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
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, 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, 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
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, 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, 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, 27 September 2021
AJ Jefferies’ art is unmistakable. Whether he’s indulging in passion projects or designing campaigns for companies including Cadbury’s, Virgin Atlantic, and MTV, this UK-based 3D illustrator and animator’s work is eye-catching, playful, and colorful — and large, sometimes up to 10K in resolution.
In this conversation with Chris, AJ breaks down his career so far, from how Toy Story inspired his early adventures in computer graphics, learning 3D and illustration in Bournemouth, and joining a two-person studio in Norwich where he remains to this day. AJ also talks about the essential tools in his workflow, how V-Ray helped boost his render times, and the future of rendering technology.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast343_AJJefferies.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:23am PDT
Mon, 26 July 2021
The globally renowned RealTime Conference couldn’t have been founded by anyone other than Jean-Michel Blottière. From a young age, Jean-Michel has been at the heart of both the games and media industries, beginning with gaming magazines and TV series in his native France, and moving into CG and animation conferences via Imagina and FMX.
Today, Jean-Michel runs the RealTime Conference, which has proved spectacularly successful—despite starting when the pandemic hit last year. He talks about the joy of organizing the conference, from finding generous sponsors and talented speakers, to presenting live in front of a global audience. He also discusses the exciting upcoming edition of the RealTime Conference—The Rise of the Metaverse: Populating the Metaverse.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast335_JeanMichelBlottiere.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:09am PDT
Mon, 19 July 2021
This week’s podcast guest, Carlos Fueyo, checks all Chris’ boxes for architecture, VFX, and real-time. After working alongside theoretical architecture legend Lebbeus Woods, Carlos provided stunning visual effects for movies including Priest, Super 8, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He then set himself up as a studio working on VFX, architectural, virtual reality, and real-time projects, including evil base compendium, LAIR.
Today, Carlos is investigating real-time filmmaking via an intriguing short film entitled “Replica” while working on effects for a yet-to-be-revealed Marvel project. Carlos gives his thoughts on how real-time is turning filmmaking on its head and some of the new challenges it presents in keeping content fresh.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast334_CarlosFueyo.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:16am PDT
Mon, 17 May 2021
Since its launch in 2000, CG content marketplace Turbosquid has amassed almost 1 million 3D models and become a go-to source for VFX, games and much more. In this week's podcast, Turbosquid's VP of Business Development, Beau Perschall, and Chief Creative Officer, Dade Orgeron, join Chris to talk about this unforgettably named company.
You'll learn how the company uses clever tech—including V-Ray AppSDK—to catalog and display its vast array of content and ensure it works across multiple platforms. Beau and Dade also discuss Turbosquid's Pixelsquid and Kraken spin-offs, and the company's acquisition by stock photography giant Shutterstock. If you've ever wanted to create Turbosquid content yourself, Beau and Dade will tell you what's most wanted at the moment
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast326_BeauPerschall_DadeOrgeron.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:41am PDT
Mon, 3 May 2021
This week, Blur’s Franck Balson and Gabe Askew join Chris to discuss the intricacies of cel-shading, which gives 3D visuals a unique cartoony look. You’ll find out how Blur combined advanced hacks and simple techniques to create stylized animation for Love, Death & Robots episode “Suits,” which features mech-touting farmers, and the frenetic trailer for Riot Games’ Valorant.
Franck also discusses his multi-cultural background and how he landed a job at Blur, while Gabe covers his previous job directing commercials in New York. They talk about what it’s like to get hired and work for Tim Miller and Blur Studio, and shed light on some of the approaches to animation that can bring characters to life.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast324_FrankBalson_GabeAskew.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:57am PDT
Mon, 8 February 2021
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 PDT
Mon, 18 January 2021
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 PDT
Mon, 11 January 2021
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 PDT
Tue, 29 December 2020
Is there anything Alessandro Cangelosi can’t do? Over the past 20 years, this versatile generalist has contributed to games, movies, documentaries, film studio idents and commercials for everything from computer accessories to tourist destinations. To handle this wide array of work, Alessandro uses software including 3ds Max, Houdini and V-Ray.
In this podcast, Alessandro tells Chris how he likes to get under the hood of his projects, embracing innovative tech and techniques to create stunning effects for movies including Independence Day: Resurgence and 2012. He also talks about his plans to invigorate Italy’s visual effects industry with his own school, and the courses he teaches for Gnomon Workshop and Skyup Academy.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast307_AlessandroCangelosi.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:45am PDT
Mon, 21 December 2020
Babak Bina has carved out an illustrious career in VFX — and now he’s passing his knowledge onto a new generation. Originally hailing from Iran, the band Tool’s visuals inspired Babak to pursue graphic design in Toronto. He’s gone on to work for visual effects studios Double Negative, Method Studios and Scanline VFX on movies and TV shows, including Game of Thrones, Black Panther and Wonder Woman.
This year, Babak has also started teaching how to create weird and wonderful creatures at The Gnomon Workshop. He tells Chris what it’s like to teach students he’s never seen and the tools he uses to create believable characters. Babak also discusses his new role as co-director of short movie, “The Seahorse Trainer.”
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast306_BabakBina.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:10am PDT
Mon, 23 November 2020
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 PDT
Mon, 9 November 2020
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 PDT
Mon, 28 September 2020
Maciej Kuciara has established himself as a go-to talent for awe-inspiring concept art. Originally hailing from Poland, Maciej quit university to create artwork for tabletop games, then landed jobs at video game developers People Can Fly (Painkiller), Crytek (Crysis) and Naughty Dog (The Last of Us), and then worked on movies including the Ghost in the Shell remake, Blade Runner 2049 and Terminator: Dark Fate.
Most recently, Maciej unleashed his short film “Showtime,” a painstakingly accurate homage to classic animes Akira and Ghost in the Shell. He tells Chris about his life behind the Iron Curtain, his love of role-playing games and anime, how working hard on major games and movies helped him bring his incredible vision to life — and his plans for its future.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast294_MaciejKuciara.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:52am PDT
Mon, 24 August 2020
Released earlier this year, V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max and V-Ray 5 for Maya represent a new generation of Chaos Group software that does more than just render. In this podcast, Product Specialist Alex Yolov and Software Tester Peter Matanov reveal the research and development process that’s expanded the capabilities of V-Ray.
You’ll discover how V-Ray 5 integrates the retooled V-Ray Frame Buffer, Light Mix, Light Path Expressions and the ACESCG color space, and how they make artist workflows more efficient. Peter and Alex also discuss how user feedback, testing on real-world productions and input from Vlado himself helped create this innovative new version of V-Ray.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast289_AlexYolov_PeterMatanov.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:37am PDT
Mon, 10 August 2020
In the near future, we may find ourselves talking to and interacting with digital humans as if they were real people. They’ll be there to help us find clothes that fit, or to act as virtual assistants — and they might even take our places during Zoom calls. The architect of this new age is likely to be Hao Li, the former director of the Institute of Creative Technology (ICT) research lead who founded Pinscreen to create seamless, instant CG avatars.
In this podcast, Hao talks about how lockdowns and social distancing have fast-forwarded digital humans’ evolution. He discusses the technology his company uses to capture and create CG likenesses, and their subsequent roles in video games, fashion and VFX. Hao also addresses some of the ethical concerns that surround digital humans.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast287_HaoLi.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:29am PDT
Mon, 3 August 2020
Over the past few years, Blender has gone from niche software to a significant part of the CG landscape. The free, open-source 3D package has shed its geeky image and steep learning curve in favor of an accessible interface and simple workflows. And for anyone who wants to learn Blender, Blender Guru’s YouTube tutorials are the perfect place to start.
Joining Chris for this week’s podcast is Andrew Price — AKA the guru of Blender Guru. He tells Chris how he went from debt collector to a key player in the CG industry, how he found his voice as a YouTuber, how he’s taught Blender to prisoners — and why it’s better to model a park bench than a spaceship. He also talks about Poliigon, the CG asset site he founded, and the future of Blender.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast286_AndrewPrice.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:24am PDT
Mon, 29 June 2020
Andy Lomas has always been fascinated with math and filmmaking. On graduating from Cambridge he founded a video production company, then worked on VFX for movies including The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. At the same time, he explored his passion for CG art, making use of render farms in their downtime.
