From Hollywood Movies to Rock Band, the Relentless Passion for Art of a VFX Artist
Fox Renderfarm never stops its way to seek for more opportunities to communicate, support and grow with CG artists in the community. So, at the beginning of this year, we came up with the idea of throwing a FGT3D Challenge to promote more excellent artists worldwide.
Along our bitter sweet preparation, we’ve talked to so many amazing people who showed their interests and encouragement, among which there’s one we’d like to thank sincerely is Mr. Marius André Jacobsen, an excellent VFX artist from Norway and also a good friend of Fox Renderfarm.
Showreel by Marius
Marius Andre Jacobsen
With nearly 20 years’ experience in the CG industry, Marius has been involved in numerous VFX productions in all walks of artworks - animation, commercials, and movies and TV series. Among his portfolio, some movies are even international successes.
With more and more communication, we discovered that Marius is more than just a 3D artist, and besides his professional techniques in 3D creation, what lies behind is his relentless creativity towards art. He is the former, vocal and VFX artist for his own rock band Mayfire Chronicles, with Rune Dahlen on guitar, Einar K. Five on mixing and sound production, and Baard Kolstad from Leperous for drum tracks.
Mayfire Chronicles and their music is where Marius expresses his love and passion for both CG and music. Their newly-released single ‘City of Ruins’ is the fruit of the coldness in Scandinavia and their fire-like pursuit for art that will never go out. Let’s feel the music and check out our contentful interview with Marius.
City of Ruins by Mayfire Chronicles
Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Marius! Thank you so much for accepting our interview. Could you please give a brief introduction about yourself?
Marius: Hi, thank you. Happy to be talking with you. Well, I’m 36 years old and from Norway. I got a wife and two kids at 8 and 4. I have been working in the industry for close to 20 years now. And daily, I’m working at a place called Showfabrikken Media, and I am a partner in a VFX company called Steamheads Studios located in Oslo. But I’m not working there though, just a partner and investor. I also work a lot with my music projects and rock band. As many of us from the North, we are deeply into the heavy rock and metal scene. You've probably heard of some band from around here.
Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? What made you enter this industry?
Marius: Well, I was actually in the army when I saw this commercial poster for a film school on a building wall and applied there. As a kid, I always played around with my parents’ old videotape recorder and made those Star Wars fan films and some terrible GTA inspired videos with such bad effects in it. But sooner when I got my first PC, I got my hands on some software like After Effects, etc. Then the real fun began. And years after, a bit of hard work and luck brought me to where I am today.
Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your education and work experience along your CG journey?
Marius: Yes, my education is not much to talk about except that my first education was working with air coolers and air conditioning stuff, but quickly found out that I did not have the heart for it, and I always wanted to work with the more creative stuff. So I joined the army. Not much room for creativity there though, haha. But between playing wars and other boring stuff, we had some time off making small action films with real weapons and all. Lol. When I got close to ending my service in the army I discovered a school named Noroff Instituttet. So I applied there and got in. I spent three years there learning the basic stuff, like camera work and some 3D, etc. But my journey to becoming somewhat experienced started when I got my first job. From making bed sheet and pillow commercials to traveling the world working on Elysium, League of Gods (aka. Feng Shen Chuan Qi), Harry Potter and more.
Fox Renderfarm: We discovered that you not only did a lot of projects in movies, also did commercials, animations, and music videos, what are your proudest or most unforgettable works? And why?
Marius: Well, it’s difficult to say really. I always had a blast working on films like Harry Potter and so forth, but in 2015 I started my own company in Oslo, Norway called Steamheads Studios. And the thing I liked the most was to direct some commercials and do more VFX supervision. I supervised my first feature film back then named “The Comet” . It was not a grand success in the cinemas, but it was a great experience for sure.
VFX made by Marius
Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most difficult challenge you’ve met in VFX production? And how did you solve it?
Marius: Oh, I know this one. The craziest challenge I have experienced till now was in the Underworld Awakening movie. I had a shot with about 2000 frames. It was a 3D (stereoscopic) project, so I had to 3D track the 2000 frames of terrible footage, where there was slow motion and light strobes washed out any tacking friendly spot every third frame or so. And the rig had an offset or an issue with lining up so it was totally off. And when this was done I had to roto animate Kate Beckinsale digi double on top as she was supposed to be all frosty and naked. It was a nightmare, but I learned a lot though.
Fox Renderfarm: You've been involved in some Chinese projects before, including the movie ‘Feng Shen Chuan Qi’, and the music video ‘Sheep (Alan Walker Relift)’ by Lay, how do you feel about the cooperation with Chinese teams? Are you calling for more cooperation?
Marius: Oh yes, it was so much fun. It all started when I was directing the lyrics video for Alan Walker and K-391 starring Seungri - Ignite. And a short time after we got to work with Lay and the music video for Sheep relifted by Alan Walker. It’s interesting to work with such projects because of the creative process and it is so exciting and interesting when you are coming up with different ideas based on Eastern and Western references. It’s a pretty cool process really. I think this came most clearly to me on the Feng Sheng Chuan Qi. That was just so absurd and beautifully weird! I loved to work on it though, so much amazing VFX and the color scheme might be my favorite. And of course, as a big Jet Lee fan growing up, it was an honor to be working with him.
