How to Create a Cute Story About a Little Bulb by Blender: Introducing FGT Art May Winner, Anahad Kashyap
As a platform to show CG talent, FGT Art, organized by the best cloud rendering service provider, Fox Renderfarm, welcomes CG artists all over the world to show off their impressive 3D artworks which were rendered with Fox Renderfarm. Congratulations to our FGT Art May Winner - Anahad Kashyap, a young freelance artist who is proficient in Blender regarding modelling, animating, and rendering.Anahad’s award-winning artwork “Ignore”, made by Blender and Mixamo, is interesting and lovely, showing a cute story about a little bulb. Let’s find out how he created the artwork in the exclusive interview below.- Anahad Kashyap- Freelance Artist- From: India Fox Renderfarm: Hi Anahad! Could you have a brief introduction about yourself? Anahad: My name is Anahad Kashyap and I am currently studying B. Des. Industrial Design in Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. The date “23rd May 2021” marked one year of me learning 3D modelling and CG and my work experience includes doing a few freelance projects and making videos for my YouTube channel.Blender Showreel 2020 © Anahad Kashyap Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on being the May winner of FGT Art! How do you feel about it?Anahad: Honestly, I am super thrilled and honored that you guys chose me as the winner and I can’t thank you guys enough. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your inspiration/references/moodboard of the work ‘Ignore’?Anahad: Earlier I took a challenge of creating one digital render daily for a month and on my 6th Day I created this:!Ignore - Anahad Kashyap - Day 6This was inspired by a very old advertisement of an electrical company popular in India. Actually the thought of a personified Light Bulb excited me a lot and I set on making it. One of the biggest hurdles I faced while making this was “how to make it believable?”........I know it sounds a bit ironic as the character itself doesn’t exist at all. My references included pictures of light bulbs, nuts and bolts (duh!). Few of them are: Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work? Anahad: The whole process (modelling and texturing) took me around 12-13 days of mostly working at night due to college. Majority of my time was spent on creating the environment because the character was already done…...I just modified it a little to match human proportions better. Fox Renderfarm: The character is cute, could you share with us the character design and modeling process?Anahad: The character modelling took around 5-6 hours completely cause although not very complex, I wanted to make it as detailed as possible. Few clay renders are:!Ignore - Anahad Kashyap - 0067Then comes the most important part of making any 3D render feel realistic, which is adding Surface imperfections. There are many types of surface imperfections like micro scratches, fingerprints, dust buildup in crevices, etc.The surface imperfections which I considered for the character were fingerprints and micro scratches. Fox Renderfarm: The environment is rich and realistic, could you introduce how you set the environment and made all the details?Anahad: Ah yes, The Environment (sigh!)......By far the most work I have ever done on any 3D environment. Everything in the scene (like the laptop, brick wall, poster, windows, ferris wheel etc.) was self modelled and textured. And just like the character, surface imperfections are suuuuuuuuuuuper important here also, like surface scratches on the table top, wipe marks on window panes, fingerprints on the laptop screen (It’s a touchscreen laptop 😝😝), etc. Here are two images of the environment….one without surface imperfections and one with imperfections.- Without Imperfections: !Without-Imperfections- With Imperfections: !Ignore-Anahad-KashyapAnd the thing even more time taking and frustrating than self modelling all the assets is making a visually balanced composition i.e. positioning all the assets carefully to make the scene visually pleasing and ensuring that none of the areas look more visually weighted than others. One has to ensure that the focus point of the scene (in this case that being the bulb character) remains in focus. Here is one of the MatCap render of my scene:!anahx-kashyap-123456789123456798I used MatCap view to arrange the composition of the scene and if the project demands it, I sometimes render the whole animation sequence in MatCap view because it saves a lot of render times and gives an exact view of how the animation would look when fully rendered. Fox Renderfarm: As a freelance artist, why do you choose Blender as your main tool, and what is the biggest advantage of Blender for you?Anahad: As a growing freelance artist, Blender offers the complete package of what a 3D artist could need. It has features like support for fire, water, cloth and smoke sim, 2D animation, video editing(basic), sculpting, remeshing, etc. along with the primary use case which is 3D modelling and animation. Personally, the biggest advantage of Blender for me is the ease of use and a very flat learning curve. I don’t have anything against any other 3D modelling apps and I am aware that all of them are unique in their own way and have their own set of features but for me Blender had the most visually appealing viewport and less intimidating controls for a beginner. Fox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills? Could you give some Blender learning advice to CG learners?Anahad: This is a question where I can answer both the parts together! The thing I do apart from all the freelance work is I try to recreate movie scenes as closely as possible. Like watching movies from great directors like Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan and picking scenes from the movie which look the most visually appealing to me and then recreating them in Blender. The first step to this includes matching up the 3D camera with the camera used in the film along with the correct focal length. For this I use an app called “fspy” which works perfectly for this.Hope this helps! Fox Renderfarm: Have you used or heard of Fox Renderfarm before? If yes, how do you feel about it?Anahad: Actually I did hear about Fox Renderfarm earlier but never got around to using it. But when the time came for rendering my project, It was very much clear through the creation process that my PC won’t be able to handle it. So I decided to give it a try now I freaking love it. The features I love the most are:- Super fast transfer of heavy files- Reasonable Price- Easy to use InterfaceCan’t wait to use it for my YouTube videos!!!!! Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Anahad: Yes there are a few things which I would like to say to CG enthusiasts…….Never get disheartened by looking at other great artist’s work on social media. Nobody starts at the top…….And to never give up…….One Day the grind will pay off in one way or the other.Koenigsegg Gemera © Anahad Kashyap Who’s our next FGT Art winner? Shine your talent and win great prizes!
How to Make an Appealing Character? Discussion with Pascal Kuhn, Excellent Graduate from PIXL VISN
Fox Renderfarm Interview
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.!PIXL VISN IS NEW PARTNER OF FOX RENDERFARMWe continue our discussion journey with Pascal Kuhn, who is interested and specialized in character design. He raised his personal projects as examples to share his learning and working experience in the CG industry. Moreover, he showed his perspective about how to make an appealing character. Check out our interview and let’s learn and grow together!!Pascal KuhnPascal Kuhn3D ArtistCrater StudioArtstaion: https://www.artstation.com/reyfaison Fox Renderfarm: Hi Pascal, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself? Pascal: Hey, thanks for the invitation! I’m an Industrial Designer and VFX Artist currently living in Cologne, Germany and Belgrade, Serbia. I’m 28 and I love Sci-Fi and fantasy stories. Whenever I’m not working, I enjoy taking my dog for a long walk, going for a coffee, and filling my sketchbook. 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?Pascal: I didn’t plan to become a CG artist when I finished school and started studying. Sure, I liked movies and games but it hadn’t crossed my mind to work on films. Since I was young, I enjoyed coming up with design and ideas, mostly with pen and paper. I decided to study industrial design which greatly influenced my creativity and creative workflows. It was at university, where I had my first encounter with 3D modeling and rendering. For my diploma thesis, I worked on a marine living concept for humans in a future in which today's social and environmental crises have not been solved. That was when I came to realize I wanted to focus on storytelling and visualization.I joined the PIXL VISN academy a few months later to develop all relevant CG skills. I spent fifteen months with animation, modeling, texturing, lighting, and all other parts of the pipeline. We had great teachers with lots of industry experience. After graduating from PIXL VISN I joined the Rookies Award and was lucky enough to earn an internship at Crater Studio in Belgrade where I am now employed as a generalist with an emphasis on Lookdev. It’s been only about six months now in the industry but I feel I gained a lot of experience and new skills. It was also a great opportunity to work abroad and meet talented and creative people.!The Druid © Pascal KuhnThe Druid © Pascal Kuhn Fox Renderfarm: What are the most important things you’ve learned in PIXL VISN, technically and career-wise? And what’s your most unforgettable experience in PIXL VISN?Pascal: Of course, I learned all the necessary tools and workflows to start working in the industry. I even learned workflows that I could later introduce at my first job. It was amazing to have teachers at PIXL who were well experienced and up-to-date. Career-wise, for one thing, the program taught me to work with deadlines. Plus, the studies helped me to gain a good understanding of my own skill set and abilities and of ways to constantly improve those.!Male Portrait © Pascal Kuhn, Franziska NiebuhrMale Portrait © Pascal Kuhn, Franziska Niebuhr Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your usual creative process, from forming the concept to the final rendering (it would be perfect if you can raise an example)Pascal: When working on personal projects the first thing I do is sketching and gathering references. For the Cyberpunk character I made during my studies, I knew there should be moving tattoos, fancy piercings, and some cyber body parts. I started with a human base model and sculpted the face. I layouted the mechanical arms in ZBrush and then modeled them in Maya. I did a lot of concepts and prototypes to give the arms realistic