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Interview with Panim, the Visionary 3D Artist Discovered in the polygoniq "Into the Future" Challenge

2023-12-27
Trending | Top News | CG Challenges
Fox Renderfarm Interview

Panim, a 2D and 3D artist, emerged as the 3rd place winner in the polygoniq "Into the Future" challenge. His ability to breathe life into digital landscapes and characters has garnered praise and admiration from peers and enthusiasts alike. Congratulations to Panim! Fox Renderfarm as the industry's top cloud rendering service provider and render farm, was honored to sponsor this contest and interview Panim.

Let’s explore the behind-the-scenes of Panim's amazing work through this interview.

After Everything © Panim

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

Panim: Hey Fox Renderfarm Team, and Hi to everyone who reads this!

I’m Panim, at this moment, I am a 2D and 3D Artist both as a hobby and as a job.

My history is kind of weird because at first I never looked at the 3D world as something I would like to do. Long story short, I was studying computing during university, but I had many issues with the teachers there, that the only answer for me was leaving it. I had a semester doing nothing, and suddenly someone told me about studying 3D, so I joined it and here I am loving this world!

I’ve been making art since 2017, which is when I started learning about 3D, then in 2019, I finished my studies and started looking for jobs. Since then, I've been studying 3D art by myself.

I’m looking forward to becoming much better. Due to that, I feel that I know very little about the 3D world, even with all the time I've spent learning.

Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning third place in the polygoniq 3D challenge "Into the Future"! How do you feel about it?

Panim: Thank you, I feel very happy about it, the environment where we all participated was very nice and it was the first time that I applied to a challenge in the 3D environment, feels amazing!

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

Panim: Well, at first, what came to my mind was the film, Wall-E, that's where all this started. I actually watched it two times, looking for the environment and more ideas, but as you saw in the video I submitted for the challenge, it was very different from Wall-E.

Wall-E © Walt Disney Pictures

Wall-E © Walt Disney Pictures

After reading the challenge deadlines to submit, I saw that the day after the deadline would be October 31st, which is Trick or Treat day, so, everything came to that.

As you can see, the environment and the pumpkin characters are pretty spooky.

I also tried to mix the robot's life with the environment itself, such as receiving metal pieces instead of candies.

Screenshot of “After everything” © Panim

Screenshot of "After Everything" © Panim

Screenshot of “After everything” © Panim_

Screenshot of "After Everything" © Panim

At first, I thought about making him run away, because the scene was scary and all that, but then it was changed to a very happy ending.

Screenshot of “After everything” © Panim__

Screenshot of "After Everything" © Panim

Screenshot of “After everything” © Panim___

Screenshot of "After Everything" © Panim

Fox Renderfarm: What do you hope the viewers will take away from watching this video, and what message or feeling do you want to leave them with?

Panim: Being able to give life to a robot, and feel somewhat connected to it, even little things such as being around a neighborhood asking or giving candies to people, making them happy, and feeling good about it while being fun at the same time.

Fox Renderfarm: Could you please tell us about your pipeline for this work? And how long did it take you? (It would be nice if you could add some pictures of your pipeline!)

Panim: Well, everything from start to finish took me 18 very long days, so I started October 12th, with the story script.

I’m bad at drawing, so what I did was to collect ideas, after making the script I developed the scene scheme, camera angles, times, what would move, and how it would move in an excel sheet. Then, when that info was ready, I started to work with the robot itself. As I noted before, animations that it needed to do, such as walking normally, slowly, quickly, jumping, being scared, etc.

Story Script © Panim

Story Script © Panim

After that was done, I started working on the environment, which I did twice, since the first time I didn't like it at all.

For the second time, I used many more images as references of how I would like it to be, and started from there until it was finished.

Then I moved to illumination and gave volume to the scene.

After everything was done, the moment of rendering came, which took around 48 hours, this was a stressful moment, since there was not much time left, and so many things happened at that moment. For example, I used volumetric fog in every shoot, but when I saw the render, there was a lot of flickering, and I learned that there was something with the blender denoiser (no temporal denoiser yet).

So, I had to remove the volumetric fog and tried to solve it with the mist pass, which I didn't like, but that was the answer. (However, I plan to finish it in the future, with everything being fixed, I really liked this work, as it became very personal to me).

After the renders were done, I started to work in After Effects and DaVinci Resolve, to fix some issues or add effects.

Then, I used Premiere Pro for video and sound compositing.

Video and Sound © Panim

Video and Sound © Panim

Then the rendering, where I saw so many little details that likely wouldn't be noticeable for everyone but for me, I had to fix them. ( And I know many are noticeable, but there are things that I learned at the end with no time to fix)

Render Time © Panim

Last render time in my zone  (I had to leave that day for a meeting)

Render Time © Panim

Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us the significance of including the pumpkin figures? Why did you choose this particular object?

