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FGT Art, initiated and organized by the best cloud rendering services provider Fox Renderfarm, is a program that encourages all Fox Renderfarm users to share their talents and get awarded monthly. We are glad to announce that the FGT Art October Winner goes to Sascha Bähr.War is over © Sascha Bähr !War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr -1Based in Germany, Before 3D training, Sascha worked in the advertising industry. He has experience with large projects and has developed a good eye for quality and design over the years. With a great passion for 3D art in a long time, he became a student at Pixlvisn media arts academy, specializing in Lighting.Here comes the interview with Sascha, in which he tells us how he created the excellent artwork.- Sascha Bähr- Lighting, Texturing, Lookdev Student/ Mediadesigner- Neuss, Germany Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on being the October winner of FGT Art, 2021! How do you feel about it?Sascha: I am very happy and honored to have won. As a student taking my first steps into the 3D industry I'm also happy that all the effort and energy I put into a project is recognized. It shows me that I'm on the right track. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your inspiration/references/moodboard of your project “War is over”?Sascha: For my first demoreel project, I decided to do an interior. Since I'm a big fan of the 50s/60s style, I wanted to steer my setting in that direction. I thought about the concept myself and started with a rough sketch at first. Over time, new, better ideas came along and the project changed. I wanted to depict a larger conflict. The whole theme can probably be understood under the term "war and hope".!War is over © Sascha Bähr -2 Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work?Sascha: Since I created the scene almost entirely by myself, I had to learn a lot during the process to improve my skills. It took me about 7 weeks to achieve this final result.*Software used: Maya, Arnold, Substance 3D Painter, Nuke, ZBrush, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Davinci Resolve for video editing.* Fox Renderfarm: We could see flowers and characters on the bomb, could you share with us the design and modeling process?Sascha: For this scene I thought of a little story. Someone built the bomb in the attic at the beginning of the war. The individual parts of the bomb were delivered in the various boxes. The builder gave this bomb the name "Devil's Gift" and sprayed it on the bomb. The bomb was completed but never detonated. Over time, the bomb began to rust and one of the cylinders containing the explosive liquid broke. From this broken cylinder grows the flower, as a sign of hope. The shot of the scene was taken when the war was over.I assembled the bomb from various references of atomic bombs. I created the illustrations on the bomb in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. In Substance 3D Painter I created the texture of the bomb and added the illustrations.!War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr Fox Renderfarm: The lighting and compositing of the environment is amazing, how did you set that?Sascha: First, I thought of a small story. As a thematic conflict I chose war and the resulting hope. For the design of the attic I chose the 50s, 60s.After some research, the color palette was clear to me very early. The colors from that time, or much more the colors from the 2nd World War were drab and not very saturated. The desaturated factory palette of the textures helped me to get the threatening "war character" into the scene. The only "saturated" color should be the flower growing out of the bomb.In conjunction with the environment and the camera, I built the scene in such a way that guidelines are created, which increase the focus on the hero object. This makes it easier to add a "focus" later during lightingI also made sure that the main lit area in the room is in the center of the image.!War is over © Sascha BährMy goal was to convey the feeling of hope with light. For this I chose warm colors for the light entering through the window. The environment outside the light should seem more threatening. For this I chose a cold color temperature.For the final touch I added godrays in Nuke which I rendered in Maya/Arnold. I integrated the dust particles into Nuke using the particle system and linked them to different shapes, so as not to always show a repeating dust particle or just a sphere. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Sascha: For me as a student, it was very difficult to reach this level of quality at first. The lighting and compositing can very quickly look fake or too cartoony. In my case, it was good to work on other tasks periodically to get a fresh look at the whole. Fox Renderfarm: We have received your excellent Entry, The cold grave, for FGT3D Explorer Challenge, could you introduce the project to us?Sascha: At the beginning, I thought about what comes to mind first when I hear the word “Explorer”. Quickly familiar scenes from Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park were in my head. I wanted to create that "adventure" feeling when you have discovered an old mystical and forgotten place and the viewer is the first to be back there in a long time. I also try to challenge myself with new things in each new project. With "The cold grave" I wanted to deal with the theme of "ice". That's how the idea with the mystical ice gate came about.!War is over © Sascha Bähr -8 Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about studying at PIXL VISN media arts academy?Sascha: It's a great feeling to learn with so many like-minded people. The thought of being able to work at a well-known film studio after my training is what really drives me. Fox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills?Sascha: I think that studying and understanding references is one of the most important things for me. After reaching one's current limit, it is worth its weight in gold to get the opinion of experienced artists and improve through the feedback. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about the cloud rendering service of Fox Renderfarm?Sascha: Many of my projects would not have been possible without the fast and intuitive rendering service. It is easy to use. If you have any problems or questions, the competent service helps you very quickly. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Sascha: It is a satisfying feeling to have completed a project in which a lot of work has gone into. I think all the work is paying off and making me a better artist. In the future I hope to work with other 3D enthusiasts to grow together.https://www.linkedin.com/in/sascha-baehr-3dhttps://www.artstation.com/artwork/xJ84z1
