Interviews that focus on the CG creative in visual effects, architecture and beyond. Christopher Nichols of Chaos sits down with directors, artists, photographers and developers for candid discussions on technology and art, all with a focus on computer graphics. Visit chaosgroup.com/cg-garage for more information and an archive of past shows.

Angie Jones’ passion for character animation has fuelled a career that’s taken in some of the world’s biggest movies and games. Beginning with the groundbreaking videogame Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey, she’s gone on to animate a variety of characters for Stuart Little 2, X2, Freddy vs. Jason, Stealth, Pan’s Labyrinth, Red Dead Revolver, Bloodshot, Fortnite, and many more.

Angie is full of hilarious insight and deep knowledge in this rundown of her career so far. She talks about how she switches between sweet and deadly projects, showing old-school animators how to work with cutting-edge technology, and her most challenging shot, which involved a stack of Smurfs, Hank Azaria, and a vortex. Angie also discusses her prolific teaching career, and what it’s like to be a female animator in male-dominated cultures.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast394_AngieJones.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 9:30am PDT

Mio Markovic’s creative, production, and tech skills have resulted in some of the best animated TV series of recent years, including Voltron: Legendary Defender, Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, and Fast & Furious Spy Racers. But Mio didn’t just jump into animation: he had already risen to a high level in the advertising industry and, like Chris, had worked on large-scale architecture projects.

Mio talks Chris through his career and reveals how his earlier experiences enabled him to change tracks and take criticism with confidence. He also breaks down the process of creating a DreamWorks TV series, from the initial idea to assembling a team, creating the characters and worlds, and working with vendors to complete the show. If you’re thinking of changing careers, Mio’s knowledge could be just what you need.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast392_MioMarkovic.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 7:39am PDT

Over the past five years, Love, Death & Robots has completely resculpted the landscape of animation, feeding Netflix viewers bite-size chunks of violence, sex, and gore. Supervising Creative Director Jerome Denjean is a key player behind-the-scenes, giving Love, Death & Robots’ talented directors the freedom to execute their visions (literally!) while ensuring that each episode fits in with the series' overall vision and tone.

In his second podcast with Chris, Jerome breaks down some of the amazing episodes in series three: David Fincher’s “Bad Travelling,” Alberto Mielgo’s “Jibaro,” Patrick Osborne’s “Three Robots: Exit Strategies,” and Emily Dean and Polygon Pictures’ “The Very Pulse of the Machine.” Jerome also reveals how episodes are researched and produced, and how Japanese animation has influenced their direction.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast391_JeromeDenjean.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:48am PDT

As an executive at Disney in the 90s, Bob Bacon witnessed the rise of CG, supporting the production of increasingly big-budget blockbusters, including Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Lilo and Stitch. He then joined Elton John for Gnomeo and Juliet and moved to Paramount for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water.

Now, Bob is Head of Studio at Virtue Animation, a Web3-based company inspired by his time working for the late Kobe Bryant. Bob details how the traditional animation studio system works, how fragile it can be, and how he’s continually innovated new workflows that can deliver both creativity and cashflows. He finishes with insight into how NFTs and crypto are revolutionizing and democratizing the entertainment industry.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast387_BobBacon.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 10:32am PDT

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast384_BillPlympton.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 9:38am PDT

There’s a surprising amount of tech in Laika’s movies. The Portland, Oregon-based studio still makes use of its intricate hand-crafted stop-motion techniques, but it's increasingly augmenting them with CG elements, 3D printing, and even virtual production. Jeff Stringer, Laika’s director of production technology, reveals the advantages of combining the physical and the digital.

Jeff also talks about his career in the entertainment industry, from his early days in theater projections to software sales, Atari arcade games, Starship Troopers, and Digital Domain, all the way up to how he got started at Laika. He gives some amazing insight into how a successful studio is built and run, and reveals how Laika is pushing its pipeline forward again with Wildwood, its next production.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast379_JeffStringer.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:51am PDT

Richard Scott has been rocking the world of CG for more than 30 years. He began his career in graphic design, moved into 3D for broadcast and commercials, and then got involved with cutscenes for the games industry. He founded Axis Studios in 2000, and it’s steadily grown to a team of 400 people working on VFX and animation for movies, TV, games, and theme parks.

