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Fractal Orange Wins 'Into the Future' 3D Challenge: A Stunning Depiction of a Robot in a Fast-Paced World

2023-12-06
Trending | Top News | CG Challenges
Fox Renderfarm Interview | 3D Art Competitions

Fractal Orange, also known as Hanna Loegering, triumphed in the polygoniq 3D challenge "Into the Future," securing first place with a stunning depiction of a lone robot in a fast-paced future world. Her winning piece "Missing" skillfully utilizes cg time-lapse to highlight this poignant narrative. Congratulations to Hanna! Fox Renderfarm as the industry's top cloud rendering service provider and render farm, was honored to sponsor this contest and interview Hanna.

Let’s explore Hanna's creative journey in crafting this technically impressive artwork in this interview.

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

Hanna: Thanks for having me. My name is Hanna. I’ve been in the creative industry since 2015 and I’m very fortunate to do what I love for work.

When I’m not at my computer you can find me swing dancing, at bible study, or playing overly complicated board games like Scythe and Twilight Imperium with my friends and family.

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

Hanna: Thanks! I’m honored to receive first place. I’m always looking to improve my work and it’s cool to see how I’ve grown from the days of holding crayons in my hands and I hope to keep pushing forward.

I love contests like this because it’s so inspiring to see different creators’ concepts, techniques, and artistic styles for the same prompt.

Winning piece "Missing"© Fractal Orange

Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us a bit about how you started "Fractal Orange"?What is the meaning behind this name?

Hanna: Post college I moved out of state to the amazing city of Fort Worth TX for a job at Serendipitous Films. I was first introduced to the idea of freelancing by the many freelancers that I worked with on set. I decided to move back to my home state of ND to be back with my family and working as a remote freelancer allowed me to do that.

I wanted a catchy name, so I just started mashing two different words together until I found something interesting that made sense for my business and personality. I liked "fractal" because I am constantly using fractal-based effects in After Effects and really enjoy creating procedural materials in Blender that often require some sort of fractal noise. I chose the color orange because in my mind, the decision to go freelance was a bold, risky, and exciting opportunity and I think the color orange represents that.

AIR•ER © Fractal Orange

Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your work "Missing"? How did you come up with this idea?

Hanna: I don’t know where my idea for this animation came from. Maybe it’s because I was feeling sad about the impending snow and cold weather and so the robot ended up sad as well.

I took part in pwnisher’s render challenges before and was blown away by the 5th place winner Anna on her Moving Meditations Challenge a year ago. She made an awesome time-lapse and I knew I wanted to learn that technique as well. The polygoniq challenge gave me the opportunity to finally try it out.

Moving Meditations Challenge © Anna

Dynamic Machines - Garage Style © Fractal Orange

My Friend Bear - Boss Fight © Fractal Orange

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

Hanna: I didn’t track my hours for this project (I probably should have). My best guess is 50 hours. I got an idea for the animation in the first half of the month but wasn’t able to work on it until a week before the contest deadline. The final render was 4 hours total (2 hours for each pass).

Since I knew I didn’t have much time to work on this, I used assets from Kitbash 3D, Pollygonic, and Mixamo. I also purchased Trash Kit which is an amazing add-on for, you guessed it, scattering trash.

I used Blender, After Effects, and Audition. I also used Adobe Firefly to generate the poster image of the boy and cleaned it up in Photoshop.

Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us how you use time-lapse to create the contrast between the robot and the background?

Hanna: There is definitely a contrast between how the robot moves and how the time-lapse crowd moves. Temporarily, It doesn't make sense. Either the crowd is moving really quickly or the robot is moving really slowly, but then he kicks the can and it rolls as if in real time. But that is the great part about animation, we can break the laws of physics!

The time-lapse crowd was intentionally used to create a sense of loneliness for the robot. The world keeps rushing on, not caring about the sad little robot.

Missing © Fractal Orange 

Fox Renderfarm: Why did you decide to make the crowd in the background partly transparent? And how did you achieve this texture?

Hanna: The robot is the star of the shot, so I didn’t want the crowd to distract from him. Initially, I tried decreasing the shutter speed to allow for more motion blur, but the crowd was still too distracting. I ended up rendering the entire animation twice: one render with the crowd and one without. Then I composed them and made the crowd partially transparent. So the time lapse isn’t physically correct, but I think it helps tell the story better.

Fox Renderfarm: How did you achieve the overall atmosphere through the use of colors, materials, and lighting setup in your work?

Hanna: This is a hard one. Throughout the entire process, I’m always thinking about the story and trying to make it more clear and I’m constantly tweaking things every step of the process.

The cyberpunk city aesthetic allows me to be a bit more free with the placement of my lights. I have a few points and spotlights that are just floating in space, but since there are so many neon signs and possible light sources, I can cheat a bit.

I also do a bit of color correction and effects in posts.

Fox Renderfarm: Are there any challenges that you encountered during the process of creation? If so, how did you overcome them?

Hanna: One of my favorite parts of working in 3D is setting up the scene with the lights and materials and blocking everything out. Character animation is more difficult for me, but my story called for the robot to walk. For some reason, I am just not good at walking cycles. To make it easier on myself, I decided to give the robot an injured foot. This way the walk does not have to be symmetrical and precise. Because his foot is broken, there can be a bit of jank in the walk. I also found some great references to BD-1 from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Walking with a Broken Foot.

BD-1, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order © Respawn Entertainment

BD-1, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order © Respawn Entertainment

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

Hanna: There are several moments in the pipeline that I enjoyed. I do a lot of test renders (a still or entire sequence) to reassure myself that I’m on the right track and it’s just a great feeling seeing the whole thing come together in such a short time.

I think one of my favorite parts was animating the can. I hand-animated it and used a slight noise modifier on the Z axis to make it seem like it was rolling on bumpy pavement. I like doing little physics-based animation like that. It would have been far too finicky for me to simulate it rolling in such a specific way anyway.

I also enjoyed doing the sound design. When I was testing music tracks, I couldn’t help laughing out loud. One of the tracks was so depressingly dramatic, It was like the robot was part of a soap opera. Needless to say, that one didn’t make the cut.

Fox Renderfarm: Any favorite artworks or artists?

Hanna: This is a hard one. There are SO many amazing animations and creations out there. Some of the ones that come to mind right away are the Spider-Verse films and the Arcane series. I also really like the work of concept artist Sergio Castaneda.

Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse © Marvel

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse © Marvel

Arcane © Riot Games

Arcane © Riot Games

Concept Artist Sergio Castaneda's Artstation

Concept Artist Sergio Castaneda's Artstation

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

Hanna: I have never used Fox Renderfarm or any other render services before. I have a pretty good GPU that I rely on, but I could see render farm services being more important in my pipeline if I start creating longer-form animations.

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

Hanna’s social media:

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