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    Making a Gothic Castle With Strong Silhouettes in Cinema 4D

    2020-11-27

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    On November 4th, CG Boost announced the winners of its 19th 3D challenge, Moving Castle Challenge, which was sponsored by the TPN-Accredited cloud render farm, Fox Renderfarm.

    We are so proud to have an interview with the champion of the Moving Castle Challenge, Kay John Yim, a Chartered Architect based in London, specializing in Architectural Visualization/CGI. His artwork, The Mirage Castle: a Fantasy War Tale, received unanimous praise from the judges as its beautiful composition and strong silhouettes.

    • Kay John Yim
    • Chartered Architect based in London
    • From: Hong Kong
    • Artwork Caption: Set in the medieval times, "The Mirage Castle" was a mysterious city built on top of a gigantic rhinoceros, bringing both war and civilization to all the cities it conquered. Its every movement exerted immense force to the earth and the atmosphere, creating haze and sandstorms that covered its trace.

    The Mirage Castle: a Fantasy War Tale © Kay John Yim

    Clay render © Kay John Yim

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi John, thank you so much for accepting our interview again! How do you feel about winning 1st place in the CGBoost’s Moving Castle Challenge?

    John: Thank you so much for having me again! It was truly my honor to take the 1st place in the Moving Castle Challenge!

    Fox Renderfarm: What software did you use throughout your pipeline?

    John: I used primarily ZBrush, Cinema 4D and Redshift to create this image, however I am gradually transitioning to Houdini at the moment, as its fully procedural workflow allows me to iterate much faster.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your award-winning work? Any references?

    John: I was inspired by the compositions and color palettes of Napoleonic romanticised war paintings for my entry. Unlike most works that I have done (which are mostly set in present) – my entry was set in ancient times, and I intentionally reference war paintings to create a painterly look as opposed to a photorealistic aesthetic.

    Fox Renderfarm: The silhouettes are really excellent. How did you make it?

    John: For the Moving Castle itself, I picked Gothic Architecture intentionally for its iconic silhouette - Gothic pointed arches and flying buttresses are easily recognizable from a distance, so I could iterate without worrying too much about camera positioning.

    I then experimented with more and less foreground characters for optimal composition, and tested various camera positioning and cropping to best convey the Moving Castle’s colossal size.

    Fox Renderfarm: A depth pass with color makes the image great and readable even from a very far distance, which is well received by the judges . How did you design it?

    John: The final scene consisted of 3 primary levels of layering - the Moving Castle, the army marching on the sunflower field, and the protagonist knights - all embedded within a large fog VDB.

    The challenge brief gave me an opportunity to experiment with fog VDBs extensively, which I believe was essential to add depth to a scene of drastically varying sizes.

    Fox Renderfarm: Which is the most challenging part of this work? How did you overcome it?

    John: As the Moving Castle was completely fictional, setting the scale and proportions between the rhino and the castle was the most challenging part. Ultimately the scale was primarily based on the camera positioning more so than realistic (gothic) architecture to arrive at a clear silhouette.

    Fox Renderfarm: How did you finish the texturing?

    John: Most of the textures are from Megascans with added noises and amplified AO (Ambient Occlusion).

    I kept most of the shaders and textures fairly simple, with the exception of the sunflowers - which have exaggerated SSS (Subsurface Scattering) to create a painterly aesthetic under sunlight.

    Fox Renderfarm: Lighting is also a vital part, how did you control it?

    John: I used the sun as a hard backlight, to create separation among the layers of subjects and the background.

    The fog VDB scattering color is slightly tinted to add interest and intrigue to the Moving Castle and the army. Though not physically accurate, I think it complemented the sunflower field well.

    Fox Renderfarm: In terms of the rendering part, did you meet any difficulties?

    John: My rendering time skyrocketed when I first added VDBs to the scene, so I stayed away from VDBs until I had finalised the general scene layout.

    If you wanna know more about John, there’s another interview we’ve done with John Creating an Amazing CGI Project Staged at Hagia Sophia in ZBrush.

    Please hit the link to know more!


    Creating an Amazing CGI Project Staged at Hagia Sophia in ZBrush

    2020-11-20

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    On October 30th, Fox Renderfarm announced the winner of our Halloween Treat, Kay John Yim, a Chartered Architect based in London, specializing in Architectural Visualization/CGI.

    His 3D Trick Art “Ritual” is an amazing CGI project staged at Hagia Sophia, standing out for its excellent composition and lighting.

    Ritual © Kay John Yim

    Clay render © Kay John Yim

    Here’s the interview between John and the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider Fox Renderfarm, in which he talked about how he made the wonderful render.

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi, John! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    John: Sure! I am a Chartered Architect based in London, specializing in Architectural Visualization/CGI. As a 3D enthusiast growing up in Hong Kong, I always have an extreme admiration for people working in the film and game industries – for all the surreal photographic and photo-realistic CG contents they produce.

    It was only until the recent COVID-19 lock-down that I began exploring 3D techniques outside of the realm of architecture – creature sculpting & grooming, character design and cloth simulation for instance. I started working on personal projects to experiment with colors and lighting in addition to learning new techniques.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning Fox Renderfarm's Halloween Treat with your excellent 3D Trick Art “Ritual”, how do you feel about that?

    John: Thank you! I feel honored to have won the Halloween Treat, and I look forward to participating in future Fox Renderfarm render challenges!

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork “Ritual”?

    John: My intention was to create an atmospheric image with a narrative open for imagination. “Ritual”, like many of my personal CG projects, was built upon real locations - which in this case was the interior of the Hagia Sophia. Having been constructed and retrofitted as both a mosque and a church over the course of 1,500 years, I found the unique fusion of Christian and Islamic elements at the Hagia Sophia mesmerizing and enigmatic, hence the perfect backdrop for storytelling.

    The character was inspired by a YouTuber “Taylor R” - who introduced me to Japanese Lolita fashion, a fashion style of which I found formal yet very suiting for my intention.

    I Was A LOLITA For A Day (Modelling in Japan)

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    John: It took me about a week to finish, during which I spent most of the time testing different color palettes and lighting ideas.

    Fox Renderfarm: The lighting is excellent, feeling like in a wonderland. How did you design the lighting?

    John: Thanks! I took inspiration from the John Wick movies – starting with complementary colors and generally shifting the color spectrum to arrive at a convincing lighting & color combination.

    John Wick (2014) - Official Trailer - Keanu Reeves

    I used candles and chandeliers as the primary light sources, while avoiding CG fake lights. I personally believe realistic lighting setups produce more believable and relatable renderings, regardless of whether it is a fantasy or photo-real quality that I am after.

    Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the stylized character? Any references?

    John: The character was blocked out in C4D and sculpted in ZBrush, in reference to Gothic Lolita Dresses – modern adaptations of Gothic Victorian Fashion.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    John: Framing was probably the most challenging – as the character and the architecture vary quite a lot in scale, it was difficult to position the camera such that they were both readable while not competing for focus.

    My solution was to use depth of field to separate the character’s silhouette from the backdrop, at the same time re-emphasizing the sense of space by carefully positioning chandeliers, candles and blue ambient light throughout.

    Fox Renderfarm: Technically and visually, which is your favorite part? And why?

    John: My favorite part is the depth of field and the bokeh that comes along with it– they add extra depth to the image and create additional room for imagination.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    John: I got into CG rendering back when I was studying architecture in University, where everyone has to present architectural concepts with renderings on top of conventional 2D drawings. CAD softwares like Rhino, AutoCAD and Revit were essential tools of trade within the architectural industry, tools that I have been using for over 6,7 years until I struggled with the limitations of rendering packages available at the time.

    C4D ended up being my choice for work for its stability and ease of use for animation/motion graphics. Since then I have been using C4D and Redshift as my primary rendering/modeling tool for both work (architectural visualization) and personal projects.

    I am constantly experimenting with new softwares to up my quality and efficiency – my current passion lies in Houdini 18.5 and the procedural magic that it empowers!

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?

    John: For someone getting into C4D and Redshift, “Greyscalegorilla” is a great place to start. Beyond that, I think understanding 3D itself (concept of UV, VFX pipelines etc.) is much more important than learning what a particular button does, as modern software is advancing so quickly nowadays. “Hugo's Desk” has great videos that explain the in and outs of CG renderings in a VFX pipeline.

    Apart from understanding the technicality of 3D, studying photography and cinematography can definitely go a long way - I think I personally learn more about rendering by watching movies than watching tutorials, back when C4D Redshift was in beta stage.

    Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? If yes, how do you like it?

    John: Yes, I have used Fox Renderfarm recently for a personal project – I really like it as I think it has one of the most user-friendly UIs among the multiple render-farm services I have used. The support I get is also really responsive and helpful!

    Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?

    John: I will be releasing CG art regularly – please follow me along with my CG journey on my social media channels! :)

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k_johnyim/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jy.yimkay


    How to Recreate the Fairytale Rakotz Bridge in Maya

    2020-11-19

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Fox Renderfarm is pleased to announce that the FGT Art October winner came to Thomas Eckstein, a 3D Artist and 3D Animation & VFX Student from PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy. His award-winning artwork Mystical Forest, made in Maya, Arnold and Nuke, recreates the dreamy scenes of Rakotz bridge, a fairytale bridge in Saxony, Germany.

    Mystical Forest © Thomas Eckstein

    FGT Art, a platform for all Fox Renderfarm users to share their talents and get awarded, is willing to support more creative CG artists and students, like Thomas, to improve their CG skills. Here’s the interview between the winner Thomas and Fox Renderfarm, in which he talked about how he felt about winning FGT Art and how he made this artwork.

