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    13-Year of Exciting CG Journey: Introducing FGT Art February Winner, Rahul Venugopal

    2021-04-06

    CG Challenges

    Art Competitions

    FGT Art, initiated and organized by Fox Renderfarm, is a program that encourages all Fox Renderfarm users to share their talents and get awarded monthly. We are very pleased to announce that the FGT Art February winner is Rahul Venugopal, who is the creator of the award-winning work Cyberpunk Neo Dharavi, and also an outstanding Matte Painter / Environment TD from Framestore.

    Cyberpunk Neo Dharavi © Rahul Venugopal

    Rahul is a digital matte painter and compositor, who has worked for many fantastic projects including feature films, high-end TV series, TV commercials, and corporate videos. As a well-travelled artist, Rahul has worked in many countries such as Singapore, India, Bulgaria, Turkey, China, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.

    In his 13-year CG journey, he has participated in the production of many famous movies, including Interstellar, The Expendables 2, Olympus Has Fallen, Eega, ect.

    From the exclusive interview, you can learn about how Rahul created his Cyberpunk artwork and share with us his CG journey.

    Rahul Venugopal

    · Environment TD / Matte Painter at Framestore · Specialize in Matte Painting, Environments & Compositing

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Rahul, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Rahul: I am originally from Kochi, India and I have been in the motion pictures and television industry for the past 13 years. I started my career in Singapore and then went on to work as a freelance VFX artist in 8 countries around the world. At the moment, I am working as an Environment TD / Matte Painter at Framestore, Montreal.

    Stormy Outpost © Rahul Venugopal

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations! How do you feel about being the February winner of FGT Art?

    Rahul: I feel really honoured and excited, this project was really a fun one and I feel great to be honoured by the Fox Renderfarm community.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for this Cyberpunk artwork “Cyberpunk Neo Dharavi”?

    Rahul: This started off as a pitch for a client work but later I developed it into my own personal project. My main obvious inspiration for this project was Blade Runner but I wanted to put this scene in a not so distant future and put more relatable elements from the present day. The main idea was to show the division of wealth between state / mega corporations vs the poor section of the society. Also, at the same time show that there is thriving street life culture within slums, possibly infected with crimes, gambling and adult entertainment.

    Blade Runner

    Fox Renderfarm: We can see that there are some Indian elements in the scene, could you introduce these details and how you design them?

    Rahul: I wanted to base this city in India and I took modern-day metropolises like Mumbai as an inspiration where rich and poor districts are almost side by side. I took a lot of elements from Mumbai Dharavi Slums and bashed it with Hong Kong-style neon lights but with flavours of Indian brands and local shops signages. Also, I kept a neon signage of Hindu God Ganesha to give this city a distinctive Asian taste.

    Fox Renderfarm: The composition, modeling and lighting of the work are pretty great, which part satisfied you most? And could you tell us how you make this part?

    Rahul: Majority of the models are kitbashed from various commercial and non-commercial 3D kitbash sets so I spend the majority of the time developing the look and feel of the city. I am really satisfied by the overall mood. I think I could have made it more hazy to make it more photorealistic but since this was a personal project, I took the freedom to reveal most of the details that I had put into this work.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work? Have you met any difficulties?

    Rahul: From start to finish, this took about 3 weeks, getting the layout right was obviously a huge task for such a scale and getting the right blend of 3D and 2.5D for the comp was another challenging task towards the end.

    Fox Renderfarm: Which cyberpunk artwork is your favorite (including movies, games, etc.)?

    Rahul: The movie ‘The Matrix’ came out when I was in High School and it just blew my mind and there was no looking back. I knew what I wanted to do for a living and I've been pretty much after VFX ever since. My other influences included Blade Runner, Alien, Terminator 2, Minority Report and Ghost in the Shell.

    Fox Renderfarm: As an outstanding digital matte painter and compositor, you participated in the production of many movies and TV projects, could you share with us your work experience along your CG journey, any project impressed you most?

    Rahul: I have enjoyed working each and every project that I have got the opportunity to work on. However, I especially cherish working on Interstellar as a Digital Compositor back in 2014 at DNEG, London. I really enjoyed watching the film and it is one of my all-time favorite movies.

    Interstellar

    I also enjoyed a lot working Ad Astra as Lead Digital Matte Painter at Mr.X Montreal. I particularly feel proud about my work in Ad Astra since I was able to contribute to the look and feel of the entire opening sequence where we see Earth from eighty thousand feet above the atmosphere.

    Ad Astra Earth Opening Environment Sequence

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services?

    Rahul: I was amazed how easy and efficient Fox Renderfarm was even for first-time users and the support I received from your customer care team was top-notch. I think moving forward, I have more confidence to use more 3D and less of 2.5D with the help of Fox Renderfarm :)

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Rahul: It is really exciting times for CG development now, especially with services like Fox Renderfarm which is easily accessible for any artists around the globe. There is no limitation to what you can achieve and I am really excited about what you guys will create since as artists we feed off from each other when it comes to inspiration.

    Abandoned © Rahul Venugopal

    Artstation:


    How To Create A Realistic Doomsday in 3ds Max

    2021-02-18

    CG Challenges

    Evermotion

    Have you ever imagined what the world will be like if there are endless pandemics in the future?

    As the 2nd place winner of Evermotion Challenge 2020, Neil Cross, a 3D Artist from London, hopes to warn us about the future world challenges by his artwork “Final Stand”. As he mentioned, ”We need to accept these challenges and learn from our mistakes before it's too late.”

    Final Stand © Neil Cross

    Using 3ds Max, Corona Render, Quixel Megascans and Photoshop, Neil took 2 months to finish this powerful and thought-provoking artwork,

    In the interview with Fox Renderfarm, Neil introduced in detail how he created the award-winning artwork.

    • Neil Cross
    • CGI Artist
    • Senior 3D Artist at The Boundary Architectural Visualisation
    • London, United Kingdom

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Neil, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Neil: Hi Fox Renderfarm. I just want to thank you guys for giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank you guys for the service you offer. Cloud rendering plays a huge role in our community.

    My name is Neil Cross. I'm originally from South Africa where I started my career as an Architectural Draughtsman working in the construction industry focussed on delivering projects around Africa.

    After a few years starting off as a draughtsman I found draughting wasn't for me and wanted to be more creative, so I started to get into 3D. There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for 3D artists in South Africa so at that moment I decided it was time to pack my bags and move to London. I knew this city was filled with talents and moving here would only help me progress as a 3D artist. I'm currently working full time as a senior 3D artist at The Boundary. I also spend a lot of my free time working on my personal images allowing me to express my creative side.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning second place in Evermotion Challenge 2020?

    Neil: After seeing all the entries, I'm very proud to have made second place. To be honest, I was just hoping for a special mention, so to make the top 3 means a lot to me. I also have a lot of respect for Evermotion. Their articles have helped me grow my skills, so to come second in an Evermotion Challenge makes it more special.

    Fox Renderfarm: As this year’s theme was "My own 2020", what inspired you to create the work Final Stand?

    Neil: 2020 has been a tough year for most of us. There's a good chance future pandemics will happen more often where more people will get ill which will wreak even worse damages to the global economy than Covid-19.

    This challenge inspired me to share my vision towards the future because If there's no fundamental shift in how humans treat nature, these are the things (my render) we could face. I might be over exaggerating but I wanted to send a message.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    Neil: I spent around 30 mins to an hour a day which took around 2 months in total. I was aiming for 2 days but that didn't exactly work out! haha!

    Fox Renderfarm: We’re all impressed by the strong lighting and composition of the work, could you introduce how you set up the lighting and composition?

    Neil: Thank you! Unlike modeling and texturing, I find lighting and composition less forgiving. It can either make or break your image. I have little experience when it comes to photography so I generally keep things as simple as possible to avoid destroying an image!

    I'm using Corona Sky (fully desaturated) with no Sun. I've also placed a plane light at the window to help light the interior. In addition, I'm using volumetrics. Regarding the composition I wanted to go with something simple but powerful. Getting the light set up correctly and having my camera focus on the girl was key.

    Fox Renderfarm: There are so many details in the image, which make the scene more realistic and attractive, could you show us how you make them?

    Neil: I'm always referring back to reference images to help achieve realism. I generally add chamfers and imperfections to everything.

    The biggest stand out for me was the floor. There’s no better way achieving this than using Real Displacement Textures. They are by far my favorite textures. I also push my displacement settings to the limit. I tend to drop my displacement screen size (px) as low as possible for the best results.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any challenges, and how did you solve them?

    Neil: My biggest challenge was having patience. When I first started working on Final Stand I realised I was in it for the long run. I didn't want to spend hours on the image and come back the next day tired. I ended up cutting my time down to an hour a day which actually helped.

    Fox Renderfarm: You work as a CGI artist for more than 10 years, could you briefly share with us your work experience along your CG journey?

    Neil: I started my CGI career at a construction company where I initially started as an Architectural Draughtsman. The company entered numerous tenders to try to win new projects. During that period I started to get more involved with 3D to try to impress our clients.