technical functionality. So, the parts smoothly interlock instead of crashing into each other. The skin texturing was done with Mari mainly and rendered with V-Ray. My colleague Miri built the rigs for everything so I could do some simple animation to make the character feel alive.!Cyborg Character © Miria Kutzner, Pascal Kuhn-3Cyborg Character © Miria Kutzner, Pascal Kuhn Fox Renderfarm: According to your online portfolio and info, we know that you are interested in and good at character design. Do you have any unforgettable creations? And did you meet any difficulties in your creative process?Pascal: I do regularly work on different aspects of characters, but I wouldn’t call myself a character artist. As a character artist, you need a huge range of various skill sets including good knowledge of anatomy, skin shading, grooming (making hair), clothing, and hard surface modeling for assets. Strictly speaking, the only complete character I made is my Zojja fanart. The pipeline of character design can be difficult, as the process is not strictly linear but a constant back and forth between tools like ZBrush, Maya, and Mari. If you start sloppy or messy organization-wise, you’ll face exponentially more problems later. And of course in the end the different materials should look as believable as possible.Zojja © Pascal Kuhn Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about working at Crater Studio? Have you been involved in any projects that you would like to share with us?Pascal: Getting my first work experience at Crater was great. They bestowed a range of possibilities upon me from the start, which I am grateful for. This allowed me to quickly gain insight into the work of an international VFX studio. I’m working with talented, open-minded people on interesting projects. I’m glad my education put me in a position where I could contribute as an artist while improving my skills.Unfortunately, I can’t show any projects yet but I can tell you one of my works includes a huge zombie snake ;)!craterstudiohttps://craterstudio.com/ Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step? And what’s your vision for your career path?Pascal: I’d love to visit more places and studios around the world. For me, the place to live should be as interesting as the job itself. Thanks to the field we’re not necessarily bound to one location especially with the recent shift to remote work. But one day I want to move back to Germany where my close ones live. Fox Renderfarm: How do you constantly improve yourself on 3D techniques and artistic sense?Pascal: One important step to improve your skills is, of course, stepping out of your comfort zone. Try things you never did before and don’t be afraid to mess up. Another important thing to grow as an artist is to get inspired. Open yourself towards all those different styles of art. There’s not only CG and Film but fields like photography, theater, contemporary art, literature, typography, architecture and many more. In my opinion, it’s crucial to constantly refresh your perspective on what creativity is.!Tea Ceremony © Pascal KuhnTea Ceremony © Pascal Kuhn Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have in his/her career? Pascal: Since technology constantly changes over time it’s important to train your fundamental artistic skills. Make sure to practice the theory of light, color, and form, maybe even some traditional art skills like drawing and sculpting. Additionally, you should be adaptive to technology and bring interpersonal communication skills.!Building Concept © Pascal KuhnBuilding Concept © Pascal Kuhn Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks and artists that inspire you the most?Pascal: I love the sketches and drawings of Eliza Ivanova and Aaron Limonick. I love the mecha designs of Vitaly Bulgarov and the color themes of Pascal Blanche. And then there is Beeple.!Eliza Ivanova© Eliza Ivanova!Wild West Joel 6 © Aaron LimonickWild West Joel 6 © Aaron Limonick!Alita Battle Angel - Berserker Body design © Vitaly BulgarovAlita: Battle Angel - "Berserker" Body design © Vitaly Bulgarov!FANTASTIC PLANET © Pascal BlancheFANTASTIC PLANET © Pascal Blanche Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? If so, how do you feel about it?Pascal: I got to know Fox Renderfarms while working on my portfolio before starting my job at Crater and signed up planning to render my new projects. I think cloud rendering is the most sensible way to render big projects. It’s great that it is almost completely independent from the location so you don't need to rely on local farms. I ended up rendering my project on the office PC’s but for future projects, I will definitely make use of cloud rendering.
Making a Mysterious Underwater Render in Blender
Fox Renderfarm Interview
FGT3D Explorer Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in March, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Xencelabs, Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox and iCube R&D Group. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Explorer ChallengeThe second place winner of Student category goes to Underwater, created by Rafael Garcia del Valle. The artwork is made with Blender, Photoshop and Octane Render.“The artist created the mysterious underwater feel and sense of depth and scale successfully with the lighting and colors. The color scheme with blue contrasting with red and yellow is beautiful. It looks like the underwater explorers are doing some research and just realized giant marine organisms appeared. The contrast between the dark and rigid-feeling silhouettes of the submarine and rocks and the round forms and bright colors of the creatures enhance the organic feel of the creatures. It makes us wonder what is going to happen next.” One of our judges, Miho Aoki said, who is the Associate Professor of Computer Art University of Alaska Fairbanks.Let's find out how Rafael made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.!Underwater © Rafael García del ValleUnderwater © Rafael García del Valle Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Rafael! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Rafael: Hi! Thank you for your interest. My life has been very far away from the Art environment. I studied Spanish Language and Literature at University and after that I became a chef. Currently I do both, teaching Spanish online and working in kitchens. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 2nd place in the Student Category of the FGT3D Explorer Challenge, how do you feel about that?Rafael: Thank you! It has been quite a surprise for me, and I really appreciate it. For me, this is a very motivational push in order to keep on studying and working hard.. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Rafael: I use Blender, Photoshop and Octane Render. The main plugin is called Vectron, and it allows you to create fractals, which are the base of the giant creatures in Underwater. I also rely on Quixel, where I get the components for the landscape. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork? Any references?Rafael: Underwater is directly inspired by studying the artwork of Peter Ellenshaw and his concept art for Disney's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea. But I keep an eye on every single artist I can find. There's always something to learn.!20,000 Leagues Under The Sea © Peter & Harrison Ellenshaw20,000 Leagues Under The Sea © Peter & Harrison Ellenshaw Fox Renderfarm: The mysterious underwater feel and sense of depth and scale are successfully illustrated with the lighting and colors.How did you make it?Rafael: Thank you! The characters and basic scenario are composed on Blender. Then I worked in Octane to create the creatures --which are fractals figures-- and the underwater environment, which I made using a thick fog coloured in blue with a very strong lighting and a HDRI image of a seascape. Finally, I put it all together in Photoshop, painted and did all the final touches.!Underwater © Rafael García del Valle!Underwater © Rafael García del Valle!Underwater © Rafael García del Valle!Underwater © Rafael García del Valle Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Rafael: Well, lots of them since I´m just a beginner! Basically, learning to work with fractals is very stimulating but at the same time it is quite hard to integrate them in the rest of the scene. Getting the underwater sense of depth was also a challenge. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Rafael: There are a lot and I feel ashamed I can't name all of them. In my process of learning, Besides great classic names such as Craig Mullins and Alan Lee, I've been following the artists who can combine matte painting, 3D and 2D painting. My big idol here is Jama Jurabaev. I try to learn as much as I can from analysing the work of artists like Shadi Saffadi and the team involved in Naughty Dogs, and also the art of Andreas Rocha, John J. Park or Dylan Cole, for example.My main inspirations as a goal to create my own style are Raphael Lacoste, Simon Stålenhag and Marco Bucci. I love Bucci´s technique to mix colours.!Assassin's Ezio © Craig MullinsAssassin's Ezio © Craig MullinsVFX Games Reel 2013 - Starcraft Heart of the Swarm in Game Cinematic © Alan LeeWild West Unreal engine pack © Jama JurabaevVid-FEEDBACK / Ancient-Temple © Shadi Saffadi!Coastal Settlement © Andreas RochaCoastal Settlement © Andreas Rocha!Monkey Guardian © John J. ParkMonkey Guardian © John J. Park!Jaxian Waterfront © Dylan ColeJaxian Waterfront © Dylan Cole!Steeples © Raphael LacosteSteeples © Raphael Lacoste!Overpass © Simon StålenhagOverpass © Simon Stålenhag !Country house, springtime © Marco BucciCountry house, springtime © Marco Bucci Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?Rafael: I started studying CG in 2020 by chance. I bought a Cintiq Display for my job as a teacher, and having the tool I decided to try digital painting. Then I discovered that I love it. I´ve been following courses from academies online, such as CG Spectrum or CGMA. After the Foundations, I tried 3D and found out how useful and necessary it is for a good workflow nowadays. Right now I´m involved in learning Matte Painting at a deep level. I would love to have a career in Environmental Concept Art or Visual Development. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Rafael: I´m just a newcomer, so I hardly can say much about this. But basically, as in any other discipline, it's all about learning techniques and practising with awareness. Meaning that when practising, one has to be focused on the work and doing constant analysis of the great masters in the field. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Rafael: It's been a great chance for me and I really enjoyed the challenge. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Rafael: Just try your best and enjoy the ride.