    Thomas Eckstein3D Artist3D Animation & VFX Student PIXL VISN Media Arts AcademyLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-eckstein-08a8b715a/

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Thomas, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Thomas: Hi, I am currently a student in my fourth term at PIXL VISN media arts academy specializing in Lighting & LookDev. Currently I am working on my Demo Reel and look forward to working on my first big project in a studio. As an aspiring artist, I try to learn more every day so that I can make my work the best I can.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about being the October winner of FGT Art?

    Thomas: I am honored and very happy to have won. It shows me that all the work I put into my projects pays off and is being recognized. This motivates me even more to become a better artist.

    Fox Renderfarm: What inspired you to come out with the idea of making the work Mystical Forest?

    Thomas: The given theme for this project was “fantasy”. So I did a lot of research and found the Rakotz bridge in Saxony, Germany. To me this place already looked and felt very mystical and surreal, which I liked a lot. For this reason, I decided to use it as my main inspiration.

    References

    Fox Renderfarm: This work has successfully created a mysterious and fantasy atmosphere, could you tell us how you make it, including the lighting and composition?

    Thomas: To create this mystical atmosphere I really wanted to play around with the mood of the scene. So I decided that it should take place at sunrise with some nice light rays coming through the foliage. I looked at a lot of references to achieve the right layout and camera angle, so that I can recreate this mood with a nice composition. Some extra lights were used to create rim highlights on the bridge, as well as the rock formations. The lighting was later also tweaked using light groups in Nuke.

    Layout Breakdown

    Reference

    Fox Renderfarm: We know that you finished the work in 7 days, so which part took you the most time?

    Thomas: Creating the environment around the bridge took by far the longest. It took a lot of testing and trying out different types of foliage to create the final look I wanted.

    Fox Renderfarm: If time permits, what would you like to improve to make the work better?

    Thomas: Mainly I would like to add some more light scattering through the leaves to make the foliage look more realistic. Some animation for the foliage slightly swaying in the wind with some falling leaves / particles, would also add a lot to the atmosphere. Finally I would also really like to render in a higher resolution since I only managed to render in 720p for the given timeframe.

    Lighting Breakdown

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Thomas: The main difficulty I faced was working with so much foliage. All these models were very demanding on my PC, so I had to figure out a way to be able to work with them. After some research I found out about Arnold Stand-ins and how they allow a lot of objects to be present in the same scene. So after converting all the foliage to .ass files (Arnold stand-ins), I was able to cover the ground with a high number of models of trees, flowers and bushes.

    Fox Renderfarm: Your other work Mjolnir - Thor's Hammer is so cool too, could you tell us how you make the texture of the hammer, including the engravings and scuff marks?

    Thomas: I used Substance Painter for the texturing of the hammer. All the surface damages and scratches were created here. The engravings were created using displacement maps that I also painted in Substance Painter.

    Mjolnir - Thor's Hammer © Thomas Eckstein

    Fox Renderfarm: As a 3D Animation & VFX Student at PIXL VISN media arts academy, why did you choose this major, and will you continue to work in the CG industry after graduation? Could you share your future goals or plans?

    Thomas: Because of the amazing work created by PIXL VISN graduates, as well as the highly qualified teachers working here, I decided to start my education at PIXL VISN. After my graduation I would like to start working in an international studio, to work on high-quality projects and to expand my skills.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?

    Thomas: I am very happy with the rendering services provided by Fox Renderfarm. Many projects would not have been possible without the fast and easy to use rendering service. On top of that, I am really happy with the fast and competent customer service of Fox Renderfarm.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Thomas: Deciding to start working in this industry is one of the best choices I have made so far. Creating work that I can share with other people, while also learning new and exciting things everytime is a very satisfying feeling. I would love to network with other CG enthusiasts to expand my skill set and maybe even create projects together.

    We are waiting for you to be our next FGT Art winner!


    How to Animate the Shortage of Toilet Paper During Pandemic in a Funny Way

    2020-11-18

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    During the pandemic, the shortage of toilet paper must be one of the hot topics in the public.

    A funny animated MV, the official video for Lil DooDoo's single "2020", reflects the shortage of toilet paper in a humorous way. The video is directed by Lil DooDoo, animated by Ricky San E, who is also the September winner of FGT Art, a platform encouraging all artists to share their artworks with the CG community which are rendered with Fox Renderfarm.

    Ricky appraised Lil DooDoo as a potential musician, so this cooperation gave him the chance to invest in Lil DooDoo’s music career. ‘’It would be like helping the Beatles record their first record before they took off. “ Ricky published the music video on his YouTube channel and said.

    Graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design, Ricky has interned at Anima Estudios and Blizzard, done some freelance for Gucci / PinkSalt Milan, and he is working at Avalanche WB currently. In this exclusive interview, he talked about how he made the amazing MV.

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi Ricky, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Ricky: Absolutely, it’s my pleasure and honor. I’m a former, very unsuccessful stand up comedian that turned to animation as a medium to tell jokes and entertain.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about being the September winner of FGT Art?

    Ricky: Oh it’s amazing! I am extremely honored and honestly super happy that I found this service. Honestly, Fox Renderfarm was a pivotal tool in making this music video. I had mostly been making 2D animations for YouTube, this was the first 3D animation I’ve made in my free time after leaving college, and I sort of forgot how long rendering can take. If I had tried to render the project locally, it wouldn’t even be finished today. Fox Renderfarm made it possible to finish this animation.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work? And what software and plugins did you use?

    Ricky: Honestly, the biggest limitation of this project was time. Since this project was made after business hours, I only had the weekends and about two hours during the week to work on it. I truly have to give my project coordinator Emily Rives a shout-out. She made a schedule with bids for each shot and step of the pipeline and kept things on track to make sure the project could get done in time. She was also a great producer by shutting things down that wouldn’t have been possible for me to achieve in time. For example, I used Maya and Arnold to render, there is a feature in the Arnold renderer called atmospheric volume. I initially had the intent to render with this feature turned on, however rendering a single frame with this feature turned on increases render times exponentially, so I was looking at a couple of extra hours of render time per frame. I simply didn’t have the budget or time for that, so instead the smoke was comped on post using DaVinci Resolve. The final image ended up looking cleaner and I had greater control as to what I wanted the smoke to be doing. The whole project took about 4 months.

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us about the pipeline of the project?

    Ricky: Of course, I started by modeling the character and the set. Once I had the character rigged and textured, I proceeded to shoot a reference animatic where I acted out the music video. This allowed me to start working on the edit and allowed production to know how many shots were going to be in the final edit and how much time could realistically be spent on each shot.

    I then worked on layout, doing a whole layout pass on each shot before moving to animation to achieve consistency. I then moved to animation. Having a great schedule was great to make sure how much time I could spend on each shot for each step of the pipeline. I honestly can animate better than I did for this music video, but I needed to work with time constraints due to the nature of the project to achieve the minimum viable product. Once I had the animation in spline and looked somewhat okay, I created a couple of scripts to automate some overlap to give the illusion of a second animation pass. Because the character had Xgen, I needed to export the final animation as an Alembic Cache. I created a couple of scripts that made this pipeline faster. One script queried the name of the animation file “shot_0010” for example and created an alembic cache with that specific name saved to a subfolder by the same name in the cache project folder. I then had another script that would un-reference the character rig, brought in the correct cache by looking at the name of that shot, (which saved a lot of time digging through directories), brought in the final shaders as a reference and assigned said shaders to the alembic cache all with the click of a button. Then I only needed to import Xgen, dynamics, and render templates that I created to all shots and throw a hero light to help the character pop. The set file all the other lights and were the same across all shots. I used Arnold Standins for all the toilet paper sets to optimize performance.

    Fox Renderfarm: The rapper in the MV is so cute and cool, and there are many creative “TP productions”, could you tell us how you make them?

    Ricky: Thank you so much, I tried to make him cuter than he is in real life haha. For sure, I created a couple of sets organized in different ways and exported them as Arnold Standins. This allowed me to just duplicate the standins and spread them around the hangar without having to worry about hundreds of thousands of polygons slowing down Maya. For the other TP creations like the House, it was a combination of using cloth sim to drape the toilet paper on them as well as some custom posing that I did through a custom lattice toilet paper rig that I created.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Ricky: I ran into some issues with XGen and namespace compatibility issues using XGen. I used the geo cache approach and imported the geo cache without a namespace to get it to work. I feel like doing this actually helped renders be faster and the files be less dense since there was no rig and no rig evaluation during the frames.

    Fox Renderfarm: The MV shows an interesting song about the epidemic in 2020, does COVID-19 affect your work and creation?

    Ricky: It was heavily inspired by current times and these weird times we are all experiencing. I wanted to look at the funny side of things, I think the fact that we had a toilet paper shortage was kind of funny and the idea of people hoarding toilet paper was funny to me. I imagined people will be using toilet paper that they hoarded in 2020 for years to come. I think it would’ve been smarter for Lil DooDoo to write a song about a different and more relevant aspect of the covid experience, I think the toilet paper shortage didn’t last as long as he thought, but oh well.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering services?

    Ricky: I think it’s great. I love animating, it’s both a career and a hobby for me. The hardest pill to swallow after graduating was losing access to the school’s render farms, which meant that I would either have to be rich (which I’m not) and buy multiple computers or be okay with playblasts, but I care about the final product not just the animation so that wasn’t really an option. Finding Fox Renderfarm cloud was refreshing, it truly solves this big CG artist need of having affordable, fast and secure access to farm rendering. I was also blown away by the amazing customer service. Truly impressed.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Ricky: I would say “hey, you can make films now, just yourself. You now have access to the necessary computing power to render things. Thanks to Fox Renderfarm.” Also, “stay safe, have fun, keep staring at computers.”


    How To Create A Dreamy Piano MV In 3ds Max

    2020-10-28

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Aiming to foster the development of the industry, GoCreation Program, organized by Fox Renderfarm, is willing to provide preferential prices and subsidies for CG freelancers, empowering them to create more excellent CG artworks and realize their dreams.

