How to Create a 3D GK Figure in ZBrush and 3ds Max
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 in the Professional category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge goes to ManWai Chuk with his work, Guide Man. “His image gives me the creeps, no one would want to be hunted by this hunter, high details on the textures, lighting and rendering is matching the creepy character, even though the rendering is designed to be a GK figure, but still the scary character and the lighting key gives one hideous feeling.” Our judge Ben Cheung said, who is also one of the 2020 VES Awards Nomination Judges.Let's find out how ManWai made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: Hi, ManWai! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?ManWai: Hi everyone, my name is Manwai. I come from Taiwan. I am interested in 3d characters. I'm very happy to participate in this competition. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 3rd place in the Professional Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?ManWai: I am glad that my creation can be affirmed & like my style. Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Guide Man?ManWai: It took me about 2 months after I got off work. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?ManWai: I usd Zbrush, 3ds Max, Substance painter, Photoshop Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?ManWai: Guide Man is taken from my old work Skeleton Centaur. I wanted to give it a different identity. Guide Man leads the dead to the path of judgment. This time, I return to my favorite Japanese dark style. Abandon the use of more aggressive weapons and exaggerated shapes, and instead use small-soldier-style armor and weapons. The simple and expressionless mask and the centaur structure are the characteristics. Carrying the faint light, I want to give a restrained and oppressive atmosphere.!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: The unusual design of this character caught our eye, as did the depth of field effect, and the presentation of the character as if they were a miniature model from a table top game. How did you make it?ManWai: I usd Zbrush for modeling, 3ds Max for topo & UV, Substance painter for texture. I like the depth of field effect strongly. Substance Painter Iray is great and simple. I rendered and made a miniature model effect in it. Fox Renderfarm: High details on the textures, lighting and rendering is matching the creepy character. How did you make it?ManWai: Textures are made in Substance Painter. Lighting used HDRI in Substance painter and rendering in IRAY. I tried the Marmoset Toolbag to render, but Substance painter is better.!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?ManWai: I exported the FBX format and encountered an uneven surface. When exporting FBX, uncheck Keep edge direction of Geometry. Solve this problem. It took me a lot of time to find it.!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?ManWai: I learned a lot of 3D skills from artists Zhelong Xu& Johnnyxiao.!Welcome to The Strange Planet © Zhelong XuWelcome to The Strange Planet © Zhelong Xu Old Jungle Warrior © Johnnyxiao Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? ManWai: School education teaches me the basics of art. I worked in post-production and learned the concept of animation synthesis. And learned 3d modeling, mapping and animation in game companies. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?ManWai: Do your own creation and learn from it. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?ManWai: Hope that there will be more diverse challenge themes in the future. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?ManWai: Regardless of the result of the game. You can learn from it. Just do it.
Creating A Cartoon Character For AAA Games in ZBrush and Maya
Fox Renderfarm Interview
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 first place winner in the Student category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge goes to YanniCk Knöller with his work, Hunter Game ready.“The rendering of the various materials is very well done. I especially like how fabrics, like the thin pink one on the broken stuffed animal, the character's jacket and the large patch on the arm, look. Also, the dark humor with the giant blade and the stuffed animal game is well done.” One of our judges, Miho Aoki said, who is the Associate Professor of Computer Art University of Alaska Fairbanks.Let's find out how YanniCk made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.!Hunter Game ready © YanniCk Knöller Hunter Game ready © YanniCk Knöller - YanniCk Knöller- Junior Character Artist- France Fox Renderfarm: Hi, YanniCk! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?YanniCk: Hi, I’m from Spain, I’m living in Paris. One year ago I finished my degree in 3D video games, and now I’m with my Mentor Juan Novelletto to improve my work, and we are making personal projects such as new characters. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Student Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?YanniCk: Thank you. I am pleased to have won the Hunter Challenge. Thanks Wenxu Xu for the awesome concept.!Hunter © WenXu XuHunter © WenXu Xu Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Hunter Game ready?YanniCk: At the beginning the principal objective wasn’t to finish the character. My objective was understanding all the pipeline and workflow from my Mentor. And it took me a few months. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?YanniCk: I used Zbrush for the sculpt, Marvelous designer for the clothes, Maya for the Uvs maps, Adobe Substance 3d for the bake and textures, Photoshop for some retouch shapes and making alphas, Marmoset toolbag 3 for the final render.!Hunter © WenXu Xu!Hunter © WenXu Xu!Hunter © WenXu Xu Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork? Any references?YanniCk: Since I was a child and teenager I loved painting Warhammers and other collectibles, I read some fantasy books, like Inkheart from Cornelia Funke, and classic films, like The Lord of the rings. And my first game, which inspired me a lot, was Monkey Island. And this project was born with the concept/illustration of Wenxu Xu. Fox Renderfarm: The render has great character design and eye popping detail on the cloth design. How did you make it?YanniCk: Many many hours in Marvelous design, with a lot of references to real clothes. And a lot of feedback from Juan.!Hunter © WenXu Xu-4 Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?YanniCk: Being my first work oriented to triple A Games. I found some difficulties as follows: The clothes and the final render, I solved them thanks to Juan, he gives me a lot of feedback and tricks, to make my work better.!Hunter © WenXu Xu-5!Hunter Game ready © YanniCk Knöller Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?YanniCk: There are too many to name all of them. But some of them are: Daniel Cockersell, Maria Panfilova, Marco Plouffe, Daniel Bel, etc. Demon Bust - Chief © Daniel CockersellAbduction © Maria Panfilova!B.3.T.L. Insectoids © Marco PlouffeB.3.T.L. / Insectoids © Marco Plouffe!Carnage Premium © Daniel BelCarnage Premium © Daniel Bel Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? YanniCk: I’ve made a change in my life, from passionate High Gastronomy to learning 3D video games. I finished my studies only last year, and because of Covid I couldn’t have an internship, to practice what I learned in LISAA, in Paris. I was lucky to find a great artist who is teaching me to continue my training. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?YanniCk: The two most important methods that I have learned are:The first, to create a Reference Guide of the Concept, looking for real ideas of the clothes, shoes, armors and all the things that the character has.That gives you a clear idea of what you are going to sculpt.The second, to make a blockout, to put all the things that the character has without any detail. looking at the silhouette, the negative spaces and then it’s much easier to start working. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?YanniCk: To enjoy the hard work they need and take references from the works of other professionals.
How to Create a Prometheus-style 3D Character in ZBrush
Fox Renderfarm Interview
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!What a well-designed and executed piece. The first place winner in the Professional category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge goes to Hideyuki Ashizawa with his work, Elf Hunter. “This image stands out. The level of the character design and rendering materiality is fantastic. The dark theme successfully blends a sense of danger and charm - or I would rather say, the danger becomes the charm. Besides the character, which occupies most of the composition, I am also impressed by the pattern in the background. The seemingly discursive design of the pattern makes one think that the creator is paying tribute to the style of the movie Prometheus. Most importantly, the sophistication of the image does not just stay on the surface. The complexity and richness of the image also make the viewers want to explore something more profound, which is the character’s spirituality and ontology. The world the character lives in is not something that can be comprehended and processed with our banal human mind.” One of our judges, Frank WANG Yefeng said, who is the Assistant Professor in the Art Department from Rhode Island College.Let's find out how Hideyuki made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.!Elf Hunter © Hideyuki AshizawaElf Hunter © Hideyuki Ashizawa Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Hideyuki! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Hideyuki Ashizawa: My name is Hideyuki Ashizawa. I live in Japan. I’m now 47 years old. I started making 3DCG for fun in May of 2018. My regular work is composing game music and creating sound effects for games. I've engaged in game production for about 27 years. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Professional Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Thank you for choosing me as number one! I couldn't believe it when I saw my name. I was so delighted! My wife and kids were as happy as I was to hear it. Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Elf Hunter?Hideyuki Ashizawa: It took three days from idea generation to rendering. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Hideyuki Ashizawa: ZBrush, Teya Conceptor, Keyshot, Affinity Photo Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Hans Ruedi Giger most influenced me. As for the film, Alien and Hellraiser affected me a lot.!GALERIE MUSEUM HRGIGER Fox Renderfarm: The level of the character design and rendering materiality is fantastic. How did you make it?Hideyuki Ashizawa: I can't draw at all, so I started creating with ZBrush from the beginning.Before I made it, I had an image in my head and used ZBrush and Teya Conceptor to shape it. I use Keyshot for rendering and Keyshot procedural textures for the textures.!Prometheus!Elf-Hunter-Hideyuki-Ashizawa-Keyshot!Elf-Hunter-Hideyuki-Ashizawa-ZBrush Fox Renderfarm: The dark theme successfully blends a sense of danger and charm. The seemingly discursive design of the pattern seems like you are paying tribute to the style of the movie Prometheus. How did you make it?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Prometheus is one of my favorite movies. When viewed from the side, it looks like a bad picture, but the objects are layered back and forth to represent the scene. I placed them so that the shadows would come out nicely when rendering. I completed it, seeking balance, which I think is intuitively good for me. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Nothing particularly difficult, but I tried to express what I liked as much as I could. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? Hideyuki Ashizawa: I have taught myself 3DCG for three years. I make 3DCG as a hobby, and I have no work experience in 3DCG.!3DCG © Hideyuki Ashizawa© Hideyuki Ashizawa© Hideyuki Ashizawa!3DCG © Hideyuki Ashizawa© Hideyuki Ashizawa Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Hideyuki Ashizawa: I'm learning by purchasing tutorials from Artstation and Gumroad. Like my regular job of composing music and creating sound effects, I enjoy learning a lot from my favorite artists' works. And I feel that I can pursue what I like and get good results. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Hideyuki Ashizawa: We all live in a challenging world. I want to thank you for holding such a fantastic contest. It was very inspiring to see the works of artists from all over the world. I hope you will continue to hold this contest in the future. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Hideyuki Ashizawa: I create as a hobby, so I can't give any advice on skills, but if you pursue what you like and create as you like, I'm sure there will be people who will appreciate your work. Chances will come. So, although I know that creating is hard work, I truly hope you can continue to be a creator for as long as possible.
