Interview with Grand Prize Winner of Renderosity 2019 Animation Halloween Contest
Renderosity 2019 Animation Halloween Contest, the fantastically creepy and creative CG Contest, which was held by Renderosity and sponsored by Fox Renderfarm. Many frightening but amazing artworks were submitted. We are glad to introduce Jared DuBois, the Grand Prize winner of this contest.
“A long drive without any sleep can be detrimental to one’s mind. Without sleep, it can start to play tricks on them…”
Late Night Drive by Jared DuBois
Jared DuBois is a filmmaker and has been practicing his skills for many years. He has been supporting himself on freelance work since 2017. His freelance work has mostly been animation but his best work is done when he is on the set, behind the camera. He loves to work and collaborate with others.
Animation Demo Reel 2019 by Jared DuBois
Here’s the interview between Jared DuBois and Fox Renderfarm, talking about the creation process of his prize-winning film.
Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Jared, would you please give a brief introduction about yourself?
Jared: Hello! I am a 22-year-old filmmaker who very recently graduated from Emerson College in Boston. I have wanted to be a filmmaker since I was about 10 years old and I got my first camera so I have been working on that ever since.
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning the Grand Prize in the Renderosity 2019 Animation Halloween Contest?
Jared: Very excited! I now have a lot more tools to work with such as the Ipi motion capture studio pro version and the Fox Renderfarm. Hopefully, I utilize all of these tools to their fullest and make something truly special.
Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for the film? Technically and visually, what is your favorite part of this film?
Jared: My inspiration for this film is from an experience I had not too long ago. I was working as a production assistant on a film and of course, film shoots usually go longer than 12 hours they say you will be working. So after about 14-16 hours of work, it was late and I was extremely tired and on my way home from work I began to hallucinate things on the road such as the roads not going where they actually were and even a weird monster. It’s a wonder I didn't crash before I decided to pull over and rest. I wanted to convey that fear of not knowing what is real while behind the wheel of a car since it is a time when you are very vulnerable. Technically and visually my favorite part of the film is probably the explosion at the end, I love contrasting colors and the bright orange contrasted against the dark blue of the night is something I believe to be visually appealing.
Fox Renderfarm: From the rising of the idea to the final render, could you tell us the creation process of this film?
Jared: The process for me was to get a basic idea of how I wanted the film to look. I figured that a trucker would be a better idea since with the idea of trucker for me at least comes with long roads with nobody on them. Down south kind of stuff where its mostly just roads and long dry grass. After that I attempted to fine tune the colors and build the set which was fairly easy considering it was just a road, some grass, and a sky. The next step was to create the illusion of movement. For about 80% of the shots the truck isn't actually moving and it’s the road and everything else that is moving instead. I did this because it is a lot easier to animate characters if they aren't constantly running away from you. The next step was to just to come up with a basic idea of where I wanted the story to go, and then animate it. I usually set up all the cameras then animate it so I don't end up wasting any time in the animation phase on things that won’t show up in the camera. Then I animate it and render, do that sound design, and that's about it!
Fox Renderfarm: For this is a Halloween creation, what elements in the film or what techniques you used to achieve the scary feeling of the film?
Jared: I used the tried and true method of slow zooms, closeups, and showing as little of the monster as I could. I also of course made sure the main character was alone and I attempted to create a mystery on if the monster was real or not. Towards the end, you can see when the steering wheel spins the monster is no longer there. I love small things like that which help to drive mystery in a story, even one as short as a minute.
Fox Renderfarm: About the details, the lighting design and the fire after accident give the film an overwhelmingly nervous atmosphere, could you introduce a bit about the creation of these two? How did you make them?
Jared: The fire was a particle that was meant to be used on thermite grenades in a video game. I simply took that and applied it alongside some dirt particles, explosion particles, and tada you get what you see in the final product. The lighting design was something that wasn't that hard to think of either. Mostly I did so towards the start of production, I knew I wanted the truck to go up in flames and so to compliment that I gave the rest of the scene a nice dark blue tint to it. That way the fire and the light from that fire would create an entirely different scene and stand out more. I find that the brain remembers things by color and even now when I think back on my work the things I remember are a blue first half and an orange second half.
Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work?
Jared: This project took from concept to finish about a week of work. The character being sat down for a majority of it made animation fairly easier than normal.
Fox Renderfarm: What software, renderers, plugins did you use in this work?
Jared: For the most part I stayed within my main animation software, Source Filmmaker. The only other thing that I really used was Adobe Premiere with a Magic Bullet Looks plugin.
Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most unforgettable and interesting part of the creation process?