    As a 3D Artist and Exhibition Designer from Germany, Fabian Hofmann is one of the accredited freelancers from GoCreation Program. He gets involved in many fields, including concept design, product visualization, CG video, museum exhibition design and so on.

    Recently, Fabian collaborated with Velvet Mediendesign GmbH, a German design studio, to produce a music video for an incredible pianist Meredi. As the 3D Director and Animators of this project, he created all the CGI shots and models with his team, which matches the music, showing a dreamscape where you begin to float and your mind is set free. And Fox Renderfarm is so pleased to provide cloud rendering service for the wonderful project.

    Meredi - Above (Official Music Video)

    Here’s the interview between Fabian Hofmann and Fox Renderfarm, where Fabian talked about how he made the heartfelt MV and his CG journey.

    Fox Renderfarm:Hi, Fabian! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Fabian: My Name is Fabian Hofmann, I live and work in Munich, Germany. I have been a freelance artist for 20 years, doing mostly 3D work for various clients and areas. I work either from my small studio or at the clients’ facility if necessary. I love switching between different kinds of jobs which leads to moments like that I am rendering cars for high-quality print ads on one day and spend the next day modeling characters and props for a real-time project.

    Audi movie done for automotive show © Fabian Hofmann

    This is why I am also a self-taught exhibition designer for museums - I love planning as you would do in a 3D or architectural project, but eventually everything is built for real and you can wander through the rooms you have designed yourself.

    Graphic design for the Landesausstellung in Würzburg, Bavaria © Fabian Hofmann

    Having a foot in every door can be demanding sometimes, but I learned that my clients profit from my varied experiences. I think this is a core competence of being a freelance artist: To know how to solve problems in various ways. To be not afraid to tackle artistic or technical challenges.

    Some of my works can be viewed at www.schallplae.com.

    Fox Renderfarm:Could you introduce your Ad production pipeline?

    Fabian: I am changing my pipeline constantly, trying out new things. Every project has its own demands and challenges and I am trying to adapt my workflow accordingly.

    But there are a few things that I rely on heavily: 3ds Max for modeling, Corona renderer for its fast and intuitive handling and Nuke for compositing.

    Right now I am switching to Houdini and Redshift as a rendering platform, which boosted the output speed on the workflow and rendering side. The versatility of Houdini is amazing and Redshift allows an insane amount of output (and their support forum is excellent by the way), but sometimes I still wish there was a Corona renderer for Houdini ;).

    I am using a single Redshift license on my workstation which means that I cannot work and render on my small local render farm at the same time as I could when I was using Corona or V-Ray. But then, the low GPU pricing on Fox Renderfarm allows us to render even low-budget projects or test frames externally.

    Fox Renderfarm:Among the 3D projects you created, which one impressed you most, and why?

    Fabian: When Covid-19 began to strike in Europe around March 2020, many companies canceled or postponed projects, leaving many freelance artists with no work and income. Many colleagues including me were faced with idle time. While talking with Matthias Zentner (www.velvet.de) I decided to start a project to fill our time and busy our minds and create a music video for the Berlin-based artist Meredi.

    Other artists joined in and I cannot thank enough for their hard work and professional dedication: Matthias Zentner, Lara Frank, Felix Hörlein, Valentina Rutz, Wolfgang Haas, Fred Weinl, Andreas Rathmacher, Chris Weingart, Tom Gonsior, Torsten Lippstock, Ellen Grabandt, Laura Caufapé, Marina Hoermanseder.

    Within ten weeks we created eight full CGI shots of belle epoque Paris, including character animation and the physics simulation of hundreds of thousands of cobblestones. The live-action sequences are shot during one day at Sexauer Gallery in Berlin.

    Nearly all models are custom built in 3ds Max 2018 and textured in Substance Painter.

    Straightforward polygon modeling in 3ds Max 2018. RizomUV was used to unwrap the models.

    I created various smart material presets for different kinds of materials which allowed fast and easy texturing. Most objects contain one to five 2k udim texture maps. The movie is black and white, but all objects are textured with their natural color and later desaturated in the shader before rendering.

    Scene setup and rendering were done in Houdini Indie and Redshift 3 and composited in Flame. Thankfully, Fox Renderfarm adapted to my exotic choice of the newest Houdini and a Redshift beta version. Thanks again for their outstanding and fast support even during days and nights and weekends.

    You can learn more about the project by click the link:

    https://schallplae.com/2020/07/21/meredi-above/

    Fox Renderfarm:What is the biggest challenge you have encountered in the process of creating 3D works and how did you deal with it?

    Fabian: The tools of 3D artists are constantly changing and evolving, forcing him to learn constantly. But on the other hand, this is why we love our job so much, don’t we?

    Lighting and shading for a CGI fulldome show © Fabian Hofmann

    Fox Renderfarm:Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    Fabian: I started to work as a traditional illustrator while I was in art school in the 90s when I saw what Photoshop can do. After school, I earned my living with preprint image retouching and was immediately hooked after seeing 3D generated images in FormZ.

    From there on I switched to 3D, learning the necessary tools while working job after job. It is still a great joy to meet fascinating people and learn from them.

    This is another side of being a freelancer: One day you are knee-deep in scripts and tools, the other day you have to learn about the building methods of medieval castles because of a modeling job. The next day you may have to read everything about Pirate ships. That’s fun!

    Tinman © Fabian Hofmann

    Fox Renderfarm:As an Art Director, do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?

    Fabian: In my experience, there is no better way to learn and improve than to work on a client’s project. This way, you make your own errors and it forces you to solve them. Talk to colleagues, learn from each other. Don’t be afraid to do something you have never done before. You might fail spectacularly, but failing means learning. If you run out of ideas, go for a walk and look at the world around you. It is full of ideas.

    Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph © Fabian Hofmann

    Fox Renderfarm:How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?

    Fabian: Excellent performance, outstanding support, fair prices. Always a pleasure to work with.

    Fox Renderfarm:Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?

    Fabian: Every day I am amazed how many talented people are out there. Please keep on creating wonderful stuff, the world would be a dull place without it.


    How to Create an Allegorical Representation of the Birth of Cinema in an Animated Short

    2020-10-12

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    When the Seven Arts meet in a forest, what will be born of their encounter? An Italian animated short film, Le Rendez-Vous des Arts, shows us such a wonderful story full of artistic imagination, which is an allegorical representation of the birth of Cinema.

    The animated short film is directed by Walter Rastelli, a filmmaker who personally took care of the character modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering and final compositing in the project. As a freelancer artist, Walter has joined the GoCreation Program, a program provided by Fox Renderfarm to empower CG freelancers to focus more on creation, and enjoy cloud rendering privileges including rendering for up to 30% off their bills and earning up to $2,000 render coupon.

    Click here and learn more about GoCreation Program

    Scheduled to be released in 2021, the project was inspired by a word Walter accidentally heard in a sleepy class——Le Rendez-Vous des Arts (The Meeting of the Arts), which reminded him of a story about all the arts meeting and creating cinema.

    “For a long time I suffered from stuttering, and using photography before and cinema afterwards to express myself was the most important thing in my life. I owe a lot to these two arts, and this short film is my homage to them.” according to Walter.

    The character concepts for seven arts were realized in 2014 by Andrea Boatta, and the character ‘Cinema’ concept was realized this year by Simona Falzarano. We are honored to interview Walter, the Director, who gave us a detailed project introduction.

    Painting

    The History of Art is based on the evolution of painting. How is it possible to enclose painting in a single character? The answer is simple: you can't. You have to make a choice.

    So Walter chose for pure personal taste: Expressionism. Vivid, bright, strong, contrasted colors. The character Painting is very lively, and so had to be the starting style. It occurs to him that her colors perfectly match Franz Marc's Blue Horse, one of the main exponents of the Expressionist movement Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).

    Photography

    Based on the feeling of "non-inclusion", character Photography had to be a "black and white" character - not literally, but only on a palette level. In order to emphasize his detachment from other arts, much more colorful, he had to wear a simple black t-shirt and gray pants.

    At first his eyes were supposed to be black instead of white, just to simulate the photographic lens, but that would have been too dark. Walter emphasized that the eyes of the characters had to be white and bright, without pupils, because they are not real people, but ideas, entities, a sort of spirits, so their eyes had to radiate the light of creativity.

    Architecture

    Character Architecture is more sharp-edged than the others, his chin is slightly pointed and even his movements are less fluid than the others. He is a very serious and rational art, which is why he has a slightly more grumpy character - of our Seven Dwarfs, he is Grumpy indeed - with a slightly older appearance.

    The characters allowed the artist not only to characterize each character with a complete and personal palette (giving them "classic" colors killed all the vivacity of the short) but also to allow a better detachment from the completely orange background.

    Music & Dance

    Characters Music and Dance are a nice couple. Music is inspired by the great classical composers, mainly Mozart and Beethoven: he has the joy and liveliness of the former and the aggressiveness of the latter. At the beginning his hair was more rounded, similar to an eighteenth century wig, but while modelling, Walter chose a slightly more rock look, to create a little contrast between classical and modern hair too.

    Character Dance at first had to look like a ballet dancer, with a white dress, pink skirt and gathered blonde hair. But the team was looking for something more lively and varied, so Andrea relied on Brazilian dancers, while trying to keep the look simple and clean.

    Walter admitted that these two are his favourites of the whole short!

    Sculpture

    For character Sculpture, the team chose a Greek-style. Slightly squared nose like Disney's Hercules, well outlined muscles and a dry physique. The biggest characterization with him was in the animation phase: Walter wanted a slightly more "silly" character, to make him more likable too.