In this podcast, Andy goes into detail on his artwork and how he uses technology, including deep learning and NVIDIA’s OptiX API, to create unruly but controllable plantlike and cellular forms. He talks about how he brings together influences from nature, physics and biology, as well as his work on Katana at The Foundry and his current lecturing post at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast281_AndyLomas.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:26am PDT
Mon, 15 June 2020
Mike Wuetherick’s story begins in the world of videogames, where he created games as well as the engines and middleware that make them work. Today, Mike heads up the Tech, Media and Entertainment division at Unity Technologies, the company behind the ubiquitous game engine that is fast becoming part of the VFX, architecture and automotive pipelines.
In this podcast, Mike tells Chris how techniques and tools from filmmaking and gaming are merging via projects such as The Lion King, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Oats Studios' two sequels to Unity's original Adam short film. Mike offers some fascinating insights into how we’ll experience entertainment in the future and where cloud computing, user-generated content and real-time rendering fit into the picture.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast279_MikeWuetherick.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:40am PDT
Mon, 18 May 2020
Jim Lammers knows 3D like no other. Since 1994 his company, Trinity3D, has been vending 3D content and software (including V-Ray). At the same time his studio, Trinity Animation, has created content for technical and medical projects as well as visual effects for the movie Starship Troopers and backdrops for animated sitcom Archer.
In this podcast, Jim joins Chris and Lon to reminisce about SIGGRAPHs past and long-lost data storage media, as well as the shifts that have taken place in the 3D industry since the mid-90s — and how new technology is throwing up familiar problems. Jim also talks about how his team creates and delivers Archer’s painterly backdrops while giving the show’s designers creative control, the issues that make legal animations so challenging — and the inner workings of industrial flour-sifting machines.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast276_JimLammers.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:58am PDT
Mon, 11 May 2020
Over the past 20 years, Jody Madden has worked her way to the top of the visual effects career ladder. She began her career at Industrial Light & Magic and Lucasfilm in San Francisco, then moved to Los Angeles to work for Digital Domain. Today, Jody is CEO of Foundry, the London-based company behind essential VFX software Nuke, Modo, Katana, Mari and Modo.
In this podcast, Jody discusses how interesting new approaches to working may come out of the COVID situation, as well as how her experience at Digital Domain and long-distance management of Foundry have prepared her for managing people through times of uncertainty. She also tells Chris about Foundry’s history as a Digital Domain off-shoot and how it’s preparing for a shift in the way media is produced and consumed.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast275_JodyMadden.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:39am PDT
Mon, 20 April 2020
Large-scale realistic cityscapes have never been more important — whether they’re for blockbuster VFX, open-world videogames, architectural planning or even training self-driving cars. This week’s podcast guest, Matthias Buehler, is an expert in generating realistic urban environments thanks to his work on the CityEngine procedural city modeling software.
Matthias talks Chris through his career, from learning about architecture from industry legends such as Hani Rashid and Greg Lynn, to his work building CityScape into VFX company Scanline’s pipeline, to his new CG city-focused company, vrbn. It’s a fascinating conversation about the methods and rules that we can use to effortlessly create realistic CG metropolises.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast272_MatthiasBuehler.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:19am PDT
Tue, 14 April 2020
Over the past 12 years, V-Ray GPU has been developed alongside the CPU renderer to take advantage of increasingly powerful and specialized hardware — and now it’s coming of age. Joining Chris this week is Alex Soklev, whose passion for ray tracing has propelled him to the position of Team Leader in Chaos Group’s V-Ray GPU team.
Fresh from his online GTC presentation, Alex breaks down the components that make V-Ray GPU such a versatile renderer. He goes into detail on integrating the Optix API to make the most of NVIDIA's latest RT cores, explains how clever technology such as out-of-core and on-demand rendering help keep GPU ray tracing fast and efficient, and gives a thorough breakdown of how static, dynamic and evictable geometry can keep rendering fast and efficient.
It's a perfect refresher on ray tracing techniques — and you'll find out why V-Ray GPU can handle any scene no matter how much GPU memory you've got.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast271_AlexSoklev.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:51am PDT
Mon, 23 March 2020
With digital humans and deepfakes becoming increasingly prevalent in both traditional and social media, the law surrounding virtual humans has become more complex. Here to save the day is Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who has served as head lawyer and second-in-command at the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) for the past 20 years.
Using examples Chris has encountered in his professional life, Duncan gives a level-headed and clear-cut primer on how copyright law applies to performers and CG artists. He tackles everything from the highly detailed digi-doubles of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher created for Star Wars movies to amateur fan art at local markets, and the emerging world of deepfakes.
Obviously, this podcast does not constitute legal advice, but it’s a fascinating listen whether you’re a CG pro, an actor — or just an entertainment fan.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast268_DuncanCrabtreeIrland.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:51am PDT
Mon, 9 March 2020
This week, Chris meets an old friend and former Digital Domain co-worker Alex Nijmeh — and this joyful podcast is a testament to how much fun they had together on movies such as The Day After Tomorrow and I, Robot. They reminisce about how unfeasibly tight deadlines pushed them to learn software and techniques, as well as the characters they met and funny antics they got up to at DD’s studio.
Today, Alex's enthusiasm for all things CG has taken him to Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he graduated from working on movies such as Frozen and Zootopia to overseeing the company's workflow. He tells Chris how a lack of practical experience with 3ds Max didn't stop him from beginning his career, and he gives his thoughts on the future computing trends that will reshape in the industry.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast267_AlexNijmeh.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:07am PDT
Mon, 24 February 2020
Digital humans are playing an increasingly important role in our day-to-day lives. CG replicas of people dominate entertainment, from epic movies such as The Irishman to simple YouTube videos. Interacting with AI assistants has become second nature. And social media and news headlines are dominated by the issues surrounding deepfakes.
Joining Chris for this week’s podcast is Koki Nagano, who has become an expert in virtual doppelgangers via his research on digital humans at USC and his work at Pinscreen, a company that uses AI to supercharge the creation of 3D personal avatars from a single photo. Koki gets under the skin (literally) of what it takes to create a detailed digital human and talks about how he’s approached the uncanny valley from both sides.
Listen to find out some incredible facts about your face — and how combining old and new technology could result in the most accurate digital humans to date.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast265_KokiNagano.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 12:16pm PDT
Mon, 17 February 2020
Want to learn how to do 3D in motion graphics? EJ Hassenfratz is your man. After landing on his feet in motion graphics for NBC, PBS and ABC, EJ wound up giving a presentation for Cinema 4D company Maxon, which inspired him to learn more about the software and start creating tutorials. Today, EJ works as a freelance motion designer while crafting courses for the renowned online learning platform, School of Motion.
In this podcast, EJ gives a frank and funny insight into the world of education. He highlights some of the pitfalls of learning for free via YouTube tutorials or graduating with massive debt from college. He presents some dependable advice about taking on challenges and investing in yourself, as well as a nostalgic view of the rapid evolution of technology, animation, education and computer graphics.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast264_EJHassenfratz.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:24pm PDT
Mon, 10 February 2020
"Deepfake" videos have become hugely popular online — for better or worse. This AI-powered technology results in hilarious celebrity head swaps but, as Jordan Peele demonstrated with his manipulation of Barack Obama's speech, they could play a more disturbing role in online misinformation. Computer vision scientist Wael AbdAlmageed's mission is to develop tools that can quickly detect deepfakes with a good degree of accuracy.
As digital human experts, both Chris and Wael took part in a SAG-AFTRA panel at CES and recorded this podcast afterwards. Wael explains some of the telltale signs that you’re watching a deepfake video and the approaches computer algorithms use to detect them. He also tackles digital de-aging in movies such as The Irishman and the ethics of facial manipulation. This is a fascinating look at a fight against a technology that is improving day by day.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast263_Wael_AbdAlmageed.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:46am PDT
Mon, 20 January 2020
This week’s podcast is something a little different — the first-ever CG Garage podcast “takeover.” Helming the mic are three talented, funny and smart employees of cutting edge experience studio, Magnopus. Between them, Sally Slade, Kat Harris and Emily Van Belleghem have sent Hololenses to the International Space Station, filed patents, started non-profit organizations and pioneered software development.
