Creating a Magical Library Inspired by Harry Potter in 3ds Max
On April 29th, CG Boost announced the winners of its 14th 3D challenge, Library Challenge, which was sponsored by the TPN-Accredited cloud render farm, Fox Renderfarm. You will never know what magical and interesting stories are going to happen in the library until you see these amazing award-winning artworks.
We are so proud to have an interview with the champion of the Library Challenge, Krzysztof (Chris) Fendryk, a CG Supervisor & CG Artist from Poland, whose artwork The High Room received unanimous praise from the judges as its top-notch composition and lens perspective.
Krzysztof (Chris) Fendryk
CG Supervisor & CG Artist
The High Room © Krzysztof (Chris) Fendryk
Chris’s inspiration came from visiting Trinity Library in Dublin (an iconic place) and re-watching Harry Potter movies with his daughter. The artwork was created using 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, RizomUV, Substance Painter and Nuke.
Trinity Library in Dublin
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
“The biggest challenge for me was to create all of the assets within the time given. I’ve made roughly 60 different books to avoid repetition. Technique wise, it’s a typical edge/box modeling, UV’s, textures painted in Painter, all rendered with V-ray with a sprinkle of volumetric fog on top. I’ve used Nuke to rebuild shaders and color correct the composition adding glow and vignette,” according to Chris.
Now let’s find out what went on behind the scene in the exclusive interview.
Fox Renderfarm: Hey Chris, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Chris Fendryk: Hi all, my name is Krzysztof but pretty much everyone calls me Chris due to the fact I've been living abroad for 12 years before I've moved back to Poland. I'm currently working at Platige Image as a CG Sup, balancing time as best as I can between family, work and CG.
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning the 1st Place in the CGBoost Library Challenge?
Chris Fendryk: It's a really great feeling and experience to have your work recognized and awarded. I didn't expect that I could take the win.
Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the artwork?
Chris Fendryk: It took me roughly 10-14 days on/off work, juggling kids activities, work and sanity ;).
Fox Renderfarm: The fisheye lens distortion contributed greatly to the success of the artwork, why did you use the lens distortion in your work and how did you make it?
Chris Fendryk: I do set up my cameras and basic lighting at the blocking stage, it helps me a lot to focus on the most important parts of the image. I've decided to use a fisheye lens as I felt it will add a lot to a rather static image. I've achieved the effect by using V-Ray camera with properly set up distortion.
Fox Renderfarm: The symmetrical composition and the cold lighting make the library magical and mysterious, any idea behind that?
Chris Fendryk: Regarding symmetrical composition, I've always loved this kind of framing, in the previous studio (Brown Bag Film) friends tend to joke around: "Ease out with the symmetry you not Kubrick" :). Lighting took much longer than I expected besides creating all of the books that was the most challenging part of the process. I had around 20 different lighting iterations all of them set up in the same mood (cold outside + warm interior). I felt that this kind of lighting scenario will have the best mood, and both colours will nicely complement each other.
I would say that every single step of creation has something unforgettable in it. But if I had to pick one - lighting would be the number one.
Fox Renderfarm: When did you encounter CG? Could you briefly tell us the story of your educational and work experience along your CG journey?
Chris Fendryk: I think the first time I've become aware of CG was around the mid 90's. That's when I first encountered a Polish CG scene. I was always involved in a lot of artistic activities, from being a professional dancer for most of my life to painting, architecture, calligraphy and so on. If I would have to pinpoint the exact moment when I knew CG is what I really want to do, I would say Computer Arts magazine special edition on how to create tags in 3D. That was it, I've been sold. It also happened around the time when I was working as DTP for a printing business and I felt that I needed a change. In terms of education, I did two years of Game Dev in college, then I did it with Bachelor of Arts in Animation and VFX at Irish School of Animation. Work wise, I've been lucky enough I didn't struggle to look for work. I've put a lot of "bum hours" into my portfolio which secured my first gig. After that, everything happened more or less through word of mouth.
Fox Renderfarm: As a CG supervisor and artist, which artwork or project impressed you most, why?
Chris Fendryk: I would have to say that every project I was/I am involved in brings certain moments that make all of them special. But the most memorable one would be working on Black Sails Season 4 - a trial by fire for me ;).
Black Sails Season 4
Fox Renderfarm: How did you keep yourself inspired and motivated? What do you do to improve your professional skills?
Chris Fendryk: I do tend to stay on top of what’s currently happening within the CG scene, from browsing art to listening to podcasts, etc. Being motivated most of the time requires rigour and determination. We all have downtime either due to being burned out or simply having troubles finding an inspiration. I would suggest that starting even a simple asset will get you going in no time. Also having an "outside CG" activity or hobby helps a lot, cycling, gym, etc.
Ford GT 40 CG © Krzysztof (Chris) Fendryk
Cave study © Krzysztof (Chris) Fendryk
ED 209 - Robocop fan art © Krzysztof (Chris) Fendryk
Fox Renderfarm: Anyone or any artwork inspires you the most in the industry?
Chris Fendryk: There are so many amazing artists out there, but definitely Marek Denko, Fausto De Martini, Peter Sanitra, to name a few. From the closest circle that keeps me going, Darko Mitev and Rory Bjorkman - those guys don't know when to stop ;).
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you wanna share with CG enthusiasts?
Chris Fendryk: I would like to say thanks to everyone who liked my piece and showed the support, and let's comment and give feedback not just "like" someone’s art, it does help a lot and shows we do care for other artists too :). Cheers.
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