    Literature

    Character Literature is a completely Italian character guided by Beatrice, Laura and Fiammetta. The style of Literature is celestial and angelic, very light and candid, with a long light blue, almost white dress, long gold-coloured hair and a laurel wreath that distinguished the poets and authors at the time.

    Cinema

    Character Cinema, given by a small push of Italian patriotism, the team chose Federico Fellini, a director who has made the history of international cinema. At that point, the solution was simple: red scarf.

    Walter also introduced that every character has a little "power" or characterization: Painting colors everything with a simple touch, Photography takes a picture every time he blinks, Architecture can make complex construction projects, Music can play any instrument, Dance does not stand still, Literature is a factory of ideas and Sculpture molds anything with his hands. There are more stories, please find out in the movie!

    Currently, the team has reached the final phase of the animation project, the rendering phase. According to the project plan, the short should be ready for the first quarter of 2021 and plan to attend many festivals! The team now is seeking funding to finalised the project and once the fund is raised, 20% of it would be donated to the non-profit organization Stand For Trees, which is working to safeguard the natural areas at risk of the planet, such as the Amazon, Congo, Kenya, several areas of South America and more.

    If you like the story and wish to help our little planet, you can click here and support the project!

    Here’s the interview between Walter Rastelli and Fox Renderfarm, where you could know more about him and his project.

    Fox Renderfarm:Hi Walter! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself and your team?

    Walter: Ciao! My name is Walter and I write to you from Italy, the country where I was born and raised. I studied for a long time film direction, direction of photography and editing, in various schools and universities between Rome and Naples. I am currently graduating in Film Direction at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples.

    I've always had a passion for animation and for the expressive potential that the medium offers and, after a Autodesk certified course about Maya, I started working on this short film - although the idea was born in 2013, but we will discuss it later.

    I spent several months modeling and texturing the characters and studying every single shot. Unfortunately (and luckily) it's impossible to make any film product on your own, so I used Artella, a website (now closed, open only for companies) where you could post your projects and look for collaborators.

    Thanks to this site I was able to create a team of experienced artists and exceptional people. As I said, the idea came to me in 2013 and I had already worked on it for a while, but thanks to them I had the chance to "start over", I saw some things in a different light, we improved some steps and a lot of ideas were born. I love it when projects are alive, where the exchange and comparison of ideas allows the project to grow and evolve. I talked not only with animators, but also with riggers and concept artists, and together we created something that was only hinted at at first. Now it is well defined and I think I will thank every single person in this team forever.

    Fox Renderfarm:About the movie’s name Le Rendez-Vous Des Arts, any idea behind that?

    Walter: It all started out as a coincidence during a lecture at the university. But it was difficult to create a story based only on these words! Especially because it had to be told in absolute silence, without words. Everyone has to understand it: from the inhabitants of my town in the province of Naples to the ice deserts populated by penguins in Antarctica. Cinema is just that: narration through images. I don't want to put words into it that have to be translated to be understood. Images must speak for themselves. I tried to think only through images and the first one that came to my mind was a forest (I love woods and forests, so they are always the first thing I think about, I must admit). So I followed my instincts. "Okay, we have a forest, now let's populate it." And here was the hard part. I had to create a story that would unite all the arts, but also create conflict. Since I've always been a bit of an outsider and my pronunciation problem has always excluded me from others, I took my cue from this to create the character of Photography and use him as the central pivot of the story: as historically it happened, he was excluded from others, he was not considered a real art and he did everything he could to be accepted. From here I started to build: the first confrontation he has is with Painting, so the two of them are the first characters that appear. Then came Architecture, Music, etc... From here on I really had to think in actions and images: every gesture, every movement, every change of shot carried the story forward and so, instead of a screenplay, in the end I had a long shot list in my hands.

    Fox Renderfarm:Could you tell us about your CG pipeline?

    Walter: The pipeline we used is basically the same as any animation project. Once the story was ready, I contacted a friend of mine, Andrea Boatta, who is a very good character and concept artist, and asked her to make the concepts for the characters. In the meantime I made a storyboard.

    So far, it's all very simple. After that, I made the character models by myself, including textures, cloth dynamics and hair. I mainly do texture painting with Substance and lighting, as these are the things that come closest to my studies in the direction of photography, but these characters are quite simple - and the concepts were really very detailed - so I did it all by myself. Immediately afterwards I created a very rough editing using storyboards and we used this as the basis for the animatic. The animatic was a simple base to start from rather than a real guideline to follow.

    As I said, I like it when projects are alive, so when we realized we needed more time for a gesture or a whole shot, we had no problem changing and adjusting. That's also the beauty of independent projects, you have much more freedom. However, as the character rigs were made, I took care of the layouts. At the same time with the concept artists we were discussing the shape of the place and the forest, designing the environments such as the tree house and the stage.

    Stage concept created by Shana Pagano

    Once the concepts were ready, I made the models, put them in the layouts and sent them to the animators. Each shot had a different degree of difficulty, so we started with the simplest ones - also because this is a project carried out by freelance volunteers, many of them recently graduated from animation schools, so it was also a way to test ourselves by increasing the level as we went along.

    Since we are all people from opposite parts of the world (Italy, Indonesia, Mexico, Canada, Romania, Pakistan, etc.) we used Slack to keep in touch and SyncSketch to review the shots. Every time a shot was ready, I took care of the environment, using Quixel Megascan libraries. Once this was done, I moved on to the lighting and rendering of the shorter and simpler shots. The compositing was done with Adobe After Effects and the editing with Adobe Premiere Pro.

    I have to say that this was my first time ever to work with so many people from so many different places. For a few months I reversed my sleep cycle so that I could be available even when it was nighttime at my place. But it was beautiful. Exhausting, but beautiful. I felt really alive. It must also be said that this project started right at the same time as the Covid emergency, that is still afflicting the world. The lock-downs have been very hard for all of us, but this project has allowed us to dedicate ourselves to something, even a little bit of distraction and to move forward in such a difficult period.

    Fox Renderfarm:The movie has the stop-motion style, why do you choose this style and how do you create the effect of it?

    Walter: The stop-motion is fundamental for this short. In the beginning it was my intention to make it just like this, with puppets. But it was a waste of money and energy too big to do it alone, I didn't have the chance to create a team and... And the puppets I made were more creepy than Tim Burton's. That's why I've had this project on hold for six years. But I wanted to leave it even now that I'm making it in CGI, because it's the basis of the meaning of the short itself: 24 photographs per second that create cinema (literally).

    Making it in CGI was not difficult. We based it on the Spiderverse, so animating it in 2s, so one keyframe every two frames instead of every single one. The problem was the camera movements which, to remain fluid, have to be in 1s. Luckily one of the animators advised me to use a free script, PrattBros Screen Spacer, which allowed us to avoid the flickers in the camera - as it's obviously an effect created with characters moving every two frames while the camera every single one.

    Fox Renderfarm:Did you meet any difficulties when creating the film? And how did you solve it?

    Walter: Difficulties and unforeseen events are always the order of the day. Each shot has a different one. They can be technical difficulties related to an incorrect rig, or narrative problems related to a sequence or a single shot - the first shot we animated, I remember, seemed very simple, it was Photography coming out shyly from behind a tree, but reproducing shyness with a very limited range of expressions took us several days!

    One of the biggest problems I faced were the hair and veil simulations of Dance and Literature. About the hair, my PC is not performing enough to process the simulations with xGen, so I had to find another solution: I converted the hair into polygonal meshes and "animated" them using non-linear deformers. It’s a very unorthodox solution, I know, but it was the fastest and most efficient one I could think of. For the veils it's much more difficult. I had to use Maya's nCloth simulations here, but the simulations work in 1s, not 2s. Rigging clothes and animating them by hand would have been hell. Difficult problem, easy (but a bit boring) solution: I run the simulations on spline animations, before they are converted to 2s, I export them in Alembic format, and import them in the scene in 2s, moving the offset of 0 and 1 each frame.

    Probably some people who are reading this will be rolling around laughing at these solutions, but they work and that's what really matters!

    You never stop learning, and I still have a lot to learn along the way!

    Fox Renderfarm:As a filmmaker, when and how did you encounter CG and decide to enter this industry?

    Walter: It's a passion that I've always had, since I was a child, but that I've rediscovered in recent years. I grew up with Disney movies and the first time I used 3D Studio Max I was 9 years old. When I was 13, I made my first short film in 3D. It was the story of a superhero sandwich... When I think about it, I'm moved by it, it has a great friendship value. But that's another story. The fact is, animation has always meant a lot to me. I'm also a fan of new technologies, so every time an update or a new technique comes out, I immediately run to inform myself. Animation is a very strong expressive medium, which allows you to go beyond the "simple" image shot. There are stories that have to be told through it. Take this short film, for example. Made in live action it would be grotesque, if not even ridiculous, but through animation it acquires a much greater strength. Obviously it's a speech that also applies in reverse. Lord of the Rings in animation? No, it wasn't a great idea…

    In Italy, animation is something almost unknown. There are several studios, but mainly for children's television products or commercials. Italian animated films are only starting to arrive at the cinema in recent years (although in the past there have been some very important examples, such as "Totò Sapore and the magical story of Pizza", but I think we Italians have a long way to go. The cinema industry here is a bit stuck, the novelties are seen with doubts... But that's another story too.

    Lenore © Walter Rastelli

    Fox Renderfarm:How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?

    Walter: I had the opportunity to use it for a small project in the past and to have it by my side for this short film fills me with joy.

    I'm not only talking about price-quality ratio, but also about the professionalism of the team and the help they decided to give me for this project - and this interview is the proof! I have already done some test shots: the result was perfect and the timing extremely fast! It was my first choice right from the start.