FGT3D Hunter Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, received lots of excellent entries! We are so glad to have an interview with Amaru Zeas, one of the Professional finalists, with his amazing artwork “LIFE HUNTER”. LIFE HUNTER © Amaru ZeasAmaru: Have you ever imagined what the Amazon Rainforest will be like in the year 2172? Global warming is real. The worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years. More than 1 million species are at risk of extinction by climate change. We use more of the earth's resources than it can renew.- Amaru Zeas- Art Director at Amazon Web Services (AWS)- Seattle, Washington- Honors & Awards1. CG Render image of the week2. Top 100 of the Best 3D Artists around the World3. Best of Substance art of 20163D World Feature!Golden Trophy © Amaru ZeasGolden Trophy © Amaru ZeasRider 49 © Amaru Zeas3D Artist Magazine Feature!Ferrari 156 © Amaru ZeasFerrari 156 © Amaru Zeas!F1 641 © Amaru ZeasF1 641 © Amaru Zeas!Luck © Amaru ZeasLuck © Amaru Zeas!3D Artist - Amaru Zeas© Amaru Zeas!Sweet Colors © Amaru ZeasSweet Colors © Amaru ZeasGreen Library © Amaru Zeas!Disintegration © Amaru ZeasDisintegration © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Amaru! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Amaru: My name is Amaru. I am a CG-Artist based in Seattle, Washington. I'm currently employed as an Art Director at Amazon Web Services (AWS). My hometown is Cuenca, Ecuador. My friends, family and especially my wife know my biggest passion is to craft CG art.I've always wanted to do 3D art for movies or video games since I was a little boy. I came to the United States to pursue my ambition, and it has been incredible so far. I recall going to the library while I was in 3D Art School and spending several hours reading and looking through 3D Artist Magazines. I told myself, "Someday, I’ll have my work published here." Now, after working in the industry for more than 12 years, I’m happy to say that my work has been published in 3d world magazine and many more around the world.I spend a good amount of my free time engaged in personal projects, which I approach with a lot of dedication and passion.UE_Reel © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish your project, LIFE HUNTER?Amaru: LIFE HUNTER was, without a doubt, my most ambitious personal project to date. In less than three months, everything was completed by a single artist. Because I work full-time as an artist, I had to come up with a plan. It was challenging at times because I worked 4-5 hours after work and at least 20 hours on weekends. I created and schedule on my whiteboard in my home office, which allowed me to be better organized and finish the project. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Amaru: When I work on a personal project, I try to use as many 3D software as possible in order to stay current with the latest tools and technologies. For this project I used Unreal Engine 4.26 for rendering, set dressing, layout, particle effects. Mega scans to create quick and realistic rocks, grounds and some tree trunks. Speedtree to model the main tree of the film. Maya to model the futuristic hover and the drone. Substance Painter to create all the textures. World Creator to create height maps to build the mountains. Mixamo to download fast animations for the pilot. Finally, one of my all-time favorite software; DaVinci Resolve for final composition and color grade. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?Amaru: My mother has always been a huge inspiration in my life, and she has always encouraged me to use my work to give back to the community in some way. In recent years, I've spent a lot of time researching two essential topics: education and global warming. I really wanted to create a more intricate and lengthier story this time. I wanted to produce something about global warming, more along the lines of a futuristic narrative about what will happen if we continue to abuse the Earth the way we do now. This is a call to action. Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the modelling?Amaru: For modelling I used Maya Autodesk for the hover and the drone. Speed tree for the hero tree of the film and some tree trunks as well. I utilized photogrammetry models from Megascans to build the landscape.!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: The environment scenes are excellent; how did you make it?Amaru: Most of the environment assets are photogrammetry assets from Mega Scans, a great library of highly detailed assets. That allowed me to be more creative and build the environment faster without spending too much time modeling every single rock and ground. !LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: The lighting and rendering catch our eyes. How did you manage to set them?Amaru: I really enjoy doing lighting and compositing, it is one of my favorite stages while producing CG art. I tend to use very contrast lighting and intentionally use stronger lights in order to draw your eyes to the correct place of the shot. Shadows are very important as well as they can help you occlude objects that might cause distraction. Lighting and compositing are two of my favorite steps of creating computer-generated art. I like to employ high contrast lighting and purposefully use brighter lights to bring your attention to the focal point of the photo. Shadows are also very significant because they can help you obliterate distracting elements.!