How a Team of 3 Made an Incredible Short and Won the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021
Fox Renderfarm Interview
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.
How to Make an Adventurous Treehouse in Blender
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
Interview with Robb Innes: Co-founder and Director at PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is deeply committed to supporting education and wishes to contribute to the development of the CG industry. We are so proud to form cooperation with PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy and offer its students an affordable pricing scheme to support educational purposes.Mr. Robb Innes, Co-founder and Director at PIXL VISN media arts academy shared his story about how he founded the great academy with Fox Renderfarm. Besides his devoted journey in the VFX and animation production education, he gave his advice to CG students and practitioners about how to gradually improve professional skills and go further in the career path. Check out our exclusive interview and don’t miss out a single inspiration.!Robb InnesRobb Innes Co-founder/ Director, PIXL VISN Fox Renderfarm: Hi Robb, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Please briefly introduce yourself? Robb: I’m Robb Innes, one of two founders and directors of PIXL VISN media arts academy in Cologne, Germany. !PIXL VISN Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry? And could you share with us how you set up the wonderful PIXL VISN media arts academy? Robb: When I was a child growing up in Vancouver, Canada, I regularly watched a 3D animated cartoon called “ReBoot.” which was one of the first computer-animated tv series in the World. One day I noticed that it was made in Vancouver, and I realized that I could work on animation without moving all the way to California. Later, I was fortunate enough to learn television production in high school and worked on some nationally broadcast television shows. A few years later, I enrolled in a 3D animation and VFX education where I met Andrei Stirbu. After we graduated and throughout our careers in the industry, we remained friends. By the time we started talking about starting a school, he was a lighting supervisor, and I was working as a VFX generalist and on-set VFX supervisor. !Andrei StirbuAndrei Stirbu Co-founder/ Managing Director, PIXL VISN At the end of 2010, we quit our jobs and moved to Cologne, Germany, with a couple of suitcases and the dream of opening an animation school. A little more than one year later, in January 2012, the first class started their education. Fox Renderfarm: Could you give us a brief introduction to PIXL VISN media arts academy? Robb: PIXL VISN specializes in training artists in Film, Television, Games, and Advertising, launching hundreds of careers in the industry. Since 2012 we have developed into the largest academy for the visual effects industry in Germany and can count ourselves among the World’s best schools in the field. Pixl Visn Showreel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: PIXL VISN media arts academy ranked 3rd in the Best 3D Animation Schools in the World and 10th in the Best Visual Effects Schools in the World by The Rookies in 2019. Could you give us more details about this honor? How do you feel about that? Robb: It is a great honor to be ranked so highly by the Rookies, mainly because of how schools are rated. Aspiring artists enter their work into an annual contest, and schools are ranked based on how their students did. So, the contest is based entirely on our graduates’ actual outcomes and not some checklist or the judge’s opinion of what might make a good school. I am very proud of the alumni for all the effort put into the work they submitted to the contest, of the instructors who guide and mentor them along the way; and of the staff who work to facilitate it all. !PIXL VISN media arts academy Fox Renderfarm: Students at PIXL VISN made really fine artworks with beautiful details. Could you share with us how PIXL VISN can keep bringing out excellent students? Robb: There is a lot of hands-on learning. Creating 3D artwork is a skill, and like any skill, it takes continued practice to develop. A cycle of Lecture-Project-Feedback is ongoing and repeats from the first week of class until the last. And that keeps going long into our careers. Our instructors are also experienced artists currently working in the industry, so they can, of course, explain all the theory and practical knowledge to our students. But more importantly, they can give great feedback and guidance because they are doing that already with professional artists. Teamwork is also a big part of the industry, and we work to encourage that. Throughout the education, we guide small groups of students through a variety of projects where they work together. Many of the best projects on our student’s demo reels were also from small teams. PIXL VISN student Janina Haftka Demo Reel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: Are there any particular artists you want to mention who graduated from PIXL VISN that you think are inspiring or motivating, for example, who have created amazing projects or worked in excellent studios? Robb: There are enough that I am afraid to start listing them because I will wake up tomorrow and remember a few more that I should have mentioned. Many of our students have worked on very cool projects, though, like a bunch of Marvel films, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, just among the things I watch personally. I have been a fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember. So, watching the Mandalorian and knowing that 20 of our graduates worked on it was really awesome. If I had to pick out just one, then our very first student, Jonas Ulrich, who started at PIXL VISN in our first class back in 2012. After several years in the industry, Jonas is now working as a Senior VFX Coordinator at Industrial Light and Magic. This makes us very proud at PIXL VISN. Series that Jonas Ulrich involved in Fox Renderfarm: What is in the future for PIXL VISN? Robb: Our core purpose is really to enable aspiring artists to pursue their dream job. We will continue to strive to be the best place to learn Visual Effects and 3D while making our education available to more people in Germany and around the World. I was fortunate to grow up in a city that became an early hotspot for the industry, so there was more opportunity to enter the industry and then grow and develop. Today, artists at companies all around the World work together to create the Films and Games we all enjoy. Being a part of bringing the same opportunity to more people is great. PIXL VISN student Marius Pörsel Demo Reel 2018 Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about the CG industry in Germany? Robb: In the decade since we moved here, Germany’s CG industry has seen continued development, driven mainly through American productions. Large and renowned VFX studios like PIXOMONDO, RISE FX, Trixter, Scanline, Mackevision are working on international and award-winning projects. German film and television studios have also started making use of all the CG talents here, but there is still room for growth. State funding has spurred growth in the gaming industry as well. Ubisoft has a large studio nearby in Dusseldorf, and their artists make regular guests at PIXL VISN. High-quality VFX and CG were once rarely seen outside of film, whereas today, it is common to see tv-series and advertising with outstanding FX. Computer graphics is finding a home in more and more industries, such as real estate, fashion, and retail. Small studios and agencies are developing and specializing in Germany since the demands for these services are growing. Since Corona, cinemas are locked, and cinema productions are on hold, and much business has shifted to gaming and streaming, so studios had to re-orientate. But once cinemas open again, there will be even more assignments for the industry. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks that inspired you the most? Robb: A single CG feature film can take thousands of talented artists working together to create imagery you see on the screen, so it is hard to single anyone out. But the original VFX artists like Dennis Muren and John Knoll at ILM deserve acknowledgment for having paved the way for the generations of us that followed. Dennis Muren VFX artist/ supervisor, ILMVFX supervisor/ CCO, ILMOn the more technical side, I admire the work of Paul Debevec. His research in computer graphics has had a huge impact on the way we light and render for VFX. !Senior Staff Scientist, Google Research at GoogleSenior Staff Scientist, Google Research at GoogleIt is also rad to see computer graphics being accepted as an artistic medium. An early pioneer being Meats Meier. Anyone that has been working in the industry for a while will have seen his surrealist creations displayed on the loading screens of the software we use. !Optic © Meats MeierOptic © Meats Meier Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for people who are interested in this field but have rarely learned any CG software, how can they learn and improve more effectively? Robb: There are many great resources to learn more about the industry online, including our own YouTube channel. FlippedNormals and Corridor Crew are also great channels that talk about the industry. Top Tips for Improving your ZBrush Sculpts © FlippedNormalsWe Compete to Make the Most SATISFYING Simulations © Corridor CrewGoing back to the Rookies, they have built an excellent platform for aspiring artists to learn more about the industry. It’s not just the contest for new job-ready artists like our graduates. They have regular challenges for all levels and articles about getting started in the industry. !THE ROOKIEShttps://www.therookies.co/ There is a never-ending supply of tutorials out there on every subject imaginable, and 3D is no different. Some of them are great resources, but so much of it may be obsolete or was not great to begin with. I have watched paid tutorials where the instructor was flat out wrong on the subject. But even with the best tutorials, feedback and support are far more essential to learn and develop. And it’s an integral part of our education. For more personal advice, we have regular open days where there is an opportunity to meet our students and ask us questions directly. Then, if anyone wants to see hands-on if 3D is right for them, we have a One-Day Workshop for beginners. You can learn about both on our