    5 years later I decided to join my first studio. I knew I had made the right move knowing I'd be working alongside other artists. It was crazy how quick my skills improved.

    I wanted to take my career further so I decided to move to London. I first started my career in London with a well known architecture firm. Working alongside different architects was a good experience. During my time there I spent a lot of my time attending events such as 3ds London which helped me grow even further.

    After some time there I realised that I was best suited to work in a studio so a year later I joined The Boundary where I have grown to become a Senior 3D Artist. Whilst working for The Boundary, I've had the opportunity to go to both State of Art and D2 which were both amazing events to attend.

    Night Time © Neil Cross

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any suggestions for CG artists to improve their CG skills?

    Neil: Choose a niche you enjoy and master it! Whether you enjoy using ZBrush sculpting characters, 3ds Max visualising architecture, or unreal creating blueprints. Don't try to learn everything unless you are a complete genius.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Neil: Just enjoy what you do.

    If you like my Final Stand Image please follow me on ArtStation for future images.


    How to Use 3ds Max to Create A Photorealistic Car Render Giving Fairytale Mood

    2021-02-15

    Trending

    Hum3D Contest

    Hum3D Car Render Challenge, an annual render challenge, announced the winner of 2020 recently. As the long term partner of Hum3D, Fox Renderfarm is pleased to witness that there are more and more excellent car render artworks emerging year by year. This time we are honored to interview Phil Derbyshire, the 2nd place winner of the challenge and also the special prize winner from our Fox Renderfarm team.

    The Mini Dream © Phil Derbyshire

    Phil’s award-winning artwork, The Mini Dream, shows a fantastic and microscopic world, made with 3ds Max, Redshift, Quixel Megascans, Forest Pack Pro, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. Phil described the artwork,”No matter how small you may be in the grand scheme of things, there is absolutely nothing that can stop you from dreaming big!”

    Let's find out how he made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.

    • Phil Derbyshire
    • 3D Artist at TekVisual, LLC
    • America

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Phil, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Phil: Of course, I’m happy to be here! My name is Phil Derbyshire and I am a 3D Artist with a passion for environment design. I am currently working full-time for Tekvisual – An Architectural Visualization studio based in South Florida and I’ve been a full time 3D Artist since 2014 when I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Game Art & Design.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning second place in the Car Render Challenge 2020?

    Phil: I feel ecstatic! To be honest, when I saw some of the amazing submissions to the competition, I was going to consider myself lucky if I was placed in the top 10. There were some fantastic pieces of art submitted and I’m grateful to have been placed up there with the best of the best.

    Fox Renderfarm: With the dreamy feeling, The Mini Dream also gets the Special prize from our Fox Renderfarm team, so what inspired you to make the artwork?

    Phil: When it came around to starting this project I had three things in mind. Firstly I knew that I wanted to tackle a macro miniature render again. The first time being a few years ago when I created a piece that I called “December 25th 1am: Christmas Morning”.

    December 25th 1am: Christmas Morning

    When I looked back on it now it’s hard not to see the flaws like the empty room reflection in the bulbs and other such missing details, but I could also still see some potential in the direction I went with it.

    Secondly David Attenborough’s “Empire of the Ants” documentary was still in the back of my mind, and I wanted to incorporate these little buggers into my render.

    The third and final part that was on my mind for the render was, of course, the car! Back when I used to live in the UK, a teacher of mine owned a classic Mini Cooper S much like this one. It’s such an iconic car that I wanted to bring to life in 3D with my own artistic spin.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    Phil: I spent every spare moment that I could working on this piece! Working from home this past year with no commuting has given me more time to focus on what I truly love. I began with writing down a rough time frame for each part of the project, which I worked on in the evenings and weekends, and stuck to that plan as best I could.

    Fox Renderfarm: We’re all impressed by the great modeling and texturing of the work, could you introduce how you create the car so realistic?

    Phil: Yes, absolutely! For the modeling, I tried to stick to my references to the best of my ability and attempted to model every detail that could be visible in the final render. For the texturing, I found images of miniatures and real cars decaying. I did my utmost to place the rust in obvious places where it would naturally form. For instance,at the bottom of the doors and at creases/edges and for this process, I utilized Substance Painter. I had a couple of starter rust materials in painter which I then modified to create the color and style that I wanted and went from there.

    Fox Renderfarm: The harmony of colors and lighting is also outstanding, could you tell us how you made the artwork look like a fairy tale?

    Phil: Sure! So, this part was a tricky one that took a lot of experimenting during the project, I heavily took advantage of Redshift’s PostFX to adjust the Bloom/Flare, Bokeh and color controls to achieve the desired look, and it took a lot of trial and error before I was satisfied with the results. I also did something new for me for this project which was to convert and output all of my textures in a ACEScg color space to take advantage of the wider color gamut that ACES provides. The dust particles I made using TyFlow in 3ds Max, I feel that it also helped give it that fairy tale look that I was going for. Lastly, I took the final render into Affinity Photo and made my final color corrections there. I was really happy with the final product.

    Fox Renderfarm: The details of the image are wonderful, not only the car, but the grass and ants surrounding, could you introduce how you made these details?

    Phil: Making the ants made me a little anxious at first, as I hadn’t touched ZBrush in a couple of years and that UI always takes a little re-learning when coming back from another DCC, but after a late Friday night of sculpting, the ant mesh was done. The next morning I exported a high poly and a low poly version and brought them into Substance Painter for baking and texturing. That Sunday, I brought them into 3ds Max for rigging and worked on the final SSS material to bring them to life in the way that I wanted.

    The tree’s and branches are Quixel Megascan assets, I re-textured them inside of Substance Painter to add more mossy details and then converted those textures over to ACEScg. The leaves, grass and moss are 2D atlases I cut out and made simple geometry for, I then used Forest Pack Pro plugin in 3ds max to scatter them on the rocks/branches and ground.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Phil: The only difficulties I ran into while working on this project, were the scene crashing during rendering. It turned out that some of my computer specs were aging a bit and causing me some trouble as the project became very demanding. My i7-4790k and 32GB Memory from 6+ years ago were now showing their age. I re-sized textures, optimized the geometry, and converted a lot of the objects in the scene into proxies which allowed me to render the project without crashing.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services?

    Phil: Yes I’ve used Fox Renderfarm in the past for work before we put together a small render farm of our own for our architectural visualization animations. I remember it being easy to use and had the plugins that we needed. Next time I run into rendering issues due to my hardware or if I need it to be done faster, I’ll be uploading my scene to Fox Renderfarm.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Phil: Never stop learning new things and experiment whenever and wherever you can. You never know where your ideas and dreams can take you and what you can create by just playing around in 3D.

    Reborn © Phil Derbyshire

    Day 42 of Isolation © Phil Derbyshire

    Find more artworks of Phil at ArtStation:


    Passion is Everything: Introducing Enthusiastic 3D Animator, Maynard Ellis

    2021-02-08

    CG Challenges

    Art Competitions

    What if Santa wants to be a superhero?

    Showing us a story about Santa saving a young lady in his heroic dream, Maynard Ellis’s 3D animation short Santa's Dream won third place in the 2020 Animation Holiday Contest of Renderosity.

    As the old friend of Fox Renderfarm, the largest cloud rendering service provider in the CG industry, Maynard Ellis told us his inspiration and how he made the animation.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you tell us what is the inspiration for your 3D video Santa's Dream?

    Maynard: The inspiration for this video came from the contest theme 'Dreams of Peace'. I took the theme quite literally and thought it would be cool to have Santa dreaming of being a buff hero type keeping the peace for the local villagers near his South Pole home.

    My original concept was a little grander and a little better executed than the final piece but that mainly came down to time. Having said that I think I ended up staying pretty true to the original idea and the original story board narrative that I put together.

    Essentially I planned to have:

    • The opening scene with Santa falling asleep outside his home, including a cool effect to transition into a dreamstate.
    • The party full of young revellers in the village.
    • A monster charging in and creating some mayhem, throwing aside one of the young men and carrying off his girlfriend... very King Kong sort of style.
    • Another character running up to Santa's house and alerting him to what had gone on. This was dropped but I think it worked better with Santa in attendance at the party. It certainly cut some corners having him there witnessing it all.
    • An epic showdown in the monsters lair followed by warm accolades from the rescued young woman.
    • A return to the original scene with Santa waking up exclaiming that it was all just a dream. This too was dropped but I think it worked ok ending it the way I did and it saved on some time which I just didn't have a lot of.

    Fox Renderfarm: How much time did it take you to create your work?

    Maynard: Time!!!! Aaargh!!

    Anybody who does animation will tell you how long this process can take and when you are trying to do a full narrative style production and not just a moving montage there is a sooo much to do and you certainly need plenty of time. As I have a day job I generally only get to work on projects like this at night and on weekends, although I have been working from home during the Pandemic so I do get the luxury of kicking off test renders during the day and other little things I can do on breaks.