Over two and a half hours the trio (plus moderator Chris, and Bella, the dog) discuss the incredible projects they’ve worked on in the past and dream ideas for the future, the enormous benefits of having a diverse team, Hollywood attitudes to minorities and on-screen hacking — and lots more. Listen to find out why we need more male voice assistants, the dangers of mansplaining to pro devs — and how to help Mark Zuckerburg stir dragon vomit live on stage.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast260_MagnopusTakeOver.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:15am PDT
Mon, 16 December 2019
Hailing from Sao Paolo, Brazil, Pedro Conti has created some truly impressive work. As well as contributing to Disney’s Moana as a VFX artist, he created hilarious short “One More Beer,” and directed the touching music video for Ron Artis II’s song “In My Heart.” But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Pedro — this sensitive soul has faced some challenging moments.
In this podcast, recorded at THU 2019 earlier this year, Pedro tells Chris how he got into graphics with his dad and taught himself 3D techniques. He talks about the dramatic contrasts between living in Rio, with no hot water and plenty of rats, and Burbank, where he worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He also delves into the happy and sad moments he’s had since he moved back to Brazil as well as the big part music has played throughout his life.
Join Pedro, and many more incredible speakers, at Total Chaos 2020 in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 29 — 31.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast255_PedroConti.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:33am PDT
Mon, 2 December 2019
In light of the unexpected passing of our beloved colleague Jaroslav Křivánek on Sunday, today’s podcast is one from the archives. Episode #176 was recorded in Sofia, Bulgaria, in May 2018, as a discussion about the Corona and Chaos family. Talking alongside founding partner and main developer Ondřej Karlík, Jaroslav Křivánek talks in detail about the technology that makes Corona fast and efficient — machine learning with Bayesian inference, heterogeneous media, and GPU rendering — and shares personal insights into his own background in the industry.
Jaroslav’s wit, energy, and passion are simply irreplaceable. He was instrumental in the creation of Corona Renderer and has been an exceptional leader and mentor to many throughout the Chaos family and beyond.
Please join us in sending our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family and loved ones.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast253_JaroslavKrivanek.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 3:08pm PDT
Mon, 28 October 2019
To say John Chalfant could turn his hand to anything would be an understatement. Over the past 20 years, this multi-talented creative has served as a 3D artist, director of photography, game developer, VFX supervisor and art director on movies and games including The Day After Tomorrow, Diablo II, Warcraft III, Nosgoth, Batman: Arkham City, Wolfenstein, Hellgate: London and Final Fantasy.
Recorded over some rye whiskey, John tells Chris his origin story, from finding inspiration in animated TV series Robotech and Neo Geo video games, setting up a studio with some friends and convincing producers to let them work on a TV series, to partying at Blur Studio and working with filmmaking legend David Lynch on animations, nightclubs and immersive experiences.
Despite his incredible career, John is a laid-back guest and he offers some of the secrets of his success, his future plans — and thoughts on which franchise director Tim Miller will tackle next.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast248_JohnChalfont.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:42am PDT
Mon, 21 October 2019
After dabbling with acting and music, Greg Downing found his true calling in all things photography related — and the world is a better place for it. His passion for the medium took him from home experiments with plaster casts and turntables to create panoramas of European landmarks to building a new HDRI camera for effects house Rhythm & Hues.
At the same time, Greg has indulged his passion for documenting the wonders of the world with cutting-edge technology. He’s used gigapixel photography, photogrammetry, VR, HDRI, dome theaters and the Google Maps API to capture and display Yosemite’s El Capitan rock formation, Everest’s base camp and historic paintings in Chinese caves. In this podcast, Greg talks about these projects as well as his work with Björk in Iceland on her immersive VR album “Vulnicura” and his collaborations in the world of lightfields with technology pioneer Paul Debevec at Google.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast247_GregDowning.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 12:21pm PDT
Mon, 14 October 2019
A lot has changed in Joy Lea’s life since she last appeared on the CG Garage podcast in 2016. The former games environment designer was hired by MPC LA as an artist on Disney’s The Lion King, which broke new ground in terms of virtual production pipelines. Continuing the trend, Joy has taken on another game-changing role: CG Art Director at augmented reality virtual production company ARwall.
As someone who has switched between games and films, Joy has a unique perspective on the similarities and differences between the industries, as well as their working cultures and attitudes to women. She also talks about the more fun aspects of her job, such as watching The Lion King’s creative team play in virtual reality environments she created and the greenscreen-replacing potential of ARwall.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast246_JoyLea.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:50am PDT
Mon, 23 September 2019
Over the past 25 years, NVIDIA has gone from gaming hardware specialist to a major player in CGI, automotive technology and even healthcare. In this podcast, Director Ankit Patel joins Chris to reveal how huge innovations in GPUs and AI have helped the company become ubiquitous with fast, smart computing.
It serves as a great little explainer on the world of GPUs, how they have to be configured to work with numerous APIs and processor architectures, and the bottleneck whack-a-mole developers have to play as hardware and software advances. Ankit also goes into detail on NVIDIA's OptiX and CUDA APIs, how the company balances performance and power consumption on notebooks, and its groundbreaking research in machine learning.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast243_AnkitPatel.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:04am PDT
Mon, 2 September 2019
One year after his lively appearance on Episode #190, Shader Wizard Zap Andersson is back — and this time he’s talking all things Open Shader Language (OSL). Now a fully integrated part of 3ds Max’s viewport, this open-source language makes it quick and easy to use shaders across multiple rendering platforms, and tweak and develop your own. Zap discusses the development of OSL and how he put it to use via a 3D fractal, as well as revealing some neat 3ds Max tricks.
That’s not all. Zap also tells Chris about his experiences at this year’s SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, including his thoughts on facial animation and how machine learning could help us cross the uncanny valley. He also discusses his meetings with renowned VFX YouTubers Corridor Digital, how he’s developing his Android app Slightly Annoyed Rodents — and even arm wrestling Chaos Group’s Co-founder, Vlado Koylazov.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast240_ZapAnderson_2019.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:08am PDT
Mon, 26 August 2019
Back in 1999, a short film called “Pepe” introduced the ray-tracing renderer that would become Arnold. Joining Chris for this podcast is Marcos Fajardo, the guy who built the software and helped make the short film after studying SIGGRAPH papers and shareware software.
Chris shares some questions from Vlado, and gets a fascinating history of Arnold, as Marcos breaks down the renderer’s development, how it got its name, Sony’s investment in the software for animated feature film Monster House, the role it played in bringing Gravity to the big screen, and its recent acquisition by Autodesk.
Marcos comes across as humble but focused, and he’s happy to discuss his strengths and weaknesses, as well as the debt he racked up through developing Arnold. He also discusses the ray tracing of tomorrow and the promises of quantum computing.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast239_MarcosFajardo.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:16am PDT
Mon, 12 August 2019
Caustics are everywhere. Defined as concentrations of light refracted or reflected off a specular surface, common examples include the patterns you see on the bottom of a pool and the bright curves of light in a wine glass’s shadow. But they also affect the way you see through windows and the reflections cast by any shiny surface. Turning on caustics in ray traced renders can add subtle levels of realism, but their high computational expense means they are usually omitted.
That is until now. The latest release of the Corona Renderer includes a vastly improved caustics solver — which minimizes resource-intensive overheads. In this podcast, Corona’s Founding Partner and Main Developer Ondřej Karlik, and R&D Partner Jaroslav Křivánek tell Chris why caustics are so hard to compute. They also discuss the approach they took to make them work, their vision for the future of caustics — and whether the new solver will make its way to V-Ray.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast237_Ondrej_Jaroslav_Caustics.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:40am PDT
Sun, 28 July 2019
Craig “Xray” Halperin has worked on everything. His career began at the tender age of 13 when he contributed graphics to the TV show The Fall Guy, and as he grew up he became accustomed to projection mapping, motion graphics and non-linear video editing techniques. His big break in VFX came courtesy of a desperate Stan Winston who needed him to digitally improve Brad Pitt’s face for Interview with the Vampire, and he went on to work on Apollo 13, Hollow Man and Kung Fu Panda.
