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FGT3D Hunter Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox, iCube R&D Group and Marmoset. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Hunter Challenge is now open for submissions!The third-place winner of the Student Category is Antoine Destailleurs! Congratulations! His artwork, The Hunter, stands out for its great design and detail to the armor and human-like body.“The use of colors and the contrast between the flexible fabric and metal parts are very effective. The character looks to have powerful arms and legs while being very lightweight. The design makes me believe that the character must be able to move extremely fast and jump high. It makes sense the character's name is Swift.” One of our judges, Miho Aoki said, who is the Associate Professor of Computer Art University of Alaska Fairbanks.Here’s the interview between Antoine and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how he created this wonderful 3D Hunter.!The Hunter © Antoine DestailleursThe Hunter © Antoine Destailleurs - Antoine Destailleurs- 3D Character Artist @Asobo- France Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Antoine! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Antoine: Hi, I’m Antoine Destailleurs. I'm 25 years old and I’m currently working at Asobo as a Character Artist intern in order to validate my Master’s Degree. I learned 3D modeling at Supinfogame RUBIKA, a school located at Valenciennes, France. I’ve always been interested in creating characters and playing video games so I mixed both of these passions into what is now my work! Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 3rd place in the Student Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?Antoine: Thanks, I’m really happy to bea part of the winners of this challenge, everyone did a really great job! Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, The Hunter?Antoine: The Hunter was part of the work I did for SWIFT, my graduation project, so I didn’t not really count the hours I put into it but I guess that it took me around 2 month from the design to the final 3D model. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Antoine: I only used Zbrush for modeling, 3D Coat for the retopology, 3ds Max for unwrapping my model and having a clean scene to work on to prepare my bake and finally, Substance Painter for the baking and texturing of my character. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork? Any references?Antoine: My main inspiration to design my character’s body was Alita. I loved how subtle and elegant her arms looked so I tried to keep that in mind. And for the outfit there was no major reference but I'd say that I found some inspirations in Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed and Middle-East culture.!FIRST CONCEPTS - SWIFT!designing classes - swift!designing classes - swift Fox Renderfarm: Great design and detail to the armor and clothing, and then what sets it apart for me is on top of this human-like body we have the surprise of their head seemingly being made from magical green fire! How did you make it?Antoine: Thanks, this cosmic energy was one of the main features of our characters. I made it using cylinders, fire textures that tiled on the UVs and some emissive, nothing complicated here. But The in-game trails were actually created by Nicolas Ceriani, who’s currently working as a VFX Intern at Riot Games. He created our VFX using Shuriken from Unity.!designing the body -swift!key poses tests - swift!swift!swift!swift!swift Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Antoine: No particular difficulties, but I learned Hard Surface modeling in Zbrush with this project so I actually spent more time than necessary on the character’s body but that’s part of the learning process ! We also had a massive rework of the art direction during the pre-production so I had to design new characters to fit our newly established art direction. Here again, no particular difficulties but it took a lot of time. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Antoine: For this project, as I said earlier, Vitaly Bulgarov’s Alita was a major inspiration. But in general I spend a lot of time browsing Artstation to find fantastic characters to inspire me. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? Antoine: I’ve recently finished my studies at Supinfogame RUBIKA in Valenciennes, France. During which I had to do multiple internships. I did my first internship as Pixel Artist for a game developed by Clean Cut Games called Hairdash. Then I did two internships at Appeal Studios as a 3D Character Artist this time. I learned a lot about character creation and had the opportunity to work on an ambitious next-gen game that will be announced during THQ Nordic’s digital showcase. And finally, I’m currently working on A Plague Tale: Requiem at Asobo as a 3D Character Artist intern. Here again, I’m learning a lot about character creation! I don’t know if my internship will result in an employment yet, so if someone’s looking for a Character Artist… hey :) ! Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Antoine: I’ve learned a lot of things just by watching speedculpts and conferences on youtube. You can find all the knowledge you need for free on the internet so just look for it ! Also don’t be afraid to fail and keep working! Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Antoine: I think it’s a great opportunity to discover new artists and to expose your work to people ! No suggestions, it was great! Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Antoine: Just do your best to have a result that satisfies you and on which you've learned new stuff!