    I really wish I'd had 6-8 weeks to get all I had hoped for done but I barely had 3 weeks as I didn't realise the contest had started. Luckily I still had some time left when I checked for it. I guess I should have been looking for it earlier, and knowing it was coming I guess I should have been planning stuff but I hadn't heard anything and just assumed it would run closer to the end of December and not need to be done by the 10th of December!!!! So all gripes about my stupidity aside this was a tough project to finish in 3 weeks and the soundtrack, voice overs, the quality of animation and the overall content I included all suffered as a result of this. I was still pretty pleased with how it came together though and it is always great to see a concept grow from your initial idea into something that works out OK.

    Fox Renderfarm: There are many characters in your video, such as Santa, the snowman, the monster, and the beauty, could you introduce the design of these main characters?

    Maynard: Firstly I generally use high quality DAZ characters brought from DAZ to iClone and the main characters were mostly created this way, but the performance of iClone was getting bogged down so the villagers and the main beauty were iClone characters which are lighter weight than the DAZ characters. With more time and planning I could have reduced the resolution of my DAZ characters but I just dropped some people out of the village scene and substituted some of the DAZ characters for iClone characters and this helped enough to get something out.

    Just before I started this project Reallusion ran a sale on a Christmas character bundle so I had a couple of young girls in Xmas outfits although I originally planned for the main woman to be a DAZ character that I had prepared.

    The snowman character came from DAZ and I took his hat, scarf and glasses and put them on a traditional snowman model to help sell the concept of him coming alive. With more time he would have had a bigger role in the story but he still worked out OK.

    The traditional Santa was easy enough in DAZ and then I made his buff alter ego in a less traditional outfit. Doesn't everyone have a better looking, younger, sexier alter ego they see themselves as in dreams?

    I was very disappointed with the monster and really wanted a furry snow beast but had to settle for the pasty, hairless, albino abominable snowman type of beast. As my animations are very small and quick projects just for personal pleasure under contest deadlines there is no real time to model custom characters but I would like to do more of that for my animations in future. I have a bit more to learn in that regard though!!

    Fox Renderfarm: In the video, Santa has a wonderful fight with monsters, and also there are some people who dance in the snow. Could you tell us how these characters' movements are achieved? Did you use any motion capture?

    Maynard: I really wanted to use motion capture and tried to, but I didn't have a successful pipeline for this in place and in the end I abandoned those plans as the lack of time caught up with me. I have a Kinect and tried using that and I captured a couple of animations that both ended up on the cutting room floor as I ran out of time and fast tracked each scene. I motion captured Santa yawning before falling asleep and the monster picking up the girl and putting her on his shoulder. In the end I just had Santa drop straight off to sleep and I cheated with the snatch and grab by cutting to the monster running off with her already on his shoulder.

    I was thinking of buying the iClonect Kinect plug-in but I was not overly impressed with the demo and I have some software for Kinect capture that works in Unity but I had issues trying to get that animation into iClone. What I did end up using was a little capture app that was a freebie in the DAZ community. It writes out a text file of the motion capture data that is then imported into DAZ by a script and applied to a figure. This worked surprisingly well and was easy to get into iClone after I exported it out as an FBX. iClone recognises FBX files based on Genesis 8 so that would have been what I used if I persisted with motion capture for this project. I currently am looking at some solutions that work with Unreal Engine 4 as that has better integration with iClone and I have also downloaded some new iphone motion capture apps to try.... oh and who knows I might even win a Renderosity animation contest one day and get a licence for the iPi mocap studio.... one can only keep dreaming of these things :)

    Most of the animations were crafted from stock animations from Mixamo and from iClone animations that I have. In order for these animations to tell the story I tweaked them in iClone and created custom keyframe animation to string them all together cohesively where required. The fight scene was especially difficult in regards to this. I had hoped for it to be a longer and grander battle but that was just going to take far too long to animate. Luckily I think it fitted the theme that the dreamstate buff santa hero was able to dispatch the villain so easily :). The hardest part of that fight scene was creating something credible and despite it being short with the help of some sound effects I think I pulled it off ok. I was quite happy with it in the end and Santa really did save the day with his devastating roundhouse kick.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you use any new approach during creating the work?

    Maynard: I think you always end up trying new things when you are doing new projects. Something always comes up that you don't know how to do or you research new techniques, or your idea just makes you think outside the box. This is one of the great reasons to do stuff even if it is just for your own pleasure or as a contest entry.

    The following were new things I used, or tried to use

    • I really wanted to use Depth of Field (DOF) camera blur in this project, especially for the monster reveal. iClone has this feature but for some reason I couldn't get it to render properly. I am sure with some more time I could have worked this one out but I ended up just removing it altogether. I think this would have been a very cool little trick to have given some more sparkle to my video so I will investigate this again.
    • I used a toon shader built into iClone for the dreamstate. By not coming back to reality at the end it wasn't as effective as I would have liked as most of the video was dreamstate. It would have been nice though to see the video go into this rendering mode when the dream started and to come out of it when the dream stopped.
    • I used a friend for voice-overs. I sent her an email with some lines I wanted and chatted to her about the story and the emotion I wanted in the lines and she recorded them on her phone and sent them to me. This worked surprisingly well and I will hopefully use her again in future projects, although I am investigating AI based text to voice and may use that as well for future projects. I had to use my own voice for Santa (which I hated) and I had wanted the 'Gary' character to have a line and the snowman character could have had some dialog, so just one female friend willing to help with voice overs does not give me enough scope for a large project. I have found an AI Text to Voice service that is surprisingly good allowing you to add different emotions and emphasis to the dialog and it is far superior to other services I have looked at. It has a cost but given that when I investigated using someone from Fiverr they started at $15 USD a good paid service that is not too expensive may work for me. I highly recommend checking out the one I found. They sell 4 hour blocks of voice generation for $20 USD and with careful planning that should be good for a few projects so all in all I think they are dirt cheap.... and they have amazingly good AI text to voice so check them out!!
    • I learnt more about iClone which is great. I bought it last year when they had a big sale during our first COVID lockdown and I am starting to get the hang of it now. I learnt about auto switching between my cameras on the timeline while rendering which really helps in assembling complex scenes quickly and I learnt about using paths for more fluid walking and running animations. I also used their automatic lip synching from a sound clip for the first time in this project. If I had more time I would have tweaked the phonemes to get a better result but for what I was doing it was all I really needed. For something more advanced in a future project I think I will use facial mocap from an iPhone app.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties? And how did you solve it?

    Maynard:

    • I had time difficulties as already mentioned and I just cut corners and simplified my scenes and soundtrack. This was not ideal but sometimes being leaner and tighter is better than what you were originally intending.
    • I encountered difficulties with the motion capture I was trying to use. Having a good and reliable pipeline is very important as no single app will do everything you need and I just didn't get a suitable pipeline worked out in time for motion capture. I will definitely persevere with this though as just using stock animations gets very limiting even though you can tweak them quite significantly in iClone.
    • I encountered problems with the DOF feature in iClone. I need to look into this more as I was not able to solve the issues and I just dropped it. I really wanted the background to be blurred during the village party scene so that when the monster is first revealed I could have blurred the foreground and brought him into sharp focus in the background. This is a cool technique and it actually worked well when I tried it but using the DOF on the entire scene left some strange artefacts in the background and I just wasn't happy with it overall. I have seen videos of DOF being used effectively in iClone so I need to try again for my next project.
    • I had major performance issues with iClone for the early attempts at creating the village scene. There were just too many characters moving in the scene and too many of them were high poly count models. I swapped a few of the villagers that I had prepared in DAZ out and replaced them with standard iClone characters and I reduced the overall number of characters in this scene and this helped immensely. When having just 2 or 3 characters in a scene there is not much issue if they are high poly count but for bigger scenes with more actors this really has to be considered. I use Reallusions Character Creator 3 (CC3) in my pipeline between DAZ and iClone and I did reduce some of the size of my main characters in CC3 as well but I was mindful not to push this too far as they were often focussed on in close up. In future I will take all my characters through CC3 and prepare them for their role by reducing the quality and amount of textures and also removing hidden meshes where appropriate. I may also try to use billboard crowds if I want to do scenes with large numbers of characters..... maybe that can be what I do next time... have huge crowds in a scene... an epic battle or a city overrun with zombies :) 

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?