newly updated website. !pixl visn's official websitehttps://www.pixlvisn.com/openhouse Fox Renderfarm: Any advice for students who are ready to step into their CG career? Are there any tips you think that can make students get a job more easily or get a better position? Robb: To get a job as a CG artist, you have to get good at it. It is as simple as that. But getting good enough to launch a career in the industry takes time, it takes hard work, and it takes guidance and support. For anyone who has decided that the CG career is right for them, studying at PIXL VISN will help get you there. Built right into our education is the best tip of all, that is to practice every day. It is easy to get distracted by shiny new tools and wanting to learn what every single button in Maya does. Our students are no different. We are constantly reigning them back in and keeping them on track to developing their skills and improving their craft. A demo reel is how an artist proves they are good enough for the job at any skill level. It is important to not just copy tutorials one-to-one, but actually create your own artwork that demonstrates you can be a productive artist. Because it's so important, we dedicate considerable time in our education to planning and preparing the reel, as well as regular feedback and guidance. For aspiring artists, it is also important to pay attention to render quality. If you are not careful, Renders can also take a lot longer than they need to. Optimizing them is crucial, even if using an affordable service like Fox Renderfarm. Our students repeatedly hand in rendered projects within deadlines, so it reinforces the importance of optimizing renders and getting the most out of the computer. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have in his/her career? Could you give some tips to CG artists about how to constantly improve techniques and artistic sense? Robb: I find the most important traits of 3D artists are passion, curiosity, and humility. The first two help make developing and growing as an artist a lot easier. It is tough to get good at something you are not passionate about or have no interest in learning. Humility because computer graphics is a team effort. Arrogance and ego get in the way of that and just make the work suffer. A general tip is to always use references. Don’t assume you know how something should look. This applies to every stage of the production, from modeling all the way to lighting and comp. To keep getting better as an artist, start projects, finish them, and then move onto the next one. The more times you finish a project, the faster you will grow. Finally, show people what you have learned. Whether it is teaching a school or just showing your peers a new technique that you learned, explaining anything to others strengthens your understanding of the topic. PIXL VISN student Lucas Sinewe Demo Reel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s rendering services? Robb: I am only familiar with the services from helping students, but what I see looks great. The process is straightforward, with a lot of available renderers. The technical support I have seen Fox Renderfarm give in troubleshooting their renders is great. I can say that one of our teachers has been using Fox Renderfarm for over 4 years and is very happy with the service. No matter what time of day it is, there was always someone to help him with any problems. The process of uploading and downloading works smoothly, and loading the credit works without problems. In case of problems with renders or the file you uploaded, their TD tries to give possible solutions. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts? Robb: The films you see and the games you play are not made by a handful of wizards in Los Angles. There are tens of thousands of people around the World working in computer graphics and the future will continue to see more demand for the skill. There are many different jobs under the umbrella of “CG Artist,” and it is actually more common to specialize. So, you also do not have to be incredibly artistic in the sense of being good at drawing or sculpting. If you are, that is great; those skills translate well into a number of the roles you could pursue. But there are also positions that are suited to more technical people that are good at building things and solving problems. It is not a crazy dream to work on the next Star Wars; our alumni do, and so can anyone who works for it.
How to Make Lighting a Booster to the Whole Picture?
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is deeply committed to supporting education and wishes to contribute to the development of the CG industry. We are so proud to form cooperation with PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy and offer students an affordable pricing scheme to support educational purposes.!PIXL VISN and Fox RenderfarmAfter we’ve discussed the factors to make a character design and rigging with excellent graduates from PIXL VISN, we continue our discovery about how to make lighting a booster to the whole picture with another brilliant graduate, David Pferrer, from PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy. After graduation, he had the chance to work in Moving Picture Company, and he continues his career exploration in ArchViz now.!David Pferrer- David Pferrer- General Lookdev / Lighting Artist- Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/david_pferrerIn the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm, David shared his encounter with CG, how he stepped into the CG industry and how he found his passion in lighting design. Moreover, he elaborated his idea about the factors that will improve the lighting design.Student Demo Reel 2019 © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: Hi David, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?David: Hi Fox Renderfarm, I am David Pferrer, a 22-year-old CG artist from Cologne Germany. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry? And how did you enrol in PIXL VISN media arts academy? Could you share with us your education and working experience in the CG industry?David: My first encounter with CG at all was actually long before I really started to pursue it in a serious manner. Like many others in the industry, I was amazed by the effects of movies like Star Wars, Transformers, Lord of the Rings, and so on. It’s sort of a cliché but I guess that this is really what makes most of us want to work in this industry – the incredible art and creativity in movies. When I finished school a few years later the CG industry was still somewhat of a mysterious and impossible-to-get-in place for me. At an orientational fair for graduates, I encountered Pixl Visn for the first time. It looked and sounded like my opportunity to learn all the things any CG artist needs to know. Pixl Visn was a great experience overall. It was not all fun and games. You have to put in the hours. You have to be willing to learn and work hard. That’s what the CG industry is all about anyways so Pixl Visn prepares you for it in that way. It is very rewarding though to learn so much and become a better artist in such a short time. One month you might have no idea about what a node even is and a few weeks later you are cruising through Nuke. Fox Renderfarm: What are the most important things you’ve learned at PIXL VISN, technically and career-vice? And what’s your most unforgettable experience in PIXL VISN?David: The most important things I learned at Pixl Visn. I feel like that would have to be the basics. The learning really starts from zero knowledge, and that’s how it should be really. So the foundation is being built strong. And a lasting foundation is the most important part of any skill I feel like. As for my most memorable experience – clearly, the time that our animation teacher came to visit. He was accompanied by two former Pixl Visn students that worked with him at Pixomondo. Afterwards, we went out for drinks and to show them the city. Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on getting the A-level certificate and getting selected in the Draft Selection on The Rookies Awards 2019, could you share more details about how you got these honors? David: Thanks. It’s really an honor to be one of the selected few. Especially if you look at all the stunning works that are put up at The Rookies. Getting selected is really about two things: Firstly, you have got to create a quality piece of art. The judges are no dummies, they recognize good works and know how much work went into it. Secondly, I would say, it can really help to have an artwork that stands out in some way. Meaning it should have something that will make it recognizable. It could be a unique color palette, a really interesting or unusual subject or topic, or even just a really good-looking cover frame to make it recognizable. Making a technically great render is one thing, elevate it with something special and it will stand out amongst the other contestant´s works. Go that extra step.!The Rookies Awards 2019!Draft Selection - The Rookies Awards 2019 Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your usual creative process, from forming the concept to the final rendering (it would be perfect if you can raise an example)?David: The creative process behind every project can be very different. In the artistic and the technical sense. So there is not really a standard here. Also, I don’t think you can make formulas for a creative process. For the technical aspects that are a little different. Technical aspects of any CG-related field are well documented by many others that are more knowledgeable than me though. So I am not gonna go into that. Generally speaking, I would say: Write down every idea that comes into your mind. Always have something to write with you. Ideas will come at random times. Next prepare your project. Go online and just throw your subject into Google and see what comes up, you might get even more ideas. Don’t be put off if someone else has done a similar project already, it’s a big community and everybody is creating stuff all the time. You can not reinvent the wheel. Just make art that speaks to you and that you want to create. Make something you like.!David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: According to your online portfolio and info, we know that you are interested in and good at lighting. Do you have any unforgettable creations? And did you meet any difficulties in your creative process?David: Yes, I find myself most at home in the lighting area of the 3D spectrum. My most