    I would like to point out not only the quality of the service itself, but the kindness and availability of the people behind the Fox Renderfarm. The human relationship is something fundamental, especially when it comes to cinema. When I had problems with frames, they helped me with kindness and speed. You can't find something like that anywhere else.

    Fox Renderfarm:Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts and the audience who supports you?

    Walter: Well, as far as the project goes, I have one last thing to say. This autumn a fundraising campaign will be launched to support some of the project's expenses, like software and whatnot. But there is one very important thing. The fact that the whole short takes place in a forest is crucial. Nature is the first real art. And, lately, Nature hasn't been doing very well, to put it mildly... Deforestation, fire, climate change... How can we fight that? I found a big help in Stand For Trees, a non-profit organization that deals with the protection of forests and natural areas at risk. I talked to them about my project and they decided to support it. I really want to help the Planet, that's why a part of the fundraising will be donated to them for charity, to allow the safety of many areas of our home.

    I started this process with few means, but a lot of willpower. If you care about something, a project or an idea, don't stop. Never. Always carry it on. There will be periods - even long ones - in which it will remain still, but don't abandon it. Persevere. Create. Persevere in creating. Create relationships and unions. Put yourselves on the line. Let ideas guide you and believe blindly in them.

    You can follow the project on our Facebook and Instagram socials. I renew my warmest regards.

    Cheers!

    Fox Renderfarm sincerely calls on everyone to support this wonderful project by clicking here. Your support means a lot!


    How to Create a CG Scene in Norman Rockwell Style in Blender

    2020-10-15

    Trending

    Art Competitions

    Heroes are Everywhere © Akhil Alukkaran

    FGT3D “Hero” challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June and sponsored by our awesome sponsors, including TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, ProductionCrate, Textures.com, Texturebox and Marmoset. In September, twelve finalists were received votes by our jury and three winners were picked! Thank everyone for participating!

    And the first place winner is Akhil Alukkaran. Congratulations! His artwork, Heroes are Everywhere stands out for its strong composition and amazing storytelling, conveying the concept of what makes a hero in one of the purest forms.

    Fox Renderfarm is so glad to have an interview with Akhil. What’s the story behind while creating this artwork? Let’s figure it out together!

    • Akhil Alukkaran
    • 3D Artist
    • From: Kerala, India
    • Artwork Caption: “What makes a hero? It doesn't always have to be something great, even a small act of kindness can also be considered heroic, even if it is just a good thought it shows that there is a hero in you. Heroes are everywhere, you just have to look closer.”

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Akhil! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Akhil: I am really glad to have the opportunity given by Fox Renderfarm to share my experience, approach and vision with the making of ‘Heroes are everywhere’.

    Well... to start with, my name is Akhil. I am 25 years old and I am from Kerala, India. I am a freelance 3d artist and soon to be an Architecture graduate. It's been two years since I started working with 3d and I'm still trying to improve and learn. I used to work with sketchup and V ray, mostly Archviz. Recently I also included Blender in my workflow.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the FGT3D Hero Challenge, how do you feel about that?

    Akhil: Thank you. Actually it felt good. I was looking for opportunities to do something nice, that's when I got to know about this particular challenge, so I thought of participating. However I wasn't sure about winning this one. My knowledge was limited, so if i needed to do something great I had to learn so many things. This taught me so many things and inspired me as well.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    Akhil: I took about a month and half to finish this work. I had other things to do as well so I worked whenever I got time. This work needed a lot of patience, since I was doing most of the process for the first time. But I managed to get inspiration from my friends.

    Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use to finish the artwork, Heroes are everywhere?

    Akhil: Most of the work was done in Blender, and also used photoshop for post processing. Also used ‘F spy’ addon for camera matching in the beginning stage. For the character creation I used reality capture and meshroom.

    Fox Renderfarm: This artwork conveys the concept of what makes a hero in one of the purest forms. What’s the inspiration behind?

    Akhil: When I got to know the Theme was ‘Hero’ I thought of so many things to work with. Every concept that i came up with was about doing something great and epic. Somehow I ‘wondered what makes a hero?’ Is it just about doing something great or doing something humanly impossible? We also do have a lot of real life heroes, however in the end I decided to look at it in a different perspective. That's when I decided to do something subtle but have a good story inside it and I wrote like this.

    “What makes a hero? It doesn't always have to be something great, even a small act of kindness can also be considered heroic, even if it is just a good thought it shows that there is a hero in you. Heroes are everywhere, you just have to look closer.”

    I was not confident about the concept in the beginning, but now it seems right for me.

    Fox Renderfarm: The amazing work has strong composition, and lovely lightning. How did you make them? Any references?

    Akhil: In the beginning itself i had a clear idea how the environment should be and about the main characters of the scene except the background characters which i decided to add in the final stage. So I gathered some reference images for the environment from pinterest and google and compiled it as a Concept board.

    Later I chose one particular photograph to be the base for my environment. Using F spy addon I matched the camera and exported it to blender so that i could build upon it. The buildings were just the image projected onto simple base planes which then modeled simply to have a bit of 3 dimensionality. I struggled a little with UV mapping. Since I had a clear picture about the composition in the beginning itself, I only tried to work on the area which would be seen in the final image.

    In the figure the road texture and puddles were added later in the finishing stage.

    I tried a different lighting setup in the beginning itself. Earlier it was just meant to be a night scene but later felt like doing a daytime scene and came up with a lighting which I felt was good. The lighting setup was simple. I used an hdri image as the base for the ambient light and used a simple sun lamp.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Akhil: I wanted this work to be as realistic as possible, but I didn't know how to do that. Especially the main characters, the boy and the dog pups. Even before working on the environment, I started to work on the dog’s 3d model. I used a low poly base mesh and tried to sculpt details and pose it in Blender. It didn’t work out, well it was fine but wasn’t that realistic. Also I wasn’t comfortable with posing it, so I left it midway and thought of doing something later. After working on the environment again I started to work on the dogs again. This time I tried something different. I chose a reference image for the dog puppies and using ‘pifuhd’ i created a base mesh and later projected the same image on the mesh and sculpted the details. It was looking decent, so I decided to use them in the final scene.

    But the main problem was to create the human characters. I thought of doing something with character creator software but it would take so much time for me to achieve a good result. So I decided to 3d scan the characters. So I took photos of my nephew and created a 3d scan with reality capture. I also used Meshroom but since my photo quality was not good, it didn’t give me a good result. However the process was a bit longer than I expected because of some error. So i had to do some experiments. After that I scanned my dad as well for the character in the background. The whole process took around one week and I was just learning. The resulted model wasn’t that great, so I sculpted the rest of the model and details later in Blender.

    The final image needed a lot of work, so the rest of the time I focused on individual props which I needed for filling up the scene.Most of them were modeled but a few of them were third-party assets.

    Finally the scene was almost done. Later it needed a little bit more tweaking. The smoke and rain added later in photoshop, since the attempt to simulate them inside Blender, took so much time.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?

    Akhil: It is hard to pick one. There are so many artists out there who are doing amazing works. I really do follow a lot of them and also learn from them. But for this particular work, I don’t know. I might have been inspired by some of them. In one of the jury comments they mentioned about ‘Norman Rockwell’. I have seen his amazing works before but that was a long time back. So really that was a good reference for me to learn from.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    Akhil: I am a self taught cg artist (actually in the process of being one). I am almost done with my Architecture degree. It's been two years since I started doing things in 3D, before that I didn’t even know how to model in SketchUp. Earlier works were done in SketchUp and V-Ray, those were mostly Archviz works. Last year I started to work more with Blender, and I always wanted to create larger worlds and tell stories through them and I am still learning.

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?

    Akhil: I really don’t know how to answer that. I am still struggling to find the right method to learn. Only thing which I do is that I work hard a lot and I try to learn from my mistakes and others’ as well.

    Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services? If yes, how do you like it?

    Akhil: Yes, I have used Fox Renderfarm for some of my works. It seems quite fast and reliable. I am planning to use the service more in my workflow.

    Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?

    Akhil: I used to depend more on the tools which I am using. Also I limited myself with what I knew, but I realized there are plenty of ways you could achieve something. Most important thing is the idea in your mind and the passion which leads you to give that idea ‘life’. Keep learning......

    NOTE: Fox’s Got Talent campaign keeps going. Welcome to share your artwork rendered with Fox Renderfarm and be our next winner and win prizes! For more info https://www.foxrenderfarm.com/fgt-community.html


    Remaking the Iconic Cartoon Characters Into Life in Maya and 3ds Max

    2020-09-28

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Gal Yosef is a 3D artist, CG Director and the owner of Fuzion Studio based in Israel. The studio is focusing on animation and CGI still images. Gal in June was featured as the 3D artist of the month from Autodesk for remaking cartoon characters into his Iconic Series, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Winnie the Pooh, Bugs Bunny, Taz (Tasmanian Devil). So far, the Iconic Series is Gal’s proudest project among all his artworks.

    Fox Renderfarm is dedicated to providing fast and secure cloud rendering services for our clients around the world. We have over 160,000 happy customers from 50+ countries and regions. And Gal is one of them! We are glad and thankful that Gal has chosen Fox Renderfarm.

    Here‘s our exclusive interview with Gal Yosef where he shared the skills for creating excellent artworks as a 3D artist & CG Director and the secret to success as a young entrepreneur.

    Gal Yosef © Moshe Nahamovits

    Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry?

    Gal Yosef: I started 10 years ago, even more than 10 years. I started the whole process of design with illustration first. I started it. I remember that I found on the internet some cool characters that I liked and I wonder how I can do it on the computer. I mean I knew how to draw on paper, but I never realized how I should bring the illustration into the computer. Ten years ago, it was very very hard to find tutorials and guides and stuff like these. So I remember that I did a very deep search to find the right tutorials, the right guides. I remember that I even searched for books to help me. And it was very hard. When I started, I gave up on 3D, because it was too hard for me. I was very young and it was very very hard. I left the 3D for one year and then I came back. I decided that no matter what, I will not give up. I was folded really out. In the end, it was all set.