Today, Xray helps create immersive gaming experiences for Insomniac Games. In this podcast, he discusses how the company managed to create a living, breathing interactive Manhattan with 60fps 4K HDR globally illuminated graphics for Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4. He also tells Chris about his occasional work in education, including helping Paul Debevec with his Parthenon project. The podcast concludes with Xray’s vision of the future in real-time and new game engines.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast235_AgentXray.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:30pm PDT
Mon, 15 July 2019
This year’s Total Chaos conference brought together three of the biggest names in the art and science of CG: 3D portrait artist Ian Spriggs, lighting pioneer turned light field specialist Paul Debevec, and anatomy expert and AI exploratory artist Scott Eaton. Each presented compelling talks on the Total Chaos stages, before heading to Chris's mobile booth to record this podcast.
What emerges is a thorough examination of how rapid technological changes are revolutionizing the way CG and digital humans are created. Ian talks about his meticulous portrait of Scott and how GPU technology has sped up his workflows, Paul goes into detail on bringing Scott's giant head into VR via light field technology, and Scott himself discusses his experiments with machine learning to create surreal imagery based on his anatomical database.
The trio offers their thoughts on how the convergence of this technology may change the role of the artist — and how this isn't necessarily anything new. Ian also gives some insight into his upcoming portrait of Chris himself.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast233_PaulDebevec_ScottEaton_IanSpriggs.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:14am PDT
Mon, 24 June 2019
Victor and Chris first met at the THU festival a few years ago, and at Chaos Group’s Total Chaos event earlier this year they were finally able to sit down and record this podcast. What follows is a retelling of Victor’s journey from humble 3ds Max user to one of the most revered and distinctive 3D character artists on the planet.
There’s lots of sound advice for artists here, including how Victor has overcome his fears of talking on stage and being interviewed by big companies, how he’s learned from criticism, and taking the first bold steps to become a freelance artist full-time. He also talks about how his dream job didn’t quite meet his expectations and his most recent work on Love, Death & Robots.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast230_VictorHugo.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:22am PDT
Mon, 10 June 2019
The CG industry is on the cusp of a dramatic shift. While ray tracing has always been the best way to achieve lifelike CG visuals, hardware and software advances are making it feasible for architects, arch viz artists and designers to use real-time engines to create astonishing imagery and VR experiences.
In this podcast, Chris is joined by Chaos Group’s Vice President of Product Management Phil Miller and V-Ray for Unreal Product Manager Simeon Balabanov. The pair discuss the history of rasterized graphics, how they compare with ray-traced imagery and some of the myths around real-time. You’ll also learn how Chaos Group is making it easier to take ray-traced workflows into real-time with products such as V-Ray for Unreal and Project Lavina.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast228_Simeon_Phil.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:18am PDT
Mon, 29 April 2019
This week, Chris is joined by energetic and super smart developer Kat Harris. Kat studied Computer Science Engineering at the University of Virginia, where she also went from pixel artist to vice president of the Student Game Developers club. She integrated numerous technologies into the Unity game engine in her role as Technical and Gaming Evangelist at Microsoft and became the world’s first female Unity Certified Developer. Now, Kat works at pioneering visual development company Magnopus, where she now focuses on mixed reality inside the entertainment world of virtual production.
Kat discusses what it’s like to work and play in male-dominated fields, from experiences with Magic: The Gathering at middle school to the offices of big tech firms. There are also numerous side-tracks into the fields of the internet of things, how sci-fi ideas are shaping the tech and gaming industries, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and her newfound love of Dungeons and Dragons.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast222_KatHarris.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:09am PDT
Mon, 1 April 2019
This week, Chris goes behind the scenes at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. Founded in 1997, this Hollywood-based establishment has grown to a thriving and crucial part of the effects industry, with over 400 students picking up the skills which will land them hot jobs on games and movies.
In this podcast, Chris is joined by Eric Miller, the school’s Chief Technology Officer. His job is to ensure Gnomon is always ahead of industry trends in both hardware and software, managing a vast array of technology and 135 different software packages. Eric also talks about some of the teaching methods Gnomon employs to get students ready for the tough world of visual effects or games, and he offers some great advice on how to prepare for a course at Gnomon.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast218_EricMiller.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:12am PDT
Mon, 25 February 2019
Digital Giant is using new technology to make it easier and faster to create photorealistic digital content. Joining Chris this week are the company’s Operative Dallas Carroll and VFX Supervisor/Partner Felix Urquiza, who go in depth on the way the company has been set up, and how it’s doing things differently.
CG car work is notoriously finicky. The challenge of making vehicles look real — as well as keeping up with every detail of the car design — increases year on year. Digital Giant has taken years of experience and found new ways to keep their process accurate and efficient, combining both real-time technologies along with offline rendering and making sure everything is synced up.
It’s a fascinating discussion of an area of CG which is at the forefront of the industry, and one which is experiencing sweeping changes thanks to social media and new technology.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast213_DigitalGiant.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:15am PDT
Mon, 11 February 2019
Andrew Maximov has a vision for how to change the gaming and CG industries from the ground up. His Promethean AI is a super-smart piece of software which allows designers, developers and artists to create and populate environments simply by asking for them via voice or text. It neatly cuts out the fiddly, time-consuming parts of the CG creative process, and allows users to get straight to the fun and interesting parts of decorating virtual sets.
In his chat with Chris, Andrew reveals how his work at Wargaming (World of Tanks) and Naughty Dog (Uncharted and Last of Us) led to the creation of Promethean AI. He and Chris also debate the creative industry's fears about AI's potential to replace jobs en masse, and Promethean AI’s potential applications in other areas such as e-commerce and storytelling.
Want to know more about Andrew and Promethean AI? Come to Total Chaos and see his presentation, as well as many more fascinating and inspiring talks.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast211_AndrewMaximov.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:40am PDT
Mon, 7 January 2019
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast206_MattFairclough.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:29am PDT
Mon, 31 December 2018
Over almost 25 years, Phil Miller has helped bring products such as 3ds Max, Combustion, Dreamweaver, and NVIDIA’s commercial rendering solutions to market — and dabbled in his own software and his original vocation of architecture. Now, Phil has brought his wealth of experience and knowledge to Chaos Group where he serves as vice president of product management.
This podcast is a treasure trove of long-lost computing terms like Pentium processors, MS-DOS and ISDN lines. Phil gives a potted history of the ups and downs of technology, including the ingenious method he used to give plotted architectural illustrations a hand-drawn look, the success of his books on 3D Studio and 3ds Max, and how Chaos Group shook up the rendering industry with V-Ray RT.
Phil is always a few years ahead of his time, and the podcast concludes with his thoughts on the future of CG, real-time rendering via Project Lavina and why speed increases are only part of the battle.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast205_PhilMiller.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 12:36pm PDT
Mon, 24 December 2018
Artificial intelligence has gone from sci-fi subject matter to part of our day-to-day lives via assistant services such as Apple’s Siri and machine learning which helps 3D artists create better work more quickly. But is this merely another technological leap forwards, like photography or computer-aided design, or a genuine threat to lives and livelihoods?
That’s the question Chris posed to an expert panel at this year’s THU festival. Among his guests were Daimler futurologists Sabine Engelhardt and Alexander Mankowsky, CG supervisor-turned-Google technical director Jeff Kember, anatomy specialist Scott Eaton and Lenovo’s head of media and entertainment Rob Hoffmann.
This entertaining, informative and occasionally heated debate tackles everything from the intricacies of neural networks and image learning, to the science and psychology of scents, and the way Netflix and Hulu stats help create entertainment precisely calibrated for certain audiences.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast204_THU2018_AI.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 4:09pm PDT
Mon, 19 November 2018
One of the best things about THU is having so many world-class experts in one place — something Chris took advantage of when he assembled this panel for a discussion on digital humans. The superstar lineup consisted of digital Rembrandt Ian Spriggs, CG pioneer Paul Debevec, ILM’s chief re-animator Hal Hickel, acclaimed anatomy artist Scott Eaton, and Naughty Dog lead character artist Frank Tzeng.