K-391 & Alan Walker - Ignite feat. Julie Bergan & Seungri
Lay - Sheep (Alan Walker Relift)
Fox Renderfarm: Anyone or any artwork inspires you the most?
Marius: I’m a big fan of sci-fi stuff. So Neill Blomkamp is one of my favorite directors at the moment. Simon Holmedal, and Nikolai Lockertsen to mention a local Norwegian as well. I am also big into some of that post-apocalyptic artwork, so I’m working on some personal projects where I try to do some stuff that inspires me based on multiple artists out there.
Movies directed by Neill Blomkamp
Nike Flyknit by Simon Holmedal
Soar by Nikolai Lockertsen
Fox Renderfarm: Apart from CG, music is a big passion for you. How do you keep yourself inspired and motivated in these 2 areas perspectively?
Marius: I think it's important to have a hobby outside work and family life. And I am both blessed and cursed with a restless, creative soul, so I need to do creative stuff all the time. I can't just sit still for a week without doing something creative. I found music to be my escape from reality early on, a place where the creativity can just flow and no one can tell me what to do or not to do. It’s important, I believe, to have such a place to go sometimes when work or real life can be a bit challenging.
Fox Renderfarm: Please tell us the story of forming Mayfire Chronicles, and briefly introduce the members and what they are doing.
Marius: Yes! Mayfire Chronicles is really my passion project at the moment! It has always been a dream to create something visual and grand, but I never found enough time or a good enough idea to prioritize. And not long ago I was playing in this band that I felt was going nowhere, and after playing in bands that always had members wanting to go in different directions I was thinking enough is enough. I wanted to create a world combining my skills of music and film, CG and VFX. I was thinking day and night on the concept, and one night I just got up and started writing it all down. I feel the story fell down naturally and so it began. I then found Rune Dahlen on guitar with a similar taste in music. And he seemed to love the idea as well, so we started working together. Soon I got onboard Einar K. Five as our mixing and sound producer on board. As well and more people seem to be interested in the project. The famous Baard Kolstad from Leperous has joined us to create the most amazing drum tracks possible. This is really the most fun music project I have been a part of so far, and I hope it will be a journey that others also will enjoy.
Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on the release of the new song ‘City of Ruins’, what’s the inspiration of this song? And how is the music video going to be?
Marius: Thanks! Well, This song is one of the first songs on our album. The story here is that the world has been more or less depleted, and large parts of the world are under ice and frozen wastelands. Our hero has grown up in one of those underground bunkers and, short story told, he is about to leave the bunker in a quest to find his long lost father, who vanished years ago. But recently made contact of some sort and gave them a hope and an idea that there might be other survivors and another life outside the bunker walls. So we follow our hero on his journey into the unknown world. It's a grand story, but I can't say too much at this point. More to come. Hehe ;)
Fox Renderfarm: This is your second single released, is it somewhat relevant to the first song ’Thicker than Water’? What’s the concept and inspiration behind the whole album?
Marius: Yes, ‘Thicker than Water’ and ‘City of Ruins’ are all connected to the story. ‘Thicker than Water’ had a funny story really. It is actually my wedding speech as I got married last summer. So we had to finish that song rather quickly. haha. So that's where it all started I guess. That's also where I found my partner Rune Dahlen for this project too. He helped me write and record most of the instrumentals for this and the next. He is a really talented musician. And of course, Einar K. Five helped out with the orchestra and mixed the song. All songs will be connected through a visual story and combined it will be more or less a full-length movie - Ambitions.
Thicker Than Water by Mayfire Chronicles
Fox Renderfarm: Could you tell us what you’ve been working on recently? What is your next step?
Marius: On the Mayfire Chronicles project, we are working on releasing our third song, as well as getting closer to release the first music video for ‘Thicker than Water’. It is a demanding job as I am the only one working on the visual part, and it takes a lot of time. And since I got a “normal” job and a family as well, then time is not really enough. But luckily I got some tools to make this possible, like Fox Renderfarm’s rendering solutions, etc. I must say I learn a lot working on projects like this too. Recently, I started diving into Houdini, and it's just like falling in love all over again. It’s amazing!
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services?
Marius: I believe Fox Renderfarm and the support you provide is amazing. I’ve used different render solutions over time, and you guys have really blown my mind. I'm really grateful to be able to get the support that you provide, especially on projects like this. An example of this, I sent you a question if you were to support the beta of Redshift 3.0. And minutes later, I was in dialog with one of your tech supports that actually installed the latest beta and was helping me through the whole process from the request and til it was rendering fluently just minutes later! Amazing!
Fox Renderfarm: And how do you feel about the cooperation on 3D render challenge with Fox Renderfarm? Do you have some advice for the participants?
Marius: I think it is great that Facebook pages do stuff like this with partners like you. Close to everyone is on Facebook today, and I think it's a place to shine and build networks all over the world. It really connects us globally. so it’s great :)
Submit Now: https://www.foxrenderfarm.com/fgt3d2020.html
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you wanna share with CG enthusiasts?
Marius: Keep on being creative, ask questions, feed the creative hunger inside of you and build your creative network. Network is everything in our industry. We got some amazing artists in our group, and use it to your benefit. Learn from the experienced people. Sharing is caring ;)
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