Richard discusses his history in CG, from Quantel paintboxes and Lightwave to modern workflows. He also talks about his involvement in the Scottish animation scene, Axis’ “The Tall Grass” segment of Love, Death and Robots, and its upcoming animated feature film — which employed an animation supervisor based in Australia.

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and Chaos is highlighting some of the upcoming graduates of Exceptional Minds. This week, we have Mina McCauley, who will be graduating with an emphasis in VFX. You can check out her work on Creatively.To learn more about Exceptional Minds, visit exceptional-minds.org or find them on social.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast369_RichardScott.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 4:14pm PDT

A lot has changed in the two years since Pedro Conti last guested on the CG Garage podcast. Not only has he moved from bustling Sao Paulo to the more relaxed city of Florianópolis, but he’s also contributed to a playful Katy Perry music video and directed “Tamo Junto,” a touching tale of neighborly goodwill in the pandemic.

Pedro tells Chris how “Tamo Junto” fell into place, from the inspiration behind the story and getting a superstar rapper to provide the vocals, to the support Chaos and Rebus Farm offered to render the final piece. Pedro also talks about his plans for the project and how the pandemic has changed the industry.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast355_PedroConti.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 10:31am PDT

Paul Deasy is a true master of character modeling. His sculpts demonstrate a deft understanding of how to tell stories through emotions and subtle touches, whether it’s Hellboy, Mr. Freeze, Voldemort, or his own noir-ish creations.

In this podcast, Chris talks to Paul about how becoming one of the most respected character artists on the internet, from his youthful obsession with Batman: The Animated Series to his present-day work at Giant Animation. He shares useful tips, from how to create an evocative sculpt to the essential steps to nurturing talent and ensuring artists are happy.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast348_PaulDeasy.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:21am PDT

Patrick Osborne grew up with a passion for Nintendo, Jurassic Park, and Wavefront—and he got to see behind the scenes of movie merchandising via his dad’s job as head of design at Kenner Toys. After attending the prestigious Ringling College of Art + Design, he joined Sony Imageworks, then Disney, and polished his skills as an animator.

While at Disney, Patrick directed the short film “Feast,” which won an Academy Award, and then moved into directing full-time on the sitcom Imaginary Mary. Patrick talks about the tools he’s used throughout his career, what it’s like to become a Hollywood director, and his favorite part of the filmmaking process. He also gives a sneak peek into his upcoming experiments with real-time, VR, and in-progress shorts for Love, Death & Robots, and Apple.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast330_PatrickOsborne.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

VFX veteran Ari Rubenstein has quite a story to tell. After spending a few years in unrelated fields, he gravitated towards visual effects, where a cloth sim experiment landed him work on The Matrix Revolutions. He went on to work at Blue Sky Studios, the company behind animated movies including Horton Hears a Who!, Epic and Rio.

At the same time, Ari has indulged his creativity and embraced new technology via short films. Ari talks enthusiastically about how he’s always chosen creative paths, his deep-rooted love of music, and how individuals across the industry and around the world have helped him bring his visions to life. 

Since this interview, Blue Sky Studios has closed its filmmaking operations. Nimona, which was slated for January 14, 2022, is no longer being released.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast318_AriRubenstein.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 8:40am PDT

If you’re a big Japan-fan, you’ll love this podcast. Joining Chris is Shuzo Shiota, CEO of Polygon Pictures, the long-lived and prolific Tokyo-based digital animation studio behind movies and TV series including Godzilla, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: Prime and Big Hero 6: The Series.

Shuzo and Chris discuss the impact of Japanese art on the west, from its breakthrough at a Parisian exposition in the 1800s, to movies such as Akira, Manga graphic novels and now Netflix’s vast array of anime titles. Shuzo also talks about Polygon Pictures’ origins, why it can be hard to create authentic anime in 3D, and the future of cinema, gaming and subscription-based services.

Direct download: CGGarage_Podcast297_ShuzoShiota.mp3
Category:animation -- posted at: 1:30pm PDT

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