This debate tracks the evolution of digital characters through movies such as Spider-Man 2, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Wall-E, and The Incredibles. Chris and his guests tackle the challenges of building realistic digital humans, the shortcuts games take to present convincing characters on limited hardware, and how subtle artistic decisions can help inject personality and story. They also talk about the ethical conundrums of creating virtual people, and how the film stars of tomorrow might be AI-driven algorithms.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast199_THU2018_Humans.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:08am PDT
Mon, 29 October 2018
Alex's early career combined his passion for architecture with his love of theater, but an early experience with an Oculus Rift inspired him to move into the virtual arena. His company, Agile Lens, produces everything from quick virtual sketches to immersive photorealistic visualizations for the AEC industry.
In this podcast, Alex tells Chris why it's important to fasten your headset early on in the development process, some of the subtle cues he uses to guide participants around VR experiences, and the pros and cons of cutting-edge augmented reality gear such as the Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap One. It concludes with an impassioned geek-out on favorite architects and dream VR architecture, as well as Alex's plans for XR Dads, a podcast on parenthood in the virtual age.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast196_AlexCoulombe_AgileLense.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 2:06pm PDT
Mon, 22 October 2018
THU festival is a wonderful place filled with inspiring things; among them this year was this deep-dive panel discussion on the relationship between artists and their tools.
The superstar participants include famed traditional-leaning Visual Artist Phil Hale, visionary Gnomon School Founder Alex Alvarez, and prestigious Hollywood Concept Artist and Production Designer Dylan Cole. Representing the advanced tools today’s creators use to build worlds are Lenovo’s Media & Entertainment Manager Rob Hoffmann, and Chaos Group’s Co-Founder and CEO Peter Mitev.
Chris does a great job of steering the conversation and involving all his guests, and it covers everything from the relationship between traditional and digital art, the evolution of mediums from cave paintings to Zbrush, and how AI and accurate skin shaders are changing the role of the artist. You’ll find out about the development process behind V-Ray, and how building software and hardware has many similarities with creating art.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast195_THU2018_Tools.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 1:12am PDT
Mon, 8 October 2018
At Google’s Cloud Next ‘18 event in San Francisco earlier this year, a small team of CG artists and Google technicians took part in an audacious experiment: to create a Hollywood-quality animated short film in just three days. Fortunately, the team had a little help from Google’s Cloud Platform, a scalable and versatile system which gave them a huge amount of remote computing power.
In this enlightening podcast, Google Cloud Platform’s Adrian Graham and CG artist D. Ryan Reeb talk about the various pieces of technology which made Robot Dance Party possible: Teradici’s PCoIP remote workstations, Bebop’s orchestration layer, and Zync’s queue manager, as well as Maya, V-Ray for Maya and After Effects.
Adrian does a fantastic job of breaking down each component and explaining how it fits into Google Cloud’s slick infrastructure, while Ryan is a living testament to how it can save vital time on the front line of visual effects. Both also offer their thoughts on the future of cloud rendering, and how it will dramatically change the way the studios of tomorrow will be set up.
Want to try rendering on the cloud? Chaos Group is currently offering free rendering credits for anyone who takes part in our Google-powered V-Ray Cloud beta. Try it now!
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast193_AdrianGraham_RyanReeb_GoogleCloud.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 4:07pm PDT
Mon, 17 September 2018
Recorded at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver, this podcast features self-taught rendering expert Zap Andersson. Zap’s career in CG began early, with the modification of a Swedish ABC 80 computer so it supported higher resolutions, ray tracing, gaming, and even image editing and music sampling. His passion for computing propelled him into a career in CAD, then back into ray tracing, where he earned his “Shader Wizard” moniker for his implementation of subsurface scattering.
In the second half of the podcast, Chris asks Zap for his thoughts on the future of ray tracing, tackling some of the myths around physically based and spectral rendering, metalness, and real-time. As Zap reveals, the restrictions of any CG method ties into the limitations of how human beings are wired to perceive optical phenomenon.
It’s a fascinating deep dive into the theory of CG and the shape of things to come.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast190_ZapAndersson-Autodesk.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 2:17pm PDT
Tue, 4 September 2018
Fresh off a tour of America, INK Founder Dave Macey joins Chris and Lon to talk about how two unemployed arch viz artists started one of the UK’s most distinctive creative studios.
As well as working with everyone from BMW to Wired to Asics, the company has created side projects which range from the beautiful (stark Le Mans sportscars) to the bizarre (inflating 1970s vehicles). While its Workshop experiments don’t generate income, they’re a great way to spot talent in the company, experiment with new styles and techniques — and just have fun.
Dave also delves into his love of cars, and things that move quickly. He discusses the future of how we’ll get around, from the simplicity of Bird’s electric scooters to Elon Musk’s grand designs for the Hyperloop One, and the way automation will put our living rooms and offices on the road.
It’s awesome to hear from someone with an innate knowledge of the past and future of tech and transport.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast188_DaveMacey-INK.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 12:13pm PDT
Sun, 24 June 2018
At Total Chaos, Ian Spriggs unveiled Portrait of Cassidy, the latest lifelike portrait from the digital Rembrandt. It’s such a striking image that it graced the cover of 3D World magazine, alongside the tag “This is not a photo!”
In this podcast, Ian reveals the painstaking and lengthy process of creating Cassidy and his other portraits. He tells Chris about how he makes his subjects feel at ease, and then the numerous elements he must consider, such as whether the images should be realistic or stylized, candid or posed, harshly or softly lit. And, after this epic process, the subject might not even like their portrait.
It’s a very interesting podcast which ponders how artists like Rembrandt, da Vinci, Caravaggio, Jackson Pollock and even actor Sharlto Copley use their work to reflect the complicated inner workings of human beings.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast179_IanSpriggs.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:50pm PDT
Sun, 17 June 2018
Andre Matos is something of a hero at Chaos Group. He’s a proponent of V-Ray GPU and VRscans, which are part of the toolset he uses to create enormous eye-catching renders for sports car company Porsche. As a special guest at the Total Chaos conference in Sofia, he delivered a keynote speech, a masterclass on motor vehicle renders, and recorded this podcast with Chris.
Andre and Chris share some subtle tricks of the trade which can make good car models look great; from the lighting to the positions of the wheels, the angle of the car, and the headlight set up. Andre also talks about his early life on the Azores islands, how he got started in CG, and the advantages of a GPU-based pipeline.
If you’ve ever struggled to make your car renders or photographs pop, this podcast is for you.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast178_AndreMatos_Porsche.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:24pm PDT
Mon, 4 June 2018
Our pals from Corona played a big part at Total Chaos, delivering a keynote speech and numerous presentations. Founding partner and main developer Ondřej Karlík, and research and development partner Jaroslav Křivánek, also sat down with Chris to talk about what’s changed in the nine months since the partnership was announced.
Corona and V-Ray developers working together as a happy family has brought benefits to both pieces of software, with the companies sharing knowledge to solve problems, and Vlado even diving into Corona’s code to implement features. Ondřej and Jaroslav go into detail on the new technology which makes Corona fast and efficient, via exotic terms such as machine learning with Bayesian inference, heterogeneous media, and GPU rendering.
You’ll find out about upcoming features in Corona 2, and more background on Jaroslav Křivánek, the mentor who’s been instrumental in the creation of renderer.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast176_Ondrej_Jaroslav_Corona.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:49am PDT
Sun, 15 April 2018
If you’ve played any AAA videogame in the last few years, chances are you’ve seen Allegorithmic’s tech in action. Headed up by Sebastien Deguy, the company’s Substance Painter and Substance Designer help artists create and fine-tune realistic textures which aren’t repetitive or obviously procedurally generated.
In this podcast, recorded at the Vertex conference in London, Sebastien tells Chris how a single mistake lead to the founding of this fast-growing and innovative company, which is branching out into visual effects and architecture. He also talks about the little tricks Allegorithmic uses behind the scenes, the future of the software, and even how we can understand the universe through mathematics.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast170_SebastienDeguy_Allegorithmic.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:56pm PDT
Sun, 8 April 2018
Rob Redman is a man of many skills: motion graphics and 3D art, guitar and amp building, “The Cinema 4D Guy” on social media. In his current role he edits 3D World magazine, and helped conceive and organize the Vertex CGI event in London — which is where Chris delivered a keynote speech and recorded this podcast.