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulty in the process? How did you solve it?Amaru: It usually takes longer to produce anything when you're trying out new technologies for the first time. I had a lot of technical challenges with the Unreal Engine. To begin, I intended to use a gaming engine to create a cinematic film in 4K quality with the greatest possible geometry and texture fidelity. Many of the issues I was able to overcome by experimenting with different ways, searching the internet, and communicating with a few others via blogs. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Amaru: Usually I do tend to visit some of the greatest CG artist’s work to get inspiration like Marek Denko, however for this project I was heavily inspired by 3 of my most favorite films, Mad Max Road Fury, Blade Runner 2049 and 1917, the last one for the amazing camera work. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?Amaru: My background in the industry has been everywhere from working on commercials and live action to video games, as well as architectural visualization and Hololens. Now for the first time I am working on animated films. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Amaru: I encourage all artists to create the things they love. When you’re paid to do what you’d be willing to do for free, you find fulfillment and purpose in your career. It might take longer than you think to catch your big break, so be willing to put yourself out there and never give up.
FGT Art, initiated and organized by Fox Renderfarm, is a program that encourages all Fox Renderfarm users to share their talents and get awarded monthly. We are very pleased to announce that the FGT Art September Winner goes to Modus Vivendi Animation, created by a small team of 5 university students - Jonathan Hans Christian, Olivia Dharmawan, Richardo Surya Christopher, Neeshma Sadanandhan and Ng Ser Ting.Here’s the interview between Modus Vivendi Animation Team and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how they created this wonderful video. Modus Vivendi Animation Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on winning the FGT Art September Winner, 2021! How do you feel about it?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: We’re super happy to hear that we won the September FGT Art Competition! Working on this film was really tough, not only due to the strict university deadlines we had to meet but also because the whole project was done remotely due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. So it’s definitely a proud moment that we were able to achieve a winning prize with this film despite all the challenges we faced! Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for Modus Vivendi Animation? Jonathan: So the team was originally just Neeshma and me, and we were thinking of doing some kind of fight scene for our final film at uni. Neeshma: What Jonathan and I had in common was our interest in Sci-fi and action, so we decided on a concept set in a dystopian world with a story that involves some sort of emotional or physical conflict. Later on more talented members joined the team and the concept developed further. Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the pipeline and task allocations to us?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Each of the members undertook different areas in CG that they were interested in pursuing. The task allocations were as follows:- Jonathan H. Christian: Character Animation and VFX- Olivia Dharmawan: Character Animation and Modelling- Neeshma Sadanandhan: Character Animation and Rigging- Richardo S. Christopher: Modelling and Texturing- Ng Ser Ting: Modelling and Texturing- Richardo was the Art Director of the film. Most of the visual elements in the film came from his vision of a Sci-Fi dystopian world. The concept art of both the main characters as well as several aspects of the environment creation was done by him. - Neeshma was the Project Manager who took care of keeping things organised and hosting weekly meetings to keep deadlines in check and the line of communication open. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for the animation?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: We used Maya for all asset creation, animation and rigging. Arnold was the render engine we used. All procedural modelling and VFX was done using Houdini. Substance Painter was used for texturing. Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the main 3D character, such as modelling and texturing?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Here is the original concept design of the main character of the film ‘Iona’ created by Richardo: !Original concept - Modus Vivendi AnimationThe character model was created by Ng Ser Ting based on the above concept. A lot of changes were made to the model based on changes in story and also for rigging purposes. The character model was further improved and polished by Ser Ting recently and the latest model looks like this:!Modus Vivendi Animation!Modus Vivendi Animation!Modus Vivendi AnimationHere’s some VFX experiments that were done for Modus Vivendi by our VFX Artist Jonathan:Iona Arm Sparks Smoke Bomb Dust VFX Iona Cloth Sim Fox Renderfarm: The body movements and facial expressions in this animation are realistic, how did you make it?Neeshma: When I created the character rig for Iona, I tried to do my best to maximise her physical and facial flexibility. It was quite a challenging process because the rig was made completely from scratch, but this allowed me to edit it easily to fit the specific needs of her animation. Here is a screengrab showing the number of nodes it took to rig one side of her smile:!Modus Vivendi AnimationRegarding the animation process, I always start with references. For instance, Iona does a lot of parkour and action scenes - I collected a long list of video references from the internet to try to study the movements and try to mimic it in a believable way. For facial animation shots, I often filmed myself performing the scenes and try to mimic and exaggerate from there. I also usually sketched over playblasts of Iona and made notes of the thoughts or emotions she must be feeling when I wanted to create really specific facial expressions. Fox Renderfarm: The environment modelling is really excellent, any references?