Creating a Post Apocalyptic Subway Entrance in Maya
Fox Renderfarm Interview
FGT3D Explorer Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in March, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Xencelabs, Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox and iCube R&D Group. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Explorer ChallengeThe first place winner of the Student category is Tim Jagodka! Congratulations! His artwork, Subway 2041, stands out for its appealing design and environment, which received appreciation from our jury.“Are we looking through the eyes of someone who just came out from a safe space underground after a catastrophic event on Earth? It looks as if the person is venturing out to the outside world after years of staying underground. The grown plants indicate it's been a long time since they evacuated from the outside world. Bright light is blinding and masking the view of the outside. We can just imagine how the world looks like and what the person will encounter out there. The graffiti suggests that people once lost hope, but this person dares to go out to the world and explore. The lighting is excellent, and the artist used the contrast between light and dark very effectively.” One of our judges, Miho Aoki said, who is the Associate Professor of Computer Art University of Alaska Fairbanks.Here’s the interview between Tim and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how he created this wonderful 3D render.!Subway 2041 © Tim Jagodka!clay - Subway 2041 © Tim JagodkaSubway 2041 © Tim Jagodka Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Tim! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Tim: Sure, I am Tim, 19 years old, live in Germany and have a big passion for bringing ideas and imaginations to life. So I started my PIXL VISN education in 2019 and finished this year in march. Since I was a kid I was very passionate about video games, movies and how they were created. I was always very sure that I wanted to do something creative and inspire other people with my creations and imaginations so I found my love and passion in 3D art a few years ago. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Student Category of the FGT3D Explorer Challenge, how do you feel about that?Tim: I am very happy that I have won the first prize. I never actually thought that I could win that prize in the student category. I have never won a contest or challenge in art so this is my first one and I'm very happy :)Subway 2041 - Camera Animation Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Subway 2041?Tim: I did not have so much time to finish the project as it was the last project of my demo reel that I had to finish. The deadline came closer and so I had only 2 weeks to create it. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Tim: For modeling I used Maya 2018, for texturing Quixel Mixer and for the lighting and rendering I decided to put it all together in Unreal Engine 4.26. For compositing I used Nuke. Fox Renderfarm: The graffiti sign states "no future," which resonates really well with the scene outside of the subway exit. What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?Tim: The “No Future” Spray is reflecting the outside and it’s world very well. It’s 2041 and no one has hope. The humans see no future on this planet anymore. For this spray I didn't really have any inspiration. It was my idea to use this spray on the wall as it suits the scene and story very well.!Subway 2041 © Tim Jagodka Fox Renderfarm: The light at the exit is hopeful. How did you make the lighting?Tim: For the Lighting I had a directional Light with God Rays and a Sky Light to fill out areas. In the tunnel I used a few lamps to give the tunnel more light. It's a very simple Light setup. Subway 2041 - Environment Breakdown!Subway 2041 - Environment Breakdown!Subway 2041 - Environment Breakdown!Subway 2041 - Environment Breakdown Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Tim: Yes, these two artists in the following links inspired me the most on this project.!МЕТРО - 2035 © Ismail InceogluМЕТРО - 2035 © Ismail Inceoglu!Crossing Through © Guilherme HenriqueCrossing Through © Guilherme Henrique Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?Tim: So the start of my CG career was the PIXL VISN education I have finished and I'm very happy for the future as I begin to work as a CG Artist. Before my education I didn’t have much experience in CG so PIXL VISN gave me the perfect preparation to start in the industry and I'm very happy about it. In the future I want to develop my skills in realtime rendering engines and creating environments. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Tim: Even though we had a pretty full learning pipeline at PIXL VISN, the best advice I can give to other students or people who are getting into CG is to go on YouTube and watch how the pros do it. It's a simple advice but the best I would give people. I learned a lot by watching how other people do it and then apply it instantly to my projects and workflows. Also a good advice is to go to people and ask for feedback. That helped me a lot. Getting in contact with other artists is the best way you will improve. Everyone has the potential to grow and develop their skills. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Tim: I really liked the theme of this Challenge and all the entries I have seen. I'm hoping to see more stuff like this in the future! Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Tim: Get a lot of reference, especially to the theme from the challenge and see how other artists approchoad their artworks with the same theme. Reference helps a lot for challenges like this.
Interview with Jan Sladecko: a C4D Motion Designer and Our Beloved Client with Contentful Portfolio
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Before we start our passage, Fox Renderfarm, as your powerful render farm service provider, would like to invite you to see a well-made compilation of the animated shorts. Space Struggle (Ep. 1 - Ep.4) © Jan SladeckoSpace Struggle is a short CGI animated series and also an excellent integration of character design, motion design and a bit of humorous storytelling. Fox Renderfarm is so honored to have a talk with the creator - Mr. Jan Sladecko. He used to work in famous studios like The Mill, Elastic.tv and Trizz Productions, SL, and now he is a freelance creative director and mainly working on personal projects.- Jan Sladecko- Creative Director / Motion Designer- From: Czech Republic2019 Showreel © Jan SladeckoJan’s love for CG can date back to the age of 12 and after the efforts and dedication in the CG industry for more than one decade, he gained audiences and success in multiple areas, such as, animation, movies, series, music videos, commercials and so forth.Transformers IMAX: The Last KnightThe Americans - TeaserNike TechfleeceJ. Balvin - Azul (Official Animated Video)His excellence in production has earned him a reputation in the industry, so he has been invited to share his experience by multiple famous conferences, brands and competitions, like IBC Conference, Adobe, Maxon, SIGGRAPH, Motion Design Awards (MDA).!IBC 2016, Interview with Adobe, SIGGRAPH 2017（From left to right）IBC 2016, Interview with Adobe, SIGGRAPH 2017, SIGGRAPH 2019 (Invited by Maxon), Interview with MDAHere comes the interview with Jan who shared his working experience throughout his career, more information about getting inspired and his unique creative vision. Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Jan, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Would you please introduce yourself? Jan: Hi, thank you for inviting me, my name is Jan Sladecko, I’m a creative director currently based in LA with roughly 10 years of experience in the industry. I’m lucky that I could work in many different leading studios around the world. Currently I’m freelancing and trying to focus more on personal projects. GUIDED BREATHING © Jan Sladecko Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry?Jan: I started with Flash animations when I was around 12, then learnt After Effects during highschool and gradually found the way to 3D world. Luckily I had a chance to join a VFX company right after school which taught me a lot. ARXIV | OFFF Barcelona 2019 Design, Animation, Matchmoving, 2D Comp © Jan Sladecko Fox Renderfarm: From 2D to 3D art, do you find 2D play an important role in developing your 3D art?Jan: I worked many years in Flash and then After Effects where I was doing 2D compositions and motion graphics before I started learning 3D software. Nowadays I combine both and choose what is more fitting for each project and getting inspiration from both worlds. But I rarely start 3D art from 2D design, unless it is a client's reference. Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce your best commercial and TV works to us?Jan: Hard to decide which one is my favorite one. I really enjoyed my older work with studio Oficina, but I’ll say IMAX: Transformers which I enjoyed to animate and design, it was a project I worked at the Mill. !Transformers IMAXTransformers IMAX Fox Renderfarm: What’s your pipeline of 3D art?Jan: Before I dive into 3D I sketch often on paper, even though my drawing skills are really limited :) Most of the time I work on animations so as I start developing the 3D scene I’m already planning how things will be animated. When animation has many I always do a previz to get the overall timing and dynamics and from there, I start developing the shots. When it is more complex 3D which needs more people, then I develop basic scenes and then give the rest of the team necessary data for their input and put everything back together later on. When I do styleframes, I focus on getting the composition and mood first and then add all the details. ROBOT © Jan Sladecko Fox Renderfarm: What projects have you worked on at The Mill? Is there any unforgettable work and experience to share?Jan: I worked on many projects at the Mill. In some of them I was mainly an animator, in others designer as well. One of my favorite ones were Americans, Imax, Audi, Arxiv and Nissan (all can be seen on my Behance https://www.behance.net/sladecko) !The Americans Teaser!The Americans TeaserThe Americans TeaserAudi E-Tron RangeARXIV: A Mere Cipher"Nissan Next" Brand FilmFavorite one was probably IMAX as it was my first job when I got a lot of responsibility for the entire spot and led other artists. Audi was also really interesting where I worked with a big VFX team which was doing realistic renders and high quality 2D comp and I was supplying them with all motion designs for the spot. But there are many other projects I could talk about and especially amazing people who I met there. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration of your short CGI animated series, Space Struggle? How did you come up with the idea and style?Jan: I was experimenting while I came up with an idea of a flying car. At that same time Elon Musk sent a red car into space so I thought I could make a joke that astronauts trying to get into a flying car. Animation became really popular and I truly enjoyed storytelling so then I started working on new animations in that direction. Even now I have a lot of sketches for more and more episodes even though I’m taking a break from the series.. Space Struggle (Ep. 1 - Ep.4) Fox Renderfarm: What is the most enjoyable part and the most difficult part while creating the Space Struggle series?Jan: I enjoyed coming up with the ideas, when I was laughing in my head I knew that it is a good direction. Also I loved when I saw people reacting to the animations and laughing, that meant so much to me. The hardest part was definitely making character animations. It takes a lot of time, especially all interactions with ground and objects in the scene. I or my friends had to act these scenes for animation reference. Even though astronauts are a little bit easier to animate than normal characters as their movements are more restricted. Fox Renderfarm: The Silly Wheels series are really cute and funny. How did you make it?Jan: In that time there were really popular satisfying loop animations. I was trying to create some animation like that as well, but with more personality and humor. Initial idea of following the car I got from one pitch that I worked on at that time. And then through my imagination I started to think about things that could happen around it. For example melting Ice Cream track I thought it could be a nice moment of surprise for the audience. Silly Wheels (Ep.1 - Ep.3 ) Fox Renderfarm: As an Award-winning Art Director, you were invited by Maxon to do talks at IBC 2016, SIGGRAPH 2017 and Siggraph 2019. How do you feel about that?Jan: It was an amazing experience, it actually all started by speaking publicly in Czech TV and then conference Mouvo for about 400 people in 2016. I was really nervous, but excited and I was able to share my story in a funny way, entertain and educate people and that made me so joyful and happy. From that I got invited to IBC which was more technical, but it felt great to share know-how and tips, meet more people including the Maxon team and later on I got even a job offer for the J Balvin music video based on my SIGGRAPH talk. Worth mentioning that this project ended up being rendered on Fox Renderfarm :) IBC 2016SIGGRAPH 2017SIGGRAPH 2019J Balvin - Azul (Breakdown) Fox Renderfarm: What movies/tv shows/ games are your favourites respectively?Jan: I watch and play way less than I used to (unfortunately). But one of my favorite movies was District 9, great visual effects and I loved the way the story telling was done. Miyazaki‘s movies are amazing and many other movies. From TV shows I like the cinematography of Game of Thrones, humor of What We Do in Shadows, metaphysical content of Midnight Gospel and the craziness of Love, Death & Robots. And my top games are Counter Strike, Age of Empires II, Company of Heroes and Ark: Survival Evolved. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Jan: I don’t search much for inspiration in the 3D world, but I like the works of Ondrej Zunka, Taehoon Park, Gryun Kim, Woosung Kang, Maxim Goudin, Sasha Vinogradova, Alberto Mielgo and many more. © Ondrej Zunka0110 © Taehoon Park“Hunters” Main Titles © Gryun Kimhttps://vimeo.com/312585363True Detective 3 Main Title © Woosung Kang2020 showreel © Maxim Goudin !Spells © Sasha VinogradovaSpells © Sasha Vinogradova!THE WITNESS © Alberto Mielgo-1!THE WITNESS © Alberto Mielgo-2THE WITNESS © Alberto Mielgo Fox Renderfarm: Any software or new methods you are learning right now?Jan: I was recently studying a lot outside of the motion design industry as well, but I’m interested in VR and interactive art. Sim Nebula - Process Reel Fox Renderfarm: Would you share with us your next step?Jan: Currently I’m finding new ways to effectively connect through my work with the audience and have a positive impact on their life either through humor or mental health. Thinking also about a shift from client work to creating a product in that direction. Flow of Love © Jan Sladecko Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s rendering services?Jan: I’m amazed, it works so smoothly, great user interface and amazing support. We were choosing between a few different render farms and Fox Renderfarm was a clear winner. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts?Jan: Have fun, do what excites you and try to mix different inspirations with your own taste to achieve originality. Also don’t be afraid to reach out to your heroes.
How to Build the Garden of Damocles in 3ds Max
CGarchitect Architectural 3Dawards
John F. Kennedy once said that "Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness."Garden of Damocles, the artwork nominated in the 2020 CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards, made with 3ds Max, V-Ray, Marvelous Designer and Photoshop, depicts what Kennedy said in an imaginative way. !Garden of Damocles © Csaba BanatiGarden of Damocles © Csaba Banati The author of the work, Csaba Banati, is an architectural illustrator who always focuses on illustrating his thoughts in an immersive way.Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is honoured to interview with Csaba, who shared how he built the Garden of Damocles in 3ds Max.Csaba Banati- Freelance Illustrator- From: Austria Fox Renderfarm: Hi Csaba, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Csaba: Hi all, I'm Csaba Banati - working as a freelance illustrator currently from the city of Vienna, Austria.I've been working in the industry for about 8-9 years now. Originally I have a degree in architecture but never worked as an architect. Instead I focused on architectural illustrations and jumped right into it after getting my diploma.Save Energy! © Csaba Banati Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on being nominated in the 2020 CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards, how do you feel about it?Csaba: I'm feeling proud and lucky! I got nominated despite the fact that the non-commissioned category is super-duper tough every single year. People are getting better and better so it's a tough competition.Also I'm super proud of the fact that this was my 3rd nomination in a row. I hope one day I'll win :)!Garden of Damocles - Csaba Banati Fox Renderfarm: What's your inspiration for the amazing work “Garden of Damocles”? Why did you select this artwork to participate in the competition?Csaba: Everything started with a simple idea to investigate my feelings about courtyards. I've always found these spaces intriguing but I never really figured out why.During the process, I contemplated this idea and one thing led to another and this happened.For me, it was obvious to choose this image. It's a bit special to me for the above-mentioned reason and also I pushed myself hard on this project. Was curious how it would end up against this tough competition.!references - Garden of Damocles © Csaba Banati Fox Renderfarm: The work shows like an allegory of the future world, what do you want to express through the work?Csaba: For me, it is always just mildly interesting what the artist wants to say. The beauty of art is that it can and will mean different things to different people based on their past experiences.I truly believe that as soon as an art piece is out it's not up to the artist to decide what it is about. People will judge and interpret before you could even say a word.But that's the beauty of it and I find it amazing. Fox Renderfarm: The sculptures and nuclear bombs in the picture are very realistic and attractive. Could you tell me how you made them (including the model and textures)?Csaba: This is probably disappointing but it's basic box modelling. :)I looked up real-life references to model them from scratch and in some cases used free 3D models as a base to further modify them.For texturing I'm really lazy so I usually try to avoid unwrapping at any cost. :)So every model got procedural or simple plane projected material.!Final scene and bomb modelFinal scene and bomb model !Empty courtyard modelEmpty courtyard model !Final iteration of cover modelFinal iteration of cover model Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take you to finish the project? Did you meet any difficulties?Csaba: I believe it was about 2 months but to be fair I didn't work on it every single day. At times I didn't even touch it for days. I like to let projects mature a bit so that I can have a bit more objective view on them.The main difficulty was that I tried to push my boundaries in terms of 3D details. To embrace this fact I wanted to finish it in super high resolution but my PC was not really happy with it, so I had to settle at 7000x5600.!Composition - Garden of Damocles © Csaba Banati!post- Garden of Damocles © Csaba Banati Fox Renderfarm: How long have you been in the visualization field? Who inspires you most in this industry? Csaba: About 8-9 years now. There are a few companies that I can truly appreciate for their high rate of good consistency they can produce. But for inspiration I like to look outside from the ArchViz box and keep an eye on other creative fields. Such as photography, cinematography, music industry, etc. Fox Renderfarm: As an outstanding CG artist and Illustrator, what do you do to enhance your professional skills?Csaba: For me, it's extremely important to do various things outside of ArchViz. It's easy to immerse yourself in the awesome world of 3D and architecture but the circle closes fast and you can find yourself running the same lap over and over again.It's good to step back a bit and learn new skills in other areas then go back to ArchViz and try to apply them there.It's also useful to prevent burnout and stay fresh and motivated.!Echo Lake © Csaba BanatiEcho Lake © Csaba Banati !Windy Meadows © Csaba BanatiWindy Meadows © Csaba Banati ArtstationLinkedIn
What Makes Rigging Natural and Vivid? Discussion with Miria Kutzner, Excellent Graduate from PIXL VISN
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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.!Fox Renderfarm and Pixl VisnBesides, 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· 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 KutznerEnd 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 CheliotisOmnivore concept © Panos CheliotisSince 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.!Final Sculpt - Omnivore concept © Panos Cheliotis-3Final sculptAnimation 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.Rig breakdownWhile 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.IntegrationI 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.TurntableOne 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!© Miria Kutzner, Simon Pinsdorf© 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© Zdzisław Beksiński!David Romero© 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!