Jared: For me, the most interesting thing was how the tension of a contest changes my work. Usually, the only person who's opinion on my work really matters is the one employing me, however now I had to be more carefully considering my audience, the contest rules, and how readable my video is. Working with these made the process a lot more interesting to me as it does bring me out of my comfort zone and forces me to work a lot smarter.
Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?
Jared: One challenge that I did encounter was "how do I make a horror story in such a short time period?". For me, horror is about slow builds, characters, and tension, all of which is difficult to build within a minute or so. A horror to me relies on you liking or at least being invested in the characters so you don't want them to die. To get around this I took a more video game development styled approach. A silent protagonist who is easy to sympathize with. All we know about this character is that he is doing an honest job and that he is likely has over-worked due to the fact that he is so very clearly tired. These traits are very relatable to a lot of people so it's easy to sympathize with this character right off the bat. Now, of course, I couldn't do a slow build but I did try to build up the horror as much as I could. I believe I was fairly successful.
Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Halloween? Does Halloween often give you some creation inspiration?
Jared: I love Halloween, it's my favorite holiday thematically. There is just so much more storytelling potential with it than there is say something like Christmas. A Halloween story doesn't need to be about Halloween either, it can just be a horror story and its perfect. I get very inspired by the Halloween season, the falling leaves and the cooling temperatures bring back memories of childhood, walking through the streets in a costume that I could barely breathe out of and demanding free candy from strangers. Not to mention other people coming up with creations around the same time it all makes for a beautifully disgusting season and I can't wait for next year.
Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most unforgettable costume that you’ve ever dressed? Who or what would you like to dress as for the next Halloween?
Jared: The most unforgettable costume I have ever gone as? Well one year I designed my own costume that was just a bunch of black clothing with glow sticks sewn into it to give the illusion of a stick man. This was something way back like when I was 10, I know its a very common thing now but when I was little it was cool to me! Next Halloween, assuming I manage to get any kinda money I think going as Godzilla would be pretty cool. Godzilla has always been a passion of mine so going as him would be pretty amazing.
Fox Renderfarm: Could you recall your first encounter with CG?
Jared: My first encounter with CG... Hm that goes way back, I was born in 1997 so I have grown up with CG films my entire life but if I had to guess it'd probably be the original Toy Story but I’m not entirely sure about that. To me, as 3 years old, I’m sure I wasn't able to appreciate all the work that went into making it and just saw it as another kind of cartoon. Of course, now is a lot different and I really get amazed by GC. Kinda weird how it went from uninteresting to fantastical as I got older, surely that's supposed to be reversed right?
Fox Renderfarm: When did you step into the 3D artist career? What made you decide to pursue this career?
Jared: Ever since I was young I wanted to be a filmmaker, I loved making little movies whenever I could. There was an issue though, growing up in Rhode Island, there really wasn't anybody around me who shared my interests, so if I wanted to make anything I would have to do it by myself. The only way I could do that was through animation and thus I tried using a little program called Pivot which was very very basic but also very easy to understand. Another thing that helped me get into the work of animation was somebody named Kitty0706 or Colin Wyckoff. His content was amazing and my dream was to get to meet him someday and that dream kept me interested in making animations. He used Garrysmod for his animations so I figured the best way to do things would be to get into a program called Source Filmmaker which was released in 2012. Ever since then I have been trying to make content with it and learning all of it in and out. Sadly Colin passed away in 2015 due to leukemia but I still treat my work as if I would be making something good enough to impress even him.
Colin Wyckoff’s works
Fox Renderfarm: Who or what project inspires you the most in this industry?
Jared: I am a big fan of Brad Bird's animated films however my biggest inspirations are mostly themes and ideas less so specific people. Something that has been a huge inspiration on how I do horror is a game called "Darkwood", it’s just fantastic and amazing use of horror to its full potential.
Brad Bird's films
Video game: Darkwood
Fox Renderfarm: As an outstanding 3D artist, what do you think the quality that will make a great artist greater? What do you do to enhance your professional skills?
Jared: First of all, thank you for the compliment and second a quality that would make a great artist greater would probably an ambition to improve constantly. For me I’m very pessimistic, I tend to hate just about everything I make and my hope is that someday I will make something that I don't hate. That's a factor that keeps me going, the idea that maybe someday I’ll make something that I myself would enjoy but until we get there I just gotta keep practicing. To enhance my skills I usually take on a project that is WAY outside my current abilities and I won’t stop till it's done. By the end, I am guaranteed to have learned something new even if the final product isn't very good.
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts?
Jared: Am I allowed to plug my stuff here? If so you can find me on YouTube at Sparkiegames or on twitter @sparkie237 other than that I would say to keep trying things outside your comfort zone. If you have a wild or stupid idea, write it down and do something with it. Even if you cannot realize it fully, go and try it because I guarantee you will learn something along the way.
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