unforgettable creation is the lady from my demo reel. Every time I think about that project I am a little disappointed in myself. The project stretched over months and It went through tons of changes. I could have spent a quarter of the time on it, with all the things that I did and then discarded later. Also, I am really unhappy about the presentation in my reel. The lighting is just not very good. I somehow ignored the fact that she is completely symmetrical, I showed her closeup from the very front, And I covered most of my texturing work in glitter. There are so many things I would change about that project, but you are always smarter afterwards I guess. !David Pferrer© David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: What are the key factors in lighting that will make 3D artworks natural and vivid?David: Ironically the thing that makes a render perfect is the very thing that makes it look like CG. You don’t want something perfect if you are striving for realism. In reality, everything is imperfect, from the surfaces to the camera lenses and even the movement of the camera. Achieving realism takes every aspect in the pipeline of a project. For lighting I would advise: Always use real lighting. Meaning essentially, avoid having a light in your scene without a texture in it. Try not to place your lights where they could not be in real life. It can help to look at photography sets and movie sets and analyze the lighting setups and techniques that they use. There is a lot to learn from that.!Train Station © David PferrerTrain Station © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about working at Moving Picture Company? Have you been involved in any projects that you would like to share with us?David: Working at MPC was a lot of fun. I was very fortunate to get a position at their Montreal Studio as my first job in the industry. The only project that I worked on there was Cats. There is not a lot to say about Cats. Unfortunately, 2020 was not really the best year for the 3D industry. Due to the pandemic, many studios had to lay off employees and I was one of those.!CATS Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step? And what’s your vision for your career path?David: Currently, I am working at an ArchViz oriented company where we scan people and create 3D models of them. It’s a lot of fun and I don’t intend to quit anytime soon. Also, I am not really one to plan my career like that. Especially in the current situation, I think that’s even more difficult. There are so many factors that can determine where your path leads you. But I am definitely gonna go back to Montreal at some point, it was a really great time, even though I was only there during the winter. !Froggy © David Pferrer-1!Froggy © David Pferrer-2Froggy © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: How do you constantly improve yourself on 3D techniques and artistic sense?David: Improving is all about practice. I like to create some nice 3D stuff from time to time. Working in 3D all day though, I don’t spend that much of my free time on 3D anymore. Instead, I try to find other creative outlets. Recently, I have been doing photography and cooking for myself. Staying creatively active is very important to improve on artistic skills I think. Don’t limit yourself to just 3D. A lot can be learned from other art forms and it will improve your 3D game a lot.!Woman Portrait Experiment © David PferrerWoman Portrait Experiment © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have in his/her career? David: The best thing any 3D artist should have – and especially a lighting artist – is probably a really good understanding of photography and also an artistic eye. There will always be new programs to learn and new pipelines to understand. Learning about composition, color, mood, all that knowledge will never really change. Photography can really help with that because it uses all the same rules as any other visual art form. Apart from that, being a good team player is very, very important. In production, you never work alone on anything. It's always a team effort. !© David Pferrer © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks and artists that inspire you the most?David: I find it hard to pin down an artist that inspires me. I would say that inspiration can come from anywhere. You can’t really force it. What I would advise though, is to get out of the comfort zone. Try to watch a movie that you might not usually consider, listen to music that you don’t know yet, maybe go on a walk somewhere you would not usually go. If you never experience new things it will be hard to have new ideas, at least that’s how it is for me. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you wanna share with CG enthusiasts?David: Please keep creating. Other than that – it has been a pleasure and I hope I had some stuff to say that you found interesting or even helpful.
How To Show Epic Futuristic Transport By C4D Artwork
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Recently, a 3D Challenge with the theme of Futuristic Transport attracted so many CG artists to participate. With climate change becoming more and more immediate, questions for the future of transport are increasingly urgent, and how will the future transport look like? CG artists give their answers through their artworks.Philip Hofmänner, a CG Artist & Filmmaker from Switzerland, won first place for his epic artwork, which was created by C4D, Corona Renderer and Photoshop.!01 Philip-Hofmanner wipFuturistic Transport © Philip Hofmänner He has been working on this picture in his free time alongside client projects, which took him around 20 hours. The work is marvellous and full of details, as Philip described, “The world is destroyed, but mankind has found a way to transport itself into the future with a portal. The idea is that nature could have recovered after a few million years. Will mankind take this second chance and do better this time?”As the sponsor and long-term partner of the competition, Fox Renderfarm is pleased to have an interview with Philip Hofmänner, who talked about how to create the work and shared his CG work experience.!Philip Hofmaenner - Philip Hofmänner- CG Artist & Filmmaker- From: Switzerland- Artsation: https://www.artstation.com/trixerWith the ambition of becoming an artist, Philip gave up his job as a carpenter in his mid-twenties and opted to attend the University of Art in Lucerne and completed his design bachelor in animation. His graduation short film Evermore had some success and was shown at countless festivals around the world and won the NIFFF award for best Swiss short film. Now he is a successful CG all-rounder, and he has founded a CGI company Trixer (trixer.ch) and worked for over 10 years mainly in advertising and architectural visualizations.Evermore - Winner Score © Philip Hofmänner Here’s the interview between Fox Renderfarm and Philip Hofmänner. Fox Renderfarm: Hi Philip! Congratulations on winning first place in the Futuristic Transport Challenge, how do you feel about it?Philip: Thanks! This is the first CG Challenge I've participated in and I'm happy and flattered that I won. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your inspiration/references/mood board for the Futuristic Transport Challenge?Philip: I love dark science fiction movies such as Blade Runner and I think those influences are obvious. I also searched the internet for ideas and inspirations, but unfortunately, I can't present a mood board because I hadn't created one. !Blade Runner (1982 poster) Fox Renderfarm: The award-winning work is marvellous, could you introduce your CG pipeline?Philip: Thanks! I used Cinema 4D and Corona Render Engine for this picture. To be honest, I tend to be a lazy learner when it comes to complex CG software. That's why I've stuck with Cinema 4D and Corona Renderer for years despite the fact that there is arguably more powerful and complex software out there that go way deeper such as 3D Max, Blender or Maya. However, the simplicity of Cinema 4D and Corona Render has always appealed to me and are exactly the strengths of these programs in my opinion. Lately, I've also been using Octane sometimes when I want to render animations. Apart from a well-organized material and object library, I really don't use any third-party tools. My setup is pretty basic. I tried to approach the topic of the Futuristic Transport Challenge in a somewhat unconventional way. While thinking about it, I came up with the idea of this portal. I'll let you be the judge of how unconventional it has become. !First deisgn of the portalWhen I had the idea with the portal, it was triangular in my imagination. I started directly with the portal in 3D as the portal was the central element in the scene, without much sketching. After I had a rough model of the portal I first defined composition and then started to build everything else around it. !Philip-HofmannerLater I changed the shape of the portal to a ring and changed the camera to a central perspective because I wasn't really happy with the appearance of the image.Originally, I wanted to create a rather yellowish desert-like atmosphere. But since I wasn't really happy with the result, I changed the mood to an evening scene almost at the end of the process.I also added a lot of the atmosphere afterwards in Photoshop using the Z depth layer. Over the years I've learned that my renders don't have to look perfect and I can still get a good 30% out of them in the post, using render passes and light mixing. Fox Renderfarm: The future city is so dystopian, did you model from the scratch, could you share with us the process?Philip: Yes I modelled a lot of it from Scratch and I used some models I did in the past for a project that I never finished.Because the dystopian city in the background is not well visible, I have built the objects pretty rough and I didn't care much about topology or imperfections as you can see in this picture.!future city Fox Renderfarm: We were all impressed by the humongous details in the scene. How did you set the lighting and texture to make sure the harmonious colours and the right balance?Philip: Yes, that was probably one of the hardest parts to get the light and colors right. As I mentioned, I planned to make a yellowish desert atmosphere. But because it didn’t look that impressive, I changed the mood pretty much on the last day. The advantage of this decision is that now there is a stronger contrast between the world behind the portal and the rest of the environment. The base of the lighting was an HDRI image. But because it looked a bit boring with only the HDRI, I started to set accents with area lights around the scene. I think at the end there were about 20 additional invisible lights that I had placed. Also, I had to shield the light from the world inside the portal with a tube that only let light through the front of the portal. This created this interesting backlight and long shadows on the field with the crowd. Fox Renderfarm: In the compositing and rendering process, how did you set up to make sure the whole picture wouldn’t overwhelm the viewers? Philip: As I already mentioned I rendered a lot of light mix layers and balanced them in Photoshop. I also obscured the background a lot with dust, which greatly reduced the contrast. This, of course, helped a lot not to overwhelm the viewer's eyes. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Philip: The most difficult task with this image was to create enough detail without running out of memory. That's why I tried to work with as many render instances as possible. Many of the objects are copied countless times in the scene. And as mentioned in the previous answer, I struggled a bit to get an interesting light and atmosphere. Fox Renderfarm: You’ve got a contentful portfolio, what is your favorite commercial and personal artwork respectively?Philip: I am usually most enthusiastic about my latest work. At the moment I am working on some personal concepts inspired by the horror genre.!philip-hofmanner-masks7Subway Nightmare © Philip Hofmänner I do like my commercial work but I can't really pick a favorite.Our showreel gives a good overview of the work we did over the years (if you want to show something of Trixer)：At the end of the day, my heart is definitely with my own stuff.By the way, I always wanted to make concepts for films, which is rather difficult in Switzerland, because we don't produce many genre films, but rather classic European cinema that doesn't require that kind of concept I’m good in. That's why I ended up working for advertising industries and architectural visualizations. If by any chance, decision-makers from the film or game industry read this and like my stuff, I would be really happy about inquiries or proposals for collaborations! Fox Renderfarm: As we know, you have founded your CGI company Trixer for 10 years, could you briefly introduce Trixer? And does the pandemic have any impact on your work?Philip: We are a small CGI company from Zurich with 3 artists and we work as already mentioned mainly for the advertising industry and in the area of architectural visualizations. Yes, the pandemic has greatly reduced the volume of work.Fortunately, the Swiss government helps small companies like ours financially not to go into bankruptcy. It’s slowly getting better in the last few days but our business is still barely surviving. I hope that the economic situation will get better fast. I can only imagine what it is like for small businesses in countries where the government does not or can not provide financial relief. The only good thing about the situation is that for a long time I finally have some space to work on my own projects. It gave me some breathing space to reflect on my life and my career. As I mentioned, I'm thinking about whether I should possibly pursue a career in concept art for films after all. I’m also trying to get enough online followers to eventually find an income with my personal artwork. Unfortunately, I have neglected my social media presence completely ever since it became a thing, which is why I now also participate in such challenges.!Forest trixer!The Circle exterior Bushof rendering 1© Trixer Fox Renderfarm: As a successful CG artist and entrepreneur, what do you think are the most important factors in making a successful commercial artwork? Any unforgettable stories for you?Philip: If you want to do work for clients, the most important thing is to understand the clients and what they want. You have to learn to communicate properly.Also, as an artist, you have to learn to put your needs for artistic expression a little aside sometimes, because clients often have their own ideas. This can be a bit frustrating at times. A good way to compensate for this is to never stop working on your own projects from time to time.A pretty crazy story occurred right after I had graduated from Art school (Animation) when we accepted a job that was way too big for us back then. It was an animation with pseudo-realistic CGI animals for a commercial with a budget of $80,000 (not a lot for a commercial but way bigger than anything we had done so far). We were also supposed to finish the entire thing within 2 weeks. Looking back it was absolutely insane to take the job. We had to fly in a fur specialist from LA who had worked on several Disney movies because no one of us had the required expertise in fur back then and we couldn’t find anyone in Switzerland who could do it. I remember when he came into our tiny studio for the first time, where we had like 4 workstations with crappy monitors. He looked so confused and asked where our render farm and the other artists were and if he could speak to our TD. When we said we didn't have a farm and there was only us (3 freshly graduated guys from art school), he turned pale. I only vaguely remember the 2 weeks that followed. I remember that we bought a small farm of 10 gaming computers with expensive RenderMan licenses only to switch to Mental Ray at the last moment because there was an export problem of the fur from Maya. And I remember that we had to outsource the animation of the animals because there was no way we could do all the work in time. We burned through that 80’000 within days and had almost no profit in the end. No idea how, but somehow we managed to finish the damn thing. So if you are ever in this situation at the beginning of your career to get a big job offer, better to think twice if you are able to do it. Fox Renderfarm: Are there any new projects or new plans for you or your company recently? Philip: I’m shooting a sci-fi indie short film this summer called “Flechtwerk”. The film will be a gritty relationship drama and a metaphor for how advancing digital communication is changing humanity.Anyone who is interested in the project can follow me on Instagram where I will soon share more details about the project. We will also start a crowdfunding campaign in the next few weeks on Indiegogo. Fox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills in your spare time? Could you give some learning advice to CG learners?Philip: I see many aspiring CG artists doing tests and small exercises all the time and never starting a real project that they are planning to share. Personally, I've found that I learned the most when I was working on bigger projects right away. The more I’ve been struggling, the more I have usually learned. I've also noticed that I try harder when I’m planning to publish the work too. Such CG challenges for example are therefore a good opportunity to push yourself!And finish what you start. I'm guilty of that sin as well of not finishing projects. But no matter how great or bad your artwork gets, try to finish most of it as good as possible (in a reasonable time frame). And set yourself Deadlines and goals. I personally realized that I learn the most when I have to struggle through the last 10% of a project (which is usually the most difficult part) and that I often find creative solutions when I'm facing deadline pressure. What I've also noticed is that many CG artists tend to be over-perfectionist. Try to invest a lot of effort where it really matters. One last important tip is, you shouldn't just do CGI in my opinion. In photography and cinematography or also in drawing and painting, you can learn a lot about composition and lighting. Or if you want to become a great animator also do body-oriented hobbies like dancing or martial arts or take an acting class. Also, look at the real world from time to time and study how things actually look or how they actually move. Fox Renderfarm: Have you used or heard of Fox Renderfarm before? If yes, how do you feel about it?Philip: I heard about it but I haven't used Fox Renderfarm yet. I have been using one of your competitors for years because it was used by a film studio I once worked at and ever since I stuck with it. But I am really excited to try your services with the render credits I have won. I have noticed that you offer a better price than the one I usually used. I could very well see myself switching to Fox Renderfarm if it turns out to work in my pipeline. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Philip: Thanks again for this interview and the great prize. And to my fellow artists, keep up the inspiring work I see every day out there. Feel free to contact me if you want to connect or if you have proposals for collaborations!!philip-hofmanner-terminus5Terminus © Philip Hofmänner !philip-hofmanner-princess-of-skies-in-new-babylonPrincess of the skies in the port of New Babylon © Philip Hofmänner
How To Create Robot Pet In Blender: Introducing 2nd Place of Robot Pet Challenge