    Fox Renderfarm: You are a 3D artist but also a very good painter and illustrator, do you think 2D art skills help you a lot in 3D art developing?

    Gal Yosef: I heard a lot of this question. I mean I think this question is a question that every beginner asks himself if he needs to to learn illustration before 3D. I can say no, you don't have to know illustration to be a good video artist. But, of course, the illustration, I think it's giving you some backup, because you can paint over the characters after the render and stuff like this. But no, you don't have to be 2D artists to make good videos.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s your pipeline of 3D art?

    Gal Yosef: All right, the pipeline for 3D art, usually the safe place for a good project is to start with a concept art. When you're starting with a concept art, it’s the most important thing, because when you get the idea from the first beginning, you won't waste time later. And in 3D, because everything takes so much time, you must have a concept art to avoid changes in the production of the 3D. So first of all, I'm usually starting with concept art. After I start with concept art and confirm with the client, I'm moving to modeling. Modeling stage and every stage in 3D must be perfect. I mean a lot of artists make a big mistake, because they make good modeling or they give up on modeling and making good texture. But you have to make each step perfect, because no matter how good the texture is, if the modeling won't be perfect like the texture, the project will never be perfect. So every step must be perfect. After I finish totally modeling, I'm starting a retopology, which is cleaning the model. Usually good retopology is for animation because of all the body movements. So it's better to use a good retopology. After the retopology, I'm doing UVs, UV maps. After the UVs maps, you're starting to texture. Usually, I texture with a Substance Painter. In the past, I used Mari. But those days Substance Painter for me, at least for me, is much better. So after the Substance Painter, there is a look development stage inside that 3D application. I'm working with a few 3D applications with 3ds Max, with Maya, with Cinema 4D. And it depends on the complex of the project and the type of the project. Usually, for 3D animation with characters I'm using Maya with Arnold. For 3D characters and still images, I'm using 3ds Max. For motion graphics, I'm using Cinema 4D with Octane. Every plugin, render plugin like Octane, Arnold, Corona, have something very unique, the speed of the render, the materials and stuff like this. So I think it's better for everyone to learn a few plugins, so they can use it for different projects. As I said for motion graphics I'm using totally different applications Cinema 4D with Octane, because it's working just better and much easier than making motion graphics in Maya. That's pretty much the pipeline, including concept art, modeling, retopology, UVs, texture, look development, including lighting of course. After finishing the render, I'm taking it to post-production. I'm making post-production usually in photoshop. And if it's animation, I'm making the compositing in After Effects. Usually it's After Effects, but sometimes I'm making it in Nuke.

    Jazz Coffee © Gal Yosef

    Fox Renderfarm: Metal elements or something crystal are mostly founded in your 3D arts which are very eye-catching, how do you like it?

    Gal Yosef: So about all the awesome face modeling and all the statues, I'm doing this because I think it's cool to balance the character because the character got a lot of fur, especially in the Iconic Series. So I'm trying to balance it with some awesome faces. But that's not the main reason. The main reason is that there is a concept and that I want to mix both characters together. For example, like Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, I wanted to make Donald Duck very gangster and own the Disney. So I thought about how I can do it. And I was thinking it would be super cool to make Mickey Mouse's statue as a very shiny statue. What makes the statues be so eye-catching is the glooming and the shining on the statue.

    Mickey Mouse © Gal Yosef

    Fox Renderfarm: Which project do you feel proudest and why?

    Gal Yosef: I think the Iconic Series I did with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny. I think this is the best one I ever did. I've been working on the Iconic Series for a few months. These days, I'm working on Taz from Looney Tunes. I think it's the best project, because I have no limits. Usually when you're making a project for a client, there are limits and I don't like limits. That's usually what I'm telling my clients. If you will limit my work, I cannot promise it will be perfect. So I think it’s the Iconic Series, because I have no limits and I can do whatever I want. It's the best project. And I'm feeling really proud of those projects. It got featured in many places, many articles about it. So yeah, this is the best one I ever did.

    Iconic Series © Gal Yosef

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the motivation of making the Iconic Series?

    Gal Yosef: My motivation, actually it's bringing me back to my childhood. That's the biggest reason that I am making this. But I'm taking my childhood into those days. And I’m showing people what will happen if those characters were alive on those days. That's why they are so funny with cigarettes and stuff like this.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most enjoyable part while creating the Iconic Series and what’s the most difficult part?

    Gal Yosef: The most fun part is to make the modeling. It's the easiest part, because there are existing characters, so I know what to do without problems. The hard part of the Iconic Series is to make the grooming and the fur. Because the fur is made inside Maya with Xgen and getting exported into 3ds Max, so it's two different applications. I'm taking it from Maya into 3ds Max. When you export the fur from Maya to 3ds Max, usually you cannot put it inside 3ds Max perfectly. Always, in all the characters that I did, there is a problem when you load the fur on the character, because you switch between two applications. So this is the biggest problem in the Iconic Series to make the fur. And it's taking a lot of time according to other tasks that I have in the project. This is the hard thing in the project. As I said, the easiest part is the modeling and the most fun part is to make the post-production because it's the last part. You see everything and you enjoy seeing everything. So you adjust the lighting and the colors a little bit, but it's the end. So it's the most fun part.

    Donald Duck © Gal Yosef

    Fox Renderfarm: Would you share with us the pipeline of Jazz Coffee and which part do you like the most? Why?

    Gal Yosef: Jazz coffee is really good. It's getting twice featured by Adobe, because there is a good storyboard behind it. To make a successful project, it's not about making the character beautiful. It's not that. I mean there are a lot of artists that can make fantastic characters, but it's about to make a good idea behind it, to have a story. So when the client came to me, he wanted to show that the coffee is good and it will make you work better and feel better. I wanted to show what happened with my skills, with my comfortable place I mean characters. What happens when someone drinks the coffee, it will make me dance and it will make him awake. I took the name of the factory of the coffee factory, it's called Jazz Coffee. And I mixed everything together with the Jazz Club that I did, the good music, I even mixed the 2D illustration on the walls. I showed what happened, if you taste the coffee, everything will wake up. All the club will wake up. So the storyboard was so good, that's why the animation is good behind the good quality of the 3D.

    Jazz Coffee © Gal Yosef

    Fox Renderfarm: Regarding the mini cooper project, any challenge?

    Gal Yosef: The challenge was to make the model. Because the model to make a perfect project from a car company like Mini Cooper, they want to show something else inside the project. And it's not the totally same car as the reality. I mean if I will copy totally in 3D modeling, the car in reality, it won't look perfect inside 3D. So you need to find a unique way to make it look better. I mean, for example, the lighting in front of the car is covered in reality by plastic or glass or something like that. And I had a problem when I covered the lighting with a glass material, it made some weird reflection on the lighting. So I had to remove the cover of the glass on the lighting and paint on it in their post-production. So the cover was pretty hard for me. I think there is a good artist that knows how to make good 3D rendering of cars, but my comfort place is more organic things like characters and food and stuff like this. But it was fun. I learned a lot about the house office project and cars project.

    Mini Cooper © Gal Yosef

    Fox Renderfarm: Among all the projects you’ve done, the composition, light and color are fantastic, how do you enhance your good sense?

    Gal Yosef: Okay, so about the compositing and the lighting in the scene, usually I love to use very contrasting lighting. Because when you're using contrasting lighting, it's giving more depth to the character. It shows the beauty of the skin, the beauty of the SSS (Subsurface scattering) and stuff like this. So this is why I like to use a more contrasting lighting and not natural lighting. Because when you're using natural lighting, not always but for me usually I'm getting a flat feeling in the face and it's losing the deepness that I want to show. So I'm trying to use contrasting lighting. But as a tip, when artists use contrasting lighting, very fast it can burn the image. What I mean is, sometimes shadows can be too strong and it can make the shadows on the body turn into black colors and it's not good. Same about the highlights, if the highlights will be too strong, it will burn the skin. So it's something that's very important to pay attention to. About the compositing, if we can say camera angle, there is nothing specific that I'm using for compositing over a camera angle. It depends on the project if it's a character or an awesome face or food.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?

    Gal Yosef: Because I'm working on so many projects, I cannot handle rendering myself or building a self-hosted render farm. It's taking too much time and there is too much of a problem. But with Fox Renderfarm, there is unlimit of things that you can do. It's super fast. When I first started working with Fox Renderfarm, I was so surprised how fast it’s rendered. Because we're connecting a lot of nodes together, and it gave me a super fast render. The first project I rendered with Fox Renderfarm was an animation called Extra Handsome with the zebra. That was the first one I made with Fox Renderfarm. I think it finished rendering after five hours or something like that. And it's crazy, because Arnold is really slow. To render the animation with so many frames in five hours, it's crazy. Besides the fast render, there is really good service at any time in any hour. You don't need to handle problems, there is always someone to help you.

    Extra Handsome © Gal Yosef

    Fox Renderfarm: Being an entrepreneur, what’s your belief?

    Gal Yosef: I believe that if you wanna keep growing and be really good, you need to work very very hard for this. I mean a lot of people that I know, a lot of artists that I know, and it's fine because this is the nature of us as humans. But it's not the right way you need to to work very hard and spend a lot of time to get your targets. This is what I believe the most work out.

    Fox Renderfarm: Your company is expanding! Congratulations! Would you like to share with us how you run your company? Any secret behind your growing business?