    Maynard: Here are some thoughts for aspiring animators:

    • Don't let yourself be easily discouraged.
    • Give yourself plenty of time and use good time management.
    • Try to tell an engaging story. I have seen some very simple animations brought to life with narration or with text so any project can aim to engage and tell a story.
    • Plan your animation and storyboard it. This can be as simple as a scene narrative in dot points or some stick figure drawings, but it will help immensely and will allow you to better manage your project if you need to make changes on the fly. A good story board can also help you see the overall picture more clearly and lead you to make better decisions about the project.
    • Don't be afraid to cut something you planned to add.
    • When you have a plan for your scenes don't always just create them in large linear blocks, have fun with how you tell your story and break scenes apart and intercut them with other scenes, you may be surprised at the results.
    • Try new techniques and don't always just use the same approach, I am wanting to do a stop motion animation soon which will be very different from what I have recently been doing
    • Never stop learning, there is a wealth of great learning material out there for anything from 2d keyframed techniques to stop motion against green screens to AAA quality 3D epic adventure sagas.
    • Check out as much stuff other people are doing as you can. Seeing what is being done by others should encourage you to create and may lead to some ideas you hadn't thought about.
    • Treat anything you are watching as being a potential idea playground for things you can create. I recently re-watched the film 'Memento' There is no other film quite like it and it is a story told completely backwards. Thinking about techniques like this could trigger a great idea for your own project and I am planning to try something like that one day with some sort of backward narrative.

    Dream Big and Fly High.

    There are no rules and you can make no mistakes. There are just the things that you imagine and the things that you create.


    FGT3D Santa's New Ride Winners Announced!

    2021-01-11

    CG Challenges

    Art Competitions

    We are very excited to announce the winners of the FGT3D Challenge themed on Santa’s New Ride! In this challenge, the works submitted by participants must be a 3D rendered image. And Jury paid attention to the visual appeal, storytelling, and technique. Thanks to all our beloved participants, jury and sponsors.

    Theme

    Christmas is coming soon! Santa Claus is on the way to deliver gifts again. But Santa is coming a different way this year, he may ride a motorcycle, may drive a Lamborghini, or even get on a rocket! Please create your 3D render and show Santa’s new ride in your mind.

    1st place: The Paramount Ride - Shiju NK

    What our jury says

    Fox Renderfarm Team: Scene and lighting both show loneliness feel, as Santa carrying vaccines reflects the current covid19 situation and gives the world some hope even it's in the dark. Almost painting like texture and color further reminding of lovable Norman Rockwell style. Great work!

    Miho Aoki: I'm based in Alaska, and I see snow every day. This image does look like a small old gas station in winter here, though we don't have these old pumps anymore. There are very fine details on Santa and also on other places. I see the snow on the yellow metal numbers by the pump is half melted: it shows that the artist cared about the details. The lighting is excellent too. The thstronge of delivering vaccines is very timely and also resonates with the story of Alaskan dog sled teams delivering serum to a town to stop the diphtheria outbreak in the winter of 1925. This image makes me ask a lot of questions, like why is it a moppet? Can it fly? What has happened to reindeers? It'd be nice there are hints for these questions' answers in the image.

    Frank WANG Yefeng: My top choice for the competition goes to “The Paramount Ride.” This rendering utilizes melancholic cinstrongatography to put us in deep contstrongplation of the challenges we went through in 2020. Black humor accompanies the sadness in the composition. The creator wittily transformed Santa’s vehicle into a Vespa scooter and the gifts into a package of the very much needed Vaccine. Details such as Santa’s gesture of looking at his watch shows that time is a pressing matter in this holiday season. With an intersection to the world’s current context, “The Paramount Ride” is not only exquisite in its technique but also profound in its content. It makes me wonder: is this beard biker in red our savior, or is he an incarnation of our lives’ disorder?

    Kariem Saleh: This strong and funny concept really speaks to all of us after 2020. The image has a nice choice of colors, lighting and composition. Texture details are in all the right places and never distracting. This is a timeless snapshot of what we are all going through right now and might be a good rstronginder on anyones wall of the great efforts that we all made together to get through this difficult time.

    XP-Pen Team: Visual Appeal——It is very detailed. The light, the snow and car marks in the snow all are dedicated!Storytelling——Feels a bit lonely and sad story, touch our hearts.Technical——Pertect!

    Graswald Team: Lovely idea with a great reference to our current situation. The snow looks wonderful, I like the composition, the pose of Santa and the use of Red and White. Great job!

    Textures.com Team: Excellent work overall, tells a story, beautiful lighting and use of color.

    Texturebox Team: Modelling and lighting good , idea santa lost his deers and using a Vespa for disturbing gifts but it sestrongs he will be late.

    2nd place: Heavy Metal Santa - Vinicius Villela

    Heavy Metal Santa
Created by Vinicius Villela

    What our jury says

    Cenay Oekmen: The Character is very interesting. I do like the Cartoon look. The Skin shader works nice. I do also like all the small details like the Fur part. Very good Framing.

    Kariem Saleh: This one has a brilliantly funny general concept. The character design and modelling is very well executed and appealing. Excellent composition and very nice overall shading and coloring. Very well done! I wonder what kind of presents he actually delivers ;)

    Corona Renderer Team: This one nailed the cartoon look with just enough detail but not too much, so that it didn't fall into the uncanny valley of realistic yet cartoon, but went fully cartoon. I also love this Santa full of attitude! The good use of depth of field then rounds it out nicely.

    Graswald Team: Love the idea and the execution. The different materials look spot on (the hair, the belly, the fabric) and makes you wanna watch a Pixar movie about this character. Great storytelling and impressive implementation!

    Textures.com Team: Great concept, fantastic modelling, and the materials and shading are top notch!

    Texturebox Team: Santa's workshop looks like cyberpunk , texturing is good, I feel inside a game in this render.

    3rd place: Santa Is Crashing To Town - Hoang Nguyen

    What our jury says

    Fox Renderfarm Team: Sci-Fi setting makes one wonder why Santa is from space? Does he live on the moon? Very attention to details, the smoke, the lens flare, gives more mysteries for the story.

    Miho Aoki: This image presents a lot of anticipation. Is Santa OK? Did he try a new way of coming to the earth this year? Is he going to come out now? What will the police do? The image is very detailed and coherent and allows us to explore the details to look for clues. The lighting effect and smoky/dusty feeling are very well done too.

    Frank WANG Yefeng: SANTA IS CRASHING TO TOWN” challenges our conventional impression of Santa’s pleasant arrival at Christmas times. The focal point of the composition shows a disastrous crashing site with gifts scattered all over the ground. The police cars put Santa (who is already in deep trouble) under siege, making the viewers question what could happen to him next. The protagonist here is ironically being depicted as an accidental “intruder.” The post-apocalyptic atmosphere of the image resonates with all the unprecedented events we encountered in 2020. This wrecked flying craft might serve as a metaphor for our time filled up with turmoils and unpredictabilities.

    Kariem Saleh: That piece is based on a really cool and original idea. The atmosphere is sucking you in. All color and lighting choices in here are stellar and spot on! Now we finally know how Santa travels around the globe so quickly.

    Cenay Oekmen: I love the Idea of a Santa using a spaceship capsule. Overall composition is lovely. Nice and Gritty.

    XP-Pen Team: Visual Appeal—— The whole layout of dense and strongpty place distribution is very reasonable, the atmosphere is also very clever, the details are full, is the kind of common at the first sight, but the more you see the more taste of the map, the new mount is the space cabin this idea is very good.Storytelling—— The cabin that landed on alert is actually Santa's new car! It is so imaginative!Technical——Perfect!

    Texturebox Team: I think the idea is unique than others. Modelling and texturing is very good. Santa is not from the earth and is really good.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Santa's New Ride A Phoenix Hope - Kay John Yim

    Santa's New Ride A Phoenix Hope
Created by Kay John Yim

    What our jury says

    Miho Aoki: I was immediately drawn to this image. This work took the idea of a "new ride" to a very different level. If Santa Claus, who brings wonderful joy to all children, wishes a new ride, it might be a supernatural one like this. It looks as it can go anywhere beyond the speed of light. The sense of the three-dimensional space, scale, lighting, and details of the image are excellent, and they all contribute to the happy feeling of the scene.

    XP-Pen Team: Visual Appeal—Both the light shadow and the final effect are fantastic, and the idea of the phoenix as the new vehicle of Santa Claus is really interesting. A little perspective+symmetrical composition+the red decorated by Santa Claus and the brightest yellow of Phoenix make the whole painting fall on the main body, which is very nice. Storytelling—The birds flying up, the movstrongents of the crowd, the deer on the moon, the Christmas tree in the street, the snowflakes like feathers, the snowman in the corner, this painting is full of stories.Technical—Perfect!

    Corona Renderer Team: Lots of love in this image! To begin, I love that it looks like a conventional Christmas card in its colors and format, yet the subject matter is very surprising. I love the level of detail in this, with all those twinkling lights, the snowflakes, the reindeer taking it easy on the moon now that the new ride has taken over (nice touch of humour there!). Above all I love the "glass Phoenix" which makes a dramatic and powerful centerpoint to the image, and is very different from anything else we saw.

    Textures.com Team: I love the dynamic and magical feel in this image.

    Santa's on the future ride - Hieu Trinh

    Santa's on the future ride
Created by Hieu Trinh

    What our jury says

    Graswald Team: I am a big fan of CG Lego (and real Lego) and really loved this idea and its technical execution. I only wish you could see Santa more clearly or any other character that could have told a more interesting story.