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Robots are normal in our daily lives, but how does it look like when robots become pets? In the Robot Pet 3D Challenge, artists created various robot pets through CG arts. Fox Renderfarm is honoured to have an interview with the 2nd place winner, Jazib Daud, a 3D artist and concept designer from Pakistan. THE LAST OF ITS KIND © Jazib Daud “After a catastrophic event on the planet, Martha lost the Dragon. Now finally the gloomy era came to an end and both of them reunite…hugging and watching the sunshine once again.” This is how he described his work. Created using Blender, ZBrush, 3D Coat and Photoshop, the award-winning artwork perfectly presents a sci-fi story, full of imagination and creativity.As a 2D and 3D artist, Jazib is good at modelling, sculpting, texturing and 2D concept design for characters, environments, games and cinematics. Here's the interview between Fox Renderfarm and Jazib Daud, in which you will know how he created the amazing artwork. Fox Renderfarm: Hi Jazib! Thank you for accepting our interview. Could you have a brief introduction about yourself?Jazib: I am Jazib and I am 19 years old, I am a CG Enthusiast and Concept Designer. I am studying Interior design. And a Sci-Fi fan.!jazib-dawood-jazib-daud-finalThe Futuristic Vehicle © Jazib Daud Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning second place in the Robot Pet Challenge, how do you feel about it?Jazib: I feel really great about it because it was my favourite challenge and It was also a win.Robot pet instantly caught my attention because it was sci-fi themed. Second, it's about animals. As I am also an animal lover so creating something sci-fi and the cute animal was giving me a feeling that it will be so much fun. I am also super interested in robotics. So there was nothing holding me back. Fox Renderfarm: Did you make the model of the girl and the pet from scratch? Could you share with us the modelling process?Jazib: Girl model was made some time ago...I adjusted it to nicely fit the scenario. The robot pet model was made from scratch.!RefSceneReferences!1Progress 720!2Progress 720 SecondView!Down2!3Progress 720 Robo Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work? Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Jazib: It took about 7 days because I was having exams and had to manage my time.The biggest difficulty was Time.I solved it by being consistent and keeping things simple. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the main gain from this challenge?Jazib: Main gain was that I learned scene optimization, making everything good for camera. Advancing my skills in scene optimization was the main gain. Fox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills? Could you give some learning advice to CG learners?Jazib: I actually learned by roaming the internet for new stuff, watching tutorials. Gaining experience by actually implementing and experimenting with things I learned. Just being consistent is the key....Keep learning because there is a lot to learn.I think your internet is a really helpful tool for learning. So use it. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Jazib: Yes 2 artworks inspired me for this challenge.Andrew Domachowski - A girl and her pet!Curiosita-sul-dipinto-Dama-con-l-ermellino-big-37-971Leonardo da Vinci - Lady with an Ermin Fox Renderfarm: Have you used or heard of Fox Renderfarm before? If yes, how do you feel about it?Jazib: I have heard a lot about Fox Renderfarm and I heard a lot of good stuff. I have seen so many amazing renders that artists and designers have accomplished with Fox. It makes me wanna try it and I definitely know that Fox is going to be one of the main tools in my CG arsenal. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Jazib: Few productivity tools, like PureRef, are amazing for managing reference images on your screen.And Lightshot for fast Screen Capture.Bandicam for Screen record.Competitions are super important!**Participating in competitions like CGboost really helps to improve skills, CGboost has amazing beginner-friendly challenges. I would highly recommend any aspiring CG artists to participate there.!jazib-dawood-award-winning-cgtrader-tyriskraft-portfolio-img-01The Mask © Jazib Daud
The Journey of Creativity Exploration with Houdini: Introducing Houdini FX TD, Ben Watts
Fox Renderfarm Interview
At the end of June 2021, the world-famous game League of Legends: Wild Rift posted its flagship campaign Ruination: The End Begins on multiple social media platforms. The foggy dark night scenes with flashing thunder have drawn tons of views and discussions online.Ruination: The End Begins | VR 180 Video - League of Legends: Wild Rift Client: Riot Games- Design, Production & Post : New Holland Creative- Director: Brendan Savage- Executive Producer: Mark Millar- Producer: Martina Joison- Concept Design: Simon Cowell- Animation Lead: Chris Breeze- FX Leads : Ben Watts & Bronic Bednarek**Additional 3D: Raymond Leung- Colourist: Clement Bouchet- *Sound Design: Massive Music*Fox Renderfarm, as the best cloud rendering service provider in the world, is so honored to have provided cloud rendering services to Ruination: The End Begins. We really appreciate the team’s trust and support.Some of you may have already guessed that the fog and the well-made lighting design help establish the atmosphere for the whole short video. They were made by the excellent Houdini FX TD - Ben Watts. He accepted our interview and shared with us his creative process and his Houdini creation journey.Ben Watts- Freelance Houdini FX TD- From: AustraliaBen now works as a freelance Houdini FX Technical Director who specializes in creating all kinds of simulation and procedural FX - including fire, smoke, destruction, fluids, particles, etc. He also has experience in lighting, rendering, and compositing.Projects Ben involved in Mercedes Benz - Stronger Than Time Nike Presto Mid Utility Paramount Animation Logo AHS Apocalypse Teaser When talking about Houdini, most people comment that it’s very hard to learn and progress. Actually, Ben encountered Houdini for the first time in 2015. With years of trials and explorations, he became an excellent Houdini FX TD that he was invited by Hounidi to do presentations in SIGGRAPH 2018. More than that, he has been interviewed by several organizations.!Ben in SIGGRAPH 2018Ben in SIGGRAPH 2018 !Ben interviewe(Up: Ben interviewed by Murray Mallee LLEN, 2020; down: Ben interviewed by The Node, 2019) Let’s explore Ben’s Houdini journey together while appreciating his artworks.Fox Renderfarm: Hi Ben, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?Ben: I’ve been a freelance FX Artist and Technical Director for around 6 years working exclusively in Houdini.Fox Renderfarm: The video Ruination: The End Begins is so stunning, especially the amazing atmosphere with the smoke and lighting. Which part are you responsible for in this project?Ben: The project was a collaboration between the team at New Holland Creative and myself as FX lead / TD. Bronic Bednarek worked with me as the Senior Houdini FX artist. Together we handled all the FX, lighting and rendering. New Holland completed the compositing.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: Could you elaborate on your creative process in Houdini, from the concept in mind to the final rendering?Ben: Many times I’m only provided with rough boards but in this case we were supplied beautiful concept art from New Holland Creative. This made the process much more enjoyable and set the bar very high early on. From there we went straight into Houdini and began the FX build with motion in mind from day one.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: In the creative process of this project, how did you communicate and cooperate with other artists to realize your ideas and deliver on time?Ben: I did regular check-ins with the studio and Bronic to make sure things were on track. Other than the producer, the only other person I’d liaise with was New Holland’s lead animator Chris.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the project? In this process, did you meet any difficulties? And how did you solve them?Ben: We spent 9 weeks from beginning FX RnD through to final renders. The most difficult thing is solving how to render that much volumetric data. The caches were massive, so we had to be smart about asset usage and resolution. I leveraged Redshift’s instancing to manage volume propagation throughout the scenes.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: You are very experienced in making FX in Houdini such as fire, smoke, destruction, fluids, particles, etc. What are your secrets of making the FX powerful and appealing while believable?Ben: For me, it’s always been about spending time studying reference material and trying to finesse things as much as time permits. Adding detail is such an important step in FX work, not only in regard to the look of something but also the motion/animation.!Paramount Animation LOGO © Ben WattsParamount Animation LOGO © Ben Watts Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us how you encountered CG. Why did you choose to specialize in Houdini and made all your creative journey in Houdini till now?Ben: I started to move into 3D after finding myself bored just doing regular 2D motion design work, from there it was a small journey through a couple of other 3D packages before I found Houdini around early 2015. Houdini is very open and allows you to fully explore your creativity, I never felt free like that using other 3D apps.Fox Renderfarm: As a brilliant Houdini artist who has participated in multiple successful cases, which one of them is your favorite? And why?Ben: That’s easy... My short film ‘Obsidian’ mainly because there was no pressure, and no brief. Just a fun time exploring ideas and bringing them to life in 3D. Other than that, I’ve been very fortunate to work on many other cool jobsObsidian © Ben Watts Obsidian - Process © Ben Watts !Obsidian - Process © Ben Watts!Obsidian - Process © Ben WattsFox Renderfarm: In your opinion, what are the keys to be an outstanding Houdini artist? And how do you enhance your techniques and sense of art constantly?Ben: I feel like you have to be very passionate about art in order to be at your best. That’s not always easy when you’re being asked to create horrible work, or you’ve been told to implement things you know will look bad. Taking time out for personal exploration, such as a short or even just some RnD is very important and can help inspire you to push your skills to the next level.!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben WattsRnD Examples © Ben Watts Fox Renderfarm: Many people would say Houdini is kind of hard for beginners, so do you have any advice on learning Houdini efficiently and effectively?Ben: Houdini can feel difficult to grasp but the key is to take things slow. If you try to rush, you’ll end up very frustrated. If Houdini is what really intrigues you, keep at it and things will come together over time.Fox Renderfarm: The video RUINATION is also shown in the form of 180 VR. What possibility do you think the advanced technology such as AR, VR will bring to motion design? And do you have any plans to try some new things in the near future?Ben: AR/VR is not really something I’m interested in, maybe things will change in the future.Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step?Ben: I’ll continue to refine my skills as a digital artist, maybe even get into directing a bit more. I’d love to do another short film soon.!Human Aid © Ben WattsHuman Aid © Ben Watts Fox Renderfarm: Any artwork or artist that inspires you the most?Ben: I love detailed abstract art, whenever I get the chance, I parooz social media in the search for something different. I’m usually drawn to artwork with dramatic lighting and a dark atmosphere. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Ben: Fox Renderfarm has been great. I’ve used them for a couple of heavy jobs and the service has always been excellent.