On a lone desert road, a grizzled old man crosses paths with an exhausted boy, barefoot in a hospital gown. As the boy collapses, the good samaritan rushes to get him help ... RUNAWAY Piers Shepherd-Rose, Callum McKay, and Paulina Rybakaitė made this amazing short movie come true and won the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021, which is sponsored by the world-leading cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm.!The RookiesPiers Shepherd-Rose- Jr. Animator at Industrial Light & Magic- From: UKCallum McKay- Roto / Prep Artist at Union Visual Effects- From: UKPaulina Leonarda Rybakaitė- Junior Modeler at Industrial Light & Magic- From: UKThe dedicated team accepted Fox Renderfarm’s interview and shared with us contentful details about their creative process.!RUNAWAY Fox Renderfarm: Hi guys, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself respectively?Callum: We’re all recent graduates from the University of Hertfordshire! Our graduate film, RUNAWAY, had us all taking on a variety of roles but primarily Callum was our Lighting and Compositing artist, Piers was our Art Director and Animator, and Paulina was our Character Modelling and Texture artist. Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on winning the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021, how do you feel about winning the prize? Callum: It was both an incredible and humbling experience for us to make it as far as the Draft Selection in the Rookies! We are incredibly proud of ourselves and how far our project has come. Fox Renderfarm: The plot is so intriguing in this animated short. What’s your inspiration for this short?Paulina: There were a lot of inspirations for particular elements of the story. We went through a lot of iterations of the plot until we were satisfied with it. It definitely helped to have great examples of short films that had effective storytelling and developed a specific atmosphere like Yona (2019) and the Witness (2019). We always went back to them to draw inspiration not only for the plot but also to understand how visual elements and specific styles help to build the whole world of the film. We also decided that we wanted to go with a specific time period the film would be set in and we chose the 80s as we liked the aesthetic of those times and it made sense for our plot to develop in those times. For that, we did a lot of research for both visual and aural elements. We looked at films like Fish Night (2019), Badlands (1973), Star Trek (1966) for both the environment settings as we wanted our film to be based in the Nevada desert and some plot elements that could be useful for our story. It made us excited to combine both - the 80s and its aesthetic with supernatural elements which was quite challenging to tackle at first. We wanted to make the film feel as if it is part of a bigger story so we had to figure how to use that one minute and a half effectively with all the elements working in harmony together.Yona (2019)!The Witness 2019The Witness (2019)!Fish Light 2019Fish Light (2019)Badlands (1973)Star Trek (1966) Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the task allocation in the creative process to us?Callum: As we were a small team, we had to wear a lot of hats during production but primarily our task allocation was as follows:Callum McKay - Lighting, Rendering & Compositing. Cloth Simulation.Piers Shepherd-Rose - Concept & Art Direction, AnimationPaulina Rybakaitė - Character Modeling & Texturing Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for the animated short?Paulina: We used a wide range of software. Maya was the main software we used for certain bits of production like environment modeling, animation and lighting for example. For something specific like cloth simulation, we used Houdini. Character modeling was done mainly within Zbrush, Maya and Marvelous Designer. All the assets were textured in Substance Painter. And then finally, the film was rendered with Arnold renderer and put together and composited in Nuke. Fox Renderfarm: The lighting plays such an important role in creating the American road’s mid-night vibe and the suspension feeling in the short. How did you manage to set the lighting?Piers: As an initial part of our pre-production process, we developed a number of 2D concept paintings to quickly explore lighting ideas and help hone in on our visual style before developing our 3D assets. When we then came to create our 3D previsualization passes for the film, we were able to block-in our lighting using these paintings as reference - which further influenced our final lighting choices for the film once we had finalized our characters and set design. We strived to be very purposeful in our lighting & colour choices, in not only creating clear focal points for the audience, but also hinting at characterization through their design & placement. We designed