    Santa's New Ride - Maynard Ellis

    SantasNewRide
Created by Maynard Ellis

    What our jury says

    Cenay Oekmen: Really nice work, I do like the Lighting and Material settings. The overall composition is spot on.

    Congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone for participating. Fox Renderfarm Team will contact the winners for prize distribution in the next few days.

    For more info

    Hope to see you soon on our next FGT3D Challenge! Stay tuned!


    A Happy Hobbyist Shows the Beauty of CG

    2020-12-21

    CG Challenges

    Renderosity

    Sponsored by the cloud render farm Fox Renderfarm, Renderosity 2020 Halloween Contest with 3D theme, Costumes, Cauldrons & Concoctions, was successfully held. Congratulations to all winners and thanks to everyone who participated in this event. Each entry tells us a magical story.

    We are very honored to have the opportunity to interview the third-place winner, Morrigan Flebotte, who is a CG enthusiast from Canada. She used her spare time to create the work Ya Want Two Scoops, Sweetheart?, which was rendered in Daz 4.10, using 3Delight with a dab of PS postwork.

    Ya Want Two Scoops, Sweetheart? © Morrigan Flebotte

    This is how Morrigan described her work: “There aren't many places to eat out in the Unseen World, but hit the Woods and eventually you'll find Louwheeze's Malt Shoppe. No denizen of dark places can resist the luscious flavour of cauldron-fresh cockroach-cream and worm Eye-Scream! Treat yourself, you won't regret it... just don't forget to leave her a tip.”

    Here’s the interview between Morrigan and Fox Renderfarm.

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Morrigan, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Morrigan: I am a happy hobbyist in digital art from Alberta, Canada. I live in a small town, where usually there really isn’t much to do – even before COVID-19! I actually have more work, now, since all my children are now at home for school which means I am a teacher by day as well as working part-time as a librarian. Computer art gets what’s left of me.

    Fox Renderfarm: Though it’s not the first time you win the contest on Renderosity, how do you feel about being the 3rd place winner of the Renderosity 2020 3D Halloween Contest this year?

    Morrigan: I am very pleased to have won third place; Halloween pictures aren’t something I am very good at. It was an exciting contest because there were so many interesting entries!

    Fox Renderfarm: What is the inspiration for your work Ya Want Two Scoops, Sweetheart?

    Morrigan: I think my inspiration was the waitress from The Emperor’s New Groove, which I had just re-watched recently with my son. It was her voice that kept whispering in my ear!

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work?

    Morrigan: The piece took about three days – I was quite enthusiastic about it, so I kept sneaking away to work on it. The children are very supportive of my hobby, and would bring their work into my room so they could talk to me about school while I fiddled with the picture.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Morrigan: Difficulties... well, for whatever reason, I was having a problem with the material for her eyes, and no matter what I did they would only render white. In the end, I just accepted it and moved on, using hand-painting to bring them to life in postwork.

    Fox Renderfarm: Since you often share your CG works in the community, and also participate in CG contests, what is the biggest gain in your CG art journey?

    Morrigan: I think my biggest gain is the feedback I get from the community. I find that if I look at my pieces too long I only see the flaws, or the things I wish I was able to do differently. My style is not photo-realistic as so many other people’s are, and I wonder often if anyone else out there will like the results from my choices. Overall just a few kind words (or 3rd place!) is enough to make me continue to share what I do.

    Good Horse Goes to War © Morrigan Flebotte

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you tell us how you improve your CG skills?

    Morrigan: My learning style is quite random! I start with an idea, then enter negotiations with my software and my knowledge to see how far I can get before I either have to compromise or manage to discover something new or approach my problem a different way. Occasionally I will find a Youtube video that helps or win a new piece of software that opens up new possibilities.

    Hatchling © Morrigan Flebotte

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Morrigan: The beauty of computer graphics is that with work anyone can bring an idea to life and share a vision with hundreds of other people. It’s amazing and fun!


    Creating an Amazing CGI Project Staged at Hagia Sophia in ZBrush

    2020-11-20

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    On October 30th, Fox Renderfarm announced the winner of our Halloween Treat, Kay John Yim, a Chartered Architect based in London, specializing in Architectural Visualization/CGI.

    His 3D Trick Art “Ritual” is an amazing CGI project staged at Hagia Sophia, standing out for its excellent composition and lighting.

    Ritual © Kay John Yim

    Clay render © Kay John Yim

    Here’s the interview between John and the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider Fox Renderfarm, in which he talked about how he made the wonderful render.

    • Kay John Yim
    • Chartered Architect based in London
    • From: Hong Kong
    • ArtStation:

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi, John! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    John: Sure! I am a Chartered Architect based in London, specializing in Architectural Visualization/CGI. As a 3D enthusiast growing up in Hong Kong, I always have an extreme admiration for people working in the film and game industries – for all the surreal photographic and photo-realistic CG contents they produce.

    It was only until the recent COVID-19 lock-down that I began exploring 3D techniques outside of the realm of architecture – creature sculpting & grooming, character design and cloth simulation for instance. I started working on personal projects to experiment with colors and lighting in addition to learning new techniques.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning Fox Renderfarm's Halloween Treat with your excellent 3D Trick Art “Ritual”, how do you feel about that?

    John: Thank you! I feel honored to have won the Halloween Treat, and I look forward to participating in future Fox Renderfarm render challenges!

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork “Ritual”?

    John: My intention was to create an atmospheric image with a narrative open for imagination. “Ritual”, like many of my personal CG projects, was built upon real locations - which in this case was the interior of the Hagia Sophia. Having been constructed and retrofitted as both a mosque and a church over the course of 1,500 years, I found the unique fusion of Christian and Islamic elements at the Hagia Sophia mesmerizing and enigmatic, hence the perfect backdrop for storytelling.

    The character was inspired by a YouTuber “Taylor R” - who introduced me to Japanese Lolita fashion, a fashion style of which I found formal yet very suiting for my intention.

    I Was A LOLITA For A Day (Modelling in Japan)

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    John: It took me about a week to finish, during which I spent most of the time testing different color palettes and lighting ideas.

    Fox Renderfarm: The lighting is excellent, feeling like in a wonderland. How did you design the lighting?

    John: Thanks! I took inspiration from the John Wick movies – starting with complementary colors and generally shifting the color spectrum to arrive at a convincing lighting & color combination.

    John Wick (2014) - Official Trailer - Keanu Reeves

    I used candles and chandeliers as the primary light sources, while avoiding CG fake lights. I personally believe realistic lighting setups produce more believable and relatable renderings, regardless of whether it is a fantasy or photo-real quality that I am after.

    Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the stylized character? Any references?

    John: The character was blocked out in C4D and sculpted in ZBrush, in reference to Gothic Lolita Dresses – modern adaptations of Gothic Victorian Fashion.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    John: Framing was probably the most challenging – as the character and the architecture vary quite a lot in scale, it was difficult to position the camera such that they were both readable while not competing for focus.

    My solution was to use depth of field to separate the character’s silhouette from the backdrop, at the same time re-emphasizing the sense of space by carefully positioning chandeliers, candles and blue ambient light throughout.

    Fox Renderfarm: Technically and visually, which is your favorite part? And why?

    John: My favorite part is the depth of field and the bokeh that comes along with it– they add extra depth to the image and create additional room for imagination.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    John: I got into CG rendering back when I was studying architecture in University, where everyone has to present architectural concepts with renderings on top of conventional 2D drawings. CAD softwares like Rhino, AutoCAD and Revit were essential tools of trade within the architectural industry, tools that I have been using for over 6,7 years until I struggled with the limitations of rendering packages available at the time.

    C4D ended up being my choice for work for its stability and ease of use for animation/motion graphics. Since then I have been using C4D and Redshift as my primary rendering/modeling tool for both work (architectural visualization) and personal projects.

    I am constantly experimenting with new softwares to up my quality and efficiency – my current passion lies in Houdini 18.5 and the procedural magic that it empowers!

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?

    John: For someone getting into C4D and Redshift, “Greyscalegorilla” is a great place to start. Beyond that, I think understanding 3D itself (concept of UV, VFX pipelines etc.) is much more important than learning what a particular button does, as modern software is advancing so quickly nowadays. “Hugo's Desk” has great videos that explain the in and outs of CG renderings in a VFX pipeline.

    Apart from understanding the technicality of 3D, studying photography and cinematography can definitely go a long way - I think I personally learn more about rendering by watching movies than watching tutorials, back when C4D Redshift was in beta stage.

    Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? If yes, how do you like it?

    John: Yes, I have used Fox Renderfarm recently for a personal project – I really like it as I think it has one of the most user-friendly UIs among the multiple render-farm services I have used. The support I get is also really responsive and helpful!

    Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?

    John: I will be releasing CG art regularly – please follow me along with my CG journey on my social media channels! :)

    Instagram: _johnyim/

    Facebook:


    How to Animate the Shortage of Toilet Paper During Pandemic in a Funny Way

    2020-11-18

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    During the pandemic, the shortage of toilet paper must be one of the hot topics in the public.