In this chat, Rob talks about how he and his team have created a unique and all-inclusive gathering for London’s well-storied visual effects industry. He also discusses his role at 3D World magazine, the challenges of translating 3D workflows to a 2D page, and its relationship with social media, its online presence CreativeBloq, and its sister title 3D Artist.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast169_RobRedman_Vertex2018.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 6:57pm PDT
Sun, 1 April 2018
This week’s podcast is another THU two-parter, recorded with Unity’s Josh Naylor and Angus Mackay, and Oculus Medium’s Brian Sharp.
As an evangelist for Unity, Josh has one of the best jobs in the world. He travels to global conferences and high-tech organizations — including NASA — to discuss the benefits of the Unity engine. In his three years at the company, he’s seen Unity evolve from a game development platform to a tool for research, entertainment and training, and he talks about how its ease of use, versatility and low cost have helped it build a passionate community of users.
One of the fruits of Unity’s success is VR modeling tool Oculus Medium. As its engineer and director Brian Sharp explains in part two, Medium was prototyped on Unity’s VR platform. Brian and Unity product marketing manager Angus Mackay discuss how they’re building a platform which feels familiar to artists, as well as the Inception-like conundrum of creating engines within engines, and the future of rasterization and ray tracing.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast168_JoshNaylor_BrianSharp_AgnusMckay_THU2017.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:02pm PDT
Sun, 25 March 2018
Six years ago, Chaos Group developer Boris Simandoff had a dream: that cloud rendering could be as simple as clicking a button. Today, that dream is becoming a reality, with fast and easy cloud rendering seamlessly integrated into V-Ray for Rhino, Revit and SketchUp — and more products coming soon.
In this podcast, Boris tells Chris how he and his team at Chaos Group overcame some of the headaches of cloud computing, such as security concerns and clunky interfaces. You’ll find out how CPU vulnerabilities were discovered as a direct result of cloud computing, and how preemptible machines cut the costs of rendering on the cloud. Boris also talks about his vision for the future, including potentially accessing thousands of cores from a simple machine.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast167_BorisSimandoff_VRayCloud.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 6:59pm PDT
Sun, 11 March 2018
Chris and Lon jetted off to San Francisco to record this podcast with Adobe product manager Zoana Gee, and engineering director Ross McKegney. They reveal how they’ve created Adobe Dimension, formerly known as Project Felix, a clever box of tricks which marries photorealistic 3D imagery with Adobe’s trademark ease of use
Of course, 3D is notoriously complicated, and Zorana and Ross discuss the machine learning Dimension uses to build and configure 3D scenes from 2D images, and the role of V-Ray’s AppSDK behind the scenes. There are knock-on effects from this democratization of 3D: it cuts out human-shaped bottlenecks in workflows, and changes the way artists and designers interact with clients.
Listen to find out how Dimension fits into the bigger picture of Adobe products, and how AI and the cloud figure in its future.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast165_Adobe.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:19pm PDT
Sun, 25 February 2018
Since Chris and Lon were in Sofia for a week to hang out at our headquarters in snowy Sofia we decided to sit down with the man behind the V in V-Ray. Vlado, no stranger to the CG Garage, spends some time with Chris to give our listeners a better idea about all the work going into the next version of V-Ray, and beyond. Many people already know a bit about these features, but there are also many other things you may not know about.
We discuss why the next version of V-Ray is actually called Next, how the actual core of V-Ray is being completely revamped, as well as some of the many exciting new features. We also tease some new features that are not still coming up such as a complete redesign of the frame buffer, and our very own cloud service, called V-Ray Cloud.
V-Ray Next beta is available today to registered V-Ray users of V-Ray for 3dsmax. check out all the following links for more information and more in depth looks at some of those upcoming features.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast163_Vlado_VRayNext.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:02pm PDT
Sun, 21 January 2018
While the THU festival is all about bringing brilliant artists together, a lot of it couldn’t happen without its media partners. In this podcast, Chris chats with some the people who help out behind the scenes.
In the first part, Chris is joined by Lenovo senior product manager Greyson Davis and Gnomon chief technology officer Eric Miller. Eric is fresh from a presentation featuring Lenovo’s latest tech, and they talk about how laptops are on the verge of usurping desktop PCs, the future of GPU and cloud rendering, and the varying hardware requirements of digital artists.
In part two, Chris meets Te Hu, a coder and artist who won ArtStation’s THU Golden Ticket contest. Te, better know as Ford, used an innovative modular system to generate characters for the winning piece, and he also talks about his day job at ILM’s ILMxLAB VR/AR department, and how he uses technical skills to create cinematic visions.
Te is joined by ArtStation’s product manager Daniel Wade, who tells Chris how ArtStation has gone from a small startup to an essential recruitment and analysis platform for the games, film, media, and entertainment industries.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast158_THU2017_06.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 3:17pm PDT
Sun, 24 December 2017
Maxx Burman was destined for a career in the film industry — but how he got there is surprising. His grandfather and parents were practical effects artists, creating the groundbreaking makeup for The Wolfman and The Planet of the Apes, respectively.
Helping his parents out on all-nighters gave Maxx a strong worth ethic, and a hard-earned knowledge of what happens behind the scenes in Hollywood. But an early viewing of The Matrix inspired him to carve out his own career path in the less-messy world of VFX.
After establishing himself as a freelance matte painter and VFX supervisor, Maxx’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. His most recent venture is Kitbash3D, a handy online repository of professional, optimized 3D models of different styles of architecture, from “Victorian” to “Neo Tokyo,” ready to be “bashed” into backdrops, matte paintings and 3D environments. It takes the guesswork, and hard work, out of creating believable cityscapes.
As Maxx reveals in this podcast, that’s not all he’s working on. He’s creating a game for Nintendo, still working as a freelance matte artist, and even starting a company to manage all his endeavours. He and Chris talk about adventures in Digital Domain's keyboard graveyard, how Maxx has gone from artist to businessman, and how he ensures his projects succeed.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast154_MaxxBurman.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:52pm PDT
Sun, 19 November 2017
For this podcast, Chris is joined by a quartet of artists, directors and filmmakers at THU festival in Portugal.
The first is Manny “MANu” Carrasco. This sweet and humble artist started out in traditional animation, before going 3D for the Turok video games, and then moving into concept art for movies such as Anastasia, Prince of Egypt and Space Jam.
Throughout his career, Manny has always found solace in nature, and he’s turned a love of animals into a new venture: Expedition Art. This NGO invites artists from the visual effects and gaming industries to contribute works to help protect endangered species around the world.
One of Expedition Art’s panel members is David Levy, who joins Chris in part two, alongside director Ruari Robinson and concept artist/filmmaker Ryan Woodward. Each has experience of making short films, from Ruari’s high-concept Leviathan pitch, to David’s award-winning short Plug, to Ryan’s beautiful animated passion project Thought of You.
David talks about taking a step back from the industry and spending time with his family in North Carolina, Ruari discusses the intense hard work which went into Leviathan and Ryan goes behind the scenes on how he created 20,000 drawings for his short.
This is an essential listen if you want to hear about the extraordinary pressure the entertainment industry can put on artists, as well as the coping methods they employ to get through tough times.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast149_THU2017_03.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:18pm PDT
Mon, 23 October 2017
Chris recorded a lot of podcasts at THU — and this episode treats you to not one, but two 25-minute recordings.
In the first, Chris chats with celebrated CG portrait artist Ian Spriggs, and digital anatomy expert Scott Eaton. They discuss the history of portraits, and how the fundamental idea of representing humans hasn’t really changed from cave paintings, to paintings, to photographs, and now the world of CG. And they talk about the tech which has got us here, from early days of editing vertices in C, to the seamless artistry made possible with packages such as ZBrush and Mudbox.