How To Tell A Post-apocalyptic Lonely Story With Architectural Rendering
CGarchitect Architectural 3Dawards
CGarchitect 3D Awards, the largest and most prestigious awards event for the architectural visualization industry, attracts talented Architectural Artists and students to show their amazing artworks.Christian Paul Espinoza, one of the 2020 CGarchitect 3D Awards student nominees, is an Architect and also a student from School-ing, which is a 3D school specialized in Architectural Visualization. !Christian Paul Espinoza© Christian Paul Espinoza Christian’s nominated work is inspired by the idea of a post-apocalyptic world where people will live in isolated bunkers deep in the sea, since it is the only safe place so far. The picture shows a desperate man who can’t endure loneliness and end his life.If you want to learn more about how he made the thought-provoking artwork, the exclusive interview between Christian and Fox Renderfarm will tell you the answer.!Christian Paul Espinoza from Mexico· Christian Paul Espinoza· 3D Visualizer· From: Mexico Fox Renderfarm: Hi Christian, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Christian: My name is Christian Paul Espinoza, I am an Architect. After working in different areas of architecture, Architectural Visualization caught my attention.Four years ago I worked in an architecture office as a draftsman but I always paid attention to the visualization part, how we could generate those environments on the computer was impressive, then I ventured into the area retouching the work I did until I decided to focus on visualization and study formally.!Architecture Office by Christian Paul Espinoza© Christian Paul Espinoza Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about being nominated in the 2020 CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards?Christian: It was great for being nominated because it's an awesome award and it is good to know that the jury took my idea as nominated. Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for this amazing project? Why did you select this artwork to participate in the competition?Christian: The idea of thinking of a desolate place where it is difficult to escape and the only way is to jump, like the idea of taking certain risks without stopping to think and just doing it, I chose the image because I liked the idea of representing a story sad with few elements and that the color palette was the one that told the story.Sketch Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take you to finish the work?Christian: For the final work, it took me about 3 weeks from the moment I started to recompile references until I finished, working in the free time between class and class. Fox Renderfarm: The isolated bunkers in your work are very industrial and futuristic, any reference? Could you tell us how you built them?Christian: The reference images were the oil platforms that are in the sea, these impressive structures in the middle of nowhere have always caught my attention and how lonely it can be to live there, that helps to create many stories.ReferenceModel Capture Fox Renderfarm: The gloomy weather and the dropping man make people feeling sad and thought-provoking, what do you want to express through this work?Christian: It's the story of a man who tries to escape from a desolate place, cannot endure the idea of being in that place and looks for a way out no matter how risky it may be. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Christian: At the beginning it was difficult to generate the idea of the structures, I made some previous models but they did not convince me at all, sometimes it is difficult to conclude a personal project because you do not know when to stop, you always want to put more and more details but the registration deadline to the 3D Awards helped me define the final proposal. Fox Renderfarm: Who or what project inspires you most in this industry?Christian: There are several CG artists that I like whose works among them are Jaime Jasso, Jama Jurabaev, Tamas Medve and the list is very long.!jaime-jasso-wacomacademy-lostcity-sLost Temple City © Jaime JassoWild West Unreal engine pack © Jama JurabaevGallery in Warsaw © Tamas Medve Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever heard of or used Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services previously? If yes, how do you feel about it?Christian: I had heard about Fox Renderfarm from some friends who had recommended it to me, I think it is a good service and I have heard good comments about the way of working and the platform. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Christian: I would tell them that they participate in the contest, it is a good way to show your ideas and put yourself to the test with your skills and continue learning from the other participants.!Christian Paul Espinoza-1© Christian Paul EspinozaInstagram
LITH: A Decentralized Publicly Owned Platform to Solve Housing Problems in Gentrification Neighborhood: Introducing Young But Talented Architect, Razan Jawad
Have you ever thought about what ArchViz can do other than illustrating buildings built or unbuilt? Razan Jaward, a graduate from The Bartlett School of Architecture, ULC, created her graduation project -- LITH. LITH © Razan JawadLITH is a decentralized publicly owned platform for space sharing enabled by a localized fused deposition modelling printing farm, it is aimed towards decommodification of gentrified neighborhoods and to provide affordable long-term homes for at-risk members of the community and to provide a platform to artists and artisan being displaced due to gentrification. It’s more than a regular ArchViz artwork, but a solution towards housing problems that bother numerous artists and people in many communities, showing the social conscience of the creator.The explanation of LITHRazan, with LITH, was also nominated in the Student (FILM) category of the 2020 CGarchitect 3D Awards, which was sponsored by Fox Renderfarm, a top-notch cloud rendering solution provider. For more creative details and ideas behind, please enjoy our interview.- Razan Jawad- Architect- From: Republic of Lebanon Fox Renderfarm: Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Razan: My name is Razan Jawad, I’m originally Lebanese, born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium. I’ve been passionate about architecture from the age of 15 and it has only increased as I have grown.I have worked in Lebanon and Belgium as an Intern and an Assistant Architect. At the age of 19, I had just finished from the Architectural High school in Antwerp and thus, my life as an architect began, designing stores within the new center that was being built in Centro Ovale Chiasso, at the Swiss Italian border. 70% of my proposed design integration for the H&M and Apple stores were adopted by the clients.!Centro Ovale Chiasso!Centro Ovale ChiassoCentro Ovale ChiassoAfter moving to Lebanon, my determination, learnings and previous work experience landed me on several job opportunities as an Assistant Architect which was done in parallel to my university education. In June 2018 I graduated from ALBA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and to further enhance my studies I attended UCL in London where I completed my master’s degree in architectural design. !The Bartlett School of ArchitectureBeing a freelance architect, I’m currently working on three different projects that are based in Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Congo which led me to open up a startup studio. The project in Lebanon is a residential villa for a private client and the 2 projects in Africa are huge commercial projects. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about being nominated for the CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards?Razan: It feels great to get recognition for the amount of hard work that goes into realizing any architectural project academic or otherwise.!LITH Fox Renderfarm: What inspired you to create the amazing project? Any ideas behind the name “LITH”?Razan: LITH is the culmination of a year of architectural research, It is a amalgamation of philosophies of discrete architecture (a digital combinatorial design theory by Gilles Retsin), a mix of neo-Brutalism and gothic inspirations backed with social theories for cohousing communities. Gilles RetsinDirector at Gilles Retsin ArchitectureFormer Lecturer, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL!Discrete Reappraising the Digital in Architecture by Gilles RetsinDiscrete: Reappraising the Digital in Architecture by Gilles Retsin Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the core idea of the film and what kind of concepts do you want to convey through it? The building you design in the film is unique and futuristic, could you introduce the function of it and how you create it?Razan: The buildings in the film are actually a system of buildings rather than an individual building. It is a platform enabled co-housing community. Key concept:LITH stems from the idea that housing is a fundamental human right, while ownership of property is not. Along with the housing crisis, Gentrification adversely affects at-risk communities in neighborhoods. In Hackney, which hosts one of the largest artistic communities in the United Kingdom, artists and residents now face the same issues as many of the flats, and warehouse studios they inhabit have become too expensive for them, to continue to live and work there.!HackneyHackneyMain functions:LITH is a decentralized publicly owned platform for space sharing enabled by a localized fused deposition modelling printing farm, it is aimed towards decommodification of gentrified neighborhoods and to provide affordable long-term homes for at-risk members of the community and to provide a platform to artists and artisan being displaced due to gentrification.!LITHThe automated LITH printing farm works tirelessly around the clock for the production of serialized 3D printed formworks which can be cast