    A funny animated MV, the official video for Lil DooDoo's single "2020", reflects the shortage of toilet paper in a humorous way. The video is directed by Lil DooDoo, animated by Ricky San E, who is also the September winner of FGT Art, a platform encouraging all artists to share their artworks with the CG community which are rendered with Fox Renderfarm.

    Ricky appraised Lil DooDoo as a potential musician, so this cooperation gave him the chance to invest in Lil DooDoo’s music career. ‘’It would be like helping the Beatles record their first record before they took off. “ Ricky published the music video on his YouTube channel and said.

    Graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design, Ricky has interned at Anima Estudios and Blizzard, done some freelance for Gucci / PinkSalt Milan, and he is working at Avalanche WB currently. In this exclusive interview, he talked about how he made the amazing MV.

    • Ricky San E
    • CG Artist
    • YouTube:

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Ricky, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Ricky: Absolutely, it’s my pleasure and honor. I’m a former, very unsuccessful stand up comedian that turned to animation as a medium to tell jokes and entertain.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about being the September winner of FGT Art?

    Ricky: Oh it’s amazing! I am extremely honored and honestly super happy that I found this service. Honestly, Fox Renderfarm was a pivotal tool in making this music video. I had mostly been making 2D animations for YouTube, this was the first 3D animation I’ve made in my free time after leaving college, and I sort of forgot how long rendering can take. If I had tried to render the project locally, it wouldn’t even be finished today. Fox Renderfarm made it possible to finish this animation.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work? And what software and plugins did you use?

    Ricky: Honestly, the biggest limitation of this project was time. Since this project was made after business hours, I only had the weekends and about two hours during the week to work on it. I truly have to give my project coordinator Emily Rives a shout-out. She made a schedule with bids for each shot and step of the pipeline and kept things on track to make sure the project could get done in time. She was also a great producer by shutting things down that wouldn’t have been possible for me to achieve in time. For example, I used Maya and Arnold to render, there is a feature in the Arnold renderer called atmospheric volume. I initially had the intent to render with this feature turned on, however rendering a single frame with this feature turned on increases render times exponentially, so I was looking at a couple of extra hours of render time per frame. I simply didn’t have the budget or time for that, so instead the smoke was comped on post using DaVinci Resolve. The final image ended up looking cleaner and I had greater control as to what I wanted the smoke to be doing. The whole project took about 4 months.

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us about the pipeline of the project?

    Ricky: Of course, I started by modeling the character and the set. Once I had the character rigged and textured, I proceeded to shoot a reference animatic where I acted out the music video. This allowed me to start working on the edit and allowed production to know how many shots were going to be in the final edit and how much time could realistically be spent on each shot.

    I then worked on layout, doing a whole layout pass on each shot before moving to animation to achieve consistency. I then moved to animation. Having a great schedule was great to make sure how much time I could spend on each shot for each step of the pipeline. I honestly can animate better than I did for this music video, but I needed to work with time constraints due to the nature of the project to achieve the minimum viable product. Once I had the animation in spline and looked somewhat okay, I created a couple of scripts to automate some overlap to give the illusion of a second animation pass. Because the character had Xgen, I needed to export the final animation as an Alembic Cache. I created a couple of scripts that made this pipeline faster. One script queried the name of the animation file “shot_0010” for example and created an alembic cache with that specific name saved to a subfolder by the same name in the cache project folder. I then had another script that would un-reference the character rig, brought in the correct cache by looking at the name of that shot, (which saved a lot of time digging through directories), brought in the final shaders as a reference and assigned said shaders to the alembic cache all with the click of a button. Then I only needed to import Xgen, dynamics, and render templates that I created to all shots and throw a hero light to help the character pop. The set file all the other lights and were the same across all shots. I used Arnold Standins for all the toilet paper sets to optimize performance.

    Fox Renderfarm: The rapper in the MV is so cute and cool, and there are many creative “TP productions”, could you tell us how you make them?

    Ricky: Thank you so much, I tried to make him cuter than he is in real life haha. For sure, I created a couple of sets organized in different ways and exported them as Arnold Standins. This allowed me to just duplicate the standins and spread them around the hangar without having to worry about hundreds of thousands of polygons slowing down Maya. For the other TP creations like the House, it was a combination of using cloth sim to drape the toilet paper on them as well as some custom posing that I did through a custom lattice toilet paper rig that I created.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Ricky: I ran into some issues with XGen and namespace compatibility issues using XGen. I used the geo cache approach and imported the geo cache without a namespace to get it to work. I feel like doing this actually helped renders be faster and the files be less dense since there was no rig and no rig evaluation during the frames.

    Fox Renderfarm: The MV shows an interesting song about the epidemic in 2020, does COVID-19 affect your work and creation?

    Ricky: It was heavily inspired by current times and these weird times we are all experiencing. I wanted to look at the funny side of things, I think the fact that we had a toilet paper shortage was kind of funny and the idea of people hoarding toilet paper was funny to me. I imagined people will be using toilet paper that they hoarded in 2020 for years to come. I think it would’ve been smarter for Lil DooDoo to write a song about a different and more relevant aspect of the covid experience, I think the toilet paper shortage didn’t last as long as he thought, but oh well.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services?

    Ricky: I think it’s great. I love animating, it’s both a career and a hobby for me. The hardest pill to swallow after graduating was losing access to the school’s render farms, which meant that I would either have to be rich (which I’m not) and buy multiple computers or be okay with playblasts, but I care about the final product not just the animation so that wasn’t really an option. Finding Fox Renderfarm cloud was refreshing, it truly solves this big CG artist need of having affordable, fast and secure access to farm rendering. I was also blown away by the amazing customer service. Truly impressed.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Ricky: I would say “hey, you can make films now, just yourself. You now have access to the necessary computing power to render things. Thanks to Fox Renderfarm.” Also, “stay safe, have fun, keep staring at computers.”


    How to Create a Realistic Mushroom House in Blender

    2020-11-09

    Top News

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    The 18th CG Boost Challenge with the topic “Mushroom House” were successfully held with 233 submissions which show us all kinds of fairy tales with innocence and romance.

    Mushroom village © Felipe Del Rio

    With the strong modelling and great composition with the strong depth of field, Mushroom Village, made by Felipe Del Rio, won the first place of the challenge. It took Felipe around 2 weeks to finish the work between work and college tasks, which was created by using Blender, Cycles and Substance Designer. “It's a fantastic, vast yet microscopic world,” the jury said about the work.

    Here’s the interview between Felipe and the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider Fox Renderfarm, in which he talked about how he made the wonderful mushroom model and the background.

    Felipe Del Rio3D Freelancer ArtistFrom: BrazilArtstation:

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Felipe! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Felipe: Hi, thank you for having me! My name is Felipe Del Rio, I’m a 3D artist from Brazil, currently working as a freelancer and I’m also a design student at São Paulo State University.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning first place in the Mushroom House Challenge?

    Felipe: I felt really happy and surprised because there was a lot of good artworks. And these kinds of recognition always make us motivated to keep learning and making 3D too. Also, I can’t wait to use the prizes on my future projects, so I think it’s double motivation!

    Fox Renderfarm: What inspired you to come out with the idea of making the work Mushroom village?

    Felipe: When I heard about the challenge and the theme, I immediately thought about creating a place I would like to live in, with a very peaceful mood by the river, magical, but relatable. As the mushroom house theme already has a bit of this magical mood, I wanted to make some mundane elements too like buckets on the ground and laundry hanging on clotheslines to make it more real-life relatable, so I came with the village ideia.

    Fox Renderfarm: The mushroom village looks realistic and cute, could you tell us how you make the model and texture of the mushroom?

    Felipe: I decided to take a procedural workflow for the mushrooms because it would be easier than sculpting if I had to change how they look later in the process and also because I thought it would be a cool challenge and opportunity to explore this kind of process.

    So, I started with a simple base for the mushrooms with little polygons and I subdivided and added different displace textures for each part. Those textures were made in Substance Designer, when I had the details done with the displaces, I used these maps to generate the color maps too.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Felipe: The blurred background because it costs some time to render properly. So making the adjustments, adding the plants and seeing how it looked was a bit challenging, but I decided to work on it early in the process, even before working on the mushrooms, so I wasn't running against the clock and I had more time to wait for the renders and making the adjustments until I was happy with the result.

    Fox Renderfarm: What is the biggest advantage of Blender for you in 3D creation?

    Felipe: I guess Blender being free kept my attention when I started learning 3D, because those softwares tends to be expensive. And even though I've been learning 3D for some years and I have tested a lot of different softwares, Blender keeps being my favorite. Its development keeps growing and everybody can participate because Blender is open source, you have a strong and active community with a bunch of great projects around the world and more and more studios are including Blender in its workflow, just good news!

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly share with us your education and work experience along your CG journey?