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Olivia Dharmawan, Richardo Christopher and Ng Ser Ting created the environments seen in the film. The film had 3 main environments which included an Alleyway, a Highway and the interior of an abandoned Diner. The main inspirations for these environments included dystopian Sci-fi animated productions such as Love Death and Robots, Cyberpunk, Nier Automata. In terms of real world references, we were also influenced by apartment structures in Hong Kong, Japanese signage and alleyways in South Korea. Here are some renders of each of the environments shown in the film:Alleyway:!Alleyway -1!Alleyway -2!Alleyway-3!Alleyway-4Highway:!Highway-1Diner:!Diner!Diner Fox Renderfarm: The sound, music, and voice put the finishing touches to the animation, how do you make it?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Sound for the film was done by a talented duo that we hired for the project. The soundtrack was created by Barney M-L and the SFX was done by William Biggs.The main character Iona’s voice was performed by Julie Park. Barney M-L: “On the music side it was a super organic process - even though we were on the other side of the world we made opportunities to share work and feedback and this meant we could still chisel the marble together if that metaphor tracks. Even though it was a dystopian setting and narrative, the story breathes life into the machines, I tried to reflect this through a mix of organic and electronic sounds."Here, William Biggs goes through his process of creating Sound for Modus Vivendi:Sound Design Breakdown - Modus Vivendi (Film) Fox Renderfarm: What’s the plan for the full film of Modus Vivendi?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: The film is currently in the process of being polished and rendered. The team members had certain areas that they wanted to improve in the film which included - the addition of two animated shots, the improvement of lighting and changes in the layout of some environments. We are hoping to release the full film at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, so keep an eye out! Fox Renderfarm: Could you have a brief introduction to FROZEN Fan Animation?Neeshma: The Frozen fan animation was a collaborative project between Jonathan and myself. I created the character animation and Jonathan added the cloth simulations and particle FX to add a magical flair to the animation!I originally created the short animation because I was very inspired when I first saw Frozen 2 in the theatres. The facial animation in the movie was incredible and I wanted to push myself to achieve something similarly emotive. Here’s what the video looked like before and after VFX was added and Rendered with Fox Renderfarm:Before VFX:WIP Elsa Animation After VFX: FROZEN Fan Animation | Breaking Down - performed by Sulene Fleming Fox Renderfarm: How did your team communicate and cooperate with each other to improve efficiency?Jonathan: We have a discord server for sharing references, notes, gdrive links, etc. We also use discord for weekly meetings, which really helps us stay on track. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your educational and career experience?Jonathan: CG is literally everywhere these days so it would be a surprise if a person has never encountered CG. I have been a fan of films and video games since I was a kid. Never thought I would be studying animation. In fact, when I came to Melbourne, I was going to study Product Design. However, I thought I already love movies and video games and I was interested in how they were actually made, so I changed my mind and applied for an animation course instead.Neeshma: I’m originally from a 2D Animation background and was very scared of CG at first! But when I started seeing how flexible and visually beautiful 3D Animation was becoming over the past few years, I thought it was worth getting into. Looking back, I think deciding to learn 3D Animation was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Animated shorts from a series on Netflix called Love Death and Robots and games such as Overwatch and Valorant were the main inspirations for our animation. We were aiming to create stylized models with semi realistic textures, and I think that the titles I mentioned incorporate such style really well. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: We’re incredibly thankful for Fox Renderfarm’s rendering services! When we were working on Modus Vivendi, we were very anxious about how we could afford such a visually complex and long film with the low budget we had as students. Of all the different render farm options we explored, Fox Renderfarm was the most affordable one we found. To add to this, Fox Renderfarm’s customer service team always got back to us fast on our queries and were incredibly helpful everytime. We hope that more students find this service! CREDITS:*Jonathan Hans Christian: *- https://www.artstation.com/vixorarts- https://www.instagram.com/vixor_arts/ *Olivia Dharmawan:*- https://www.instagram.com/nullnol_/ - https://www.linkedin.com/in/olivia-dharmawan-9b611a1a6/?originalSubdomain=au *Richardo Surya Christopher:*- https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardo-christopher-659935169/?originalSubdomain=au- https://www.artstation.com/ric-arch *Neeshma Sadanandhan:*- https://linktr.ee/Neeshma *Ng Ser Ting:*- https://www.artstation.com/serting/ - https://www.instagram.com/serting *Julie Park:*- https://www.julieparkvo.com/ - https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-park-8112a9b6/ *William Biggs:*- https://www.williambiggsaudio.co.uk/ - https://twitter.com/willbiggsaudio *Barney M-L:*- https://www.barneyml.com/