incrementally to generate architectural structures. The printing factory continues to be an integral part of the LITH ecosystem after the construction process, and residents and artists can access the 3D printing farm to produce furniture, goods and art.!LITHThe LITH platform can respond to a variety of typologies depending upon the urban conditions, user requirements and varying design briefs. The same localized LITH printing farm can generate various housing communities within a neighborhood. Each housing can have an entirely different underlying functional program and spatial configuration. The generations also respond flexibly to any 3-dimensional boundary constraints.!LITH!LITHWithin LITH, spaces are divided as shared, semi-shared and private. Where semi-shared spaces are shared by residents of the housing, while shared spaces can be utilized by other members of the community as well. Residents and artists can access these shared spaces by booking them through the LITH space sharing platform. Light-based visual cues let the users know if a space is available, being utilized or can be shared. Large public lofts function as shared spaces, which can be utilized by local artists as studio spaces and workshops. The artist can either purchase a subscription to these spaces or occupy them by booking them through the LITH platform.!LITH!LITH Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take you to finish the film?Razan: The whole project was a culmination of a year long research into 3D Printing, platform based generative architecture, algorithmic design and discrete architecture. The movie itself took over 2 months to make from the initial storyboard to the modelling of the actual building and then the final render.!LITH Fox Renderfarm: In this project, what software and plugins did you use? And do you use any new creative approaches to make the project better? Razan: The generation of the building geometry is a combination of rhino3d + grasshopper and Unity + C algorithms. The animation was carried out entirely on 3ds Max and rendered with V-Ray. Fox Renderfarm: How long have you been in the architectural visualization career? Could you share with us your education and career experience?Razan: Being at UCL was a life changer especially having conducted a bachelor’s degree in the Middle East to the “Western Content” from constant learning of new software to fabrication. During my whole architecture degree using 3d visualization was always part of my academic work, but my experience at The Bartlett encouraged me to explore newer software, whereby I was fortunate enough to have an amazing instructor who encouraged me to apply to the 3D Awards at CGarchitects.!LITH Fox Renderfarm: As an outstanding young architect, what do you do to enhance your professional skills?Razan: I make sure I’m up to date with the digital world by watching lectures and documentaries about new architectural technologies.
Interview with Alejandro Creo Rodríguez, Our Beloved Client and Founder of the3DCube
Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez is a freelance 3D designer and the founder of the3DCube ArchViz studio. He has managed to work for important national and international interior designers and collaborated in many furniture catalogs and in the Casa Decor Madrid 2017 exhibition.!Alejandro Creo Rodriguez- Alejandro Creo Rodriguez- Freelance 3D Designer- Founder of the3DCubeFox Renderfarm is dedicated to providing fast and secure cloud rendering services for our clients around the world. We have over 200,000 happy customers from 50+ countries and regions. And Alejandro is one of them! We are glad and thankful that Alejandro has chosen Fox Renderfarm.!ArchViz © Alejandro Creo RodríguezArchViz © Alejandro Creo Rodríguez, rendered with Fox RenderfarmWith his strong love and passion for art, Alejandro learned 3D design with 3ds Max in his course. And after that, he just fell in love with 3D creations. For the ups and downs in life, he decided to specialize in ArchViz and constantly improved his techniques by getting the 2013 Autodesk Professional Certificate.After completing the degree and seeing the difficulty of finding a job in an architecture studio, He plucked up the courage to found his own 3D infographic business focused on architecture and interior design, combining it at the same time with 2 years as a 3D infoarchitecture instructor for students of the University of Architecture of Donostia / San Sebastián. With about 15 years’ experience in the 3D world and with a lot of study, research, work, time and money invested, he keeps his pursuit in the ArchViz world and explores more possibilities with interactive technology.!Alejandro Creo Rodriguez-1© Alejandro Creo Rodriguez Fox Renderfarm: Hi Alejandro, thank you so much for accepting our interview, could you please introduce yourself? Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: Hi, pleased to talk with you. Well, my name is Alejandro. I'm from Donostia - San Sebastian. It is a beautiful coastal city from Vasque Country in the north of Spain. I’m 40 years old and I’ve been a CG artist for about 15 years.!Alejandro Creo Rodriguez-3© Alejandro Creo Rodriguez Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry? Please briefly tell us the story of your career path and how you set up the3DCube.Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: Well...in my family, almost all members have a good hand to draw and a good taste for the design. It is a family thing. Since I was studying at an institute, I was drawing graffiti letters all the time in different study books, and on the walls of the city ;). I finished the institute and I didn’t want to go to the university to study, and I decided to learn graphic design software to continue drawing. There I met 3ds Max. I fell in love with it at the moment. When I finished studying it, I made one special project with Softimage the XSI version. One year later, one architect school from San Sebastian contacted me to work in their office with 3ds Max software making a 3D modeling work for an architecture project. 6 years later, I went to Madrid to study for a Master’s certificate in advanced architectural visualization (ArchVIZ).There I learned all matters to make a base of a good render image. Then, with a lot of hours studying, reading books, watching tutorials and working, I learned to use a lot of tips, plugins, and scripts to make my photorealistic render images. !Alejandro Creo Rodriguez-4© Alejandro Creo Rodriguez Fox Renderfarm: What movies/ tv shows/ games are your favorites respectively?Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: I like sports very much. I think that it is very necessary because I spent a lot of hours sitting in front of a computer. I like CrossFit very much. I don’t watch tv, but I’m addicted to Netflix shows like thrillers movies. For me, one of the best tv shows is “el conquistador del caribe”. It is a local survival tv show. The best. I like skateboarding and surfing.!el conquistador del caribeel conquistador del caribe Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: I follow The works of Filip Hodas (INS @hoodas) and Ronen Bekerman. I like their style very much. For Spanish artists, I like the works of Lemons Bucket so much. Another reference is the artist Juan Siquier. For studios, there are Lemons Bucket Studio and Berga & González.Cartoon Fossils © Filip Hodas!Ronen BekermanRonen BekermanCo-founder/Manager The Craft!Mad hatter © Juan SiquierMad hatter © Juan Siquier!Lemons Bucket© Lemons Bucket!Berga & González© Berga & González Fox Renderfarm: As a freelancer, how do you keep yourself motivated and productive? And what do you do to enhance your artistic sense and professional skills constantly?Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: I love my work and lifestyle, and that is my main motivation. Life and work without a boss and restricted timetables are the best. Daily, I check 3D forums (from Facebook ) where other artists are talking about new features of software and plugins, and showing their works, and asking questions…..that is my form to stay always on the way ;)!Alejandro Creo Rodriguez-5© Alejandro Creo Rodriguez Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your creative workflow?Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: It is simple…. I only need to study the project to know what is more important to show in the rooms or zones in the renders. Then, I need to know the materials and I look for reference images from google or magazines, to have an example of materials, illuminations and perspectives. After all the work is tested, I will adapt the camera and the lights and configure the materials. Fox Renderfarm: What’s your proudest or most unforgettable work? Any difficulty you met when making it?Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: Wow...it is difficult to choose..I think that a reform restaurant from the center of Madrid. It was one of the first jobs that I’ve done, and the responsibility was big for me. Finding the best lighting for space was a big difficulty on that project. Finally, the result was very satisfactory. In fact, I have the comparative images from reality vs render ;)!Comparative render-6!Comparative render-8Comparative renderWe can always find fine-balanced lighting, colors and details in your photorealistic artworks. Could you use an example to elaborate on the details about how you made them well? Having reference images from google is always necessary (for example) to see the materials and the details. I never make the materials from memory, always seeing reference images.!Comparative render-8© Alejandro Creo Rodriguez Fox Renderfarm: You’ve also integrated interactive methods, such as VR, with ArchViz, how do you feel about it? Any future plans to adopt them more in your projects? Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: Yes, I think interactive methods are the future for the ArchViz jobs. The clients want interaction and dynamism. At this time, clients sometimes don't want to visit the projects personally, they prefer to make a virtual visit from their homes. Now I’m making static images, virtual visits on 360 images and video animation, but I would like to make Unreal Engine works in the future, that they have a lot of dynamism on the projects.Loft 3d 360 VR Virtual Tour © Alejandro Creo Rodriguez Fox Renderfarm: Could you tell us how you got involved in the Casa Decor Madrid 2017 exhibition? Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: Yes, it was a very proud work, because to know that your renders were shown at an exhibition is very motivating. An interior artist from Madrid contacted me (she was the same artist that contacted me on Madrid´s reform restaurant project) and she said to me what she wanted to do, and showed me the photographs from the room. !Comparative render-7© Alejandro Creo Rodriguez Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about the ArchViz industry in Spain?Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: Things are more complicated in the last year. because now the economy is not at its best moment. Another thing is now we have more artists than some years ago, and now with the news configurations from the render engines that are very easy, all the artists have good jobs. Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s rendering services?Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: For me, Fox Renderfarm is a very important tool for my job. Without working with Fox Renderfarm, I need a home render farm to have the final renders prepared to send on time, and it will cost a lot of money on computers and hardware. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts? Mr. Alejandro Creo Rodríguez: Thank you for the interview. Thanks to the people who are making video tutorials and tips because they make my life easier :) If you want, you can follow my works on Instagram @_the3dcube. And finally…….LONG LIVE ARCHVIZ!!! Love, peace and rock n roll.!Comparative render-9© Alejandro Creo RodriguezInstagram
Bringing Vitality Back to Naples Alley with 3ds Max: Introducing 3D Awards Student Winner, Nicola Scognamiglio
CGarchitect Architectural 3Dawards
!CGA2020 CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards, referred to as the Oscars of architectural visualization, attract entries from around the world. As the sponsor and long-term partner of the competition, the best cloud rendering service provider, Fox Renderfarm is honoured to interview the winner of the best student image, Nicola Scognamiglio, an outstanding Architect from MADI, Master in Digital Architecture at IUAV in Italy.When lockdown ends © Nicola ScognamiglioThe artwork “When lockdown ends” shows the end of quarantine, when we can see children playing, tourists crowding the Naples alley, and people finally living without social distancing. Nicola spent less than 3 weeks to finish the work, which was made with 3ds Max, V-Ray, Substance and Photoshop.Now, let’s learn about Nicola’s creation process and his CG experience through our exclusive interview.- Nicola Scognamiglio- Architect/ 3D Artist- From: Italy Fox Renderfarm: Hi Nicola, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Nicola: I’m Nicola Scognamiglio, 26 years old and I come from Napoli, Italy where I graduated as an architect. Then I worked a bit as an architect in Milan, before moving again to Venice to attend the classes at MADI, Master in Digital Architecture at IUAV. At the moment I am in the Netherlands working as a junior artist at Proloog.tv.!Panopticon © Nicola Scognamiglio!Panopticon © Nicola ScognamiglioPanopticon © Nicola Scognamiglio Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning the best student image in the 2020 CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards?Nicola: it's cool! wasn't in the plans, it was a big surprise already when I found out I was among the nominees. I was pleased to receive such a kind review of my work from an experienced jury, and I hope to do well again this year! Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for this amazing work “When lockdown ends”? Why did you select this artwork to participate in the competition?Nicola: The image was initially born for another competition held at MADI, hosted by Cityscape Digital. The aim of that competition was to present a scene from life after COVID-19 in Italy, insisting on how this emergency has made us rediscover family values, made us more compassionate and strengthened our national spirit. So when I learned about the 3D Awards held by Cgarchitect.com, I chose the image that was my best at the time, and it turned out well!!process - Scognamiglio When LockdownEnds Fox Renderfarm: The work shows a harmonious and beautiful life without pandemic, what do you want to express through the work?Nicola: The image tries to represent the exact moment when you get the news that the pandemic is over and people are looking out on balconies to celebrate the event. Naples’ historical center has always fascinated me. Only walking through the alleys you can understand what It means living together: you live on the street with your clothes hanging high like flags. The population density, the proximity of the apartments makes everyone part of a large cohesive community. Sketches Fox Renderfarm: The Naples alley and buildings are so realistic and lovely, could you introduce how you make the model and texture?Nicola: I started modeling the buildings, trying to keep as few polygons as possible. Then I moved for other architectural elements such as: balconies, external fixtures, railings. Later was the turn of all the various types of installations and elements at street level.The texturing phase deserved special attention due to the nature of the environments. I decided to proceed with Substance Painter to have the largest compositional freedom in the creation of the materials. Fox Renderfarm: There are so many details in the scene, such as the hanging clothes, potted plants and even the doves, could you tell us how you made all these lovely details?Nicola: Most of all those elements are 3d assets I had in my library, while in particular the hanging clothes are put in the post production phase. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Nicola: More than technical difficulties, at the beginning of the process I was very hesitant about the camera to choose. I didn’t know how much it should look like as an aerial view or how “natural” it could seem. At the end, moving around the scene, I found the right position: as if you were looking out from one of those balconies.!camera-Scognamiglio When LockdownEnds-1!camera-Scognamiglio When LockdownEnds Fox Renderfarm: How long have you been in the architectural visualization career? And who or what project inspires you most in this industry?Nicola: I would say this is the beginning of my career in architectural visualization, now it’s just about one year since I first opened 3ds Max. I’m curious about what’s next!What could inspire my eventual personal projects is not so much what I see in this industry. I like to get influenced by a movie I’ve seen, a TV series or a book I’ve read. Even taking photographs helps me picture a certain scene or environment! Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Nicola: Nothing but wishing everyone to keep pushing through with amazing artworks!!Teshima Art Museum!Teshima Art Museum2Teshima Art Museum © Nicola ScognamiglioInstagramLinkedInArtstationBehance
Exploring New Worlds: Introducing Ken Nguyen and His 22 Years of CG Journey
Victory is Ours! © Ken Nguyen The war between the E.U.N. (Earth United Nations) and the aliens has been going on for decades and brought humanity on the brink of extinction. While wars ravage the Earth, E.U.N has sent people to explore and settle colonies on other planets.The art series, "Exploring New Worlds", are created by Ken Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam, grew up in Paris, France, in the 80s and then moved to the USA in the mid-90s. Ken has over 22 years combined experience in architecture, video games, themed entertainment, immersive experiences and trade shows and exhibits. In our exclusive interview, we can find out how Ken created the amazing art series and his 22 years of CG Journey! !Ken Nguyen- Ken Nguyen- Sr. 2D/3D Concept Designer- From: United States- Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/ken28875 Fox Renderfarm: Hi Ken, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Ken: My name is Ken Nguyen. I was born in Vietnam but left the country at a very young age after the war. I grew up in Paris, France, in the 80s and then moved to the USA in the mid-90s. I have over 22 years combined experience in architecture, video games, themed entertainment, immersive experiences and trade shows and exhibits. Fox Renderfarm: As a 2D/3D Senior Concept Designer, do you think 2D art skills help you a lot in 3D art developing?Ken: Like most concept artists, I started learning traditional media such as pencils, markers, and watercolors. Then I discovered Photoshop in the late 90s. I got introduced to 3d modeling with SketchUp when I was working in architecture in the early 2000s. I would say that 2D and 3D skills work in tandem to create the desired art. Indeed, I do not think an artist is 100 percent 2D or 100 percent 3D, especially nowadays with all the new 3d software. Some use simple 3D geometries and do a lot of paint-over and photobashing in Photoshop. Others like myself use a lot of 3D and do minimum 2D work in Photoshop. However, there were some pieces that needed a lot of Photoshop paint-over for things that were faster to do in 2D than in 3D (e.g., Adding FX such as smokes, fires, or doing color corrections and whatnots in Photoshop).This one is a great example of concept that I spent a lot of time with paintover and texture/photobashing in Photoshop.!The Last of Them - The Ambush © Ken NguyenThe Last of Them - The Ambush © Ken Nguyen Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for your series of visual