What Makes Rigging Natural and Vivid? Discussion with Miria Kutzner, Excellent Graduate from PIXL VISN
Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is deeply committed to supporting education and wishes to contribute to the development of the CG industry. We are so proud to form cooperation with PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy and offer its students an affordable pricing scheme to support educational purposes.
Besides, we’ve talked with numerous excellent students who graduated from PIXL VISN. They shared what they’ve learned and how they benefited from their education in PIXL VISN.
Today, we are so glad to start sharing with Miria Kutzner, a Rigging Artist. She showed her perspective on rigging to us with her artworks created during her study, what she thinks are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have career-vise and more.
· Miria Kutzner
· Rigging Artist
· The Rookies: https://www.therookies.co/u/miriakutzner
Fox Renderfarm: Hi Miria, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Miria: Hi, sure, thank you for having me! My name is Miria and I’m 21 years old. I’m from Germany where I studied 3D Animation and VFX after completing my A-Levels.
Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry? And how did you enroll in PIXL VISN media arts academy? Could you share with us your education and working experience in the CG industry?
Miria: I’ve always wanted to work in a creative field for movies or video games. Originally, since I visited a music school, I wanted to enter that field, but a friend of our family recommended PIXL VISN to me. So I went to the Open Day and I immediately knew I wanted to become a 3D Artist.
I took part in the workshop that PIXL VISN offers and applied right after. After my interview with them, I got accepted.
My experience at PIXL VISN was great, I’ve met amazing people and learned so many new things from great teachers who are currently working in the industry. The learning experience was pretty intense because the duration of the education was only fifteen months but that helped me strengthen my knowledge.
Cyborg Character © Miria Kutzner, Pascal Kuhn
Fox Renderfarm: What are the most important things you’ve learned in PIXL VISN, technically and career-vice? And what’s your most unforgettable experience in PIXL VISN?
Miria: Career-wise I’ve learned that being a reliable team member is really important. Luckily, we got a lot of practical experience in that, because we often did group projects during our education.
Because the education was relatively short, I‘ve learned to work quickly and efficiently, which also came in handy in our mid and end terms.
The most unforgettable thing for me was handing in my mid or end-term at the end of the project week. Handing in my project after 7 days of hard work was a nice and rewarding feeling and looking back on those 7 days, I’ve probably learned the most in this period of time.
Another thing I’m really glad I experienced is learning with and from my colleagues. The school was open all day long until late at night and I really liked staying in school for the entire day to try new things with my colleagues and pushing each other creatively.
Midterm project © Miria Kutzner
End Term project © Miria Kutzner
Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your usual creative process, from forming the concept to the final rendering?
Miria: I’m going to explain my usual process with my first Demo Reel project. I love creating projects with concepts made by other artists (of course with asking permission), so I went to ArtStation and found a great concept by Panos Cheliotis.
Omnivore concept © Panos Cheliotis
Since it is a naked bird/chicken kind of creature, I collected references from chicken anatomy and skin, bones, eagle claws and more.
With these, I sculpted the creature, which was actually my very first sculpt. Then I retopologized it, created the UV’s and started rigging the creature.
Animation is actually not my specialty, so I worked together with a friend from school. After creating the first version of my rig, he started animating it. While constantly staying in touch with him, I updated and expanded the rig.
While he was animating and another friend from the school created the hair, I created the textures and thought about what scenery I wanted my creature to be in. Since a friend from school specialized in compositing, we thought about integrating it in mysterious woods. So we went to shoot some material for it and created our own HDRI from the same scene.
I loved how this project turned out but I wanted to do some kind of turntable to present the textures. I was talking about it to a friend who specialized in lighting/compositing and we had the idea to animate it to also present my rig.
One of the most helpful things was the constant feedback I received during the whole process and I’m really thankful for the great teamwork I experienced with this project.
Fox Renderfarm: According to your showreel and info online, we know that you are interested in and good at rigging. Why did you choose this area? And did you meet any difficulties in your creative process?
Miria: I chose rigging as my main focus because it was the most fun for me during my education. I love creating realistic deformations and especially facial rigging fascinates me, there are so many possibilities to add movement to the face! I also love the details and small movements you need to pay attention to like sticky lips for example.
Regarding difficulties, I think there was not one project where I didn’t meet any, even small difficulties. However, having problems in the process is part of the learning experience. There will always be something you didn’t think about or didn’t expect, but it feels great when you finally fix the issue and learn something new.
© Miria Kutzner, Simon Pinsdorf
Fox Renderfarm: What are the key factors in rigging that will make animation characters natural and lively (it would be perfect if you can raise an example)?
Miria: One of the key factors is actually creating a rig that is easy for the animator to use and understand, that way it is easy to create smooth and interesting animations.
I find it also important to give the animator multiple options and reduce the workload by implementing for example counter animations. This saves the animator a lot of time.
Facial Rig Brunette Girl © Miria Kutzner
Fox Renderfarm: How do you constantly improve yourself on 3D techniques and artistic sense?
Miria: I watch many tutorials or take part in online courses. Also, looking at artwork from others and the way they approached it helps a lot. What I think is really important for improving your skills is asking for feedback from people you look up to or colleagues. That always lets me discover areas I can improve in. I’m always grateful for good feedback.
Lizard head © Miria Kutzner
Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have in his/her career?
Miria: The most important qualities are reliability and giving and receiving feedback!
Being open to learning new things is also important because sometimes you have to accept tasks, which are outside of your usual specialty.
Pleakley © Miria Kutzner
Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step? And what’s your vision for your career path?
Miria: My next step is collecting experience in the industry and further educating myself in scripting and advanced rigging. My dream for my future career path is opening my own 3D studio!
Farewell © Gercek Taskala, Miria Kutzner, Pascal Kuhn
Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks and artists that inspire you the most?
Miria: I really love Zdzisław Beksiński’s paintings and the atmosphere he created in his art.
The same goes for David Romero. I found his art on ArtStation some time ago and I think his style is amazing!
© Zdzisław Beksiński
© David Romero
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you wanna share with CG enthusiasts?
Miria: Always seek out feedback! Sometimes when working on the same project for too long, you don’t see possible mistakes or things you could improve.
Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re not making any progress or even going backward. Remember that there is always someone, who can help you and that any problem can be solved, just don’t be afraid to ask for support, we’ll always be glad to help!
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