How to Achieve the Fine-balanced Composition in ArchViz: Introducing CG Generalist, Ramees Muhammed
!WITHOUT BORDERSIn early June 2021, Hum3D just ended their Without Borders 3D Visualization Challenge with the winners announced! Hum3D, as a devoted 3D models provider who has helped 3D artists from more than 80 countries to save time on 3D modeling, initiated the challenge to remind us not to set borders and restrictions to our imagination, and travel without borders by creating 3D renderings in this special period of time.!Hum3DFox Renderfarm, as the best render farm which spares no efforts spurring creation and realizing imagination, sponsored the challenge. More than that, we are really thrilled to have the chance to talk to the 1st place winner -- Ramees Muhammed. !Ramees MuhammedRamees Muhammed- CG Generalist / Forensic 3D Animation Specialist - From: India- ArtStation: https://www.artstation.com/savannahr His render, Aspire Tower (Doha, Qatar), stands out among all the excellent artworks with its fine-balanced composition and brilliant lighting. Let’s have a look at what he and the jury say about the artwork, and don’t miss out our contentful interview!!Aspire Tower - Ramees Muhammed Author’s description:“I am very excited to take part in this interesting challenge. It's a fascinating topic to root on, especially when the world is dealing with the pandemic and not everyone can travel and see around the world.I decided to enter the competition and take this as an opportunity to create this beautiful tower in Qatar - The Aspire Tower. It is also called the Torch Doha or the Sports Tower. It is a 300-meter tall skyscraper designed by architect Hadi Simaan. It was a landmark of the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha.The place is known as the Sports City of Qatar as it holds various games and the stadium behind the tower is one of the stadiums which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.I wanted to reimagine the way the tower will look in a dramatic manner, and intensify its beauty. The tower is a metal structure on the outer layer composed of light layers that often produces advertisements and announcements.” Comments from the Jury:Yurii Lebediev: “Symmetrical composition is boring in most cases (for me personally). But the Moon and all other elements that break this symmetry make this render special. I love the night lighting and the position of clouds in the background too”.Martin Krasemann: “Lots of work on this one, creating a nice night scene is a complex task and the tower is really well lightened. Composition works also very well. The reflection on the water looks nice also”.Alessandro Maniscalco: “Great architectural rendering with amazing modelled and detailed structure. I was shocked about the environment's crispy details. Great night atmosphere”.Agnieszka Klich: “Realistic image, nice composition, interesting lighting setup! A great way of using the contrast between cold and warm lights to balance composition and focus interest on the main subject of the image – the tower”.Fox Renderfarm: “Excellent rendering and mood-setting, especially with the moon so full and bright! Nice work!”.Calvin Bacon: “The lighting, composition, and mood that this render portrays are fantastic. The incredibly high level of detail and realism make this my top pick”.Jonathan Holmes: “Eye-catching design with beautiful lighting and a very melancholy atmosphere. Loving it!”.Jacob Norris: “Fantastic mood and the minimal use of colors really helps to highlight the shapes of this beautiful architecture”.Emanuele Serra: “This work attracted my attention, simple in its composition, but very interesting in the use of night lights, expressing the intense strength of the structure. I like how the colors and contrasts of the composition have been balanced”.Paul Roberts: “The main building is very well modelled with an atmospheric mood and detailed context. The composition is strong with the form defined by using a predominantly dark building defined against the lighter sky. Modelling is to a good standard with a good amount of information communicated in the surrounding site without it distracting from the main focus”.Nicolas Wirrmann: “I particularly liked the mood, the lighting work and subtle post processing. The result is an elegant photorealistic render. (The moon might be a bit too much though 😉)”. Interview with Ramees MuhammedFox Renderfarm: Hi Ramees! Thank you for accepting our interview. Could you have a brief introduction about yourself?Ramees: Hi, you’re welcome and thank you for this opportunity to discuss.I am a CGI Generalist from India and living now in Qatar. I have been in the industry for the last 10 years. I now work as a Forensic 3D animation specialist.Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations for winning first place in the Without borders Challenge, how do you feel about it?Ramees: Thank you! Well, it feels great. It was special and exciting. The challenge itself was an exciting thing to take part in. Winning it gave me confidence and I look forward to doing more. Also I’d like to thank Hum3D for the opportunity and the entire Jury for selecting my work.Fox Renderfarm: Why did you choose Aspire Tower as the main building of your project?Ramees: Having lived in Qatar for more than 9 years, the Aspire Tower and the park has always been my favourite area to visit. It’s a beautiful structure and it’s the tallest one inthis tiny country.It’s seen from anywhere in the city of Doha due to its height and it’s beautifully lit during the night. I always wanted to do something with that in 3D, yet never got an opportunity. Then came the Hum3D Challenge.!Reference image - Aspire Tower - Ramees MuhammedReference imageFox Renderfarm: The Aspire Tower you created is so amazing and realistic, could you share with us the modeling process?Ramees: The modeling was a straightforward process. I modeled it from scratch. I used the available elevation drawings from the internet and used modeling tools in 3ds Maxlike Lathe, Edit Poly and Spline Surfaces. No plugins were used for modeling.The process includes:- Lathe based on the outer shell profile.- Edited polygon and created sub shell structures (Iron stripes that run from the base to the top) using edge to spline option.- Some additional polygon modeling for added details like welds, canopy etc.- Floors are done using Lathe and Shell.- There are a lot of wire mesh layers made out of edge to spline option, they run all through out of the structure for added detail, especially since they look better when lights cut through them.- Curvy structures like the pool extension are done using spline to surface modifier.!Clay -Aspire Tower - Ramees Muhammed!Clay -Aspire Tower - Ramees Muhammed!Clay -Aspire Tower - Ramees Muhammed!Clay -Aspire Tower - Ramees Muhammed!Clay -Aspire Tower - Ramees MuhammedFox Renderfarm: The night lighting makes the scene really fantastic. Could you introduce your lighting work?Ramees: I used an HDRI as the base lighting. This was overlaid with some color correction in order to get the desired color profile. Once this was achieved, I started lighting the scene elements.For the building, I placed little sphere lights that runs throughout the spline cage (as used in the real building). For the interiors, I simply used Corona light material with some opacity maps to simulate the internal lighting. I used a backlighting technique for the roof torch, which projects from the floor to the torch.For the ground level, I lit the floors using a large Corona sphere light that bursts out in a high intensity.I used similar technique for the the nearby buildings, placing lights on the visible areasand used image lights for the inside. These are accompanied with added bloom and glare.I scattered some tiny lights on the ground - these were distributed across the landscape with multiple colors to simulate the traffic movements as well as objects.!Night view - Aspire Tower - Ramees MuhammedNight viewFox Renderfarm: We are all impressed by the excellent rendering and mood-setting, how did you set the rendering?Ramees: I believe the key part of setting the right mood was achieving the right texture of sky.I used the color corrected HDRI with a backplate multiplied on top of it.The rendering part was straightforward. I used an LUT overlay and some color correction inside the frame buffer. The lights were rendered out as separate passes in order to get more control during the post production.Post Production - The moon was added in here and placed somewhere below the roof level to give emphasis on the tower height.The color correction was the tricky part as it wasn't easy to determine what's best. I produced outputs in two color tones, though I submitted only one for the challenge.The process included several levels of color balancing, playing with hues on individual items, toning, saturating and adjusting levels.!Aspire Tower - Ramees MuhammedFox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work? Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Ramees: The overall process took around a week and this was done during my time off the work desk.The key challenge, like in any project is setting the scene and etermining the overall look. This process took the most time as the it was the backbone and the rest of the process was okay. I spent some time on the modeling too.The tower in reality has a slightly different color tone which is not really my favourite.I always tried to reimagine the scene and thought of how it can be presented. I wanted to make the scene a bit more dramatic. This was achieved after spending some time with a lot of trial and errors.!Early render draft - Aspire Tower - Ramees MuhammedEarly render draftAdding the moon was a choice I had to make - yes, a slightly larger one that glows in the dark.Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly share with us your education and work experience along your CG journey?Ramees: I studied Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication and an advanced diploma in Multimedia from my hometown in India.In my 10+ years of career, I’ve spent my most time working for a company which is somewhat unique in terms of production. I am the head of a team that produces Forensic technical animations that are used for Civil arbitrations and Construction tenders etc. I have worked with some of the world renowned engineers and agencies during my stint here (Could not disclose any names due to the nature of my job which are confidential).This includes some of the major airports in the middle east, Oil and Gas and Marine related projects.Aside from that, I do concept designs in my own time - which includes aircraft (Sting R12, EVA X01), some architectures and hobby renderings. (savannahr.artstation.com)!Starways Arena © Ramees MuhammedStarways Arena © Ramees MuhammedFox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills? Could you give some learning advice to CG learners?Ramees: As an artist who hasn’t been working in the ArchViz industry for a very long time, the challenge was one of my attempts to get back in the scene.For me who has been doing non photorealistic illustrations and animations, it was a challenge to learn the theory and the psychology. It’s more important than learning the toolset. I believe it’s all about observing the world around us. It’s how we tell the story throughour renders which matters.Learning new software and toolsets as well keeping ourselves updated with the latest technology is equally important. I used to watch the tutorials available on the internet over and over. Even if we know how to use them, there will be always something as a takeaway from every one of those - the way everyone uses every tool is different.Knowing these little tricks and shortcuts are always important, they make our lives easier and our jobs effective.!One fine evening in Venice © Ramees MuhammedOne fine evening in Venice © Ramees MuhammedFox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Ramees: Oh there are manay.I used to watch videos from Agnieszka Klich. Her presentation on how to approach every project is always fascinating.!Agnieszka KlichAgnieszka KlichMarek Denko is another inspiring artist, whose renderings tell stories.!Marek Denko© Marek DenkoI love the works of Bartosz Domiczek and Artur Tamiola from Common Point.Their works breath the liveliness. !Bartosz Domiczek© Bartosz Domiczek!Artur Tamiola© Artur TamiolaThe work from Pedro Fernandes (Arqui9) is amazing and it’s crazy how they use the post production on an extreme level.!Pedro Fernandes© Pedro FernandesFox Renderfarm: Have you used or heard of Fox Renderfarm before? If yes, how do you feel about it?Ramees: Yeah and we have used Fox Renderfarm’s services quite a few times in the past.Fox Renderfarm is all for rendering some animations and the approach was quick. The turnaround was fast and we liked it. (Saved us on an important deadline event).Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Ramees: Our industry is a colorful world. We have all the luxury to play with the stuff we love unlike other professionals. We get to do creative things and get paid for that. I don’t think anyone else has that privilege. The flip side is that it’s hard to keep the momentum going. It’s always a creative competition and only those who are willing to go out of the box would survive.And it’s not a hard thing to do. You can do whatever you want when you’re full of ideas.