the two main colours used throughout the film to be representative of the two main characters, and to highlight the contrast between them - this might not be immediately obvious for the audience, but we found it rewarding in development to consider every aspect of the visuals as thematically-linked to the narrative. Fox Renderfarm: The style of the characters is very unique which combines the oil painting and wooden texture. Why did you choose this special design? What’s the process of creating these 2 characters?Piers: We drew inspiration from a number of visually striking short animated films, including Alberto Mielgo’s The Witness & Kevin "Teau" Rose & Gautier Alfirevic’s YONA. We especially enjoyed how they blended 2D & 3D techniques to create unique visuals, specific to each film. !The WitnessThe Witness!YONA © Kevin Teau Rose & Gautier Alfirevic-1!YONA © Kevin Teau Rose & Gautier Alfirevic-2YONA © Kevin "Teau" Rose & Gautier AlfirevicTo create our characters, we began by researching into our chosen time period & setting, and collated lots of images that we could use to inform our design choices. From this research, we created 2D concept paintings for each character & explored different iterations for each - including variations on costumes, as well as alternate face designs. Once we had settled on a final design for each character, we started to build them in 3D. Eventually, the characters were textured, taken through look-development, and had a character rig built for each of them - which would ultimately be used by our animator to develop the final performances for each shot.!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway Fox Renderfarm: When it comes to animation, we found the camera moves help the whole short draw the attention of the audience. Any special consideration behind the animation process? Piers: In regards to the camerawork, whilst they were entirely CG cameras, we set out to keep them as grounded as possible in realism - As in our visual design, the cameras operated realistically, we wanted to keep this consistent through their movement. We tried to consider how each shot might be achieved in real life with real cameras, & allowed this to inform our choices as to how we used them in the film. We also put thought into how specific camera movements evoked certain feelings to the audience, such as how a slow push-in might invite closer attention and immerse the audience into the scene. We went as far as to add tiny micro-movements to the camera animation for each shot, to further help bring them closer to realism.!Runaway -7 Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties in the creative process? How did you solve them?Piers: Every day there was a new problem to solve! As a 3, we were quick to discuss potential issues and sought ways to navigate around them as best we could. At one point during production, our initial composer & sound designer tied to the project had to unfortunately leave her role due to personal reasons. Moving quickly, & thanks to a certain sound-licensing website, we were able to edit & finish the music and sound for the film entirely ourselves.!Runaway -8 Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the whole project?Callum: We had A LOT of ideas before coming up with RUNAWAY and it took us around six months of ideas generation before all agreeing on an idea that we really liked during September of 2020. After that, we set about developing the narrative as well as our visual style before eventually moving into full-fledged production which finished in June 2021. Fox Renderfarm: We are amazed that you created such a quality short with only 3 artists. Could you introduce the pipeline to us? Did you and your teammates do anything special to make the communication and cooperation efficient and effective?Piers: Thank you! Whilst we developed & led the project as a 3, we certainly couldn’t have done it without the help from a small number of ‘freelancers’ who filled in essential roles where we couldn’t. Our pipeline for the film reflected a fairly typical CG pipeline. Beginning in pre-production, the key stages included: Concept design, Pre-visualization, Modeling, Texturing, Look-development, Rigging, Animation, Cloth Simulation, Lighting & Compositing.As a small team working from home, organization & communication were essential - We used a project management application to keep track of our tasks & progress and kept in touch constantly by setting up team voice meetings week to week.!Runaway -9 Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any plan to prolong this animated short or create any other project based on the plot of RUNAWAY?Callum: We currently don’t have any plans on creating anything else based in the world of RUNAWAY although we’re definite that the inspiration and style we have adopted from working on the project will follow us along onto our new projects in the future. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your educational and career experience?Piers: When I was younger I had the typical early dream of being an animator when I grew up - after getting through school & spending some time weighing up other options and working in retail after college, I decided to throw my hat in to properly pursue a degree in animation. This led me to the University of Hertfordshire where I’ve since been able to graduate with First Class Honours! During my time at University, I was fortunate to gain invaluable experience on 2 internships in the industry & since graduating I’ve been exceptionally lucky to start my career with Industrial Light & Magic as a Jr. Animator.Callum: When I was 16 and leaving secondary school here in the UK, I decided I wanted to go and study Games Art at college as I’ve always loved video games. After graduating from that college at 18, I set my eyes on pursuing a degree in it as well at the University of Hertfordshire. Shortly after starting on the course, I found out that there is a lot more than Games Art in the realm of 3D! I found Visual Effects and a little later down the line, compositing.Paulina: I never thought making CG was possible until I came to the UK and started studying at the university and funnily enough I did not have almost any experience with computers or software before it as I was mainly concentrating on traditional art and was aiming to be a 2D animator. When I started the animation course I realized that there are way more specialization opportunities and so I was not purely concentrating on 2D art anymore and tried out as many new things as possible as this course let us to. When I first picked up the 3D software, it amazed me how there were almost no limitations in making digital art, it was just so fun to always try to push yourself more to see what you can achieve and the problem solving aspect of making 3D art always intrigued me since. I am very grateful that our course made us try many different disciplines from the very beginning as because of that I found a big passion in 3D modelling and I am continuing to grow as an artist in that field currently working as Junior Modeller in Industrial Light & Magic. Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?Piers: I follow a swathe of animators online and am always inspired to see brilliant animation floating around the web - But, if I had to pick someone specific, I’d say I really enjoy the 2D gestural animation style of Glen Keane.Beauty and the Beast (Supervising Animator: Glen Keane)Paulina: There are so many, it is difficult to give only a few names. I try not to only concentrate on 3D artists either as there is so much that can be learned from traditional artists. I have to say though that I have been very inspired by digital artists that emphasize surface texture of models - Maria Panfilova is one of the great examples and she also draws inspiration from amazing traditional sculptors like Beth Cavener. From the realism side, I find Kris Costa’s work very inspiring and I can never get bored observing his portraits.!Beast statue 14 XM Studios © Maria PanfilovaBeast statue 1/4 XM Studios © Maria Panfilova!© Beth Cavener© Beth Cavener!Tribute to H.R. Giger © Kris CostaTribute to H.R. Giger © Kris Costa Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step?Piers: Stay employed! I’m excited to continue building on my experience as an animator in the industry and will continue to develop my skills where I can and push myself to be as good as I can be. Callum: I just landed a job as a roto/prep artist at Union VFX! The next steps for me are growing my skill sets as both a paint & roto artist and a compositor with aspirations to move onto a fully-fledged compositing role.Paulina: Currently, my main goal is the same as mentioned before - stay employed! I am also concentrating on developing my skills during my free time after work and trying to dedicate at least a few hours per week to work on personal projects when I can. I am very happy with my current position and I am excited to keep learning and growing in this industry. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Callum: When I was first researching various different cloud rendering service solutions for our project, I expected that it would be a complicated and difficult process. But after using Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services, I realised that the service made it so easy and user-friendly to upload scenes, render them, and download the output in a few simple clicks. The customer support was great and the service made organizing our renders a lot easier as each render pass was put into its respective folder during the download as well! We’re definitely over the moon with our experience with Fox Renderfarm.
The concept of treehouse spurs a lot of imagination about the romantic or adventurous atmosphere with natural beauty from starry night, jungles to tranquille lakes and so forth. CG Boost set “Treehouse” as the theme of their September challenge, setting a stage to let numerous talented artists to splash their imagination and CG techniques.!CG BOOSTFox Renderfarm, as a world leading cloud rendering service provider, sponsored the great challenge. Plus, we are so honored to have the chance to interview the 1st Place winner - Florian Linke.