Chris’s talk with Steven Wang and Phil Liu nicely complements the first part. Steven now works as a concept artist a Microsoft’s The Coalition game studios, but his prior role was alongside Ian Spriggs at Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios — Steven even posed for a portrait for Ian. Phil, meanwhile, serves as world artist at Monolith Productions. They discover a shared history in product design, and talk about how ArtStation, Instagram and Facebook have given artists invaluable exposure — but made the industry more competitive than ever.
They’re both engaging discussions, and Chris does a great job of packing important questions into a short amount of time.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast145_IanSpriggs_ScottEaton_StevenWang_PhilLiu.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:52am PDT
Sun, 15 October 2017
Presentations are a surprisingly big challenge in the architecture community. It’s easy to wow clients with stills and videos, but if they want changes architects and arch viz studios have to re-render shots and animations.
Barcelona-based company CL3VER has created a clever solution to this issue - a browser-based system which can render realistic 3D models. In this podcast, Chris talks to CL3VER’s creative director Nimrod Friedman, and marketing manager Carlie Pratt.
Despite its simple premise and intuitive, Apple-like controls, Nimrod reveals the huge amount of behind-the-scenes work on a system which reproduces masses of geometry on limited hardware and software. He talks about how it can handle global illumination, ray tracing and reflections, its VR applications, and how they’ve built a cloud-based backend from scratch.
Chris’s enthusiasm and curiosity for the potential applications of CL3VER makes this an animated and interesting discussion.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast144_NimrodFriedman_CarliePratt.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:45pm PDT
Sun, 8 October 2017
THU has become a staple for digital artists, and now the festival is increasingly welcoming members of the arch viz community. Syria-born Mahmoud Alkawadri has attended the event twice now – and he’s a poster child for the transformative effects of THU.
In this podcast with Chris, recorded at THU, Mahmoud discusses his experience in VFX and exhibitions in Syria and Germany, his current role as a freelance arch viz artist, and his plans to return to VFX and filmmaking. Along the way, he talks about setting up his own business, the importance of managing your time, and architecture in Dubai.
It’s a deep and insightful conversation about how films and architecture can influence and share ideas with one another.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast143_MahmoudAlkawadri.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:24pm PDT
Mon, 25 September 2017
Paul Nicholls is a third of the team behind Factory Fifteen, a London-based directing collective and arch viz and production studio. From a background in architecture, Paul has made a name for himself in creating ambitious short and feature-length films, music videos and VR experiences.
In this podcast, recorded at the D2 Conference in Vienna, Paul talks about how Factory Fifteen was formed, the numerous awards it's won for its groundbreaking projects, and how he uses Tiltbrush to sketch in virtual reality without any aches and pains. He also poses some pertinent technical and business questions about what Chaos Group’s acquisition of Render Legion’s Corona will mean for users.
Paul finishes with a few hints as to the exciting design-driven direction Factory Fifteen will take in the future.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast141_PaulNicholls.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:47pm PDT
Sun, 27 August 2017
Chaos Group promised a big announcement at the D2 Conference in Vienna. Not only did they not disappoint, but they took the world by surprise. On Friday, August 25, they announced that Chaos Group has acquired Render Legion, the makers of the Corona renderer. Corona has become extremely popular in recent years, especially in the Architecture and ArchViz community. Just after the announcement, Chris sat down with Ondrej and Vlado, the respective brains that started Corona and V-Ray.
We cover how this acquisition was not a choice made in haste and that it took over a year to happen. We also learn that Ondrej has great respect for Vlado which is why Render Legion approached Chaos Group first when they wanted to find a way to grow their company. At the same time, you’ll hear Vlado's big respect for Ondrej and that their goal is to keep each renderer developed separately, as they have a different general philosophy.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast137_Ondrej_and_Vlado.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 3:17pm PDT
Sun, 20 August 2017
One of the biggest and most well-received surprises at this year’s SIGGRAPH was Epic Games’ announcement that it’s added V-Ray rendering to Unreal Engine. In this podcast, recorded at the conference, Chris sits down with Epic’s Marc Petit and Ken Pimentel to discuss what this meeting of minds means.
They talk about how the Unreal Engine has gone from a solid platform for game development to a multipurpose tool for photorealistic architecture and visual effects, as well as AI and autonomous vehicles. They also discuss how Chaos Group and Epic Games have similar, customer-focused business models, and how they’re working together to help everyone create amazing imagery.
It’s a tantalizing peek into a future where the boundaries between realtime and ray-traced are becoming increasingly blurred.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast136_MarcPetit_KenPimentel.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 11:09pm PDT
Sun, 13 August 2017
Recorded live at V-Ray Days @ SIGGRAPH 2017, this podcast unites host Chris with previous guests, and Wikihuman members, Mike Seymour (FXGuide) and Jay Busch (Google). If you attended SIGGRAPH, you’ll know that the virtual representation of Mike - aka Meet Mike - was a star of the convention, and this podcast delves into the trials and tribulations of his creation.
Along the way, the team talks about the immense amount of research and design which has gone into this avatar, such as Lightstage facial scanning, Disney Research's on eyeballs in Zurich, and the motion capture tech. They also talk about the future of Digital Mike in the Wikihuman project, and how tech such as deep learning and muscle simulations could help him evolve further.
It’s an engrossing discussion and one which highlights the passion the project has stirred in the guests, their colleagues, and the CG industry — even between competing companies.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast135_JayBusch_MikeSeymour.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT
Sun, 23 July 2017
Rendering is dead. Long live rendering. As computers become faster and more powerful, and 3D software becomes easier to use, rendering could be about to change dramatically. And it may even cease to exist as we know it today.
In this podcast, Chris gazes into his crystal ball with Chaos Group’s CCO Lon Grohs and Communications Director David Tracy. It’s an animated discussion which raises some important questions about the mass adoption of 3D creative technology. Will we see a proliferation of deeply terrible CG? Or will artists be able to realize their visions more easily?
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast132_TheEndOfRendering.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:04pm PDT
Sun, 14 May 2017
The FMX digital arts festival in Stuttgart, Germany, forms a bustling backdrop for this live podcast. Host Chris is joined by Chaos Group’s co-founder and CEO Vladimir “Vlado” Koylazov, and Dabarti’s Tomasz Wyszolmirski, whose feedback has been instrumental in the development of V-Ray GPU.
Vlado talks about how GPU computing has evolved, and reveals V-Ray’s new game-changing hybrid GPU/CPU features. Then questions come thick and fast from an audience hungry for free V-Ray t-shirts. The subjects Vlado and Tomasz cover include adaptive lights, compatibility for Psyops’ Cryptomatte, fur and memory limitations, cloud computing, and how game engines are influencing the development of V-Ray.
As with all live our live podcasts, this is a particularly engaging and enjoyable listen. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to subscribe to the podcast, and check out previous recordings.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast122_Tomasz_and_Vlado.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 5:25pm PDT
Sun, 16 April 2017
Kurt Akeley is the genius behind the world’s second ever laser printer, SGI supercomputers, and the OpenGL 3D graphics software specification. Now, Kurt has turned his enviable talent to light field photography as CTO of Lytro.
Light fields are on the verge of becoming the next big thing, with applications in everything from visual effects, to VR, to astrophotography. It’s a complicated subject which involves both the physics of light and the biological mechanics of your eyeballs—but this podcast serves as a great explainer.
Kurt’s boundless enthusiasm for light fields evident throughout. He’s a fascinating interviewee full of pearls of wisdom, such as why it’s incredibly dangerous to look at your phone while you’re driving, and the importance of over and under engineering in life or death scenarios.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast118_KurtAkeley.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:07pm PDT
Sun, 19 February 2017
CG Labs is very proud of Vladimir “Vlado” Koylazov’s recent Scientific and Technical Academy Award win. In fact, Chaos Group’s co-founder had barely stepped off the red carpet when Chris and Lon wrangled him into the CG Garage recording studio for this special podcast.