developments called "Exploring New Worlds"? Ken: It is actually a long process that started back in 2013 when I did the first concept in the series called the Last of Them.!The Last of Them © Ken NguyenThe Last of Them © Ken Nguyen It was the beginning of my alien-invasion/post-apocalyptic/end-of-the-world series of visual developments. Humans were living in peace under the E.U.N (Earth United Nations) until the alien invasion that brought the human race to the brink of extinction. The war between the E.U.N. military and the alien forces lasted for over a hundred years. As decades passed, humans developed new technology and spaceships that would allow them to escape the war-ravaged earth to explore other planets. That was when the Exploring New World (XNW) series would begin. I was laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic last year and it was a perfect time to take a break and work on personal art pieces such as the XNW environment concepts. That was also a way for me to visit those worlds and escape all the craziness happening in 2020. LOL Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the "Exploring New Worlds" series?Ken: As mentioned above, I lost my job, therefore I had a lot of free time to work on personal projects. I spent a few months during the Spring and Summer of 2020 working on the XNW series which actually consists of different themes. The main subject is Exploring New Worlds, but there are also concepts that were parts of Alien Encounters, Alien Civilizations, E.U.N. Capital, Military and Bases on other planets. !Exploring New Worlds!Alien Encounters!Alien Civilizations!E.U.N. Capital!Alien Encounter © Ken NguyenAlien Encounter © Ken Nguyen !E.U.N. Capital © Ken NguyenE.U.N. Capital © Ken Nguyen !Alien Civilization © Ken Nguyen-1!Alien Civilization © Ken Nguyen-2!Alien Civilization © Ken Nguyen-3!Alien Civilization © Ken Nguyen-4Alien Civilization © Ken Nguyen !E.U.N. Military Base © Ken Nguyen-1!E.U.N. Military Base © Ken Nguyen-2E.U.N. Military Base © Ken Nguyen While working on XNW series, I also did some concepts for the Last of Them series that tells the story of the war between the humans and the alien/mutant races on war-ravaged Earth that will lead to the XNW series after over a century has passed.!The Last of Them - The Ambush © Ken NguyenThe Last of Them - The Ambush © Ken Nguyen !The Last of Them - Abandoned Warehouse © Ken NguyenThe Last of Them - Abandoned Warehouse © Ken Nguyen !The Last of Them - Behind The Car! © Ken NguyenThe Last of Them - Behind The Car! © Ken Nguyen Fox Renderfarm: You were the Concept Artist at DIGITAL DOMAIN in 2018 in charge of environment and prop concepts for ELEVEN ELEVEN. Did you meet any difficulties while creating? And how did you solve it? Ken: I was one of the many concept artists working on Eleven Eleven, which is an original science fiction story designed for virtual reality and augmented reality and has been selected by the 2019 SXSW Film Festival.I believe the art team worked on the game several months before Digital Domain reached out to me and hired me to help with some extra environment concepts as they were on a tight schedule.I was tasked with creating the jungle and cave areas as well as some props. The challenge here was to create a jungle that looks realistic and natural by populating the scenes with trees and plants, and at the same time it must satisfy the gameplay. Designing in 3D was the biggest advantage compared to 2D. Indeed, I was able to place the vegetation assets in real-time and experience the spaces with camera movements as if I were in the jungle. !Eleven Eleven VR Game © Ken Nguyen-1!Eleven Eleven VR Game © Ken Nguyen-2!Eleven Eleven VR Game © Ken Nguyen-3!Eleven Eleven VR Game © Ken Nguyen-4!Eleven Eleven VR Game © Ken Nguyen-5!Eleven Eleven VR Game © Ken Nguyen-6Eleven Eleven VR Game © Ken Nguyen Fox Renderfarm: Among all the projects you’ve done, which project do you feel proudest and would you share with us how you make it? Ken: There are many concepts that are my favorites and that I am proud of. Among them are some from the XNW or The Last of Them series because they were the newest concepts and I have learned a lot from previous projects to create them. However, for this question here, I would like to share some renders that are perfect examples to show how working in 3D is fast, efficient and productive especially for architectural renders.This project is called A Day in the City and was an entry to the 2018 Evermotion challenge. After I read the brief, I thought it would be interesting to create a scene showing everyday life in downtown of a big city. I started gathering buildings from my 3D resource folders and played around with different layouts as shown in the WIP-01 image. I came up with seven options. They were all grey renders so that I did not have to worry about materials and textures. I then populated the scenes with people, vehicles and trees as you can see in the WIP-02 image.After picking one of the views, I started to do some color renders and played with different lightings, weather, and time of day such as evening, night, sunny, overcast, etc. I believed the final submission was the evening one. After the contest was over, I decided to do a snowy post-apocalyptic version just for fun. !A Day in the City WIP - 01!A Day in the City WIP - 02!A Day in the City © Ken Nguyen-1!A Day in the City © Ken Nguyen-2!A Day in the City © Ken Nguyen-3!A Day in the City © Ken Nguyen-4!A Day in the City © Ken Nguyen-5A Day in the City © Ken Nguyen Fox Renderfarm: What’s your pipeline of 3D art?Ken: I do a lot of 3D kitbashing using models I build from scratch as needed, free models and some that I bought from different 3D sites. A lot of them are quite affordable and they are made by professionals, therefore the quality is particularly good. After I have an idea of what I want to do, I gather the 3D assets and compose them together in SketchUp. I then export the whole thing into Lumion, set up the views, and add lighting. I usually do some tests with white box or grey renders. I can focus on the composition and lighting/values and not worry too much about color, materials, and textures. When I am somewhat satisfied with the grey renders, I start adding materials and textures. It is a long but fun process going back and forth between SketchUp and Lumion. Nothing is written in stone for the 3D composition. As a matter of fact, I kept on changing, adding, or rotating the 3D assets as needed. Everything is in real-time, therefore, I can see what the final render might look like with actual lighting, shadows, reflections on materials, etc.When I have something that I really like, I render it and bring it into Photoshop for some paintover, color corrections, FX like smokes, and so on. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?Ken: After graduating from high school, I went on to study architecture. I received a bachelor and master’s degrees in Architecture and worked for about five years as an architectural designer. I never knew that learning SketchUp (a program originally created for architects to create quick 3D designs) would help me get a job in the game industry.Ever since I was a little kid, I always love to draw fantasy and sci-fi characters, environments, and architecture. Therefore, I decided to quit my architectural job and move to San Francisco, California, in 2003 to attend the Academy of Art University where I graduated with a MFA in Games focusing on concept art, modeling, texturing and animation with Maya and Studio Max.I got my first job in the game industry working on concepts of environments and architecture for an MMO in 2006 using SketchUp and E-On Software Vue.Then in 2013, I discovered Lumion3d, a program similar to real-time game engines, that allowed me to create my first alien invasion/post-apocalyptic concept that would evolve into the Exploring New Worlds series.I have been using SketchUp, Lumion3d and Photoshop to do all my environment concepts ever since.I also use Daz3d for my character designs, but my next goal will be to learn ZBrush. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Ken: I get inspiration from the artists and concept art from movies like Star Wars or Avatar, and video games such as Halo, Assassin Creed, The Last of Us, and Uncharted series, and Ghost of Tsushima.I also like to look at the old masters and how amazing the intricate details are in their oil landscape paintings. Fox Renderfarm: The composition, lighting and coloring of your works are fantastic, how do you enhance your good sense?Ken: Composition, lighting, and color are basic art foundations that all artists must learn. Whenever possible, one should think about foreground, middle ground and background, and what stories the renders are telling and how the composition of the elements guide the viewers’ eyes. Lighting (and shadows) when done correctly will create a sense of realism. As for color, it creates moods and emotions. Concepting in 3D certainly helps a lot with composition and lighting especially for environments and architectural designs. Indeed, I can place, move, and rotate all the elements (e.g. rocks, mountains, plants, characters, buildings, vehicles, etc.) and see which compositions work best. Also, using Lumion I can add lights and try different weather types and times of day (e.g., morning, night, etc.) and see the changes in real-time. That would be impossible to do in 2D concepts. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Ken: Here is an advice that many of you certainly have heard: Follow your dreams and “Love what you do and do what you love” (Ray Bradbury). Also, learn from your past mistakes, be willing to embrace changes and learn new techniques and software. Finally, practice, practice, and practice! As a CG artist, it is a never-ending journey of learning and discovery to become a better artist.As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Life is a journey, not a destination”.
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