Panim: For me, it was something that came to my mind instantly, after thinking about trick or treat, I remember people going around with little pumpkin boxes with candies inside, so I tried to show it as something bad at first ( for the robot ), but then it turned into something that would make it happy!

Screenshot of “After everything” © Panim__

Screenshot of "After Everything" © Panim

Fox Renderfarm: The music in this video played a crucial role in setting the tone and atmosphere. How did you decide on the soundtrack, and what impact were you aiming for?

Panim: I’m not the best at sound design, but I sure tried! At first, the tone it gave was dramatic and dark, where the robot and the viewers would feel a little bit scared walking alone in that place, the moment the second pumpkin appeared I thought about making it feel magical because the robot would receive what he likes the most, metal candies!

And at the end when the robot walks away, I wanted to provide a feeling of peace, that nothing bad has happened while being there, and that he could walk back to his home, feeling safe.

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

Panim: The main feeling I wanted to give was fear, so I used dimmer lights in everything except the robot, which is the main character. So, the illumination was very limited there, as you can see when the colors started to show up in the scenes, everything else became a bit brighter. When comparing the first shot where the robot appeared to the last shot of the video, the difference in lighting is noticeable, giving a different feeling in both situations but in the same setting!

Beginning Lighting © Panim

Beginning Lighting © Panim

Ending Lighting © Panim

Ending Lighting © Panim

Fox Renderfarm: The editing and pacing of the video are seamless, creating a sense of narrative and progression. How did you approach the editing process to achieve this effect?

Panim: I learned that everything should be done in the script first before anything else, that way you can achieve what you like. Now if something better comes to our mind during the progress, I believe we can stop for a moment, and rebuild certain things to become better! (I had that situation 6 times in the process)

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

Panim: For sure! I had so many issues with the animation of the robot, such as trying to mix and sync the animation to the environment. For example, while the robot was walking, I had to match the steps with the ground that had some high and low levels. How could I solve it? Well, keep trying, looking for solutions online, and applying what I've learned before.

I had optimization problems too, which I could solve using camera culling when switching from high to low-resolution objects.

The most stressful challenge I had was at the end with the volumetric fog issue, this one I couldn't solve at all, but I could find a temporal solution which was using the mist pass in shots where the flickering was very noticeable. In some shots that were not that noticeable, I used another denoiser in post-production that could solve the issue, which looked good!

I had another issue with the robot textures, when I tried to use keys in the little box that opens in its body, the texture started flickering massively. However it was only noticeable in the submission, but not as it was before. So, I was told that this issue was due to the way it was textured probably and that’s something I didn't know.

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

Panim: I enjoyed it from beginning to finish with every issue that happened, because from them I learned a lot, including from other artists in the polygoniq challenge! I pushed myself to achieve everything that was written in the script on time, even if it was at the last moment.

Where I had the most fun was making the robot animations and thinking about how would they look in the scene, for example, while he was jumping and dancing.

Robot Animations © Panim

Robot Animations © Panim

The most memorable moment was when I could finally submit the video for everyone to watch, and receiving the cool feedbacks from everyone ( I even had issues on vimeo, since I didn't activate an option, so some people couldn't watch the video (first time using vimeo) )

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

Panim: I have during work when we were looking for cloud rendering due to time needs, Fox Renderfarm was one of the options. However, we have never used it yet.

Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any ongoing projects or future plans at the moment?

Panim: Yes, at this moment I plan to finish everything that is on my hand (my job), after that, I will start to clean up "After Everything", then collect the jobs that I’ve done and share this material online. I’ve had many issues with my social media accounts before, such as forgetting my passwords, getting hacked, and all that stuff, but now I’m building these things again, with more security. So, the plan is to start again!

I’m also planning on creating another short in the future, surely better with everything I’ve learned on this journey!

Screenshot of “After everything” © Panim____

Screenshot of “After Everything” © Panim

Fox Renderfarm: Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring 3D art freelancers? Are there any key lessons or insights that you have learned along your journey?

Panim: I know it’s hard to start, develop, and become recognizable so that people can contact you for jobs/collaborations, but everyone and everything is like that at first, the only way is to continue doing what you like. Things come, just have patience, practice, become better every time you can, and don’t lose passion for what you do.

I’m still in that process, it’s hard, but surely it’s possible.

I appreciate you all for reaching this point, and big thanks to Fox Renderfarm for this interview and interest in what I did for the challenge! Thanks to the sound creators that I gave credit to at the end of the video, and thanks to polygoniq too! It couldn't be possible without them!

These are my socials, you can follow for more upcoming art!

Panim’s social media:

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

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