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    Paul Webb Shines with His Technical Proficiency in the polygoniq 3D Challenge 'Into the Future'

    Paul Webb Shines with His Technical Proficiency in the polygoniq 3D Challenge 'Into the Future'

    Paul Webb, a talented digital artist, recently earned a well-deserved second place in the renowned polygoniq 3D challenge "Into the Future". His artwork, "A Sort of Homecoming," which skillfully balances technical proficiency with imaginative storytelling, stood out in a field of exceptional entries. Congratulations to Paul! Fox Renderfarm as the industry's top cloud rendering service provider and render farm, was honored to sponsor this contest and interview Paul.

    Let’s uncover the inspiration and process behind Paul's remarkable work through this interview.

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Paul! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

    Paul: Hi, I live in the UK, VFX and 3D is not really my main job. At the moment it’s a hobby, but I dedicate a lot of time to what I do. I grew up watching lots of Sci-Fi, Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Farscape. Love it all. I got into Blender many years ago, but never did much. However I have started to delve into it more, and I am hoping to make a short film someday.

    Star Wars © Lucasfilm Ltd

    Star Wars © Lucasfilm Ltd.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning second place in the polygoniq challenge "Into the Future"! How do you feel about it?

    Paul: Amazed!! There were so many great entries and talented (and genuinely nice) people. It was just a pleasure to be a part of it. 

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you walk us through the conceptual development of your piece? How did your initial idea evolve into the final work?

    Paul: I have a problem with self-control. It started as a small idea, a man and his robot walking in a field. But I love creating stories and it just developed from there. Trying to build up the story of why and how. I kept wanting to add more and more!

    Fox Renderfarm: What kind of emotional journey do you want the audience to experience through your work? Are there any symbolic themes that you would like to share?

    Paul: I tried to kick it off on a high, but the ship crashed, you don’t know why, but you see the fear in the robot. You see the relationship they have, I guess almost a parent/child kind of thing. And then hopefully left wondering what they’re looking out at. 

    Screenshot of “A Sort of Homecoming’ © Paul Webb_

    Screenshot of "A Sort of Homecoming" © Paul Webb

    Fox Renderfarm: Were there any specific films, books, artworks, or real-life events that inspired the story and the characters?

    Paul: I’m a huge U2 fan and love the song - "A Sort of Homecoming" - about returning home after a long journey. And that’s what I was going for, they’ve returned home but things aren’t quite how they left them.

    A Sort of Homecoming © U2

    A Sort of Homecoming © U2

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you elaborate on the technical aspects of creating the visual representation of the man? What tools and techniques did you use? 

    Paul: I used several techniques for him. The main body is a ProductionCrate asset, I am a huge fan of theirs, the head is from a Blender addon called MakeHuman. I stitched the two together. I then used Move AI for the motion capture and an iPhone app called Facemotion 3D for the face motion. That’s one of the things I love about Blender, bringing different add-ons and techniques together to create things. 

    Screenshot of “A Sort of Homecoming’ © Paul Webb

    Screenshot of "A Sort of Homecoming" © Paul Webb

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you please tell us about your pipeline for this work? And how long did it take you? 

    Paul: One of my problems is I don’t always have a pipeline. I love how projects expand, grow, and develop - it is by no means the best way to work! So it is very difficult for me to keep it contained. But when writing I love how things grow and expand almost with a life of their own. I’m not sure about the exact time, but over a couple of weeks, I spent 2 - 3 hours each night working on it and watching it grow. 

    © Paul Webb

    Fox Renderfarm: What were the main technical challenges you faced during the creation of your work and how did you overcome them?

    Paul: Animation. Just in general. I love creating animation rather than still images, but I struggle with timing. So this time I did a lot of previs, rendering low poly, non-textured versions to see how it flowed. It really helped. Another thing I struggled with and didn’t quite accomplish with the exterior scenes is making things look natural and creating a world that is alive and believable. 

    Fox Renderfarm: Are there any moments you enjoyed during the creation process? And what was the most memorable?

    Paul: There’s one scene when the robot nudges the hero to wake him up. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I was really happy with how that scene turned out. 

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any favorite artworks or artists that you want to share with us?

    Paul: I follow a lot of different creators on Instagram, far too many to mention!! I just enjoy seeing what some people create using Blender and other software knowing that one day, with practice, I could make something similar.

    Fox Renderfarm: Have you tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services before? If so, how do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? 

    Paul: No I’ve never used it before, so I’m excited to try it out. 

    Fox Renderfarm: Any future plans at the moment that you would like to share with us?

    Paul: I wrote a sci-fi novel a few years ago and I am trying to clean it up so I can get it self-published, and there’s an idea for a series I wrote, so I would love to bring that to life in animation. In the short term, I would say continue to learn and meet other amazing people who love creating. There’s so much talent out there, so it’s an honor to have been a part of something with them. I will continue posting on my Instagram and YouTube and hopefully someday be as good as those I follow. 

    Thanks again to Paul for accepting our interview! Wishing new heights in your professional career!!

    Paul’s social media:

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