- Florian Linke- Amateur CG enthusiast- From: Vienna, AustriaThe narrative and mysterious ambient delivered by the artwork catches the jury’s attention alone with the nice lighting and balanced compositing.!Treehouse - Florian Linke Florian about his entry:“The tree house built by survivors out of the remnants of wrecked ships that got lost and crashed down the waterfalls is meant to portray the will of people to not give up and survive, no matter the circumstances.This is my first participation, and during the creation of this project I had to learn about many new things like adaptive subdivision and volumes. It took me the whole month to complete, because I am not very advanced (yet), and overall it was really just a lot of fun experimenting around.”Let’s dig into our interview with Florian and enjoy the creative process altogether. Fox Renderfarm: Hey Florian, congrats on winning the 1st Place in the CGBoost Treehouse Challenge! Could you introduce yourself to us?Florian: Hello there and thank you very much, my name is Florian Linke and I am an amateur CG enthusiast from Vienna, Austria. Fox Renderfarm: The winning artwork is quite narrative and appealing, could you share with us the idea and inspiration behind the artwork?Florian: Both nature and pirates have always been very inspiring to me, and the theme of the challenge seemed to go really well with both. The idea is that some ships got lost and ended up crashing down the waterfalls in the background. After that, the survivors built a new home on the tree, partially out of the remains of the wrecked ships. I always liked the idea of never giving up, and wanted to do my best to portray this idea. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugin did you use to create the artwork? Florian: I used Blender for the entire scene, and GIMP for some minor color correction. Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the artwork?Florian: I have been working on the project on and off for around three weeks. It took me so long because I had to experiment a lot with different things, and learn a lot of new stuff to be able to make some elements of the scene. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your creative progress, from modeling to the final rendering?Florian: First, I started with a simple blockout, to get a rough idea for the layout. I changed this around a lot, until I had a better plan.!Treehouse - Florian Linke!Treehouse - Florian LinkeI then started to replace all the placeholder models with new ones, starting with the cliffs, then the tree, the house, and lastly, the background vegetation.The cliffs are just round cubes, stacked and subdivided, and displaced with a height map. The tree was made using Blender’s skin modifier, by intertwining the branches to create a sort of tree hand.!Treehouse - Florian LinkeLastly, I added some mist, tweaked the lighting, and tried to use volumes to make the waterfalls look more convincing. I then added the background vegetation, which was made in the same way as the big tree, and some smaller plants and treetops made from transparent images of leaves and branches.!Treehouse - Florian Linke Fox Renderfarm: The treehouse is the main object in the whole picture, did you model it from scratch? How did you make it vivid while keeping its structure organic? Florian: I first modeled some planks and wooden bars, then arranged them into sort of wall and floor modules, and then built the house itself out of these elements, keeping it all relatively loose and chaotic. After that I just modeled some decorative assets like nets and barrels and placed them on the platforms around the house.!Clay Render -Treehouse - Florian LinkeClay Render Fox Renderfarm: Are there any special considerations behind the texture?Florian: I tried to make everything look a little mossy, without stressing my PC too much, by mixing a moss material into every normal material. The moss on the tree and rocks is always on top, and on the house, it is in the nooks and corners. Fox Renderfarm: The lighting setup plays an important role in creating the atmosphere. How did you arrange the lighting, especially the fog and the detailed lighting in the cave?Florian: I modeled all the mist and fog in the scene as solid objects first, and then used Blender‘’s mesh to volume modifier to get the volume to have the exact shape I needed. The lights in the cave are just regular point lights, placed inside small lantern models. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulty in the process? How did you solve it?Florian: One of the biggest difficulties was actually the cliffs. I am not super experienced when it comes to 3D art, so I had to experiment and try a lot of different approaches to get it right. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your education and career experience in the CG industry?Florian: The first time I knew that I wanted to learn 3D art, was when I played on the original playstation as a kid. Fox Renderfarm: Could you give some advice to the people who want to step into this industry?Florian: Don’t let anything discourage or intimidate you. Learning 3D art is often hard and complicated, but if you keep at it, it will soon become second nature. There are so many programs and helpful tools as well as tutorials available nowadays, often for free or at a very affordable price, so no matter where you stand, nothing stands in the way of your dream! Fox Renderfarm: Any artwork or artist inspires you the most?Florian: I am a huge fan of the works from Zdzislaw Beksinski, his surreal and disturbing, yet strangely beautiful art really helps with getting new ideas. !Zdzislaw Beksinski© Zdzislaw Beksinski