As well as talking about the sci-tech awards, Vlado goes into detail about what to expect from Chaos Group’s latest 3.5 update to its flagship V-Ray for 3ds Max software. He talks about how adaptive lights can accelerate render times, the unexpected benefits of resumable rendering, and interactive VR output from within V-Ray. V-Ray for NUKE’s imminent 3.5 update is also covered, including its new and improved volume grid, deep rendering, and denoiser. Finally, Vlado talks about the future of Chaos Group and the exciting roadmap for V-Ray products in 2017.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast110_Vlado.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:07pm PDT
Sun, 5 February 2017
“Plug” neatly combines sweeping cinematic visuals with an intriguing tale of identity in a post-apocalyptic future, and it’s one of the best short films you’ll ever see. With over 600,000 views on the internet and a host of awards, it’s proof that shorts can be every bit as good as their feature-length brethren.
The man behind “Plug” is concept artist and director David Levy, who joined Chris for this absorbing podcast. David talks about everything from his early days as a beach bum in the south of France, to working in horrendous conditions in the French and British games industries, to his cinematic debut on Joseph Kosinski’s Tron: Legacy. He also discusses his work on "Prometheus" and "Ender's Game" and explains just how much hard work goes into short films.
David Levy’s official site [http://vyle-art.com/]
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast108_DavidLevy.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:36am PDT
Sun, 2 October 2016
Globetrotting concept artist Igor Knezevic has seen it all. Born in Yugoslavia, he left after the country was torn apart by war in the early 90s. He worked on East German construction sites, and then found his way into the gaming industry. As he moved around Europe and the US, he saw the evolution of the internet and the pop of the dotcom bubble, before settling in LA for a job which involved inserting Mike Myers into CGI backgrounds for CD-Roms.
A true polymath, Igor’s gone on to provide concept designs for movies such as “X-Men: First Class,” “In Time,” and “Terminator Genesys.” At the same time, he’s created and nurtured a business which sells revolutionary 3D printed designs. In this captivating chat with Chris they discuss their shared Eastern European heritage, the unionization of the visual effects industry, and the big differences between working in TV and film. And he reveals his lifelong hatred of Commodore 64s.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast90_IgorKnezevic.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:04pm PDT
Sun, 18 September 2016
Out of home printed advertisements, such as billboards, are a genre of CG unto themselves. The resolution of the images can reach 15K or 20K, far beyond the 2K or 4K of media. As technical director at production company Taylor James, David Wortley knows the subject intimately, as well the challenges of generating thousands of HD PNGs for online car configurators, and creating pharmaceutical adverts which sell a product without baiting lawsuits.
Through his decade of experience at Taylor James, David’s also built up an immense understanding of 3ds Max’s ins and outs, and his blog is an essential bookmark if you want to get more from Autodesk’s 3D software. He finishes the podcast with his cautiously optimistic thoughts on virtual reality – including how a simple shot of a girl playing a violin can become a powerful experience in the medium.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast89_DavidWortley.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:29am PDT
Mon, 5 September 2016
Director David Chontos has brought his unique vision to a number of projects, including bonkers Coca-Cola advertisement “The Happiness Factory,” trailers for games including “Clash of Clans” and “ReCore,” and his atmospheric short film “Sisters.” His next project, Kismet, takes him into virtual reality via a spookily accurate fortune teller.
In this podcast, he talks to Chris about the golden age of crazy music videos in the late 90s, what virtual reality needs to establish itself alongside traditional mediums such as films and games, and how much he hates IKEA kitchens. Essential listening from an early explorer of the virtual world.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast87_DavidChontos.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:12am PDT
Sun, 14 August 2016
One of the most fascinating aspects of V-Ray is the way people react when you tell them many of the images in the IKEA catalog are created with 3D software. It’s a definite wow moment, and people are often more impressed by than V-Ray being used in Hollywood blockbusters.
Behind IKEA’s use of 3D is Martin Enthed, the company’s Development and Operations IT Manager. Martin’s love for computers began in the early 80s, and before he worked at IKEA he sold software for Autodesk, and supplied Volvo with the first ever 3D rendering of one of its vehicles.
The crazy world of IKEA is the subject of most of this podcast, though. Martin talks to Chris about why the company has embraced 3D technology, how it’s trained its photographers to use the software, and how to develop software which puts cookies in jars. He also mentions the future for IKEA, which involves exciting AR and VR apps so consumers can see how the Mörbylånga table will fit into their living room.
And next time you tell someone that the IKEA catalog is mostly CG, and they don’t believe you, just point them to this podcast.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast84_MartinEnthed.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 10:46pm PDT
Sun, 7 August 2016
Tristan Salome and Matthieu Labeau of Nozon, hang out with us during Siggraph 2016 to talk about Presenz. The application allows for 6 degrees of freedom of pre-rendered content. The application now works for V-Ray and is in closed beta. This podcast gives people an insight as to what this application does and how it can fit into your needs.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast83_Nozon.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:34pm PDT
Sun, 31 July 2016
As one of the biggest advertising agency in the world, Saatchi & Saatchi has to have an intimate understanding of the products it sells. It’s even located its LA offices just across the street from Toyota’s offices, possibly so it can have first-hand access to car designs before they hit the road.
Michael Wilken, Saatchi and Saatchi LA’s director of 3D, joins Chris for this fascinating podcast. Both Michael and Chris have in depth understandings of automotive design and how to make amazing car renders, and they discuss running footage, character lines, and accessory combinations.
Michael also talks about the future of the advertising industry, including Minority Report-style customized ads based on your personality, and the exciting prospect of everyone knowing what it’s like to sit in a concept car—thanks to VR. It’s an engrossing chat, and by the end of it you’ll know all the trade secrets of (im)perfect car renders.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast82_MichaelWilken.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:55pm PDT
Sun, 26 June 2016
Sally Slade. It’s got to be one of the best names in the industry - as Chris remarks, she sounds like a superhero. But the similarities don’t end there - her career has been the stuff that makes origin stories, from her beginnings in a small fishing village, to her acquisition of superpowers (She can speak Japanese! She understands CSS!), to fate intervening and yanking her from a transpacific flight at the last minute.
After getting a foot in the door at the industry via Digital Domain’s work on The Golden Compass, she’s gone on to work on suitably superhero movies G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Iron Man 3, and Avengers Assemble. Now she’s moved into a completely different world, creating augmented reality experiences for Magnopus.
In this epic podcast, she and Chris talk about augmented reality, holograms, and the LEIA 3D phone. She also discusses how she went to work for a whole year dressed as Indiana Jones, and how she plans to turn into a unicorn (for certain people) in the near future. Y’know, like a superhero.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast77_SallySlade.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:41pm PDT
Sun, 19 June 2016
It goes without saying that Disney is a huge, multinational corporation with fingers in an increasing number of pies: Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios have both been incorporated into the Disney umbrella, and it runs everything from cruise ships and TV channels.
An interesting offshoot of this is Disney Research. Headquartered in the Swiss city of Zürich, it specializes in creating computer graphics. It makes sense: Disney's cinematic output is now almost totally CG, and advances in technology can be passed directly onto feature films and animations.
In this podcast, Chris talks to Thabo Beeler and Pascal Bérard, who have made some pretty significant advances in digital humans. Including Derek Bradley who was not able to join the podcast, they are all member of the Digital Human League. They discuss the surprising intricacy of human hair, the oft-underestimated importance of realistic eyeballs, the challenges of capturing actors who can’t stay still for long periods of time, and how their work has influenced different areas, including the Wikihuman project.
Also, Chris reveals that you can buy a Swiss Army Knife after you’ve passed Swiss airport security. Perfect for cutting up that Toblerone.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast76_DisneyResearch.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 8:22pm PDT
Sun, 22 May 2016
While at FMX 2016 we spoke to Jonas Skoog from Bläck Studios located in Stockholm. He was also one of the speakers for V-Ray Days. He tells us about the great work being done at the studio, and how they have created a coalition of VFX studios to maximizes and load balance their resources. Jonas is also the Character Lead at Bläck and tells us about his passion for digital humans.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast74_JonasSkoog.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 7:59pm PDT
Sun, 15 May 2016
Two graduates of the Filmakademie, Andreas Feix and Francesco Faranna, talk to us about working on their short Citipati. It was nominated and won a VES Award this year. They also explained to us the unique and interesting education that they got which puts them in the middle of production and prepares them for the real world of post.
Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast73_Citipati.mp3
Category:CGI -- posted at: 9:32pm PDT