    Gal Yosef: I'm getting these questions a lot, too. The big secret behind growing a company is, first of all, believe in yourself. Today I'm 26 years old. I'm pretty young according to the CEO of a company. And the secret is just believe in yourself and believe in your team and believe in your clients. Doing your best with your clients, I always respect my clients. No matter how big or small they are, I always respect my clients doing my best. Because even if you're working with small clients, this small client can give you another big client. So keep good service and give the perfect project and the perfect product for the client, and believe in yourself and be good to your team. It's very important to be good to your team, because it's a team building the perfect company. Without the team, there is nothing. I mean you can be the best 3D artist, it doesn't matter. But when you are coming to animation projects and you want to make a company, you cannot do it alone. You're doing it with a team, so you need to be good to everyone. It's very important, and just believe in yourself and work out.

    Fox Renderfarm: Would you share with us your next step?

    Gal Yosef: In those days, first of all, I'm working on a lot of projects for a lot of brands around the world. What surprised me a lot, because in those days with the Corona, a lot of people were going back. So I'm going forward, I'm doing a lot of great stuff, a lot of projects coming in. My next step is actually to start selling my art pieces in one of the biggest galleries in the world. They contacted me about it. It was amazing for me. I was very surprised and the idea is to sell my art pieces as prints and as statues, most of the Iconic Series. This is my big next step. And maybe in the next year, we gonna have a new studio in L.A.. I'm waiting because of the Corona days. But this is also my next plan.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts?

    Gal Yosef: I wanna give a tip, actually. Do not be afraid to use a few softwares, I mean a few applications. Usually everyone wants to be in a small place, the comfortable place I mean. To use Maya or to use ZBrush and do it. It's okay to learn more. It's important to learn more, because there are amazing tools coming out. Every time that I'm learning something new, it's just making my mind work better and better. So keep learning, don't be afraid to learn something new. It's always hard, because the 3D work is hard. So keep learning, use as much application as you can. Because you will have no limits, when you use a few applications. As I said in the start, every application gets the unique skills of the application.


    Fox’s Got Talent July Winner Revealed: How to Make a Realistic Car Render With Redshift

    2020-09-14

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Fox’s Got Talent (FGT) is the platform for all Fox Renderfarm users to share their artworks rendered with Fox Renderfarm and get awarded free render credits.

    We are excited to announce our Fox’s Got Talent July Winner Eleven FX, a video production company based in Auckland, New Zealand. The artwork, Audi RS7 TVC, stands out for its perfect lighting and realistic render.

    Eleven FX offers comprehensive solutions in the areas of editing, visual effects, color all with the simple goal of empowering the creators we work with. Using state-of-the-art technology, they created a streamlined, 4k workflow that meets the vision, budget, and timeline of any client.

    Here’s the interview between Deep Chahal, one of the Co Founders of Eleven FX, and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how they created this wonderful video.

    Audi RS7 TVC © Eleven FX

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about ELEVEN FX being the July winner of Fox’s Got Talent (FGT)?

    Deep: This is very exciting for us. We are truly honored and grateful that you chose our artwork as the July winner. As an up and coming studio, it is great exposure for us.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the Audi RS7 TVC?

    Deep: The Audi RS7 TVC was a speculative project which means that this was something we created as a piece for our portfolio. It took us approximately one month to complete from the conceptual stage to the final output.

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us about your pipeline?

    Deep: Our process involves working together with the client from the conceptual stage to the final output. We start with a brainstorming session and we narrow our ideas down to the top three. We then pitch this with the Client and after approval, we collate reference images and put together a stylesheet followed by the animatic which is then passed on to our animation team. With our first pre-viz, we go through another round of approval with the client and proceed to block the scene with simple Geo and animate the camera.

    Simultaneously we test the lighting and animation. After another round of pre-viz, we replace the Geo with high poly models with appropriate shaders and we finalize our lighting and animation. This process took approximately one month for the spec - Audi RS7 TVC and this varies depending on the complexity of the scene. Our last stage in the 3D pipeline is rendering and we used Redshift as our engine with Fox render service to speed up our process.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most enjoyable part while creating the Audi RS7 TVC and what’s the most difficult part and how did you overcome it?

    Deep: We would say the lighting was one of the most enjoyable parts. There were a couple of major issues we had. One of the issues was rendering time. We tried a couple of render engines but most of them were very slow on our machines. In the end, we tested Redshift and it cut almost 80% of the render time.

    CGI breakdown for Audi RS7 2020 © Eleven FX

    Fox Renderfarm: The perfect lighting and realistic rendering of the Audi RS7 TVC are really eye-catching. How did you make them?

    Deep: A good reference and attention to detail are the key tools we use to attain realistic rendering. We collate a large number of reference images and put together a style sheet. For this particular project, we used Google maps as a point of reference to layout the streets and the buildings, to get a real-world scale. This goes a long way as it helps us emulate real-world lighting and reflections easily.

    Fox Renderfarm: Which features in Redshift do you find the most useful?

    Deep: We love everything about Redshift. It stands out in the industry because it is a GPU based render engine and gives faster feedback. This makes room for creative freedom, allowing us to change any setting and get instant results.

    Fox Renderfarm: Have there been any big changes you’ve noticed through using different versions of Redshift?

    Deep: This is our first time using Redshift, and we started using it from version 2.6.

    Fox Renderfarm: Would you give us a brief introduction to ELEVEN FX’s development history?

    Deep: A dream driven with passion and crafted with pure skills was the very beginning of the founding of Eleven FX - Auckland, New Zealand.

    At Eleven FX our team is our Whanau (New Zealand Native Language of “Te Reo” word for Family). We are comprised of a diverse group of artists, storytellers, dreamers, and go-getters. Every individual brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the table and it’s not uncommon for the entire team to sit in on a creative brainstorming session.

    What keeps us together is a true passion for the projects we produce and an unrelenting work ethic that enables the execution of impossible projects and constantly pushes the limits of what is possible.

    We love partnering with like-minded creators whose passion is overshadowed only by their drive to tell their stories.

    Eleven FX has the experience, flexibility, and scalability to take on any project; we are always looking for new collaborators and partners.

    Fox Renderfarm: What's the story of your Company's name, ELEVEN FX?

    Deep: The number eleven is considered to be a master number in numerology. It signifies balance, strength and purity in vision, which are the three core values that we channel to build our company. Our goal was to be a start-up VFX production house so we decided to represent us as ELEVEN FX.

    Fox Renderfarm: As a video production company, ELEVEN FX produced lots of excellent TVC and VFX projects. Which project do you feel proudest and would you share with us how you make it?

    Deep: Every opportunity we get to be creative is our proudest moment and we learn from our shortcomings and strive to apply what we learn in our next project.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the vision for ELEVEN FX? Could you give a brief introduction to the studio’s next step or future planning?

    Deep: Our next biggest step will be to transition into working full-time at our studio. Currently, this is challenging with the constraints of COVID-19, however, we are optimistic that we will be one of the biggest post-production studios in New Zealand in the coming years.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us the CG industry in New Zealand?

    Deep: It is a competitive market and as a growing post-production studio, it's been challenging to break into the industry. Our growth so far has been through word of mouth. We enjoy what we do and we are passionate about it.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?

    Deep: We love using Fox Renderfarm. Setting up render jobs is easy with an intuitive, and user-friendly interface. We were also thoroughly impressed with the customer service provided by Fox Renderfarm, as we received instant advice on any queries.


    Make An Impressive Space Rover With Spherical Wheels in Maya

    2020-08-03

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Space invider © Yuri Kozhevnikov

    Hum3D Space Rover 3D Competition announced the winners in early June, and we are glad to see lots of creative space rovers created by talented artists all over the world.

    Fox Renderfarm, your TPN-Accredited cloud rendering service provider, is honored to interview the third-place winner Yuri Kozhevnikov, whose artwork Space Invider was appreciated by the judges because of the fantastic atmosphere and the great design of the space rover.

    Details

    Here’s the interview between Yuri Kozhevnikov and Fox Renderfarm, and he talked about the making of this artwork, including how he made his Space Invider by using Maya, Blender, Substance Painter, Quixel Mixer and Photoshop.

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Yuri! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Yuri: Hi, My name is Yuri Kozhevnikov. I am 32 years old. I was born in the old small town in the north of Russia under the name Kargopol. At the moment I live with my wife Maria and a dog named Schnapps in St. Petersburg. I work as a senior 2D artist at Wargaming.

    Yuri’s battleships artworks for Wargaming

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning third place in the Space Rover Challenge?

    Yuri: I was very happy to participate in this competition, even more, I'm glad that I was able to win a prize in the place. By profession, I am not a 3D modeler and therefore I am very flattered that I managed to take 3rd place in the 3D competition.

    Fox Renderfarm: What inspired you to come out with the idea of making the work Space Invider?

    Yuri: Nothing unusual, inspired by ArtStation and the works of other artists. I came up with the idea of round wheels from the references listed below.

    References

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    Yuri: It took a little more than a month to work.

    Modeling

    UV mapping

    texturing

    Fox Renderfarm: We are all attracted by the unusual sphere wheels you designed, could you tell us how you designed such a space rover?

    Yuri: The principle of the action of such a mechanism was immediately born in my head. In fact, it is an ordinary electric motor.

    The spherical wheel is a rotor. Magnetic locks on the wing is a stator. Between them is a magnetic field, that's all. The rotation of the wheel in any axis gives tremendous freedom in movement and maneuverability.

    Fox Renderfarm: The fantastic colors and lighting create a mysterious environment on an alien planet, could you tell us how you set the lighting and color?

    Yuri: The reference was a frame from the movie Avengers: Infinity War. There was such a planet, where the stone of the soul was stored.

    Lighting is very simple, an HDRI card (NoEmotion), one directional light and a little fog. I slightly changed the HDR map in Photoshop, added a planet with rings and a characteristic solar disk.

    In the blender, a purple hue was added through the color correction node.