    Felipe: I started learning 3D after I got curious about how 3D animated movies were made and I began watching online tutorials. My dream was creating an animated short film, I got lost how many times I tried to create a short alone and I failed because I had no idea how hard it is for one single person to make a film, even if it's just 1 minute long. But I tried a lot of times and I learned a lot of things, but it was just a hobby at that time.

    In high school, I decided I wanted to work with digital art and I became a graphic design student at São Paulo State University. In the first year I created my first animated short film “CICLO” for a sociology class, I knew it had to be a really simple animation because I didn’t have so much time and I already knew from my past experience how hard is to make a whole short alone, but this time I managed to finish it and for my surprise I got it selected for some animation festival like the Anima Mundi from Brazil and Anima Latina from Argentina, also the Suzanne Festival in the Blender Conference.

    The CGMeetup YouTube Channel also posted my short after I shared it and now it has about 8 million views which is something I never expected. After that, I was really motivated to keep learning 3D and I started getting my first commissions, now I’m fully working as a 3D freelancer artist and finishing my graduation.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Felipe: Learning CG doesn’t have to be frustrating and we should enjoy the process. If you think your art isn’t perfect, it only means you have a good aesthetic sense and your skills didn't reach it yet, but it's part of the process and that's what keeps us getting better, so enjoy it and have fun!

    Not the right gift © Felipe Del Rio


    FGT3D Santa’s New Ride Challenge is Online Now!

    2020-11-04

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm

    As Christmas is coming soon, FGT3D Santa’s New Ride Challenge is now open for submissions! We would like to invite CG artists around the world to submit their artworks and show their CG talents.

    Fox’s Got Talent 3D Challenge (FGT3D Challenge), organized by your TPN-Accredited CPU/GPU cloud rendering services Fox Renderfarm, is a Render Challenge for 3D Artists to shine their talents and win great prizes!

    The theme of the 3rd FGT3D Challenge is Santa’s New Ride. As usual, Santa Claus is on the way to deliver Christmas gifts again this winter. But Santa is coming a different way this year, he may ride a motorcycle, may drive a Lamborghini, or even get on a rocket! Please create your 3D render and show Santa’s new ride in your mind.

    Time

    Time for entries:November 2nd - December 30th, 2020 (UTC+8)

    Winners announcement time:January 8th, 2021 (UTC+8)

    Prizes

    6 artworks will be selected and awarded!

    1st Place Winner

    Total prize value $5655.88

    • XP-PEN Artist 13.3 pro Festival Version x1
    • Corona Renderer 1 year license x1
    • Redshift $500 coupon code
    • Fox Renderfarm $500 Render Coupon
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer pro 1-year license x1
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1
    • Textures.com 1 year subscription with 2500 credits per month
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month
    • Friendly Shade 32K resolution Bundle x1
    • Graswald Pro Personal license x1

    2nd Place Winner

    Total prize value $2893.88

    • XP-PEN Deco Pro M x1
    • Corona Renderer 6 months license x1
    • Redshift $300 coupon code
    • Fox Renderfarm $300 Render Coupon
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer 50TB (pay as you go edition)
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1
    • Textures.com 2500 credit pack ×1
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month
    • Friendly Shade 16K resolution Bundle x1
    • Graswald Pro Personal license x1

    3rd Place Winner

    Total prize value $1615.48

    • XP-PEN Deco 01 V2 x1
    • Corona Renderer 3 months license x1
    • Redshift $200 coupon code
    • Fox Renderfarm $200 Render Coupon
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer 10TB (pay as you go edition)
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1
    • Textures.com 1000 credit pack ×1
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month
    • Friendly Shade 8k resolution Bundle x1
    • Graswald Pro Personal license x1

    Honorable Mention x 3

    Total prize value $471.49 for each

    • Corona Renderer 1 month license x1 for each
    • Redshift $100 coupon code for each
    • Fox Renderfarm $100 Render Coupon for each
    • Raysync cloud account 200GB download traffic for each
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1 for each
    • Textures.com 500 credit pack ×1 for each
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month for each
    • Friendly Shade 8K Single texture for each
    • Graswald Personal license x1 for each

    Besides, the winning artworks will gain a great amount of exposure and publicity, including:

    • Interview with Fox Renderfarm
    • Advertisement and promotion on our official website, social media accounts, and newsletters.

    How to submit

    Send your artwork to fgt3d@foxrenderfarm.com with your name and the name of the work.

    Rules

    • Your entry must relate to the challenge’s theme (we strongly encourage you to set your imagination free)
    • Your entry must be a 3D rendered image, 2D or concept art is not allowed
    • Your entry can be created by one artist or a group
    • There’s no limitation on styles and the choices of software and plugins
    • Your entry must be original art created specifically for the challenge (no existing projects)
    • Minimal use of third party assets is allowed, as long as they are not the main focus of your scene (third party textures and materials are not included in this rule and can be used freely)
    • Feel free to enhance your rendering
    • Images that depict hate, racism, sexism or other discriminatory factors are not allowed
    • Works must be submitted before the deadline

    Sponsors

    The prizes are provided by our awesome sponsors, including:

    • XP-PEN - XP-PEN means infinite possibility, we are committed to offering superior graphics tablets, pen display monitors and related accessories to our customers.
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer - Fast file transfer solutions with reliability and security.
    • Corona Renderer - Known for its ease of use, power, and affordability, Corona Renderer 6 is available for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D.
    • Redshift - An award-winning, production ready GPU renderer for fast 3D rendering.
    • TopoGun - A stand-alone resurfacing and maps baking application.
    • Textures.com - A website that offers digital pictures of all sorts of materials.
    • Texturebox - Making great textures for free and premium at a low cost.
    • Friendly Shade - High-quality textures for 3D artists.
    • Graswald - The best way to create nature in Blender.

    Judges

    For this competition, we have invited professionals in the CG industry as our judges to ensure the fairness and professionalism of the competition.

    Here's the list of our jury:

    • Ben Cheung - Vice President of Fox Renderfarm
    • Kariem Saleh - Filmmaker and Character Animator
    • Miho Aoki - Associate Professor of Computer Art, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • Julius Harling - Founder of Graswald
    • Tom Grimes - Marketing and Community Specialist of Corona Renderer
    • Frank WANG Yefeng - Media Artist / Assistant Professor of Digital Media Curriculum, Art Department, Rhode Island College
    • Nicolas Burtnyk - CEO of Redshift

    Inspiration

    Here are some references for you, gathered from Artstation.

    Santa´s new sleigh © Jonte Löfgren

    Santa’s Ride © Enrico Tribbia

    Santa’s Ride © Shahadat Hossain

    We are looking forward to your participation. Come to shine your talent and great prizes are waiting for you! Let's celebrate a special Christmas!


    How to Make a Cuddly Protector for Sweet Dreams in Maya

    2020-10-29

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Cuddly Protector © Jeffrey Frias

    FGT3D “Hero” Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June and sponsored by our awesome sponsors, including TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, ProductionCrate, Textures.com, Texturebox and Marmoset. In September, twelve finalists were received votes by our jury and three winners were picked! Thank everyone for participating!

    And the second place winner is Jeffrey Frias. Congratulations! His artwork, Cuddly Protector boasts of its good idea, perfect setting, narrative lighting, stimulating the imagination of audiences.

    Here’s the interview between our friend Jeffery and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how he created this wonderful 3D render.

    • Jeffrey Frias
    • From:Germany
    • Junior 3D Artist at PIXOMONDO
    • Artwork Caption: “Made for sweet dreams.”

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Jeffrey! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Jeffrey: My Name is Jeffrey Frias and I am a 3D Artist at Pixomondo Stuttgart, Germany.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 2nd place in the FGT3D Hero Challenge, how do you feel about that?

    Jeffrey: I'm very happy that I won 2nd Place, but also a bit disappointed that I didn't get 1st place, but given that it was a challenge with many great competitors, it was to be expected that there was no guarantee of being 1st, let alone one of the winners. so in the end i'm just glad to have won too.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work, Cuddly Protector ?

    Jeffrey: In total, about a week but stretched out through a month because of other stuff.

    Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use to finish the artwork?

    Jeffrey: I mainly used Maya for layout and modeling and a mix of Substance Painter and Photoshop for the Textures. Then I used V-Ray for lighting and as my main renderer.

    Fox Renderfarm: In terms of storytelling, this work stimulates the audience’s imagination. What’s the inspiration behind?

    Jeffrey: I didn't want to go the obvious route of Superheroes so I took inspiration in the fact that most children, to be able to properly sleep without worries or be scared during the night, need to have their special object or environment to comfort them.

    Be it a special pillow, their dog besides them, parents telling a story first, have a glass of milk etc., it would always ease them and help them fall asleep. And with that i decided to use a teddy bear as my main protagonist to envision that.

    Fox Renderfarm: The narrative lighting creates a horrible atmosphere that children can accept. The main light outside the window guides the audience to pay attention to the little bear while the lamp leads to the monster behind the door. How did you make them? Any references?