Create without Borders: How John Yim Recreated the Dolmabahce Palace in C4D with His Unique Style
!WITHOUT BORDERSRecently, Hum3D just ended their Without Borders 3D Visualization Challenge with the winners announced! Hum3D, as a devoted 3D models provider who has helped 3D artists from more than 80 countries to save time on 3D modeling, initiated the challenge to remind us not to set borders and restrictions to our imagination, and travel without borders by creating 3D renderings in this special period of time.!Hum3DFox Renderfarm, as the world’s leading render farm, spares no efforts spurring creation and realizing imagination. As the challenge’s sponsor, we are happy to find that our beloved old friend John Yim has won third place in the amazing challenge.John Yim- Architect, Spink Property- From: London, England- Personal website: https://johnyim.com/ John recreated the Dolmabahce Palace with Cinema 4D, Redshift, Rhino, Speedtree and ZBrush. Its sophisticated composition, well-made models and John’s unique lighting style earned him praises and compliments from the jury.!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce PalaceComments from the Jury:Yurii Lebediev: “I adore pictures with soul. And this is the case. Not just hyper-realistic render but great attention to the mood and vibe of the moment”.Martin Krasemann: “Love the poetic atmosphere that is getting out of this image”.Alessandro Maniscalco: “We love the happiness and colors of this picture. The beautiful atmosphere is everywhere and the compositing is very good. Great compositing and environment objects…”.Agnieszka Klich: “The image of the palace drew my attention instantly. It tells a story about the place – thanks to this the author added extra value to the visualization. The building not only has a monumental look but the composition of the image also gives an impression of some mystery behind it (by giving us – the viewers – the possibility to be unseen observers) which we are willing to uncover. The soft color palette gives the place the ‘inviting to visit’ look. Great framing, nice color balance, and story included… all the aspects that make the image successful”.Fabio Allamandri: “This image is a little bit over exposed for my tastes but I like the easter feeling very much. Lots of details! Very good job!”.Maciej Ptaszynski: “Great mood and very nice composition. Beautiful render!”Jacob Norris: “Fantastic work on the architecture and atmosphere in this piece. The flower petals floating in the air and the strong glow from the lighting help to make the artwork feel magical”.Emanuele Serra: “This work immediately caught my eye, I did not know Dolmabahce Palace, but as soon as you look at this work, you can feel the history and magic of that place. I like how the author reinterprets that place, using a very poetic light, increasing this feeling even more by using petals that rest on the water, while a sailing ship plows the sea towards the palace”.Arseniy Korablev: “Festive and solemn artwork. And besides, beautiful and very detailed!”Nicolas Wirrmann: “The amount of modelling work is impressive”.Stephanie Schenck: “This render is more like a painting, effectively capturing the feel of visiting the space, with all of the dreams, immersion, swept-away-ness of the scene”.Ralph Huchtemann: “This one has a very special composition with the boat at the bottom and the tree branches coming from above, which give the palace a frame. Another special thing about this one are all the falling leaves. Very unique composition”.!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce PalaceJohn was so kind that he accepted our interview again. He not only shared his inspiration for the art creation also elaborated on how he modeled the palace in Rhino, how he created the surroundings and his symbolic lighting, and so forth. Please check out our interview and enjoy your journey to the Dolmabahce Palace with John. Fox Renderfarm: Hi John! Thank you for accepting our interview again. Congratulations on winning third place in the Without Borders Challenge, how do you feel about it?John: Thank you very much for having me again, I feel really honored to win third place in the Without Borders Challenge! Fox Renderfarm: Speaking of the theme of the challenge, why did you choose Dolmabahce Palace as your inspiration?John: I started the project “Ottoman Legacy: Dolmabahce Palace” as a challenge to myself - to recreate the most ostentatious and most ornamental facade within the timescale of the “Without Borders” Challenge.Dolmabahce Palace is one of my personal architectural favorites and undoubtedly one of the most vivid legacies of the Ottoman history, but the existing palace as it stands now has aged over time, and its extravagance undoubtedly carries a stigma. As such my concept was to portray the palace in a photorealistic yet poetic manner, with a monumental yet welcoming atmosphere. Fox Renderfarm: The Dolmabahce Palace you created is very detailed, could you share with us the modeling process?John: I initially searched and downloaded as many architectural drawings and photos as I possibly could online, placed them all within a PUREREF canvas, and referenced them at all times while modeling. I also researched for historical drawings of the palace, which gave me the idea of adding in Ottoman trade ships and the array of water-front trees - both of which no longer exist.!OttomanI used primarily Rhino and ZBrush to plan and model the main Palace building.I first blocked out the main shape of the building in Rhino referencing architectural plans and elevation drawings. This dictated the primary scale and the proportion of the building in relation to its openings, front-gate and surroundings.Recreating the facade ornaments looked like an overwhelming task at first, but they were in fact largely derived from a handful of ornamental modular elements sculpted and retopo-ed in ZBrush. These modular elements were then imported into Rhino to be further developed (cloned in grids or arrays etc.) until they resembled ornaments of the existing palace.!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace - ZBrushI ultimately created 5 unique ornamented facades in Rhino, which were then exported into Cinema4D, proxied and instanced based on the main shape of the building that I originally blocked out.!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace-c4d!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace-c4d!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace-c4dAs for the surroundings, I took a bit of artistic liberty when setting up the trees and the river - in reality, the trees are scarcely spaced and the existing location where the palace sits no longer serves as a trade port, nor does the historical water-front view of trade ships exist.The water-front “tree-array” was essentially a single Cherry tree modeled in Speedtree, instanced along the water-front with randomized scales and rotations. The colors of the cherry tree petals are slightly desaturated so as not to pull too much attention away from the main building, but rather helped frame and compliment the grey marble colors of the facade.!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace-c4dThe river was a plane with a slightly-displaced water shader, scattered with fallen cherry tree petals (Cinema4D Matrix) to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere overall. Fox Renderfarm: You have chosen a unique perspective to give this work a great composition, could you tell us how you set the composition and layout?John: Trained as an architect, I always approach my renderings with a one-point perspective at the beginning and throughout the look-dev process. Once I am happy with the model and the shaders, I would move my camera around virtually in search of a different perspective that is either more informative or conveys a better story of the building. In the case of “Ottoman Legacy”, the final composition was taken up largely by the river from an off-shore view perspective. Although the close-up one-point perspective render turns out to be my personal favorite of all WIP renders, I believe the off-shore view perspective tells a more comprehensive story of the palace.!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace!Ottoman!Ottoman Fox Renderfarm: In your personal artworks, lighting is always an important part that makes the picture so poetic in this work, could you introduce how you set the lighting and made the hyper-realistic render?John: I used a Redshift Dome Light together with a Sun & Sky Rig to light the scene. !Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce Palace!Ottoman Legacy - Dolmabahce PalaceAs in most of my projects, I find my preferred lighting settings by trial and error, for instance, I would rotate the Sun & Sky Rig until I get a sun angle that elevates the atmosphere of the scene without overexposing and negating too many details. The dome light in the scene was linked to a sky HDRI which served as ambient light and the backdrop sky.The final rendering came straight out of Cinema4D Redshift without any Photoshop post-production. However, I did spend a considerable amount of time tweaking the Redshift “bloom” & “streak” settings to achieve the final look, in addition to utilizing an “F250” LUT that ships with Redshift, adding a warm tint to the overall image. Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work? Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?John: It took me about 2 months to complete the project. I have faced a lot of challenges – one of which being long rendering times.“Ottoman Legacy” was one of the most detailed projects I have ever worked on – the main building alone consisted of over 1 trillion polys. Previously I would have created a low poly version of the scene, but I took the challenge as an opportunity to see how far I could push the boundaries of rendering in Redshift, for the sake of retaining as much detail as possible.!Serenity II Kiyomizu-dera © John YimSerenity II: Kiyomizu-dera © John Yim Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?John: I learned that in order to work efficiently on detailed scenes like “Ottoman Legacy” one has to utilize as few modular elements as possible to maximize computing power and to minimize rendering times. These could be done by instancing and rearranging small-scale modular elements creatively to create entirely different models, as I have done to most of the ornaments but not to the extent of the entire scene.!Pioneers into 2021 © John YimPioneers: into 2021 © John Yim
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