    Then I made two renderings: normal and with a purple tint. The most simple processing in Photoshop. Compound 2 renders, select the rover by mask, and overlay several textures with particles.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Yuri: There were minor difficulties, but they are also an interesting experience - this is the study of new software. I first worked in a blender, did visualization on the Eevee engine.

    Test renders

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    Yuri: I studied everything on my own. I started about 10 years ago with Photoshop and photo manipulations. At the same time I tried in 3D, but quickly rejected this idea. Probably because I decided to study 3D with Maya. Not the easiest software for a beginner.

    For a long time, I was a graphic designer. I painted logos in CorelDRAW.

    Gradually, about 6 years ago, I began to include 3D in my pipeline. My first 3D program in which I could do something sane Cinema 4D. But in the end, I still mastered Maya. This is my main modeling software.

    Fox Renderfarm: What do you do to enhance your professional skills?

    Yuri: Workout. Just like in sports you need to train and then your skills will improve. Naturally, you need to train not only "familiar movements" but also learn new ones. On personal projects and with participation in contests, you can include new software in your workflow, learn new techniques and much more - this is my training.

    New York © Yuri Kozhevnikov

    Kalitinka © Yuri Kozhevnikov


    Creating a Realistic Moon Environment in 3ds Max and V-Ray

    2020-07-30

    Fox Talk

    Art Competitions

    Hum3D’s Space Rover 3D Competition, sponsored by the TPN-Accredited render farm, Fox Renderfarm, attracted 98 artists to take part in the competition.

    Among them, Space Walk created by Patryk Urbaniak stood out and won 1st place in the challenge because of its great composition and fantastic photo-realistic render.

    Patryk Urbaniak is a Lead Lookdev Artist at Method Studios Montreal. Some of the movies he worked on include Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and many more. Generalist background helps him to tackle 3D scenes from a simple concept to a finished product.

    Here’s the interview between Patryk Urbaniak and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how he created this wonderful piece.

    Clay Render © Patryk Urbaniak

    Space Walk © Patryk Urbaniak

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Space Rover Challenge, how do you feel about it?

    Patryk: Thank you so much for your kind words. It truly feels amazing. I remember waking up, going through my emails when I read what Hum3D wrote to me and I was just speechless for a good few minutes. I really couldn't believe it as there were so many good submissions.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the idea behind your artwork 'Space Walk'?

    Patryk: I had an idea to do a render of a realistic moon environment and then put it into an image, behind the camera I would render a film studio and I would place the astronaut on some wires and cover everything in green screens. After some trial and error with the frame composition I found out that the image is losing a lot of impact and I couldn't properly place it in strong composition points. This time I had to revert back to the first idea I had and that was just an image of a rover on the moon surface.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    Patryk: It took close to a month to create my work. I was able to put around 3-4 hours each day after work and a few weekends.

    Fox Renderfarm: The piece is extremely photo-realistic which received loads of praise from the jury. How did you make the render?

    Patryk: Thank you. I rendered everything in V-Ray and I have to say that this renderer is super intuitive. The realism is super easy to achieve when you just use the proper ranges of a PBR workflow. Right now a modern renderer does a lot for you and you can just iterate your work with such effectiveness that you are able to compare your renders to the reference much frequently.

    Fox Renderfarm: The lighting is capturing the Moon feel really well, such as the harsh sunlight and shadows. How did you make it?

    Patryk: The lighting was quite challenging because you mainly have to create a very interesting piece only with one light (I used a few additional rim lights to slightly detach the objects from the ground). What I did is I animated the sun going from left to right, and from top to bottom on a 200x200 preview. I was able to judge the shadows of each render and see exactly how much we can see and how much goes away. I picked the best scenario for my idea and I just added a few small lights here and there. But again, just because it was super fast to iterate the light, I was able to hit a few different approaches. In terms of the shadows, you might think I'm crazy but I just started to decrease the diffuse bounces. The less bounces or GI I had the more realistic it was looking. While there is no atmosphere at the moon it was easier to match the references with less bounces and I guess about 0.2x the GI.

    Fox Renderfarm: There are many nice details of the models and materials. Any references?

    Patryk: A lot of materials are fully procedural based on seamless textures and triplanars. The ground for example is a composition of 8 noises and one footprint texture with one mud texture that I created. In terms of the references I had an opportunity to visit a Boeing Factory in Seattle in order to look at a lot of space equipment that took us to the Moon so I took some pictures but in general the Internet is full with super quality images on that topic.

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you encounter any difficulties when creating the work? And how did you solve it?

    Patryk: I faced many difficulties. Let me start by saying that the whole scene was rendered on V-Ray GPU and I’m working on a 2015 laptop. Like said above, the ground itself was done procedurally by using a blend of certain nodes and 2 seamless textures. The displacement being set to the satisfying quality took almost 80% of my VRAM so it was hard for me to create an illusion of the horizon being far away from us but after some optimization, I was able to free some space for the rover itself!

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    Patryk: I don't have any graphic designer education or an art degree but I was attending a film school for 2 years and it gave me a good understanding of camera work or light. As for my experience I started in a small company as a 3d artist and I had no idea what I was doing at that time. After 4 years I joined the biggest studio in Poland, Platige Image and in 2017 I moved to Canada to work on slightly bigger productions. I have to say that I was incredibly lucky with the people I have met and friends I still have today. Being an artist is like running a marathon. It takes time and perseverance but it leads you to a whole new level of understanding the world through an observation.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you enhance your professional skills?

    Patryk: I think I just stay with problems longer. Whenever there is an issue I always dig for days until I figure it out. I read the documentation of the tool as well as "help". It gives me a little bit more information about the broad usage of a software. And then I just give myself a task each week and I try to complete it. I fail most of the time and then after a few more tasks I learn how to do it properly.

    Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?

    Patryk: I would like to thank you each and one of you guys! Everyday I go to your website and it motivates me so much for the day that I can't even describe it. It is a great feeling that all of us can learn from each other and be an inspiration. Thank you so much for having me and I wish you all the best.

    ArtStation: https://www.artstation.com/gothamneedsme


    How to Create an Epic Leviathan Rover in Maya and ZBrush

    2020-07-31

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Hum3D’s Space Rover 3D Competition, sponsored by the TPN-Accredited render farm, Fox Renderfarm, attracted 98 artists to take part in the competition.

    Among them, the artwork Leviathan Rover created by Malchus Akash, an aspiring concept artist /3D artist from Malaysia, won the Special Prize for the “Best texturing”. It is overall a solid work! We can feel the attention to details at every step of the creation process. The texturing work just feels right and really helps add life and credibility to the overall scene. Special mention to the composition and lighting which are just perfect.

    Here’s the exclusive interview between Malchus Akash and Fox Renderfarm, in which he talked about the inspiration and creating process of this excellent artwork.

    Leviathan Rover © Malchus Akash

    Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Malchus! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

    Malchus: Thanks for the opportunity to have this little interview. My name is Malchus from Malaysia, an aspiring concept artist /3D artist. Recovering anxiety disorder artist so to say. I have been doing this for the last 8 years.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning the Special Prize in the Space Rover Challenge, how do you feel about that?

    Malchus: I feel very pleased about winning anything to be frank haha. On a serious note I am very thankful to have been given the chance to be noticed for the work.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork “Leviathan Rover”?

    Malchus: The inspiration behind this piece came from Dune, big truck like vehicles just because everything always is a lot more epic when it's bigger and Mars inspired movies.

    Raw Image from Maya © Malchus Akash

    Fox Renderfarm: How long did you take to finish the work?

    Malchus: I'd say it took about a month in total time not including the breaks in between.

    Fox Renderfarm: Featuring characters by lighting enhances the power of the image in storytelling. Could you tell us how you designed the lighting?

    Malchus: Cinematic lighting always gives a lot more depth to images. Even though I might have liked to push a bit more on the dark and light. I wanted to have a sunset-like feel to the overall image to give the sense that the occupants were looking for a place to set up base.

    ©Malchus Akash

    Fox Renderfarm: The amazing work has great composition. How did you make it? Any references?

    Malchus: The composition I'd say came from many many references which would make it hard to pinpoint. I tried to follow the rule of thirds mainly to get an overall shot of the rover.Tilting it ever so slightly from left bottom to top right to give that sense of progression to not over do it just a subtle change from a flat plane.

    ©Malchus Akash

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?

    Malchus: I think the biggest difficulty was the ground which I still am figuring out the best method to do. I did end up using for this piece multiple meshes with mixed textures to solve it but I'd say if it were to be a close up shot it might not have the clarity of it. As it was the first piece using few softwares it was just brain consuming at times to learn up all which just took a bit of time to just get through it.

    ©Malchus Akash

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?

    Malchus: I went to Australia and studied at QUT for a bachelor of fine arts in animation, though I can't animate to save my life haha. My work experience is a bit odd. Well with having anxiety disorder after I finished university was a big challenge at times still is. I did have a few stints in Australia and coming back to Malaysia but due to my issue it was difficult.I had to do freelance because I used to have attacks which caused me to not be able to go to work the next day. So currently I continue doing freelance.

    Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?

    Malchus: YouTube, I'd say, you want it, YouTube it and you spend the time learning it and adapting to what you want to do. That's mainly how I learnt it because the skills are all technical based which in today's environment has given us an amazing amount of resources to learn from free and paid.

    Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you would like to share with CG enthusiasts?

    Malchus: CG is not all fun and games.It does take sheer will and mental capacity to learn the many softwares, techniques and skills to produce these images. Coming from my gym mentality no pain no gain comes into this extremely. But if you're willing to put in the time and continuously work at it , the final images you produce always gives you a sense of accomplishment, joy, amazement at times thinking how you even came out to it and even peace when it's what you wanted or sometimes happy accidents. Finally I'd like to say if you want to do this know if you want to do this professionally or as a hobby set that first.


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