    Jeffrey: I did create those 2 specific lights to attract attention to both the bear and the monsters, just to make them stand out more as focus points. i did spend a bit of time in deciding what the light sources for each of them should be, at first it was gonna be the lamp for the bear and the outside floor light behind the door for the monster, but it didn't quite fit right for the monster since it should come out from the darkness, so i decided to use the lamp instead for the monster and since the moon gives off a nice quite bluish light from it, I used that instead for the bear, rather than use it only to fill the scene. In the end, it was a good decision, since it also gave me the chance to use the moonlight as a volume ray to better place the bear upfront.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Jeffrey: I didn't really have any problems with anything.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?

    Jeffrey: I wouldn't say artist or artwork, but the movie Monster Inc. was a big inspiration for me, while also serving as Base Concept that i built my design on.

    Monsters, Inc. 3D Trailer © Pixar

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    Jeffrey: I started my 3D Career by attending the PIXL VISN MEDIA ARTS ACADEMY in Cologne, Germany. I studied there for about 15 months. afterwards I started working at PIXOMONDO Stuttgart in January 2019 and have been there until now.

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?

    Jeffrey: Everyone has their own reasons and preferences when it comes to 3D as I learned it in the industry, some only do it during work and there are also others who really enjoy doing it even after work. I'd say I’m one of the latter, since even after work, the first thing I do is sit again in front of my PC and keep working on my personal 3D Projects. I've learned a lot by just doing my own stuff in my spare time which in turn helps me with my tasks at work.

    Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? If yes, how do you like it?

    Jeffrey: I love it. It's saved me a lot of render time.

    Back in my time at PIXL VISN, it also saved me multiple times from tight deadlines and late submissions.

    I've tried other render farms back then, but the overall experience with Fox Renderfarm is something that always pulled me back to it and that's why it's my preferred renderfarm. Doesn't matter what time it is, the support is always ready to help and actually does fix the problems within minutes of asking.

    Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?

    Jeffrey: Try and join 3D Challenges/ Contests when you get the chance, it not only motivates you because of the prizes, but it also helps you better define and speed up your own workflow and skills with the deadline.


    How to Create a CG Scene in Norman Rockwell Style in Blender

    2020-10-15

    Trending

    Art Competitions

    Heroes are Everywhere © Akhil Alukkaran

    FGT3D “Hero” challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June and sponsored by our awesome sponsors, including TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, ProductionCrate, Textures.com, Texturebox and Marmoset. In September, twelve finalists were received votes by our jury and three winners were picked! Thank everyone for participating!

    And the first place winner is Akhil Alukkaran. Congratulations! His artwork, Heroes are Everywhere stands out for its strong composition and amazing storytelling, conveying the concept of what makes a hero in one of the purest forms.

    Fox Renderfarm is so glad to have an interview with Akhil. What’s the story behind while creating this artwork? Let’s figure it out together!

    • Akhil Alukkaran
    • 3D Artist
    • From: Kerala, India
    • Artwork Caption: “What makes a hero? It doesn't always have to be something great, even a small act of kindness can also be considered heroic, even if it is just a good thought it shows that there is a hero in you. Heroes are everywhere, you just have to look closer.”

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Akhil! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Akhil: I am really glad to have the opportunity given by Fox Renderfarm to share my experience, approach and vision with the making of ‘Heroes are everywhere’.

    Well... to start with, my name is Akhil. I am 25 years old and I am from Kerala, India. I am a freelance 3d artist and soon to be an Architecture graduate. It's been two years since I started working with 3d and I'm still trying to improve and learn. I used to work with sketchup and V ray, mostly Archviz. Recently I also included Blender in my workflow.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the FGT3D Hero Challenge, how do you feel about that?

    Akhil: Thank you. Actually it felt good. I was looking for opportunities to do something nice, that's when I got to know about this particular challenge, so I thought of participating. However I wasn't sure about winning this one. My knowledge was limited, so if i needed to do something great I had to learn so many things. This taught me so many things and inspired me as well.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    Akhil: I took about a month and half to finish this work. I had other things to do as well so I worked whenever I got time. This work needed a lot of patience, since I was doing most of the process for the first time. But I managed to get inspiration from my friends.

    Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use to finish the artwork, Heroes are everywhere?

    Akhil: Most of the work was done in Blender, and also used photoshop for post processing. Also used ‘F spy’ addon for camera matching in the beginning stage. For the character creation I used reality capture and meshroom.

    Fox Renderfarm: This artwork conveys the concept of what makes a hero in one of the purest forms. What’s the inspiration behind?

    Akhil: When I got to know the Theme was ‘Hero’ I thought of so many things to work with. Every concept that i came up with was about doing something great and epic. Somehow I ‘wondered what makes a hero?’ Is it just about doing something great or doing something humanly impossible? We also do have a lot of real life heroes, however in the end I decided to look at it in a different perspective. That's when I decided to do something subtle but have a good story inside it and I wrote like this.

    “What makes a hero? It doesn't always have to be something great, even a small act of kindness can also be considered heroic, even if it is just a good thought it shows that there is a hero in you. Heroes are everywhere, you just have to look closer.”

    I was not confident about the concept in the beginning, but now it seems right for me.

    Fox Renderfarm: The amazing work has strong composition, and lovely lightning. How did you make them? Any references?

    Akhil: In the beginning itself i had a clear idea how the environment should be and about the main characters of the scene except the background characters which i decided to add in the final stage. So I gathered some reference images for the environment from pinterest and google and compiled it as a Concept board.

    Later I chose one particular photograph to be the base for my environment. Using F spy addon I matched the camera and exported it to blender so that i could build upon it. The buildings were just the image projected onto simple base planes which then modeled simply to have a bit of 3 dimensionality. I struggled a little with UV mapping. Since I had a clear picture about the composition in the beginning itself, I only tried to work on the area which would be seen in the final image.

    In the figure the road texture and puddles were added later in the finishing stage.

    I tried a different lighting setup in the beginning itself. Earlier it was just meant to be a night scene but later felt like doing a daytime scene and came up with a lighting which I felt was good. The lighting setup was simple. I used an hdri image as the base for the ambient light and used a simple sun lamp.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Akhil: I wanted this work to be as realistic as possible, but I didn't know how to do that. Especially the main characters, the boy and the dog pups. Even before working on the environment, I started to work on the dog’s 3d model. I used a low poly base mesh and tried to sculpt details and pose it in Blender. It didn’t work out, well it was fine but wasn’t that realistic. Also I wasn’t comfortable with posing it, so I left it midway and thought of doing something later. After working on the environment again I started to work on the dogs again. This time I tried something different. I chose a reference image for the dog puppies and using ‘pifuhd’ i created a base mesh and later projected the same image on the mesh and sculpted the details. It was looking decent, so I decided to use them in the final scene.

    But the main problem was to create the human characters. I thought of doing something with character creator software but it would take so much time for me to achieve a good result. So I decided to 3d scan the characters. So I took photos of my nephew and created a 3d scan with reality capture. I also used Meshroom but since my photo quality was not good, it didn’t give me a good result. However the process was a bit longer than I expected because of some error. So i had to do some experiments. After that I scanned my dad as well for the character in the background. The whole process took around one week and I was just learning. The resulted model wasn’t that great, so I sculpted the rest of the model and details later in Blender.

    The final image needed a lot of work, so the rest of the time I focused on individual props which I needed for filling up the scene.Most of them were modeled but a few of them were third-party assets.

    Finally the scene was almost done. Later it needed a little bit more tweaking. The smoke and rain added later in photoshop, since the attempt to simulate them inside Blender, took so much time.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?

    Akhil: It is hard to pick one. There are so many artists out there who are doing amazing works. I really do follow a lot of them and also learn from them. But for this particular work, I don’t know. I might have been inspired by some of them. In one of the jury comments they mentioned about ‘Norman Rockwell’. I have seen his amazing works before but that was a long time back. So really that was a good reference for me to learn from.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    Akhil: I am a self taught cg artist (actually in the process of being one). I am almost done with my Architecture degree. It's been two years since I started doing things in 3D, before that I didn’t even know how to model in SketchUp. Earlier works were done in SketchUp and V-Ray, those were mostly Archviz works. Last year I started to work more with Blender, and I always wanted to create larger worlds and tell stories through them and I am still learning.

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?

    Akhil: I really don’t know how to answer that. I am still struggling to find the right method to learn. Only thing which I do is that I work hard a lot and I try to learn from my mistakes and others’ as well.

    Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? If yes, how do you like it?

    Akhil: Yes, I have used Fox Renderfarm for some of my works. It seems quite fast and reliable. I am planning to use the service more in my workflow.

    Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?

    Akhil: I used to depend more on the tools which I am using. Also I limited myself with what I knew, but I realized there are plenty of ways you could achieve something. Most important thing is the idea in your mind and the passion which leads you to give that idea ‘life’. Keep learning......

    NOTE: Fox’s Got Talent campaign keeps going. Welcome to share your artwork rendered with Fox Renderfarm and be our next winner and win prizes! For more info


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